Philadelphia Travel Guide 2023

by grace ashi
Philadelphia Travel Guide

Philadelphia Travel Guide: Exploring the City of Philly

If you’re looking for a comprehensive Philadelphia Travel Guide, you came to the right place. Metropolitan Girl’s Ultimate Philly travel guide will  help you maximize your experience in this culturally rich and historic city.  As a World Heritage City, and one of the most visited cities in the US, Philadelphia city offers  attractions and experiences that cater to every traveler’s interests.

In this guide, we’ll discuss the best times to visit Philadelphia for optimal weather conditions and seasonal events. You’ll also learn how to navigate public transportation from the airport as well as compare hotel amenities and locations in order to find the perfect accommodations for your stay.

The iconic landmarks will take you through Independence Hall, Liberty Bell Center, Betsy Ross House, Elfreth’s Alley, and more. We’ll also provide tips on capturing memorable photos at the famous Rocky Steps while sharing must-see exhibits inside The Art Museum.

For those interested in local craft beer culture, our Philadelphia Travel Guide will introduce you to Philly’s Craft Beer Trail with top breweries worth visiting along with organized tasting tour options. Finally, indulge in some mouthwatering culinary delights by trying iconic foods unique to Philly while discovering what Reading Terminal Market has in store for food enthusiasts. 

Brief History of Philadelphia, Pensalvenia

Philadelphia, also known as the City of Brotherly Love, is a vibrant city with a rich history that dates back to the 17th century. The city was founded in 1682 by William Penn and served as the capital of the United States from 1790 until 1800.

Philadelphia played an important role in American history. It was here where both the Declaration of Independence and the U.S Constitution were signed at Independence Hall. Today, visitors can tour this historic building and learn about its significance in shaping American democracy.

Best Time to Visit Philadelphia

Fall is the ideal season for visiting Philadelphia, as it offers pleasant weather and fewer crowds. The mild climate of autumn provides an opportunity to explore the city’s vibrant culture and its many attractions, while taking in the stunning fall foliage.

Experiencing Fall Festivals and Events in Philadelphia

In addition to its historical sites, Philadelphia hosts a variety of fall festivals that cater to different interests. From food events like Philadelphia Food & Wine Festival to cultural celebrations such as FringeArts Festival, there are plenty of opportunities for visitors looking for unique experiences during their stay.

Advantages of Traveling During Shoulder Seasons

  • Better hotel deals: With fewer tourists around, hotels often offer discounted rates or special packages during shoulder seasons like fall. Check out popular options such as Hotel Monaco or Hotel Palomar for great deals on accommodations.
  • Avoiding long lines: Many popular attractions including Independence Hall and The Franklin Institute tend to have shorter wait times when visited outside peak tourist months.
  • Mild weather: While summer can be hot and humid in Philly, fall brings cooler temperatures perfect for exploring outdoor landmarks like South Philly Barbacoa or strolling through one of the city’s many parks.

If you’re planning a trip using this  Philadelphia travel guide, consider visiting during the fall season to make the most of your experience. Not only will you be able to enjoy all that this World Heritage City offers, but you’ll also have a chance to take part in unique events and festivals while enjoying the beautiful fall foliage.

The best time to visit Philadelphia is a personal choice that depends on your interests and budget, but there are advantages to visiting during shoulder seasons. For those looking for more information about getting to and staying in Philadelphia, the next heading provides helpful tips.

Getting to  Philadelphia

How to Get to Philadelphia

As the second largest city on the East Coast, Philadelphia is easy to get to. Here are some of the best ways to travel to Philly:

  • Amtrak Train: The Amtrak train stops at William H. Gray III 30th Street Station, which is just minutes from the centre of the city. You’ll be met by the art deco building as you step off the train and onto Philadelphia soil.

  • Greyhound Bus: The Greyhound service takes you to Philadelphia from cities Pittsburgh, Baltimore,  Northern Virginia, New York City and Washington D.C. If you want to save a few dollars, you can try Megabus and BoltBus, who operate services from Baltimore, Boston, New York, and Washington D.C. Keep an eye out on their website for special offers, as their seats famously start from just $1.

  • Philadelphia International Airport: Fly into Philadelphia International Airport, located just seven miles from the center of the city and welcoming visitors from 120 destinations. Southwest Airlines serves the West Coast. while American Airlines will see you safely to Philadelphia.  

  • Ground Transportation: Once you arrive at the airport, jump on SEPTA’s Airport Regional Rail Line which takes you straight into the center of Philly. If you’re looking to travel by taxi into the center of the city, expect to pay a flat rate fee of just under $30.

  • Road Trip: For anyone planning a multi-city road trip, Philadelphia is the perfect add-on. It’s about two hours from New York City, three hours from Washington D.C. Once you’re finished in Philadelphia, you can travel an hour outside the city to visit Atlantic City.

  • SEPTA’s Regional Rail: The Airport Line connects all airport terminals directly to Center City Philadelphia, making it an affordable and convenient option.
  • Taxis: Available at Zone 5 on the Commercial Transportation Roadway, taxis offer fixed rates based on your destination within the city.
  • Rideshare Services: Apps like Uber and Lyft provide door-to-door service from the airport to your chosen accommodation.

Where to stay in Philadelphia

If you’re planning a trip to the City of Brotherly Love, it’s important to find the right area to stay in. Here are some of the best neighborhoods and hotels that will make your visit unforgettable:

Center City

Center City is where most tourists choose to stay because it’s close to many attractions such as Independence Hall, Reading Terminal Market, and Rittenhouse Square. One great hotel option is Hotel Monaco which offers luxurious accommodations and easy access to all that Center City has on offer.

Hotel Monaco Website

Museum District

The Museum District is perfect for art lovers with its abundance of museums including The Franklin Institute and The Philadelphia Museum of Art. If you want an upscale experience during your visit, consider staying at Hotel Palomar which boasts beautiful views of the city skyline.

Hotel Palomar Website

South Philly Barbacoa Neighborhood

If you’re looking for a more authentic experience, South Philly Barbacoa neighborhood might be just what you need! This area is known for its delicious food scene with plenty of street vendors selling tacos and other Mexican delicacies. For accommodation options here check out Airbnb or VRBO.

No matter where you decide to stay in Philadelphia, there are plenty of things this historic city offers visitors from around the world!

  • Independence Hall: A must-visit attraction where both the Declaration of Independence was signed & Constitution was written.
  • The Franklin Institute: A science museum with interactive exhibits for all ages.
  • South Philly Barbacoa: A neighborhood known for its delicious Mexican food scene.

Make sure to plan your trip ahead of time and book your accommodations early as Philadelphia is a popular destination year-round!

Best Hotels in Philadelphia 

Choose from various accommodation options that cater to different budgets and preferences while providing a comfortable stay. Some popular choices include:

  1. Club Quarters Hotel: Located in Rittenhouse Square, this hotel offers modern amenities such as complimentary Wi-Fi, fitness center access, and unlimited chilled bottled water stations throughout its premises.
  2. Sonesta Hotel: Situated in the heart of downtown, this upscale hotel features a rooftop pool, on-site dining options, and contemporary guest rooms with city views.
  3. Windsor Suites: Offering spacious apartment-style accommodations complete with fully-equipped kitchens and separate living areas, Windsor Suites is perfect for those seeking a home-away-from-home experience during their visit to Philadelphia.

No matter where you choose to stay in the City of Brotherly Love, make sure to take advantage of all that the Philadelphia travel guide has to offer. From historic landmarks like Independence Hall to the Philadelphia Museum of Art, and from the Franklin Institute to Hotel Palomar’s proximity to South Philly Barbacoa – there’s something for everyone.

For a true appreciation of Philadelphia, make sure to plan your visit and explore its deep-rooted history and culture. For those looking for an immersive experience of this World Heritage City, there are plenty of landmarks that will bring its rich past alive.

 Attractions and Things to do in Philadelphia 

Explore World Heritage City Landmarks

As a World Heritage City with 67 National Historic Landmarks, there are plenty of must-see sites throughout Philly. From Independence Hall where America’s founding documents were signed to Benjamin Franklin’s home site – immerse yourself in American history.

Visiting Independence Hall & Liberty Bell Center

Independence Hall, the birthplace of both the Declaration of Independence and the U.S. Constitution, is an essential stop on any Philadelphia travel guide itinerary. Guided tours provide fascinating insights into these historical events and their significance today. Just across from Independence Hall lies the Liberty Bell Center, housing one of America’s most iconic symbols representing freedom and independence.

The Betsy Ross House & Elfreth’s Alley

Dive deeper into Philadelphia’s rich past by visiting two more historic landmarks: The Betsy Ross House, where you can learn about the life and contributions of this famous seamstress who sewed America’s first flag; and Elfreth’s Alley, known as “America’s oldest residential street,” which dates back to 1702. Stroll along its cobblestone path while admiring preserved colonial-era homes and imagining life in early America.

  • Independence Hall: 520 Chestnut St, Philadelphia, PA 19106
  • Liberty Bell Center: 526 Market St, Philadelphia, PA 19106
  • Betsy Ross House: 239 Arch St, Philadelphia, PA 19106
  • Elfreth’s Alley: 126 Elfreths Aly, Philadelphia, PA 19106

No visit to the City of Brotherly Love would be complete without exploring these historical gems. Soak up the rich history that surrounds you as you walk through the very places where our nation was born.

For those looking for more modern attractions, the Philadelphia Museum of Art is a must-visit. Home to over 240,000 works of art, including pieces by Van Gogh and Monet, this museum is a true cultural gem. Another must-visit is the Franklin Institute, a science museum with interactive exhibits that are fun for all ages.

When it comes to food, Philly is known for its cheesesteaks, but there’s so much more to try. For a truly authentic experience, head to South Philly Barbacoa for some of the best tacos in the city. And for those looking for a unique place to stay, the Hotel Monaco and Hotel Palomar offer luxurious accommodations in the heart of the city.

With so much to see and do, it’s no wonder why Philadelphia is a top travel destination. Start planning your visit today.

Exploring World Heritage City Landmarks is an incredible experience that allows you to witness the history of Philadelphia first-hand. Now, let’s take a look at what it takes to have an iconic Rocky Steps Experience.

Iconic Rocky Steps Experience

Relive one of cinema’s most iconic moments by running up the steps of the Philadelphia Museum of Art just like Rocky Balboa did. Enjoy breathtaking views of downtown Philly once you reach the top before exploring this world-renowned museum housing over 240,000 works spanning centuries.

Tips for Capturing Perfect Photos at Rocky Statue

  • Timing: Visit early in the morning or late afternoon to avoid crowds and capture stunning photos with natural lighting.
  • Perspective: Experiment with different angles and perspectives to create unique shots that showcase both the statue and its surroundings.
  • Framing: Frame your photo with elements such as trees, buildings, or other sculptures to add depth and context to your image.

Must-Sees Inside The Art Museum

The Philadelphia Museum of Art is home to an extensive collection that covers various periods and styles. Here are some must-see highlights during your visit:

  1. The Large Bathers (Les Grandes Baigneuses), a masterpiece by French artist Paul Cezanne, showcases his innovative approach towards composition and color usage.
  2. America’s oldest complete automobile – an 1892 model called “The Balzer” – can be found within their transportation exhibit. This rare gem provides insight into how far automotive technology has come since then.
  3. Dive into American history through artwork by exploring the museum’s extensive collection of American Art, including pieces by renowned artists such as Thomas Eakins, Mary Cassatt, and Winslow Homer.
  4. Discover the fascinating world of medieval armor and weaponry in their Arms and Armor exhibit. The museum’s Arms and Armor exhibit boasts an array of over two thousand items from different areas such as Europe, Japan, India, Iran, Turkey and beyond.

With its rich history and diverse exhibits on display at the Philadelphia Museum of Art – not to mention its iconic Rocky Steps – this is one stop you won’t want to miss during your visit to Philly.

The iconic Rocky Steps experience is one of the most memorable moments for any visitor to Philadelphia, and it’s sure to be an unforgettable part of your trip. Ready for more? Next up on our Philly travel guide is discovering the city’s craft beer trail.

 

Takeaway: 

Experience the iconic Rocky Steps at the Philadelphia Museum of Art and enjoy breathtaking views of downtown Philly before exploring their extensive collection. Capture perfect photos at the Rocky Statue by visiting early in the morning or late afternoon, experimenting with different angles and framing your shot with elements such as trees or buildings to add depth and context.

 Best Places to Eat and Drink in Philadelphia

Try Philly’s Craft Beer Trail

For the beer connoisseur, Philadelphia’s craft brewing scene offers an abundance of flavorsome brews to sample on its Craft Beer Trail, either independently or as part of a guided tour accompanied by delectable cuisine. Embark on a self-guided tour along its Craft Beer Trail or join organized tours for tastings paired with delicious food.

Top Breweries to Visit on the Trail

  • Yards Brewing Company: Known for their signature Ales of the Revolution series, Yards offers a variety of beers inspired by historical recipes from Benjamin Franklin and Thomas Jefferson.
  • Philadelphia Brewing Co.: Located in a historic building, this brewery produces classic styles like Kenzinger Lager and Walt Wit Belgian White Ale alongside seasonal offerings.
  • Love City Brewing: This newcomer to the Philly beer scene focuses on approachable brews with standout options such as Eraserhood IPA and Unity Kolsch-style ale.
  • Evil Genius Beer Company: With tongue-in-cheek names like “Stacy’s Mom” Citra IPA and “#Adulting” Guava-infused ale, Evil Genius brings both humor and quality to their diverse lineup of beers.

Organized Beer Tasting Tour Options

If you prefer guided experiences, there are several companies offering brewery tours in Philadelphia. City Brew Tours provides an all-inclusive experience, with transportation and tastings at multiple breweries, as well as a meal to keep you fueled for your beer adventure. Another option is the Philly Beer Scene Awards-winning Philadelphia Brewery Tour, which takes visitors on a behind-the-scenes look at local brewing facilities while sampling their finest creations.

Whether you’re a seasoned craft beer aficionado or just looking to explore the city’s vibrant brewing culture, the Philadelphia Craft Beer Trail offers an unforgettable journey through some of the best beers this historic city has to offer.

After discovering the local craft beer scene, visitors to Philadelphia can look forward to indulging in some of the city’s most iconic culinary delights. Reading Terminal Market is an ideal place for exploring a variety of flavors and finding something delicious that suits any palate.

Best Restaurants in Philadelphia

Philadelphia is a melting pot of diverse cuisines, from traditional Philly cheesesteaks to innovative farm-to-table dishes. Savor mouthwatering meals at renowned restaurants and explore local markets for fresh produce and artisanal products that showcase the city’s culinary prowess.

Iconic foods every visitor must try

No visit to Philadelphia would be complete without trying some of its iconic dishes. Start with the famous Philly cheesesteak, a delicious sandwich made with thinly sliced beefsteak and melted cheese on a long roll. Head over to Pat’s King of Steaks or Geno’s Steaks for an authentic experience. Another must-try dish is the soft pretzel, best enjoyed from street vendors or Philadelphia Pretzel Factory. For dessert, indulge in scrumptious Pennsylvania Dutch-style donuts from Beiler’s Bakery located inside Reading Terminal Market.

 Reading Terminal Market

Reading Terminal Market, one of America’s oldest public markets, offers visitors an incredible array of food options under one roof. Here are some highlights:

  • DiNic’s Roast Pork: Known for their succulent roast pork sandwiches topped with sharp provolone cheese and broccoli rabe – voted as America’s Best Sandwich by Travel Channel.
  • Hunger Burger: Try their signature P.O.P.E. Burger, featuring a juicy beef patty topped with provolone cheese, sauteed onions, and long hots.
  • South Philly Barbacoa: A local favorite for authentic Mexican barbacoa tacos made from slow-cooked lamb or pork served on handmade corn tortillas. Don’t forget to try their homemade salsas.

Beyond these delicious options, Reading Terminal Market is also home to various specialty food vendors offering fresh produce, meats, seafood, baked goods, and more – making it the perfect spot for a culinary adventure in Philadelphia.

FAQs in Relation to Philadelphia Travel Guide

What do I need to know before going to Philly?

Before visiting Philadelphia, familiarize yourself with the city’s rich history and cultural attractions. Research transportation options, such as public transit or rideshare services. Be prepared for varying weather conditions depending on the season. Also, make sure to try local cuisine like cheesesteaks and soft pretzels while exploring popular landmarks like Independence Hall and Reading Terminal Market.

What is the most famous thing about Philadelphia?

The most famous aspect of Philadelphia is its historical significance in American history. The city was a central location during the Revolutionary War and served as America’s first capital. Key sites include Independence Hall, where both the Declaration of Independence and Constitution were signed, Liberty Bell Center housing the iconic symbol of freedom, and numerous other historic landmarks.

Is Philadelphia a good tourist destination?

Absolutely. As a World Heritage City with deep historical roots, diverse culinary scene, vibrant arts community, and sports teams like the Eagles and 76ers that draw passionate fans, there are plenty of activities catering to various interests making it an ideal destination for tourists from around the world.

What is the number one tourist destination in Philadelphia?

The top tourist attraction in Philadelphia is undoubtedly Independence National Historical Park, which includes must-see sites such as Independence Hall – birthplace of US democracy – and Liberty Bell Center showcasing an enduring symbol of freedom visited by millions each year.

Conclusion

In conclusion, Philly is a city packed with fascinating stories,  activities and scrumptious treats to be savored any season. Visitors can experience fall festivals and events while taking advantage of the shoulder season to avoid crowds. To ensure a comfortable stay, it’s important to navigate public transportation from the airport and compare hotel amenities.

Exploring landmarks like Independence Hall and Liberty Bell Center, capturing perfect photos at the Rocky Statue, discovering Philly’s craft beer trail, indulging in iconic foods every visitor must try, and exploring Reading Terminal Market are just some of the highlights that make up this comprehensive Philadelphia Travel Guide.

If you’re planning your next trip to Philadelphia or looking for more travel inspiration, be sure to check out Metropolitan Girl, where you’ll find even more insider tips on how to make your visit unforgettable!

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