*guest blog by my sister, Liz*
When I first arrived in Melbourne, my sister showed me a list of attractions and made sure to point out the City Circle Tram as must-see. She was so insistent that we made it a priority–we fit in the City Circle on my second day in Australia!
The trams on this route are unlike the rest of Melbourne’s trams in that they are antique–they look much more like old-fashioned streetcars than the sleek trams on the city’s other routes. The inside of the City Circle trams features wood paneling and benches throughout.
The tram’s recording provides commentary between stops about the sights and the history of the city. It gives a broad overview of many of the sights, and provides lots of fun trivia about Melbourne. I found particularly interesting the statistics about the multicultural residents of the city: Melbourne has the oldest continuously inhabited Chinatown in the Western world, is the third largest Greek city in the world, and has the largest Italian population outside of Italy!
The tram affords great views of several Melbourne icons such as the state Parliament of Victoria, Flinders Street Station, Melbourne Exhibition Hall, and Etihad Stadium.
Not only can you preview the sights, but on the City Circle Tram you can also get a feel for the layout and architecture of the city, the kinds of shops, and the people of Melbourne.
The tram goes through the very center of the city, but also heads out to the Docklands, a recently developed area of high-rise apartment buildings. It takes in the history of the city and gives a preview of where Melbourne is heading in the future.
The City Circle Tram was a great introduction to Melbourne and was indeed a must-see.