Philadelphia   Travel Guide

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34 Best Things to Do in Philadelphia, According to a Local

There's more to Philadelphia than its historic landmarks and delicious cheesesteaks (though those are certainly worthy of your time, perhaps on a local tour ). For instance, did you know Philly is known as "The Mural Capital of the World?" An

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Independence Hall Independence Hall free

It is in this red-brick, Georgian-style building that the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution were debated, drafted and signed by our forefathers, and those who visit Independence Hall can see surviving copies of the documents. Visitors can also see the Assembly Room where George Washington was appointed commander in chief of the Continental Army. Recent reviewers agree this is a must-see in Philadelphia.

Located in Independence National Historical Park in Old City, Independence Hall is just steps from the Liberty Bell Center , making it convenient to visit both landmarks in a morning or afternoon.

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Liberty Bell Center Liberty Bell Center free

No matter your interests or intentions for a visit to Philadelphia, the Liberty Bell is a must-see. This 2,080-pound piece of history was once mounted in the belfry of Independence Hall , where it was used to mark important historic events, most notably the first public reading of the Declaration of Independence.

It's unknown why or exactly when the Liberty Bell was damaged, though historians believe the first crack developed in the early 1840s. Metal workers were soon tasked with repairing the bell in anticipation of George Washington's birthday in 1846, but the repair was unsuccessful and the bell ceased to chime again.

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Rocky Statue and Steps Rocky Statue and Steps free

Created for a scene in "Rocky III," the Rocky Statue sits at the bottom of "The Rocky Steps" at the Philadelphia Museum of Art , where the fictional boxer trained in the original movie.

For the full "Rocky" experience, run up the 72 steps of the museum – don't worry, you can stop for breaks along the way – so you can take in the views of the Benjamin Franklin Parkway (often compared to the Champs-Élysées in Paris) at the top, just like Sylvester Stallone did in the film. Snap a photo with "Rocky" before or after the trek – previous visitors agree the fun photo op alone is worth a visit. They also warn of queues to take pictures.

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Popular Tours

Philadelphia Old City Historic Walking Tour with 10+ Top Sites

Philadelphia Old City Historic Walking Tour with 10+ Top Sites

(1299 reviews)

from $ 43.50

Spirit of Philadelphia Signature Dinner Cruise with Buffet

Spirit of Philadelphia Signature Dinner Cruise with Buffet

(257 reviews)

from $ 108.09

Philadelphia Hop-On Hop-Off City Tour

Philadelphia Hop-On Hop-Off City Tour

(2026 reviews)

from $ 36.00

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Reading Terminal Market Reading Terminal Market free

One of the most fun (and delicious) things to do in Philadelphia is taste your way through Reading Terminal Market. Located beneath the Reading Railroad's 1891 train station (a National Historic Landmark) in Center City, Reading Terminal Market houses more than 70 vendors. Sample food from around the world – including Greek, Thai, Mexican and Indian specialties – while perusing homemade crafts and jewelry. Recent visitors agree there's something for everyone at Reading Terminal Market, noting that any lines you encounter are well worth the wait. 

With so many merchants, the market can feel overwhelming so it's best to have a shortlist of places to visit before you head inside. Some of the best food options include:

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Mutter Museum Mutter Museum

Housed in a 19th century building at The College of Physicians of Philadelphia, the Mütter  Museum highlights the mysteries of the human body through wet specimens (biological samples preserved in fluid), anatomical models, medical instruments and more. Notable exhibits include Albert Einstein's brain, a tumor removed from President Glover Cleveland's mouth, and the death cast and livers of famous Siamese twins, Chang and Eng Bunker.

Visitors agree the Mütter  Museum is a must-see for anyone visiting Philadelphia, though some say they were disappointed with the museum's small size. Due to the nature of the exhibits, the museum is not recommended for children younger than 10.

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Philadelphia's Magic Gardens Philadelphia's Magic Gardens

This mixed media art museum in South Street is a must-visit in Philadelphia, with two indoor galleries and a two-story outdoor sculpture garden. Each of the handmade tiles, bicycle wheels, mirrors, bottles and folk art pieces incorporated into the space represents an aspect of creator Isaiah Zagar's life. Zagar – who first found mosaic art as a form of therapy after suffering from severe depression and nearly taking his own life – is now an award-winning artist whose work can be found throughout the city.  

Travelers say it's an intriguing, beautiful and riveting museum, and that you'll want to take your time to see everything on display. Recent visitors also recommend purchasing tickets online in advance, as entry is timed in 30-minute blocks. Children are welcome, but note that the space is too small for strollers. 

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Best Philadelphia Tours

tourist sites philadelphia

Philadelphia Tours

9 Best Philadelphia Tours: Liberty Bell, Cheesesteaks & More

April 12, 2023

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The Franklin Institute The Franklin Institute

U.S. News Insider Tip: The "Giant Heart" exhibit alone is worth a visit. Kids can climb through the chambers of a life-like heart as they listen to the sounds of an actual human heartbeat. – Amanda Norcross, Content & SEO Strategist

Inspired by founding father and scientist, Benjamin Franklin, The Franklin Institute is fun for visitors of all ages – not just kids. Interactive exhibits include "SportsZone," which explains the science behind surfing, rock climbing and more through simulators, and "Changing Earth," where you can calculate your carbon footprint. You can also use your body to complete a circuit and light a bulb, observe 3D printers in action and explore space without leaving earth at the Fels Planetarium.

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Museum of the American Revolution Museum of the American Revolution

After it debuted in 2017, the Museum of the American Revolution quickly became one of the best attractions in Philadelphia. The only museum of its kind, it tells the story of this important historical event through interactive exhibits that engage visitors of all ages. Museumgoers appreciate the layout of the museum, which follows a chronological path, and note that George Washington's sleeping and office tent from the Revolutionary War is one of the highlights.

Another highlight, Revolution Place appeals to young kids with four hands-on exhibits: the "Military Encampment," with a recreated soldier's tent; the "8th Century Church;" the "Three Tun Tavern," where kids can see bottles, bowls and more that would have been used at a 1700s tavern; and the "18th Century Parlor," complete with a recreated privy (known today as an outhouse). Note that this part of the museum is only open Saturday and Sunday from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.

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BYOB Historically Hilarious Trolley Tour of Philadelphia

(511 reviews)

from $ 48.50

Double Decker Hop-On Hop-Off City Sightseeing Philadelphia (1, 2, or 3-Day)

Double Decker Hop-On Hop-Off City Sightseeing Philadelphia (1, 2, or 3-Day)

(366 reviews)

A Day in Amish Country

A Day in Amish Country

(185 reviews)

from $ 179.00

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Eastern State Penitentiary Eastern State Penitentiary

The castle-like Eastern State Penitentiary is one of Philadelphia's most important historic sites. Having opened in 1829, this Quaker-inspired prison sought to reform prisoners using isolation and reflection rather than capital punishment and physical abuse. Although it was shut down in the 1970s, the Eastern State Penitentiary led the way to reform in the judicial system. Today, you are welcome to tour this National Historic Landmark; the highlight for many is American gangster Al Capone's cell. 

Bear in mind that this attraction may not be appropriate for younger children due to its rather frightening nature. To embrace the terror, visit around Halloween when the prison celebrates the spooky season with five haunted attractions.

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Barnes Foundation Barnes Foundation

Art aficionados who gravitate toward French impressionist, post-impressionist and early modernist works should visit the Barnes Foundation. The museum's permanent collection features paintings by Renoir, Cézanne, Picasso, Matisse and Van Gogh, plus an impressive mix of African art, wrought-iron metalwork, Native American pottery and more.

But here's why the Barnes Foundation is so unique: Even if all of the above terms and names sound foreign to you, you'll still find something to enjoy. The museum's late founder, Dr. Albert C. Barnes, sought to teach people from all backgrounds how to appreciate art. As such, all of the museum's artwork is grouped together in what Barnes called his "ensembles" – groupings of art (objects, media and more) from a variety of time periods and cultures – designed to make visitors draw similarities they wouldn't otherwise notice.

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Please Touch Museum Please Touch Museum

U.S. News Insider Tip: Visit on a weekday morning to avoid the weekend crowds. You may even be able to nab some free street parking. – Amanda Norcross, Content & SEO Strategist

Widely considered one of the best children's museums in the U.S., the Please Touch Museum offers hands-on fun for children as young as 1. You and your kids can travel to Alice's Wonderland, float boats in a water table version of the local Schuylkill River and ride the precious Woodside Park Dentzel Carousel (extra fees apply). Recent visitors agree the "Food & Family" exhibit is especially fun for kids, with a supermarket, home and industrial kitchens, and a neighborhood festival area.

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Philadelphia Zoo Philadelphia Zoo

Established in 1859 and opened in 1874, the Philadelphia Zoo is the first and oldest zoo in the country.  Its mission as an animal care organization, educational resource, and advocate for endangered species also makes it one of the best zoos in the U.S. More than 1,900 animals live at the zoo, including the endangered Sumatran orangutan, Amur tiger and giant otter.

Fun features at the zoo include Zoo360, a property-wide system of mesh trails that allows the animals to wander around and above the zoo's grounds; Wild Works Ropes Course; and SEPTA PZ Express Train, perfect for youngsters.

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Citizens Bank Park Citizens Bank Park

U.S. News Insider Tip: Depending when you visit and what's going on at Citizens Bank Park, traffic (particularly to exit the complex) can result in hourslong jams. Take public transportation if you can, or consider leaving a bit early on a night when there are several events going on at the South Philadelphia Sports Complex. – Amanda Norcross, Content & SEO Strategist

Get tickets to see the Phillies play at their home field, Citizens Bank Park, in South Philly. Even if you're not a baseball (or sports) fan, it's fun to walk around the stadium and enjoy the variety of food options along the way; there are a variety of vendors throughout. The Crabfries (perfectly seasoned crinkle cut fries) at Chickie's & Pete's are a must. Other options include Manco and Manco Pizza and only-in-Philly Federal Donuts. If visiting with kids, check out The Yard, an interactive baseball experience that's open during games, or consider a behind-the-scenes tour of the ballpark.

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Revolution and the Founders: History Tour of Philadelphia

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Flavors of Philly Food Tour

Flavors of Philly Food Tour

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Dark Philly Adult Night Tour

Dark Philly Adult Night Tour

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South Street South Street free

This quirky neighborhood is practically synonymous with Philadelphia. Spanning roughly 14 blocks (it depends who you ask), South Street offers an eclectic variety of independent gift shops, boutiques and thrift stores, many of which are women- and Black-owned. It's also home to Philadelphia's Magic Gardens .

There's no shortage of dining options, either. In fact, Jim's Steaks on South Street (expected to reopen in late 2023 following a fire) serves some of the city's best cheesesteaks. Brahaus Schmitz (German), Tattooed Mom (vegan-friendly bar), and Pumpkin BYOB (top-rated) are also favored by locals and tourists alike.

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Italian Market Italian Market free

U.S. News Insider Tip: Make sure Sarcone's Bakery will be open during your visit (and go early for the best selection). It might actually be a sin to visit the Italian Market without buying a few loaves of their fresh bread. – Amanda Norcross, Content & SEO Strategist

In addition to visiting Reading Terminal Market , both locals and tourists agree a visit to the Italian Market on South Ninth Street is an essential food experience in Philly. One of the oldest open-air markets in the country, the Italian Market features a multitude of gourmet food vendors selling imported goods, cheeses, meats, freshly roasted coffee beans, homemade chocolates and more. Travelers appreciate the variety of delicious food and recommend visiting when hungry.

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Johnny Brenda's Johnny Brenda's

U.S. News Insider Tip: If you have tickets to a show, get here early to nab a spot on the second-tier balcony — this is where you’ll get the best views. – Amanda Norcross, Content & SEO Strategist

Philadelphia has its share of live music venues, including the Kimmel Center, World Cafe Live and the well-known Theatre of the Living Arts. But no place has as much character as Johnny Brenda's, and seeing a show here is as authentically Fishtown as you can get. Previous visitors also agree it's one of the most unique venues they've ever visited.

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Spruce Street Harbor Park Spruce Street Harbor Park free

Spruce Street Harbor Park is a summertime favorite in Philly, with hammocks, a beer garden, an arcade, lawn games and a boardwalk on the Delaware River. It's the ultimate place to relax and the closest you'll come to a beach in Philadelphia (though the Jersey Shore beaches aren't far).

There's also a variety of food vendors on-site, and visitors have the option to enjoy their meal on a floating river barge. Spruce Street Harbor Park is especially pretty at night, when the trees are illuminated by multicolored lights.

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Elfreth's Alley Museum Elfreth's Alley Museum

U.S. News Insider Tip: For the best photos and overall experience, visit early in the day. – Amanda Norcross, Content & SEO Strategist

The nation's oldest continually inhabited residential street, Elfreth's Alley is one of the most charming walkways in Philadelphia. Not surprisingly, it's also one of the most popular for photos. When visiting and snapping pics, just remember the homes are owned by local residents.

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Half-Day American Revolution Tour in The Valley Forge

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Philadelphia History, Highlights, & Revolution Walking Tour

Philadelphia History, Highlights, & Revolution Walking Tour

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Best of Philadelphia Food Tour-Small Group Walking Tour

Best of Philadelphia Food Tour-Small Group Walking Tour

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Philadelphia Museum of Art Philadelphia Museum of Art

Modeled after the Parthenon in Athens , the Philadelphia Museum of Art is one of the most recognized buildings in Philadelphia. Once you've made it to the top of the " Rocky Stairs ," take a breath and dive into the museum's impressive works by Matisse, Van Gogh, Picasso, Cézanne and more. You'll also find entire structures from around the world, including a 14th century Buddhist temple.

Recent visitors agree this museum is a must, touting its amazing collections and variety. If you can, budget a full day to explore, and decide what exhibits are the most important before your visit.

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Fairmount Park Fairmount Park free

Fairmount Park is the largest landscaped urban park in the world – it’s bigger than Central Park in New York City – with more than 2,000 scenic acres affording opportunities for hiking, off-road biking (permit required) and even horseback riding in the city. There are also picnic tables throughout the park, available on a first-come, first-served basis.

Also considered a neighborhood in Philadelphia, Fairmount Park houses popular attractions including The Philadelphia Museum of Art , the Philadelphia Zoo , Boathouse Row , and the indoor-outdoor Mann Center (one of the best live music venues in Philly). Other noteworthy landmarks include Fairmount Water Works, the Philadelphia Water Department's former engine room-turned-event center and a National Historic Landmark, and the Shofuso Japanese Cultural Center, complete with a ceremonial tea house and koi pond. The park begins near the Benjamin Franklin Parkway and extends to the northwest.

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Rittenhouse Square Rittenhouse Square free

U.S. News Insider Tip: Make a reservation for breakfast or brunch at Parc, a French-style bistro with great food, ambiance and people watching. – Amanda Norcross, Content & SEO Strategist

This ritzy neighborhood is one of the best places to eat and shop in Philadelphia, with some of the city's top-rated restaurants, high-end shopping and trendy nightlife venues on offer. Many of the best hotels in Philadelphia are also located here.   

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Franklin Square Franklin Square free

When William Penn imagined the city of Philadelphia, he planned five open-square parks. Franklin Square, located in Independence Hall National Historical Park, is one of them (along with Rittenhouse Square , Logan Square, Washington Square and Centre Square).

Close to historical landmarks like the Liberty Bell and especially fun for families, Franklin Square offers a carousel and an 18-hole miniature golf course that looks like a pint-size version of Philly. At the center of the square, a 180-year-old fountain puts on a (free) seasonal water show every 30 minutes. When you get hungry, head to SquareBurger for a bite to eat and the Original Cake Shake, made with Philly's own Tastykake Butterstoch Krimpets.

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LOVE Park LOVE Park free

LOVE Park, which was designed by city planner Edmond Bacon (father of actor Kevin Bacon), is where you'll find Robert Indiana's world-renowned LOVE statue, one of the most popular spots for a photo in Philly. There's also a welcome center, walking paths, plenty of green space and a fountain (fun for toddlers to splash through on a hot day).

Visitors agree a photo in front of the LOVE sign is a must, though they caution there's almost always a line. Several travelers also suggest visiting the adjacent Philadelphia Holocaust Memorial Plaza. And if you enjoy holiday markets, time your visit around Christmas when the park transforms into Christmas Village, an event inspired by German Christmas markets with dazzling decor and vendors selling authentic European food, handmade ornaments and more.

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Philly By Night Double Decker Bus Tour

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Philadelphia Half-Day Small-Group Sightseeing Tour

Philadelphia Half-Day Small-Group Sightseeing Tour

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Liberty History Tour Pub Crawl

Liberty History Tour Pub Crawl

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Betsy Ross House Betsy Ross House

It's never been confirmed whether Betsy Ross was the person who sewed the first American flag, though she's widely credited with the task. Her former home, where she would have sewn the first stars and stripes, is now a small museum.

Visitors can take a self-guided tour (with or without an audio guide) of the home before meeting "Betsy" herself. The real Betsy Ross, along with her third husband, John Claypoole, is buried in a courtyard behind the home.

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The Weitzman National Museum of American Jewish History The Weitzman National Museum of American Jewish History

The Weitzman National Museum of American Jewish History aims to inspire people of all backgrounds to appreciate the diversity of the American Jewish experience. The three-floor museum covers three centuries dating back to 1654, with more than 30,000 artifacts illustrating immigration, worship, hard work, community and family life. Visitor-favorite exhibits include the "Only in America Gallery/Hall of Fame," which showcases the accomplishments of nearly two dozen well-known Jewish Americans including Leonard Bernstein, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Estee Lauder and Steven Spielberg.

Recent museumgoers highly recommend a visit to this museum, noting the exhibits are both fascinating and extensive.  

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Rail Park Rail Park free

Unused rail lines are being reimagined as this 3-mile trail in Philadelphia. Once finalized, the Rail Park will not only connect 10 neighborhoods, but will also offer a variety of locally inspired art installations and amenities for the public to enjoy.

Phase 1 (called The Cut), which is fully complete, offers swings, bike racks, and an electric platform for events. You'll also spot one of the city's many murals, a story wall depicting Philadelphia's Industrial era, and a variety of plants that are native to Pennsylvania. The current iteration of Rail Park can be accessed at two entrances: 1300 Noble St. and Callowhill Street between 11th and 12th streets.

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Wissahickon Valley Park Wissahickon Valley Park free

No, you don't have to drive to the mountains to go hiking near Philadelphia (though the Poconos region and its many things to do aren't far). About 5 miles northwest of downtown, the 1,800-acre Wissahickon Valley Pack offers more than 50 miles of hiking, mountain biking and horseback riding trails. Plus, visitors can go bird-watching, picnicking or fishing along the Wissahickon Creek. For some of the park's best panoramas, visitors suggest strolling along the vehicle-free Forbidden Drive trail. They also note it ca be a popular place to visit, so expect some crowds on pleasant days.

As you trek through the park, you'll notice its historical architecture, which includes a covered bridge built in 1737 and the historic Valley Green Inn, where you can grab a bite to eat.

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Rodin Museum Rodin Museum

Home to one of the largest public collections of Auguste Rodin's work outside of Paris , the Rodin Museum boasts almost 150 bronzes, marbles and plasters created by the famed artist. The collection represents every phase of the illustrious artist's career. Highlights include The Kiss, Rodin's famous sculpture of two lovers.

The beaux-arts building itself is also a stunner, designed by French architect Paul Cret, with a formal French garden imagined by landscape designer Jacques Gréber. The lovely outdoor space features eight of Rodin's works, including The Thinker and The Gates of Hell, the latter of which was the defining project in Rodin's career. Recent visitors note that the museum is small, but well worth a stop – especially since admission to the Rodin Museum is included with your ticket to the nearby Philadelphia Museum of Art , and vice versa.

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Spirit of Philadelphia Signature Lunch Cruise with Buffet

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Chef-Led Taste of the Italian Market Food Tour

Chef-Led Taste of the Italian Market Food Tour

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Go City: Philadelphia All-Inclusive Pass with 30+ Attractions

Go City: Philadelphia All-Inclusive Pass with 30+ Attractions

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Dilworth Park Dilworth Park free

One of Philadelphia's many public outdoor spaces, Dilworth Park appeals to locals and tourists alike – especially with its location at City Hall (above Suburban Station, a hub for public transportation) and close proximity to popular LOVE Park .

Features at this park include the Albert M. Greenfield Lawn, a computer-programmable fountain and Pulse, an art installation that sprays colorful mist whenever SEPTA trains pass through the station below. There's also an outdoor cafe, restaurant and Starbucks on-site.

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National Constitution Center National Constitution Center

Located in the Old City neighborhood, less than a half-mile from the Liberty Bell Center and Independence Hall , the National Constitution Center houses unique exhibits highlighting the signing of the Constitution and other important events in U.S. history. Noteworthy artifacts include the first draft of what would become the Constitution and one of the surviving copies of the Emancipation Proclamation signed by President Abraham Lincoln.

Previous visitors recommend exploring Signers' Hall, where the 42 Founding Fathers are immortalized in bronze, life-size statues, while others appreciate the abundance of interactive activities for kids.

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Independence Blue Cross RiverRink Independence Blue Cross RiverRink

If you're looking for something festive to do in Philly at Christmastime, go ice skating at Independence Blue Cross RiverRink. Located on the Delaware River Waterfront, the NHL-sized skating rink affords views of the Ben Franklin Bridge, especially pretty when lit up at night. This attraction also offers cozy cabin rentals with fire pits—perfect for warming up over hot cocoa. 

Recent visitors say they enjoyed their experience here, adding that Blue Cross insurance holders get a discount (free admission for the insurance holder and three guests).  

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Boathouse Row Boathouse Row free

U.S. News Insider Tip: For the best views of Boathouse Row, look for the pullout near the Fish Ladder on Martin Luther King Drive. If you go a little further north, you can get past the netting that runs across the river and also get away from the big fence that's set up in front of the fish ladder. – Binh Nguyen, Senior Director of Communications at Visit Philly

Boathouse Row is one of the most famous landscapes in Philadelphia; however, the only attraction available to visitors is the Lloyd Hall Recreation Center, which offers bike rentals, a visitor center, cafe, and public restrooms, as well as indoor basketball courts. The other historic buildings belong to local rowing clubs, and you'll often see rowers training or competing in regattas on the Delaware River.

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Penn Museum Penn Museum

Don't overlook the Penn Museum in Philadelphia, an archaeological and anthropological museum that highlights the human experience through more than a million artifacts from Asia, Africa, the Americas and the Mediterranean. Expect to see the largest ancient Egyptian sphinx in the Western Hemisphere, one of the oldest known wine vessels in the world (5400-5000 BCE), a Native American war bonnet made around 1890, and other one-of-a-kind artifacts.

Museumgoers praise this engaging museum as well as its location at the University of Pennsylvania. The museum hosts a variety of adult-focused and family-friendly events throughout the year so be sure to see what's on deck ahead of your visit.

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Half Day Private Philadelphia Driving Tour

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The Constitutional Walking Tour of Philadelphia

The Constitutional Walking Tour of Philadelphia

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The Italian Market & Beyond with Chefs & Journalists

The Italian Market & Beyond with Chefs & Journalists

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Adventure Aquarium Adventure Aquarium

Technically the Adventure Aquarium is in Camden, New Jersey. But with its close proximity to Philly — less than 5 miles east — as well as its reputation as one of the best aquariums in the U.S. , we'd be remiss not to include it on a list of the best things to do in Philadelphia.

Accredited by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums, the Adventure Aquarium is dedicated to animal welfare, housing and caring for more than 15,000 aquatic animals. Up-close encounters include Shark Bridge, a rope suspension bridge that allows guests to walk inches away from sand tiger and nurse sharks; recent visitors say this exhibit was one of their favorites. Other exhibits include Little Blue Beach, where you’ll see the smallest penguin species in the world, and Hippo Haven, where the resident Nile hippos live.

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17 Top-Rated Tourist Attractions in Philadelphia

Written by Lana Law Updated Dec 25, 2023 We may earn a commission from affiliate links ( )

Philadelphia is one of America's most important historical cities. At Independence Hall on July 4, 1776, the Declaration of Independence was adopted, and in September 1787, the Constitution was drafted. A century earlier, William Penn, a prominent Quaker and namesake of Pennsylvania, was a catalyst for the changes that transformed these British colonies into an independent nation.

Independence Hall, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Today, modern office towers exist side-by-side with the narrow cobblestone streets of Independence Historic National Park, which is home to historic buildings and sights, including the Liberty Bell, Franklin Court, and Independence Hall. To the south lies Society Hill, the city's original residential area. Many of these eighteenth-century buildings have been handsomely restored. Similarly, Germantown in northwest Philadelphia, is another old residential section, first inhabited by Germans and the Dutch.

To the west, along the Schuylkill River, lies Fairmount Park, a vast belt of green containing numerous Federal-style mansions, as well as the Philadelphia Museum of Art and the Rodin Museum. Just south of that lies the museum district, including the Franklin Institute of Science Museum and the Academy of Natural Sciences.

If you're wondering where to start, begin with our list of top tourist attractions in Philadelphia.

1. Liberty Bell Pavilion

2. independence hall, 3. independence national historical park, 4. philadelphia museum of art and the "rocky steps", 5. reading terminal market, 6. the barnes foundation, 7. museum of the american revolution, 8. philadelphia zoo, 9. rodin museum, 10. the franklin institute science museum, 11. eastern state penitentiary, 12. pennsylvania academy of fine arts museum, 13. love park, 14. please touch museum, 15. city hall, 16. society hill historic district, 17. fairmount park, where to stay in philadelphia for sightseeing, tips and tours: how to make the most of your visit to philadelphia, map of tourist attractions in philadelphia.

Liberty Bell Pavilion

The liberty bell has long been a symbol of freedom and independence in the United States. It rang to mark the signing of the Constitution, but contrary to popular myth, the big crack came in 1846, when it tolled in observance of George Washington's birthday.

You'll learn this and other facts about the bell in the exhibits, and a film shows how abolitionists, suffragists, and other groups adopted the bell as a symbol of freedom. In the late 1800s, the bell went on tour around the country in an effort to conquer divisions left by the Civil War. The bell completed its journey in Philadelphia in 1915, where it has remained.

The Liberty Bell Pavilion is open without admission charge - one of several free things to do in Philadelphia.

Address: 143 South Third Street, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Independence Hall

Independence Hall originally served as the State House of the Colony of Pennsylvania and is best known as the place where the Declaration of Independence was adopted by the Continental Congress on July 4, 1776. It was also where the Continental Congress met again 11 years later and wrote the United States Constitution.

The highlight is Assembly Hall, where the Second Continental Congress met behind closed doors to discuss independence from the British. This is where the Declaration of Independence was signed and where George Washington was chosen as Commander-in-Chief of the Continental Army.

Independence Hall sits across from the Liberty Bell Pavilion in the Independence National Historical Park. There is no entrance fee, but tickets ($1 reservation fee) are timed and limited, and all visitors should be prepared for security screening.

An advance booking is required from March through December. No bookings are required in January and February (except for President's Day and Martin Luther King Day long weekends). A visit after 5pm on any day does not require a reservation.

Free ESL services are available with advance request.

Independence National Historical Park

Independence National Historical Park is quite possibly America's most historic square mile. In addition to housing famous sites, such as Independence Hall and the Liberty Bell, many other important attractions line the cobbled streets of this old area.

Independence Hall has seen some of America's most important historical moments and hosted some of its most famous founders. It stood witness to the adoption of the Declaration of Independence on July 4, 1776, and the creation of the United States Constitution in 1787.

It is flanked by Congress Hall, where the first Congress of the United States met from 1790 to 1800 and George Washington and John Adams were elected President, and Old City Hall, which was never, in fact, the town hall but was the seat of the Supreme Court from 1791 to 1800.

To the north of Independence Hall extends the park-like Independence Mall, laid out in 1948. On its east side, at 55 North 5th Street, is the National Museum of American Jewish History. The park is also home to the Ben Franklin Museum , which has a collection of exhibits dedicated to celebrating this revolutionary inventor's many remarkable qualities. The Visitor Center off Dock Street is a good place to begin the day to get current information, tickets, and walking tour maps.

Philadelphia Museum of Art

The Philadelphia Museum of Art contains one of the United States' largest collections of paintings and other artworks. Among the finest sections of the museum are the medieval galleries, which include pictures by Rogier van der Weyden and the van Eyck brothers.

In other rooms are Renaissance and Baroque works and art of the 18th and 19th centuries, including pictures by Van Gogh, Renoir, Toulouse-Lautrec, Manet, Cézanne, Monet, and Degas. A collection of 20th-century European art is represented by Picasso, Chagall, Matisse, Miró, Paul Klee, and other artists.

There is also American art by the Philadelphia artists Thomas Eakins, Charles Wilson Peale ("The Staircase Group", 1795), and many others. In addition, there are fine collections of Asian art, with porcelain, jade, and Oriental carpets.

The museum is housed in a Neoclassical building fronted by a broad set of stairs, which now - for many tourists - rival the collections as an attraction. Ever since they were featured in the classic American Rocky films, thousands of fans have flocked to the "Rocky Steps" each day to race to the top and strike a Rocky pose with the city as a backdrop.

Prior to striking your pose on the steps, be sure to swing by the actual Rocky statue located nearby. Study the exact arm and body position and then create your own version on the steps. You'll find the statue just off to the right of the steps in a grassy area.

Address: 2600 Benjamin Franklin Parkway, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Reading Terminal Market

The Market at Reading Terminal has been a National Historic Landmark since 1995 and is a deeply rooted Philadelphia institution. It has been in operation since 1893, when the Reading Railroad Company built this space beneath their new station to accommodate the farmers and butchers who had been using the area for their open-air markets for decades.

The old market has undergone renovations, but it has retained its unique ambience and many of the structure's original features. Today, you will find more than 80 merchants, 75 of whom are small independent businesses. Both locals and tourists come to buy local produce; free-range meats; canned goods; fresh-baked Amish breads; and handmade crafts, including clothing, jewelry, and gifts. Several vendors specialize in traditional Pennsylvania Dutch foods.

Address: 51 North 12th Street, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

The Barnes Foundation

Established by Dr. Albert Barnes, the Barnes Foundation is an integral part of Philadelphia's Parkway museum district. It houses some of the world's biggest collections of French Impressionist and Post-Impressionist paintings, including the world's largest Renoir collection and more of Cézanne's works than there are in all of France. There are just short of 60 Matisse paintings, as well as numerous works by Degas, Manet, and Modigliani.

Additional collections include early modern artists, including Picasso, as well as a large collection of African sculptures. The museum welcomes guests free of charge on the first Sunday of the month for gallery viewings, activities, and family-friendly entertainment, while monthly on the first Friday, adults are invited to spend the evening exploring collections, attending lectures, and mingling with like-minded aficionados while enjoying live music and refreshments.

Address: 2025 Benjamin Franklin Parkway Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Museum of the American Revolution

A must-see for any history buff, the Museum of the American Revolution is a fascinating trip back in time to the late 18th century to the conflict that helped form the United States. The museum has an excellent collection of artifacts from the time frame and does a good job of giving the visitor a taste of what life was like back then.

Thoughtfully laid out galleries that are interactive, engaging, and educational make understanding the cause of the Revolution easy. One of the highlights of a visit here is the original headquarters tent that George Washington used during the conflict.

The Museum of the American Revolution is one of Philadelphia's newest museums and is conveniently located near Independence Hall and the Liberty Bell.

Address: 101 S 3rd Street, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Philadelphia Zoo

The Philadelphia Zoo is home to a wide range of animals from around the world and is active in wildlife conservation and rehabilitation efforts, focusing on educating visitors about the ways humans impact the earth's other residents.

One of its most remarkable habitats is Big Cat Falls, a spacious area where the world's largest cats can roam among plants and flowing waterfalls, as well as explore the entire park through a system of tunnels that wind above other habitats - including the human visitors. Another favorite with both kids and adults is the African Plains habitat, where you can meet some of the zoo's most impressive residents, including giraffes, hippos, and a white rhinoceros.

Outback Outpost is home to some of Australia's most fascinating wildlife, including red kangaroos and emus. Other habitats include Bear Country, which is home to species from Asia, South America, and North America, and Carnivore Kingdom, where you can meet dwarf mongooses and even the (vegetarian) red panda. There is also a reptile and amphibian house; an aviary; and Monkey Junction, which is home to two pairs of spider monkeys.

At the small mammal house, visitors can see the nocturnal residents as they go about their day, thanks to clever lighting that inverts their sleep cycle. The zoo also operates a primate reserve and a rare animal conservation center, where you can see some of the earth's most endangered animals, learn about issues affecting them, and find out how to help.

Address: 3400 West Girard Avenue, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Rodin Museum

With close to 100 works by famous French sculptor Auguste Rodin, this museum contains one of the most extensive collections of his work outside France. The Rodin Museum includes plasters, bronzes, and marbles of some of Rodin's most famous masterpieces.

In the outdoor sculpture garden, visitors can view some of his best-known works, including The Thinker and Rodin's seminal work, The Gates of Hell. Rodin's career was remarkable for his unconventional training and his philosophy that sculpture should stay true to the natural form, and he is considered the father of modern sculpture.

Address: 2151 Benjamin Franklin Parkway, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

The Franklin Institute Science Museum

This creative museum is a tribute to scientist Benjamin Franklin, complete with a huge marble statue of a seated Franklin located in one of the large halls. The Franklin Institute Science Museum , which is in fact several museums under one roof, displays many of Franklin's own experiments.

It is particularly concerned with the physical bases of technology and offers visitors the opportunity to try their own experiments, in many fields - computers, information technology, space travel, astronomy, and oceanography. In addition to the museum, the center is also home to an IMAX Theater and the Fels Planetarium.

Address: 222 N 20th Street, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Eastern State Penitentiary

The Eastern State Penitentiary was built in 1829 with the aim of rehabilitating criminals through solitary confinement. At the time of its opening, it was considered the world's most expensive and high-tech prison. Willie Sutton and Al Capone were some of the prison's notable "guests," and visitors can see Capone's lavish cell as it was during his stay.

The prison closed in 1971, and today it is open to the public as a museum. Tours of the facility show many sections that remain much the same as they were during its operational years. Exhibits include an in-depth look at incarceration in the United States, how it compares to other countries, and the ever-increasing disproportionate imprisonment of minorities.

Address: 2027 Fairmount Avenue, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts Museum

The Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts Museum features a collection of American Art from the 18th, 19th, and 20th centuries, including works by early American artists right through to Andy Warhol. It is housed in a N ational Historic Landmark building designed by American architects Frank Furness and George W. Hewitt.

The museum is part of the Fine Arts Academy, and its exhibits and archives are an important resource for the school. In addition to contemporary and historical art exhibitions, the museum features exhibits of work by the academy's students. The academy is the oldest of its kind in the United States.

Address: 118 North Broad Street, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

LOVE Park

Philadelphia's favorite photo-op celebrates "the City of Brotherly Love" with Robert Indiana's iconic LOVE sculpture, installed in John F. Kennedy Plaza for America's Bicentennial celebration in 1976.

The plaza, now better known as LOVE Park, marks the entrance to Philadelphia's Museum Mile, the Benjamin Franklin Parkway, where you'll find the Barnes Foundation, The Franklin Institute, and the Philadelphia Museum of Art.

Combining green areas, trees, walking paths, benches, and open paved areas for festivals and events, LOVE Park is the scene of frequent pop-up events, including a Christmas village.

Address: 16th Street and JFK Boulevard, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Please Touch Museum

The Please Touch Museum is every child's dream — a place where they can "look with their hands" instead of just their eyes. This completely interactive museum encourages kids of all ages to learn through play, giving them the chance to explore history, fantasy worlds, space, and the big wide world around them.

Exhibits such as the kid-size city include costumes they can use to play the part while experimenting with different professions. As educational as it is fun, the River Adventures exhibit encourages children to learn about science and physics by using dams, waterwheels, levers, locks, and other water-manipulating equipment.

Kids can even explore the garden, where the museum's café grows its produce. Outdoors, you will also find a Dentzel Carousel, which is more than a century old, originally operated at the nearby Woodside Park and now fully restored to its former glory. An afternoon here is one of the favorite things to do for families in Philadelphia.

Address: Memorial Hall, Fairmount Park, 4231 Avenue of the Republic, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Address: Reservoir Drive, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

City Hall

Philadelphia's City Hall is the United States' largest municipal building, with nearly 15 acres of floor space. Built on a foundation of solid granite, the building supports a 548-foot tower, which is the world's tallest masonry structure lacking a steel frame.

At the top of the tower sits a 27-ton statue of William Penn, and at his feet, an observation deck provides tourists with a view of the entire city, as well as the park below, which features a fountain, lawns, and a café. Tickets for the guided tour are required for both City Hall and the observation deck.

Address: 1401 John F Kennedy Blvd, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Society Hill Historic District

This interesting neighborhood, south of Walnut Street and east of Washington Square, contains a unique blend of 18th Century buildings, restored warehouses, new homes, colonial homes, and apartments. Some of these are occupied by galleries and other tourist-friendly retailers.

Attractions in and around this area include Washington Square, the Polish American Cultural Center, and Old St. Mary's Church, along with the Old Pine Street Presbyterian Church and the Historical Society of Pennsylvania Library.

In Washington Square, once the burial place of those who died in the fight for independence, is the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier of the Revolution, with an eternal flame. The Tomb of the Unknown Soldier is the only tomb in America erected to the memory of unknown Revolutionary War soldiers.

Fairmount Park

This lovely park along the Schuylkill River and Wissahickon Creek is home to the Philadelphia Zoo , the Rodin Museum , the Philadelphia Museum of Art , and the Shofuso Japanese House and garden , along with numerous other attractions and things to do. There are also gardens, ball fields, swimming pools, tennis courts, hiking paths, picnic areas, and playgrounds.

Shofuso, built in Japan in 1953 using traditional materials and tools, was brought to Philadelphia and placed with other Japanese structures that have been in the park since the 1876 Centennial Exposition. You can tour the house and Japanese gardens with a koi pond and island. In early July, the Tanabata Family Weekend includes family-friendly activities and traditional Japanese crafts.

Another attraction, at the edge of the 2,000-acre park, is the line of 15 historic boathouses along the Schuylkill River, home to local college rowing clubs. The park is a National Historic Landmark, and it is one of the nation's first parks created to serve as both a public green space and a watershed protection area.

To appreciate this historic city and all of its treasures, it's best to stay right in the heart of it all, in the downtown's Old City. This is where many of the major attractions are located, including Independence National Historic Park. The hotels listed below are all highly-rated and conveniently located for sightseeing.

Luxury Hotels :

  • One of the most highly-rated hotels in the city is the Hotel Monaco Philadelphia, by Kimpton . This is a boutique hotel in a restored building in the Old City, with a great location near Independence National Historic Park.
  • Nearby, and overlooking the park, is the charming Renaissance Philadelphia Downtown Hotel. This hotel recently changed names — it was formerly known as the Franklin Hotel at Independence Park and operated under the Marriott brand.
  • Near Rittenhouse Square is the Rittenhouse Hotel , a luxury property in a good location in the city center that prides itself on being family-friendly, with extras for children, and pet friendly.

Mid-Range Hotels :

  • The Morris House Hotel is set in a 1787 mansion that is now a National Historic Landmark. This quaint boutique hotel, with large rooms and a lovely courtyard, is in an excellent location in the Old City
  • A five-minute walk from LOVE Park and the City Hall, and even closer to the Reading Terminal Market, the elegantly appointed Canopy by Hilton Philadelphia Center City offers complimentary bikes to further explore the city.
  • A little farther out from the Old City but still in a decent location and close to attractions is the Doubletree, by Hilton Hotel, Philadelphia Center City .

Budget Hotels :

  • The Alexander Inn is a reasonably priced boutique hotel in the city center with large, comfortable rooms.
  • Another good budget choice, within walking distance of some of the main tourist attractions, is the recently constructed Sleep Inn City Center .
  • Also newly built and located in the charming Rittenhouse Square neighborhood, with its lively shopping and dining scene, Hyatt Centric Center City Philadelphia .

Joining an organized tour is a great way to see all the highlights of Philadelphia without the hassle of navigating the busy city streets and finding a parking spot. Along the way, you'll learn stories about the city's history from an audio commentary or a professional guide, depending on the tour selected. Below are some sightseeing tours that guarantee the lowest price:

See the Sights:

  • On the Philadelphia Hop-On Hop-Off City Tour , you can relax and see all the sights from an open-air double-decker bus. This convenient tour travels on a two-hour loop around the city encompassing 25 different attractions, including the Liberty Bell and Independence Hall, and you can hop on and off at your favorite stops. This pass gives you maximum flexibility to plan your itinerary, with courtesy shuttles from city center hotels and the option of a two- or three-day validity.
  • If you prefer a more intimate, on-the-ground experience, consider the Philadelphia Segway Tour . You can choose between a five or 10-mile loop around the city, stopping to see sights such as the Philadelphia Museum of Art and the Italian Market. This small-group tour, with a maximum of six people, offers a more personalized experience and includes Segway training and photos.

Travel Back in Time:

  • If you're a history buff, the Founding Fathers Tour of Philadelphia is a fun way to learn about the birthplace of American freedom on a walking tour around the city. Accompanied by an expert guide, this 2.5-hour tour helps you appreciate all the stories behind Philadelphia's top historical attractions and includes a visit to the Liberty Bell, Independence Hall, and other important landmarks, as well as admission fees and a refreshment.

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The 26 Best Things to Do in Philadelphia

By Regan Stephens and Devra Ferst

American Academy of Music Philadelphia

Without a doubt, first time visitors to Philadelphia should prioritize a few must-dos: explore American history in Old City, climb the Rocky steps in front of the Museum of Art , devour a cheesesteak and a roast pork sandwich at John’s . But there’s so much more to see and do (and eat) in the City of Brotherly Love, like take in a performance at America’s oldest opera house, sample barbacoa tacos in the Italian Market, and ascend above the clouds in a glass elevator for a world-class view of the city (just to name a few). To help get you started, we took the liberty of curating these very best things to do in Philadelphia, whether it's your first visit or your fifth.

Read our complete Philadelphia travel guide here .

This gallery has been updated with new information since its original publish date.

United States Pennsylvania Philadelphia Museum National Museum of American Jewish History

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Established in 1976, the original The Weitzman National Museum of American Jewish History was a small, intimate museum visited largely by the Jewish community. But in 2010, Newseum architect Jim Polshek designed a new building that transformed it into a museum on the scale of the Smithsonian , complete with three-and-a-half floors of permanent collections and special exhibits. In June, the museum reopened after more than two years with a new name (after shoe designer Stuart Weitzman), and a new OY/YO sculpture by Deborah Kass marking the building’s entrance. Starting with the arrival of a small group of Jews in 1654, the museum traces the American Jewish experience through today, telling the story with its collection of 30,000 artifacts. The core exhibition walks visitors through the wave of immigration from Europe in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, through World War II, the establishment of Israel, and ends with an Only in America Gallery/Hall of Fame. Start your tour at the top of the building and wind your way down through the years.

United States Pennsylvania Philadelphia Garden Longwood Gardens

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Longwood Gardens, purchased by industrialist Pierre du Pont in 1906, is a little like Philadelphia’s answer to Versailles , with 1,083 acres of themed, manicured gardens. Naturally, spring and summer are the best seasons for florals, but with a Conservatory renowned for its indoor displays, this Kennett Square spot is a popular year-round destination. If you're here in the summer, make sure to check out the Fountain Garden, when a dramatic water show set to classical music is performed several times every day—the Conservatory, with its twinkling lights, trees, and poinsettias, is a must at Christmas .

tourist sites philadelphia

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Shannon Maldonado's tiny Queen Village shop has an outsized presence thanks to its impeccably-curated and colorful collection of gifts, art objects and housewares. Her design cred is dead serious, but—as evidenced by the selection, collaborations, and her own laid back demeanor—the brand doesn’t take itself too seriously. Maldonado sells an ever-evolving range range of products with common threads: beautiful designs in vivid hues: curvilinear candles and catchall trays from Barcelona’s Octaevo, avant-garde vases from New York design studio Chen & Kai, Cold Picnic bath mats, and Dusen Dusen textiles. In late 2022, Yowie will relocate to a bigger space on South Street along with a hotel and cafe.

Rittenhouse Square Philadelphia

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When William Penn (the man Pennsylvania is named for and the chap atop City Hall ) planned Philadelphia, he designed five squares that function as parks. Rittenhouse, the most glamorous of them all, is both a park and a catchall name for the surrounding neighborhood, which is home to some of the city’s best restaurants , shopping, and real estate. Rittenhouse Square is a beautifully designed, well maintained park. In summer, a fountain in the center functions as a gathering space. If the weather's nice, pick up picnic supplies at Di Bruno Bros. Rittenhouse and find a seat on one of the park’s many benches. Don’t be surprised if someone’s taking wedding photos nearby. If it’s chilly out—or if you have money to burn—grab a meal at Parc , which overlooks the square. After, stretch your legs by walking along Walnut Street, which is lined with high-end national brands.

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Four Seasons Hotel Philadelphia

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Float to the top of the Comcast Technology Center by glass elevator, bypass a jungle of floral arrangements, and skip past the Four Seasons front desk to find JG SkyHigh. We have beautiful restaurants and bars in Philadelphia, designed by lauded architecture firms, but nothing like this. Forty-foot glass walls show off an unparalleled view from the city’s tallest building, a staircase bordered with waterfall walls descending into the restaurant, mirror-paneled ceilings that reflect the sidewalks some 60 stories below—are stunning. Why else would you wait in line (in Philadelphia) to pay $22 for a drink (in Philadelphia)? Most are here for the atmosphere, not the drinks, although the lemongrass Collins, made with local Bluecoat gin, is flawless.

United States Pennsylvania Philadelphia Market Reading Terminal Market

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All of humanity seems to have come together in a happy hubbub at Reading Terminal Market. The sprawling space has been around since 1893, though now, its vegetable, fish, and meat vendors are compounded by dozens of restaurants, bakeries, and bars. Look for old-timey neon signs to help you make sense of the dozens of options—or just head straight for DiNic's, where the roast pork sandwich, topped with a frenzy of broccoli rabe, is practically the beating heart of the place. Follow it up with a scoop (or three) of Bassett's silky ice cream.

United States Pennsylvania Philadelphia Museum Independence National Historic Park

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Philadelphia is the only UNESCO World Heritage City in the United States precisely because of the historical events that transpired right here, and it’s not just one museum or historic landmark. Rather, it’s a collection of buildings that played host to events that shaped American independence or honor that hard-won heritage. Begin at the Visitor Center to get your bearings and start your tour—visitors can enter with timed entry tickets—at Independence Hall, then stop by the Liberty Bell Center for a look at ostensibly the most famous broken item in the world. Afterwards, wander past the park’s other historic buildings including Carpenters Hall, the meeting site of the first Continental Congress, then make your way to the Benjamin Franklin Museum. Just note the airport-style security (and subsequent foot traffic) you're bound to encounter, and make sure you wear comfortable shoes—you'll be doing a lot of walking.

tourist sites philadelphia

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The Bok Building is a shuttered Vocational High School in South Philly, built in 1936 with funds from FDR’s Public Works Administration. After the school closed in 2013, urban development and design firm Scout transformed the absolute behemoth of a building—clocking in at 340,000 square feet of retrofitted former classrooms, an auditorium, and a rooftop—into a magnet for some of Philly’s most talented independent makers and creators. Among the dozens of artists, designers, printmakers, ceramicists, jewelers, florists, tattoo artists, and sculptors, there’s one of the world’s foremost clarinet repairers Atelier Jacobi , two sisters behind Second Daughter Baking Co. making the city’s (maybe even the world’s?) best brownie, and Moore Vintage Archive , where you can peruse tightly-curated racks sourced from Parisian markets and beyond.

American Academy of Music Philadelphia

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Not only can you see boundary-pushing performances from Opera Philadelphia and ballets like George Balanchine's The Nutcracker , but the Academy is also home to most of the touring Broadway shows (this season includes Six, Come from Away , and Les Miserables .) Other performances—comedians, traveling Disney shows, and even game shows like Wheel of Fortune—are also on the roster. It also feels like a bonus to get to sit in such a historic, opulent theater—one where Susan B. Anthony once delivered a speech about women’s suffrage, where Peter Tchaikovsky conducted music, and where the Philadelphia Orchestra recorded the music for Disney’s Fantasia . Both performing arts and history lovers should make it a point to snag tickets to something when they visit.

United States Pennsylvania Philadelphia Restaurants John's Roast Pork

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Philadelphia’s best-known sandwich might be the cheesesteak —but that doesn't mean it's the city's official sandwich. For that, look to the roast pork, which stacks thin slices of pork, broccoli rabe, and sharp provolone on an Italian hoagie roll. Though the originator of the sandwich is unknown, this small shop in South Philly makes one of the most beloved iterations. The hearty portions and location draw a mix of construction workers, cops, locals, and tourists. But a word of caution: Pay attention to how the locals ahead of you in line order—there’s little patience here for indecision. A trip to John’s offers you not only an outstanding and filling sandwich, but a look at a Philadelphia institution that's been around for more than 80 years.

United States Pennsylvania Philadelphia Park Fairmount Park

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You'll find the Schuylkill-hugging Fairmount Park in the heart of the city. But this isn’t your typical city park: At more than 2,000 acres, it's home to miles of trails, biking and hiking paths, a Japanese garden and house, the country’s oldest zoo, historical mansions, and the city’s iconic Boathouse Row. Those with young kids in tow should explore the interactive Please Touch Museum , as well as the Smith Memorial Playground & Playhouse, with its century-old wooden slide.

United States Pennsylvania Philadelphia College University of Pennsylvania

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Founded in 1740, the University of Pennsylvania (better known as Penn) looks like the textbook definition of an Ivy League university, with enough elaborate Gothic buildings and lush courtyards to make you want to dive headfirst into the nearest library. The campus, and particularly Locust Walk, which runs through it, offers visitors and students a respite from the bustle of the city, and on nice days, even doubles as a picnic site. The grounds are also home to Alexander Calder's art, and “Brick House,” a new Simone Leigh sculpture; a statue of Ben Franklin hanging out on a bench; and Franklin Field, the country's oldest operating football stadium. Head west to explore the campus, and have lunch at West Philly institution White Dog Café.

United States Pennsylvania Philadelphia Gardens Philadelphia's Magic Gardens

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Visiting this gallery-slash-outdoor sculpture garden feels like you've stepped into the mind of Philadelphia’s beloved mosaic artist, Isaiah Zagar: His creations are beautiful, and often surreal, places. The project, which covers three city lots, is a melange of mirror fragments, tiles, and found objects like bike wheels and glass bottles, combined to mesmerizing effect. A walk through the indoor and outdoor space doesn’t take long, and there’s plenty for kids to enjoy, making it an ideal weekend pitstop for families exploring the city. If you can’t swing the $15 entry fee, you can still peer into the garden from the South Street entrance, and wander the neighborhood to spot other walls covered with Zagar’s work.

Philadelphia Museum of Art

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Classic, grand, and impressive, the Philadelphia Museum of Art is a cultural institution. It is Philadelphia's answer to the Louvre, and houses one of the country's finest collections of art and sculpture. Tourists, locals, the stroller set…the gang's all here and they're all taking in the art at their own pace. Some skip entire galleries based on interests, while others read every placard. It's a choose your own adventure kind of place. And if all of this culture makes you hungry, you're in luck. The Cafe is bright and welcoming and features a variety of tasty sandwiches, soups, pizzas, and more. Prefer to cool your heels in a more formal setting? The Stir is an elegant spot designed by Frank Gehry that's perfect for lingering and lunching.

tourist sites philadelphia

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One of the original five public squares William Penn plotted out when he designed the city, the eight-acre Franklin Square is home to a classic carousel, Philly-themed mini golf course, and a sprawling playground. The historic square attracts plenty of Old City tourists visiting Philly’s most famous attractions just a few blocks south, including Independence Hall and the Liberty Bell. But it’s also a hub for locals—especially those with kids—in the neighborhood, who come for a ride on the merry-go-round or to romp around the playground. Set to music and lights, a seasonal fountain show is reason enough to visit the park, perhaps on the way back from dinner in Chinatown a few blocks away.

United States Pennsylvania Philadelphia Market Italian Market

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Philadelphians often call their hometown “a city of neighborhoods.” The Italian Market, and the neighborhood that's been built up around it, is a perfect example. Open since the 1880s, this year-round market is the beating heart of South Philly, a historically Italian neighborhood that, in recent years, has also become home to pockets of Mexican and Vietnamese immigrants. The market, which lines South 9th Street, buzzes with shops and outdoor vendors, all showing off the best of the community. Don’t miss the old guard provision shops like DiBruno’s, Claudio’s, and Talluto’s—you must sample the fresh mozzarella—and if you’re looking for lunch, check out the newer additions to the area, like South Philly Barbacoa and Kalaya Thai Kitchen . No matter what brings you to the market, make sure to arrive hungry, with cash in hand.

City Hall Philadelphia

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City Hall isn’t the tallest building in Philadelphia, but it’s still hard to miss it when you're walking around Center City. Look up and you’ll see William Penn, 548 feet above the ground, looking out over the city he designed. The views of the building—the largest municipal building in the United States—are impressive, but don’t simply stroll past. Dilworth Park, which hosts an annual Christmas market , a seasonal ice skating rink, and free summertime fitness classes, is on its doorstep. City Hall helps make the case that outside of Washington D.C. , Philadelphia is the best city in the U.S. for travelers interested in American history and government. 

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In Philly’s South Kensington neighborhood, a smidge west of Fishtown, New Liberty Distillery specializes in making highly-regarded craft whiskey. The distillery is housed in a restored brick building that was once a horse stable, and includes a tasting room with a bar and a seasonal outdoor cocktail garden. The bar is comfortable and unpretentious, with leather arm chairs and barrel tables, brick walls and a low, exposed beam ceiling, making it feel like the kind of place you could easily spend an entire winter afternoon. In the nicer weather, though, the cocktail garden, surrounded by wildflowers and thickets of herbs and trees, is a bit of a hidden gem in the city.

The National Constitution Center Philadelphia

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For history loving visitors to Philadelphia, there’s a lot to choose from—the Liberty Bell, Independence Hall, and the Museum of the American Revolution , to name a few spots. But those interested in democracy shouldn’t miss the National Constitution Center. Located near the Liberty Bell, the center was created as a bipartisan institution by Congress and opened in 2003. Nearly 20 years in, the building still feels fresh and modern, and so does the programming. The center regularly hosts events about American democracy; including, for instance, a Democratic primary debate between Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton in 2008.

The The Franklin Institute Library in Philadelphia

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The Franklin Institute is like a giant science lab, albeit one with a walk-through model of the heart (claustrophobes, beware). The layout is highly interactive, whether you're stepping on a scale to learn how many pints of blood you have or climbing a webbed trail of nets that mimic the brain's pathways. The museum is almost always packed with excited kids, harried parents, and field trips. It's the domain of elementary and middle school students during the week and families on weekends.

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You really have to want to go to Hop Sing: Since there's no phone number, website, or even sign pointing to the space, you'll have to seek out the unmarked, brushed-steel door on Chinatown’s Race Street on your own. Have your ID at the ready for a quick scan by the bouncer to sure your name isn't on the “banned list”—the bar's indexed nearly 3,000 “no longer welcome” patrons, who either ignored the rules (no phones, hats, or photos) or tipped poorly. Once inside, though, you’ll be seated in a spacious, high-ceilinged, candlelit room with plaster artfully peeling off the walls, where the whole experience will start to unfurl. Not only does Hop Sing have bragging rights to one of the largest selections of spirits in the country, but their meticulously crafted cocktails are extraordinary mixtures of supremely high-quality well spirits. The Hop Sing Manhattan, for example, costs $16, but is made with an $80 bottle of Booker’s bourbon. You won't get that value anywhere else. The air of exclusivity and commitment to rules may put off some bargoers, but this is one of the only speakeasy-style bars in Philadelphia that still feels like a secret, so embrace it.

United States Pennsylvanian Philadelphia Attraction. Mural Arts Philadelphia

Mural Arts Philadelphia Arrow

Philadelphia is known for its world-class museums , but few realize that it's also home to one of the world’s great outdoor art galleries, courtesy of its 4,000 (and counting) murals. Mural Arts Philadelphia, the brains behind these public art displays, runs walking tours of the seemingly endless string of outdoor art—but the best way to see it all is, undoubtedly, by foot. Groups of 15-20 meet at PAFA, the oldest art institution in the U.S., before meandering through Center City, and taking in a dozen or so murals. Whether it’s the tile lining the walls of the subway, or the mural brightening a city parking lot, it's not just something we look at; it’s something we live with every day. Guides are professional and passionate; they enjoy showing off the murals, and sharing insight into how they’re created, as well as stories about the program’s outreach to area homeless, incarcerated, and schoolchildren.

tourist sites philadelphia

Amalgam Comics & Coffeehouse Arrow

In 2015, Ariell Johnson opened the first Black, female-owned comic book store on the East Coast. Come to Amalgam for the broad and inclusive selection—ranging from the big players (Marvel and DC Comics, from Captain America to X-Men) to indie publishers, like the Kickstarter-backed Tuskegee Heirs. But also come to soak up the warm and inclusive vibes in this haven for geek culture. Pick up a copy of Black Panther World of Wakanda #1-6, by Ta-Nehisi Coates, Roxane Gay, and Yona Harvey; the novel Lovecraft Country ; or David Crownson’s Kickstarter-backed Harriet Tubman: Demon Slayer.

Race Street Pier Delaware River Waterfront Philadelphia

Delaware River Waterfront Arrow

The historic spot where William Penn first landed in 1682 is now a series of piers and parks on the Delaware River waterfront, each with its own personality and draw. Since 2012, the nonprofit Delaware River Waterfront Corporation has been slowly transforming the stretch of riverfront between Oregon and Allegheny Avenues, adding public parks, running and biking trails, and spaces for recreational and cultural activities—all with the goal of giving Philadelphia’s public spaces a beautifying boost for residents and visitors to enjoy. It’s easy to hop to a couple piers in one day. A good place to start is Cherry Street Pier for a cocktail in the garden bar, rotating art exhibitions and concession stands. If kids are in tow, stroll the half-mile to Spruce Street Harbor Park for a beer while they run around on the lawn, play with a giant Connect Four, and gawk at the tall ships docked nearby.

United States Pennsylvania Philadelphia Museum Mütter Museum of the College of Physicians of Philadelphia

The Mütter Museum of the College of Physicians of Philadelphia Arrow

The Mütter Museum, housed within a portion of The College of Physicians of Philadelphia, can trace its origins back to 1858, when Dr. Thomas Mütter donated his collection of medical models and specimens in an effort to honor medicine’s heritage and celebrate its advancements. The museum's 25,000-item collection, spread between two floors, includes everything from medical instruments and wax models, to bones and anatomical, or “wet,” specimens, all ranging from the fascinating, to the disturbing, to the downright disgusting. A few highlights include a Civil War-era set of amputation instruments, a jar of skin from a patient with a skin-picking disorder, and a giant, desiccated colon that'll have you eating kale for weeks. All gawking aside, it’s a true testament to the study and practice of medicine.

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Four Seasons Hotel Philadelphia at Comcast Center

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philadelphia attractions

The 15 best attractions in Philadelphia

From fascinating historic sites to iconic photo moments, these are the very best attractions in Philadelphia

Strap yourself in; the City of Brotherly Love is quite the ride. There is no shortage of things to do in Philadelphia , quite the opposite, no matter whether you are a seasoned local or a fresh-faced tourist pounding the streets for the first time. Anyone with a passing interest in American history will find plenty to sink their teeth into, and the theme continues with some of the best food in the country. Much of that delicious food is at the city’s markets, where currency and conversation are king. Philadelphia’s must-see attractions are a love letter to everything that makes Philly special, then, now, and forever. Charge the camera, because you are about to take a lot of photos.

RECOMMENDED: The best restaurants in Philadelphia The coolest Airbnbs in Philadelphia The best hotels in Philadelphia

This article includes affiliate links. These links have no influence on our editorial content. For more information, click  here .

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Best Philadelphia attractions

Independence National Historical Park

1.  Independence National Historical Park

  • Attractions
  • Historic buildings and sites
  • Greater Philadelphia

Don’t be surprised if you spot people dressed in character, from tricorn hats down to square-buckled shoes, in this historic part of the city. After all, Philly is the Cradle of Liberty. Visiting these 55 acres of National Park is a must for anyone coming to Philadelphia. The abundance of landmarks in this park—including Independence Hall, the Liberty Bell, and the Ben Franklin Museum—speak to its extraordinary role in the founding of the nation.

Time Out tip:  Limited additional 'next day' tickets are available at 5pm for the very popular Independence Hall tours. 

Reading Terminal Market

2.  Reading Terminal Market

Established in 1892, the historic Reading Terminal Market is America's oldest continuously operating farmers' market. It is also something of a destination for Fromage fans—think rare Pennsylvania Dutch specialties and incredibly fresh mozzarella made on-site. Over 80 local food merchants are plying their trade here, so the choice is mind-blowing.

Time Out tip: If you are stopping for lunch, seek out Tommy DiNic’s roast pork sandwich, one of the best sandwiches you’ll find around these parts.

The Franklin Institute

3.  The Franklin Institute

Slap-bang in the heart of Philadelphia, the Franklin Institute is a must-see when visiting the city. The science museum, named after Benjamin Franklin (yes, one of the Founding Fathers), is one of the leading science centers in the country. It's a great day out for the family and, at the very least, somewhere to spend your time if it's raining outside. 

Time Out tip:  There are daily educational programs, shows, and many exhibitions to explore.

Historic Old City

4.  Historic Old City

  • Elfreth's Alley

This funky and historic section of town close to the Delaware River is a blend of cafés, boutiques, restaurants, art galleries, and fascinating historical gems. We all learned about Betsy Ross making the country’s flag back in grade school, so visit her house to see the birthplace of the flag and the stories behind its making. Want to see the oldest—and cutest—residential street in America? Check out Elfreth’s Alley, dating back to 1702, and stop in the Elfeth’s Alley Museum to learn more about this National Historic Landmark. Walk a few minutes to the historic Christ Church, founded in 1695 and active today. Revolutionary-era attendees of the Episcopal house of worship included Ben Franklin, George Washington, John Adams, Benjamin Rush, and Sally Franklin Bache. 

Time Out tip:  If you're new to the city, use this tour as a way to get your bearings of the ciy. 

Rittenhouse Square

5.  Rittenhouse Square

  • Parks and gardens
  • Rittenhouse

Love people-watching? Rittenhouse Square is endlessly fascinating. This elegant space has a rich history and is one of the five open-space parks throughout the city originally planned by William Penn and built in 1683. Besides the daily parade of Philadelphians, there are often also summer concerts, holiday celebrations, art fairs, and farmers’ markets in and around the square.

Time Out tip:  Bag yourself a sandwich from any nearby café, secure your wooden bench and watch the world go by.

Love Park

6.  Love Park

If you are feeling particularly loved-up, take a trip down to Love Park, a public park in Center City. Also (officially) known as John F. Kennedy Plaza, Love Park has held its nickname since the 1970s, when Robert Indiana’s LOVE statue took residence in the area. 

Time Out tip:  A very Instagrammable spot, it is well worth a visit for a quick snap, but the surrounding area also deserves attention. 

Philadelphia City Hall

7.  Philadelphia City Hall

  • Center City

Wander through the halls of this stunning Beaux Arts-style building, and you'll be rewarded with incredible 360-degree views from the observation deck. If you'd like to learn more about the city's history, then no worries—tours and always running. Or, make a beeline for the renovated Dilworth Park, where you'll be able to ice skate in the winter or enjoy live music, barbecue, beer, and outdoor movie screenings in the summer.

Time Out tip:  Before you go inside, be sure to look up – the top of the building is home to a massive bronze statue of William Penn.

Fairmount Park

8.  Fairmount Park

At more than twice the size of Central Park, the sprawling Fairmount Park offers activities both outdoorsy and cultural. Not only is it home to several historic mansions and the intriguing Shofuso Japanese House and Garden (transplanted from a mid-century MoMA exhibition), but also America’s oldest zoo. 

Time Out tip:  After a day of exploring, stick around for an alfresco concert at the Mann Center. The outdoor performing arts center also hosts the Philadelphia Orchestra’s summer series each year.

Schuylkill River Trail

9.  Schuylkill River Trail

For a blissed-out walk, run, or bike ride, head to the Schuylkill River Trail, a 26.5-mile protected trail that begins in Center City, winds its way through Valley Forge National Historical Park and ends up in Chester County’s Phoenixville. The approximately 10-mile section through Philadelphia runs along the Schuylkill River Banks and—in addition to being a place for walking, running, and cycling—offers plenty of room for activities, like yoga and boarding in a skate park.

Time Out tip:  Moonlight kayaking tours and movie nights are also available during the sunny months. 

Franklin Square

10.  Franklin Square

This square, one of William Penn’s original five open-space parks, underwent a radical transformation in 2006 when Historic Philadelphia Inc. transformed the spot into a child’s heaven. Head here, and you'll find a beautiful fountain at the center (wow your fellow visitors with the fact that it is the oldest refurbished functioning water fountain in the U.S.), the carousel of your dreams that spins and projects jubilant music, a modern playground and gourmet burger vendor. 

Time Out tip:  There's even a Philly-landmark-themed miniature golf course. 

Eastern State Penitentiary

11.  Eastern State Penitentiary

  • Fairmount District

Once the world’s most expensive prison, today it houses intriguing history and information about criminal life. Both eerie and fascinating, it is probably not the best destination for those looking to revel in a peacefully zen afternoon stroll. A visit is completely unmissable—in part thanks to the engaging audio tour voiced by modern marvel and character actor Steve Buscemi. As you explore the facility, you'll be guided through over 150 years of prison life, learn about inmates (Al Capone is amongst some of the more famous criminals), and recount some notorious prison events (Slick Willie Sutton famously tunneled out in 1945).

Time Out tip:  Get stuck into the “hands-on” experiences on offer – including how to unlock an escape-proof cell door.

Philadelphia Zoo

12.  Philadelphia Zoo

  • Zoo and aquariums

Whatever your views are on animals in captivity, the Philadelphia Zoo’s Zoo360 project is giving its inhabitants more room to roam and a choice of locations to observe visitors. Pay attention; there might be a Sumatran orangutan checking you out from overhead. Though it’s the oldest zoo in the nation—opened in 1874—it is a leader in this innovative system to get those animals up high. Established in 2011, the zoo-wide project of animal exploration is built on a series of mesh wire trails about 20 feet above the ground. These trails have expanded to include paths and mazes, including the Big Cat Crossing, the Treetop Trail for monkeys and lemurs, Great Ape Trail for the largest primates, Meerkat Maze, and the Gorilla Treeway running 300 feet.

Time Out tip:  They host festivals here throughout the year, dedicated to anything from ale to Philly wine, food, and music. 

Philadelphia’s Magic Gardens

13.  Philadelphia’s Magic Gardens

  • Art and design
  • Bainbridge St Booksellers Row
  • price 2 of 4

You’ll know you’re approaching the entrance to Philadelphia’s Magic Gardens (a non-profit art museum and gallery on South Street) when you start to notice bits of colored glass and shards of broken pottery embedded into the facades of the buildings surrounding you. Artist Isaiah Zagar has been creating art on South Street since the 1960s, and this half-block collection is an immersive experience you won’t want to miss. 

Time Out tip:  A ticket for the walking tour includes a donation to keep South Philadelphia's art scene alive – so in our eyes, this is the best way to explore the grounds. 

The Rocky Statue and the Rocky Steps

14.  The Rocky Statue and the Rocky Steps

  • Monuments and memorials
  • Ben Franklin Parkway - Kelly Drive

Everyone has hummed Bill Conti's “Gonna Fly Now”, whether or not they've run up the steps of the Philadelphia Museum of Art. It is the  Rocky  theme, after all. If you've been living comfortably under a rock for the past half-century, you might want to brush up on movie history before sprinting up the 72 steps and raising your arms victoriously.  Rocky , the film starring Sylvester Stallone, is still as inspiring as it was when it won the 1977 Academy Award for best picture. At the foot of the steps, off to the north side, is a ten-foot statue of Rocky Balboa created for  Rocky III . 

Time Out tip:  Snap a selfie with the champ—but be prepared to wait in line for it.

Pat’s and Geno’s

15.  Pat’s and Geno’s

  • Markets and fairs
  • Bella Vista

Philadelphians take great pride in telling you where to eat—and where not to. A common refrain you’ll hear when the topic of the cheesesteak arises is that you should avoid Pat’s and Geno’s, the two most prominent griddlers in the game, due to their much-hyped status. Yes, the South Philly intersection of Ninth and Passyunk is touristy, but the neon-covered area known as “Cheesesteak Vegas” is also a cultural crossroads that boasts a delightfully immersive quality for out-of-towners. You don’t go there just to eat; you go for the experience.

Time Out tip:  A celebrity sighting is always on the cards. 

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Guide to Philly

45 Fun Things to Do in Philadelphia

Whether you’re exploring the city’s rich history, relaxing in the parks, or eating your way through the neighborhoods, there are many fun things to do in Philadelphia. The city is packed with world-class museums and beautiful outdoor spaces that will make you want to visit again and again, no matter what your interests.

As locals, we love the classic Philadelphia attractions (you know, the go-tos when company visits) as well as discovering the newest offerings that keep the city vibrant. While there are way too many places to list in just one article, we are highlighting spots not to miss whether it’s your first trip or you’ve lived here for years. Here’s a look at some of our favorite unique things to see and do in the city, including lots of places you won’t find included elsewhere.

Highlights include… Sample the cuisines of the world (and Philadelphia!) at Reading Terminal Market . Don’t miss the skyline views at Cira Green . See the city’s incredible street art on a self-guided tour, and appreciate the masterful artworks at the Barnes Foundation . See the ornate monuments of Laurel Hill Cemetery , and visit the house where Edgar Allan Poe wrote one of his most famous works.

Sample your way through Reading Terminal Market

People walking by sign for "Reading Terminal Market."

In Center City, Reading Terminal Market is not just a place to eat—it’s a slice of history. Opened in 1893, it’s the home of over 100 vendors who feed Philly locals and tourists every day.

You can find cuisines from all over the world, Pennsylvania Dutch specialties, flowers, produce, and more. Our favorite spots are Miller’s Twist for their buttery pretzels, Kismet Bialys for their onion-topped pastry, and Termini Brothers Bakery for pretty much everything. Truthfully, the list of vendors worth visiting is nearly endless.

Weekends and afternoons at the market tend to be very busy, so time your visit for a weekend morning, if you can. Otherwise, it’s best to have a destination or two in mind and to bring your patience along for the trip.

See Christ Church and its Burial Ground

Two headstones in a burial ground and a small colonial American flag.

If walls could talk, the ones at Christ Church would surely have a lot to say. The church, which was founded in 1695, welcomed presidents and signers of the Declaration of Independence among its worshipers.

The church building, which is located at 2 nd and Church, is open for tours. You’ll see the pews where the Penn family, Betsy Ross, and many other significant figures sat, along with other historical items. The educators who provide information inside seem to know everything possible about the church’s history and the people who worshipped here.

One of the main draws of Christ Church is its burial ground which is located (slightly confusingly) a couple of blocks away from the main church building at 5 th and Arch. The burial ground is the final resting place of many Revolutionary War figures and early leaders, including Philip Syng Physick, the father of modern surgery, and Benjamin Rush, the father of American psychiatry. It is also the site of Benjamin Franklin’s grave .

If you’re interested in history, it’s worth the $5 to walk around and peruse the headstones (dignitaries are well-marked). If you don’t want to pay to enter, however, you can see Franklin’s grave through a cut out in the wall.

Try a scoop at Franklin Fountain

Hand holding an ice cream cone in front of a sign for The Franklin Fountain.

A stop at Franklin Fountain is one of the most popular Philadelphia activities, no matter the season. On summer weekends , the line at its Old City location can stretch around the block. In the off-season, the crowds let up a little, but they keep people coming through the door with seasonal ice cream and soda flavors.

At Franklin Fountain, the ice cream comes in over 2 dozen flavors, including vanilla bean, peanut butter, and rocky road. Many flavors have an historic or local tie, such as their apple butter ice cream that includes local apples and apple butter from a Pennsylvania company founded in 1892. We’re big fans of everything here but particularly love their root beer float.

Wander Elfreth’s Alley

Home with green door, shutters, and a wreath covered with the colonial American flag.

Elfreth’s Alley is one of the most colorful places to visit in Philadelphia. Even though it’s only one block long, we always find ourselves wandering up and down multiple times looking at its brightly painted doors. There are often seasonal decorations, too, so there’s something new to see, even if you’ve visited before.

The oldest residential street in the US, Elfreth’s Alley is still an active neighborhood. The 32 houses here now were built between 1728 and 1836. When you visit, stop by the museum that occupies 124-126. It’s been restored to its Colonial-era appearance and tells the history of the street and the tradesmen who lived here when it was first built. Even if you only have one day in Philadelphia , Elfreth’s Alley is worth a stop.

Visit the Museum of the American Revolution

People looking at panels in a museum with a fake tree in the foreground.

Tracing the conflict’s origins in the 1760s through the final years of the war, the Museum of the American Revolution takes visitors on a storytelling journey of how America came to be. Thousands of artifacts, weapons, and original documents help bring the historic events to life.

The exhibits are designed to make the stories engaging for visitors of all ages and to examine points of view that have often been overlooked. We were particularly surprised to see the voices of Native and Black Americans included as well as women’s viewpoints. A dedicated theater houses the most magnificent artifact in the museum —George Washington’s original headquarters tent.

An average visit to the museum is around 2 hours, but there are lots of activities for kids and plenty of details for history lovers, so you could spend much longer if you want to go deep into the stories.

Tour Independence Hall

Two-story brick building with a clock tower and cupola.

Visiting Independence Hall is undoubtedly one of the top things to do here. The building where the Declaration of Independence and the U.S. Constitution were adopted has been restored to its 1776 appearance, so walking through it feels like the founding fathers just left. In fact, you’ll find one of George Washington’s chairs still in a prominent place.

The exterior of Independence Hall is impressive, but the 20-minute guided tour is what brings the building and the history that was made there to life. We’ve taken the tour multiple times and always learn something new. There are artifacts from the Constitutional Convention and the signing of the Declaration of Independence inside, and the Parks Service rangers can answer just about any question about the site.

Tickets are just $1 and can be booked in advance . In busy periods, make sure to leave plenty of time for the security screening before the tour. Conversely, if you visit in January or February advanced tickets aren’t necessary (except holiday weekends) because it’s the slow season.

See the Liberty Bell

The Liberty Bell with Independence Hall visible through the window.

Nothing symbolizes the city more than the Liberty Bell. Year-round, people line up to see this cracked symbol of liberty , which is one of the free places to see in Old City.

Inside, there are several temporary exhibits with rotating topics related to liberty but not necessarily about the bell itself like Civil Rights and the ratification of the 19 th Amendment that gave women the right to vote. If your time (or interest in the exhibits) is limited, you can make a beeline straight to the back of the building for the main attraction.

If you don’t want to wait in line or go through security, the bell is visible from outside the building 24/7 and is lit at night.

Stop by a local distillery

Two cocktails and a menu on a table in front of a mural showing a bottle of Bluecoat gin.

There are lots of fun craft distilleries to visit . Check out two of our favorites— Philadelphia Distilling’s modern tasting room in Fishtown or Manatawny Still Works newest location nearby. In Olde Kensington, you’ll find Stateside , a popular vodka distillery, or you can pull up a stool at New Liberty Distillery nearby. Four Humours Distilling also makes excellent cocktails, and they frequently have weekend food trucks.

Hang out at Washington Square Park

Monument with a statue of George Washington and an eternal flame in a park.

First established in 1682, Washington Square Park is a tree-filled park just one block from Independence Hall. In the middle of the park, the Tomb of the Unknown Revolutionary War Soldier monument includes a soldier’s remains, an eternal flame, and a statue of George Washington after whom the park was named.

There is lots of seating to enjoy nice weather, which makes Washington Square Park a great break if you’re visiting the sites of Old City. There are often different performances and pop-up events, so you never know what you might find.

See a show at the Mann Center

People in lawn chairs at the Mann Center, a music venue in Philly.

The Mann Center for the Performing Arts in Fairmount Park is one of the unique places to see a performance, and it’s our favorite venue in the summer. Open during the warmer months, the Mann Center offers a covered pavilion and a sprawling lawn that’s general admission.

The Mann hosts concerts from artists of every genre from Bob Dylan to Jill Scott. Plus, it is the summer home of the Philadelphia Orchestra, which plays traditional concerts as well as special events like playing the live score to movies like Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire. If you’re visiting for the popular Roots Picnic that happens every June, you’ll find that at the Mann, too.

Parking is free but limited. For easier access to an event here, consider taking the Mann Loop bus, which has 7 different stops in Center City.

Explore Shofuso Japanese House and Garden

Bridge across a pond surrounded by trees and plants.

The Shofuso Japanese House and Garden is an oasis. Just a few miles from Center City, the Japanese house, peaceful garden, and pond could not be a more relaxing place to spend time.

You can walk inside the traditional-style Japanese house and learn about homes in Japan—both their art and function—and how the Japanese live. When you’ve seen the inside, take time to explore the outside. The garden, koi pond, and 75-year-old weeping cherry tree are some of the prettiest things to see in Philadelphia.

Shofuso is enormously popular during cherry blossom season because of the blooming trees on the property and right outside its walls. They host a festival featuring food, dancers, and celebrations of Japanese culture.

Take a photo in LOVE Park

City square with a red LOVE statue in the center.

LOVE Park is a symbol of the city. Named for the red LOVE statue by Robert Indiana, the park is a popular photo spot for tourists and a place where locals stop at the afternoon food trucks.

Throughout the year, there are markets, pop-ups, and special events here, including the city Christmas market. In the summer, water jets provide a place for people to cool off, and there are often lots of chairs and tables to make eating lunch or just hanging out a welcoming experience.

See the art at Barnes Foundation

Paintings hanging in an art gallery with yellow walls.

One of the greatest collections of impressionist, post-impressionist, and early modern paintings in the world resides at the Barnes Foundation . The works of renowned artists such as Van Gogh, Cezanne, Picasso, Seurat, and many more grace the Foundation’s walls.

The masterpieces at the Barnes are displayed just as they were by the original collector Dr. Albert C. Barnes, who turned his home in Merion into an impeccable gallery. That means you’ll see the eclectic nature of his thinking in “ensembles” that are likely to position a Matisse painting next to a piece of Pennsylvania German furniture, a 14 th -century French chicken sculpture, and a spatula, for instance. It’s fascinating to see and never fails to surprise if you look closely.

It’s worth prioritizing a visit to the Garden Restaurant for lunch or brunch when you visit the museum . The tuna and watermelon crudo and grilled chicken salad BLT are particularly delightful. And, if you have more time to kill, the Rodin Museum is just a 3-minute walk. Admission there is donation based.

Walk through mosaics at Magic Gardens

Walls and walkway covered in multi-colored mosaics.

Located on South Street, Magic Gardens is a one-of-a-kind experience. We’ve loved it since the first time we came to Philadelphia before we moved here.

Artist Isaiah Zagar has created an environment decorated with fantastical mosaics and reclaimed items that combine to create one of the coolest places to visit in the city. Whether it’s broken plates, glass bottles, or bicycle spokes, every artwork features something unexpected. The gardens have tunnels, attention gettting walls, and tons of details in an open-air environment. Often, the interior features works of guest artists.

Once you’ve finished at Magic Gardens, take a walk around the streets of South Philly where you’re sure to see other remarkable Zagar creations.

Relax in Rittenhouse Square Park

People relaxing in a city park surrounded by high-rise buildings.

Fun fact : Rittenhouse Square was one of the five original squares created by William Penn in the 17 th century. Today, it is a tree-filled park surrounded by luxury apartments, shops, and restaurants. Its year-round Saturday outdoor farmers market and many special events such as the Rittenhouse Square Spring Festival are highlights. Take a little time to enjoy the neighborhood while you’re in the area or grab an outside seat at Parc and enjoy the people-watching.

Try a classic Philadelphia food

Sandwich cut in half on a plate with potato chips.

Most people visiting Philadelphia know that we’re known for cheesesteaks and Tastykakes, but have you heard of the other classic Philadelphia foods ?

There’s DiNic’s Roast Pork sandwich—an oven-roasted pork shoulder layered with provolone cheese and sautéed broccoli rabe—and the fried chicken and donuts from Federal Donuts. For something uniquely Philly, tomato pie (served room temperature) fits the bill.

Another classic sandwich, the Schmitter from McNally’s tavern is stacks of roast beef, grilled salami, cheese, tomato, and onion piled high on a Kaiser roll. You can enjoy one at the 100-year-old tavern in Chestnut Hill or at Lincoln Financial Field during an Eagles game.

Also not to be missed are water ice , Philly soft pretzels, and a litany of other delicious choices.

Sink into a hammock at Spruce Street Harbor Park

Chairs, tables, and people on colorful floating platforms.

Colorful hammocks, floating gardens, and lots of food options make Spruce Street Harbor Park one of our favorite places to go in Philly in the spring and summer. Plus, an outing here makes a perfect date night .

In the Marina at Penn’s Landing, the park has floating gardens and nets that let you hang out above the Delaware River. Throw in some crab fries, local craft brews, and water ice, and you have the makings for a fabulous time.

The seasonal park has great views along the river and is fun during the day. At night, thousands of LED lights provide vibrant splashes among the trees. We highly recommend it for a great day by the water.

Go on a rooftop bar crawl

Hand holding a cocktail in front of a skyline view.

Everyone loves a good rooftop bar . Fortunately, Philly has an extensive selection when it comes to places to have a cocktail or beer with a view.

We love Assembly for an upscale vibe on the roof of the Logan Hotel overlooking Logan Circle. It’s beautiful in the summer and often features an après ski or other winter theme in the colder months. The Continental Midtown , which has an indoor/outdoor bar that’s open year-round, has been a staple for decades—try the cheesesteak eggrolls and the Astronaut cocktail made with Tang. The Stratus Rooftop Lounge at the Kimpton Hotel Monaco is also a winner along with El Techo, also in Center City.

Get hands-on at the Franklin Institute

White marble statue of Benjamin Franklin in a rotunda.

Pennsylvania’s most visited museum, The Franklin Institute is packed with hands-on science exhibits and learning opportunities. From how the body works to the mechanics of playing sports and flying airplanes, the Institute introduces visitors to lots of engaging concepts. You’ll also find artifacts related to Benjamin Franklin himself, including part of a 270-year-old lightning rod he designed.

The institute is an educational place to take kids but is engaging for adults as well, particularly if you attend one of their Science After Hours events, which includes cocktails and entertainment.

See an exhibit at Carpenters’ Hall

Large brick building with a cupola surrounded by trees.

Carpenters’ Hall was the home of the First Continental Congress in 1774 where colonial delegates voted to take a stand against the King of England. Patrick Henry and other passionate patriots gathered here to debate the future of the colonies and the path to independence. The delegates’ chairs and the original banner from the 1788 Constitutional parade are displayed along with rotating exhibits. Because it’s part of Independence National Historical Park, it’s free to visit.

See the street art of the Mural Arts program

Mural of trees and flowers in an Impressionist style.

This city is full of street art. There are places in downtown where it feels like there is a mural nearly every other block. That’s because we have the nation’s largest public arts program—Mural Arts Philadelphia.

In its 35-year history, Mural Arts has created over 3000 murals, and they add more than 60 public art projects each year. Themes include history, local celebrities, the celebration of marginalized communities, and generally kick-ass art that make the whole city a canvas. Check out their tours to dig into the city’s street art culture.

Catch a show at World Cafe Live

World Cafe Live is one of the best places to visit for live music. With two listening venues and a restaurant and bar, it welcomes nationally known acts and up-and-comers. We’ve spent many nights watching some of our favorite bands on the stages here. World Cafe Live is also home to WXPN’s radio studios and the national radio show “World Cafe.”

In addition to the concerts and radio show, World Cafe hosts open mic nights, trivia games, and other special celebrations. Even if there’s no music, stop by the upper level for a bite to eat or something to drink near the University of Pennsylvania and 30th Street Station.

Get outside at Parks on Tap

People at an outdoor beer garden.

In the warmer months, Parks on Tap is a traveling beer garden that visits different parks to introduce residents and visitors to the beautiful outdoor spaces throughout the city. Each pop-up event offers food and drinks in a relaxed, family- and pet-friendly environment. In a city and state with strict liquor laws, Parks on Tap is a unique opportunity to enjoy a cocktail and snack in an outside space.

Check out their schedule to see where they are.

Visit the Mummers Museum

Mummers, who dress in unique, colorful costumes and entertain the city during their famous New Year’s Day parade, are the keepers of one of Philadelphia’s most storied traditions. The Mummers Museum teaches visitors about the roots of the celebration and even lets you dress up as a Mummer.

Explore Otherworld

Mythical creature illuminated in black light.

In northeast Philadelphia, Otherworld is a playground for the imagination . This fanciful place occupies over 50 rooms filled with interactive elements and creatures from a different universe. A bit like the famous Meow Wolf attractions, the entire space is packed with unexpected sights and visual tricks whether it’s a giant monster whose mouth you enter or bright cow udders to pull on.

As you make your way through, keep an eye out for secret passageways and clues to unlock more information. Staff members stationed throughout may be helpful.

If you need a snack before or after your visit, head to Asad’s Hot Chicken nearby. Don’t be dissuaded by the location in a gas station parking lot—the sandwiches are delicious.

Enjoy Cherry Street Pier

View of Ben Franklin Bridge from inside Cherry Street Pier.

Cherry Street Pier is an ideal place to go when the weather is nice. The repurposed pier is home to artists’ workshops and special events, including lots of craft and food markets throughout the year. The pier offers a spectacular view of the Delaware River and hosts a seasonal beer garden with food vendors. If you’re visiting the sites of Old City, this is a unique spot for a lunch break or drink.

Walk through the monuments at Laurel Hill Cemetery

Tomb with a sculpture of a woman opening the lid to let the spirit out.

It might seem odd to put visiting a cemetery on a list of what to do in Philadelphia, but Laurel Hill is an uncommon cemetery. When it opened in 1836, it was designed as a scenic spot overlooking the Schuylkill River where visitors could enjoy the scenery.

There are more than 30,000 monuments to peruse, some of which are featured on special, expert-led tours of the grounds. You’ll see graves and monuments for city leaders, pioneers across industries and social movements, and even a signer of the Declaration of Independence . Did we mention there is even a headstone for Adrian Balboa, Rocky’s wife? Laurel Hill is a must see.

See the gardens at Morris Arboretum

Landscaped garden with trees, flowers, and a fountain.

Morris Arboretum & Gardens of the University of Pennsylvania is a 92-acre garden in the Chestnut Hill neighborhood . Thousands of native, rare, and majestic plants fill the grounds, so a visit here makes you feel like you’ve been transported to the countryside. There are manicured gardens, sculpture gardens, and the unique Out on a Limb exhibit that takes visitors 50 feet up into the treetops without climbing.

The arboretum offers natural beauty year-round, but it’s particularly glorious for cherry blossoms in the spring and fall leaves, when you’ll also see scarecrows around the grounds. In the winter, the Holiday Garden Railway is a popular attraction that regularly sells out.

We’re members of the arboretum, so it’s always on our list of recommendations when people are looking to explore beyond downtown.

Tour the Penn Museum

Marble sphinx displayed in a museum.

Remarkable objects from around the world make up the collection of the Penn Museum . Together, they trace the history of humanity from the earliest cities to today.

As you wander the museum’s galleries, you’ll find everything from the largest Egyptian Sphinx in the Western hemisphere to a bull-shaped lyre made of gold and lapis from Ancient Mesopotamia. One of the most remarkable pieces is a headdress made of gold leaves and lapis from Ur (present-day Iraq) that’s around 4500 years old.

The collections are fascinating, and many are interactive, encouraging visitors to imagine themselves within the cultural context of the exhibits. In a move we haven’t seen in many other museums, the displays note the often problematic ways in which artifacts were acquired and ask visitors to consider that as they learn about the meanings behind the objects.

Visit the Johnson House Historic Site

Stone home with a blue historical marker in the foreground for "The Johnson House."

The Johnson House Historic Site in Germantown is one of the most fascinating Black history sites in the city. Its owners were devout Quakers who offered their home as a station along the Underground Railroad, a pivotal spot for formerly enslaved people making their way north. Tours of the house include information about the Johnson family, the Quakers and the anti-slavery movement, those who sought freedom here, and the people who risked their lives to help.

Guided tours of the house include information about the Johnson family, the Quakers and the anti-slavery movement as well as lots of history about the Philadelphia region. Expect a vivid account of what those escaping from slavery endured while fleeing north as you explore the historic home.

See Graffiti Pier

Concrete structure covered with graffiti and a spray painted portrait of a man.

An abandoned pier along the Delaware River in Port Richmond has been transformed into an informal, urban open air gallery at Graffiti Pier. Depending on when you visit, you might find artists at work, people perusing the murals, or bands filming music videos. Or maybe all three—it’s just that kind of place.

Sip your way through craft breweries

Flight of beer glasses on a table in front of a mural of wheat labeled "Evil Genius."

Philadelphia has been called one of the best beer cities in the world. There are dozens of craft breweries to choose from, including some of the top breweries in the country like Yards and Evil Genius . Try one of the signature pizzas and a beer at Dock Street South , cozy up with a house brew at Bar Hygge , grab a sidewalk table at Brewery ARS to enjoy an imperial stout, or try one of the many other options around the city.

Tour Stenton

Georgian style 2-story brick house with rows of windows.

Stenton is one of the most historic buildings in the city. Built in the 1720s, it was the home of James Logan who was the city’s colonial mayor, Chief Justice of the Pennsylvania Supreme Court, and William Penn’s right-hand man. The house stayed in the family for nearly 200 years. Despite all that pedigree, Stenton is an under-the-radar attraction.

Today, the home in North Philadelphia is an historic house museum with furnishings and exhibits that tell the story of life in the city before and after the Revolution. Visitors can tour the house and wander through the incredible garden. (Note that the museum is by appointment only January through March.)

Learn the history of Mother Bethel AME

Statue of a man outside a church.

Mother Bethel AME Church in Old City is the mother church of the first Black denomination in America. Dating to 1787, it was built on the oldest piece of land in the country that has been continuously owned by African Americans.

An important part of Black history in the city, Mother Bethel was a stop on the Underground Railroad and welcomed abolitionists such as Frederick Douglass and Lucretia Mott. Visit to see its beautiful stained-glass windows and the tomb and artifacts related to Rev. Richard Allen, the church’s founding minister. Tours of the church are available Tuesday through Saturday from 10am to 3pm by appointment.

Take in the view from Bok Bar

Couple at a table overlooking the Philadelphia skyline.

If you’re looking for an unparalleled view of the city skyline alongside good food and drinks, head to Bok Bar . This unusual space is at the top of the former Bok Vocational High School, which was completed in 1938. The building retains many of the features you’d expect in such a setting, like lockers and a gymnasium, which makes it even more fun to explore.

Spending an afternoon or evening here is one of the best things to do in Philadelphia in the summer and early fall, and we make it as often as possible. If you have a chance, check out their special events, which include drag brunches, rooftop yoga, and music.

For another intriguing view, head across the hall from Bok Bar to Irwin’s , a fabulous Italian restaurant. Their expansive rooftop patio looks out on South Philly.

See wildlife at John Heinz National Wildlife Refuge

A stone’s throw from Philadelphia International Airport isn’t the first place you might expect to see a wildlife refuge. Interestingly, however, the John Heinz National Wildlife Refuge is the largest freshwater tidal marsh in Pennsylvania and a natural retreat from the city. 

The 1200-acre site has more than 10 miles of walking trails, boardwalks for wildlife observation, and opportunities for canoeing in the sunlit Darby Creek. They even lend binoculars and fishing rods for free! Keep a lookout for blue herons, turtles, swans, and lots of other animals.

Wander through The Woodlands

Bright fall foliage over gravestones in a cemetery.

The historic Woodlands Cemetery and Mansion sits on 54 acres in University City. It features an 18 th -century Neoclassic mansion surrounded by the graves and monuments of over 32,000 souls. Across the grounds are over 700 historic trees and plants that date from the earliest days of America.

The Woodlands is a beautiful place to visit any time of the year, and it’s one of the best places to see fall foliage in Philadelphia . The organization that runs the property aims to ensure that it is a community hub rather than only an historic site. As a result, there are often fun things happening–check their events calendar for their regular markets and craft fairs, happy hours, and musical performances.

See Rittenhouse Town

Stone building beside a small waterfall surrounded by fall foliage.

We drove by Historic Rittenhouse Town dozens of times before we stopped, lured in by its setting among the trees, which were showing off their fall colors at the time. In a spot right off Lincoln Drive, this collection of buildings is the remains of a community that included the first paper mill in North America, which was built in 1690.

Today, six historic buildings remain in the enclave. Tours of the structures are available by appointment, but many special events hosted here give a glimpse into the historic spaces, including facilities that host cooking demonstrations and paper-making workshops. To service the many people who hike and bike along the Wissahickon Trail here, you’ll also find PAPERtrail , a bike shop and cafe. It’s worth some time to wander around and appreciate the natural beauty and history of the place, even if you don’t take a formal tour.

Tour the Edgar Allan Poe House

Large drawing of a man writing at a desk displayed in a house museum.

Author Edgar Allan Poe lived in Philadelphia for six years, but this rowhome in Northern Liberties is the only one of his residences that still stands. Part of the National Historical Park, it’s free to visit.

The three-story home is believed to be the location that inspired Poe to write The Black Cat . Though the Poe House is unfurnished, there is lots of information about how Poe, his wife, and his mother-in-law likely used the home when they lived here and about the author’s prolific career. Illustrations throughout the house make it easier to envision what the house would have looked like, but it helps to have a little imagination. If you’re a lover of street art, don’t miss the Poe mural just outside.

Stop by Cira Green

Skyline of Philadelphia.

I’ve never encountered a space quite like Cira Green. One of the more unique things to do, spending an afternoon at this rooftop park lets you get outdoors right in the middle of the city. The sprawling space offers skyline views 12 stories above University City. It feels like you’re practically at eye-level with some of the tallest buildings around.

During much of the year, the park hosts special events, often projecting movies and sports on its massive screen. Visitors can also enjoy the offerings of Sunset Social while hanging out at the park. The fast-casual menu at the rooftop restaurant and bar includes salads, sandwiches, cocktails, and other drinks.

Enjoy FDR Park

Two women having a picnic beside a lake with a boathouse in the distance.

FDR Park is a great place for almost anything you want to do outdoors. There are walking paths and picnic and recreation areas as well as a skate park. There are also wetlands and waterways that have led the Audubon Society of Pennsylvania to say the park is one of the best places to go in Philadelphia for bird watching . For two years, the park hosted the outdoor version of the Philadelphia Flower Show, and Tinseltown Holiday Spectacular is a new addition during the Christmas season.

One of the park’s most popular attractions is the Southeast Asian Market that takes place weekends from April through October. Over 70 vendors sell food and items from Cambodia, Vietnam, and beyond. The food is incredible, and the atmosphere makes it a must-visit. Some of the top items to try include beef skewers and lemongrass cheesesteaks, but everything here is worth sampling.

Tour Grumblethorpe house

Historic stone home seen from a lush garden in the backyard with a large tree on the right side.

For 160 years, the historic house known as Grumblethorpe was home to the Wister family. Built in 1744, British General James Agnew set up residence here during the Revolutionary War. He was later shot and died in the front parlor, landing Grumblethorpe on the list of haunted spots in the city .

The house is now a museum, part of the Historic Germantown district. Its garden—built on fertile soil in the Schuylkill Valley—was a working farm from the time the house was built. Today, it supplies produce for the Grumblethorpe Youth Farmstand, which sells its bounty at the house every weekend in the summer.

Explore Eastern State Penitentiary

Red barber chair in the ruins of a concrete prison cell.

Eastern State Penitentiary was one important prison. The institution housed thousands of inmates in its 140-year history, and the site, which is now a preserved ruin , was the model for 300 prisons on five continents.

Closed in 1970, Eastern State went 20 years without maintenance, leading to crumbling walls, fractured concrete, and cellblocks that are open to the elements and plants. The penitentiary has since become a museum but was kept in its ruined state. Exhibits and an audio tour tell the history of the building, the controversies around incarceration, and the stories of many former prisoners. It’s a fascinating place to explore and is particularly interesting if you enjoy photography because of the dilapidated state of much of the building.

Walk through Miracle on 13th Street

Sign in Christmas lights for "The Miracle on South 13th St.: Merry Christmas."

Miracle on 13th Street is one of the most fun things to see at Christmas . Every year, the residents in the 1600 block of South 13th Street transform this block into a festival of lights , decorations, and all things holiday kitsch. Sometimes you get the feeling that the neighbors are trying to outdo each other with decorations, all for the benefit of the visitors who come each season.

If you’re in town in the winter, visiting Miracle on 13th Street should certainly be on your list. Going during the week is best if you’d like to avoid crowds. Expect parking to be a challenge in the area.

Shop at Christmas Village

Hand holding a blue mug labeled "Christmas Village" with blurry Christmas lights in the background.

Each year between Thanksgiving Day and Christmas Eve, the Christmas Village pops up in LOVE Park. The groups of merchants feature decorations, gifts, and food in an environment designed to make Center City feel like a German Christmas market. Grab a sausage and some mulled wine or try the popular raclette while you shop. Just across the street in Dilworth Park, you’ll find even more artisan vendors at the Made in Philadelphia Market. It is absolutely worth a visit if you’re in town at the holidays.

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Why are The National Constitution Center, the Art museum & The Franklin Institute not included? The. Constitution Center is a true gem!

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Top 10 things to do in Philadelphia

Priscilla Blossom

Sep 25, 2023 • 7 min read

Independence Hall in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

Philadelphia has tons of top things to do, including rich history and great food © f11photo / Shutterstock

Affectionately known as the City of Brotherly Love and Sisterly Affection, Philadelphia has top things to do for sports fans, museum-goers and everyone in between.

The large, bustling city is known for its historic significance in cementing the country's democracy as much as it’s known for being the land of Philly cheesesteaks (and yes, you must try one). Catering to all the senses, Philly does not disappoint with its smorgasbord of top-notch dining and cocktail spots, open-air cafes, public art, shopping, culture and nightlife.

1. Get a history lesson at Independence Hall

Whether or not you're a history buff, you have to check out the red-brick, Georgian-style structure of  Independence Hall . As the birthplace of the Declaration of Independence (hence the name) and the US Constitution, there’s no denying the importance of this landmark.

Take a guided tour or watch live reenactments of the signing of the Declaration. If you’re visiting in summer, look for one of the storytelling benches just outside, where Historic Philadelphia’s storytellers give you a quick history lesson as part of the Once Upon A Nation program . Independence Hall sits on the 45-acre  National Historic Park , which is also home to the Liberty Bell and the Benjamin Franklin Museum .

Planning tip:  Independence Hall is free to visit, but you still need to secure a ticket ahead of time, which has a $1 handling fee. Tours are also limited, so book tickets in advance.

Six neighborhoods to explore in Philadelphia

People sitting and walking on the steps to the Philadelphia Museum of Art, made famous in the Rocky movie

2. Find inspiration at the Philadelphia Museum of Art

The Philadelphia Museum of Art is the city’s biggest cultural draw, home to more than 240,000 works of art from countries and cultures around the world. This impressive museum is made up of the main building, the Rodin Museum, the Ruth and Raymond G. Perelman Building, and Mount Pleasant and Cedar Grove Park Houses, which cover more than 1 million sq ft. The hours will fly by as you try and explore it all, from East Asian art and European sculpture to contemporary art and photography.

The museum’s 72 steps were made famous by actor Sylvester Stallone in the movie  Rocky . Tap into your inner boxer and race to the top –don’t worry, you won’t be the only one doing it.

Making the most of Philadelphia's museums

3. Root for local sports teams at Xfinity Live!

Philly’s a sports lover’s paradise, boasting pro football, baseball, basketball and hockey teams, so find a good spot to catch the games with local fans while you're in town. Xfinity Live! , an arena-like sports bar, has five bars and three homegrown restaurants:  Chickie’s and Pete’s (known for its Philly-famous crab fries),  Geno’s Steaks (one of the two types of cheesesteaks you’ll need to try while in town) and  Lorenzo and Sons Pizza (large thin-crust pizza slices).

The complex is conveniently located between Citizens Bank Park, Lincoln Financial Field and the Wells Fargo Center, and it's the perfect location to watch all Philly sports teams on the big screen. Join in with fans as they cheer for their favorite teams. If you’re feeling adventurous, try riding the bull at PBR: A Coors Banquet Bar. How long do you think you can hold on before being tossed off?

4. People-watch in Dilworth Plaza

Dilworth Plaza is the perfect place to people-watch and plan your next Philly adventure (or simply give your feet a well-deserved rest). With 4 acres of renovated lush green lawns, a fountain, a cafe and an outdoor roller skating rink in the spring and summer months that morphs into an ice skating rink in the fall and winter, there’s always something (and someone) to observe.

Located at the doorstep of  City Hall , Dilworth Plaza hosts a variety of events, from yoga and outdoor musical concerts to dance performances and outdoor movie screenings. The park offers free wi-fi for you to stay connected on the go.

Detour: Looking for a bird’s-eye view of the city or a fun spot for a selfie? Book a City Hall Tower Tour , which takes you 538ft up in the air to Philly’s highest open-air observation deck.

5. Find a little bit of everything on South Street

Known for its bustling and lively atmosphere, South St is a 14-block stretch of clothing boutiques, bars, restaurants, music venues, art galleries and other shops, and it offers more opportunities to people watch, shop and experience local culture.

You can indulge in gyros, cheesesteaks, and Caribbean, Indian and Mexican cuisine.  MilkBoy bar offers creative cocktails and live musical performances from local bands. Catch a show at the  TLA (Theater of Living Arts), a favorite local venue for 40 years. It's mostly standing room with a tiny VIP section.

Planning tip : Take public transit or a ride-hailing service because parking can be a challenge.

The best free things to do in Philadelphia

Customers shopping at stalls at the Reading Terminal Market in Philadelphia

6. Give your tastebuds a treat at Reading Terminal Market

Smell freshly baked cakes and breads from Beiler's Bakery, munch on Creole flavors from Beck's Cajun Cafe and sip locally roasted coffee at Old City Coffee – it’s all possible while wandering Reading Terminal Market , which offers an extensive variety of cuisines from more 80 merchants.

Reading was originally made up of two markets, the Farmers Market and the Franklin Market. Today, more than 100,000 people visit the market weekly. In 2018, the market celebrated its 125th anniversary, making it one of the largest and oldest public markets in the country.

Planning tip: Given its status as a major tourist hotspot, visit during off-hours to avoid extra-long lines.

7. Shop 'til you drop at Fashion District Philadelphia

If updating your wardrobe sounds like your dream vacation activity, the 1.1-million-sq-ft Fashion District Philadelphia will bring you pure shopping bliss. You’ll find national favorites, such as Sephora, Pandora, Columbia and Torrid.

Even if shopping isn’t for you, the renovated establishment also includes a movie theater, bowling alley and amusement center complete with billiards, karaoke, 250 arcade games, and  Wonderspaces , a 24,000-sq-ft space of mesmerizing, immersive art installations for the entire family.

A barber chair sits in a decaying prison cell at Eastern State Penitentiary in Philadelphia

8. Contemplate incarceration at Eastern State Penitentiary

The infamous Eastern State Penitentiary  is known for having housed mobsters like Al Capone, William “Slick Willie” Sutton and Morris “The Rabbi” Bolber, but roughly 85,000 other people were also kept in solitary confinement.

It’s a little easier to get in these days – and nowhere near as terrifying. You have several options to view the historic prison: book a walk-through during the day, a virtual tour or, if you’re brave enough, a night tour. Eastern State Penitentiary is considered to be one of the most haunted sites in the country.

Planning tip: A number of artists have installations on view at the penitentiary, so check them out on your visit.

9. Snap pretty photos of Boathouse Row

If you appreciate architectural delights, check out Boathouse Row , west of the Philadelphia Museum of Art. Fifteen houses make up the historic row of social and rowing clubs and even the Navy. Many of the area collegiate teams practice rowing on the Schuylkill River.

You can take a walk, jog or rent a bike to take in the beauty of the 12-acre area of lush lawns and walking and bike trails. During the holiday season, the houses are decked out in colorful lights.

Planning tip:  Strings of lights outline the 19th-century boathouses at night, but the lighting system is undergoing maintenance until the end of 2023, so visit during the day until the upgrade is complete.

10. Immerse yourself in Black culture at the African American Museum in Philadelphia

Four levels of interactive exhibits and objects commemorating the history of Black Americans and their ancestors make up the  African American Museum in Philadelphia . In 1976, the Smithsonian created the museum for the bicentennial celebration, making it the first institution created for the purpose of preserving and showcasing African-American history and culture. It’s conveniently located two blocks from Independence Hall.

Check out Audacious Freedom: African Americans in Philadelphia 1776–1876 , a permanent display that focuses on the contributions made by Philadelphians of African descent. You can view images, historical records and much more.

Planning tip: You must choose a time to visit, and four time slots are available per day. Check the calendar to see what other events, such as lectures, film screenings and workshops, are happening to decide the best day and time to visit.

Explore Philadelphia's Black history at these 8 sites

This article was first published Aug 19, 2021 and updated Sep 25, 2023.

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25 Things to Do in Philadelphia and Best Places to Visit

Home | Travel | North America | United States | Pennsylvania | Philadelphia | 25 Things to Do in Philadelphia and Best Places to Visit

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If you are looking for things to do in Philadelphia , I’ve got you covered, because I’ve been living in this city for over four years. Are you ready to discover the places to visit in Philadelphia that you shouldn’t miss?

One or two days will be enough to see the most important sights in Philly. If you have more time, I recommend 5 days to visit all 25 tourist attractions in Philadelphia that I recommend in this article.

Philadelphia, also known as the City of Brotherly Love , is one of the oldest and most historic cities in the USA. The Declaration of Independence was signed there, and it even served as the capital of the United States between 1790 and 1799. Located right between the two major cities, it’s one of the closest cities to New York City , only an hour and a half away and two and a half hours from D.C. Without a doubt, Philly is one of the most important cities in the United States, and visiting it is one of the best things to do in Pennsylvania .

Before I make suggestions on what to do in Philadelphia , if you’re going to visit several attractions that charge entrance fees, I recommend the Sightseeing Flex Pass (it covers up to 7 attractions for an unlimited time) or the Sightseeing Day Pass (a pass for 1 to 5 days to visit all the attractions you want).

1. Liberty Bell, the main attraction in Philadelphia

The Liberty Bell , which bears the inscription “Proclaim Liberty Throughout All the Land Unto All the Inhabitants thereof,” is an icon of U.S. independence and freedom. It is believed that on July 4, 1776, (some say July 8), the ringing of this bell, located at that time in Independence Hall, marked the reading of the Declaration of Independence, hence its great historical importance.

Visit the Liberty Bell, things to do in Philadelphia

With the British trying to take control of the city during the War of Independence, Congress and much of the population left Philadelphia, taking the bell with them for safekeeping. Nobody knows when the bell’s iconic fracture appeared, but in any case, once it returned to the city, it became a symbol of freedom and the union of all Americans.

It’s currently on display at the Liberty Bell Center, across from Independence Mall, where you can view it for free. It’s surely one of the most iconic places in Philadelphia .

2. Visit Independence National Historical Park, a must-do in Philadelphia, PA

Independence National Historical Park , also known as “America’s most historic square mile”, is where you’ll find several famous Philadelphia attractions , including the Liberty Bell.

Here, you can see Independence Hall , a Gregorian-style building constructed in 1753 to house the Pennsylvania colonial government. The most important historical moment that took place in this building was the debate and signing of the United States Declaration of Independence by the nation’s Founding Fathers. You must book a guided tour to go inside; same-day passes are free but sell out quickly, and advance tickets are just $1.

Independence Hall, a must see in Philadelphia

Some other important buildings at Independence National Historical Park include Congress Hall, Old City Hall, and the National Constitution Center. If you love history, some nearby places to visit in Philadelphia include the Edgar Allan Poe National Historic Site and the Museum of the American Revolution. This walking tour will take you to all the major landmarks, as well as some hidden historical places you might miss otherwise. But in case you want to visit the area at your own pace, you can book here your ticket to the Museum of the American Revolution.

There is a lot to see in this area, so if you need a break, stop by the Independence Beer Garden next to the Liberty Bell Center.

3. The Philadelphia Museum of Art & Rocky Statue

Beautiful on the inside and outside, the Philadelphia Museum of Art is a must-see in Philadelphia . In the museum, you’ll find everything from European cathedral facades to a Japanese teahouse. The museum is enormous, and you can travel through Asia, Europe, and America by going from one room to another. The permanent collection includes works by masters such as Picasso, Dalí, Van Gogh, and Rubens, and there are always temporary exhibits on rotation.

The museum is a popular place to visit in Philadelphia among tourists and locals. Besides the stunning collection of artwork, many come here to run up the Rocky Steps that were made famous in a famous Rocky scene. It’s a rite of passage for first-time visitors to the city, and you’ll get a great view of the Ben Franklin Parkway from the top of the stairs.

The Philadelphia Museum of Art, places to visit in Philadelphia

Next to the base of the steps, you’ll find the Rocky Statue , another iconic Philly landmark. Sylvester Stallone himself actually donated the statue to the City of Philadelphia, and it’s one of the most popular spots for a photo op. Also, if you’re a big Rocky fan, you’ll love this Rocky tour , which takes you to some iconic locations from the movies.

For all this, visiting the Art Museum is the best thing to do in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania . Plus, it’s free on Wednesdays starting at 5:00 p.m. and on the first Sunday of each month.

4. Eastern State Penitentiary, a famous place to see in Philadelphia

The Philadelphia Penitentiary , which operated from 1820 to 1971, is one of the most famous prisons in the world. Here, some of the most notorious criminals were imprisoned, such as bank robber Willie Sutton and Al Capone, who was here for a few months.

Eastern State Penitentiary, places to go in Philly

Currently, only ruins remain, but pavilions and watchtowers have been preserved and it’s considered a National Historic Monument. Its haunting atmosphere has made it one of the things to do in Philly that you can’t miss. Here, the current incarceration system was refined and served as an example for more than 300 prisons built at the time.

If you plan to visit it, I recommend buying your ticket in advance here to enjoy a $3 discount and a guided tour. However, you can get an even bigger discount when using the Sightseeing Flex Pass or the Sightseeing Day Pass .

5. Reading Terminal Market, a cool place to go in Philly

The Reading Terminal Market is one of my favorite places in Philadelphia and a place I recommend you visit, especially if you’re hungry, as it’s one of the coolest places to eat in Philly .

This market opened in 1893 inside the Reading Railroad Company terminal. It currently has more than 100 food stalls from all over the world as well as local specialties and handicrafts. Some vendors are descendants of the early Reading Terminal Market workers. I especially love the homemade donuts from the Amish stall; you must try them!

Reading Terminal Market, things to do in Philadelphia PA

There is a food court area in the center of the market, there are tables and chairs, so you can go here as a group and have everyone try different foods. While the market is open every day, I would try to avoid Sundays because most of the traditional stalls, like the Amish ones, are closed.

No matter what you’re craving, I’m sure you’ll find it at this top Philadelphia site . And if you’re a foodie, consider this Philly food tour , which goes to five popular eateries, including Reading Terminal Market.

6. Find the perfect Philly Cheesesteak, a fun thing to do in Philadelphia

Speaking of food, I can’t forget the Philly cheesesteak , the city’s most iconic food item, and what makes Philly one of the best cities in the US for foodies . You can find it everywhere, including at Reading Terminal Market. However, connoisseurs will tell you that if you want to eat an authentic Philly cheesesteak, you must go to Pat’s King of Steaks , where this famous food was created in 1930.

Locals will argue about who has the best cheesesteaks, and Pat’s biggest rival is Geno’s Steaks , which is located just across the street on Passyunk Avenue. The lines here can be long, so if you aren’t set on eating at Pat’s or Geno’s, check out Jim’s on South Street or Dalessandro’s in Roxborough, two other notable cheesesteak joints to visit in Philadelphia .

Eat a Philly Cheesesteak, things to do in Philly

If you want to try some of the best cheesesteaks in Philly, I recommend this segway tour , which includes five tastings while learning about the history of the city.

While we’re talking about food, I suggest indulging in some other Philadelphia specialties, such as roast pork sandwiches, hoagies, soft pretzels, water ice, and tomato pie.

7. City Hall, a must-see in Philadelphia

Philadelphia City Hall is the largest municipal building in the United States, and its iconic statue of William Penn, the founder of the city, sits atop its tower. At 548 feet tall, City Hall was the tallest building in the world when it was built in 1901 and, because of an unwritten rule that no other structure could exceed the William Penn statue, it was the city’s tallest building until 1987.

The building is beautiful, and I’m not just saying that because we got married there; it’s one of my most recommended places to visit in Philly . The National Historic Landmark even became a National Historic Civil Engineering Landmark in 2006.

Philadelphia City Hall, a visit to do in Philadelphia

You can visit City Hall and get incredible 360º views from the top of its tower by either purchasing a self-guided Tower Pass ($10) or taking a 2-hour guided tour to learn about the tower’s historical, artistic, and architectural details. This tour, which is included in the Sightseeing Flex Pass and the Sightseeing Day Pass , also includes a visit to the observation deck.

While you’re at City Hall, be sure to check out Dilworth Park on the western side of the building. The outdoor square is a popular place in Philly for people-watching and hanging out. I also recommend crossing the street to visit LOVE Park , where you’ll get an excellent view of the Parkway and the Art Museum. Finally, the Masonic Temple of Philadelphia , the nation’s largest, is an architectural masterpiece and just a minute’s walk from City Hall.

8. Penn’s Landing, a place with lots of things to do in Philly

One of the coolest places to go in Philly is Penn’s Landing . It’s comprised of several piers that stretch along the Delaware River and you can always find something going on here. You’ll find outdoor spaces for festivals and concerts, such as Great Plaza , Rivers Casino , the artsy Cherry Street Pier, and Race Street Pier .

Penn’s Landing is also home to the RiverLink Ferry, the historic Moshulu ship and floating restaurant, and the Independence Seaport Museum , where you can learn more about the Delaware River’s maritime history. This ticket includes admission to the museum and aboard the USS Olympia , and it’s a fun thing to do in Philly with kids .

Spruce Street Harbor Park, the best place to go in Philadelphia in summer

Also, the Blue Cross RiverRink hosts winter and summer festivals with all kinds of amusements. If you visit in the summer, you must stop by Spruce Street Harbor Park , a colorful spot with hammocks, board games, food vendors, and lovely views of the Delaware River Waterfront.

If you follow the boardwalk below Ben Franklin Bridge, you will arrive at Morgan’s Pier , my favorite place to have a beer on a hot summer day. And if you’re up for it, you can walk the hour to Graffiti Pier , a sort of urban art gallery and one of the most unique places in Philadelphia.

9. Fairmount Park, a beautiful place to visit in Philadelphia

Fairmount Park is one of Philadelphia’s largest urban parks where you can find events like outdoor concerts and festivals, as well as public art and historic homes. I lived in this area for two years, and it’s an amazing place to visit in Philly . I especially love that it’s full of flora and fauna, including groundhogs, raccoons, deer, and, in the summer, fireflies.

Besides, Fairmount Park offers plenty of fun things to do in Philadelphia . Right behind the Art Museum, you can walk along the Schuylkill River and see the Fairmount Water Works, the lovely Azalea Garden, and the Fountain of the Sea Horses.

Boathouse Row, places to go in Philadelphia at night

A bit further along, you can see Boathouse Row , an important rowing spot on the Schuylkill River. For the best view, use the Martin Luther King, Jr. Bridge to get to the opposite shore so you can see all fifteen boathouses. They have special LED lights, so I suggest going at sunset to see the spectacular display.

Other popular attractions in Fairmount Park include the Shofuso Japanese House and Garden ; the Centennial Arboretum, which hosts the annual Cherry Blossom Festival; the Glendinning Rock Garden; and the Please Touch Museum , an awesome Philly attraction for kids . Along with its 1908 Woodside Park Dentzel Carousel, the museum has interactive displays that invite children to learn through play and experience.

10. Franklin Institute & other museums on the Ben Franklin Parkway

The Franklin Institute opened in 1824, making it one of the country’s oldest science centers. Named after Founding Father and avid scientist Benjamin Franklin, the museum has interactive exhibits for children and adults to learn about electricity, insects, anatomy, and Newton’s laws. There is also a giant walk-through model of the human heart, a planetarium, and an IMAX theater. Admission isn’t cheap, but it’s included in the Sightseeing Flex Pass and Sightseeing Day Pass .

Franklin institute, the best place to go in Philadelphia

The Franklin Institute is just one of the museums on the Ben Franklin Parkway , which connects City Hall with the Art Museum. Right next to the Franklin Institute, is the Drexel University Academy of Natural Sciences . Along with dozens of dioramas, there is a butterfly garden and a dinosaur exhibit with a complete skeleton of a T-Rex. It’s one of the most popular places to see in Philadelphia , and admission is also included in the sightseeing passes.

Another important museum is the Rodin Museum , the largest collection of Rodin sculptures outside of Paris. Here, you can see famous sculptures like The Thinker , The Kiss , and The Gates of Hell . Admission is “Pay What You Wish”, so it’s a fun, cheap thing to do in Philadelphia.

There are lots of other things to see along the Parkway, including Logan Square, the Free Library of Philadelphia, and the Barnes Foundation. As you stroll down the avenue, you’ll notice the sidewalks are lined with over 100 flags, which represent countries with significant populations in Philadelphia.

11 . The Betsy Ross House, another historical place to go in Philly

Another historical site in Philadelphia that I recommend is the Betsy Ross House , home of the seamstress who made the first flag of the United States. During a visit with George Washington, Mrs. Ross was asked to create a new flag that would unify the 13 colonies, hence 13 stars and 13 stripes on the original flag.

The Betsy Ross House may be small, but it’s a reminder of the seamstress’s sacrifices to the country; she was the widow of two soldiers, and she was forced to house English military servicemen during the War of Independence.

The little home is close to the National Historical Park of Independence and it’s included in the Sightseeing Flex Pass and the Sightseeing Day Pass , so consider adding it to your list of things to do in Philadelphia.

The Betsy Ross House, a historical place to visit in Philly

11. The Betsy Ross House, another historical place to go in Philly

Besides, the Betsy Ross House is just a 3-minute walk from Elfreth’s Alley , the city’s quintessential historic street and the oldest residential street in America. Its 32 Georgian-style red brick houses are a perfect representation of 18th-century Philly.

This cobblestone alley once housed artisans and, with the arrival of the Industrial Age, was inhabited by Russian, Italian, and Irish factory workers before being abandoned. In the 1930s, the city raised funds to rehabilitate the houses, and today it’s an essential place to visit in Philadelphia .

12 . South Street, a unique place to visit in Philadelphia

South Street is one of the most multicultural streets in Philadelphia. Here, sounds and flavors from all over intermingle. If you feel like listening to live music, trying food from all continents, discovering alternative art galleries, watching independent-style movies, or just being amazed by the diverse mix of pedestrians, touring South Street is a fun thing to do in Philadelphia.

South Street, things to do in South Philly

12. South Street, a unique place to visit in Philadelphia

If I had to define South Street in three words, they would be punk, bohemian, and alternative. This area is the best place to visit in Philadelphia if you want to enjoy the nightlife and an explosive mix of cultures.

While you’re here, grab a Philly cheesesteak at Jim’s Steaks or saunter into one of the many bars and cafes. Art aficionados will love browsing the art galleries and independent boutiques. The retail places here range from skate and sex shops to antique and record stores. You’ll also find a couple of live music venues and the Magic Gardens, which I’ll talk about next.

13. Philadelphia’s Magic Gardens, one of the coolest Philly attractions

The Magic Gardens is one of the most popular attractions in Philadelphia. Before I visited it, I thought it wasn’t worth the $10 entrance fee, considering that much of this mosaic and ceramic garden can be seen from the outside. In fact, you can find samples of this art throughout the South Street area, although I assure you that once inside the Magic Gardens, it’s impossible not to be surprised. It is well worth paying admission, as it is a must-see in Philly .

Philadelphia’s Magic Gardens, a beautiful place to go in Philly

It was the life’s work of local artist Isaías Zagar, who used art as a means of treating his depression and bipolar disorder. And he didn’t just use ceramic and glass. Virtually any object could be placed strategically to create harmony in the midst of chaos: rusty bicycle wheels, mirrors, glass bottles, cutlery, sculptures … It’s also a very fun place to visit in Philadelphia with kids since, at the entrance, they will give you a list of hidden objects that you must find in the psychedelic maze, which was my favorite part of this masterpiece.

Zagar also embellished facades throughout the neighborhood, which, until the late 1960s, was a less-affluent area. In fact, thanks to him and other artists and activists who were in charge of the “ South Street Renaissance ” project, they were able to cancel the construction of the road that would have eliminated the street and, with it, all the art on the facades of the neighborhood.

14. Rittenhouse Square, a famous square you should visit in Philly

Rittenhouse Square is located in the center of the most luxurious neighborhood in Philadelphia and is one of the best areas for shopping and fine dining. It’s a beautiful place to take a relaxing stroll or hang out with friends, and it’s one of the best places to stay in Philly .

Rittenhouse Square, a popular place to visit in Philadelphia

It was one of the first five squares planned by William Penn, and throughout history, it has accumulated exquisite sculptures, which are scattered throughout the park. Perhaps the most popular is the “Lion crushing a snake,” although you will see many others.

If you want to stay in one of the most famous places in Philadelphia , this is the area for you. Besides being a lovely urban green space, Rittenhouse Square hosts events throughout the year, including a Spring Festival, a Fine Art Show in the fall, and the annual Christmas Tree Lighting.

15. Franklin Square, a great place to go in Philly as a family

Like Rittenhouse Square, Franklin Square is one of Philadelphia’s five original plazas and is located very close to Independence National Historical Park, making it a must-see place in Philadelphia .

If Rittenhouse is a refined square designed for relaxation, Franklin Square is best-suited for family fun. It has a miniature golf course featuring the main monuments of the city, a picnic area, a carousel, swings, the renowned SquareBurger, and a large central fountain that was built in 1838.

Franklin Square, an important place to go in Philly

Some of the city’s most popular annual events are also held in the plaza, such as the Chinese Lantern Festival during the summer, where, in addition to the impressive light display, you can enjoy contortionists, stunts, martial arts, and traditional dances. Additionally, the festival has tons of stalls where you can buy local crafts or taste Chinese food.

The Franklin Bridge, which crosses the Delaware River and connects Pennsylvania to New Jersey, starts at Franklin Square. You can cross the bridge on foot, although it’s quite a long journey. On the other side is Camden, a neighborhood that has improved in recent years and still has a reputation for being somewhat unsafe. However, I have been there quite a few times (by car) and have never had any problems. The views of the Philadelphia skyline from New Jersey are wonderful, especially at sunset. Besides, you will be able to visit the USS New Jersey, one of the most interesting things to do in NJ.

16. Schuylkill River Trail, a lovely attraction in Philadelphia

I’ve already mentioned Philadelphia’s Delaware River, but there is another river that runs through the city. The Schuylkill River (pronounced SKOO-kill) is smaller, but just as worthy of a visit, particularly its waterfront promenade, the Schuylkill River Trail .

The trail extends for over 75 miles, although there are two sections I recommend visiting. The first goes from South Street to the Museum of Art and cuts through University City. This area is full of green spaces, bike lanes, deck chairs, etc. In short, it’s one of the best things to do in Philadelphia in summer .

From here, you can walk along the Schuylkill Banks Boardwalk , which goes across the river and connects to the South Street Bridge. From this bridge, you will have amazing sunset views of Philly’s skyscrapers.

Schuylkill River Trail, a beautiful place to visit in Philadelphia

The other area I recommend is the one that goes from behind the Philadelphia Museum of Art to Laurel Hill Cemetery , passing through Fairmount Park , an area I mentioned earlier.

It’s also worth noting that you can follow the Schuylkill River Trail north to Manayunk and Roxborough, two artsy neighborhoods that are perfect for shopping and bar-hopping.

17. Mütter Museum, a curious museum to visit in Philadelphia

The Mütter Museum belongs to the Philadelphia College of Physicians and is one of the most bizarre museums I have ever visited. For this reason, it is often known as the “freaky museum. “ It contains a large collection of pathological and anatomical samples, old medical instruments, and vintage wax models.

Mütter Museum, places to visit in Philadelphia

Some of the weirdest things you will see in this museum are sections of Einstein’s brain, a collection of human skulls, malignant tumors, the joined liver of the famous Siamese twins, Chang and Eng Bunker, boats of human skin, and photographs of medical abnormalities.

It’s certainly not a museum for everyone, but if you’re curious, visiting it is one of the best things to do in Philadelphia . It’s also included in the Sightseeing Flex Pass and in the Sightseeing Day Pass .

18. One Liberty Observation Deck, where to go in Philly for the best views

One Liberty Observation Deck is a nearly 883-foot-tall platform located on the 57th floor of the One Liberty Place building, one of the tallest and most beautiful skyscrapers in the city. From here, you can see all of Philadelphia from a bird’s eye view through its 360º glass deck.

One Liberty Observation Deck, fun places in Philly

Although some think that the views are more beautiful from the city hall tower, keep in mind that One Liberty Deck is taller and fully covered, so on windy days, it’s the best option. I also like the views from here more because you can see City Hall and Two Liberty Place, the other skyscraper that makes up Liberty Place, from above. These two skyscrapers are beautiful, with a look reminiscent of the Chrysler Building in New York, with its triangulated cusps and blue mirror-glass facades.

This experience is also included in the Sightseeing Flex Pass and Sightseeing Day Pass , so if you are interested in one of the most popular tourist attractions in Philly , don’t hesitate to explore the city from above!

19. Mural Arts Philadelphia, more great stuff to do in Philly

Something you will certainly see a lot of while visiting Philly is its nearly 4,000 murals . Painted by artists of all ages, ethnicities, and backgrounds, these murals often reflect the changes each neighborhood experienced and the concerns of its residents.

The Mural Arts Philadelphia tour, things to do in Philadelphia

These works are made possible by Mural Arts Philadelphia , the largest public art program in the country that focuses on connecting artists with communities. If you are interested in urban art, you’ll love seeing these murals, and I recommend this free self-guided tour to help you find the most popular ones. I assure you that you won’t be disappointed, and you’ll probably find some cool places in Philly you wouldn’t have found otherwise. Some of my favorite murals in the city are Philadelphia Muses , Garden of Delights , and Legacy .

20. Browse the Italian Market and Chinatown, another fun thing to do in Philadelphia

The Philadelphia Italian Market is one of the oldest and largest open-air markets in the country. It originated in South Philadelphia in the 19th century, and although it has changed a lot since then, it’s still an interesting place to visit in Philly . The stalls sell meat, fish, vegetables, fruits, and other imported products. In addition, there are many gourmet shops with cheeses, oils, chocolates, and pasta brought from Italy.

Italian Market, free things to do in Philadelphia

A few years ago, some of the stalls were still run by descendants of the first Italian immigrants to the neighborhood. However, nowadays, Italian restaurants share sidewalks with Mexican taquerias, Vietnamese restaurants, and Korean barbecue places, among others. If it weren’t for the colorful decoration on the facades and the posters of the original grocery stores that still remain, you wouldn’t be able to tell that this is the Italian quarter of the city. Mind you, it’s still the best place to eat pasta in Philly! And with this walking tour, you will learn more about it.

If you prefer Asian food, then I recommend the Chinatown neighborhood , which is in the heart of the city and stands out for its beautiful Friendship Gate. This neighborhood also appeared in the 19th century, serving as a nucleus for Cantonese immigrants who arrived in the city. Today, there are countless Asian restaurants to choose from, and it’s the best place to go to enjoy Asian flavors and seasonal street festivals that celebrate Asian heritage.

21. Shofuso Japanese House and Garden, another must-see in Philly

If you visit Fairmount Park , I highly recommend going to the Shofuso Japanese House and Garden , one of the coolest places in Philadelphia . It is a traditional 17th-century Japanese-style tea house surrounded by lovely gardens.

Shofuso Japanese House and Garden, a quietest place in Philly

The house was built in 1953 and was on exhibit at the MoMa in New York until it was permanently installed in Philadelphia in 1958. This is when the first gardens were designed, and they’ve since been renovated to create a small piece of Japan in the middle of Philly.

The Shofuso Japanese House and Garden truly is a peaceful haven that all ages will enjoy. Here, you can feed the beautiful koi fish that live in the pond, stroll through a meticulously maintained Japanese garden, watch a demonstration of a traditional tea ceremony, or relax next to a waterfall fountain. It’s one of my top things to do in Philly , and I’m sure you’ll love it here!

22. Wissahickon Valley Park, a natural place to visit in Philadelphia

If you need a break from city life, I suggest going to Wissahickon Valley Park . This area encompasses over 2,000 acres of forests, creeks, trails, and a wooded gorge, so it’s the perfect thing to do in Philly when you need a nature fix.

Wissahickon Valley Park, best things to do in Philly

Declared a National Natural Landmark in 1964, the park has over 50 miles of hiking, biking, and horseback riding trails, and dozens of bird species migrate here every year. Most people prefer the flat trail along Forbidden Drive, which prohibits motor vehicles. From there, you can take several other paths that lead to over a dozen historic bridges, cottages, and stables. Some notable landmarks include the Glen Fern mill, Thomas Mill Covered Bridge, and the Wissahickon Memorial Bridge.

I also recommend the Wissahickon Creek Gorge Loop Trail , a heavily-trafficked 9.4-mile route that takes you to the wooded gorge and a beautiful waterfall. While you’re enjoying the scenery, keep an eye out for blue herons, box turtles, salamanders, red foxes, and other creatures. For all these reasons, it’s easy to see why over a million people visit the park every year.

23. Hike in Valley Forge National Historical Park, a nice thing to do around Philly

Valley Forge is an important historical site near Philly , and it’s considered a National Historical Park .

Here, the troops of the Continental Army, with George Washington at the forefront, spent the winter of 1777 to 1778. In the midst of the American War of Independence and with the British army gaining ground, Washington tried to find a refuge where soldiers could shelter from Pennsylvania’s harsh and humid winter. Hunger, cold, and various diseases plagued the troops, but their solidarity and union were what gave the United States its independence.

Valley Forge National Historical Park, cool spots in Philly

Today, you can visit some buildings that served as a refuge for the soldiers, as well as cannons and trenches that were left after the American Revolution. We live right next to Valley Forge, and it’s one of our favorite places to walk close to home, so we go quite often. Here you can see all the hikes around the park. The Joseph Plumb Martin route is a very popular trail because it takes you to most of the historic places. However, if you want to see more nature, I recommend the Mt. Misery Trail.

24. Longwood Gardens, one of the best attractions near Philadelphia

Longwood Gardens , founded in 1906, is one of the world’s leading horticultural gardens. It could not be left off our list of things to do in Philadelphia, despite being located about 45 minutes from the city center. It has 40 interior and exterior gardens, occupying an area of 1,077 acres comprised of greenhouses, forests, meadows, and gardens.

This is a place where you can get lost in art and design with seasonal collections; the spring one stands out to me because it’s full of magnolias, tulips, and azaleas. The Christmas display is also wildly popular and includes orchids, camellias, palm trees, and lots of lights.

Longwood Gardens, one of the most beautiful gardens in Philadelphia

You can also stroll through forests full of ancient trees and fauna, such as deer, butterflies, beavers, and birds, or through its well-kept gardens with beautiful fountains. Longwood Gardens looks spectacular any time of year, so I recommend visiting if you the time, as it usually takes about 3 or 4 hours to see everything.

If you like botanical gardens, but this seems a bit far away, I also recommend the Morris Arboretum , an educational center that combines art and science, all in the midst of thousands of exotic woody plants. All the eye-catching flora is complemented by a beautiful rose garden, and the arboretum is only half an hour from the city.

25. Visit Amish country, an interesting thing to do near Philadelphia

Last but not least, visiting Amish Country is one of the most popular things to do near Philadelphia , and it’s well worth the drive.

The Amish are a religious group that stands out for their rejection of modern technology and the use of electricity, which is why they practically live like they’re in the 17th century. The second-largest Amish congregation in the United States lives in Lancaster County, just an hour and a half from Philadelphia. You might hear the area be referred to as Dutch Country or the Pennsylvania Dutch. This is a nod to the Amish, who are descendants of early German immigrants to Pennsylvania and, as such, primarily speak German.

Visit an Amish settlement, the best excursion to do in Philadelphia

If you visit the outskirts of Lancaster, particularly along Highway 30 or 340, you will almost certainly come across horse carriages; Amish don’t use cars to get around. In addition, their clothing is very unique. Men wear long beards and hats, and women wear black or white head coverings called kapps.

Of course, if you want to take a trip back in time, visiting Amish Country is the best thing to do near Philadelphia . If you do it on your own, I recommend stopping by the Amish Farm House Museum to learn more about the ways of life and cultural aspects of this society. If you don’t have your own vehicle to get there, I recommend this tour .

And, with that, you have the best things to do in Philadelphia ! I hope you found it interesting and I gave you a better idea of what to do in Philly . To help you plan your visit, you can check our guide on where to stay in Philadelphia . Also, here is a map of Philadelphia that I am sure you’ll find useful.

Enjoy your trip!

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  • Last Updated On
  • October 2, 2023

17 Top Philadelphia Attractions — Best Tourist Spots!

Claire Allard

Philadelphia, known for its historical riches, is a paradise for anyone who has a penchant for culture and history.

But, guess what?

The City of Brotherly Love is far from being stuck in its beguiling and glorious past.

With a wave of new attractions, it’s a city that lures all types of travelers.

So, check out our roundup of the top Philadelphia attractions, to start planning your vacation here.

1. The Liberty Bell Center

the liberty bell center

101 S Independence Mall W Philadelphia, PA 19106 (215) 965-2305

Weighing 2,080 pounds, this historical piece was recast in Philadelphia in 1753 to adorn the Independence Hall.

Today, it’s one of the main attractions in Independence National Historical Park.

Why We Recommend This Tourist Attraction

The Liberty Bell is a timeless symbol of independence and freedom in America.

Open to the public for free, this icon also has a fascinating display of videos, photos, and documents explaining the bell’s facts and myths.

Even with the long queues, this site is still an absolute must see.

We recommend that you visit it early in the morning to avoid the crowds.

Also, you may view this historic marvel from the Old City’s Market Street.

Recommended Hotel Nearby: The Ritz-Carlton, Philadelphia

Related: Things to Do in Philadelphia

2. Independence Hall

independence hall

Chestnut Street between 5th and 6th Streets Philadelphia, PA 19106 (215) 965-2305

Built in 1753, this UNESCO World Heritage site is the centerpiece of the famed Independence National Historical Park.

The Independence Hall is an absolute treat for history buffs.

From 1775 to 1783, this historic building was the primary meeting spot of the Second Continental Congress.

What’s more, it was in this Georgian-style building where the Constitution and the Declaration of Independence were signed.

Tickets to this attraction are free and are given on a first-come, first-served basis.

So, if you have a flexible schedule, stop by the visitor’s center before 9 AM to secure a spot.

Recommended Hotel Nearby: The Rittenhouse Hotel

Related: Things to Do in Philadelphia with Kids

3. The President’s House

the president's house

6th St &, Market St Philadelphia, PA 19106 (215) 965-2305

Since 2010, this open-air exhibit has been one of the most popular attractions in Philadelphia.

The President’s House is a free outdoor exhibit built on the previous location of John Adams and George Washington’s offices.

As you visit this outdoor museum, you’ll see looped videos highlighting the lives of 9 people who worked here during Washington’s era.

Don’t let its appearance deceive you!

Sure, it’s just a frame or a remnant of a former president’s house.

But, there’s a lot to learn about George Washington and his slaves at this house.

Just take time to read the informative displays to uncover the history of this house.

Recommended Hotel Nearby: Sonesta Philadelphia Downtown Rittenhouse Square

Related: Water Parks Near Philadelphia

4. One Liberty Observation Deck

one liberty observation deck

1650 Market St #5700 Philadelphia, PA 19103 (215) 561-3325

At 883 feet high, this observation deck will reward you with stunning panoramas of the city’s local landmarks and skyscrapers.

Need to take a break from the non-stop history lessons?

Then, don’t forget to include this observation deck in your list of places to see in Philadelphia.

From this vantage point, you’ll enjoy a bird’s eye view of the Ben Franklin Bridge and other points of interest in Philly.

Want to learn more about the landmarks seen from this deck?

You might want to join the fun and informative 1-hour tours available from 11 AM to 4 PM every Friday, Saturday, and Sunday.

Recommended Hotel Nearby: Club Quarters Hotel in Philadelphia

Related: Best Restaurants in Philadelphia

5. Fairmount Park

fairmount park

Reservoir Dr, Philadelphia, PA 19119 (215) 988-9334

Encompassing 2,052 acres, this large municipal park overflows with fun for everyone.

From museums to a world-class zoo, this park is home to some of the city’s finest historical, natural, and cultural attractions.

Furthermore, the park features playgrounds, picnic areas, hiking paths, tennis courts, pools, and gardens.

Forget the park’s quintessential sights and attractions!

See a different side of the park by visiting its underrated yet cool attractions near you.

We recommend visiting the Concourse Lake, Carousel Farm, and Pavilion in the Trees.

Recommended Hotel Nearby: Kimpton Hotel Palomar Philadelphia, an IHG Hotel

Related: Beaches Near Philadelphia

6. Please Touch Museum

please touch museum

4231 Avenue of the Republic Philadelphia, PA 19131 (215) 581-3181

Opened in 1976, this 2,200-square-foot facility has tons of hands-on exhibits that spark your children’s passion for learning.

The Please Touch Museum is a kiddie wonderland.

Not only does it provide fun activities for the little ones, but it will also unleash their creativity.

Not to mention, it hosts educational weekly events, including science experiments and story time.

Don’t miss the opportunity to visit the Please Touch Garden.

It’s a refreshing experience for adults and has some informative displays about herbs and plants for the little ones.

Recommended Hotel Nearby: Sofitel Philadelphia at Rittenhouse Square

7. Philadelphia Museum of Art

philadelphia museum of art

2600 Benjamin Franklin Pkwy Philadelphia, PA 19130 (215) 763-8100

Home to 240,000 pieces, this museum draws around 793,000 visitors annually.

The Philadelphia Museum of Art is truly one of the best tourist attractions in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

Besides its exquisite Greek architecture, the museum is also well-known for its timeless “Rocky” scene.

While the grounds and facade of the museum are magnificent, you should spend more time inside the facility.

Once you’re inside the museum, you’ll uncover a plethora of outstanding works by Picasso, Van Gogh, and Matisse.

Recommended Hotel Nearby: The Notary Hotel Autograph Collection

Related: Best Hotels in Philadelphia for Families

8. Philadelphia City Hall

philadelphia city hall

1 S Penn Square Room 121 Philadelphia, PA 19107 (267) 514-4757

At 548 feet high, this city hall held the title of the world’s tallest building from 1894 to 1908.

Even if you’re not into history, the City Hall is still a noteworthy entry on your list of places to go in Philadelphia.

A majestic 14-acre masonry masterpiece, this building has impressive sculptures and an observation deck with awe-inspiring views.

After visiting the City Hall, head to the nearby Dilworth Park where you can enjoy outdoor movies and live music in summer.

In winter, visitors can go ice skating in this renovated park.

Recommended Hotel Nearby: Loews Philadelphia Hotel

9. Fashion District Philadelphia

fashion district philadelphia

901 Market St Philadelphia, PA 19107 (267) 534-7705

Established in 2019, this retail destination occupies 3 blocks in the Center City.

In the mood for a little retail therapy?

Do yourself a favor, and visit Fashion District Philadelphia.

Set right in the heart of the city, this retail nirvana offers 800,000 square feet of established brands and fast-fashion favorites.

Splash an extra element of art and color to your shopping adventure by visiting Wonderspaces.

With an engaging gallery of extraordinary art, this attraction will give you a bevy of eye-popping travel snaps.

Recommended Hotel Nearby: The Windsor Suites Philadelphia

10. The Barnes Foundation

the barnes foundation

2025 Benjamin Franklin Pkwy Philadelphia, PA 19130 (215) 278-7000

Part of the Parkway museum district, this educational institution promotes the appreciation of horticulture and art.

The Barnes Foundation shelters some of the largest collections of Post-Impressionist and French Impressionist paintings.

In fact, it boasts the largest collection of art by Renoir and showcases 60 majestic paintings by Matisse.

Traveling on a budget?

You can visit the museum for free on the month’s first Sunday to experience its family-friendly entertainment and gallery viewings.

Recommended Hotel Nearby: Kimpton Hotel Monaco Philadelphia, an IHG Hotel

11. Philadelphia’s Magic Gardens

philadelphia's magic gardens

1020 South St Philadelphia, PA 19147 (215) 733-0390

Spanning 3 city lots, this non-profit organization opened in 2008 to showcase exceptional folk art.

Philadelphia’s Magic Gardens is perfect for those who adore quirky attractions and eclectic artworks.

With its 2-story sculpture garden and indoor galleries, this fantasy-like museum dazzles with its eye-popping mixed media art.

Extend your artsy stroll by exploring South Street.

A haven of street art, this strip is filled with stunning creations by local and international artists.

Recommended Hotel Nearby: Philadelphia Marriott Old City

12. Rodin Museum

rodin museum

2151 Benjamin Franklin Pkwy Philadelphia, PA 19130 (215) 763-8100

Managed by the Philadelphia Museum of Art, this treasure trove shelters a fantastic collection of art by Rodin.

Art connoisseurs will have a blast appreciating the exhibits inside this museum.

As you wander around this space, you’ll uncover more than 120 items crafted by Roding, like plasters, marbles, and bronzes.

Spend some time checking out the masterpieces at its outdoor sculpture garden.

Some of our favorites here include The Gates of Hell and The Thinker.

Recommended Hotel Nearby: The Bellevue Hotel, in the Unbound Collection by Hyatt

13. John F. Kennedy Plaza

john f. kennedy plaza

Arch St Philadelphia, PA 19102 (215) 686-1776

Nicknamed the LOVE Park, the 0.5-acre public plaza is beloved for its Instagram-worthy statue.

The LOVE Park is, for most Instagrammers and photographers, one of the highlights of Philly.

From the renowned LOVE sculpture to a water feature, this park is filled with beautiful sights at every turn.

Beat the crowds and long lines to the LOVE statue by arriving early at the park.

Afterward, venture to the nearby Levy Park to see Philly’s Holocaust memorial.

Recommended Hotel Nearby: Cambria Hotel Philadelphia Downtown Center City

14. Reading Terminal Market

reading terminal market

51 N 12th St Philadelphia, PA 19107 (215) 922-2317

Sitting in the Market East District, this epicurean nirvana has been operating since 1892.

The Reading Terminal Market is one of the best places to visit in Philadelphia, especially for foodies.

Featuring over 80 vendors, this market will give you a taste of the local produce, coffee, and baked goods.

Even better, the market lets you sample dishes from around the world.

The market can be overwhelming, with the numerous vendors and options available.

If you’re short on time, we recommend the baked treats at Beiler’s Bakery.

You can also check out the po’boys at the notable Beck’s Cajun Cafe.

There are also food tours that will help you maximize your visit to this market.

Recommended Hotel Nearby: Hilton Philadelphia at Penn’s Landing

15. Morris Arboretum

morris arboretum

100 E Northwestern Ave Philadelphia, PA 19118 (215) 247-5777

Resting in Chestnut Hill, this 92-acre arboretum is one of the most Instagram-worthy Philadelphia tourist spots and sites.

There’s so much to do at this arboretum.

For kids, there’s an intricate miniature train exhibit featuring a string of small railcars that motor around a garden.

Of course, it also has an elaborate rose garden, a romantic gazebo, sculptures, and rolling hills.

Looking for a family-friendly activity?

Intrepid parents and kids will both adore the Tree Adventure, which is a walkway set 50 feet above the ground.

Recommended Hotel Nearby: Chestnut Hill Hotel

16. Independence National Historical Park

independence national historical park

Philadelphia, PA 19106 (215) 965-2305

Known as “America’s most historic square mile”, this 55-acre park features some of the most famous tourist places in Philadelphia.

The Independence National Historical Park is the best place to do some Philadelphia sightseeing.

Within the park, you can explore dozens of historical wonders.

And, the best part is, you can enjoy these attractions for free.

After a day filled with history, stop by the Independence Beer Garden, which is situated across the Liberty Bell.

With its lite bites and first-rate beers, it’s a nice place to relax and hang out.

There are also checkers and chess boards if you’re in the mood for a quick game.

Recommended Hotel Nearby: Warwick Hotel Rittenhouse Square

Related: Best Family Resorts Near Philadelphia

17. Philadelphia Zoo

philadelphia zoo

3400 W Girard Ave Philadelphia, PA 19104 (215) 243-1100

Open since 1874, this 42-acre park is the first and oldest zoological park in America.

No list of the top Philadelphia attractions for families is complete without this renowned zoo.

With over 1,000 creatures, there’s a ton to keep you and the little ones entertained for the whole day here.

Plus, it has a plethora of captivating exhibits, including the African Plains and Water is Life.

Pack your own snacks, drinks and lunch.

Although you can buy food inside the zoo, you can save money and time by bringing your own goodies.

Recommended Hotel Nearby: Wyndham Philadelphia-Historic District

Related: Things to Do Near Philadelphia

Map of Philadelphia Attractions

Philadelphia Tourist Attractions: The 17 Best Tourism Spots for 2024

top philadelphia attractions

  • The Liberty Bell Center
  • Independence Hall
  • The President’s House
  • One Liberty Observation Deck
  • Fairmount Park
  • Please Touch Museum
  • Philadelphia Museum of Art
  • Philadelphia City Hall
  • Fashion District Philadelphia
  • The Barnes Foundation
  • Philadelphia’s Magic Gardens
  • Rodin Museum
  • John F. Kennedy Plaza
  • Reading Terminal Market
  • Morris Arboretum
  • Independence National Historical Park
  • Philadelphia Zoo

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Let the Philadelphia Official Visitors Guide assist you in your exploration of the city.

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From the historic charm in Old City to the vibrant art scene in Fishtown, each neighborhood offers a unique atmosphere and cultural experience.

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Whether traveling by plane, train, bus, or car, visitors will find it’s easy to get to (and get around) Philadelphia.

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Visit one of Philadelphia’s official Visitor Centers to discover all there is to see and do throughout the city, purchase tickets to attractions, shop for gifts, and more.

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A tree mural on the side of a brick building is seen from a car park in Philadelphia. Three people are walking towards the mural with parked cars on either side of them.

How to spend a day in Philadelphia, finding nourishment for body and soul

With a burgeoning food and art scene, and diverse neighbourhoods to explore, there’s plenty to fill a day in Philly.

The East Coast city of Philadelphia is often overlooked in favour of its big-hitting neighbours – New York to the north and Washington, DC to the south. But visitors here are rewarded with fantastic food, whether at a market stall or high-end restaurant; strollable, mural-lined streets; and a lively cultural scene, from art galleries to jazz bars. Here’s how to make the most of your time in the city.

8am: Breakfast at Reading Terminal Market

As the market tends to be less busy first thing, it’s a great place for breakfast. Slide into one of the kitschy booths at Down Home Diner for country-style cooking like grits and eggs, or head to El Merkury for Central American street food such as Salvadorian pupusas : cornmeal pockets stuffed with meat, veg or cheese. Pick up a coffee and one of Beiler’s Doughnuts namesake pastries for the road — its 50 toppings include M & Ms and Fruity Pebbles cereal.

10am: Go on a mural art tour

The mural capital of the world, Philadelphia is home to over 4,000 public art works, created as part of Mural Arts Philadelphia. Initially an anti-graffiti initiative, the programme uses panels of wall-hung parachute cloth to channel the creativity of local people from all walks of life. Mural Arts Philadelphia’s itineraries include a 90-minute route through Center City’s ‘Mural Mile’. Don’t miss Saligman’s Philadelphia Muses, a modern interpretation of the classical muses, or contributions from artists Shepard Fairey and Amy Sherald, known for their portraits of the Obamas.

1pm: Browse and snack at Yowie

A sedate redbrick exterior on South Street conceals this colourful boutique hotel and lifestyle shop. Incense by upmarket brand Agaric Fly scents the small-but-considered space, where founder Shannon Maldonado curates a collection of work by independent artists and designers. Check out the clothing and interiors range before heading to Yowie’s all-day cafe, Wim. A seasonal salad — plus one of its signature rosemary orange espresso tonics — should see you through until dinner.

An old cobblestone street with a red brick house with red doors, and red window shutters.

2pm: Race through city history

Philadelphia’s Old City (part of its Historic District) is home to an extraordinary density of National Historical Landmarks, including the Liberty Bell, a hallowed symbol of US independence. Head 15 minutes east to stroll the cobbles of America’s oldest residential street, Elfreth’s Alley (1705): a picturesque row of Federal and Georgian houses that are still occupied today. Then take a cab to the Philadelphia Museum of Art, featured in the hit 1976 film Rocky . Every day, countless visitors copy Sly Stallone’s titular pugilist by racing up the 72 stone steps of its East entrance.

4pm: Explore Fishtown

Historically the centre of Philadelphia’s fishing industry, this neighbourhood on the Delaware River has become a hub for young creatives. Follow Frankford Avenue and you can’t go wrong — it strings together an apparently endless supply of cool small businesses. Pick up a coffee at premium roaster Persimmon , then disappear inside the cavernous Jinxed : a shoppable museum stocking everything from antique maps to Tiffany-style lamps. Head north past various vintage stores until you hit eclectic and super-friendly boutique Downerss , which sells women’s clothing and interiors objets .

( A guide to Philadelphia, the northeast US city stepping out of NYC's shadow .)

6pm: Drink Pennsylvania wine

Urban winery Mural City Cellars sources its grapes from a 300-mile radius of the city and commissions local artists to design the labels. Winemaker and sommelier Nicholas Ducos is often on hand to recommend a fresh new drop to go with a build-your-own cheese or charcuterie board. Its whites and rosé are particularly strong, as are bubbles like ‘pét-nat’ (‘Pétillant Naturel’, French for ‘naturally sparkling’). Its warehouse bar on Frankford Ave is buzzy on weekends.

8pm: Have dinner at Laser Wolf

One of the city’s most coveted tables is at this Israeli-style shipudiya (Hebrew for ‘skewer house’) in Fishtown that’s named after the butcher in Jewish musical Fiddler on the Roof. Its menu is packed with meat cooked over charcoal — plus flavour-packed vegetables like shawarma-spiced cauliflower and royal trumpet mushroom shishlik (skewers). An open kitchen adds to the convivial atmosphere, as do huge windows and high ceilings strung with paper lanterns and trailing plants. Don’t miss out on characterful cocktails like rum punch Charred for Life.

A glass platter with matching steel bowls around the edge with different food items in each, and is sitting on a blue houndstooth table.

10pm: Catch a show at Chris’ Jazz Cafe

Responsible for helping to create legends such as John Coltrane, Dizzy Gillespie and Billie Holiday, Philadelphia has serious jazz pedigree — so finish up with a nightcap at one of Center City’s best-loved live music venues, which this year celebrates its 35th year. Low-lit and wood-panelled, the space has a sense of reverential intimacy, with draught beers and old-school spirits served at the bar (as well as a stage-side set menu). Students from the city’s many music schools fill the audience, and the performers are often real raconteurs.

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Governor Shapiro, Lieutenant Governor Davis Bring Great American Getaway RV Tour to Philadelphia to Kick Off the Nation’s 250th Anniversary Celebrations, Visit Historical Sites and Promote Small Businesses

  • May 22, 2024

On the second day of the Great American Getaway RV tour, Governor Shapiro and Lieutenant Governor Davis visited 7 stops in Philadelphia, promoting small businesses, visiting the most important historic sites in the country that tell the story of our shared history, and kicking off a slate of celebrations leading up to the nation’s 250th celebration in 2026.

Governor Shapiro joins Visit Philadelphia to announce the first wave of a robust multi-year schedule of programming, events, and activities through 2026 in celebration of America’s 250th anniversary of independence

Right : Governor Shapiro and Lieutenant Governor Davis visit Greenly Plant Company and other small businesses at the BOK Building in Philadelphia.

Philadelphia, PA – Today, Governor Josh Shapiro and Lieutenant Governor Austin Davis brought the Great American Getaway RV tour to Philadelphia to promote the city as a premier travel destination ahead of 2026 and to celebrate the kickoff of a multi-year schedule of events and programs leading up to the nation’s 250th anniversary.

Yesterday in Lackawanna County, Governor Shapiro launched Pennsylvania’s new state tourism brand: The Great American Getaway . The new brand showcases all the Commonwealth has to offer as a premier weekend getaway destination with thousands of attractions – including blockbuster events coming to PA in 2026 like America’s 250th anniversary celebration, the FIFA World Cup, and the MLB All Star Game in 2026.

While in Philadelphia today, Governor Shapiro and Lieutenant Governor Davis visited iconic historical landmarks, promoted local small businesses, and encouraged more people to visit Philadelphia and Pennsylvania. Read more about The Great American Getaway RV tour stop in Philadelphia below.

Kicking Off the Nation’s 250th Anniversary Celebrations and Celebrating Philadelphia’s Iconic Attractions

Governor Shapiro, Lieutenant Governor Davis, and Secretary Siger joined Visit Philly President and CEO Angela Val, Philadelphia City Representative Jazelle Jones, CEO and Executive Director of TED Conferences LLC Jay Herratti, and City of Philadelphia 2026 Director Michael Newmuis to officially kick off the nation’s 250th anniversary of independence by announcing the first wave of a robust multi-year schedule of programming, events, and activities through 2026. The announcement included the launch of TED Democracy, the first ever TED equity series focused on the future of democracy, to be hosted in Philadelphia over the next 3 years.

After kicking off the nation’s 250th anniversary celebrations, Governor Shapiro and Independence Visitors Center CEO Kathryn Ott Lovell visited the iconic Rocky Statue and steps at the Philadelphia Museum of Art and then toured the new Rocky Store, which opened in October 2023. The RV tour continued with a visit to Independence Hall, where the Governor and, Lieutenant Governor toured the Governor’s Council Chamber, which served as the executive chamber for the Governor of Pennsylvania until 1799.

Supporting Philadelphia’s Great Spaces and Small Businesses: BOK Building, Cherry Street Pier, Mural City Cellars

Governor Shapiro and Lieutenant Governor Davis also visited the BOK Building – a former technical high school repurposed into workspaces for Philadelphia, small businesses, nonprofits, and artists. While there, the Governor and Lieutenant Governor toured several small businesses, including Remark Glass , Firth & Wilson Transport Cycles , and Greenly Plant Company .

Lieutenant Governor Davis then visited The Garden at the Cherry Street Pier – a year-round, mixed-use public space on the central Delaware River Waterfront that serves as a creative incubator, marketplace, performance venue, and social space, created for and by the Philadelphia community.

In the evening, Governor Shapiro and Lieutenant Governor Davis joined Visit Philadelphia to host the Great American Happy Hour at Mural City Cellars. The Governor and Lieutenant Governor were joined by Philadelphia leaders and prominent travel and lifestyle creators to highlight all Pennsylvania tourism has to offer while supporting a family and Latino-owned business.

The Great American Getaway: How the New Brand and the Governor’s Proposed 2024-25 Budget Prioritizes Pennsylvania Tourism, Encourages Millions to Visit Pennsylvania, and Supports Our Communities

Tourism is a key piece of the Governor’s economic development strategy, generating $76 billion and supporting more than 486,000 jobs a year in PA – and the new brand builds on Governor Shapiro’s proposed $18 million tourism investment to boost our economy, attract more visitors, and support good-paying jobs.

A new report released by the Pennsylvania Tourism Office in March shows Pennsylvania’s tourism industry:

  • Generated $76.7 billion in economic impact;
  • Supported 486,871 jobs;
  • Contributed $4.7 billion in state and local taxes;
  • Welcomed 192.4 million visitors in 2022.

In 2023, Visit Philadelphia’s annual report showed that Philadelphia tourism:

  • Generated $6.6 billion in economic impact;
  • Supported 50,525 jobs;
  • Contributed $387 million in state and local taxes;
  • Welcomed 25.8 million visitors in 2022.

From our hospitality and entertainment industries to our state parks, trails, and outdoor recreation businesses – tourism is a powerful economic engine, benefitting nearly every corner of Pennsylvania and giving every traveler the opportunity to pursue their dreams.

Need inspiration for your next Great American Getaway in Philadelphia? Discover your getaway at VisitPA Getaway website and follow on Instagram , Pinterest , X (formerly Twitter) and TikTok for more inspiration.

For more information about PA Sites program or the Department of Community and Economic Development, visit DCED website , and be sure to stay up-to-date with all of our agency news on Facebook , X , and LinkedIn .

MEDIA CONTACT: Governor’s Press Office, [email protected]

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A big guide to museums & attractions in greater philadelphia, your philly bucket list just got a little longer....

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It’s no secret (or surprise) that a city as grand and expansive as Philadelphia offers a wealth of authentic and top-notch experiences.

And with so many museums, attractions, historic landmarks, parks, markets, family activities and more in this vibrant city and region, it’s challenging to decide where to begin.

What do you choose?

  • Dinosaurs ( The Academy of Natural Sciences ) or daylilies ( Longwood Gardens )?
  • Vincent van Gogh ( Barnes Foundation ) or Count von Count ( Sesame Place )?
  • Revolutionary history ( Independence Hall and the Liberty Bell ) or outdoor reveling ( Wissahickon Valley Park and Fairmount Park )?

Below, we’ve rounded up dozens of attractions and museums that make Greater Philadelphia an amazing place to explore, whether visiting for the first time or have spent your whole life here.

Pro tip: The most convenient way to reach many of these attractions is aboard the Philly PHLASH Downtown Loop , which runs seasonally and offers affordable per-ride tickets in addition to one-day and two-day passes.

Of course, a comprehensive list of every museum and attraction in Philly would list in the hundreds. For more under-the-radar options, check out our guide to hidden gems in Greater Philadelphia .

Liberty Bell Center

The Liberty Bell , originally cast in England and recast in 1753 in Philadelphia, originally hung atop the Pennsylvania State House (now known as Independence Hall). It was soon adopted by abolitionists, suffragists and justice-seekers across the globe as an enduring symbol of freedom. The Bell was moved from Independence Hall to a pavilion across the street in 1976 and then to Liberty Bell Center two decades ago. Visitors can view the Bell and tour the center — which offers a number of exhibits — for free year-round.

Where: Liberty Bell Center, 526 Market Street

Independence Hall

The exterior of Independence Hall in Philadelphia

Independence Hall is the centerpiece of the renowned Independence National Historical Park . In 1776, the Founding Fathers came together to sign the Declaration of Independence in this historic building. Eleven years later, representatives from a dozen states met here to lay the framework for the U.S. Constitution. Guided tours are available year-round, but visitors must reserve free timed tickets (with $1 service charge) online or by phone in advance for entrance.

Where: Independence Hall, 520 Chestnut Street

The President's House

The exterior of The President's House in Philadelphia

Presidents George Washington and John Adams each lived at The President’s House during their time in office. While the original building has since been demolished, the foundation remains and now serves as a free outdoor exhibit, The President’s House: Freedom and Slavery in the Making of a New Nation , where looped videos give a special focus to the lives of the nine enslaved men and women who lived and worked here during Washington’s tenure.

Where: The President's House, 600 Market Street

Independence National Historical Park

Aerial view of Independence Mall and Independence Hall

In the heart of Old City and Society Hill — now known as  Philadelphia’s Historic District  — is where the country was born, as evidenced by the seminal locations that make up  Independence National Historical Park . And while the Liberty Bell Center and Independence Hall are no doubt the most iconic things to do in the park, they’re far from the only ones. Congress Hall , Old City Hall , Carpenters’ Hall , the portrait gallery at the Second Bank of the U.S. and more make up this historic park, which is administered by the National Park Service.

Where: Various locations including Carpenters' Hall, 320 Chestnut Street

National Constitution Center

A couple visits the National Constitution Center

Dedicated to the four most powerful pages in America’s history, the National Constitution Center examines “We the People.” Museum-goers can explore exhibits and artifacts, view an original copy of the Bill of Rights, walk among 42 life-size bronze statues of delegates who attended the Constitutional Convention in 1787 and learn more about Constitutional amendments that ended slavery (13th Amendment), and granted the right to vote to Black men (15th Amendment) and some women (19th Amendment).

Where: National Constitution Center, 525 Arch Street

Museum of the American Revolution

Museum of the American Revolution

The Museum of the American Revolution brings to life the world-changing War of Independence through an unmatched collection of artifacts, including weapons, documents, personal items, works of art and General George Washington’s headquarters tent. With powerful films, digital touchscreens and historical vignettes, the museum recreates the drama and the details of the country’s climactic birth.

Where: Museum of the American Revolution, 101 S. 3rd Street

The African American Museum in Philadelphia

The African American Museum in Philadelphia

Founded in 1976, The African American Museum in Philadelphia is the first institution built by a major U.S. city to preserve, interpret and exhibit the heritage and culture of African Americans. The museum takes a fresh, bold look at the roles of African Americans in the founding of the nation through the core exhibit Audacious Freedom. Visiting exhibitions and rotating programs reveal the history, stories and cultures of those of African descent throughout the African diaspora.

Where: The African American Museum in Philadelphia, 701 Arch Street

Betsy Ross House

Betsy Ross House

America’s most famous flag maker greets guests at her 18th-century upholstery shop, part of the tiny dwelling which today is the Betsy Ross House museum where visitors learn about Ross’ life and legend, and enjoy programs, storytelling and activities. Tours are available either self-guided or with an audio guide with a general admission ticket.

Where: Betsy Ross House, 239 Arch Street

Elfreth’s Alley

Elfreth’s Alley boasts 300 years of history on its charming cobblestone street lined with quaint still-occupied row houses. While a modern city has sprung up around it, the residential alley preserves three centuries of evolution through its old-fashioned flower boxes, shutters, Flemish bond brickwork and other architectural details. Two adjacent houses, built in 1755, are now a museum open to the public.

Where: Elfreth's Alley, 124-126 Elfreth's Alley

Franklin Square

tourist sites philadelphia

Enjoy the outdoors at fun-filled Franklin Square park, named in honor of — who else? — Benjamin Franklin. Take a mini-tour of Philadelphia as you putt-putt your way through scale models of the city’s iconic sites at Philly Mini Golf , or enjoy a nostalgic ride on the Parx Liberty Carousel , a classic tribute to Philadelphia’s great heritage of carousel-making. There’s also a large fountain (featuring seasonal shows and nighttime light displays), SquareBurger food stand and lots of open space to lounge or run around. Summer visitors shouldn’t miss the annual Chinese Lantern Festival , while winter wanderers should earmark a visit for Winter in Franklin Square programming.

Where: Franklin Square, 200 N. 6th Street

Weitzman National Museum of American Jewish History

Guests walk on the first floor of the Weitzman National Museum of American Jewish Adults

Take a journey through 360 years of Jewish history in the U.S. at the Weitzman National Museum of American Jewish History, which is filled with more than 1,200 artifacts and documents, 2,500 images, 30 original films and 13 state-of-the-art interactive media displays — all free to visit (with a suggested donation). The experience delivers a rich tale that traces the path of the nation’s Jewish diaspora from struggling immigrants to integral citizens. While you’re there, snap a picture of the cheeky OY/YO sculpture installed outside of the museum entrance.

Where: Weitzman National Museum of American Jewish History, 101 S. Independence Mall East

Christ Church and Christ Church Burial Ground

Constructed in the early 1700s, Christ Church was a sacred gathering place for some of the most prominent early Americans, including George Washington, Betsy Ross and Benjamin Franklin, whose reserved family pew is a popular stop on the church’s guided 20-minute tour. A few blocks away lies Christ Church Burial Ground , home of the final resting place of many of the nation’s first history makers, including Franklin himself. Toss a penny onto his grave for good luck (which can be done with good aim from the sidewalk).

Where: Christ Church, 20 N. American Street

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Christ Church Burial Ground, 340 N. 5th Street

National Liberty Museum

A fixture in Old City since 2000, the National Liberty Museum is a gallery dedicated to teaching visitors about the diversity of Americans and respect for all people and celebrating the stories of heroes across the globe. The museum’s eight galleries showcase nearly 80 imaginative and interactive exhibits and close to 200 works of contemporary art (including an expansive collection of glass art), surrounded by the stories of 2,000 difference-makers like Jackie Robinson, Nelson Mandela and Malala Yousafzai.

Where: National Liberty Museum, 321 Chestnut Street

Delaware River Waterfront

Spruce street harbor park.

People hang out on a floating barge under colorful lights at night at Spruce STreet Harbor Park in Philly

Spruce Street Harbor Park , the wildly popular spring-to-fall relaxation destination on the Delaware River, attracts impressive crowds with bocce and shuffleboard, tree-slung hammocks and colorful LED lights, floating barges with over-the-water seating, beer and food options, and a variety of events in a fun urban beach setting.

Where: Spruce Street Harbor Park, 301 S. Christopher Columbus Boulevard

Independence Blue Cross RiverRink

In both summer and winter, you can get your skate on at Independence Blue Cross RiverRink , where there’s roller skating during Summerfest and ice skating at Winterfest , along with a carousel, rides (including a Ferris wheel), an arcade, and plenty to eat and drink year-round. The site offers a beachy vibe during warm months, and plenty of holiday festivities during the winter season.

Where: Independence Blue Cross RiverRink, 101 S. Christopher Columbus Boulevard

Independence Seaport Museum

Floating on the Delaware River are two incongruous vessels that guests are encouraged to claim aboard and explore: the 130-year-old Navy Cruiser USS Olympia (the nation’s oldest steel warship) and World War II-era USS Becuna (a 300-foot Balao submarine). But those museum ships are just the tip of what the Independence Seaport Museum has to offer. The maritime history museum features over 25,000 artifacts across a half-dozen hands-on exhibits including a working boat shop and a collection of large-scale model ships.

Where: Independence Seaport Museum, 211 S. Christopher Columbus Boulevard

Race Street Pier & Cherry Street Pier

Serene, park-like Race Street Pier features two levels for recreation; a multi-tiered seating area for picnics, yoga or watching the tide roll in; and — of course — absolutely transcendent views of the Delaware River and the Benjamin Franklin Bridge. Located just next door, Cherry Street Pier is a bustling indoor-outdoor mixed-use public space, home to artist studios, a marketplace, and food and beverages purveyors serving refreshments alfresco on the pier’s garden-style patio café.

Where: Race Street Pier, Race Street & North Columbus Boulevard

Cherry Street Pier, 121 N. Christopher Columbus Boulevard

Adventure Aquarium

Children looking at a hippo at Adventure Aquarium

Adventure Aquarium — located just across the Delaware River in Camden, New Jersey — delights visitors with scores of sea creatures including hippos to marvel at, a Shark Bridge to cross, penguins to meet, stingrays to feed, and horseshoe crabs, starfish and sharks to touch. The aquarium’s big wow exhibit: a massive tank of sea turtles, stingrays, schooling fish and sharks, including a great hammerhead.

Where: Adventure Aquarium, 1 Riverside Drive, Camden, NJ

Battleship New Jersey Museum

Across the Delaware from Center City Philly, the Battleship New Jersey is a floating museum ship open to all who wish to explore America’s naval heritage aboard Admiral “Bull” Halsey’s flagship and the country’s most decorated combat ship. The 887-foot, 45,000-ton gunboat offers a guided tour and interactive exhibits displaying artifacts of the ship’s active past (from World War II to Korea to Vietnam to the Gulf War) and its impressive 16-inch turret, where 2,700-pound shells were fired at targets up to 23 miles away.

Where: Battleship New Jersey, 100 Clinton Street, Camden, NJ

Benjamin Franklin Parkway, Logan Square & Fairmount

Philadelphia museum of art.

Great Stair Hall at the Philadelphia Museum of Art

One of the nation’s largest art institutions, the Philadelphia Museum of Art rises majestically at the end of the Benjamin Franklin Parkway. Inside are vast collections, including Renaissance, American and impressionist art, plus rotating special exhibitions. The one-acre Sculpture Garden extends the museum’s galleries to the outdoors, as do its famous steps (see below).

Where: Philadelphia Museum of Art, 2600 Benjamin Franklin Parkway

Rodin Museum

At home in the first American city to exhibit his works, the Benjamin Franklin Parkway’s Rodin Museum houses the largest public collection of Auguste Rodin’s works outside of Paris, including 20 of the French master’s sculptures, as well as exhibits of drawings, paintings and academic studies. The museum’s garden displays a bronze cast of The Thinker and the only original cast of The Gates of Hell in North America.

Where: Rodin Museum, 2151 Benjamin Franklin Parkway

A Guide to the Rocky Statue and the Rocky Steps

The Rocky Statue and the Rocky Steps — also known as the entrance staircase to the Philadelphia Museum of Art — are two of the most popular attractions in Philadelphia. Snagging a selfie with the statue and then running up the steps (just like Rocky himself) for a snapshot at the top (with that picture-perfect skyline in the background) is pretty much a must on your first visit to Philadelphia.

Where: Rocky Steps, 2600 Benjamin Franklin Parkway

Barnes Foundation

Visitors at the Barnes Foundation

The Barnes Foundation is home to one of the world’s most important collections of impressionist, post-impressionist and early modernist paintings by renowned artists like Renoir, Cézanne, Picasso and van Gogh. The museum also showcases American paintings and decorative arts, metalwork, African sculpture and Native American textiles, jewelry and ceramics, all presented in philanthropist Albert C. Barnes’ distinctive arrangements.

Where: Barnes Foundation, 2025 Benjamin Franklin Parkway

Eastern State Penitentiary

A look down a long hallway of prison cells at Eastern State Penitentiary in Philadelphia

Once the most famous and expensive prison in the world, the massive Eastern State Penitentiary operated from 1829 to 1970 and introduced Americans to the concept of prison as a reform (penitentiary for “penance”) tool. Today, the site — which once housed notorious criminals like Al Capone and Willie Sutton — offers self-guided tours that explore the attraction’s history, along with modern social justice issues that surround incarceration. If your visit brings you in October, be sure to experience the site’s popular Halloween Nights immersive haunted house experience.

Where: Eastern State Penitentiary, 2027 Fairmount Avenue

The Franklin Institute

Kids crawl inside the Giant Heart, one of many interactive elements at The Franklin Institute in Philadelphia.

The Franklin Institute , one of the leading science museums in the country, showcases how science affects every aspect of life. In addition to beloved hands-on permanent exhibits like the highly interactive Your Brain , the iconic Giant Heart and the mesmerizing four-story Foucault’s Pendulum , a rotating roster of special exhibitions adds to the museum’s appeal.

Where: The Franklin Institute, 222 N. 20th Street

The Academy of Natural Sciences of Drexel University

Dinosaur Hall at The Academy of Natural Sciences of Drexel University in Philadelphia

The Academy of Natural Sciences of Drexel University is America’s oldest natural history museum. Visitors can wander through a tropical garden filled with live butterflies, meet live animals, see three continents of wildlife in their natural habitats and get face to face with towering dinosaurs.

Where: The Academy of Natural Sciences of Drexel University, 1900 Benjamin Franklin Parkway

  • Center City

Reading Terminal Market

People walking through Reading Terminal Market

Center City ’s iconic railway-terminal-turned-epicurean-haven, Reading Terminal Market is a one-stop shop for local produce, meats, artisanal cheeses, desserts and more. The indoor public market, one of the oldest in the nation, also provides open seating where customers can enjoy meals from dozens of diverse merchants, including popular Amish vendors (and, of course, cheesesteaks). Want to know what to eat and where to get it? We can help with that .

Where: Reading Terminal Market, 51 N. 12th Street

City Hall & Dilworth Park

Couple on the City Hall tower tour

Philadelphia’s City Hall — once the tallest building in the world — has been the city’s government headquarters for more than 100 years. The elaborate 14.5-acre masonry structure remains the country’s largest municipal building, and its exterior features more than 250 sculptures, including the 37-foot-tall, 27-ton bronze statue of William Penn above the iconic clock tower — the tallest statue atop any building on earth. And Dilworth Park — City Hall’s popular western-facing front yard — is a modern and welcoming outdoor space with tree groves, benches, two cafes, and a large programmable fountain that transforms into an ice rink in the winter and a roller rink in the summer.

Where: City Hall, 1400 John F. Kennedy Boulevard

Dilworth Park, 1 S. 15th Street

Mütter Museum

tourist sites philadelphia

The Mütter Museum is one of America’s finest museums of medical history. Its “disturbingly informative” displays (many not for the faint of heart) help the public understand the mysteries of the human body and appreciate the diagnosis and treatment of disease. One of the most popular exhibits: actual slides of Albert Einstein’s brain.

Where: Mütter Museum, 19 S. 22nd Street

Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts

Visitors looking at art at the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Art

The first art museum and school in the nation, the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts features elaborate Frank Furness architecture that’s as compelling as the American art on display within. A Gilbert Stuart portrait of George Washington is a highlight, as are other well-known paintings by both classic and contemporary artists like Winslow Homer, Kehinde Wiley, John Singer Sargent, Jacob Lawrence, Edward Hopper and Cecilia Beaux.

Where: Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, 118-128 N. Broad Street

A favorite destination for tourists and locals alike, John F. Kennedy Plaza gets its nickname — LOVE Park — from Robert Indiana’s iconic LOVE sculpture that sits within the public space and serves as the grand entrance to the Benjamin Franklin Parkway . Just a short walk away stands the equally grand AMOR sculpture, the Spanish version of the LOVE sculpture, on display at Sister Cities Park .

Where: LOVE Park, 15th & Arch streets

Rittenhouse Square

People walking through Rittenhouse Square Park

Rittenhouse Square , the one-block commons that gives the surrounding neighborhood its name, is more popular with sunbathers, readers, families, artists, craft and produce vendors, people-watchers and even dogs than city founder William Penn ever could have imagined. One of Penn’s five original squares, Rittenhouse is the city’s best-known, and perhaps most-beloved, park.

Where: Rittenhouse Square, 210 W. Rittenhouse Square

Schuylkill River Trail & Schuylkill Banks Boardwalk

The view of the Schuylkill River and the Philadelphia skyline from the South Street Bridge

The Schuylkill River Trail — a 30-mile recreational path running along the Schuylkill River from Center City Philadelphia to Parker Ford in Chester County — is a favorite for bicyclists, runners, hikers, amblers and families. One of the most beautiful portions of the Trail is the Schuylkill Banks Boardwalk , a 15-foot-wide, 2,000-foot-long, ADA-compliant concrete path that juts out over the Schuylkill River, providing runners, bikers and pedestrians with a connection between Locust Street and the South Street Bridge.

Where: Various locations including Schuylkill Banks Boardwalk, South 25th & Locust streets

Masonic Temple

The castle-like-exterior of The Masonic Temple in Philly

Towering and majestic, the Masonic Temple has stood tall across from City Hall since 1873, serving as headquarters of the Freemason fraternity with 14th-century roots and a membership that included Benjamin Franklin and George Washington, whose statues pose outside its entrance. The temple’s Freemasonry artifacts, stunning architecture (Victorian inside, medieval Norman on the exterior) and opulent décor continue to wow visitors on guided tours to this day.

Where: Masonic Temple, 1 N. Broad Street

South Philadelphia

South 9th street italian market.

Italian immigrants established this open-air spot in the late 19th century, which lays claim to being America’s oldest outdoor street market. Though still called the Italian Market , the historic strip along South 9th Street in South Philadelphia now reflects the neighborhood’s multicultural makeup, offering Mexican, Vietnamese and Korean eats alongside Italian restaurants, bakeries and markets selling cheeses, meats, produce and more.

Where: Italian Market, 919 S. 9th Street

Pat’s and Geno’s

Pat's Steaks and Geno's at night

Eating a cheesesteak is essential when visiting Philly. Pat’s King of Steaks founder Pat Olivieri invented the city’s signature sandwich back in 1930. The popular shop on Ninth Street and Passyunk Avenue grills 24 hours a day, as does Geno’s Steaks , the rival across the street that opened in 1966. For more than half a century, Pat’s and Geno’s have waged a (mostly) friendly competition, with visitors often ordering from both shops to decide which steak they deem best.

Where: Pat's King of Steaks, 1237 E. Passyunk Avenue

Geno's Steaks, 1219 S. 9th Street

Philadelphia's Magic Gardens

People enjoying Philadelphia's Magic Gardens

Mosaics bloom at Philadelphia’s Magic Gardens , a fantasy-like art showplace on South Street, presenting and preserving the work of artist Isaiah Zagar. Visitors can take a tour and snap selfies throughout the half-city-block wonderland constructed from bicycle spokes, broken mirrors, reclaimed glass, tiles, and an assortment of found items and urban waste.

Where: Philadelphia's Magic Gardens, 1020 South Street

Simeone Foundation Automotive Museum

Ferraris, Alfa Romeos, Bugattis, Mercedes, Mustangs and more of the sportiest of sports cars are on display at the Simeone Foundation Automotive Museum , part of a collection of over 75 historic, fast, sleek and just plain cool rides. The Southwest Philly museum hosts rotating exhibits showcasing the history of sports cars and racing machines, plus regularly takes vehicles from the collection out for a spin during scheduled demonstration days.

Where: Simeone Foundation Automotive Museum, 6825-31 Norwitch Drive

West Philadelphia

Philadelphia zoo.

tourist sites philadelphia

America’s first public zoo and a foremost conservation organization, the Philadelphia Zoo is home to nearly 1,700 animals, many rare and endangered. Zoo360, a first-in-the-world animal travel and exploration train system, enables primates and big cats to move above and across the main visitor pathway. The 42-acre campus features a variety of exhibits, including Big Cat Falls (with lions and tigers and pumas, oh my) and Water Is Life, home to the zoo’s popular red panda display.

Where: Philadelphia Zoo, 3400 W. Girard Avenue

Penn Museum

The renowned Penn Museum is known for its collection of art and artifacts from ancient Egypt, Mesopotamia, the Greco-Roman World, Asia, Africa and the Americas (including a Native American exhibit). Items on display include Sumerian cuneiform clay tablets (some of the world’s oldest writing), 4,500-year-old jewelry of a Mesopotamian queen and the massive, 3,000-year-old Sphinx of Ramses II. Gardens, fountains and a koi pond make the outside quite impressive as well.

Where: Penn Museum, 3260 South Street

Institute of Contemporary Art

Open to the public free of charge, the Institute of Contemporary Art has been instrumental in showcasing the work of emerging and under-recognized artists since 1963. It led the way with first-ever museum shows from Andy Warhol, Laurie Anderson and Robert Indiana, as well as early exhibits from Robert Mapplethorpe and Cy Twombly. Presented in kunsthalle style, the Institute houses no permanent collections — so every visit is a new experience.

Where: Institute of Contemporary Art, 118 S. 36th Street

Bartram's Garden

North America’s oldest botanical garden, Bartram’s Garden (dating back to 1728) first belonged to Quaker John Bartram, Sr., self-taught botanist to King George III, who collected, cultivated and sold plant specimens from North America to European aristocrats. Originally seasonal fishing grounds for the indigenous Lenape, today the site includes the 18th-century Bartram family house and outbuildings, a 17-acre meadow, a bike path, public access to the Schuylkill River, and an array of naturalistic, woodland and formal gardens. Garden admission is free.

Where: Bartram's Garden, 5400 Lindbergh Boulevard

Please Touch Museum

Families playing at the Please Touch Museum

Recognized as one of the nation’s top children’s attractions, the Please Touch Museum includes two full floors of interactive exhibit zones, plus a fully restored 115 year-old carousel. Kids can play and pretend amid Alice’s Wonderland, the Rocket Room and other hands-on fun, all inside Fairmount Park’s National Historic Landmark Memorial Hall, built for 1876 Centennial World’s Fair.

Where: Please Touch Museum, 4231 Avenue of the Republic

Shofuso Japanese Cultural Center

An unexpected gem deep inside Fairmount Park is the Shofuso Japanese Cultural Center , a post-war gift from Japan to the U.S. modeled on a traditional early 17th-century Japanese temple complex with guest house, teahouse and bathhouse. Participate in an authentic tea ceremony, explore the authentic architecture and living history, or find Zen while feeding the fish in the koi pond. The center is surrounded by century-old cherry trees which also host spring’s Cherry Blossom Festival .

Where: Shofuso Japanese Cultural Center, Horticultural Drive and Lansdowne Drive

North and Northwest Philadelphia

The rail park.

Rising two stories off the ground, The Rail Park is the city’s expansive planned overhead greenway built atop the former Reading Viaduct railway. Eventually stretching three miles from Northern Liberties to Brewerytown when complete, the currently-open quarter-mile Phase One portion boasts a simple meandering pathway, rustic plantings, comfy swings, and plenty of places to relax and take in the stellar views over the city’s Callowhill neighborhood.

Where: The Rail Park, Entrance on Callowhill Street between 11th and 12th streets

Boathouse Row & Kelly Drive

Boathouse Row

Note:  As of March 20, 2023, Boathouse Row’s iconic lights are undergoing maintenance, and will remain dark through the end of 2023. Read more  here .

Boathouse Row , a National Historic Landmark, consists of 10 charming boathouses on the banks of the Schuylkill River. At night, the glittering lights that frame the buildings make for idyllic scenery as they reflect off of the river’s surface. Boathouse Row sits on scenic Kelly Drive, a prime spot for outdoor recreation that runs along the east side of the Schuylkill River from the Philadelphia Museum of Art to Lincoln Drive.

Where: Boathouse Row, 1 Boathouse Row

Fairmount Park

Endless trails, historic houses, Laurel Hill Cemetery, the Horticulture Center, Smith Memorial Playground and Treetop Quest Philly are among the many pleasant surprises that await explorers at Fairmount Park , one of the nation’s largest urban parks stretching from Boathouse Row to West Philadelphia, Strawberry Mansion, Chestnut Hill and Northeast Philadelphia. Pro tip: Head to Belmont Plateau (above) for big skyline views.

Where: Various locations including Belmont Plateau, 1800 Belmont Mansion Drive

Wissahickon Valley Park

With more than 50 miles of rugged trails, Wissahickon Valley Park ’s thousands of acres are great for hiking, cycling and exploring. Wissahickon schist bedrock, sliced through centuries ago, has created steep hills punctuated by a creek, with paths for both climbers and horseback riders. Of particular note is Forbidden Drive, a five-mile packed gravel trail deep inside the park offering stunning views. Along this route, don’t miss the Thomas Mill Bridge , the last remaining covered bridge in any major American city.

Where: Wissahickon Valley Park, Valley Green Road

Johnson House Historic Site

On a then-quiet boulevard in Germantown in the 1850s, five siblings (and their spouses) from a Quaker abolitionist family served up their home to shelter and care for escaped enslaved Africans, a crucial stop on the Underground Railroad . Today, the well-preserved 16th-century Johnson House Historic Site offers tours that highlight the injustices of slavery and displays artifacts and the spaces where freedom fighters like William Still and Harriet Tubman stayed while shuttling fugitive slaves to safety.

Where: Johnson House Historic Site, 6306 Germantown Avenue

Philadelphia's Countryside

Longwood gardens.

tourist sites philadelphia

Attracting visitors from around the globe to Chester County, Longwood Gardens features 1,000-plus acres filled with outdoor and indoor gardens, 9,000 different species of plants, spectacular fountains, and picturesque meadows and woodlands. The horticultural haven also hosts many events each year, including flower shows, gardening demonstrations, educational programs, children’s activities and concerts.

Where: Longwood Gardens, 1001 Longwood Road, Kennett Square

Brandywine Museum of Art

People looking at artwork at the Brandywine River Museum of Art

The grounds are as breathtaking as the art at the bucolic Brandywine Museum of Art , housed in a renovated 1864 gristmill and surrounded by wildflower gardens and the meandering Brandywine River. Inside, works by Andrew Wyeth sit beside other beautifully detailed illustrations, paintings and installations, as well as special exhibitions that have showcased more works from the talented Wyeth family, photographs from the Civil Rights Movement and works by Winslow Homer.

Where: Brandywine Museum of Art, 1 Hoffmans Mill Road, Chadds Ford

Valley Forge National Historical Park

People walking through Valley Forget National Historical Park

No battles were fought in Valley Forge, but the time the Continental Army spent here went down as one of the Revolutionary War’s most trying periods. Today, Valley Forge National Historical Park sits on this site honoring those who helped secure freedom for the United States. Replicated huts and the original headquarters tell the story of the pivotal winter that George Washington and his troops endured, and a visitor center — renovated in 2021 and 2022 — includes artifacts and a lifesize statue of Washington. The 3,500-acre park also includes recreational trails, picnic areas and the grand National Memorial Arch .

Where: Valley Forge National Historical Park, 1400 N. Outer Line Drive, King of Prussia

Peddler's Village

With charming shops and boutiques (more than 60!), a dozen restaurants, the just-for-kids Giggleberry Fair indoor playscape, and festivals for every season (like Bluegrass & Blueberries, the Strawberry Festival and annual Peach Festival), Bucks County’s Peddler’s Village packs a surprising number of activities into its countryside landscape and winding brick walkways. Keep the fun going by grabbing a room for the night at charming on-site Golden Plough Inn.

Where: Peddler's Village, 2400 Street Road, New Hope

Sesame Place

Big Bird, Elmo and the other stars of Sesame Street come out and play at Sesame Place , one of only two theme parks in the nation featuring the popular television show’s most lovable characters. With three dozen kid-friendly rides, daily parades and engaging shows, everyone is invited to come and play where everything’s a-okay.

Where: Sesame Place, 100 Sesame Road, Langhorne

LEGOLAND Discovery Center

A family playing with legos at LEGOLAND Discovery Center

LEGOLAND Discovery Center is a 33,000-square-foot plastic-brick heaven featuring a LEGO-themed ride, 4D cinema and ten play areas, including a DUPLO Park for the toddler set. An onsite cafe and store ensure every LEGO-maniac walks away satisfied.

Where: LEGOLAND Discovery Center, 500 W. Germantown Pike, Plymouth Meeting

Fonthill Castle

A composite image of Fonthill Caslte in Doylestown. On the left, an exquisitely colored interior. On the right, two people sit on a bench on a clear blue day with the castle in the background.

Winding stairways, turrets and balconies give a 13th-century feel to eclectic 115-year-old Fonthill Castle (former home of renowned archeologist, anthropologist and ceramist Henry Chapman Mercer), which boasts 44 rooms, 32 stairwells and 200 windows housing Mercer’s massive collection of prints and ancient artifacts, as well as exquisite handmade tiles and mosaics from his adjacent Moravian Pottery and Tile Works .

Where: Fonthill Castle, 525 E. Court Street, Doylestown

Mercer Museum & James A. Michener Art Museum

People outside the Michener Art Museum

The towering citadel that houses the Mercer Museum is full of themed rooms dedicated to the tools and crafts of American life before mechanization, like a whaling boat and a Conestoga wagon. Across the street, Pennsylvania impressionist paintings take center stage at the Michener Art Museum , named for Pulitzer Prize-winning writer (and Doylestown native) James A. Michener. The galleries also host photography, sleek woodwork from nearby furniture maker George Nakashima Woodworkers, and other historical and contemporary works.

Where: Mercer Museum, 84 S. Pine Street, Doylestown

Michener Art Museum, 138 S. Pine Street, Doylestown

King of Prussia, a Simon Property Mall

Family shopping at King of Prussia Mall

With more than 450 stores (and over 50 eateries), King of Prussia, a Simon Property Mall is the premier shopping destination on the East Coast — and the third-largest mall in America. Find a nice mix of luxury, budget-friendly, national and international brands, as well as stores that cannot be found elsewhere in the region, all located just a 20-minute drive from Philadelphia.

Where: King of Prussia, a Simon Property Mall, 160 N. Gulph Road, King of Prussia

Morris Arboretum & Gardens

Designated Pennsylvania’s official state arboretum, Morris Arboretum & Gardens is a stunning nearly 100-acre oasis in beautiful Chestnut Hill . Its endless, multicolored flowering meadows feature more than 13,000 labeled plants and trees of over 2,500 types, including some of the oldest and rarest in the region. Highlights include the 135-year-old Rose Garden, the eight-sided Victorian glass fernery, the Dawn Redwoods forest and the whimsical Garden Railway.

Where: Morris Arboretum & Gardens, 100 E. Northwestern Avenue

Linvilla Orchards

Along Delaware County’s Main Line is Linvilla Orchards , a 300-acre working family farm dedicated not just to agriculture but education, entertainment and fun. Visitors can explore the Garden Center to pick seasonal fresh fruits and vegetables, meet the barnyard animals, cast a line for some fishing, play a round of mini-golf, enjoy a hayride, horse ride or train ride and even buy fresh baked pies to take home. And don’t miss Ship Bottom Brewery’s onsite beer garden.

Where: Linvilla Orchards, 137 W. Knowlton Road, Media

Philadelphia's Countryside

  • Museums & Attractions
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tourist sites philadelphia

Come for Philadelphia. Stay (Over) for Philly.

The only way to fully experience Philly? Stay over.

Book the Visit Philly Overnight Package and get free hotel parking and choose-your-own-adventure perks, including tickets to the Philadelphia Museum of Art, The Franklin Institute, or the National Constitution Center and the Museum of the American Revolution.

Or maybe you’d prefer to buy two Philly hotel nights and get a third night for free? Then book the new Visit Philly 3-Day Stay package.

Which will you choose?

tourist sites philadelphia

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2 dead in Philadelphia-area workplace shooting by 'disgruntled former employee'

A "disgruntled former employee" opened fire inside a linen rental and laundry business near Philadelphia on Wednesday, killing at least two people and wounding three others, authorities said.

Gunfire erupted at Delaware County Linen in Chester at about 8:30 a.m. before the shooter was arrested, officials said.

“This is a tragedy, a story that plays out too often across the United States of America,” Delaware County District Attorney Jack Stollsteimer told reporters at the scene.

“A disgruntled employee has walked into a linen shop — the Delaware County Linen shop behind us — and shot five people, five co-workers. Two are deceased; three are at the hospital.”

The company does linen rental, sales and laundry for local restaurants, hotels, country clubs, caterers, salons, spas, rehab centers and schools, according to its website. The "full service linen company" was founded in 1988.

"We do have the suspect in custody," Stollsteimer said. "We have two individuals who unfortunately have lost their life just by showing up at work today from a disgruntled former employee. And then we have three other people who are at the hospital right now, and we are all praying for them."

The gunfire was both inside and outside the business, Stollsteimer said.

The shooter drove away but he was pulled over and caught by Trainer Borough police, Chester Police Commissioner Steven Gretsky said.

Authorities did not immediately identify the suspect or explain what might have set him off.

Stollsteimer told NBC Philadelphia : "The employee had had some issues with fellow employees, but nothing that would lead to what happened today.

"The people who are victims of this shooting today, they came to work to live the American dream. They came to work to work hard, to play by the rules and to get ahead in their lives — and today two of them are laying on the ground dead," Stollsteimer continued.

"This is just a horrible, horrible tragedy and another example of someone who had access to a firearm who shouldn't have and took out whatever anger her had for whatever reason on the employees."

tourist sites philadelphia

David K. Li is a senior breaking news reporter for NBC News Digital.

Philadelphia traffic: I-95 rush impacted by Kamala Harris visit, fire slows traffic on I-76

tourist sites philadelphia

PHILADELPHIA - Major delays on two busy Philadelphia roadways as the afternoon rush got underway Tuesday.

A visit from Vice President Kamala Harris shut down I-95 southbound between Vine Street and the Philadelphia International Airport.

Traffic was at a standstill with delays jamming back to Academy Road.

The northbound ramp of I-95 at Vine Street was also closed.

Free tolls at this AC Expressway exit for Memorial Day weekend rush hour

Free tolls at this AC Expressway exit for Memorial Day weekend rush hour

Chickie’s & Pete’s will once again pick up the tab for several drivers headed to the shore for the unofficial start of summer.

On Interstate 76, a brush fire caused a traffic slowdown between the Girard Avenue/ Philadelphia Zoo and Spring Garden exits.

Crews were able to extinguish the fire after it was found burning between the highway and nearby train tracks.

Both highways experienced residual slow traffic conditions for some time after both the fire was out and Vice President Harris was no longer in town, but traffic is back to a normal pace.

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Governor Josh Shapiro launches new tourism brand to encourage trips to Pennsylvania

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PENNSYLVANIA (WPVI) -- Governor Josh Shapiro unveiled Pennsylvania's new state tourism brand in Moosic, Lackawanna County on Monday.

"This is where America pastimes were born, and they're just down the road," Shapiro told a crowd.

Tourism generates more than $76 billion a year and supports 460,000 jobs across the commonwealth, experts say.

It's part of the governor's proposed $18 million increase in the budget to boost the industry.

"We want to show the rest of the world that Pennsylvania is indeed the Great American Getaway," he said.

The initiative has been dubbed the' Great American Getaway 'campaign.

Shapiro is now expected to head out on a week-long RV tour with the first family to highlight Pennsylvania's best tourist attractions.

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Years ago, a psychic told Kristen Wiig to move to LA. She left the next day

Kristen Wiig plays a former pageant queen in Palm Royale. Apple TV+ hide caption

Years ago, a psychic told Kristen Wiig to move to LA. She left the next day

The SNL alum co-stars with Carol Burnett in Palm Royale, an Apple TV+ series about a former pageant queen who wants to break into high society. Wiig says the show was a chance to work with "a legend."

Years ago, a psychic told Kristen Wiig to move to LA. She left the next day

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  1. The 10 Most Essential Things to Do in Philly

    Make your Philly visit extra special with a sumptuous hotel stay. Book the Visit Philly Overnight Package and get free hotel parking and choose-your-own-adventure perks, including tickets to The Art of the Brick at The Franklin Institute, the Philadelphia Museum of Art, or the National Constitution Center and the Museum of the American Revolution. Or indulge in the new Visit Philly 3-Day Stay ...

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    2023. 4. Philadelphia Museum of Art. 7,450. Art Museums. A surprise around every corner - discover the cultural heart of Philadelphia. The museum's landmark building houses one of the most remarkable collections in the country, featuring some of the greatest works of American, Asia, and European art anywhere. You'll find van Gogh's ...

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    6. Love Park. If you are feeling particularly loved-up, take a trip down to Love Park, a public park in Center City. Also (officially) known as John F. Kennedy Plaza, Love Park has held its ...

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    2023. 4. Philadelphia Museum of Art. 7,450. Art Museums. A surprise around every corner - discover the cultural heart of Philadelphia. The museum's landmark building houses one of the most remarkable collections in the country, featuring some of the greatest works of American, Asia, and European art anywhere.

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    Independence Hall in Old City. Visiting Independence Hall is undoubtedly one of the top things to do here. The building where the Declaration of Independence and the U.S. Constitution were adopted has been restored to its 1776 appearance, so walking through it feels like the founding fathers just left.

  11. 10 best things to do in Philadelphia

    Explore Philadelphia's Black history at these 8 sites. This article was first published Aug 19, 2021 and updated Sep 25, 2023. Explore related stories. Read more articles. Activities. 11 amazing experiences in the USA, from sea to shining sea. Mar 15, 2024 • 10 min read.

  12. 25 Things to Do in Philadelphia & MAP with photos

    It's surely one of the most iconic places in Philadelphia. 2. Visit Independence National Historical Park, a must-do in Philadelphia, PA. Independence National Historical Park, also known as "America's most historic square mile", is where you'll find several famous Philadelphia attractions, including the Liberty Bell.

  13. 17 Top Philadelphia Attractions

    1. The Liberty Bell Center. 101 S Independence Mall W. Philadelphia, PA 19106. (215) 965-2305. Weighing 2,080 pounds, this historical piece was recast in Philadelphia in 1753 to adorn the Independence Hall. Today, it's one of the main attractions in Independence National Historical Park.

  14. Official Philly Tourism and Visitor Information

    5. Visit Philadelphia is the official visitor website for Philly travel and tourism information including hotels and overnight options, restaurants, events, things to do, and local attractions. Plan your visit!

  15. Philadelphia Visitors Guide

    Visit one of Philadelphia's official Visitor Centers to discover all there is to see and do throughout the city, purchase tickets to attractions, shop for gifts, and more. 1601 Market St, Suite 200 Philadelphia, PA 19103 215-636-3300. About; Contact Our Team; Employment; PHLCVB Board;

  16. Philadelphia Attractions Map

    Interactive map of Philadelphia with all popular attractions - Independence National Historical Park & The Liberty Bell, Independence Hall, Rocky Statue & Steps and more. Take a look at our detailed itineraries, guides and maps to help you plan your trip to Philadelphia.

  17. How to spend a day in Philadelphia, USA

    The PHLASH bus loops around most major sites. Where to stay: Loews Philadelphia Hotel, Center City. Doubles from £150, room only. ... This story was created with the support of Visit Philadelphia ...

  18. List of tourist attractions in Philadelphia

    The following comprises a list of sites of interest (attractions) in Philadelphia and its immediate environs: Historic sites and national parks [ edit ] Liberty Bell at Independence National Historical Park at 143 S. 3rd Street Elfreth's Alley in Old City Merchants' Exchange at 143 S.

  19. Does Septa Not go to major tourist sites?

    95 reviews. 66 helpful votes. 11. Re: Does Septa Not go to major tourist sites? May 19, 2024, 11:50 AM. I rank the Philadelphia Museum of Art as #2 in the US after the Met. It is a large museum and takes time. It also has an annex, the Perelman Building, across the street with temporary shows. By agreement, ancient art is displayed at the Penn ...

  20. THE 15 BEST Things to Do in Philadelphia (Updated 2024)

    2023. 4. Philadelphia Museum of Art. 7,450. Art Museums. A surprise around every corner - discover the cultural heart of Philadelphia. The museum's landmark building houses one of the most remarkable collections in the country, featuring some of the greatest works of American, Asia, and European art anywhere.

  21. Governor Shapiro, Lieutenant Governor Davis Bring Great American

    A new report released by the Pennsylvania Tourism Office in March shows Pennsylvania's tourism industry: Generated $76.7 billion in economic impact; Supported 486,871 jobs; Contributed $4.7 billion in state and local taxes; Welcomed 192.4 million visitors in 2022. In 2023, Visit Philadelphia's annual report showed that Philadelphia tourism:

  22. The Best Museums & Attractions in Philadelphia

    The Liberty Bell, originally cast in England and recast in 1753 in Philadelphia, originally hung atop the Pennsylvania State House (now known as Independence Hall).It was soon adopted by abolitionists, suffragists and justice-seekers across the globe as an enduring symbol of freedom. The Bell was moved from Independence Hall to a pavilion across the street in 1976 and then to Liberty Bell ...

  23. 2 dead in Philadelphia-area workplace shooting by 'disgruntled former

    By David K. Li. A "disgruntled former employee" opened fire inside a linen rental and laundry business near Philadelphia on Wednesday, killing at least two people and wounding three others ...

  24. Philadelphia traffic: I-95 rush impacted by Kamala Harris visit, fire

    A visit from Vice President Kamala Harris shut down I-95 southbound between Vine Street and the Philadelphia International Airport. Traffic is currently at a standstill with delays jamming back to ...

  25. THE 10 BEST Things to Do in Philadelphia

    2023. 4. Philadelphia Museum of Art. 7,450. Art Museums. A surprise around every corner - discover the cultural heart of Philadelphia. The museum's landmark building houses one of the most remarkable collections in the country, featuring some of the greatest works of American, Asia, and European art anywhere.

  26. Governor Josh Shapiro launches new tourism brand to ...

    Tourism generates more than $76 billion a year and supports 460,000 jobs across the commonwealth, experts say. ... Philadelphia city employees will soon work on-site 5 days per week.

  27. Fresh Air for May 21, 2024: Kristen Wiig : NPR

    These 3 songs capture the spirit of the summer. by Ken Tucker. See Fresh Air sponsors and promo codes. Hear the Fresh Air program for May 21, 2024.