In this article, we’ll show you ten best things to do in Philadelphia. The suggestions are based on our exciting trip to this beautiful city. We also created a mobile-friendly .pdf document covering all places in this video including maps, links, opening hours, and other information plus 10 additional attractions so that you can avoid the hustle and stress when you are in Philadelphia and help support our YouTube channel Hungry Passport. Scroll to the bottom of this article to get yours.
Here are our top 10 picks:
NUMBER 10: Independence Hall and Liberty Bell
Independence Hall is the building where the Declaration of Independence and the United States Constitution were signed, making it one of the most significant historical landmarks in the United States. Completed in 1753, the Independence hall first functioned as the Pennsylvania Statehouse.
Located across the street from the independence hall, you will find another great symbol of American independence, The Liberty Bell. The bell was originally located in the Independence Hall tower and was rung when important announcements were made, like for the reading of the Declaration of Independence on July 8th, 1776, four days after the signing. Later, Liberty Bell also became the symbol of the slave liberation movement.
NUMBER 9: Elfreth’s Alley
Elfreth’s Alley is the oldest continuously inhabited street in America. The street was intentionally built close to the port, as most of its inhabitants were merchants and artisans, and needed fast access to new shipments.
Elfreth’s Alley consists of 32 picturesque houses, all built between 18th and early 19th century. Today, the street is a National Historic Landmark. You can also visit the Elfreth’s Alley Museum to get a better sense of what life was life in the early day of Philadelphia.
NUMBER 8: Reading Terminal Market
Reading Terminal Market is an indoor public market and a food emporium offering fresh food from over one hundred merchants. The market was established in 1893, making it not only one of the largest but also one of the oldest public markets in the US. The city of Philadelphia set up the indoor market to increase safety and raise sanitary standards.
NUMBER 7: Eastern State Penitentiary
Eastern State is a former prison, which operated from 1821 to 1971 and is considered to be the world first penitentiary.
Designed so that the inmates were placed in separate confinement, the system first used in Eastern State became known as the Pennsylvania system. At the time of its construction, the penitentiary was the largest and most expensive public structure in the country.
Eastern State Penitentiary held numerous infamous criminals, including the notorious Chicago gangster Al Capone and bank robber Willie Sutton.
You can visit Eastern States Penitentiary and see the original cell blocks, places like the barber shop, and infirmary where inmates were treated, fully renovated Al Capone’s cell and numerous art displays. Check our travel guide for more information.
NUMBER 6: MUSEUMS
Philadelphia is home to some of the country’s top museums and art collections. Whether you’re interested in art, science, cultural heritage or history, you will find a museum that fits you interest here.
Some of the most famous museums include:
- Philadelphia Museum of Art, one of the largest and most visited art museums in the US, featuring a collection of over 240,000 works.
- Museum of the American Revolution: entirely dedicated to the story and timeline of the American revolution.
- Barnes Foundation: home to one of the world’s most significant collections of impressionist, post-impressionist, and early modernist works.
And other equally impressive bigger and smaller museums. Check out our travel guide for a map of fascinating museums in Philadelphia.
NUMBER 5: One Liberty Observation Deck
Philadelphia is renowned for its eye-catching skyline. To experience its impressive architecture and to enjoy the stunning views of the city from above, visit One Liberty Observation Deck, located in One Liberty Place, in the heart of the city, right above the City Hall.
The observation area offers 360 degrees views in all directions, and you can use one of the interactive maps to locate the famous attractions. Check our travel guide for more amazing views of Philadelphia.
NUMBER 4: Fairmount Park
Fairmount Park is a large urban park in Philadelphia and one of the largest city park systems in the world, covering over 2,000 acres.
The park offers an array of various attractions and recreation areas. The Schuylkill River divides the park into two main sections, the East Park and the West Park. Located on the outskirts of Fairmount Park you will find the Philadelphia Zoo, which is the oldest zoo in the United States.
NUMBER 3: Mural Art
If you walk or drive through Philadelphia, you will notice numerous murals and street art, spread out throughout the city.
The reason for that is that the most extensive national public art program was launched in 1984 to eradicate graffiti and create the space for artists to be able to make art in a positive way, as well as bring together artist and communities with a goal to transform public spaces into works of art.
As many as one hundred art projects unfold every year as a part of the Mural Arts Philadelphia.
NUMBER 2: City Hall
Built in the center of Penn Square, which was the primary location of public gatherings in the city in the early days, Philadelphia City Hall is 548 ft (167 m) tall. When completed in 1901, it was the world’s tallest inhabitable building and stayed the tallest building in Philadelphia until 1986. At the top of the building, there is a large statue of Willian Penn, the founder of Philadelphia, overlooking the city.
NUMBER 1: Penn’s Landing
Also named in honor William Penn, who landed in Philadelphia in 1682, Penn’s Landing is the city’s Delaware River riverfront, an area where events big and small are organized throughout the year.
Don’t miss Spruce Street Harbor Park with places to chill, have a drink or grab something to eat, and Blue Cross RiverRink and Ferris wheel.
In addition, Penn’s Landing also features several exciting attractions, including the Independence Seaport Museum and a collection of historic warships that you can visit.
We created a mobile-friendly .pdf travel guide that you can store offline on your phone covering Top 10 major attractions in Philadelphia, including maps, links, opening hours, and other information plus 10 additional attractions, and practical things you should know before visiting, so that you can avoid the hustle and stress when you’re there and help us sustain our YouTube channel Hungry Passport.
Do you have a favorite place in Philadelphia, or have you been to one of the places we described in this video? Share it in the comments below.