This post reviews and compares the many different Philadelphia bus tours available to you, including hop-on-hop-off to night tours and trolleys.
|Hop On Hop Off Company||1-Day Adult Pass|
|Philly Plash||$5 (self-guided)|
This may be one of the best ways to discover the birthplace of America. Explore the city at your own pace as you travel from one landmark to the next.
These services perform an entire circuit around Philadelphia and allow you to jump off at various locations for a closer look.
There are 2 commercial companies and one do-it-yourself option. Expect ticket prices to range from $30-$50 on average for the commercial tours.
When it comes to the hop-on-hop-off tours, this company is one of the biggest names in the industry.
They offer services all over the world, providing narration and transportation for travelers everywhere.
In Philadelphia, they offer daily bus tours, trolley tours, and even horse and carriage tours.
Click on the map to expand.
The full circuit will take you roughly 90 minutes to complete, giving you plenty of time to explore all of the different locations on this trip.
One ticket is good for both bus and trolley travel. A free courtesy shuttle is available from the airport and other areas such as the city center.
Live English tour guides on all buses, with audio in 11 languages: English, French, German, Spanish, Italian, Russian, Japanese, Brazilian Portuguese, Mandarin, Korean and Arabic.
The Philadelphia branch of Big Bus Tours has an incredibly high rating of 4 ½ of 5 stars on TripAdvisor and Get Your Guide (read the reviews).
- $35 for Adults
- $12 for Children (4-12 years)
- $55 for Adults
- $18 for Children
- $75 for Adults
- $26 for Children
(also known as Philadelphia Sightseeing)
City Sightseeing is also well known for providing hop-on-hop-off bus tours all around the country. In the City of Brotherly Love, they offer very similar services to what you’ll find with their competition.
This company provides live commentary in English for all of their tours. Headsets are available for tours in English, French, German, Spanish, and Mandarin.
It takes about 90 minutes to complete the circuit, but there are so many significant locations to see that you might want to consider a multi-day pass.
Prices for their 2 and 3-day tickets are a little bit cheaper than Big Bus, which makes this an excellent alternative.
This bus tour currently has a 4 ½ out of 5-star rating on TripAdvisor and Viator (read the reviews).
- 1-Day Ticket: $34 for Adults | $32 for Seniors | $12 for Children
- 2-Day Ticket: $54 for Adults | $51 for Seniors | $18 for Children
- 3-Day Ticket: $69 for Adults | $65 for Seniors | $26 for Children
- More information and to book.
If you’re looking for a more affordable alternative to hop-on-hop-off tours, the city of Philadelphia actually offers their own special bus service for tourists.
With a total of 22 stops, the Philly Phlash will take you to almost all of the same locations as a major tour bus at a fraction of the cost.
Unfortunately, this transportation doesn’t offer any audio or a live guide and it doesn't run year-round.
That being said, if you’re considering one of our free guided or self-guided tours, the Phlash is an excellent method for getting around town.
The services operate from 8:30 am until 6 pm (20:00) daily (May-August) and more limited service throughout the year (no service in January, February and half of March.
Buses typically run every 15 minutes.
Surprisingly, this service has an excellent overall rating of 4 ½ out of 5 stars on TripAdvisor.
Many reviewers feel that this bus is a convenient way to save money while discovering as much of the city as possible.
- $2 per ride | $5 for all-day pass | $7 for a Two-Day Pass |Children under 4 ride free
- SEPTA Pass/Key Card holders ride for free
- More information
In addition to the standard hop-on-hop-off bus service, you will also find a few night tours in Philadelphia.
Although you won’t have the opportunity to hop off at various locations around the city, you will see a different side of Philly once the sun goes down.
Each excursion includes live commentary.
Unfortunately, these tour options are only available during the warmer months, so they won’t be accessible for anyone visiting during the winter.
Whether you’re looking for a bit more than their typical bus trip or you just want to experience Philadelphia after dark, the Philly By Night tour should do the trick.
Clocking in at 120 minutes in length, the night tour will last about as long as a full circuit with their hop-on-hop-off service.
Starting in the spring, this bus tour will depart at 8 pm ( almost every night.
Although prices are comparable to their all-day tickets, you can actually save money by purchasing a combo pass.
If possible, reviews for Philly By Night are even better than the ratings for their standard service.
- $30 for Adults | $20 for Children (Ages 4-12)
- Note: Courtesy shuttle available from Center City Hotels
- More info and to book
Not to be outdone, this company also offers a very similar night tour entitled Twilight Philly. Note that this bus tour is SEASONAL and only operates between the months of May and October, departing every night at 8 PM.
This trip will also last for approximately 90 minutes, giving you plenty of time to discover the city after dark. A local tour guide will provide a plethora of information about the various locations you will visit on your journey.
- $30 for Adults | $20 for Children
- More info and to book.
If you plan on visiting a wide variety of locations in Philadelphia, you may want to consider one of the following options.
With a tourist attraction discount pass, you pay one lump sum for access to a lot of different locations and the transportation necessary to visit each landmark.
Plan out your itinerary ahead of time and save money on all of your activities!
Although this tourist pass will cost more per day than one of the bus tours listed above, it also includes admission to several attractions.
If you want to do more than just see the sights, the Philadelphia Pass is a great way to experience the city on a tight budget.
Each pass comes with a 2-day hop-on-hop-off ticket from Big Bus Tours.
Instead of just visiting each location and looking around, now you can actually gain entrance into landmarks and important sites such as the Betsy Ross House, the National Constitution Center, and One Liberty Observation Deck.
If you want to learn more about this opportunity, check out our comparison of each Philadelphia tourist pass.
- 1-Day Pass: $59 for Adults | $49 for Children
- 2-Day Pass: $89 for Adults | $79 for Children
- 3-Day Pass: $109 for Adults | $99 for Children
- 5-Day Pass: $129 for Adults | $119 for Children
Tip: Check their website for regular discounts!
Find out more information here.
Much like their competitors, this company also works with Big Bus Tours to provide a free hop-on, hop-off bus ticket. However, you won’t have access to nearly as many attractions with the CityPASS.
Rather than offering admission to dozens of different locations, this tourist pass focuses on just four activities.
In addition to a bus tour, you’ll also gain entrance into the Franklin Institute, One Liberty Observation Deck, and your choice of either the Adventure Aquarium or Philadelphia Zoo.
The main advantage of this option is that you will have a total of 9 days to take advantage of each individual activity.
General admission for all of these tours and attractions can cost over $90 without this pass.
If you’d rather take your time exploring the city, this might be one of the best ways to save some cash.
For more information, look at our comparison between each tourist pass.
- $55 for Adults | $35 for Children
- Find out more here.