Philadelphia is an amazing city. I grew up in the suburbs and then lived in the city for 10 years. Obviously I love Philly and I was never at a loss for things to do when I lived there. Mike and I still enjoy playing tourist in our home city and giving recommendations to others who visit Philly. There are so many Philadelphia tours and attractions! It can be overwhelming and expensive. We recently started recommending a way to get more bang for your buck with the Go Philadelphia Pass. It will save you time and money when you visit Philly and help you to maximize your Philadelphia sightseeing. Lets compare the different options.
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The two Go Philadelphia Passes
There are two options when you buy a Go Philadelphia card. They will both save you money and make it easier for you to see as much of the city as possible. Each has some pros and cons and really – the best one for you depends on how you like to travel.
The Go Philadelphia All-Inclusive Pass
The Go Philadelphia All-Inclusive Pass is exactly what it sounds like. It’s an all-inclusive, “pack it all in”, maximum-itinerary way to see Philly. You purchase the pass online to begin its use on a specific day of your trip. There are 1, 2, 3 and 5 day options for the all-inclusive pass.
There are so many great places to visit in Philadelphia. This card makes it easy to get to most of them without breaking your bank. You can visit as many museums, do as many tours and see as many attractions as you want with a one-time payment.
The cost breakdown is displayed in the chart below.
How to use the all-inclusive pass for your Philadelphia tours and attractions
Once booked, you must activate your pass on the day you selected. Luckily, the clock doesn’t start on your activation until you go to your first Philadelphia tour or attractions. This means that if you buy a 1-day pass and get a late start, still you have a full 24 hours of all-inclusive touring. This makes it easy to stretch your Philadelphia sightseeing over two calendar days over a weekend away.
Keep in mind that you must use a multi-day pass in consecutive days. Therefore you cannot pause your all-inclusive passes once the clock starts counting down. If you book a day trip to somewhere outside of the city, you could lose time off of your Go Philadelphia Pass.
What Philadelphia tours and attractions do you get?
There are over 30 great tours, museums and historical attractions included with the all-inclusive pass. When you make a purchase, you will receive an e-guide book. It contains information about each Philadelphia tour, museum and attraction. The guide book will provide you with attraction descriptions, hours of operation and maps.
Before you start planning, check out our post on how to make the most of your time in a short visit to Philadelphia.
If you’re headed out to 3 or more attractions, museums or tours – you’ll save money. If you visit each attraction over 5 days, you can save over $400 with the 5-day all-inclusive pass. There’s no all-in-one price comparison, so I’ve created 2 quick charts to help you see how much you will save.
Is that everything?
You may have noticed on the chart that some world-famous Philadelphia attractions aren’t listed. That’s because they’re normally available to visit with no admission fee. Places like Independence Hall, The Liberty Bell and LOVE Park are icons of Americana! They’re also free to visit with or without a Go Philadelphia pass.
There are some museums and attractions with a fee that are not available. This list is still rather robust, and will keep you plenty busy. New attractions are added each season. The list above was available at publication, check the links for what is available when you plan your visit.
Robe Trotting Tip: To get a free guided tour of Independence Hall, get to the Independence Visitors Center early in the morning and reserve a spot. Those tickets are given out on a first-come first-served basis. You can also reserve a spot online for $1 USD by clicking HERE.
Who is the All-inclusive Go Philadelphia Tours and Attraction Pass best for?
Anyone who wants to save money should buy an all-inclusive pass. If you’re planning a tourist trip to Philadelphia you will save with at least a one-day pass. This makes it easy to maximize your visit and see most of the city. You will really get your moneys worth, especially if you do some of the pricier tours.
At a minimum you should do the $35 hop-on, hop-off bus. It’s actually quite fun! I’ve done it twice when hosting visitors and I loved it almost as much as they did. There were so many little facts that I picked up on the tour. It’s a great way to cover a large swath of the city and get out of the traditional tourist zones. Then pick one museum (average $20) and a walking tour (average $30). These 3 activities will guarantee you more than cover the cost of a one-day pass ($66/44 USD) in a half-day of touring.
This is also a great option for travelers with families. You know what it’s like when a kid is cranky inside of a museum. You’ll feel more at ease to leave or take a break over a kid-emergency when you have an all-inclusive pass. You can always go back another day or find a different activity from the list. Either way, you won’t feel like you’re wasting money if you shorten your time at an attraction.
Robe Trotting Tip: Use the Hop-on Hop-off Bus to get from a stop near your hotel to the Museum District and/or Old City. They’re both near plenty of attractions and more entertaining than a taxi! note: you can only use the bus one day of your multi-day pass.
The Go Philadelphia Explorer Pass
The Go Philadelphia Explorer Pass is an option that bundles Philadelphia tours and attractions for a lower-cost prepayment. You buy the pass with a date to initiate its activity. From that date you have 30 days to use the pass. The Go Philadelphia Explorer Pass includes 30+ Philadelphia tours and attractions. You can purchase them in a bundle of 3, 4, 5 or 7 attractions and tours.
This chart below displays the cost for each option.
How to use the Explorers pass for your Philadelphia tours and attractions
Once you purchase your Go Philadelphia Explorers Pass, you have 30 days to use the allotted attractions. You’ll specify a date for the clock to begin when you check out online. A month from that date you must book and use all 3, 4, 5 or 7 attractions. This gives you additional flexibility because you don’t have to use your attractions on consecutive days. Heck, you can use them all on the same day or some on day 1 and the rest on day 30. So many choices!
What Philadelphia tours and attractions do you get?
You get skip-the-line entry at all admission gates with the Go Philadelphia Explorers Pass. The ticketing is printable and mobile friendly. You get to pick your attractions from the same 30+ options as with the all-inclusive pass. You will also get an e-guide book to help you decide where you want to visit.
If you haven’t yet, check out our recommendations for a short trip to Philly. We discuss some tours and museums from this list as well as some free tour options. We cover local foods and restaurant suggestions with nightlife recommendations and even hotel reviews.
Who is the Explorer Pass best for?
Anyone who would like to do Philadelphia tours at a slower pace should consider the Explorer Pass. This format allows you to save money and see 3-7 Philadelphia tours and attractions over a period of up to 30 days.
When I travel, I like to do no more than 2 tours or attractions in one day. I enjoy a more relaxed pace. This lets me make the most of what I see and not feel overwhelmed. I also like to make time for a nice dinner and a few drinks in a local pub. I’ve found that can be just as culturally pertinent as an art museum. It’s also a more relaxing way to immerse in a destination.
This is also a great option for locals. Hear me out, but if you have 30 days and four weekends to see 3-7 museums, tours or other attractions in your city – do it! You’ll also save some money. When Mike and I still lived in Philly we did a “month of culture” one January. There wasn’t a lot else going on for us and we decidedly went to a few museums and exhibitions. It was a cool way to appreciate our home city and get some culture.
How to Save Money and Book a Go Philadelphia Pass
It’s simple to book your pass online. If you didn’t do it from one of the links above, order yours now:
The All-inclusive Pass: book a 1, 2, 3 or 5 day unlimited pass for all the tours, museums and attractions above. Order yours by clicking HERE.
The Explorer Pass: book a 3, 4, 5 or 7 attractions pass for the tours, museums and attractions of your choice. Order yours by clicking HERE.