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Top Things To Do In Philadelphia

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Things To Do In Philadelphia

If you are reading this article then you have stumbled upon the list of the best and most interesting things to do when you visit Philadelphia Pennsylvania.

While you are here, you will find a lot of things, do in Philly what you want as you will certainly find something for yourself. From welcoming people and the original cheesesteak, Philadelphia has a number of attractions that will let you indulge in the history of the United States.

There are a number of museums as well as historical landmarks that make for great tourist hotspots. Among must see attractions are the Independence Hall and the Liberty Bell.

Make the best of your trip to Philly while you are here. Keep reading below to find out about some of the best things to do in Philadelphia.

Liberty Bell

things to do in Philadelphia
Liberty Bell | Britt Reints

Originally cast in Great Britain, the Liberty Bell was recast in Philadelphia in 1753 for the State House. It was later moved to its location next Independence Hall.

The Liberty Bell has been used as a call to rally people of many movements such as the Pennsylvania Assembly, Suffragists, Civil Rights advocates and Native Americans. The bell has a crack since it was struck for the first time and even though it has been recast several times, the crack is still there.

The Liberty Bell is known to be a symbol for freedom, with the Latin verse inscribed on it that says: “Proclaim Liberty throughout all the Land unto all the Inhabitants thereof”.

Benjamin Franklin Museum

things to do in  Philadelphia
Benjamin Franklin Museum Parkway | Jim, the Photographer

Dedicated to the founding father of Philadelphia, the Benjamin Franklin Museum.

The museum is known to host several of the personal artifacts of Benjamin Franklin along with many exhibits and interactive displays.

Benjamin Franklin was a man of many talents, being a scientist, diplomat, inventor, activist and a pioneer of the ages.

The museum is a great place to be for visitors of all ages and offers one a chance to live as Franklin did when he was alive.

Valley Forge National Historical Park

things to do in  Philadelphia
Soldiers’ Huts, Valley Forge National Historical Park | Ken Lund

The Valley Forge National Historical Park is the site where many soldiers died fighting the battles of Brandywine and German town.

This huge expanse is a great place to enjoy natural beauty away from the bustle of the city. You can enjoy walks, runs and picnics while you are here and also take some time to explore the many monuments and statues along the way.

The cannons are artillery park can be a great experience for history nuts. To learn more about the history of the place, you can visit the Welcome center and see muskets and more historical artifacts.

Eastern State Penitentiary

things to do in Philadelphia
Eastern State Penitentiary, bed in cell | Lorie Shaull

Now a US National historic Site, the Eastern State Penitentiary was a prison building used from 1829 to 1971.

It was built on a system that became a model for over 300 prisons worldwide. The prison was once harboring notorious people such as Willie Sutton and Al Capone.

This landmark location provides many tours and can be a really great trip to take when you are visiting with your family.

Franklin Square

Franklin Square fountain |
Philip Northeast

A great family friendly attraction to visit, the Franklin Square is a popular attraction that is the center for much stuff to do in Philly.

With mini golf, picnic areas and places to eat at, a visit to Franklin Square is a really wholesome experience.

Philadelphia’s heritage of carousel making is celebrated at the Liberty Carousel. a great place for kids, enjoy racehorses on the carousel like Smarty Jones and Afleet Alex.

William Penn, who is known to have created five original attractions in the city, marks Franklin Square Fountain as its center piece.

The Rocky Steps

Rocky Steps | InSapphoWeTrust

The movie Rocky (1976) was filmed in Philadelphia and consequently the Rocky steps which are also known as the art museum steps have become a major public art attraction.

There is a sculpture that was created for Rocky III and was gifted to the city by Stallone.

A great attraction for your entire family and you can recreate the movie by running up and down from the steps and take home great pictures of your trip.

Independence National Historical Park

Independence National Historical Park | National Park Service

The declaration of independence was signed in Independence Hall and is recognized as the birthplace for American democracy.

Millions of tourists visit the INHP every year and find some of the most well known attractions in the world such as the Liberty Bell.

Other buildings to visit in the park are Congress Hall, Franklin Court, the Bishop White House and the New Hall Military Museum.

All of these are free to do when you make visiting this park one of the thing that you must visit while you are in Philly.

Philadelphia Museum of Art

Philadelphia Museum of Art  | Jim, the Photographer

The Philadelphia Museum of Art hosts some of the most interesting and impressive art pieces in the world.

Featuring art from the ages like the Renaissance, American, Impressionism and Modern art. The  Philadelphia museum of art is a location that you must visit while you are in Philadelphia.

A great place to visit with your family and friends. There is also an upper level to the museum that showcases the diverse societies in the world.

There are 80 period rooms that showcase cultures and societies from around the world in the Philadelphia Museum of Art.

Eat a Cheesesteak

Philly Cheesesteak  | eric molina

Cheesesteak is the one meal that is synonymous with Philly. The cheesesteak has three components, making it a simple delicacy that is famous all around the world, and Philadelphia has rights reserved to be the center of it all.

If you order a Philly cheesesteak anywhere else that is not Philly, that is not a Philly Cheesesteak.

A roll filled with sauteed beef with Cheez Whiz cheese, with the choice of onions or not, the Philly Cheesesteak is a classic delicacy and once that you absolutely must try when you find yourself in Philadelphia.

Fairmount Park

Fairmount Park | Tony Fischer

A great park that is over 2000 acres across and that you can use for hiking, jogging and biking.

The park also houses a Japanese Garden and the oldest zoo in the country. Many of the best activities in the city of Philadelphia can be found in Fairmount Park such as Boathouse Row, the Wheel Fun run and more.

To get an even comprehensive list of the best stuff to do while in the park, click here.

National Museum of American Jewish History

The National Museum of American Jewish History features a huge collection of over 20000 artifacts that chronicle the lives of the 360 years that Jewish people have found a home in the US.

A place to visit when you wish to learn about the lives of the Jewish immigrants and to interact as a visitor by sharing your own story.

There are a number of famous objects here such as the Irving Berlin’s Piano, Einstein’s Pipe as well as interactive art displays.

Reading Terminal Market

Center City neighborhood in Philadelphia is home to the Reading Terminal Market that has been around since 1893.

Now, the market in Center City has become a well developed location with a number of restaurants and bars. If you are in the Reading Market for some shopping, you will be able to navigate through using the many neon signs.

A very well known Center City eatery here is DiNic’s that is famous for its roast pork sandwich.

Rittenhouse Square

things to do in Philadelphia
Rittenhouse Square | chrisinphilly5448

A great park with a fountain in the center, the Rittenhouse Square is one of the most scenic places in the city.

You can always find people taking photographs here. A great restaurant that overlooks the Rittenhouse Square park is Parc.

Rittenhouse Square is a great place for a picnic and some light walking around.

Philadelphia Magic Gardens

Magic gardens, Philadelphia |
Kevin Burkett

This outdoor gallery/ sculpture garden created by artist Isaiah Zagar features serene and beautiful creations in the most random of places.

There are three city lots that are covered by the Philadelphia Magic Gardens project and what is the result is a combination of mirror fragments, tiles and random objects that showcase the fast paced life of the city.

There are indoor and outdoor spaces, filled with attractions that are extremely picturesque. This place is one of the best in the city for some family friendly fun.

The entrance fee is $10 and there are other places in the area that feature works to see if you are not able to enter the building.

Mural Arts Philadelphia

Mural in South Philly along East Passyunk Avenue | Michael Stokes

The Mural Arts program is the country’s largest public art program.

Philadelphia has learned to embrace public art in the form of murals and there are many of them to be found all across the city.

Find some exciting and beautiful public art pieces such as Common Threads and Families Stay Together and also a series of graphic patterns like Calligrifiti by el Seed.

The Mural Arts Philadelphia program is known to host tours across the town to help engage people with the art and the community.

There are train, foot and trolley tours happening over the weekend, so find some time in your itinerary for a fun trip across the city.

City Hall

Things to do in Philadelphia
City Hall, Philly |
Michael Righi

The largest municipal building in the country is also a architectural wonder with beautiful interiors and art.

A statue of William Penn hovers over the city, looking over at his creation. While not being a tourist hotspot, it can sure be fun to pop into the building for a five minute trip.

Battleship New Jersey

Battleship New Jersey | CL Photographs

Take a trip into American Naval History by coming to see the Battleship New Jersey. Since its decommission in 1991, you can come and see the battleship and tour it.

This makes for a really fun filled trip and detour from the urban based attractions of Philly.

You can check out their 4D simulator and take tours around until you have had your fill of the naval attraction.

Adventure Aquarium

Adventure Aquarium | CL Photographs

This is a really great location that is not only kid friendly but also informative and educational for all ages.

There are over 8000 aquatic species that live in the adventure aquarium such as turtles, stingrays and African Penguins. If you are coming here with children, KidZone is a great place for them to learn and entertain themselves along the way.

The Adventure Aquarium is the biggest collection of sharks on the east coast.

The Philadelphia Zoo

The Philadelphia Zoo | Jim, the Photographer

Find the Philadelphia Zoo in the Victoria Garden featuring many fascinating exhibits on animals.

The Philadelphia Zoo was the first charted American zoo and also the first to have chimpanzee and orangutan births, as well as the first white lions.

A great exhibit in the Philadelphia Zoo is the Zoo 360 that has see through mesh trails allowing animals to roam above the visitors in the zoo.

A great place of kids within the zoo is KidZooU where mini horses and farm animals such as sheep, goats, ducks and chickens are there to see.

LOVE Park

Love Park | Travelfusion

The entrance to the Benjamin Franklin Parkway is the LOVE park, originally called the John F. Kennedy Plaza but called LOVE park due to the LOVE statue.

This is the place where many food trucks in Philadelphia are known to hang. A great place to chill and hangout, the LOVE park is a favorite spot for tourists and locals alike.

The Oval

This venue is a seasonal attraction that transforms into a outdoor haven and party spot in the summers.

With food trucks and community activities such as games like connect 4, chess and more, the Oval is a great place to meet people and make new friends. The Oval is frequented by both tourists and locals.

What is Philadelphia known for?

Philadelphia is one of the most famous cities in the United States. With a rich history and several prominent figures like Benjamin Franklin being associated with the city, Philly is known for many things. Lets go over them:

Cheesesteaks

Iconic Cheesesteak Joint | Leif Kurth

One of the first things that come to people’s minds when they talk about Philadelphia are the cheesesteaks.

Philly is known for serving the most delectable cheesesteaks and you can find a eatery selling them on every corner.

History

Philadelphia has had an extremely rich history that makes it a tourist hotspot today. It can be called the birthplace of the United States as both the declaration of independence and the constitution were written here.

Philadelphia was deeply embroiled in the colonial struggle and there are many artifacts in the city that commemorate the history of the city such as the Liberty Bell, Congress Hall and the Museum of the American Revolution.

Sports

The people of Philadelphia are quite into sports and there are many top teams prominent in many different sports from Philly.

If you are a sports fan then a trip to Philadelphia will probably be a really good choice. You can catch a game at one of the many stadiums in the city and you can spend hours talking to the locals about their favorite sports.

Is Philadelphia Safe?

Philadelphia can be a dangerous place if you are not careful. While you vacation in the city, it is imperative for you to take care of yourself and avoid places that the locals tell you to avoid.

That being said, if you are able to take all the precautions and don’t go inviting trouble then you will find that your vacation in Philadelphia will go without any problems. For example you shouldn’t roam around at night wearing gold or diamond jewelry but as long as you keep your wits about, Philadelphia is not as bad as people will make it out to be.

We hope you enjoyed our article about the best things to do in Philly. We hope that your vacation in Phila is going to be great and you are able to enjoy yourself.

Let us know in the comments below if you enjoyed this article and your thoughts about it. If you have been to Philadelphia before and would like to share your experiences then feel free to use our comment section.

In light of the COVID 19 pandemic, please make sure that your vacation in Philadelphia or any other place that you go to is safe. Please take care of all the safety and social distancing norms and observe all personal hygiene precautions.

If you take care of yourself then there is no reason for you to enjoy your vacation in Philadelphia any less.

Thanks for reading and enjoy your travels.

Also Read : Things to do in Pennsylvania

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