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Destination guides > North America > USA > Mid-Atlantic > Pennsylvania > Lancaster County (Pennsylvania Dutch country)

Lancaster County (Pennsylvania Dutch country)

Lancaster County in rural eastern Pennsylvania is home to one of North America’s most unique cultures: the Amish, who speak their own language – Pennsylvania German (often mistakenly called Pennsylvania Dutch) – and who follow a very traditional lifestyle with many sects living without electricity and getting around by horse-drawn buggy.


Lancaster is the main town in the region, although the smaller villages like Blue Ball and Intercourse (yes, that’s really what it’s called) are better places to experience Amish culture.

Practical information

Amish Mennonite Information Center – Intercourse

Route 340, Old Philadelphia Pike, Intercourse
Tel (717) 768 0807

Amish Mennonite Information Center – Morgantown

Route 23, Morgantown
Tel (610) 286 9870
Open Easter-Oct Mon-Sat 9.30am-3.30pm

Pennsylvania Dutch Visitors Center

501 Greenfield Road, Lancaster
Tel 1800 723 8824 (1 800 PADUTCH)
Website www.padutchcountry.com
Open 1 Jan-Memorial Day Weekend Mon-Sat 9 am-4.30pm, Sun 9am-4pm; Memorial Day Weekend-Oct 31 Mon-Sat 9am-6pm, Sun 9am-4pm; 1 Nov-31 Dec Mon-Sat 9am-4.30pm, Sun 9am-4pm

Coming & going

Lancaster County is best visited by car; but it is possible to visit without a car. Lancaster has an airport, although most budget travellers without a car visit by train or Greyhound bus.

BUS & COACH

Greyhound coaches connect Lancaster with Pittsburgh and Philadelphia. Buses stop at 53 McGovern Avenue in Lancaster.

TRAIN

The closest Amtrak station is in Harrisburg, about 65km from Lancaster. From Harrisburg, it is best to rent a car to explore Lancaster County as bus connections are infrequent.

Local transport

The Red Rose Transit Authority runs a local bus service in Lancaster County with all routes radiating from Lancaster. The most useful routes for visiting the Amish country is route 13, which goes to Bird-in-Hand and Intercourse.


Single fares range from $1.50 to $2.70 depending on the distance travelled, although $2.30 is enough to get you from Lancaster to one of the traditional Amish villages such as Intercourse. An All Zone All Day Pass costs $5 and allows for one day's unlimited bus travel in Lancaster County.

Hostel accommodation

There are no hostels in Lancaster County, and the closest hostel is almost a 1½ hour drive away in Collegeville. However there are several affordable motels and camping grounds in the area.


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