Go City Philadelphia - How to Save BIG on Your Vacation in 2024

A Northeastern metropolis steeped in Revolutionary War history, incredible art, and serene green spaces, the City of Brotherly Love offers something for every type of traveler.

Heading for a vacation to Philadelphia? Follow along to learn how your Philadelphia Go City can help you craft the finest day in Philly.

Founded on Quaker beliefs, Philadelphia is chock full of popular attractions, world-class museums, and of course, delicious Philly cheesesteaks.

Whether you are reveling in the quiet beauty of a Monet masterpiece at the Philadelphia Museum of Art or hamming it up in front of the infamous crack in the Liberty Bell, the birthplace of the American Revolution (and the Fresh Prince), is sure to impress.

Want to make the most out of your time in this thoroughly urban oasis? Seek out every precious moment of liberty-themed fun when you tackle the Quaker City with your Chicago GO City.

Don’t feel like reading the whole article? Jump to one of these helpful sections:

Go Philadelphia All-Inclusive Pass

Yes, cheap Philadelphia vacations are absolutely possible. Do it all with your exclusive Go Philadelphia All-Inclusive Pass. Perfect for travelers who don’t believe in pausing, this Philadelphia Go Pass allows you to visit the attractions of your choice for however many days you select.

Choose between one, two, three, and five-day Philadelphia pass options, and enjoy top-tier sights such as Memorial Hall and the Eastern State Penitentiary.

Other Important Go Pass Philadelphia Facts

  • Your pass offers you discounts of up to 50% off retail rates
  • Save up to 44% off a three-day Philly itinerary
  • Your pass is valid for the number of consecutive days you purchased
  • Choose from over 30 premier Philadelphia city attractions
  • Enjoy a mix of pre-booked activities and flexible experiences
  • No travel mishaps here. Just use the Go City App for seamless attraction entry
The front of the historic Betsy Ross house in the daylight with a flag flying on the front of it in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
photo credit: Betsy Ross House via Facebook

Philadelphia Multi-Attraction Explorer Pass

Prefer to see Philly at your own pace and methodically work your way through a list of ‘can’t miss’ Quaker City attractions?

Select the Go Philadelphia Mult-Attraction Explorer Pass;”> and kiss your itinerary anxiety goodbye! Then, depending on your travel plans, purchase a Choice Pass featuring three to seven attraction options.

Embrace all of the flexibility and savings you can handle in between building Lego masterpieces at the LEGOLAND® Discovery Center or snapping selfies in front of the famous ‘‘LOVE’ sign.’

Other Important Philadelphia Multi-Attraction Explorer Pass Facts

  • Your vacation pass offers you discounts of up to 40% off retail rates
  • You have 60 days to use your Philly pass
  • Choose from over 30 exclusive top Philadelphia attractions
  • Keep it loose – pick attractions as you go!
  • No travel hiccups here; use the Go City App for seamless attraction entry.
Looking up at a large Geno's Steak sign on the front of the restaurant with people waiting to order and a blue cloudy sky in the background in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
photo credit: Geno’s Steaks via Facebook

The App

Wearing a Cowboys jersey in Philadelphia = is not so smart. Downloading the Go City App for smooth traveling = is brilliant! Kiss that (paper) ticket line goodbye when you utilize the handy Go City App. 

Using your smartphone or mobile device simply:

  • Download the App to your mobile device (Apple | Google Play)
  • Use your order confirmation number to add your pass to your phone
  • Double-check if any of your desired attractions need a reservation and book
  • Show your Philadelphia attractions pass for easy entry

Top Tier Attractions

Big Bus Philadelphia Hop-on Hop-off Tours

Unless you’re the Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, chances are you’ll need a little refresher when it comes to Philadelphia geography. Therefore, get the lay of the land and then some when you board the classic Big Bus Philadelphia Hop-On Hop-Off Tour**.

Sprawl out on your spacious open-top bus as you commence your 90-minute tour. Throughout the ride, you’ll discover the cultural and historical landmarks and icons that make this city so unique.

During your tour, grab a peek at Betsy Ross’s house, follow in the footsteps of our Founding Fathers, or even recreate your very own ‘Rocky’ moment.

In between collecting your first-rate content, be sure to tune in to your expert Philadelphian guide, who will be dispensing fascinating historical facts and tantalizing hidden gems.

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Customize your own tour experience by hopping on and off at will at any of the over 20 entrancing stops.

More incredible Big Bus Tour Highlights Include:

*not included in Big Bus ticket

**The Big Bus Company and Philadelphia trolley work together to bring you this dazzling tour

Old stone buildings with vines and a newer sidewalk in the outside area of the Eastern State Penitentiary in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
photo credit: Eastern State Penitentiary via Facebook

Eastern State Penitentiary

Satisfy your burning desire for more true crime with a visit to the infamous Eastern State Penitentiary located at 2027 Fairmount Ave.

A haunting monument of the penal system’s past, this crumbling brick facade once housed the nation’s most deadly and dangerous criminals, including Al Capone and “Slick Willie” Sutton.

Armed with your self-guided audio, proceed if you dare into the prison’s bowels. During the tour, you’ll see Al Capone’s ‘Scarface’s’ cushy cell or marvel in horror and awe at the dimly lit death row.

As you study the numerous artist installations, staff-led interactive exhibits, and demonstrations, you’ll discover unique historical facts about the prison’s past, including its role in modernizing the American penal system.

Related Post: Philadelphia Historic Sites – The Ultimate Visitor’s Guide

Fun Fact: Unbelievable but true, Eastern State Penitentiary had running water and central heating before the White House in its day.

Close shot of an old record player and an Edison Home Phonograph with a few Edison Cylinders sitting next to it at the Franklin Institute Science Museum in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
photo credit: Franklin Institute Science Museum via Facebook

Franklin Institute Science Museum

Who says science can’t be fun? Let your imagination run wild at the Franklin Institute Science Museum, specifically at 222 N 20th St.

With a dazzling array of exhibits, live science demonstrations, and historical memorabilia from founding father Benjamin Franklin, there’s something enlightening for everyone.

Venture into galaxies unknown at the Fels Planetarium, walk through the famous Giant Heart, or learn how electricity powers up different kinds of light bulbs. Those with stomachs of steel should stay tuned for heart, eye, and owl pellet dissections held daily at the Giant Heart Exhibit.

During your visit, the other can’t-miss attractions of the Franklin Institute Science Museum are as follows:

  • Your Brain – travel under a two-story tall neural network structure with dynamic lighting and sound effects and learn all about this mysterious organ.
  • Sir Isaac’s Loft – discover how the Laws of Motion govern our world through interactive pulleys, pendulums, prisms, and more.

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  • SportZone – learn about the interaction of sports and science, and then try your hand at pitching, jumping, surfing, and running, all while utilizing the concepts of health, nutrition, motion, and mechanics.
  • The Benjamin Franklin National Memorial – take a peek (and maybe snap a selfie) of this commanding 20 ft white marble statue of the museum’s namesake, Benjamin Franklin.

Can’t get enough of our Founding Fathers? Live science demonstrations, seasonal exhibits, and a cutting-edge planetarium. In addition, the Benjamin Franklin National Memorial is full of educational tours and activities designed to entertain adults and kids alike.

Close up photo of a spiny lobster with rocks behind it at the Adventure Aquarium in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
photo credit: Adventure Aquarium via Facebook

Adventure Aquarium

An extraordinary Aquarium experience like no other, the Adventure Aquarium at 1 Riverside Dr is home to over 15,000 sea creatures. This includes hippos, sharks, and Little Blue Penguins.

In fact, the Adventure Aquarium holds the distinction of being the only aquarium in the world to house hippos and to have the largest collection of sharks in the Northeast.

Spend a day in a watery wonderland with these apex predators as you wander through the 40 ft Shark tunnel and spot Sandbar, Atlantic blacktip, and Nurse sharks. Or travel into the lush jungles and murky waters of the Amazon River to glimpse the iridescently beautiful but deadly piranhas.

The Aquarium’s resident hippos Button and Genny might look like rolly polly cuties, but did you know that these 3,000+ lb creatures are some of the most powerful animals on the planet?

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After you get your fill of watching these surprisingly agile swimmers bob in and out of their aquatic environment, test your bravery by heading to the Touch a Shark exhibit.

Pro Tip: Don’t forget to check out the Aquarium schedule before your visit so you can plan to attend one of their exciting animal feedings or Ocean Realm Talks.

father and son building structure with lego in Duplo Village at Legoland Discovery Center in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA
photo credit: Legoland Discovery Center

LEGOLAND® Discovery Center Philadelphia

Brick, brick, BOOM! Head to Unit #1055, 500 W Germantown Pike and prepare yourself for an explosion of fun at the LEGOLAND® Discovery Center with your Philadelphia Go City.

Mini builders of all ages will experience an overload of awesome when they engage in swashbuckling pirate adventures on a LEGO pirate ship, take in a flick at the LEGO 4-D cinema, or hop aboard the Imagination Express.

Marvel is in awe at the miniature recreation of the City of Brotherly Love’s most iconic sights. This includes a packed football stadium full of cheering Eagles fans.

Keep your eyes peeled for meet and greets with your favorite LEGO characters, and test your ninja skills at the exhilarating Ninjago Training camp, which features brick challenges, a laser maze, and more!

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Pro Tip: Making it as a master builder is hard work, so be sure to refuel at the LEGO-themed coffee shop with a warming beverage and a tasty snack.

Shot of a hallway with white walls and a blue ceiling with several pieces of abstract art hanging in it at the Philadelphia Museum of Art in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
photo credit: Philadelphia Museum of Art via Facebook

Philadelphia Museum of Art

Yes, the Philadelphia Museum of Art at 2600 Benjamin Franklin Pkwy is also the locale of the world-famous Rocky Steps. Still, it would be a travesty to never head inside this renowned institution of art, culture, and creativity.

This top-rated art museum is home to an impressive collection of Renaissance, Impressionist, and Modern art that totals over 240,000 pieces.

Your Philadelphia museum pass allows you to gaze upon such classic masterpieces as Sunflowers by Van Gogh, The Large Bathers by Paul Cezanne and works from the Poplars series by Claude Monet.

Experience works of Renaissance, Impressionist, and Modern art, totaling over 240,000 pieces with your Philadelphia Go City.

Modern art aficionados will enjoy the vast array of contemporary art, photography, and textiles. In addition, you will see pieces by such contemporary icons as Picasso, Duchamp, and Twombly.

Travel around the world and throughout history with your museum pass Philadelphia as you soak in:

  • Asian Art:  discover the Japanese tea house and view priceless artifacts, including some of the oldest items in the museum.

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  • Art of the Middle Ages:  medieval buffs and game of thrones fans will love the galleries of arms and armor, including the addition of rare horse armor.
  • American Art Collection:  with a focus on Philly and rural Pennsylvania, this exhibit shines a light on the Quaker city’s vital role in the USA’s history.
  • Sculpture Garden:  grab some fresh air and admire the massive large-scale sculptures by such artists as Claes Oldenburg.

Close up statue of Benjamin Franklin facing away from the camera with Benjamin Franklin Parkway in the background in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Dark Philly Adult Night Tour

Step into the night with a tour that embraces all things grim, grisly, and dangerous! The Dark Philly Adult Night Tour is meant for mature audiences only.

Your local guide will have you transfixed by tall tales of vampires, pirates, sex, torture, sinister spirits, and Philadelphia history. Experience hair-raising stories as you tour Independence Hall, the Library of Congress, and two dozen other sites.

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This Philadelphia Go City attraction is for those who thirst for the macabre and morose. But be prepared, this immersive tour dives into the dark histories behind your favorite Philly landmarks.

Pro Tip: All Dark Philly Adult Night Tour guides are historical experts or professors, so don’t hold back any of your most bloodthirsty historical questions!

photo credit: Heather Mullen via Facebook

South Philly Italian Market Tours

Calling all foodies! Bring your appetite and perhaps a hefty shopping bag as you embark on the South Philly Italian Market Tours.

Stock up on everything from spices, herbs, cheeses, meats, and Italian specialties. Enjoy the fresh air at the country’s oldest and largest everyday open-air market.

During your tour, your guide will provide an overlay of the market. They will even introduce you to some vendors. Many of these merchants have been selling their goods here for generations.

Related Post: 23 of the Top Free Things to Do in Philadelphia

After exploring the street art and famous filming spots of South Philly (hello, Rocky running montage), it’s on to Philadelphia’s most famous export – cheesesteaks!

Faced with the hardest decision of your day, you’ll have to pick between the legendary Pat’s King of the Steaks® and Geno’s Steaks, both equally famous for their classic takes on this savory, greasy delight.

Pro Tip: Tempted to go overboard on chocolates, oils, pastries, and more at the Italian Market? Make sure to mention that you are part of the tour, to potentially receive a special discount on your goods.

Longwood Gardens

Dreaming of injecting some greenery into your urban Philly adventure? Use your Philadelphia Go City to spend a serene day exploring the verdant 1,077 acres of Longwood Gardens.

This is a veritable paradise for any plant lover. Longwood Gardens is considered one of the best botanical gardens in the country, found at 1001 Longwood Rd, Kennett Square.

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While in the gardens, meander through an Italian water garden. Or you can also peruse the delicate Bonsai. You can even explore the principles of ecological garden design in the expansive Meadow Garden.

No matter what time of year you visit, there are exquisite plants, flower displays, and fountain shows to witness. Discover blushing pink roses in June at the Rose Arbor, or prance among the Pumpkin Playground in Fall.

Other can’t-miss features of Longwood include:

  • Birdhouse
  • Exhibition Hall
  • Topiary Garden
  • The Large and Small Lake
  • And more!

Pro Tip: Conclude your heavenly day of roses and rousing walks with a quick bite at the Cafe or Beer Garden, or for a full-service dining experience, make a reservation ahead of time for the glamorous 1906 restaurant.

photo credit: Longwood Gardens via Facebook

Battleship New Jersey Museum & Memorial

Learn how projectiles are loaded, dive into WWII battleship history, and stretch out in a sailor’s bunk. Tour the most decorated battleship in United States naval history when you visit the Battleship New Jersey Museum and Memorial at 100 Clinton St, Camden.

Located in Camden, NJ, just a hop, skip, and a jump away from Philly, this interactive museum features a self-guided tour through the decks of this behemoth battleship.

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Immerse yourself in life at sea as you stroll through the crew’s living spaces, command centers, and Captain’s quarters. Climb into a real 16” gun turret, sit in Admiral Halsey’s chair, and view authentic 1980s radar and sonar tracking displays.

The USS New Jersey has valiantly served our country from WWII through Vietnam for almost half a century.

photo credit: Battleship New Jersey via Facebook

Philadelphia Zoo

Transport yourself to the African Plains, the Outback, Penguin Point, and more when you get wild with the Philadelphia Zoo. Wander through 3400 W Girard Ave, with over 40 acres of lush habitats at the U.S.’s first established zoo. From cuddly kangaroos to magnificent lions, over 1,300 fascinating species are housed at this state-of-the-art conservation establishment.

Watch all things scaly and slithering at the Reptile and Amphibian House, or admire the resplendent stripes of the Amur Tiger at Big Cat Falls.

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Animal lovers of all ages will flip for Philadelphia’s Zoo360. This revolutionary suspended mesh structure allows animals to roam around and above zoo grounds.

Swear you’re in the swamps of Florida with the alligator and crocodile exhibit, or cast your eyes above to catch apes ambling about. Tiny tots can even gain some hands-on animal experience at the Children’s Zoo, which features a petting yard and an activity-oriented discovery center.

photo credit: Philadelphia Zoo via Facebook

Philadelphia Hotels

From stately Independence Hall to under the sea escapades at the Adventure Aquarium, there is an Eagle-sized stadium of attractions, entertainment, and sights to soak in the ‘Cradle of Liberty.’

Make the most out of your GoCity Philadelphia when you book a night or two at any of our prime Philadelphia Hotels.

Whether you prefer to stay in bustling Center City or require more luxury lodgings by Rittenhouse Square, we have a bevy of accommodation options to assuage even the most scrupulous of travelers. Reserve your lodgings with confidence, knowing you are guaranteed our lowest rates.

Ready to Visit Philadelphia While on a Budget?

Vibrant colonial history, premier art institutions, culture and science, and a staggeringly great culinary scene. All these make vacations in Philadelphia a must-do.

From appreciating the city’s street art, which can be found in over 3,800 murals, or chowing down on a sizzling cheesesteak. There are countless ways to enjoy Philadelphia while on a budget. Especially with your Go City Card Philadelphia.

Meanwhile, get electric at the Franklin Institute, hang with hippos at the Aquarium, or build your own miniature Liberty Bell at LEGOLAND!

Whether you are in the mood for family-friendly fun or more explicit after-dark escapades, the Go City® Pass Philadelphia can help you make quick work of your time in Philadelphia on a budget.

Go City Philadelphia FAQs

Philadelphia is a relatively safe city, especially in the tourist-friendly part of town, making it a great spot for visitors looking to explore its rich history.

You can wander through the charming streets with ease, soaking up the sights and sounds of this beloved American city.

Philadelphia shines as one of the most beautiful cities in the US, where historic charm meets vibrant street art and lush green spaces. Its picturesque skyline and storied cobblestone streets invite visitors to explore and fall in love at every corner!

What is Your Favorite Attraction in Philadelphia?

We’d love to hear all about your vacation Philadelphia!

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Written by Isis Maya Nissman

A New York native, Isis-Maya spent most of her professional life working in TV production until a vacation whisked her away to Central...

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