This tram is run by Helsinki's oldest brewery
SpåraKOFF is a historic vibrant red tram that doubles as a restaurant, pub, and sightseeing experience all in one. We just had to give it a try!
"It's a very fun concept," says Alexander as he takes a sip of his ice-cold beer.
Together with his friends Espen, Jørgen, Mathias, and Tord, he embarked on a weekend trip to Helsinki.
When they read about SpåraKOFF, there was no doubt about what they would be doing in the scorching sun.
It quickly became part of their little pub-hopping adventure, with the legendary Finnish artist Bomfunk MC's "Freestyler" pulsating through the speakers.
"We just had to check it out. It's not something you do every day," chuckles Espen.
"This is how we should start our workdays, lads," says Tord before the group bursts into laughter.
The Making of Iconic SpåraKOFF
This is a dream scenario for many: sitting down, enjoying good beer or wine, snacking, and experiencing all the key attractions in Helsinki at the same time. The Finns have figured it out by combining all of this into one single attraction: Welcome aboard SpåraKOFF, the tram.
It's even more impressive than "sightrunning".
"SpåraKOFF was made in 1959 and is one of four operational trams of its kind. Two others are now in museums, and the last one is used for advertising," Sanna Lindholm, business idea manager at SpåraKOFF, told Strawberry.
And then she goes straight into talking about the drinks.
"The tram was refurbished in 1995 to celebrate the 175th anniversary of Sinebrychoff Brewery (a large Finnish brewery, the oldest of its kind that is still in operation). As far as we know, SpåraKOFF is the only one of its kind in the world," says Sanna.
What Happens on the Tram Ride
This iconic vehicle boasts a floor area of 20 square meters and can accommodate up to 24 guests. You can choose between tables for four or two, or simply stand.
The route the tram takes depends on what else is happening in Helsinki, but the goal is to pass as many attractions as possible.
On public tours, there is no guide provided, but an insider tip is to hang out at the bar and ask the bartender for some fascinating historical fun facts about the city.
The tram features a bar counter with an extensive menu offering wine, beer, Finnish gin, non-alcoholic options, and snacks. And there are even some extra-strong alternatives available. Yes, there is also a toilet on board.
A tour lasts approximately 45 minutes, or you can book a private tour if you want a longer duration.
"Initially, SpåraKOFF was only meant to operate for two years, but it became a resounding success, and has been running ever since," says Sanna.
A Yacht on Tram Tracks
Today, the red tram has become a familiar sight in Helsinki's cityscape, attracting cheering tourists, birthday celebrations, business groups, groups of friends, and other visitors and locals who have hopped on board on this spring day. All five guys agree: this is an incredibly well-executed concept.
"They could have simply ripped a few seats out of the tram and inserted a bar, but this is like a yacht on tracks!" says Jørgen.