Planning a trip to Philadelphia?
Most big cities have double-decker bus tours, but the Big Bus Tour in Philadelphia was my first. I'm so glad we did it and 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. Philadelphia's public transportation is tourist friendly and easy to use, but we found the Big Bus Tour to be even easier for my large family.
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 the Big Bus 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.
Tips for Big Bus Tours
Busses should come by every stop about every 20 minutes.
- Sit up top. The views are better up top and many of the buses have an open air section.
- Dress for the weather. Rain ponchos are provided for rainy weather.
- 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 all seven of us through turnstiles and public transportation. We will happily check out Big Bus Tours in the next big city we visit.
Click the button below to visit the official Big Bus Tours website.
Good to Know
Where: Hop on the Big Bus at any one of 27 stops in Philadelphia. The first stop is at Independence Hall at 9:30 AM. Hop on and off as much as you like for the duration of your ticket. If you ride nonstop, the loop takes a little less than two hours.
When: Big Bus Tours run in a loop from 9:30 AM to 5:30 PM, most days of the year. Big Bus Tours are not offered on some major holidays. Check the website for service information and updates.
How Much: $35 for adults and $12 for kids ages 4-12 for a one-day tour. Save 10% when you buy online in advance. Two and three-day passes are also available.
How Long: 90 minutes for the round-trip tour to all 27 stops
Amenities: Earbuds and rain ponchos are provided.
Disclosure: Our ride on the Big Bus Tours was hosted by Visit Philadelphia for the purpose of review. All opinions are my own.
During our trip to Philadelphia, we also visited the Please Touch Museum, which was really fun for my younger kids. Click the arrow below to learn more about our experience at this children's museum. Or, visit the Pennsylvania page for more vacation ideas nearby.