Lots of cities have tram lines that take you from A to B. Porto’s tram (or ‘eléctrico’, as we call it) is a vintage affair. It’s slow, the routes are limited and the tramcars probably date back to my grandparents’ youth.
I have very fond memories of my first tram ride. My school took the students on a guided tour to Museu do Carro Eléctrico (a museum dedicated to trams and other public transportation vehicles – it’s also worth checking out, by the way). We saw the old tramcars and what not, then rode on one of the vintage trams. At the time, there were no active lines except that one, which was part of the museum visit.
I clearly remember the tour guide telling us about how, in the early 20th century, the ladies used to hate the seats in the trams because they were all made of straw, which meant holes and runs in their delicate stockings. I was wearing a skirt and wool tights and while seating in one of the dreaded straw benches, I worried the whole time and kept pulling my skirt down. Still, it was an amazing experience. I remember feeling like a busy 40′s woman, so dainty and chic!
Today, there are four active lines, including a touristic one. To experience the ‘eléctrico’ like a local take the lines 1, 18 or 22 – all of those will take you on a nice (slow) tour around Porto. It’s sightseeing done right, if you ask me!