Did you know that Philadelphia was the first capital of the United States? It is located in the state of Pennsylvania and because it played such an important role in the country's history, it has plenty of tourist attractions. This, coupled with its lively atmosphere and proximity to the Big Apple, makes it one of the best getaways to make during your trip to New York.
Although you can visit on your own, I recommend joining a tour to Philadelphia and the Amish region from New York because you'll always be accompanied by a guide and you won't have to worry about any aspect of planning your trip. It's all advantages! Discover all the possibilities available to you below.
How long is an organised tour to Philadelphia from New York?
During your trip to New York you can set aside some time to broaden your horizons and explore nearby cities such as Philadelphia. Depending on the organised tour you choose and the sites you visit, the tour usually lasts a full day (from 11am to 5pm).
What will you see on the tour?
Organised sightseeing tours from New York are a popular option to join if you want to discover Philadelphia. It is one of the most beautiful and lively cities on the East Coast of the United States.
It has many places of interest to see, especially those related to the independence of the United States (Independence Hall, Liberty Bell, Benjamin Franklin's tomb, Elfreth's Alley, Betsy Ross's house...), although they are not the only ones. You'll also have time to explore the Amish region and some of the rural areas of this part of the country.
To make sure you don't miss anything during the tour and get the most out of the experience, a professional guide will accompany the group, who will tell you lots of anecdotes and stories that will make the experience even more fun.
How long is an organised tour to Philadelphia from New York via Amish Country, Washington or Niagara Falls?
If your trip from New York to Philadelphia includes stops in between, it can take several days (2-4 days) as other sites such as Amish Country, Washington or Niagara Falls will be added to the route.
What will you see on the tour?
These types of organised tours are best if you want to take advantage of your stay in New York to explore Philadelphia and see these other interesting sites to complete your experience.
It's a fantastic excursion to do if you're interested in American politics and history to discover a bit more about these two cities that were so important to the origins of the United States. Along the way, you'll see plenty of monuments, parks and squares that you won't be able to resist taking a few photos of.
Along the way you'll also see other amazing places like Niagara Falls (a spectacular natural monument on the border of the United States and Canada) or Amish Country (where you'll learn how this community lives and even get to ride in an authentic Amish Buggy).
You will also have the services of a professional guide during this type of organised tours to Philadelphia from New York through Amish Country, Washington or Niagara Falls.
How long does it take to get to Philadelphia from New York if I'm travelling on my own by car?
If you opt to skip the organised tours to Philadelphia and visit the city from New York on your own, you'll have a little more flexibility as you can tailor the itinerary and timing to suit your tastes, staying longer where you want or skipping certain stops along the way.
The option I recommend most is by car, as travel by other forms of transport can be less comfortable and require more preparation, as the journey time usually includes transfers to stations, security checks, waiting times on platforms and in terminals, etc.
Let's see how long the road trip can take if you're only going to Philadelphia or if you include other places in your journey.
If you're going straight to Philadelphia from New York
In about 1 hour and 45 minutes you'll arrive in Philly by road for a different kind of day trip to the Big Apple.
The distance between New York and Philadelphia is not very far, about 152 kilometres, making it the ideal destination for a getaway.
If you're going to Philadelphia via Amish Country, Washington or Niagara Falls
If you want to add other locations such as Amish Country, Washington or Niagara Falls to your excursion, the trip will take longer, but you'll see some incredible scenery along the way.
Niagara Falls: From New York it will take you about 6 hours and 30 minutes by road on Interstate 80 West.
Amish Country: From Philadelphia it will take you 1 hour and 30 minutes to drive to the heart of Amish Country on Route 30.
Washington: From Philadelphia it will take you about 2 hours and 30 minutes by road on Interstate 95.
How do I get to Philadelphia from New York?
New York City and Philadelphia are very well connected, so if you want to take a trip there, you'll have several transport options if you prefer to visit on your own rather than join an organised tour.
By bus, the cheapest way
When you get on the bus you'll need to show your tickets to the driver, who may also ask for ID such as your passport. So don't forget to pack it in your backpack.
By train, the fastest way
The company that provides this service is Amtrak and you can find tickets from $40 on their website depending on class. The journey takes around 1 hour and 15 minutes if you choose to take the Acela fast train. However, there are other options such as the Northeast Regional.
By plane, the most expensive option
Airlines such as British Airways, JetBlue Airways and Finnair fly between the two cities but this is the least recommended option as the ticket price can be more expensive from around $110 and some of the routes have stopovers so it will take much longer to get there than it would by road (from 3 hours and 30 minutes each way).
The table below compares the options for getting to Philadelphia from New York
- By bus
- Price: from $15
- Duration: approx. 2 hours
- Companies: Greyhound, Wanda Coach and MegaBus
- Fare: from $40
- Duration: Approx. 1 hour and 15 minutes
- Companies: Amtrak
- Price: from $110
- Duration: from 3 hours and 30 minutes.
- Carriers: British Airways, JetBlue Airways and Finnair.
Why take an organized tour to Philadelphia from New York?
The main reason is that this way you only have to worry about buying your tour tickets and not about planning the details of the trip (transport, accommodation, guide services, entrance fees to some tourist attractions, etc.) thus avoiding last minute setbacks.
In addition, by going on an organised tour to Philadelphia you will avoid driving on the road if you are not familiar with the route, you will be sure to make the most of your time on the tour and you will be able to rest on the way back. At the end of the day, after such marathon activities, that's something you'll really appreciate. Believe me!
How much does an organized tour to Philadelphia from New York cost?
From 80€ you can find options in Hellotickets. Prices may vary depending on certain factors such as the length of the tour, the attractions that are part of the route, the size of the group, the accommodation or if the tour includes the services of a guide.
What is the Philadelphia tour from New York City like?
These tours are long and will require at least a day of your New York holiday; a great option if you're looking for things to do in New York for 15 days, for example, but not so good if you're staying fewer days in the city. They are usually done by bus with a transfer to and from the Big Apple at the original starting point.
That's why you'll have to get up pretty early to get to the meeting point. Depending on the tour you choose, they leave between 5 AM and 6:30 AM, so the day before I advise you not to make any plans in the evening so that you can get a good night's rest and face the day's tour full of energy.
The effort is worth it because in return you'll get a lot of experiences that will complete your trip and that you wouldn't have if you didn't go on this adventure.
The road from New York to Philadelphia
Plus, you can always take a snooze on the bus or enjoy the view from the window. Some of the vehicles even have Wi-Fi, so you can entertain yourself by reading the news or updating your social media feeds.
On the way to destinations along the route, you'll see some incredible rural scenery. A little bit of wilderness is the perfect complement to the asphalt jungle that is New York. Then, in the cities and towns you visit, you'll see cool tourist attractions and get a feel for other cities across the country with a very different pace to New York.
Lunch breaks will give you the chance to try different culinary specialities from what you're used to in New York restaurants, which is another great way to discover the local culture.
As with this type of tour, you'll be exhausted by the time you return to New York in the evening, but you'll have the satisfaction of having experienced a super exciting adventure in another part of the United States.
Other cities you can visit on tours from New York City
In a country as big as the United States, Philadelphia is one of the top choices on the list when choosing a day trip from New York (despite the 11-hour distance between the two cities). However, it's not the only one. If you're travelling to New York and want to see another city, but Philadelphia isn't calling your name, here are two other options:
Frequently asked questions
How far is Philadelphia from New York and is it worth a visit?
Philadelphia is about 2 hours by car from New York, or 1.5 hours by train. For this reason, if you want to take a break from the hustle and bustle of New York for a few hours, a trip to Philly is a perfect way to spend the day.
What can I see and do in Philadelphia?
Philadelphia is known for its history and art, and has some of the most interesting art galleries in the state. It is also famous for the Liberty Bell, a historic sign of American freedom, and the Eastern State Penitentiary, a historic prison that today offers tours and exhibitions.
What is the typical food in Philadelphia?
Philadelphia is famous for the Philly Cheesesteak, but the city also has a variety of sandwiches and hoagies (toasted Philadelphia-style sandwiches).