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Things to do in Philadelphia

Things to do in  Philadelphia

Welcome to Philadelphia

Get an up-close look at American history in the City of Brotherly Love, an early capital of the United States. History lovers, foodies, and adventurers will find plenty of things to do in this bustling city: Book a private or group tour to experience Philly’s sights, sounds, and tastes. Start with a hop-on hop-off city sightseeing tour on a double-decker bus. You’ll get your bearings and stop wherever you like—and hop back on when you’re ready. Tour major historic sites such as the Liberty Bell, Independence Hall, and Congress Hall, plus the Betsy Ross House, Constitution Center, and the immense City Hall topped with a statue of William Penn. Or get some exercise with a walking or bike tour around the city center. Culinary tours focus on Philly’s vibrant local brewery scene and regional specialties, such as soft pretzels, Philly cheesesteaks, and cuisines from around the world. (Try an Uzbekistan restaurant.) Peruse the outdoor Italian Market, one of the country’s oldest, for cannoli and fresh pasta. Then turn your focus to culture: Take a tour of public art, including sculptures and murals, and discuss what the artists intended with your guide. Head to the Philadelphia Art Museum, the Franklin Institute, and the 42-acre Philadelphia Zoo. And cap off your day with an evening bus tour through the city’s lights, a dinner cruise, or a pub crawl, for a great night’s sleep, before starting again in the morning.

Top 15 attractions in Philadelphia

Liberty Bell Center

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The Liberty Bell, a 2,000-pound (907-kilogram) piece of American history, was forged in London's Whitechapel Foundry and represents freedom in the city where the Declaration of Independence was crafted. Now set in the Liberty Bell Center, the bell was commissioned in 1752 and has been in Philadelphia since British Colonial rule.More

Philadelphia Museum of Art

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The Philadelphia Museum of Art is one of the largest public art galleries in the United States. Along with its main Greco-Roman style building—home to works by Rubens, Monet, and van Gogh—this cultural treasure boasts four smaller museums and is fronted by the “Rocky Steps,” immortalized in the hit 1976 film Rocky.More

The Franklin Institute Science Museum

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One of the country’s first science museums, the Franklin Institute takes its name from inventor and former Philadelphian Benjamin Franklin. Today, it serves as an entertaining and educational destination for visitors of all ages—its hands-on exhibits, temporary exhibitions, planetarium, and other offerings make it a family-friendly must.More

Philadelphia City Hall

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Philadelphia City Hall, in the middle of Center City at the intersection of Broad and Market streets, is visible from all over town. For nearly 100 years, it remained the tallest structure in the city. Though it no longer bears the accolade, City Hall remains one of the city’s most recognizable historic buildings.More

Betsy Ross House

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George Washington supposedly asked Betsy Ross to stitch the first-ever American flag. The seamstress is said to have created the Stars and Stripes in 1776. Today, visitors can explore the 18th-century house where Betsy Ross purportedly lived, examine artifacts from her life, and even meet a costumed Betsy Ross impersonator.More

Philadelphia Zoo

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The Philadelphia Zoo is perfect for families with kids looking for a break from the historical sites, though it has some historical significance as well—it was the nation’s first zoo. It’s home to over 1,300 different animals, many of them rare and endangered, and renowned for successfully breeding animals that are difficult to breed in captivity.More

Christ Church

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Founded in 1695 and located in the heart of Old City, Christ Church is one of Philadelphia’s oldest and most significant religious landmarks, formerly attended by Founding Fathers including George Washington. Christ Church Burial Ground serves as the final resting place of Benjamin Franklin, George Ross, and other American luminaries.More

Rocky Statue

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The larger-than-life bronze statue standing at the base of the steps to the Philadelphia Museum of Art has become an essential stop on any visit to the hometown of fictional fighter Rocky Balboa. The massive Rocky Statue—both arms raised—was made for the movie Rocky III (1982) and gifted to the city by actor Sylvester Stallone.More

Congress Hall in Philadelphia

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Congress Hall played an important role in the history of the United States. Following the American Revolutionary War, Philadelphia was declared the capital city and Congress Hall served as the home of the U.S. Congress from 1790-1800. Today, the building is part of Independence National Historic Park and is open to the public for tours.More

Elfreth's Alley

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Billed as the oldest residential street in the United States, Elfreth’s Alley dates back to 1702. A National Historic Landmark and a living museum, the narrow, cobbled alley features 32 buildings in Georgian and Federal styles. It’s also home to Elfreth's Alley Museum House.More

Philadelphia Old City

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Old City is a neighborhood in Central City Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, known for its antiquated charm and many historic sites important to the birth of the United States. Wander down its narrow cobblestone streets and you'll feel like you're stepping through a time warp into 18th-century colonial America.More

National Constitution Center

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Located on Philadelphia’s historic Independence Mall, the National Constitution Center is dedicated to honoring and exploring the United States Constitution, which (ratified in 1788) is the supreme law of the nation. The sprawling, tech-savvy museum brings the Constitution to life via interactive exhibits and dramatic presentations.More

Eastern State Penitentiary

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At the time of its construction in 1829, Eastern State Penitentiary was the most expensive public structure ever built, housing notorious criminals such as gangster boss Al Capone and bank robber Willie Sutton. No longer a functioning prison, the structure is now open to the public as a National Historic Landmark.More

Fairmount Park

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The largest park in Philadelphia—and one of the biggest swaths of urban green space in the country—Fairmount Park is also home to public artworks, museums, and historic highlights. With east and west sections divided by the Schuylkill River, Fairmount Park stretches across 2,052 acres (830 hectares).More

Independence National Historical Park

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Known as “America’s most historic square mile,” Independence National Historical Park comprises the most significant landmarks linked to the Revolutionary War and the founding of the United States. Highlights of the park, located in Philadelphia’s Old City and Society Hill neighborhoods, include Independence Hall and the Liberty Bell.More

Trip ideas

How to Spend 3 Days in Philadelphia

How to Spend 3 Days in Philadelphia

Top activities in Philadelphia

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Recent reviews from experiences in Philadelphia

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Great tour!
Stephanie_W, Nov 2022
Old City Historic Walking Tour in Philadelphia
First time In Philadelphia and wanted to see the history .
star-5
A nice way to see the sites and get around
Roslyn_S, Oct 2022
Philadelphia Hop-On Hop-Off City Tour
This was a great way to see a "birds-eye" view of many of the sites of Philadelphia.
star-5
Great way to see History!
justinekloske, Oct 2022
Philadelphia Horse Drawn Carriage Tour
Great way to see the historic center of Philadelphia!
star-5
Fantastic information,...
Kathleen_F, Sep 2022
Double Decker Hop-On Hop-Off City Sightseeing Philadelphia (1, 2, or 3-Day)
Certainly great way to see Philadelphia
star-5
Worth every penny.
Amber_D, Sep 2022
Double Decker Hop-On Hop-Off City Sightseeing Philadelphia (1, 2, or 3-Day)
What a great way to see Philadelphia.
star-5
Great night riding tour
Dolores_H, Aug 2022
Philly By Night Double Decker Bus Tour
Tour guide pointed out all the hot spots to visit.
star-5
Great way to see some of...
Ann_G, Aug 2022
Philadelphia History, Highlights, & Revolution Tour
Great way to see some of the most important historical sites of Philadelphia.
star-5
Delightful
Gina_F, Aug 2022
Philadelphia Hop-On Hop-Off City Tour
What a way to see Philadelphia.
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Philly at night
shawn_m, Jul 2022
Dark Philly Adult Night Tour
A great way to see Philadelphia in a alif back setting while learning about it
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Philadelphia
Rita_R, Jul 2022
Philadelphia History, Highlights, & Revolution Tour
Then go back to see inside some of the historic buildings and museums.
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Philadelphia Segway Tour
Tracey_H, Aug 2022
Philadelphia Segway Tour
Riding Segways through Philadelphia was a very fun way to see the city!
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Great tour and amazing tour guide!
Lexi_C, Aug 2022
Old City Historic Walking Tour in Philadelphia
My husband and I spent a few weeks in the summer exploring many cities in the U.
star-5
Best way to see Philadelphia!
Fortunata_B, Aug 2022
Double Decker Hop-On Hop-Off City Sightseeing Philadelphia (1, 2, or 3-Day)
I found this to be the best way to see and learn all the history Philadelphia has to offer and would definitely do it again.
star-5
See the best of Philadelphia.
Kathryn_O, Jul 2022
City Sightseeing Philadelphia Hop-On Hop-Off Bus Tour
We loved to opportunity to see a wide range of Philadelphia and learn interesting facts and stories.
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Great time!
Valerie_B, May 2022
BYOB Historically Hilarious Trolley Tour of Philadelphia
Such a fun way to see the sites of Philadelphia!
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If you love music!
h7r7pmjbqr, Feb 2022
The Musical History Tour
It was great to see so many iconic Philadelphia landmarks along the way.
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Great way to see the city
john_p, Oct 2021
BYOB Historically Hilarious Trolley Tour of Philadelphia
Unique way to see Philadelphia and spend time with friends while drinking your favorite beverage
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Good Experience
Floyd_P, Jun 2021
Spirit of Philadelphia Signature Dinner Cruise with Buffet
We especially enjoyed the cruise and being able to see Philadelphia skyline at sundown.
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Amazing cool experience!
Adi_A, May 2021
Philadelphia Segway Tour
Such a cool way to see Philadelphia.
star-5
Was an excellent tour!! A...
David_R, Jul 2022
Philadelphia Hop-On Hop-Off City Tour
A great way to see Philadelphia in 2 hours!
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All about Philadelphia

When to visit

Following its long winter, Philadelphia is more than ready to shine when the weather warms up. Spring highlights include Mexican Week, the South Street Spring Festival, Aberdeen Dad Vail Regatta, Broad Street Run, and the long-running Easter Promenade. Alternatively, fall brings crisp temperatures and the chance to see the city bathed in autumnal hues.

Currency
US Dollar ($)
Time Zone
EST (UTC -5)
Country Code
+1
Language(s)
English

People Also Ask

What is Philadelphia famous for?

Philadelphia was the nation's early capital, and history buffs can discover the Liberty Bell, follow in the footsteps of the Founding Fathers in Old City, and visit Independence Hall, where the Constitution was drafted. Philly is also known for its Art Museum (immortalized in "Rocky"), its sports teams, and its cheesesteaks.

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How can I spend a day in Philadelphia?

Begin a day in Philadelphia among the landmarks of Independence National Historical Park before heading to the indoor Reading Terminal Market for a hearty lunch. Afterwards, continue to the Philadelphia Museum of Art for a dose of culture, and finish with a stroll among the shops and restaurants of Rittenhouse Square.

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Is Philadelphia worth visiting?

Yes, the Philadelphia area welcomes upwards of 40 million visitors per year, and its wealth of historical landmarks, cultural destinations, and distinctive neighborhoods make it a must-visit city. Sports teams like the Eagles and the Phillies are a draw, and the city's dozens of museums and top-tier dining scene added bonuses.

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What attractions are there in Philadelphia?

Philadelphia has a wealth of attractions, including historic landmarks (Independence Hall, the Liberty Bell, City Hall) and museums (the Philadelphia Museum of Art, the Barnes Foundation, the National Constitution Center). Eastern State Penitentiary is a macabre draw, while Longwood Gardens and Fairmount Park are popular warm-weather destinations.

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What should I avoid in Philadelphia?

Philadelphia has something for everyone, but it's wise to do your research: squeamish visitors should skip the medical oddities of the Mütter Museum, and those bored by politics should avoid the National Constitution Center. Additionally, beware of tourist-trap cheesesteaks: try Angelo's or Jim's instead.

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Is Philadelphia dangerous for tourists?

No, Philadelphia is not usually dangerous for tourists, but the city does have elevated levels of crime. While the main attractions of Center City are usually a safe bet, it's best to avoid straying into outlying neighborhoods in North, West, and South Philadelphia, and to avoid walking around alone at night.

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