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The world’s 5 coolest cable cars

People in a gondola of the Stanserhorn Cabrio cable car.

The world’s 5 coolest cable cars

The world’s 5 coolest cable cars

High-flying cable cars are all the craze. Check out these incredible rides.

Unless you’re scared of heights, most of us love the thrill of travelling in a cable car – watching miniature scenes take place below as we glide (or rock!) by in our safely enclosed contraption above. But fresh as cable car travel may be, there are a few cable cars that put all the rest in the shade.

How many of these have you ridden?

At No 5, is the San Francisco cable car – although this car is strictly landbound, its iconic nature and landmark stops demand its inclusion on this list. Jump on this car and you can check out such fabled spots as Fisherman’s Wharf, Union Square, Nob Hill and Ghiradelli Square. After all, who can resist the chance to ride on the world’s first moving national historic monument?  

San francisco Hyde Street Cable Car Tram of the Powell-Hyde.

No 4 is definitely one for the bucket list. Mi Teleférico (‘my cable car’) in La Paz, Bolivia has the distinction of being both the world’s highest and the world’s longest cable car. At 40,000m above sea level and 27km long, it was built to transport commuters between the overcrowded cities of La Paz and El Alto, the cable car runs partly on solar power and provides a breathtaking vista for workers and tourists alike.

Cable cars carry passengers between the cities of El Alto and La Paz in Bolivia.

Coming in at no 3, glamour-loving visitors to Zermatt, Switzerland will not be able to resist hopping aboard one of the four new Swarovski crystal-encrusted gondolas now traversing the Matterhorn. Sandra Stockinger of Zermatt Bergbahnen says the 250,000 crystals adorning the cable cars are designed to sparkle in the sunlight, creating a dazzling effect to “amaze passengers and provide an unforgettable adrenalin rush”.

A cable car at the ski resort of Zermatt in Switzerland, with the peak of the Matterhorn in the background.

Our no 2 cable car at Rosh Hanikra, Israel is the world’s steepest and so definitely not for the faint-hearted. Descending 65m at a 60 degree gradient, it barrels downwards disconcertingly towards the Mediterranean Ocean before arriving at its destination, where visitors can explore a system of natural sea caves.

View of a red cable car coming down long side the cliffs of Rosh Hanikra.

It’s one thing to travel in a cable car – but whoever heard of riding on one? Top of our list for outstanding cable car experiences is the world’s first open-top cable car – the CabriO atop Mt Stanserhorn in Lucerne, Switzerland where intrepid souls can ride atop the open-top cars, with Lake Lucerne glistening below. Personally, just looking at this picture is probably enough for me.

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