7 Beautiful Cable Car Rides Around the World
When transportation and tourism meet, it's a beautiful thing. Whether you're using them to get from Point A to Point B or just enjoying the amazing views, we've rounded up seven scenic cable car rides from New York City to Rio de Janeiro that deserve a spot on your travel bucket list.
How to ride: Several options are available to help you get to the area: hop a flight from Shanghai to Huangshan (Yellow Mountain), take a 13-hour long overnight train from Shanghai to Tunxi, or ride one of the seven public buses from Shanghai's South Bus Station to Tangkou, a small village near the Huangshan scenic area where the cable cars are located.
Skyline Gondola Queenstown
Queenstown, New Zealand
First opened in 1967, the Skyline Gondola Queenstown offers 220-degree panoramic views of some of New Zealand's best natural highlights including Coronet Peak, Walter Peak, Cecil Peak, The Remarkables, and Lake Wakatipu as you rise 1,476-feet over Queenstown. A variety of activities are available once you reach the top of Bob's Peak—try a scenic nature walk or take advantage of one of the many area bike trails. The Skyline Queenstown Luge is open year-round, and you can choose between the easy-going scenic track with simple turns and dips, and the advanced track with steeper hills and sharper turns. A special section of the mountain is reserved especially for stargazing—there is no light to obstruct your view of the universe, and with access to telescopes, you'll be able to spot planets and an endless array of stars. For a unique cultural experience, catch a performance of Kiwi Haka, a show celebrating traditional Maori music, dance, and legends. Activity prices may vary—check the website for ticket packages that combine gondola rides, dinner, and the Kiwi Haka performance.
How to ride: Skyline Gondola tickets cost $26 for adults and $15 for children, or you can pay $74 for a family pass for up to four people. Gondolas run from 9 a.m. thru 9 p.m. while the luge is open from 10 a.m. thru 5 p.m. in the winter and until 9 p.m. during the summer months.
Grindelwald-Männlichen Gondola Cableway
Deep in the heart of the Swiss Alps, and about a 25-minute drive from Interlaken, lies the 7,687-foot tall mountain, Männlichen, a haven for nature lovers, and home to the Grindelwald-Männlichen Gondola Cableway—stretching for more than 3.72 miles, it is the world's longest. Opened to the public in 1978, the cableway was built to provide visitors with easy access to hiking and skiing areas, and to cater to families wanting to get closer to nature—breathtaking views of the nearby Jungfrau massif and Bernese Alps also made the ride popular with visitors. Hikers and mountain bikers flock to the region during the summer months, while skiing, snowboarding, and sledding remain popular winter activities. Families visiting the Jungfrau region should check out the Felix Trail, a special family-friendly route between Männlichen and Holenstein where kids can learn about the different animals and wildlife living on the mountain and participate in other fun, educational activities.
How to ride: Tickets cost $61 for ages 16 and up, while children ages 15 and under pay $31 for the round-trip ride. The gondola cableway is open from 8:15 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. from June to late September, and runs from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. during the winter months.
Roosevelt Island Tramway
New York City
Originally built in 1976 as a way to help Queens residents reach their offices in Manhattan, the Roosevelt Island Tramway is now a part of New York City's transportation system, making it the only commuter cable car in North America. The Tramway carries up to 125 people at a time and crosses 3,100 feet at 16 miles an hour in less than five minutes, all while providing scenic views of the Queensboro Bridge, the East River, and the Upper East Side. After crossing from Roosevelt Island, the Tramway leaves visitors at 2nd Avenue between 59th and 60th streets, allowing easy access to subways that connect you to the rest of the city, or on a nice day, opt for a 15-minute walk through the Upper East Side to Central Park. The best part: the Roosevelt Island Tramway is all yours with the swipe of a regular New York City Metrocard, the same card used to ride subways and buses throughout the five boroughs. In other words, you'll get a memorable ride with stunning views for $2.75, the cost of a subway ride.