I took the hop on and hop off buses in Boston, Philadelphia, and Washington DC. Among all the 3 cities, I took Big Bus at Philadelphia and DC. The difference is substantial. The big bus in Philadelphia only comes every hour from 10 to 4pm. That is a very short time to catch and fully use the hop on and hop off idea. In Boston they come every 30 mins and in Washington DC every 20-30 minutes. That makes more sense to me as we dont have to wait an hour after hopping off at one of the attraction.
It was a nice tour, very convenient, we got to experience the beauty of the city. It was good for us because we were tight on time. If you go on the top of the bus definitely you enjoy a better view, the bad thing is that if anyone is getting off of the bus, the driver doesn't stop, actually is going very fast, is hard to get good pictures. We went there in a nice day over spring, but with the speed of the bus we're freezing.
We took the Big Bus Tour of Philadelphia because we only had one day in the city. The tour took us to all main attractions and more, and we enjoyed it. We saw sights and places that we wouldn't have had time otherwise, or wouldn't have known about.
I have taken the Big Bus tour three times in DC, I did not enjoy the tour in Philadelphia. 1. We arrived at the 30th street Amtrak station, we were given misleading information. Thank goodness there was a kiosk where we found a phone number and called for the shuttle to the starting point of the shuttle. 2. Unfortunately, it took longer than we were told to expect for the shuttle to show up. The driver checked in with the operator, he told the operator that he had to more stops. We heard the operator tell the driver that he did not have another pick up, to take us to the drop off point. That is not what he did, The driver told us he had another stop to make. He drove to a hotel and we sat in the van for at least 15 minutes. The driver returned by HIMSELF!! He never explained why we stopped at the hotel. 3. The stops were not that exciting, and it felt like we drove past some of the same stops (while we were on the same bus). There really wasn't anything worth hoping on or hoping off to explore. Overall, it was not a pleasant experience...we (my husband and I) were very disappointed.
Despite having visited Philly on multiple occasions, I decided to treat my out-of-town Cali friend to a quick Philly turnaround trip. Initially we chose the downstairs seats rather than open air because of the cold breeze and assumed that a monotone prerecorded tour would play throughout the bus (as per our experience the day prior in DC with a similar bus line) why even bother, right? Wrong! BigBus Tours in Philly actually offers live narrated tours. Haven done open air bus tours in LA, SF, NY and DC this is unheard of! Our tour guide was a local, was incredibly dynamic, ridiculously insightful and a historical mastermind as far as I'm concerned. If you're planning to visit Philly for the first time or even a turnaround weekend trip, you must consider a narrated tour!
The tour was OK. I thought it was a bit expensive compared to other bus tours we've taken in other cities. I did like the idea of unlimited time at each stop!! My favorite stop was the Reading Terminal Market and it's not even featured on the brochure !!
Tour was a little too fast, with no time to take pictures at the various stops, but having said that, it was complete, the guide was friendly and knowledgeable. We took him up on his suggestions for a Philly Cheesteak too!
Only had one day to spend in Philadelphia. This was a great way to see the city in a short amount of time. Loved our tour guide. Very knowledgeable. Hope to be able to get back to Philly again in the next couple of years and ride the bus again.
We took our family in this tour a few weeks ago. At one of the stops we decided to walk to the next stop which was not very far away. A tour guide of the company stopped us to tell us the trolley would take us there. We politely declined but asked it the trolley would be there to pick us up and take us to the next stop. The guide told us yes. So after we did some sight seeing we waited for the trolley at the designated stop. And we waited and waited. Finally we called the company to find out why no trolley had come by for quite some time and were told the trolleys and buses were not going to that stop that day. At this point it was too late for us to go to a nearby stop so we not only misse the remainder of the tour but also had to take a can back to our car! When we brought the issue up to management, we got bumped around from one person to the next with no resolution. It appears they could care less one of their tour guides gave us false information and we had a terrible experience. I caution everyone to avoid this tour company. There are a few other tour companies in Philadelphia with the same stops that i hear are better and more reliable.
We arrived in Philadelphia the afternoon of 9/5 and decided to take a tour that afternoon. We arrived at stop 5 just a little before 4 pm.
We literally flew through the tour. In addition, our tour guide would say in two blocks you'll see whatever it was that was coming up. Between the speed we were going and the 2 block pre-notifications taking pictures was impossible.
At some point during the tour the guide asked if we were having a good time and plugged that if we were they would appreciate a tip. I commented that I would have a much better time if they would slow down. He told me they had to go that fast to keep on track.
The next morning we took another tour. It was SO much better. It moved in a much saner speed and we didn't hear anything about when we get two blocks we'll see this or that. We were told about what we were seeing at the appropriate time and were even able to take pictures. It was a very pleasant surprise. Had we not had a much better time the 2nd time around we would have demanded our money back.
From the time you board the bus, the host & driver are friendly and courteous. The host is not bland or boring. He does a great job of speaking about the history of the famous exhibits/monuments that Philadelphia has to offer. Overall, It is worth the price of admission. If you get a chance to take this tour, I would definitely take one. You will not be disappointed !
we have already spread the word to our friends that may go visit Philadelphia to take this bus tour, it's so convenient and fun. We got to see everything we had planned and so much more. We will look for this tour in our future travels to other cities.
Good explanations all through the trip. Smart knowledgeable tour guides who were well informed of history. Pick up by the free courtesy shuttle from 30th Street was prompt. The Shuttle was on time at 29th Street as committed. Ms. Nancy was courteous and good!! While visiting Philadelphia, my spouse and I had very limited time and decided to take advantage of the hop-on hop-off facility for some limited sites. We knew we had limited time and would need to pack in as much as we could within the 6 hours in that day. So we decided to take a view of all the planned 21 sightseeing stops in the first go on the bus. The instructors were absolutely amazing with their knowledge. Well, as we ended our day, our shuttle driver was wonderful to get us back to 30th Street where we could take our next travel coach the Megabus that was to take us to Washington DC. Great experience on this trip by the Big-Bus sightseeing tour.
Yesterday, I did the Big Bus Tour of Philadelphia with my daughter and two grandchildren, ages seven and nine. It was a terrific experience. Not only did it give us an overview of the city of Philadelphia but we also had great historic and current info and in-sight delivered by Brad, our tour guide. I would highly recommend this tour and I will go again myself. We didn't do any hop-on hop-off this trip but we will do that next time. Thank you "Big Bus" for an outstanding experience.