Before the automobile and the combustion engine, the cleanest form of public transport in busy city streets was the tram. This interesting museum is dedicated to Porto's public transport heritage, with exhibits dating as far back as 1872. The 1940 sq. metre exhibition space houses 16 lovingly restored tramcars, five trailers and two maintenance trams. The oldest exhibit is a horse-drawn tram carriage known as a Carro Americano made by the Starbuck Car and Wagon Company Ltd., Birkenhead, UK.
In 1895 Porto's mule trams were replaced with the first fleet of electrified trams on the Iberian peninsula (some lines utilised steam traction before being electrified). The electricity to run this new fleet was generated in the very building the museum now sits. The last mule-drawn car was retired in 1904. The tram networks continued to expand. During its height in 1958, there were 81km of track running 192 tramcars before seeing a gradual decline to its present state as a heritage tram system.
The permanent exhibition displays the social and economic transformations which took place during this period. The trams are laid out in order of age. You're able to climb on board those cars whose doors are open. In addition to the beautiful trams and auxiliary vehicles, exhibits also include a collection of uniforms, tickets, maps and photographs. There's a model railway showing miniature trams moving along their routes. On occasion, some of these old trams are spruced up and paraded on the Line 1 route along the riverfront.
Low season: 10h00 - 17h00, High season: 09h00 - 20h00
Adult: €8.00, Concessionary: €4.00, Infant: FREE, (Discount for families) Porto Card: 50%
São Bento Train Station CP Website
| Tram 1 & 18|
The tram #1 runs from Rua do Infante Dom Henrique in the downtown area (alongside the Igreja Monumento de São Francisco church) the rickety vintage tram chugs along the route of the Douro all the way to the Jardim do Passeio Alegre gardens in Foz do Douro.