2014 Certificate of Excellence: Thank You!

This post is dedicated to our amazing customers! Over the years we have met so many amazing people from all over the world, and that is the best part of our jobs. Because you all are so amazing, we try to make sure we provide a superior tour experience that is both entertaining and informative.

One way we see if we are on track with this goal is through your feedback online, and we are happy to say we achieved Trip Advisor’s Certificate of Excellence 2014 for all of our tours: Philadelphia Trolley Works, Big Bus Tours and 76 Carriage Company. We did it again, and we owe it to you all for giving our tours an overall rating of 4+ out of 5. This wouldn’t have happened if it wasn’t for you all reviewing us and rating our service, and we truly appreciate it!

Check out Tripadvisor for all the great reviews we have received! A couple recent reviews include:

“Best double decker bus service!!!”
“I’m so glad we did this tour!”
“Take the bus, even if chilly”
“Totally catered to the needs of the guest”
“Best hop on hop off experience of any city”
“Great experience, highly recommend”
“Get the two day pass”
“Ginger was awesome”
“Fun, Educational and Affordable”
“Great Way to See the City”

If you thoroughly enjoyed our services or want to give us constructive feedback, you still can also share your comments on our YelpFacebook and Google+ pages. In the future make sure to check in at our tours using Foursquare and chat with us through Twitter. We hope to see you all again very soon, and bring some friends along for the ride!

May Events and Festivals in Philadelphia

Even though it may not feel like it… Spring is here, and it is the perfect time to visit Philadelphia! It is a great time to beat the summer crowds and there are so many things going on in the city. In particular, the month of May is packed with festivals and events! You are sure to find at least one or two festivals that you would enjoy! Here is the list:


May 3:

Radio 104.5 Summer Block Parties.* – Free

Jam on the River at Penn’s Landing* – Ticketed

May 31:

Roots Picnic  – Ticketed

May 24:

Fireworks and Fountains  – Ticketed

Art/ Crafts:

May 3:

Go West! Craft Fest  Free

May 1-31.

Celebration of Black Writing – Multiple Events Free & Ticketed

May 9-11:

Pennsylvania Guild Fine Craft Fair  – Free

May 16-18.

Art in the OpenFree

May 17:

Trenton Avenue Arts Festival* – Free

May 10-11

Art Star Craft Bazaar* – Free

May 22-24.

PHAIR Open-Air Market and Artisan Market -  Free


May 3-4

Strawberry Festival Free

May 17-18:

Italian Market Festival* – Free

May 10:

Pie in the Sky Kite and Food Truck Festival - Free

Philadelphia Wine & Food Festival - Ticketed

Pennsylvania Bacon Festival - Ticketed

May 15:

Night Markets * – Free


May 9-11:

Asian American Heritage Festival  – Free

May 3:

Sister Cities Park International FestivalFree


May 3:

Maifest * Free & Ticketed

The World’s Largest Bar Crawl* Ticketed

May 17:

South Philaelphia Taproom Wheat Beer Fest Free

May 10:

Brewerytown * – Free

Hawthornes IPA Block Party - Free

May 30-June 8:

Philly Beer Week* – Free &Ticketed


May 4:

Broad Street Run - Free

May 9-10

Aberdeen Dad Vail Regatta * – Free

May 10:

Namas DayTicketed

May 19:

Phillies PhestivalTicketed

May 17:

Radnor Hunt Races  – Ticketed

May 22-June 1:

The Devon Horse Show and Country FairTicketed

A little bit of everything:

May 3:

South Street Spring Festival* – Free

Plazapalooza * – Free

May 4:

Home and Garden Festival. * – Free

May 9-10:

Fitler Square Spring FairFree

May 10:

May FairFree

May 10-17:

LOVE Your Park WeekFree

* = Top Choice

When you aren’t enjoying these great events Philly has to offer, jump on one of our tours! Riding around Philly on the top of one of our open top Big Bus Double Decker Tours is the perfect way to see the entire city in a day! Tours depart from 5th and Market Streets daily.

St. Patrick’s Day in Philadelphia

This weekend is the St. Patrick’s Day Parade in the City of Brotherly Love, which has been taking place since 1771! It is on Sunday March 16th this year from noon to 4pm. It begins at 16th& JFK Blvd., but the full parade route can be found here. Can’t make it to the parade? No problem! Check it out on The CWPhilly. If you are busy on Sunday, it will also be shown on Monday at 9am on CBS-3.

That isn’t all that is going down in Philly for this fun holiday, there is so much more. Who is a fan of food and drink? We are guessing a lot of people. If you are, and you find yourself in Philly this weekend, then you have to stop by one of the five best bars to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day in the country: McGillin’s Olde Ale House. For just a $2 cover enjoy beer and food deals along with some green beer! The City Tap House and Bridget Foy’s are also great picks for some corned beef and cabbage, drink deals and of course, more beer! If you like the idea of drinking more than eating, then check out one of the bar crawls. The Piazza at Schmidt’s has a great bar crawl on Saturday offering specials on Jameson, beer and Irish car bombs. Buy your pre-sale ticket now for $5! For more bar crawls, check out this site.

More interested in arts and visiting attractions celebrating this great holiday? There is also the Leprechaun Run on Sunday March 16th if you want to burn some of the calories you will be consuming in beer this weekend.  For an authentic Irish experience, there is also The Celtic Nights at the Anneburg Center for the Performing Arts on the 15th which showcases some of Ireland’s great singers and step dancers. Another great option is the first ever South Street Headhouse District’s Irish Festival which is a great outdoor event with Irish beer, food, music and dancers. It event runs from 11am to 7pm March 16th and has only a $5 cover charge.

Want to know of even more happenings? Check out this great article in The Reporter and this all-inclusive blog on Uwishunu.

While you are in the city for the festivities, get a bird’s eye view of the city as it celebrates St. Patrick’s Day on one of our great tours! Ride on a Big Bus, trolley or horse and carriage and enjoy learning about everything else this great city has to offer 365 days of the year!

The 21 Stops of Our Big Bus and Trolley Tours

Have you heard about our Big Bus Tours or our Trolley Tours? If not, they are offered 7 days per week with departures from the Northeast Corner of 5th & Market Streets. They both follow a 21 stop route, in which you can jump off and jump back on the tour anytime throughout the day. Just show your ticket to re-board the bus or trolley! Interested in where we bring you? Here are the 21 stops of the tour:

Stop 1. Independence Visitor’s Center: The exclusive location to get free-timed tickets to tour Independence Hall. On-site ticketing, maps, brochures, list of local events and gift shop. A great starting point if you are new to Philly. Open daily: 8:30am – 6pm

Stop 2. Betsy Ross House: $7 Audio tours for adults, which includes admission to the house. Open daily: 10am – 5pm.

Stop 3. National Constitution Center: Interactive exhibits showcasing the importance of the constitution. Hours: Monday – Friday from 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m., Saturday from 9:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Sunday from noon to 5 p.m

Stop 4. Chinatown: A great place to stop to enjoy one of the 50 Asian restaurants in the area.

Stop 5. Convention Center Marriott: Calling all foodies! This is a great place to jump off to visit the Reading Terminal Market which is one of the greatest public markets in the country. Open Mon-Sat 8am-6pm and Sun 9am-5pm

Stop 6. Love Park / City Hall: Stop here and take a picture with the well-known LOVE sculpture and hangout in the park and grab some food at one of Philly’s famous food trucks. OR stop by City Hall and visit the Tower Observation Deck Mon-Fri 9:30am-4:15pm.

Stop 7. Cathedral Basilica of Sts Peter and Paul: Interested in architecture? This is one of the most notable architectural structures in Philly.

Stop 8. Rodin Museum: A tranquil spot in the middle of the city to experience the work of the French sculptor Auguste Rodin. Free admission to the garden, suggested museum admission of $8 for adults, but is “Pay What You Wish”. Open daily 10am-5pm, except closed Tuesday.

Stop 9. Eastern State Penitentiary: Until March 14th enjoy the Winter Adventure Tours, open every day 10am-5pm. $12 admission for adults.

Stop 10. Philadelphia Museum of Art: For the month of March check out “Treasures from Korea: Arts and Culture of the Joseon Dynasty, 1392-1910”. $20 admission to all buildings. Open 10am-5pm Tues, Thurs, Sat, Sun. 10am – 8:45pm Wed & Fri. Closed Monday.

Stop 11. Philadelphia Zoo: America’s first zoo. $20 admission for adults, $18 for children age 2-11. Open daily 9:30am – 5pm.

Stop 12. Memorial Hall / Please Touch Museum: A great place to bring your kids to learn through play! $17 admission. Open 9am-5pm Mon-Sat and 11am-5pm Sun.

Stop 13.”Rocky Steps“: Have your friend take a video of you running up the ramous Rocky Steps!

Stop 14. The Franklin/ Logan Circle: Get off at this stop to visit The Franklin Institute or Academy of Natural Sciences of Drexel University.

Stop 15. Four Seasons Hotel & Stop 16. Hyatt at The Bellevue: Staying at one of these hotels while you visit? Then this tour would be perfect for you, it stops right outside your hotel!

Stop 17. Antique Row: Of course this is the place for people who love shopping and looking at antiques, but it also is a great place to grab a great meal.

Stop 18. South Street/Head House Square: This very popular street is always bustling with a unique mix of people visiting the many great restaurants, cafes, bars and variety of shops.

Stop 19. Society Hill Sheraton

Stop 20. Penn’s Landing/Waterfront: Year-round you can visit Independence Seaport Museum and during the winter skate on the Blue Cross River Rink.

Stop 21. Old City/Christ Church: Explore the history of this wonderful city at this stop!

Our tour is a fun and convenient way to see all of these attractions Philadelphia has to offer, and so much more. Check out our Facebook and Instagram to see pictures from each stop!

Restaurant Week in Philadelphia

Center City District Restaurant Week is back and it is a great opportunity for both locals and people from out of town to try all the great food Philly has to offer!

It runs this week and next week, January 19 – 24 and 26 – 31, and over 100 restaurants are participating! They all are offering a pre-fix 3 course dinner for $35 per person and some are also offering a pre-fix 3 course lunch for $20 per person! It sounds like a great deal no matter the restaurant, but here are the best deals picked by the Uwishunu blog.  It suggests visiting the Fountain Restaurant at the Four Seasons to experience the grand dining room before the Four Seasons’ moves to the new Comcast Tower.

Some more suggestions can also be found in Philly Mag, which offers up some different restaurants based on the cuisine you prefer. It also suggests restaurants that aren’t taking part in Restaurant Week but still have great specials, like Matyson, which will offer a lobster tasting menu.

Interested? Easily make a reservation at a participating restaurant through Open Table. Make sure to make a reservation ASAP because they fill up extremely quickly. Also, worried about how to get there or where to park? Use this very useful map to find close by discounted parking.

Before your dinner reservation, work up an appetite and jump on one of our Big Bus or trolley tours and enjoy the city of brotherly love!

Not interested in going out to dinner? Enjoy making recipes from the Center City Cooks in the comfort of your home!

New Years Day in Philadelphia: The Mummers Parade

Did you know that the oldest folk festival in the U.S. takes place in Philadelphia every year on New Years day? It is the Mummers Parade, and this year will be the 114th year this parade has taken place.

So, what is the Mummers Parade? If you planned to go watch you should expect to see a bunch of people, mostly men, singing dancing and playing music while dressed in elaborate costumes. This is not thrown together last minute though, and the preparation of the costumes and movable scenery takes months.

The men in the parade belong to a variety of local clubs, called “New Years Associations”, that have clubhouses on or near 2nd street, which is where all these preparations take place. Why spend so much time preparing for one day? For fun of course, but there is also prize money on the line. The clubs compete in one of four categories which include comics, string bands, fancies and fancy brigades. Comics are clowns and usually start the parade, string bands performs elaborate performances, and fancies dress in elaborate costumes. Fancy brigades is the largest category though with the largest crews which march the southernmost portion of the parade route and then head to the convention center for a ticketed show and judging.

Since we at Philly Trolley Works love sharing the history behind our lovely city, we can’t forget how this unique tradition began in Philadelphia. It is related to the Mummers Play tradition from England, Ireland, Scotland and Wales but is also takes from many different European heritages and traditions. For example, the first settlers of Philadelphia were Swedes and had the custom of visiting neighbors the day after Christmas, and then through New Year’s Day, parading through the streets in costumes. This combined with influence of the Mummers plays and their theatrics spurred this tradition, which evolved over the years.

As the premier tour company in Philly, we are naturally inclined to brag about our amazing city’s fun and unique tradition! We hope you can all experience it one day and if you happen to be in the area on the first day of 2014, we highly recommend it. We spark your interest? Learn more about the great places to watch and how to get there.

Visiting Philadelphia in November

The leaves are falling from the trees and winter is creeping closer and closer. This is still a great time to visit Philadelphia though! Come see the city during the holidays with our tours. Even though the summer is considered the season for tourists, we still see many new faces during the colder months.

We operate our hop on hop off tour 9:30 am to 4:30pm on weekdays, and until 5pm on Saturdays. This includes our Big Bus Double Decker and Trolley Sightseeing Tours that depart from 5th and Market Streets. The frequency of departures depends on the volume, ranging from every 30 to 45 minutes. Our vehicles are subject to weather, so if the roads are not safe we will not operate our tours. We run our open top double decker Big Buses for warm and dry days and our Trolleys and enclosed top Double Deckers for cold or rainy days. Our walking tour, Franklin Footsteps, also continues to depart at 11am, 1pm and 3pm on weekends only and our Horse Drawn Tours continue to run daily, departing from 5th and Chestnut Streets.

Philly is always a great destination no matter the time of year because of its great culture, history, food, people, etc. During the holidays, there is even more to see and experience! Come give thanks in Philadelphia this November and check out the oldest Thanksgiving Day Parade in the country.  Then avoid the hassle of cooking a large meal and have Thanksgiving dinner at one of these great restaurants in the area instead. Also, celebrate the holiday at the National Constitution Center Nov. 29- Dec. 1 and learn about the history of the holiday.

Make sure to check back on our site for information about our specialty tours for the holidays!


Halloween in Haunted Philadelphia

Philadelphia is believed to be the most haunted city in America, so it is the perfect place to visit during the month of October! Even though the government shutdown may impact some of the places you can visit in Philadelphia, it can’t stop people from celebrating Halloween.  Come walk our colonial streets haunted by the ghosts of our Founding Fathers.

Looking for a more exciting and spooky version of our tours? We offer Philadelphia’s premier ghost adventures! From Edgar Allen Poe to Charles Dickens to Ben Franklin discover more than 20 haunting tales from Old City and Society Hill on the Haunted Trolley Tour of Philadelphia. Our Ghost Tours depart from the Bourse Building at 8pm Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday. It is 90 minutes of frightening fun!

Another very popular option for Halloween is Terror Behind the Walls. We always mention this haunted house on our tours because it is one of the top haunted house experiences in the country! It takes place in the abandoned and reportedly haunted Eastern State Penitentiary. The haunted house incorporates Hollywood-quality sets, custom designed pops and sound effects and over 200 actors! Considering the city of Philadelphia’s haunted reputation, there are many more haunted houses, tours, events and festivals. The full list can be found here.

Great options for the family are also found throughout the city. The first zoo in the U.S., the Philadelphia Zoo, holds Boo at the Zoo which is a wild trick-or-treat adventure as well as masquerade party for the whole family. The Pumpkinland Harvest Festival is also currently taking place at Linville Orchards. Enjoy many family-friendly activities like apple picking, pie eating contests, face painting, pony rides, etc. It also is fun to attend The Great Pumpkin Carve to watch local artists carve and decorate monster pumpkins.

For the adults, there are many bar crawls and Halloween parties. If you don’t have plans for Halloween night yet, the Sheraton Philadelphia Downtown is holding the 45th annual Henri David Halloween Ball; considered one of the most outrageous costumed balls in Philly. Make sure you wear a costume for a discounted ticket price of $25! (Compared to $60) Less formal options for adult fun are the Witch CRAFT Beer Crawl and Crawloween Bar Crawl.

Want a fun-filled Halloween themed weekend? Check out this great suggested itinerary. If being scared is not what you consider fun, we are still offering our Big Bus Double Decker Sightseeing Tours of Philly which depart daily from 5th and Market Streets. Use this tour to learn about the history of the city, as a means of transportation around the city or for both!


Philadelphia Tours This Fall

What a wonderful summer it was in Philadelphia! We met so many people from all over the world and helped them learn about the city we love, could you ask for a better job?  We hope everyone enjoyed their experience with our variety of tours. If you loved our service, make sure to write a review on Tripadvisor! Or if you have never jumped on one of our tours, make sure you read a few! We are proud to have been awarded a Certificate of Excellence for 2013.

It may be the end of the tourist season, but it’s not the end of us! We offer tours and services year round. If you are visiting this fall or live in the Philadelphia, take advantage of the tours that are still running! Watch the leaves changes color and see the city away from the crowds.

The Plash is an easy and inexpensive way to get to all historic attractions and cultural institutions in Philadelphia at just $2 per ride. It is available Friday, Saturday and Sunday for the months of September and October. Our Big Bus double decker tours also continue to depart daily from 5th and Market Streets 9:30am-5pm. Along with double decker tours, we also have our 76 Carriage Co. horse and carriage rides as well as our Franklin Footsteps walking tours which depart at 11am, 1pm and 3pm. If you choose to see the city all lit up with our Philly by Night sightseeing tour, which departs at 8pm, make sure to bring a jacket!

Visiting Philly in the Fall and want to know what else there is to do? Check out this great Guide to Fall in Philadelphia, on the Uwishinu blog. It highlights fall festivals and events along with a guide to view foliage and the best places to eat and drink this fall in the city.

Not interested in a touring the city, but need transportation services? We offer transportation services all year round! This includes wedding trolleys and transportation as well as charter services for any event or trip.



Which Tour is Right for You?

What do you prefer in a tour? Are you overwhelmed with our many choices? Don’t worry; we will explain the benefits of each tour.

First off, what are you looking for? What do you want to learn about? If you are really interested in history, want a more intimate tour experience and want some exercise, then we suggest our Franklin Footsteps Walking Tour.  This tour highlights the Independence Hall, Liberty Bell and Carpenter’s Hall. It lasts 75 minutes and departs daily.

Don’t want to walk, but want a similar experience? Our 76 Carriage Company Horse Drawn Tours are a lot of fun and difference experience. You can choose from three lengths of tours, which all cover the Independence National Historical Park. They are offered day and night, so if you are looking for something more romantic, this evening tour is the perfect option!

If you are an art lover, then you have come to the right city! The Philadelphia Museum of Art is extensive, which you can visit on many of our tours, but we specifically offer a Mural Arts Tour. Did you know that Philly boasts over 2000 murals? If you haven’t seen them, then now is the time! They are gorgeous!

Do you like something a little more exciting or scary? We also offer a specially Ghost Tour in which you will discover over 20 haunting tales about Philly.

So all of these tours show specific parts or aspects of the city of brotherly love, but what if you want to see more?! Our Big Bus Double Decker and Trolley Sightseeing Tours can show you more. Both show you all of the main attractions of Philadelphia and drop you off at many of them with their 21 stops throughout the city. These are a great option as a form of transportation because you are able to jump on and off the bus or trolley all day. Also, our Big Bus tours will provide amazing views of the city from the top and offers a Philly By Night tour! We recommend that the first time you ride, you ride the tour all the way through in order to really learn about our city and to understand the full tour route and stops.

We also provide great combination options, which combine our tours with Segway Tours, Ride the Ducks, museum entrances, and many other options. We also offer the City Pass which saves you up to 50% on 5 great attractions! For a full listing of combination and specialty tours check out our website or read about us on visitphilly.com! Happy touring!