Looking to have an excursion that's adventurous, historical and maybe just a tad revolutionary? Then let me suggest for you Philadelphia, Pennsylvania! The place to find plenty of history, a mouthwatering foodie scene, and some stunning architecture, this really is one American city that may be explored during the period of each day or enjoyed over a long weekend. Here’s your ultimate help guide to the very best things to do in Philadelphia, including insider guidelines to help you make the most of your trip!
On a current trip to this captivating US city, I'd a marvellous time learning more about the founding of the United States, exploring the diverse neighbourhoods and meeting friendly locals wherever I went. Philadelphia is one of the oldest U.S. cities and was founded as soon as 1682. As a result, the town is about as historical a location as one will find in the usa.
Editor’s note: If you’re looking to benefit from the best of Philadelphia (and visit most of the top things to do in the city), then you might want to consider buying a Go Philadelphia all-inclusive pass. Included in the price is entry into over 30 top attractions, such as the Science Museum and the Franklin Institute. See all the details here!
Why you must visit Philadelphia on your next USA adventure
Philadelphia continues to be the site of many important events in history, especially during the American Revolution! In the end, it had been in which the Founding Fathers met and signed the Promise of Independence. The town is also home to the very first library, hospital, medical school, and stock market in the entirety of the United States of America.
And that’s not all! In 2020, Philly had become the first city in the U.S. to become a member of the Organization of World Heritage Cities! Still not convinced as to why you should plan a trip to Philadelphia in your next US trip? Read on to discover plenty more top attractions within the Town of Brotherly Love, in addition to great finds you won’t get in any guidebooks…
Best things you can do in Philadelphia
Embark on a Historical Walking Tour
With a lot to see, one of the best a few things i did on my small visit to Philly was to take a walking tour soon after I arrived. The tour included all of the most well-known landmarks within the historic district of Old City. In no time, I learned all about the city's history from the local, allowing me ample opportunity to get my bearings throughout your day.
The tour became so thorough which i didn’t even will need to go to anything afterwards as I had originally planned. While there are many different kinds of walking tours to choose from, I'd highly recommend one with a concentrate on the historic district. From Independence Hall towards the Liberty Bell, the oldest residential street in the usa to the first federal bank, Philly is rich with history you don’t wish to miss. Book your Philadelphia historical walking tour here.
Experience World Cuisine
Philly might be most widely known because the home from the Philadelphia cheesesteak (a scrumptious sandwich overflowing with cheese and thin steak strips), but with a steady flow of immigrants making a home in the city since its founding, Philly is also considered a foodie destination with cuisine from around the world.
Redding Terminal Market and Bourse Hall are a couple of excellent grocery stores full of varied food stalls. With everything else in the famous cheesesteak to Indian cuisine, you won't starve yourself! There’s also the delicious Italian market on South 9th street boasting a mouthwatering variety of Italian-American eateries, gelato and gorgeous produce.
Marvel in the Philadelphia Museum of Art
The Philadelphia Art Museum is a wonder. Home to the Rocky Steps and Statue, the museum also boasts impressive art collections and visiting exhibitions. Whilst in the cultural space I saw a wonderful collection of impressionist paintings plus an exhibit around the work of Japanese colour woodcut artist Tsukioka Yoshitoshi.
A ticket towards the Philadelphia Museum of Art also gets you into the Rodin museum nearby, which houses a little collection of treasures in the only dedicated Rodin museum beyond France. Purchase your entrance ticket to the Museum of Art and Rodin Museum here.
Snap photos with the I Love Philly Sign & the romance sign
As with many other major cities around the globe, Philadelphia has its own own ‘I Love this City’ sign. All bold red and greater than life in dimensions, get your camera prepared! What you may well not know is the fact that another brilliant and delightful sign can be found in the form of the romance sign.
Originally set up in 1976, the romance statue would be a park addition for that Usa Bicentennial and was just ever intended to be temporary. However, after its removal just two years after installation, the general public outcry was so that the statue was once more set up in the John F. Kennedy Plaza. So iconic may be the Robert Indiana LOVE sculpture, the park surrounding it's since been renamed LOVE park!
Visit The Franklin Institute
Named for Benjamin Franklin, the Franklin Institute is a component science museum and part education centre. The Institute is fun for adults but additionally ideal for groups visiting Philly with children. With a planetarium, escape rooms and virtual reality demonstrations, as well as exhibits, it might be easy (and fun) to invest an entire afternoon here. I particularly loved walking through the Giant Heart and learning about a persons brain within the Your mind exhibit.
Enjoy one of the best views within the city in one Liberty Observation Deck
Hands down, among the best views in Philadelphia is that in the One Liberty Observation Deck. Benefit from the 260-degrees panoramic view during the day or even the night (or perhaps during sunset if you are planning your visit right!). For that history buffs available, free guided tours in English can be found on the hour between 11:00 and 17:00. Purchase your observation tickets here in advance.
Stroll across the Philadelphia Riverfront
The Philadelphia waterfront is lovely stretch across the Delaware River with lots of amusing attractions. My favorite spot was the Spruce Street Harbor Park. In the park, they had hammocks to unwind in, frozen treats trucks, beer and food stalls, in addition to areas for games.
There was such a beautiful sense of community at the park it's simple to tell that the Riverfront is really a favourite spot for tourists and locals alike. Other fun districts to explore on the waterfront include Penn's Landing, Benjamin Franklin Bridge and Cherry Pier.
Experience The special moment Gardens
The Magic Gardens is really a mixed art immersive experience developed by Isaiah Zagar. The gardens feature mosaics and sculpture bits of reclaimed materials. The gardens, found in the South Street neighbourhood, also function as a nonprofit museum and community outreach centre.
While I got to the gardens too late to go inside, I finished up going on the self-guided walking tour of Zagar's murals round the neighbourhood, a totally free and fun alternative.
Getting to (and around) Philadelphia
Philadelphia is a major U.S. city, so there are lots of methods to reach the city’s heart. If you are visiting from Ny, I believe that Philadelphia is an excellent day trip, at just 1.5 hours from NYC by train. Personally, i took an early morning train from New York to Philadelphia and left after dinner. Honestly, it was the perfect amount of time to determine everything I needed.
If you prefer for all of the smaller details to be taken care of for you, you might want to consider booking a tour from Ny City such as this one. Happening over the course of 2 days, this guided visit will highlight Philadelphia and Washington DC on the two-day tour from Ny.
Once in Philly, then most of the city’s major historical features may be easily explored by walking. However, if you’re seeking to see greater than a simple overview of the town, you'll be able to purchase tickets for that Double-Decker Hop-on Hop-off Sightseeing Tour, which encompasses 16 miles of the city, making 28 stops and includes an audioguide. Purchase your bus tickets here.
Alternatively, this one-hour segway tour will show you the neighbourhoods of South Philly, Society Hill, and also the Historic District from a completely new perspective. So, as you can see, if you’re seeking to see all of the best things to do in Philadelphia, then there’s an abundance of the way to get around the city!
Where to stay in Philadelphia
For the ultimate getaway, you might well want to consider booking an overnight remain in the city, in order to see all the historical attractions and take in the ambience from the Pennsylvanian city. For the best rates and availability, I suggest booking the resort as soon as you’ve booked your tickets to visit! Read this hotel for oodles of luxury, and check here to find the best rates within the city.