Destinations / City Breaks / Philadelphia
A holiday in Philadelphia is a real "American" experience. Founded by William Penn in 1682, it's the second largest city on the east coast. Popularly known as "Philly", the city has given its name to the Philadelphia cheesesteak, hoagie and soft pretzel, so food is obviously important here and has been shaped by the broad ethnic mix.
Delightful neighbourhoods, lined with clap-board houses, traditional brownstones and painted stoops are reminiscent of old Philadelphia. Architecturally, the city has many gems from Liberty Place and Liberty Bell to Independence Hall and City Hall. The PSFS building, the first international-style skyscraper built in the United States, remains the most important one of the 20th century. Culturally, the city is home to the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts, Museum of Art, the Rodin Museum, the Barnes Foundation, the Franklin Institute and a plethora of galleries, clubs, museums, concert halls and theatres. Home to the Philadelphia Eagles, the city is awash with sporting grounds where softball, baseball and basketball games keep the fervent fans happy.
The city has a number of uber-cool neighbourhoods, all with their own unique attractions. Fishtown, Fairmount, Cedar Park, Pennsport, Bella Vista and University City are worth exploring as they have excellent night life options, great restaurants, craft beer halls, funky bars, trendy boutiques, emerging art galleries and local food markets. Philadelphia holidays must include a visit to Franklin Square, one of five squares laid out by William Penn in his original city plan. Featuring a carousel, mini golf, an electrical light spectacle, burger joint and a storytelling bench, Franklin Square is dedicated to family fun.
A city break in Philadelphia is a fantastic experience full of fun, diversity and great sightseeing. To enhance your Philly experience, we have a fine selection of the best hotels in the city to choose from.
Did You Know...?
With over 2000 outdoor murals, Philly earned the nickname the “mural capital of the U.S.”
Philadelphia had the first electronic computer in 1946.
Philadelphia was the first city in the U.S. to guarantee religious freedom to immigrants.
Top Reasons to Visit Philadelphia
- Fascinating American History
- World-class Museums
- Unique City Spots
Fascinating American History
First opened in 1753, both the Declaration of Independence and the US Constitution were signed inside Independence Hall. Now, it is the centre of Independence National Historic Park and a UNESCO World Heritage site.
Once placed at the steeple of the Pennsylvania State House, the Liberty Bell heralded important political meetings taking place inside, as well as standing as a symbol for freedom and independence. It famously cracked shortly after it was hung, but is now a major tourist attraction across the street from Independence Hall.
This historic street dates all the way back to 1702, before America became an independent country. There are 32 houses on the street which were built between the years 1728 and 1836, as well as an Elfreth's Alley Museum, which is a National Historic Landmark.
Betsy Ross House
Though there aren't really any substantial facts that prove Betsy Ross sewed the first American flag, you can still visit her historic home in Philadelphia! The colonial house was built in 1740 and remains one of the most popular tourist attractions in the city today.
Philadelphia Museum of Art
As one of the largest art museums in the world, the Philadelphia Museum of Art is an essential stop on your tour of the city. Don't miss extensive exhibits ranging from Ancient Greek scultpure to Impressionist paintings. Also, climb the famous steps to the museum entrance which feature in the Rocky films.
Named after the influential scientist and politician Benjamin Franklin, the Franklin Institute is a science museum and major centre of research and edcuation in Philly. The science museums hosts a variety of engaging, interactive exhibits and a planetarium, making it an enjoyable stop for people of all ages.
National Museum of American Jewish History
This museum is the only one of its kind in the country, detailing the life experiences and achievements of Jewish people in America. There are a range of artefacts from the colonial period to modern times, and a Hall of Fame which includes American pioneers like Albert Einstein, Stephen Speilberg, and Ruth Bader Ginsburg.
Museum of the American Revolution
Here you can learn all about how the former colonies achieved independence from Great Britain and became the United States of America in the 1770's. The museum is located in the heart of Philadelphia, the city which played a major role in the events of the war, just two blocks from Independence Hall.
Unique City Spots
Reading Terminal Market
As the longest-running farmer's market in the United States, Reading Terminal Market is a great place to check out. Vendors sell all sorts of goods, from fresh produce to gourmet chocolate. The market is open all year round and is indoors.
Philadelphia's Magic Gardens
Located on trendy, upbeat South Street, Philadelphia's Magic Gardens are a folk art exhibit and non-profit organization. The art collection is a series of colourful mosaics, spreading across 3 outdoor lots and an indoor exhibit.
One of the most iconic spots for a photograph in Philly, Love Park houses a replication of Robert Indiana's LOVE sculpture which overlooks the square. The park is located right in Center City for easy access along your sight-seeing tour.
Spruce Street Harbor Park
An urban "beach" in the Penn's Landing area of Philadelphia, Spruce Street Harbor Park is home to 100 hammocks, thousands of LED lights, and many restaurants and pubs. The park is only open in the warmer months, and is a great place to spend some time on a warm summer night.
Philadelphia Airport Transfers & Weather
Philadelphia International Airport (PHL)
Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority (SEPTA) provides train service between Center City and the Airport every 30 minutes via the Regional Rail Line. The trip takes approximately 30 minutes and costs about $6.75 for a one-way ticket.
There are also three bus routes from the Airport into the city, which cost $2.50 for a single journey and take approximately one hour.
A taxi from the Airport to Center City costs approximately $30 and takes 20 minutes.
* Prices and times for transport from the airport are subject to change