Melbourne Metropolitan Tram Network
The world’s largest fully operational tram network is right here in Melbourne. You can’t fully experience a visit to Melbourne without hopping on a tram!
When in Melbourne, you will see the constant flow of Melbourne’s iconic trams rolling on through the Central Business District (CBD) and suburbs.
History of Melbourne’s Trams
Melbourne’s very first tram was a horse drawn unit travelling from Fairfield train station way back in 1884. It wasn’t until 1940, that all horse drawn trams were converted to electricity.
Once upon a time, Melbourne trams were limited to the inner city, but now they stretch out much further — for example, in Melbourne’s east they reach all the way to Box Hill and Vermont South. Today, most Melbourne tram routes still pass through the centre of the city.
The tram network makes up a large portion of the Melbourne public transport system, and it keeps getting bigger.
Free Tram Zone
In 2015 the Free Tram Zone was introduced. The free tram zone is situated to allow transport within:
- Melbourne Central Business District (CBD)
- Queen Victoria Market
Travel on trams in these areas is completely free — no ticket is required!
Tourists and locals love the free tram zone for obvious reasons, however some have complained that it leads to overcrowding of many tram rides.
City Circle Tram
The City Circle Tram is a free tram that operates in both directions around Melbourne’s CBD, passing some of the major attractions of central Melbourne. The rolling stock of the City Circle are all iconic heritage W-Class trams. The trams feature audio commentary that provides information about the city’s landmarks, making it a great adventure for young and old alike.
Attractions to Visit by Tram
Some of the amazing landmarks that are worth visiting by tram are:
- Yarra River Southbank walk
- Fitzroy Gardens (Captain Cook’s Cottage)
- Princess Theatre
- Federation Square
- The Melbourne Aquarium
- St. Paul’s and St. Patrick’s Cathedral
- The Shrine of Remembrance
- The Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG)
- Queen Victoria Markets
- Marvel Stadium and Docklands
- Melbourne General Cemetery in Carlton
To ensure that you’ll have enough time, get up early because it’s definitely worth spending a whole day visiting all the sites listed above. Many of the locations above are within the Free Tram Zone or accessible via the City Circle Tram.
Melbourne Night Tram network
Night owls can get out and about to explore Melbourne at night on weekends, with all-night tram travel on routes 19, 67, 75, 86, 96 and 109 (trams running ever 30 minutes). Melbourne also hosts various nightime festivals throughout the year, including Art After Dark and the new RISING: Melbourne festival (formerly White Night Melbourne), an annual light and art festival held in the city’s CBD. Night trams are a great way to see these festivals.
There are countless accommodation options in Melbourne that have their doorsteps next to Melbourne tram lines. You never need to wait very long for a tram and quite often they are only minutes apart!
Tram Network Maps
Maps can be downloaded via the following links:
- Melbourne metropolitan tram network map (Public Transport Victoria website)
- Free Tram Zone map (PTV website)
- City Circle Tram map (Yarra Trams website)
- Night Tram network map (PTV website)
Because of the proud Melbourne history of trams and their huge popularity, Melbourne trams could be around for centuries yet!