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CityPASS worth it?

Vancouver
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217 posts
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CityPASS worth it?

I'll say sorry in advance as I'm sure this must have been asked before and it's somewhat of a subjective question, but we are now looking into planning our activities for our upcoming November trip to Philadelphia and trying to figure out what we want to do.

We will be in town for 3.5 full days but are there for a wedding so 1 day will be taken for that. So far there are 7 of us traveling together and we will be staying at the Hotel Palomar. We were already interested in buying the Trolley Works 24hr pass as we thought it would be a good way to ride around the city for a day and hop on/hop off as we like without having to figure out transit or finding taxis as we are an odd number.

My question is, is buying the CityPass worth it for 7 adults? We most likely wouldn't do the Adventure Aquarium (not sure but looks like it's in NJ?) and the Please Touch Museum looks like it's for kids. Eastern State Penitentiary sounds interesting (but is the tour similar to Alcatraz? We did that last year) and the zoo I'm not too interested in as we are heading to Africa in January so yea... I think writing this I am already figuring out what we aren't too interested in seeing...

how about the rest of the stops? The Franklin Institute, National Constitution Center? Are they good to visit? Or should we just book the trolley ourselves if there are different places people recommend to visit? I'm probably jumping the gun by posting this question. I'll also go and read up on the FAQ/Top Questions to see our other options.

Thanks :)

Philadelphia
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1. Re: CityPASS worth it?

Hi Lemonie you can search the forum for "city pass" in the box above to find discussions of this topic.

The only way to really tell if the City Pass is worth it for you is by comparing the full price of attractions that you want to visit with the price of the City Pass. For people who are planning to visit a lot of the included attractions, there will definitely be a savings.

Myself, when I travel I typically don't buy things like a City Pass because I tend to plan less activities per day. Also if you buy the pass you are sort of locked in to doing the activities because otherwise you will think you have wasted your money.

Another factor is that 7 people traveling together may not want to spend all of their time together and may not agree on which activities they are interested in.

I personally do like the National Constitution Center, however, since you are non-US it might not be of as much interest to you. At the NCC you start with a multi-media presentation about the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution, then tour a variety if interactive exhibits relating to the US constitution. If you have an interest in topics like civil rights, or major supreme court cases, or history in general, this is a good attraction for you. There is also a changing exhibit in the lobby level. Currently they have an exhibit on Pulitzer Prize winning photos. The last stop on a visit to the NCC is the hall of signers, which are life sized bronze statues of the signers of the Constitution.

The Franklin Institute is a science museum with many interactive exhibits as well as a walk through exhibit of the human heart that is must see if you go there. There is a planetarium, and an IMAX theater as well. There will be a lot of kids at this museum, whether on weekend or weekdays because of school field trips. So, I would say that unless you have children in your party, or are especially interested in science exhibits, you could pass on that one.

The Please Touch Museum is a hands on museum/play place for young children.

The Adventure Aquarium is in Camden NJ which is just across the Ben Franklin Bridge.

Philadelphia
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2. Re: CityPASS worth it?

Oh, and as to Eastern State Penitentiary, it is not much like Alcatraz (other than the fact that it is a prison). It is from an earlier era (early 1800s) and is only partially restored. It was a different type of prison than Alcatraz which was a high security prison. Eastern State is an early example of prison reform, and they attempted to rehabilitate the inmates. They offer guided tours about the prison and prison life, which you can find more about on their website. In season, there is a haunted attraction Terror Behind the Walls.

Edited: 1:26 pm, September 25, 2013
Eugene, Oregon
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3. Re: CityPASS worth it?

Interesting about the ESP. We also chose not to go because we thought it would be too much like Alcatraz. Will add it to our list for next time.

Vancouver
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4. Re: CityPASS worth it?

Thanks for all the info, that really helps start us off! What's funny about our group is that even with lots of people, when we travel we do tend to stick together! I would agree that when traveling I tend to not like to overschedule or be attached to any package so that we can just see what happens and go with the flow. Sounds like the CityPass may not be for us!

I'll check with the group and see what kind of things they would like to visit, whether it be museums, art, historical sites, etc. We don't have any kids in our group although sometimes my husband and his friends act like one ;)

5. Re: CityPASS worth it?

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