Discover the 11 Best Places to Visit in Philadelphia
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, is a city with a rich history and vibrant culture that attracts visitors from all over the world. It is home to iconic landmarks, world-class museums, and a thriving food scene. Whether you’re interested in history, art, food, or just looking for a fun time, Philadelphia has something to offer. In this article, we will explore the 11 best places to visit in Philadelphia.
Table of Contents
- The Liberty Bell
- Independence Hall
- Reading Terminal Market
- Philadelphia Museum of Art
- The Franklin Institute
- The Barnes Foundation
- The Philadelphia Zoo
- Eastern State Penitentiary
- Rittenhouse Square
- Fairmount Park
- The Magic Gardens
1. The Liberty Bell Philadelphia
|The Liberty Bell|
The Liberty Bell is an iconic symbol of American independence and a must-visit attraction in Philadelphia. It is located in the Independence National Historical Park and is free to view. The bell weighs over 2,000 pounds and is made of bronze. It has a crack in it and is no longer functional, but it is a powerful reminder of the fight for freedom.
The Liberty Bell is an iconic symbol of American independence, located in Independence National Historical Park in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. It’s one of the most recognizable landmarks in the United States, known around the world as a symbol of freedom and democracy.
The bell itself was originally cast in the mid-18th century in England and was shipped to Philadelphia, where it was installed in the steeple of the Pennsylvania State House (now known as Independence Hall). It was rung to summon citizens to hear the first public reading of the Declaration of Independence in 1776, and later became a symbol of the fight for freedom and equality.
the Liberty Bell is displayed in a glass pavilion in Independence National Historical Park, where visitors can see the bell up close and learn about its history and significance. The pavilion includes exhibits and displays that explain the bell’s history and its role in American history.
The Liberty Bell is also surrounded by other historic buildings and landmarks, including Independence Hall and the National Constitution Center. The park is a popular destination for visitors to Philadelphia, as it offers a glimpse into the city’s rich history and the birth of the United States.
2. Independence Hall Philadelphia
Independence Hall is where both the Declaration of Independence and the United States Constitution were signed. It is a UNESCO World Heritage site and a significant piece of American history. Visitors can take a guided tour of the building and learn about the birth of the United States.
Independence Hall is a historic building located in Independence National Historical Park in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. It’s one of the most important and iconic buildings in the United States, as it’s where both the Declaration of Independence and the United States Constitution were debated and signed.
The building itself was originally constructed in the mid-18th century as the Pennsylvania State House. It served as the meeting place of the Second Continental Congress, which was responsible for drafting and signing the Declaration of Independence in 1776. The building was also the site of the Constitutional Convention in 1787, where the Founding Fathers drafted and signed the United States Constitution.
Today, Independence Hall is open to the public for guided tours, where visitors can see the very rooms where these historic events took place. The tours include visits to the Assembly Room, where the Declaration of Independence was signed, and the nearby Congress Hall, where the US Congress met during the early years of the country.
Independence Hall is also surrounded by other historic buildings and landmarks, including the Liberty Bell, which is located just across the street. The park itself is a popular destination for visitors to Philadelphia, as it offers a glimpse into the city’s rich history and the birth of the United States.
3. Reading Terminal Market Philadelphia
Reading Terminal Market is a food lover’s paradise. It is one of the oldest and largest public markets in America, featuring over 80 vendors selling everything from fresh produce to artisanal cheeses. Be sure to try the famous roast pork sandwich at DiNic’s and the buttery Amish pretzels.
Reading Terminal Market is a historic public market located in Center City Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. It’s one of the oldest and largest public markets in the United States, with a history that dates back to the late 19th century.
The market is housed in a large, Beaux-Arts building that was originally built in 1893 as a train shed for the Reading Railroad. Today, it’s home to more than 80 vendors selling a wide variety of fresh produce, meats, cheeses, baked goods, and other specialty foods.
Visitors to Reading Terminal Market can explore the bustling aisles and sample a wide variety of delicious foods from around the world. Some of the market’s most popular vendors include the Amish farmers who sell fresh produce and meats, the Beiler’s Bakery, which offers a mouthwatering selection of doughnuts and pastries, and the DiNic’s Roast Pork stand, which serves up some of the best sandwiches in the city.
In addition to its food vendors, Reading Terminal Market also hosts several special events throughout the year, including cooking classes, food festivals, and other culinary events. The market is also home to the Reading Terminal Market Kitchen, a demonstration kitchen that offers classes and workshops on a variety of cooking topics.
4. Philadelphia Museum of Art
|The Philadelphia Museum of Art|
The Philadelphia Museum of Art is one of the largest art museums in the country and is home to over 240,000 works of art. The museum is famous for its collection of American art, including works by Thomas Eakins and John Singer Sargent. Visitors can also see works by Vincent van Gogh, Pablo Picasso, and Salvador Dali.
The Philadelphia Museum of Art is one of the largest and most comprehensive art museums in the United States. It’s located on a hill overlooking the Benjamin Franklin Parkway in the Fairmount section of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
The museum’s collections include more than 240,000 objects, including paintings, sculptures, decorative arts, and works on paper from around the world. Some of the museum’s most famous holdings include works by Vincent van Gogh, Pablo Picasso, Marcel Duchamp, and Salvador Dalí.
The museum’s main building is an iconic landmark in Philadelphia, with its grand neoclassical façade and grand staircase made famous in the movie “Rocky”. The museum has several wings and galleries, including the Perelman Building, which houses the museum’s costume and textile collections, and the Rodin Museum, which showcases the largest collection of Auguste Rodin’s works outside of France.
The Philadelphia Museum of Art also hosts several temporary exhibitions throughout the year, as well as lectures, concerts, and other special events. The museum offers a variety of educational programs for visitors of all ages, including guided tours, workshops, and classes.
the Philadelphia Museum of Art is a must-visit destination for art lovers and anyone interested in cultural institutions. With its extensive collections, iconic architecture, and diverse array of programming, it’s a unique and unforgettable cultural experience in the heart of Philadelphia.
5. The Franklin Institute Philadelphia
The Franklin Institute is a science museum that aims to inspire curiosity and learning. It features interactive exhibits on topics such as space, electricity, and the human body. Be sure to check out the iconic Giant Heart exhibit and the Joel N. Bloom Observatory, which offers breathtaking views of the city skyline.
The Franklin Institute is a science museum and research center located in the Logan Square neighborhood of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. It’s named after Benjamin Franklin, one of the city’s most famous residents and a renowned scientist and inventor.
The museum features a wide variety of interactive exhibits and hands-on experiences that cover a range of scientific disciplines, including physics, astronomy, biology, and more. Visitors can explore a giant heart, a 4-story-tall model of the human brain, a virtual reality exhibit, and many other engaging exhibits and displays.
One of the most popular exhibits at The Franklin Institute is the Fels Planetarium, which features a state-of-the-art projection system that creates a realistic and immersive viewing experience. Visitors can see shows about the stars and planets, as well as special presentations about current scientific discoveries and space exploration.
The museum also houses a number of research and educational programs, including a center for nanotechnology research and a program that teaches coding and robotics to young people.
In addition to its exhibits and programs, The Franklin Institute hosts several special events throughout the year, including after-hours events for adults, science festivals, and a variety of educational workshops and seminars.
6. The Barnes Foundation Philadelphia
The Barnes Foundation is an art museum that houses one of the finest collections of impressionist, post-impressionist, and early modern paintings in the world. Visitors can see works by Renoir, Cezanne, and Matisse, among others. The museum is located in a beautiful building with a stunning garden.
The Barnes Foundation is a museum located in the Logan Square neighborhood of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. It’s home to one of the world’s largest and most impressive collections of Impressionist, Post-Impressionist, and early Modern paintings.
The museum was founded in 1922 by Albert C. Barnes, a wealthy businessman and art collector. Barnes assembled a vast collection of paintings, including works by Renoir, Cézanne, Matisse, and Picasso, among many others. The collection was displayed in his home in suburban Philadelphia, where Barnes used it to promote art education and appreciation.
Today, visitors to The Barnes Foundation can see the collection on display in a modern, light-filled museum building designed by architect Tod Williams and Billie Tsien. The museum’s galleries are arranged in a unique, salon-style display that reflects Barnes’ own method of grouping artworks by color, form, and subject matter.
In addition to its permanent collection, The Barnes Foundation also hosts several temporary exhibitions each year, as well as lectures, concerts, and other special events. The museum also offers a variety of educational programs for adults, families, and school groups, including workshops, tours, and art classes.
The Barnes Foundation is a must-visit destination for art lovers and anyone interested in the history of modern art. With its world-class collection, innovative display, and diverse array of programming, it’s a unique and unforgettable cultural institution in the heart of Philadelphia.
7. The Philadelphia Zoo
|The Philadelphia Zoo|
The Philadelphia Zoo is home to over 1,300 animals from around the world. Visitors can see big cats, primates, and exotic birds, among other species. The zoo also offers a range of activities, including animal encounters, a zip line, and a carousel.
The Philadelphia Zoo is a 42-acre zoological park located in the West Philadelphia neighborhood of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. It was the first zoo in the United States to open a children’s zoo, and today it’s home to over 1,300 animals from around the world.
Visitors to the Philadelphia Zoo can see a wide variety of animals, from large predators like lions and tigers to small primates and exotic birds. The zoo is divided into several themed areas, including Big Cat Falls, Zoo360 (a series of elevated animal exploration trails), and the KidZooU children’s zoo.
One of the most popular exhibits at the Philadelphia Zoo is Zoo360, which features a network of elevated walkways and exploration trails that allow visitors to see the animals from new and exciting perspectives. There’s also a large aviary that houses over 100 species of birds, as well as a reptile and amphibian house, a primate exhibit, and a large African savanna exhibit.
The Philadelphia Zoo also hosts several special events and educational programs throughout the year, including overnight camping experiences, behind-the-scenes tours, and wildlife encounters with some of the zoo’s most popular animals.
8. Eastern State Penitentiary Philadelphia
|Eastern State Penitentiary Philadelphia|
Eastern State Penitentiary is a former prison that is now a National Historic Landmark. It was once home to some of the most notorious criminals in American history, including Al Capone. Visitors can take a guided tour of the prison and learn about its history and infamous inmates.
Eastern State Penitentiary is a former prison located in the Fairmount neighborhood of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. It was operational from 1829 to 1971 and is now a National Historic Landmark and a popular museum.
The prison was known for its innovative design and strict discipline, with each prisoner confined to a separate cell and required to remain in silence at all times. The prison was also the site of several important events in American history, including the imprisonment of Al Capone and the controversial use of medical experiments on prisoners.
Today, visitors can tour the prison and learn about its history and the lives of the prisoners who were once confined there. The museum features a variety of exhibits and interactive displays that offer a glimpse into what life was like inside the prison, including the cell blocks, exercise yards, and guard towers.
One of the most popular exhibits at Eastern State Penitentiary is the Al Capone cell, which has been restored to its original condition and features period furnishings and decorations. Visitors can also see the remains of the prison hospital and the site of the prison’s death row.
In addition to its historical exhibits, Eastern State Penitentiary also hosts several events and special programs throughout the year, including a Halloween-themed haunted house and a summer concert series.
9. Rittenhouse Square Philadelphia
Rittenhouse Square is a public park in the heart of Philadelphia’s Center City. It is a popular gathering place for locals and visitors alike and featureslush green spaces, beautiful fountains, and plenty of benches to relax on. The park is surrounded by some of the city’s best restaurants, cafes, and shops.
Rittenhouse Square is a historic public park located in the heart of Center City Philadelphia. The park is named after David Rittenhouse, a renowned astronomer and clockmaker who lived in Philadelphia in the 18th century.
The park covers a 4-acre area and is surrounded by some of the city’s most prestigious residential and commercial buildings. It’s a popular destination for locals and visitors alike, offering a peaceful retreat from the hustle and bustle of the city.
One of the key features of Rittenhouse Square is its beautiful landscaping, which includes several fountains, sculptures, and flower gardens. Visitors can enjoy a leisurely stroll through the park, relax on one of the many benches, or have a picnic on the grassy lawns.
In addition to its natural beauty, Rittenhouse Square is also a hub of cultural and social activity in Philadelphia. The park hosts several events and festivals throughout the year, including outdoor concerts, art shows, and food festivals. The Rittenhouse Square Fine Art Show, held annually in September, is one of the oldest and most prestigious art shows in the country.
Surrounding the park, there are many restaurants, cafes, and shops, making Rittenhouse Square a popular destination for dining, shopping, and people-watching. The park is also home to several historic buildings, including the Curtis Institute of Music and the Ethical Society of Philadelphia.
Rittenhouse Square is a beautiful and historic public park that offers something for everyone in the heart of Philadelphia. Whether you’re looking for natural beauty, cultural activities, or a lively social scene, Rittenhouse Square is a must-visit destination in the city.
10. Fairmount Park Philadelphia
|Fairmount Park Philadelphia|
Fairmount Park is one of the largest urban parks in the country, covering over 2,000 acres. It offers miles of hiking and biking trails, picturesque picnic areas, and stunning views of the Schuylkill River. Visitors can also explore historic mansions and gardens, including the Shofuso Japanese House and Garden.
Fairmount Park is one of the largest urban parks in the United States, spanning over 2,000 acres of green space along the Schuylkill River in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The park is a popular destination for locals and visitors alike, offering a wide range of recreational activities, cultural attractions, and natural beauty.
Some of the key features of Fairmount Park include numerous hiking and biking trails, several historic mansions and landmarks, including the Philadelphia Museum of Art, the Japanese House and Garden, and the Please Touch Museum. There are also several playgrounds, picnic areas, and sports fields throughout the park.
One of the most popular attractions in Fairmount Park is the Schuylkill River Trail, which stretches for over 30 miles and offers stunning views of the river and the city skyline. The trail is a favorite among joggers, walkers, and cyclists, and there are several access points throughout the park.
Another must-see attraction in Fairmount Park is the Philadelphia Zoo, which is home to over 1,300 animals from around the world. Visitors can see everything from tigers and gorillas to penguins and reptiles, and there are several interactive exhibits and experiences available for children and adults.
Throughout the year, Fairmount Park hosts a variety of special events and festivals, including the Philadelphia Flower Show, the annual Arts Festival, and the Wawa Welcome America festival on Independence Day. These events attract visitors from all over the region and provide a unique opportunity to experience the park and the city in a festive and celebratory atmosphere.
Fairmount Park is a beloved destination for locals and visitors alike, offering something for everyone in a beautiful and historic setting. Whether you’re looking for outdoor recreation, cultural attractions, or a peaceful retreat from the city, Fairmount Park is a must-visit destination in Philadelphia.
11. The Magic Gardens Philadelphia
|The Magic Gardens Philadelphia|
The Magic Gardens is a unique mosaic art museum and outdoor gallery created by artist Isaiah Zagar. It features colorful murals, sculptures, and installations made from recycled materials such as glass bottles and bicycle wheels. Visitors can take a self-guided tour of the indoor and outdoor spaces, and learn about the artist’s life and work.
The Magic Gardens is a unique art museum and community art center located in the South Street neighborhood of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. It was created by artist Isaiah Zagar, who has been working on the project since 1994. The Magic Gardens consist of indoor and outdoor galleries, showcasing Zagar’s mosaics, sculptures, and other works of art.
The outdoor part of the Magic Gardens features a labyrinthine walkway made of tiles, glass bottles, mirrors, and other materials. The walls and ceilings of the galleries are covered in intricate mosaic designs, with bright colors and patterns that give the space a surreal and whimsical feel.
The indoor galleries of the Magic Gardens feature rotating exhibits of contemporary art, as well as a gift shop where visitors can purchase souvenirs and artwork created by Zagar and other local artists.
The Magic Gardens is open to the public for self-guided tours, as well as guided tours led by knowledgeable staff members who can provide more information about the artwork and the history of the space. The museum is also available for private events, such as weddings and other celebrations
Visitors to the Magic Gardens can expect to be dazzled by the incredible creativity and imagination of Isaiah Zagar, as well as the vibrant and welcoming atmosphere of the South Street neighborhood. It’s a must-visit destination for anyone interested in art, culture, and the history of Philadelphia.
Philadelphia is a city that is rich in history, culture, and attractions. Whether you’re a first-time visitor or a seasoned traveler, there is always something new to discover. From iconic landmarks like the Liberty Bell and Independence Hall to the vibrant food scene and world-class museums, Philadelphia offers something for everyone.
- What is the best time to visit Philadelphia?
A: The best time to visit Philadelphia is in the spring or fall when the weather is mild and the crowds are smaller.
- How many days do I need to see all the attractions in Philadelphia?
A: It depends on your pace, but you can see most of the top attractions in 3-4 days.
- Can I visit the Liberty Bell for free?
A: Yes, admission to the Liberty Bell Center is free.
- Is there a discount pass for Philadelphia attractions?
A: Yes, the Philadelphia City PASS offers discounted admission to six top attractions, including the Philadelphia Museum of Art and the Franklin Institute.
- Where can I find the best cheesesteak in Philadelphia?
A: This is a matter of personal preference, but some of the top spots for a Philly cheesesteak include Pat’s King of Steaks, Geno’s Steaks, and Jim’s Steaks.