Most big cities have double-decker bus tours, but I’ve never tried one. I’m so glad I chose to try Big Bus Tours on our recent trip to Philadelphia. I will definitely check out Big Bus Tours in other big cities that I visit.
Big Bus Tours of Philadelphia was a great way for our family of seven to see the city and get to the destinations we wanted to visit. I know the Septa (Philadelphia public transportation) is tourist friendly and easy to use, but for the two days we were in Phillly we opted for the Big Bus Tours and we were happy we did.
This hop-on, hop-off bus tour starts right in front of the Independence Visitor Center, and after were finished our tour of Independence Hall and the Liberty Bell, we were starving so we rode Big Bus Tours to Reading Terminal Market for lunch.
The Big Bus Tours guides were informative, interesting, and kind. I love historical stories about the destinations I visit, so I enjoyed the commentary from our guides and the interesting sites and buildings they pointed out as we drove through the city. While they had a script, I found that each guide shared different things even in the same part of the city, so riding the bus more than once was still interesting. When I sat in the open-top area, it was harder to hear the guides, but the breeze and fresh air was nice.
- When you get off the bus, ask the guide when the bus will return.
- If you are catching a bus at a new stop, call the operator of Big Bus Tours to find out when the next bus is expected at your destination. We did not do this but followed the posted schedule on the brochure and missed the bus by five minutes. We had to wait 25 minutes for the next bus. We could have spent that extra time in the Franklin Institute if I had just called to see when the next bus was coming.
- Sit up top. The views are better up top and many of the buses have an open air section.
- If you want to listen to the tour guide, sit near the guide. I found that on the lower level of the bus, the microphone worked well and I could hear the guide just fine, but I didn’t get to enjoy great views of the city.
My kids loved the experience of Big Bus Tours, and I found it easier than coralling seven of us through turnstiles and public transportation. We will happily check out Big Bus Tours in the next big city we visit.
Good to Know
- $32 adults for a today and tomorrow pass
- $10 child (ages 5-15) for a today and tomorrow pass
- Free for children under 5
- Discounted pricing if you purchase tickets in advance online
How Long: 90 minutes for the round-trip tour to all 27 stops
Disclosure: Our ride on the Big Bus Tours was hosted by Visit Philadelphia so we could review the city for our readers.
Planning a Trip to Philadelphia?
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