Philadelphia to Gettysburg: How to Get There & Where to Stop Along the Way

As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases. We may receive a commission for purchases made through these links. This site also contains affiliate links to products besides Amazon and we may also receive a commission for purchases.

Are you planning a road trip from Philadelphia to Gettysburg? This historic route is full of interesting stops, but with so many options, it can be overwhelming to plan your itinerary.

Never fear! We are here to provide you with a comprehensive guide to help you make the most of your trip. We’ll cover the best routes to take, where to stop, and the must-see attractions along the way.

Whether you’re a history buff, a nature lover, or just looking for a fun weekend getaway, this road trip has it all. Get ready for an unforgettable journey through Pennsylvania’s countryside.

Recommended: Car from Philadelphia to Gettysburg

Are you planning to travel from the lively city of Philadelphia to the historic town of Gettysburg? There are several transportation options available to make this trip, such as taking a flight or hopping on a bus.

However, we recommend driving from Philadelphia to Gettysburg. This way, you’ll have the freedom to explore the area at your leisure without time constraints, delays, or cancellations.

The drive is less than 150 miles and should take you 3 hours or less to reach Gettysburg from Philadelphia.

If you’re vacationing in the Philadelphia area, renting a car and traveling to Gettysburg for 2-3 days is a great way to add on to the trip!

Cheapest Way to Get From Philadelphia to Gettysburg

There are several affordable options when it comes to traveling from the bustling city of Philadelphia to the historic town of Gettysburg. The cheapest way, other than driving your own car, to get from Philadelphia to Gettysburg is by taking a bus. There are several bus services available that provide affordable travel options from Philadelphia to Gettysburg.

Greyhound, Megabus, and Rabbit Transit are some of the popular bus services operating in and around the area. The average cost of a one-way bus ticket ranges from $45 to $65, depending on the time of booking and the bus service you choose.

Most likely, you’ll be traveling to Harrisburg via a bus and then connecting from there to Gettysburg as the final destination

It’s recommended to book the bus tickets early, at least a week in advance, to get the best deals. Booking early helps to avoid last-minute price hikes and ensures a cheaper travel cost. You can book the bus tickets online at the respective bus service websites or through popular bus ticket booking websites like Busbud and Wanderu.

Bus from Philadelphia to Gettysburg

If you’re planning to take a bus from Philadelphia, PA to Gettysburg, here’s a step-by-step guide to help you out:

1. The bus service that operates the Philadelphia to Gettysburg route is Rabbit Transit. You can catch their bus from the Philadelphia Bus Station located at 1001 Filbert St, Philadelphia, PA 19107.

2. The bus will take you to the Harrisburg Transfer Center, located at 333 Market St, Harrisburg, PA 17101. This is where you will transfer to another Rabbit Transit bus that will take you to Gettysburg Transfer Center.

3. The Gettysburg Transfer Center is located at 118 Carlisle St, Gettysburg, PA 17325. From there, you can easily access the Gettysburg Battlefield, Gettysburg National Military Park Museum & Visitor Center, and other historic sites.

Rabbit Transit operates buses from Philadelphia to Harrisburg every day.

By following this step-by-step guide, you can easily take the Rabbit Transit bus from Philadelphia to Gettysburg and experience the rich history of this charming town.

Visit Valley Forge and this encampment with these 2 small cabins while traveling from Philadelphia to Gettysburg on a historic road trip.

Other Ways to Get From Philadelphia to Gettysburg

While these are not the most economical or time-savvy, they are options we just wanted to make sure you’re aware of when planning your trip for the sake of comprehensiveness.

Fly to Altoona, Drive to Gettysburg

Travelers can opt to fly to Altoona and then drive to Gettysburg. The Altoona-Blair County Airport offers commercial flights from the Philadelphia International Airport. The estimated price of a one-way ticket is around $100, and the average duration of the flight is 1 hour.

Flights from Philadelphia to Altoona are available daily. Once you arrive in Altoona, you can rent a car at the airport to drive to Gettysburg. It’s best to check the available rental car companies at the airport in advance and make a reservation to ensure availability and avoid any inconvenience.

Check Rental Car Prices from Altoona on Expedia

It takes approximately 2 hours to reach your destination, so you’re not saving any time if Gettysburg is your only destination!

Fly to Harrisburg, Then Take A Bus

Travelers can take a convenient flight from Philadelphia International Airport to Harrisburg International Airport for a quick and comfortable journey. With a travel time of just 35 minutes, flights from PHL to MDT are frequent. The flight cost can vary significantly and can be hundreds of dollars.

After arriving at Harrisburg International Airport, travelers can take a bus from Market St. in Philadelphia to Gettysburg Transfer Center. The estimated travel time for this bus journey is 1 hour and 30 minutes.

This isn’t the most wallet-friendly or time-friendly option, but it is an option. Just know that it exists, but we certainly wouldn’t recommend it.

Philadelphia to Gettysburg: A Road Trip Full of History

Embark on a historical road trip from Philadelphia to Gettysburg to explore some of the most significant sites and landmarks of American history. This scenic journey takes you through picturesque countryside, colonial times, and important historical sites to provide a hands-on history lesson.


The first day of your itinerary will be spent exploring the historic city of Philadelphia, which is full of American history and culture. Get in the zone for learning about history by starting off with the significant sites in Philadelphia for one day.

Start your day by visiting Independence National Historical Park, an iconic landmark that is home to many historical sites, including the Liberty Bell and Independence Hall.

Next, take a stroll down Elfreth’s Alley, one of America’s oldest continuously inhabited residential streets. This charming alley boasts colonial-era homes and buildings, some of which date back to the early 1700s. Stop at the Betsy Ross House or Benjamin Franklin’s grave on the way by.

Make sure to stop by Reading Terminal Market and grab some local bites for lunch. This indoor market is a foodie’s heaven, offering a wide selection of fresh and delicious eats from local vendors.

In the afternoon, you can visit the Eastern State Penitentiary, an infamous prison that was designed with a revolutionary system of solitary confinement. This eerie prison has been preserved as a museum and offers self-guided tours that provide a fascinating insight into the history of crime and punishment.

Wrap up the day at a decent hour because tomorrow is going to be a long one!

The Liberty Bell is an iconic historic site in Philadelphia you should visit before traveling to Gettysburg.
the Liberty Bell


On Day 2 of your history road trip from Philadelphia to Gettysburg, start by driving just 35 minutes to Valley Forge National Historic Park. It’s right along your route, so no need for a long detour!

This park is beautiful year-round, but especially in the spring and fall thanks to its 35 miles of trails lined with monuments. Don’t miss the stunning Washington Memorial Chapel or the reconstructed log huts where General Washington’s Continental Army spent the harsh winter of 1777-1778.

You can learn more about this pivotal moment in American history by following the park’s 60-minute audio tour.

Next, head to Brandywine Battlefield Park, which is roughly a 45-minute drive south of Valley Forge National Historic Park. The largest land battle on any single day of the Revolutionary War took place here on September 11, 1777. The Park offers a self-guided or audio tour, so you will be able to visit Washington’s headquarters’ buildings along with some of the other historic sites. Be sure to take some time to take it all in, so you can imagine what the battle would have been like over 240 years ago.

After you’re done exploring the battlefield, drive about an hour to Lancaster for a tour of the Amish Countryside. If you really want to get behind the scenes, you can take a unique behind-the-scenes tour to peek into their way of life.

In the end, day 2 of your history tour from Philadelphia to Gettysburg will provide you with the perfect blend of education, history, and fun.

Spend the night in Lancaster in the AmishView Inn & Suites. Depending on the season, you can wake up in the morning to a view of Amish farmers tending their fields out your window.

Stop in the Amish countryside near Lancaster to explore these horse and buggy scenes when traveling from Philadelphia to Gettysburg.

Day 3

Begin the road trip by driving about 1 hour and 30 minutes from the hotel in Lancaster to Gettysburg. Enjoy a delicious breakfast before you set out!

On Day 3 of your Philadelphia to Gettysburg history road trip, make it a priority to visit the Gettysburg National Military Park Museum & Visitor Center. This is the perfect place to start your journey through the battlefield.

The museum offers a comprehensive collection of artifacts, artworks, and exhibits that highlight the important events of the Civil War. Be sure to take some time exploring the museum before venturing out into the battlefield.

After visiting the museum, head over to the Children of Gettysburg 1863 exhibit, an exciting stop ideal for families traveling with kids. This interactive exhibit uses various state-of-the-art technologies to transport visitors back to the Civil War era. Children will love engaging in activities that will help them better understand the difficult times people faced while living in Gettysburg during the Civil War.

End your Gettysburg visit with a trip through the battlefield, which can be done on foot, bike, horse, or with a vehicle. This journey will allow you to fully explore the 6,000-acre battlefield where the Civil War saw the turning point in favor of the Union forces. Take in the stunning vistas, visit monuments that honor the sacrifices made by brave soldiers, and listen to expert guides as they point out pivotal landmarks.

Taking a tour of the Gettysburg battlefields on horseback is a unique way to explore, and you can imagine what it was like for the cavalry navigating the lands during the Civil War.

Book a Tour of the Gettysburg Battlefields on Horseback!

While one day in Gettysburg will not allow enough time to see all of the sights, you can certainly get your feet wet or take a few more days to explore.

The Gettysburg Battlefields are full of historical significance.

A road trip from Philadelphia to Gettysburg is not just about the destination, but the journey as well. With so many historical and scenic stops along the way, it’s a trip that’s sure to be an unforgettable one for any history lover.