Philadelphia is the largest city in Pennsylvania and the fifth-most populous city in the United States.
It is located in the Northeastern United States along the Delaware and Schuylkill rivers.
Philadelphia is known for its rich colonial history, which includes being the site of both the First and Second Continental Congresses as well as the birthplace of the United States Constitution.
The city is also home to numerous museums, including the Philadelphia Museum of Art, and is one of the country’s most vibrant food scenes.
When you visit Philadelphia, you’ll be blown away by the large amount of things to do in Philadelphia.
Things To Do In Philadelphia
1. Eastern State Penitentiary
The Eastern State Penitentiary used to be one of the most famous prisons in the world.
It was also one of the most expensive to run, today you can visit the crumbling guard towers and cellblocks as a tourist attraction.
You can take tours to visit the solitary punishment cells, death row and Al Capone’s cell.
Many visitors liken the place to a haunted house and prefer to take a self guided tour around this interesting place.
A tour will take 2 hours, providing you lots of interesting architecture and photo opportunities.
Address: 2124 Fairmount Ave, Philadelphia, PA 19130-2603.
2. Philadelphia Museum of Art
The Philadelphia Museum of Art is a great way to see art from some of the worlds most famous artists.
You can find Van Gogh’s sunflowers, the world’s largest dedicated Marcel Duchamp, with a fully dedicated Rodin museum.
Outside you’ll find the rocky steps which you can choose to run up the way Rocky did in the movie.
There is also a large park behind the museum which contains a beautiful fountain.
The Philadelphia Museum of Art should take up most of your day, and it’s easy to spend a full day here.
It’s one of the top things to see when you visit Philadelphia and the Philadelphia Museum of Art is one of my personal favorites.
Address: 26th Street and the Benjamin Franklin Parkway, Philadelphia, PA 19130.
3. Barnes Foundation
The Barnes Foundation is the perfect place for art lovers, located in a beautiful building.
It houses one of the world’s largest collections of post-impressionist and early modern paintings, with works by Pierre-Auguste Renoir, Paul Cézanne, Henri Matisse, Pablo Picasso, Amedeo Modigliani, Chaim Soutine, and many more.
The museum also has a extensive collection of African art, Native American art, antiquities, impressionist art and metalwork.
The Barnes Foundation is open Tuesday through Sunday, and Admission is $22 for adults, $19 for seniors, $15 for students with ID, and free for members and children under 5.
Address: 2025 Benjamin Franklin Pkwy, Philadelphia, PA 19130.
4. Reading Terminal Market
The Reading Terminal Market is a historic public market located in the city center of Philadelphia.
The market is one of the oldest continuously operating public markets in the United States, and features over 80 vendors selling a variety of goods including Amish goods, local produce, meats, cheeses, flowers, and more.
Inside you’ll find the amazing Italian market that sells a fantastic roast pork sandwich or you can even pick up a famous Philly cheesesteak.
Being located in center city Philadelphia, the market can get busy on weekends.
Make sure you arrive hungry, as there are so many food choices to try out and experience.
Some of my favorites are the donuts, pretzels, cheesesteak and a variety of baked goods.
The market is open Monday through Saturday 8am to 6pm, and Sunday 9am to 5pm. Admission is free.
Address: 51 N 12th St, Philadelphia, PA 19107.
5. Independence Hall
Independence Hall is where the Second Continental Congress met from 1775 to 1783 and the Constitutional Convention met in 1787.
In just a short visit you’ll be able to learn about so much history, you can take a quick guide through Independence Hall with a park ranger.
Independence Hall is a must see for American history buffs.
The building is now part of Independence National Historical Park and is open to the public for tours. Admission is free, although it’s recommended to get timed tickets before arriving. Walk in tickets may be limited.
Address: 520 Chestnut St, Philadelphia, PA 19106.
6. The Liberty Bell Center
The Liberty Bell Center hosts the historic bell, located a short walk from Independence Hall.
The bell was commissioned in 1752 and was used to summon lawmakers to legislative sessions and as a symbol of freedom during the American Revolution.
This unique piece of American history is a must see, you’ll be able to snap some great pictures and browse the various displays.
The bell is now located in Independence National Historical Park and is open to the public for tours. Admission is free.
The line to get inside can look long, but it moves quickly.
Address: 6th and Market Streets, Philadelphia, PA 19106.
7. Elfreth’s Alley
Elfreth’s Alley is the oldest continuously inhabited residential street in the United States, with houses dating back to 1702.
The Alley will take you a step back in time to the colonial times.
The alley is named after a blacksmith who lived in the 18th century. Elfreth’s was one of many blue-collar workers who once inhabited the region. The homes are built in a Georgian and a Federal style.
The street is now a National Historic Landmark and is open to the public for tours. Admission is free.
Address: 124-126 Elfreth’s Alley, Philadelphia, PA 19106.
8. The Betsy Ross House
The Betsy Ross House is the site of the first American flag and is also where Betsy Ross lived and worked.
The house is now a museum and is open to the public for tours, located just around the corner from Elfreth’s Alley.
You can take a look at Betsy’s exciting life and learn through the audio tour. With a live actress playing Betsy Ross, you’ll see her come to life.
You’ll see the station where she sewed the first American flag and learn in much more detail about her life.
Admission is $5 for adults, $4 for seniors, $3 for students, and free for children under 5.
Address: 239 Arch St, Philadelphia, PA 19106.
9. Philadelphia Zoo
The Philadelphia Zoo is the oldest zoo in the United States.
The zoo has over 1,300 animals and is open daily from 9:30am to 5:00pm.
There are tons of animal exhibits to see in this zoo, whether you want to see big cats, tigers, monkeys, goats or the reptile house, you’ll be able to see it all in one place.
The Zoo can get crowded on weekends, so if you want to see all the animals without the crowds, visit during the week.
Admission is $19 for adults, $17 for seniors, $15 for children ages 2-11, and free for members and children under 2.
Address: 3400 W Girard Ave, Philadelphia, PA 19104.
10. Rodin Museum
The Rodin Museum houses the largest collection of Auguste Rodin’s works outside of Paris, including The Thinker and The Kiss.
Inside the museum you’ll find Rodin sculptures along with art work by Marino Marini, Jean Arp, Matisse, Jaques Lipchitz and Giacometti.
One of my personal favorites inside the museum was the reflective pool which really built the Parisian atmosphere.
The museum is open Wednesday through Sunday, and Admission is $10 for adults, $7 for seniors, $8 for students with ID, and free for members and children under 12.
Address: 2151 Benjamin Franklin Pkwy, Philadelphia, PA 19130.
11. The Franklin Institute
The Franklin Institute honors the famous scientist Ben Franklin.
It is dedicated to the life and work of Benjamin Franklin, and features exhibits on science and technology.
You can walk through and enjoy the various interactive exhibits, a wide variety of ongoing exhibitions and some theatrical experiences.
The Franklin Institute focuses on educating the public and creating a passion for the next generation of scientists.
The Franklin Institute is perfect for family visits and great for children to enjoy.
The Benjamin Franklin Museum is open daily, and Admission is $19 for adults, $17 for seniors, $13 for children ages 3-11, and free for members and children under 3.
Address: 222 N 20th St, Philadelphia, PA 19103.
12. One Liberty Observation Deck
The One Liberty Observation Deck is located on the 57th floor of One Liberty Place and offers views of Philadelphia.
You’ll be able to see the city skyline in all its glory, with unobstructed views.
Alongside the Philadelphia skyline, you’ll be able to see the Delaware river, love park, the Benjamin franklin bridge, south Philly and the old city.
The deck is open daily, and Admission is $14.50 for adults, $9.50 for children ages 3-11, and free for members and children under 3.
Address: 1650 Market St, Philadelphia, PA 19103.
13. Museum of the American Revolution
The Museum of the American Revolution is dedicated to the American Revolution and features exhibits on the people, events, and ideas of the time.
Inside the museum you’ll find tons of things to see from the Revolutionary era. You’ll see weapons, documents, art, personal items and more all from that era.
The theater experiences and digital elements help bring it to life. You can spend hours in this museum with lots of interactive displays and great artifacts to browse.
The museum is open daily, and Admission is $19 for adults, $17 for seniors, $12 for students with ID, and free for members and children under 6.
Address: 101 S 3rd St, Philadelphia, PA 19106.
14. Citizens Bank Park
Citizens Bank Park is the home of the Philadelphia Phillies, and it also hosts concerts and other events.
I recommend going to see a Phillies game and getting yourself a cheesesteak to go along with it.
For those that have never been to a baseball game, this is a must see. The food is delicious and it’s a great way to embrace American culture by enjoying a classic baseball game.
The park is open year-round, and Admission varies depending on the event.
Address: 1 Citizens Bank Way, Philadelphia, PA 19148.
15. Philadelphia’s Magic Gardens
Philadelphia’s Magic Gardens is a public art space.
It is home to mosaics, murals, and sculptures by artist Isaiah Zagar.
Take your time during this unique experience as you walk through this Gaudi like outdoor art space. There are tons of photo opportunities to be had whilst browsing through Zagar’s magical art.
During the night you’ll find the night gardens which are perfect for date night.
The gardens are open daily, and Admission is $10 for adults, $5 for seniors and students with ID, and free for children under 12.
Address: 1020 South St, Philadelphia, PA 19147.
16. Spruce Street Harbor Park
Spruce Street Harbor Park is located on the Delaware river waterfront.
It features a boardwalk, gardens, food trucks, and an outdoor pool.
It’s perfect for roller skating during the day or exploring some arcade games whilst you enjoy some food from the long line of vendors.
At night you’ll find the whole place change as it lights up with lights in the trees around you.
For those looking for a relaxing way to explore the city, this is a must visit. If you’re wanting to rest, lay down in one of the many hammocks and enjoy the stars.
The park is open daily from Memorial Day to Labor Day, and Admission is free.
Address: 301 S Christopher Columbus Blvd, Philadelphia, PA 19106.
17. City Hall
The City Hall Visitor Center is located in Philadelphia’s City Hall and offers tours of the building.
It’s a great place to go and see the beautiful building of City Hall and admire some fantastic architecture.
City Hall is a great place to get some photos and take in the fantastic architecture,
The tour is offered daily at 12 o’clock. You can take an elevator up the tower and spend 15 minutes up there, to take some photos and take in the views.
Address: 1 Penn Square Room 121, Philadelphia, PA 19107.
18. South Street
South Street is home to shops, restaurants, and nightlife.
You’ll find over 300 stores and restaurants located across South Street.
For those looking to get a bite to eat or see some of the South Philly culture, this place is great to visit.
Some of my favorites on South Street are Bob & Barbara’s dive bar, Lorenzo’s pizza and the Tattooed Mom.
Make sure to see many of the amazing murals which are located in the surrounding alleys along the street.
Address: South St, Philadelphia, PA 19147.
19. Cherry Street Pier
Cherry Street Pier is a public market and is part of the greater Penn’s landing.
It features local vendors selling food, art, and other goods.
You’ll find lots of art work across the street, with a cafe at the end of the pier.
For those food lovers you’ll find lots of pastries and fresh food which can be bought from the vendors, whilst listening to some great live music and entertainment.
The pier is open daily, and Admission is free.
Address: 121 N Christopher Columbus Blvd, Philadelphia, PA 19106.
20. Fairmount Park
Fairmount Park is the largest municipal park in Philadelphia and features trails, gardens, and historic sites.
The park spans over 9200 acres, with millions of trees and even contains the encompasses the Philadelphia Zoo.
Fairmount Park also runs along the Schuylkill River, where you can see boat house row, cherry blossoms and more.
Bike riding is the most popular way to get around this large green space and is recommended for those looking to explore more than you can see on foot.
Fairmount Park is open daily, and has free admission.
Address: 3300 W Girard Ave, Philadelphia, PA 19104.
21. National Museum of American Jewish History
The National Museum of American Jewish History is dedicated to the history of Jews in America and features exhibits on the experience of Jewish immigrants.
Throughout the museum you’ll find various interactive exhibitions, which teach and highlight the journey from immigrants of a Jewish descent. It shows their impact on America and how it has shaped it into the country it is today.
The museum is open Wednesday through Sunday, and admission is $12 for adults, $10 for seniors, $9 for students with ID, and free admission for children under 5.
Address: 101 S Independence Mall E, Philadelphia, PA 19106.