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10 Amazing Transport Experiences Around the World

Travelling by an unusual mode of transport in a country can give you a whole new perspective on the place you’re visiting. On my adventures around the world I’ve managed to combine my love of transport with sightseeing. From a myriad of local forms of transportation including the usual planes, trains and automobiles to the downright peculiar.

Most of all I love how different modes of transport can connect you to a destination, creating some real magic moments and treasured experiences. Here’s a compilation of travel destinations I’ve fallen in love with simply by stepping on to an interesting mode of local transport.

1. Trabi, Berlin

A love for cars led me to tour Berlin in a vintage Trabant, colloquially known as a Trabi. The iconic mass produced car, which came with a 13 year waiting list was East Germany’s answer to the VW Beetle.

It became world famous when thousands of East Germans freely drove over the border when the Berlin Wall fell on November 9, 1989. Making the Trabi one of the most recognizable symbols of the failed former East Germany and the fall of communism.

Tourists can now enjoy a 75 minute self drive in the slow and noisy car around Berlin’s most historic sites, whilst following a guide. Giving you a unique perspective and fun ride.

Read more: 8 Ways Berlin Will Take Your Breath Away

Book your Trabi Safari experience here

2. Helicopter, Grand Canyon

If you’re going to see one of the seven natural wonders of the world, may as well do it in style, right? One of the most exciting ways to see the magnificent Grand Canyon is by air.

Located 275 miles west of Las Vegas in the state of Arizona the epic Grand Canyon is 277 miles long, 18 miles wide and a mile deep. The helicopter ride provides stunning aerial views of Hoover Dam, Lake Mead, and Grand Canyon West. There are an array of different rides to choose from but we opted for The Grand Celebration. This also included an exhilarating landing 4,000 feet below the rim and enough time to enjoy a champagne picnic.

Surrounded by walls representing two billion years of the earth’s history, I was humbled and speechless. It’s one of those once in a lifetime experiences you’ll never forget.

Read more: Las Vegas: Grand Canyon Helicopter Tour

Click here for a selection of Grand Canyon helicopter tour

Disclosure: I received a press rate for the helicopter ride.

3. Horse-drawn sleigh, Dolomites

A spectacular way to explore a winter wonderland is by a horse-drawn sleigh.

With the snowy backdrop of the spectacular jagged limestone peaks of the Dolomites. The beautiful horses pull the sleigh through the woodlands deep with glistening snow to the sound of their hooves and the tinkering sleigh bells.

Wrapped in a warm blanket and enjoying the sunny winter rays, it’s definitely the most cosiest and fun family ride we’ve experienced.

Read more: Winter Family Break in Italy – Andalo, Trentino

Disclosure: The horse-drawn sleigh ride was part of  a press trip.

4. Houseboat, Kerala

Postcards from the Keralan Backwaters

The emerald backwaters of Kerala is the reason why the state is named God’s Own Country. Board a kettuvallam, or houseboat as they are known are crafted from age old cargo vessels of the State.  They once were poled along by one or two men, transporting rice, coconut and other commodities. Today they are used exclusively for tourism.

It’s an incredible way to explore the land of canals, lagoons, lakes and rivers whilst you drink in beautiful views of coconut grooves, paddy fields and village life. There are many options to indulge in the beauty of famous backwaters, whether it’s a day cruise, overnight or a lengthier stay. It’s a wonderful experience and a charming insight into life on the water.

Read more: Postcards from the Keralan Backwaters

Click here for a selection of houseboat cruises and stays

5. Vespa, Rome

Hopping on a Vespa is the quintessential way to explore Rome. Adventurous and efficient, zipping in and out through the traffic you can cover a lot of ground on the nifty two wheeler. There are plenty of tours to choose from: the classic, foodie, street art or cinema.

If you’re qualified you can drive your own wheels or if not like me leave the driving to the guide and jump on the back, hold tight and enjoy. 

The street art tour uncovers parts of the city outside of the major tourist attractions with a glimpse of how Romans live on a daily basis. It’s authentic, exciting and exhilarating. Who wouldn’t want to experience their own slice of an Audrey Hepburn Roman Holiday?!

Read more: Vespa Street Art Tour

Book your half-day Vespa tour with private driver here

Disclosure: I received a press rate for the street art tour.

6. Safari Jeep, South Africa

Open-sided safari Jeeps put you right in the heart of the action. No windows, often no real roof it’s the ultimate sensory experience. Surround vision for the majestically glorious beasts you will encounter.

In Africa you have the chance to spot the ‘big five’. A term coined by the big-game hunters and refers to the five most difficult animals in Africa to hunt on foot. This includes the lion, elephant, Cape buffalo, rhino and leopard.

South Africa is the perfect choice for a first family safari holiday for a number of reasons. Firstly, it offers malaria free game reserves, a huge plus not to have to take the tablets. Secondly, travelling with children minimal time difference and no jet lag if you’re coming from European climes – always a winning combination.

Read more: 7 Tips for an Incredible Family African Safari Holiday

Click here for a selection of tours which include visits to Addo Elephant National Park

7. Horse-riding, Iceland

The land of ice and fire as it’s sometimes known is an area of almost 40,000 square miles. Like no place on earth, it lies midway between North America and Europe and borders the Arctic Circle in the North.

Home to the the most incredible, breathtaking and diverse landscapes. Unspoilt and natural it’s dominated by volcanoes, geysers, waterfalls, lava deserts, mountains and glaciers.

Summer is the usual riding season when you can experience a ride on an Icelandic horse. A unique bread small and hardy they’ve evolved through the centuries. Almost pony-sized even for a beginner the rides are very comfortable. Horseback is definitely a captivating way to experience the otherwise inaccessible areas of Iceland.

Read more: Incredible Iceland in Summer: 8 Things Not to Miss

Click here for a selection of horse-riding tours in Iceland

8. Auto Rickshaw, India

Kerala with Kids: Beaches and Backwaters

These motorised three-wheelers are used all over Asia. Similar to the tuk tuk, which immediately makes you think of Thailand. The Indian auto rickshaw is even smaller. Although the drivers do manage to fit in the same number of people – This is India after all.

Darting through traffic with incessant horn beeping, swerving pedestrians, colourful trucks and cows on chaotic road conditions. This will be the most exhilarating and thrilling ride. Hop on board!

Read more: Kerala with Kids: Beaches and Backwaters

9. Gondola, Venice

Have you even visited Venice if you haven’t experienced the iconic gondola ride?

The fact that cars are banned in the city of Venice meant the gondola was the only means of transportation for locals for centuries. Today they are mostly used for transporting tourists with ‘‘just one cornetto…‘ through the narrow, intricate Venetian canal system past famous landmarks. It’s definitely a moment you’ll recall for a lifetime. Nearly twelve years since our last visit. I think a revisit is definitely in order.

Click here for a selection of Gondola rides in Venice

10. Tube, London

This list wouldn’t be complete without a mode of transport I use virtually everyday and take for granted – The London Underground!

Yes, you can argue that there are many cities around the world with their own underground networks. The London Underground though was the first!

From the design classic tube map, which resembles a rainbow electrical circuit populated with London’s quirky places, like Swiss Cottage and Elephant & Castle. To the tiled tube walkways, advertising posters, the no eye contact Londoner and plethora of escalators which head to the real world above ground. I give you quintessential London!

Like most Londoners I’m the first to moan at the overcrowding and delays. Although we probably wouldn’t get to work at all without the Tube. And you can’t deny there is something special about riding in these carriages through the dark tunnels.

Read more: London for Free: 10 Money-Saving Experiences

Here are a some cool London Underground tours you can book

Tell me about your best transport moments in the comments box below.

sima

Full disclosure: This post contains some affiliate links, which means I may receive a small commission, at no cost to you, if you make a purchase through a link. See my full disclosure here

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36 Comments

  • Binny Shah-Patel 4th February 2019 at 2:50 pm

    What an amazing post Sima!!

    • the Curious Pixie 4th February 2019 at 5:10 pm

      Thank you Binny! Our little chat about my obsession for all things transport inspired it x

  • Emma @ AdventuresofaLondonKiwi 4th February 2019 at 10:13 pm

    All of these are amazing – but I have to admit the last one has fascinated me for years…!

    • the Curious Pixie 5th February 2019 at 10:32 am

      I feel as Londoners we take it for granted, but you’re right it is fascinating and pretty remarkable.

  • Fashion and Frappes 5th February 2019 at 10:07 pm

    This is such a great post! Its so original and totally something I love. I am totally obsessed with transport especially public transport and love trying out new transport experiences.

    • the Curious Pixie 7th February 2019 at 8:52 pm

      Thank so much…There are so many cool travel experiences around the world.

  • Scarlett Roitman 6th February 2019 at 6:36 pm

    Love this post, Sima. It feels like I’ve followed you around the world with Phileas Fogg. Had no idea about the wonderful story of the Trabi.

    • the Curious Pixie 7th February 2019 at 8:52 pm

      Thank you Scarlett. It’s fascinating what the Trabi stands for now. Incredible way to see Berlin.

  • Angie SilverSpoon 7th February 2019 at 10:15 am

    Such a fantastic idea for a post!! I really do enjoy unique transport experiences too!

    • the Curious Pixie 7th February 2019 at 8:52 pm

      Thanks Angie. About time I wrote about my love of transport.

  • LE Travels 9th February 2019 at 1:08 pm

    This was such a cool post! Now I want to go try all of these. I love that houseboat!

  • Map and Family 9th February 2019 at 2:22 pm

    Great idea for a post Sima! I love the idea of the Trabi tour, especially as they’re painted such wonderful colours!

    • the Curious Pixie 9th February 2019 at 10:55 pm

      The Travi tour was great Nancy. And the best way to get a great overview of Berlin.

  • Meredith Fulford 9th February 2019 at 4:52 pm

    What an amazing idea for a post, definitely added a few new things to my bucket list! You took us all along with you!
    Meredith
    The Longest Weekend
    http://www.thelongestweekend.co
    @thelongestweekend

    • the Curious Pixie 9th February 2019 at 10:55 pm

      Thanks so much Meredith. You’ll have to let me know which one you try out first!

  • Emma 9th February 2019 at 5:52 pm

    Wow a Vespa in Rome must be as terrifying as it is amazing! Definitely one I’d love to try. And horses in Iceland look beautiful!

    • the Curious Pixie 9th February 2019 at 10:55 pm

      The Vespa tour is one of the bets tours I’ve ever experienced Emma.

  • ThatAnxiousTraveller 10th February 2019 at 8:38 am

    Ahh, these are all so cool!! I want to do all of them! Though I think the helicopter rides over the Grand Canyon would terrify me, so I might have to build myself up for that one! I bet the views are amazing!

    • the Curious Pixie 10th February 2019 at 9:30 pm

      The helicopter is increible and the best views. But you can work your way up with the others first 😉

  • Nicky @ GoLiveYoung 10th February 2019 at 3:41 pm

    A wonderful idea for a post! I’d love to try out a house boat in Kerala. Thank you so much for linking up with #fearlessfamtrav.

  • Keri | Ladies what travel 16th February 2019 at 12:53 pm

    Such a cool idea for an article – how you get about can be just as memorable as the destination itself, right? I also have a lot of love for the Tube, when we visited London as a kid going down into the tunnels was one of my fave things!

    • the Curious Pixie 19th February 2019 at 4:59 pm

      I had to include the one form of transport I use daily! You those things for granted sometimes. Thanks Keri x

  • Cath - Passportsandadventures 18th February 2019 at 9:53 am

    What a fab list. Some great ideas for transport experiences. Before having our son my hubby and I often holidayed with a motorbike. We toured Sicily on one and took our own to both North Wales and along the West Coast of Ireland. It was a fab way to experience new places. #fearlessfamtrav

    • the Curious Pixie 19th February 2019 at 4:50 pm

      Oh wow that sounds great Cath. Sicily on a motorbike would be incredible.

  • icelolly.com 20th February 2019 at 10:25 am

    It’s great to really immerse yourself in the locals’ way of life…transport included! Love the horse-drawn sleigh and houseboat for quirkiness. A little less unique perhaps but the metro systems in Madrid, Rome and particularly Amsterdam amongst others are great for service and convenience which allows for more time spent exploring!

    • the Curious Pixie 20th February 2019 at 12:51 pm

      Totally agree about the mentioned European metro systems. I’ve used them all and found them easy to navigate and essential to maximise short weekend breaks.

  • OurWorldforYou 1st March 2019 at 4:48 pm

    I love the idea of the vintage Trabant around Berlin, what a great way to see the city. Although it’s difficult to beat the incredible feeling of excitement, when you head off on a safari truck, it’s amazing. #farawayfiles

    • the Curious Pixie 1st March 2019 at 6:45 pm

      The Trabi was a fantastic way to get your bearing in Berlin. One of my best city tours.

  • Ava @ My Meena Life 3rd March 2019 at 3:17 pm

    What a great list! You’ve had some great transport experiences. I don’t have anything particularly special to share, but I would really like to take the Wuppertal Suspension Railway one day. #FarawayFiles

    • the Curious Pixie 4th March 2019 at 12:54 pm

      Now that’s a cool travel aspiration. I’d like to do that one too.

  • Corey at fifi + hop 5th March 2019 at 3:19 pm

    What a great idea for a post! Really makes you realize all the varied types of transportation. I have a similar love/hate relationship with the NYC subway – can’t stand the crowds, but what would I do without it? Thanks for linking up with #farawayfiles

    • the Curious Pixie 6th March 2019 at 2:57 pm

      I’ll be experiencing for the first time this year and so excited about it!

  • Hilary 7th March 2019 at 12:21 am

    These really are 10 amazing transport ideas! Your photos are so lovely, and I especially love the pics with the Vespa and the Gondola. Thank you for sharing on #farawayfiles

    • the Curious Pixie 11th March 2019 at 9:09 am

      Thank you Hilary! The Vespa tour has to be one of the best tours I’ve experienced.

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    I'm Sima, join me as I explore, experience and eat my way around the globe. Inspiring you to escape the everyday through my adventures... Read More

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