Tour Bus in Philadelphia: My Opinions and Thoughts
Updated: Feb 16, 2019
Unless you’re lucky enough to book a vacation that lasts weeks, or even months, I am confident that the fastest way to see everything in a city is by doing a double decker bus tour. As tourist-trappy as they may seem, I think they’re absolutely perfect. I mean, they hit every stop in a city that most people actually want to visit and most tours have the option to hop on and off so you never really have to worry about missing something or getting lost.
Since I only spent one weekend in Philadelphia, the decision to take a double decker tour bus was easy. On Saturday morning, we started at the first stop, which was at the Independence Visitor Center.
Our tour operator was Big Bus Tours, which is found in most big cities. They operated from 9:30 am to 6 pm, giving us plenty of time to see the tour, then hop off wherever we wanted. The following is a list of what we got to see on our tours 27 stops!
1. Independence Visitor Center
2. Betsy Ross House
In case you don’t remember, Betsy Ross made the first American flag. This is where she lived!
3. United States Mint/Ben Franklin's Grave
Right over that wall is Ben Franklin’s gravestone. Our tour guide said that people throw coins over the wall, and if you’re coin lands on his grave, it’s good luck.
4. National Constitution Center
6. Reading Terminal Market/Convention Center Marriott/Macy's
7. City Hall/Love Park
The Philadelphia City Hall is one of the prettiest buildings I’ve seen in the US. Absolutely stunning.
Then, right across the street is the famous Love Park. So of course I snagged a picture of that piece of art.
8. Cathedral Basilica of Saints Peter & Paul/Sister Cities
9. Barnes Foundation
10. Rodin Museum
11. Eastern State Penitentiary
12. Perelman Building of Philadelphia Art Museum
13. The Philadelphia Zoo
I wanted to get off and go to the zoo, because I absolutely love zoos, but I just didn't have time!!]
14. Please Touch Museum/ Memorial Hall/Fairmount Park
15. "Rocky Steps" Philadelphia Museum of Art East Entrance
I indeed attempted to run all the way up the steps of the art museum just like in the movie. At the foot of the stairs is a big statue of Rocky that had the longest line of people waiting to pose with.
16. Philadelphia Museum of Art- West Entrance
We spent Friday evening in the museum and really liked it.
17. Franklin Institute/Logan Circle
Our hotel was actually right across the way from Logan Square, so we had already sort of explored this area and the way leading back to Love park. The fountain is huge though! And oddly enough, people were sticking their feet in!
18. One Liberty Observation Deck, Philly From the Top
19. The Bellevue/Rittenhouse Square
20. Academy of Music/Broad Street
21. Antiques Row
22. South Street/Head House Square
We got off at the South Street stop because rumor has it, a little place near by called Jim’s Steaks has the best Philly cheesesteaks in the city. Turns out, totally true. I’ve never really had a cheesesteak until this trip, but now I’m addicted. This sandwich was absolutely incredible. I didn’t choose to eat it like a local though – which is a sandwich covered in cheese whiz… yeah, hard pass. I opted for provolone.
23. Vietnam Veterans Memorial
24. Hilton Philadelphia at Penn's Landing/Columbus Boulevard/Spruce Street Harbor Park
25. Penn's Landing/Waterfront
26. Old City/Christ Church
27. Museum of American Jewish History
Like I said, I always love a good tour bus! I think it’s great that they take you to all the main places that I usually want to see. And I like that you’re up high and get good views of everything. I highly recommend the bus if you’re ever in Philly for just a few days!
Distance: 2,660 miles
Driving Time: 1 day 13 hours