What to see in Philadelphia

Who I am
Martí Micolau

wikipedia.org, lonelyplanet.com

Author and references


  • Top ten things to see
  • Your holiday is two clicks away from here!
  • Book your hotel!
  • Practical information for travel arrangements
  • Philadelphia itinerary in 2 days

Philadelphia, located on the banks of the Delaware River, is the sixth largest city in the United States and the most important in the state of Pennsylvania, as well as one of the oldest in America.

Founded by a Quaker in the XNUMXth century, along with Boston, Philadelphia played a key role in the birth of the United States.

This is where it was signed the Declaration of Independence, and this is also where the American Constitution was drafted.

These important events, and its timeless charm, make Philadelphia a practically obligatory stop on any itinerary to discover the east coast of the northern United States.

To visit its main attractions, including the famous Rocky stairway, two days is more than enough.

Top ten things to see

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Visitor Center

It is the starting point for visiting the city. Information, tickets, maps and everything you need to see Philadelphia.

Independence National Hall Park

This national park is also called "the most historic square kilometer in America", due to the historical richness it breathes.

Eastern State Penitentiary

State prison until 1971, where famous criminals such as Al Capone were imprisoned.

Society Hill

It is the symbolic district of the city, the one that still maintains the features of the time of the foundation intact.

The Poe N.H. Site

It is the house that Edgar Allan Poe lived in before moving to New York, where he wrote several works.

The Rocky Staircase

The Rocky Staircase is located near the beautiful Philadelphia Museum of Art. You can't visit one and miss the other.

Independence hall

Seat of the old parliament where the declaration of independence was signed and the American constitution drafted.

Liberty Bell

It is the bell symbol of freedom and independence for all Americans, built in 1751.

Spagnan Market

It is the Spanish market of Philadelphia, full of shops and restaurants of Spanish delicacies.

The Gallery

Large shopping mall full of American and Asian restaurants.

Book your hotel!

Best Western offers a wide selection of hotels in the USA dedicated to the needs of every traveler: discover all the offers and choose the solution that best suits your trip.

Practical information for travel arrangements

In a little while I will tell you all there is to do and see in Philadelphia in two days, but first I want to give you some information on means of transport you will find in the city, and on the ways you have to save on the cost of the attractions you are going to visit.

Transport overview

First, you need to know that the Philadelphia's historic center is quite intimate, therefore, if you wish, you can safely move around on foot.

Alternatively there are public transport, operated by the South Eastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority (SEPTA). In Philadelphia they are present the bus, the Metro and the Tram.

The Metro has only two lines, the Broad Street Line (orange line, active from 05:00 to 24:00), which crosses the city from north to south, and the Market – Frankford Line (blue line), which instead runs from east to west, starting from 69th Street station.

As for the tram, called "Trolley", there are 5 lines present in the city (10, 11, 13, 15, 34 and 36), which all start from 13th Street and reach, respectively, 63rd Street - Malvern Avenue, Darby Transportation Center (11 and 13), 61st Street and 80th Street Eastwick.

The cost of a ride for bus, Metro and tram is of $ 2,50 if you pay in cash directly on the means of transport. If you buy the so-called Tokens (tokens) you save 50 cents, because each token costs $ 2,00.

Token packs can also be purchased, the cost of which varies based on the number of tokens purchased (the 2 pack costs $ 4,00, the 5 pack costs $ 10,00 and the 10 pack costs $ 20,00).

Alternatively, you can purchase the Key Card, on which it is possible to load both the cost of the single journey and the season tickets.

The Weekly Trans Pass, the 56-ride weekly pass, costs $ 25,00. Given the limited time you will spend in the city, however, purchasing a pass is definitely useless.

Rather, you can think of buying a Hop - On, Hop - Off tour of one or two days (the maximum is three days), which with a single ticket allows you to move from one attraction to another in the city, descending and ascending. from the special buses without having to buy a new ticket every time.

Save on admission to attractions

Well, now let's talk a little about the attractions. For save on the cost of tickets of the main attractions that are located in Philadelphia, and to avoid having to buy a lot of different tickets, you could buy one of the many passes available.

A pass allows you to visit multiple attractions with a single combined ticket, as well as saving you some money compared to buying individual tickets separately.

To find out more and choose the one that best suits your needs, you can read the article dedicated to the Philadelphia Pass that you find here on the site.

Okay, I'd say I've told you everything. Now we can begin our two day itinerary in beautiful Philadelphia.

Philadelphia itinerary in 2 days

Day 1


Liberty bell

Independence Visitor Center, Liberty Bell e Liberty Bell Center, Independence Hall, Reading Terminal Market, Philadelphia Museum of Art, One Liberty Observation Deck.

A self-respecting Philadelphia itinerary cannot ignore the visit of the places that were the scene of some key moments of the Revolution first and then of the birth of the United States.

We will spend our morning in the area dell’Independence National Historical Park, where all the buildings that were the scene of important events during the period of the American Revolution are located.

Departure fromIndependence Visitor Center, where you can find all the information you need to visit the symbolic places of the city.

After having collected all the necessary material, we set out to reach the second stage, which is the Liberty Bell Center; right in front of it is located the Liberty Bell, the Liberty Bell.

Arrived in Philadelphia in 1752, this bell (you will recognize it thanks to a crack that crosses it vertically for almost its entire length) has an immense historical and patriotic value, because it was rung on the occasion of the reading of the Declaration of Independence.

We conclude our morning with a visit all’Independence Hall, the place where the history of the United States was made. It is here, in fact, that the Founding Fathers drafted and signed not only the Declaration of Independence, but also the Constitution.

Leaving behind this extraordinary building, we go to the famous one Reading Terminal Market to give us a snack, before continuing our tour.

In the afternoon we head towards the Philadelphia Museum of Art, in the vicinity of which it is located the famous staircase where one of the most popular scenes of the film was shot Rocky, con Sylvester Stallone.

We conclude the day admiring the city cloaked in the light of the sunset from the privileged point of view of the One Liberty Observation Deck.

Day 2


Franklin Institute

Eastern State Penitentiary, National Liberty Museum, Cathedral Basilica of Saints Peter and Paul, Franklin Institute

Our morning begins with a visit to the majestic, and somewhat sinister, former Philadelphia prison, l’Eastern State Penitentiary, where we will also be able to see the cell where Al Capone was imprisoned and continues with the National Liberty Museum.

The National Liberty Museum is a museum dedicated to the principle of freedom. The visit to the museum will take us through 8 galleries where there are 179 contemporary art masterpieces, and will allow us to discover the stories of more than 2.000 extraordinary characters, such as Nelson Mandela and Jackie Kennedy.

In the entrance gallery, the Welcome Gallery, is a life-size replica of the Liberty Bell.

Like yesterday, before getting back on the road we treat ourselves to a good lunch at Reading Terminal Market.

If gloomy places are not our thing, we can opt for a walk in the historic Elfreth’s Alley, before visiting the National Liberty Museum.

Elfreth's Alley is one of the oldest streets in the whole of the United States; its buildings (built between 1720 and 1930) represent a typical example of colonial architecture.

At the Museum dedicated to this picturesque street in Philadelphia it is possible to book guided tours of the street and the museum itself, lasting about 45 minutes.

If, for lunch, we want to try something different, we can choose the characteristic Spagnan Market on South 9th Street.

The first afternoon stop on our second day of travel to Philadelphia is there Cathedral Basilica of Saints Peter & Paul, which is right on the road leading to our last stop.

Again we can choose to visit the famous one Franklin Institute, a museum dedicated to science and technology, or opt for an afternoon spent admiring the animals of the Philadelphia Zoo.

Located in the Centennial District, this large zoo was the first true zoo in the United States; today it hosts more than 300 species, many of them at risk of extinction.

Particularly interesting are the Zoo 360 Animal Exploration Trails (Gorilla Treeway, Treetop Trail, Great Ape Trail, Big Cat Crossing and Meerkat Maze), which allow animals to move more freely around the park and offer visitors a truly unique experience.

Here we are at the end of our tour. If you liked it, you just have to get in gear and go for yourself and discover all the beauties Philly has to offer!

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