While the Big Apple has a lot to offer, the City of Brotherly Love is one-of-a-kind, so taking an NYC to Philadelphia day trip is a great idea.
We lived in the Philadelphia area for five years, so we’ve taken several day trips up to New York and back to Philly. If you’re going to visit Manhattan, it’s worth taking some time to get down to Philadelphia and experience this amazing city. It’s one of the best day trips from NYC.
Fortunately, there are several easy ways to get from NYC to Philadelphia, from public transit and day tours to driving yourself. Don’t worry because I’ll share all the options so you can find the method that works for your budget, schedule, and preferences.
So, if you’re ready to start planning your day trip from NYC to Philadelphia, let’s get started!
Guide to the best day trip from NYC to Philadelphia
To help you plan the perfect Philadelphia day trip from NYC, I’m sharing everything you need to know, including how to get there and what to see during your visit. By the end of this guide, you’ll have a better idea of whether you want to take a bus, ride a train, or drive from NYC to Philly.
- How far is Philadelphia from New York?
- How to get to Philadelphia from NYC
- Best day trips from NYC to Philadelphia
- Must-see attractions during your day trip to Philadelphia
How far is Philadelphia from New York?
The distance between Philadelphia and New York City is about 95 miles, so it takes around two hours to get there. Of course, your travel time will depend on whether you drive from New York to Philadelphia or opt for public transportation.
How to get to Philadelphia from NYC
If you want to take a day trip from NYC to Philadelphia, you have several ways to do so. As I mentioned, you can make the drive from New York to Philly either in your own vehicle or by renting a car. Another option is taking public transit, such as a train or bus. Without a doubt, this is one of the cheapest ways to get from NYC to Philadelphia.
New York to Philly by train
Traveling from NYC to Philadelphia by train is one of the most convenient options for your daytrip.
It’s the best way to get from NYC to Philadelphia if you’re in a rush, which is why lots of businesspeople ride the trains daily.
Amtrak Northeast Regional
Amtrak’s Northeast Regional rail service is a reliable option that departs from NYC’s Penn Station and goes to 30th Street Station in Philly. The train travels along the Northeast Corridor of the U.S., making stops in major cities like New York City and Boston. Riding Amtrak from NYC to Philadelphia costs around $52 round-trip and takes about 1.5 hours.
Alternatively, Amtrak’s Acela service is a bit faster since it makes fewer stops, so it’ll get you to Philly in a little over an hour. It’s also an upgraded experience with coach and business seating. That said, it costs about twice as much as the Northeast Regional (about $124 round-trip).
|You can save $11 on Amtrak’s Northeast Regional and Acela tickets by booking through Omio and using our discount code.|
New Jersey Transit
New Jersey Transit has a train from New York to Philadelphia, but it’s much slower since it stops in Trenton. The journey takes 2.5 to 3 hours but costs a lot less ($16.75 one-way). While it’s quite affordable, I don’t recommend this option since it’s so slow.
Bus from NYC to Philadelphia
If you’re not overly concerned about comfort, taking a bus from NYC to Philadelphia is the most budget-friendly way to travel.
Several bus companies offer service from New York to Philly and back again, so you can easily spend a day exploring the city before returning to the Big Apple.
Ourbus is one of the best buses from NYC to Philadelphia. The ride takes about two hours and includes free water, Wi-Fi, onboard charging ports, and reclining seats. A round-trip ticket costs around $23, and you can save $11 by using our discount code on Omio.
The bus departs from New York at the George Washington Bridge Bus Station on Broadway and across from the Javits Convention Center on 11th Avenue. In Philly, the bus can drop you off at the NRG Subway Station in South Philadelphia, the Fashion District in Center City, or the National Constitution Center in Old City.
FlixBus is another bus from NYC to Philadelphia that I recommend, and you can book on Omio with our discount code. A round-trip ticket costs around $35, but you can save $11 with our link. The two-hour bus ride goes from Midtown Manhattan (31st St & 8th Ave) to the Independence Visitor Center in Philadelphia (6th & Market St).
One of the most well-known operators, Greyhound’s NYC to Philly bus service is another reliable option. The bus departs from the New York Port Authority on 8th Avenue and stops at the Filbert Street bus station behind Reading Terminal Market in Philadelphia. Tickets cost around $20, and the ride takes two to three hours since the bus usually makes additional stops in New Jersey.
You can also go from NYC to Philadelphia by Megabus, which runs multiple buses per day, as well as night buses. The trip takes about two hours and tickets cost around $15. Wait for the Megabus in New York at 34th Street between 11th and 12th Avenues. It’ll drop you off right behind 30th Street Station in Philly, on Schuylkill Avenue.
Finally, the Peter Pan bus from NYC to Philly is another popular option. The bus departs from the New York Port Authority and stops at the Filbert Street bus station behind Reading Terminal Market. Tickets cost around $15, and the total trip takes about two hours.
Driving from New York to Philadelphia
Yet another way to take an NYC to Philadelphia day trip is to rent a car in New York City and drive yourself. If you’re traveling with kids or you plan on extending your trip to other nearby cities, this can be the most convenient option.
The drive time from New York to Philadelphia is about two hours, and the directions are pretty easy:
- Take I-95 S towards Jersey City
- Continue on I-95 S/NJ Turnpike S for 90 miles
- Take the PA-611/Broad St/Central Phila exit
Best one-day trip to Philadelphia from NYC
Finally, if you want to take a Philadelphia day trip from NYC but don’t want to set up your transportation or rent a car, consider taking a tour. An organized day tour is the perfect way to explore a new city and see the most iconic sights without having to worry about transportation and all the details.
If this sounds like something you’d like to do, I recommend this full-day tour to Philadelphia and Amish Country. You’ll depart from the New York Port Authority and arrive at the City of Brotherly Love, where your tour guide will take you to the most famous attractions like Elfreth’s Alley, the Liberty Bell, and the Rocky Steps.
After discovering Philly’s top sites, the tour continues with a trip to Amish Country in Lancaster County, about two hours away. This tour includes an authentic buggy ride and a visit to an Amish market, where you can try the most delicious baked goods.
If you’re short on time and want to maximize your trip, this day tour to Philly and Washington, D.C. is a great way to see two cities in one trip. Alternatively, you could take this 2-day Philadelphia and Washington, D.C. trip, which gives you more time in both cities.
Must-see attractions during your day trip to Philadelphia
Regardless of how you get there, taking a day trip from NYC to Philadelphia is well worth it. Philly is full of incredible sights, history, culture, and food, plus it’s quite easy to get there from New York, so there’s no reason not to visit.
If you’re going to Philadelphia from NYC on your own, check out our guide on the best things to do in Philadelphia. Right here, I’ll tell you the must-see attractions you should visit during your day trip.
Depending on how you get to Philly, you’ll probably arrive in Center City or Old City. So, I recommend first going to Independence National Historic Park, where you can see Independence Hall, the Liberty Bell, and the National Constitution Center. A block or so away is the Betsy Ross House and Elfreth’s Alley, one of the most picturesque parts of Philadelphia.
If you want to see the waterfront, head east towards Penn’s Landing. Otherwise, you can walk through the busy streets of Chinatown and grab a bite to eat at Reading Terminal Market.
Afterward, check out Love Park and walk along the Ben Franklin Parkway past the city’s most famous museums. If you want to visit one, my top recommendations are the Academy of Natural Sciences, the Franklin Institute, the Barnes Foundation, or the Philadelphia Museum of Art. The latter is home to the Rocky Steps, and behind it, you’ll find the beautiful Fairmount Water Works and the Azalea Garden.
Fairmount isn’t far from Eastern State Penitentiary, but if you’d rather skip this creepy place, you can leave the city and make your way to Amish Country in Lancaster.
Lancaster is one of the oldest towns in Pennsylvania and home to a large Amish community. Visit Amish Village to see traditional blacksmithing, horse-drawn buggies, and farming methods, then taste old-fashioned delights at the Amish market.
FAQs – NYC to Philadelphia day trip
Before we end this guide, here are some common questions about taking a day trip from NYC to Philadelphia. Hopefully, these answers will clear up any confusion or concerns you may have!
The best way to get from NYC to Philadelphia depends on your preferences. A train or bus from NYC to Philadelphia is the easiest way to travel between the two cities since you don’t have to worry about parking. On the other hand, an organized tour is convenient if you’re short on time and want to see the most popular attractions.
Philadelphia is about 95 miles from New York City.
The drive time from New York to Philadelphia is about two hours, depending on traffic.
Amtrak train tickets to Philadelphia from NYC range from about $52 to $124, round-trip.
A round-trip bus ticket from NYC to Philadelphia costs around $15 to $35, depending on which bus company you ride with and when you book.
A one-day trip to Philadelphia from NYC is enough to see the most important landmarks.
The trip to Philadelphia from NYC is just two hours, but if you have the time and want to explore, here are some stops you can make along the way:
- Staten Island
- Liberty State Park
- Duke Farms
- Six Flags Great Adventure
- Princeton, NJ
I hope you enjoyed this guide, and you feel better prepared to plan your NYC to Philadelphia day trip! Both of these cities are well worth visiting, so be sure to give yourself enough time to experience them. Also, don’t hesitate to leave me any questions or comments below; I look forward to hearing from you. Until then, have a safe trip!