Philadelphia is a large, bustling, yet quaint city known for the birthplace of American democracy, cheesesteaks and home to the Philadelphia E-A-G-L-E-S! Affectionately known as The City of Brotherly Love and Sisterly Affection, it welcomes all generations to visit. If you are a lover of history or looking for a new city to explore, Philly will not disappoint. It aims to cater to all of your senses, especially your tastebuds. Whether you are looking for delectable bites, cocktails, open air-cafes, art, music, nightlife, or shopping, this city has it all.

Dilworth Plaza 

Dilworth Plaza is four acres of newly renovated lush green lawns, a fountain, a café  and an outdoor skating rink in the spring and summer months that morphs into an ice skating rink in the fall and winter. Located at the doorsteps of City Hall, it hosts a variety of events from yoga to outdoor musical concerts, dance performances and outdoor movie screenings. The park offers free Wi-Fi for you to stay connected while on the go. Dilworth Plaza is easy to get to via Lyft or Uber or public transit.

Independence Hall 

Every city has one landmark you have to check out. Independence Hall which sits on the 45-acre National Historic Park, is the place in Philadelphia that you really can't miss. This distinguishable, red-bricked Georgian-styled structure is the birthplace of the Declaration of Independence, thus the hall's name. 

You can watch artists reenact the signing of the declaration of independence and a short distance away, you can even see the Liberty Bell.

Six neighborhoods to explore in Philadelphia

Entrance to the Philadelphia Art Museum and its famous steps known from the Rocky movie.
You may not know the Philadelphia Art Museum but you know its steps thanks to the Rocky movie © Samuel Borges Photography / Shutterstock

The Philadelphia Museum of Art 

The Philadelphia Museum of Art is home to over 240,000 works of art from countries and cultures around the world. The museum is made up of the main building, the Rodin Museum, the Ruth and Raymond G. Perelman Building and Mount Pleasant and Cedar Grove Park Houses and covers over 1 million-sq-ft of property. 

The museum’s 72 steps were made famous by actor, Sylvester Stallone in the movie, Rocky. Definitely race to the top. Don’t forget to grab a selfie to capture the moment.

X-finity Live! 

The arena-like sports bar has five bars and three homegrown restaurants Chickie’s and Pete’s (known for its Philly famous Crab Fries), Geno’s Steaks (cheesesteaks) and Lorenzo and Sons Pizza (large thin-crust pizza slices). Xfinity Live! is conveniently located between Citizens Bank Park, Lincoln Financial Field and the Wells Fargo Center. 

It’s the perfect location to watch all Philly sports teams on the big screen. Join in with fans as they cheer or chant for their favorite teams. If you’re feeling adventurous, try riding the bull at PBR: A Coors Banquet Bar. How long do you think you can hold on before being tossed from the bull?

South Street 

The 14-block stretch of clothing boutiques, bars, restaurants, art galleries is another excellent location to people-watch. Known for its bustling and lively atmosphere. You can eat like a local and try everything from gyros, cheesesteaks, Caribbean cuisine, authentic Mexican dishes and much more. 

Milk Boy bar offers creative cocktails and live musical performances from local bands. Take public transit or a carsharing service since parking can be a bit of a challenge, especially during peak hours. If you can, catch a show at the Philly famous TLA (Theater of Living Arts). Check the website for upcoming performances. Standing room mostly with a tiny VIP section.

The best free things to do in Philadelphia 

Customers shopping at Reading Terminal Market. There are large signs hanging from the ceiling.
Reading Terminal Market houses over 80 merchants © Sean Pavone / Shutterstock

Reading Terminal Market

Smell freshly baked cakes and breads from Beiler's Bakery, munch on Creole flavors from Beck's Cajun Cafe or sip on locally roasted coffee at Old City Coffee, Reading Terminal Market offers an extensive variety of cusines from over 80 merchants. 

Reading was originally made up of two markets, the Farmers Market and the Franklin Market. Over 100,000 tourists and Philadelphian residents visit the market weekly. In 2018, the market celebrated its 125th anniversary; making it one of the largest and oldest public markets in the country. 

The Philadelphia Fashion District

The Philadelphia Fashion District is 1,100,000 sq-ft of pure shopping bliss! The newly renovated establishment includes a movie theater, bowling alley and amusement center which offers, billiards, karaoke and 250 arcade games, and two lip-smacking, eye-popping must-see attractions. 

First, Candytopia (a showcase of confectionary displays that will tantalize your tastebuds and makes for a perfect selfie), Wonderspaces – a 24k sq-ft space offers mesmerizing exhibits for the entire family. Enjoy 90 minutes of extraordinary wonderment. Tickets are required for both attractions.

The 7 best day trips from Philadelphia 

Abandoned jail cell block with a skylight at the Eastern State Penitentiary in Philadelphia
Some of the most infamous American criminals have spent time at Eastern State Penitentiary © Lori Labrecque / Shutterstock

Eastern State Penitentiary

This historic prison has housed mobsters like Al Capone, William “Slick Willie” Sutton and Morris “The Rabbi” Bolber. It’s a little easier to get in these days. You have several options to view the historic prison – book a walk-through during the day, a virtual tour, or if you’re brave enough, a night tour. Remember, Eastern State Penitentiary is considered one of the most haunted sites in the country. 

Boathouse Row

Fifteen houses make up the historic row of social and rowing clubs and even the Navy. Many of the area collegiate teams practice rowing on the Schuylkill River. You can take a walk, jog, or rent a bike to take in the beauty of the 12-acre area of lush green lawns, walking and bike trails. During the holiday seasons, the houses are decked out in colorful lights. 

The African American Museum

Four levels of interactive exhibits and objects commemorating the history of African Americans and their ancestors make up the African American Museum. In 1976, the Smithsonian Institute created the museum for the Bicentennial celebration. It’s conveniently located two blocks from Independence Hall. Check out Audacious Freedom: African Americans in Philadelphia 1776-1876. 

This is a permanent display that focuses on the contributions made by Philadelphians of African descent. You can view images, historical records and much more. Timed tickets are required and available through the website.

You might also like: 

5 essential Black history sites in Philadelphia
How to spend the perfect weekend in Philadelphia 
The best vegan restaurants in Philadelphia 

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