Philadelphia is the City of Brotherly Love and home to some of the USA’s most important historical events. Visit the site of the signing of the Declaration of Independence and ring the Liberty Bell, before strolling along cobbled streets and finding somewhere to get your hands on a famous Philly cheesesteak. This city strikes the perfect balance between historic landmarks and modern appeal, while maintaining a laidback, welcoming atmosphere.
Before discovering the treasures of Philadelphia, why not embark on a tour taking in the best of the east coast? Starting in New York City, our eight-day Great Eastern Cities Tour will show you some of the highlights of the US’s east. Explore the best of Philadelphia on an in-depth tour of the city and learn about its impressive history and fascinating attractions.
Or why not take on the United States on a larger scale on our epic 22-day self drive adventure, The Great American Roadtrip? You will stop at Philadelphia along the way across the country, through 12 states. Contrast this great city with some of America’s other big personalities and step back in time as you take in stories of the past and evidence of Philadelphia’s bright future. Visit the battlefields, take in the small town charm of its more residential streets and join in with the outdoor living in parks, gardens and street side cafés.
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“There’s a strong BYOB culture at hundreds of restaurants throughout the city, so be sure to take advantage of this when and where you can.”
“I love Philadelphia’s Magic Gardens. The beautiful colours and designs of the mosaic and the crazy sculptures make this folk-art space really inspiring. There are classes and workshops that you can join as well.”
“I always like to have a book about the place I’m visiting on the go before and during a trip. I’d recommend Walking Broad by Bruce Buschel, which really brings the city to life through the author’s interviews with people he encounters across the city.”
Frequently Asked Questions
When’s the best time of year to visit Philadelphia?
Winters in Philadelphia can be freezing, so it’s best to hold out until spring or autumn before visiting. Summer is by far the most popular time and brings with it the Philadelphia International Festival of the Arts in June, and huge Independence Day celebrations at the Wawa Welcome America in July.
Which tourist attractions in Philadelphia are free?
The Liberty Bell and Independence Hall are both free to visit, and many of the museums around the city have free and discounted visiting times. For example, every Wednesday from 5.00 until 8.45pm, admission to the Philadelphia Museum of Art is free.
What food is Philadelphia known for?
A large immigrant population has contributed to some of Philadelphia's most iconic foods, including the Philly cheesesteak – sliced beef and melted cheese on an Italian roll – as well as stromboli, hoagies, soft pretzels, flavoured water ices and carbonated drinks such as Hires Root Beer, Black Cherry Wishniak or Vanilla Cream.
Philadelphia is the birthplace of the United States as we now know it, with a wonderfully rich history and equally vibrant culture in the present day. Explore the myriad museums throughout the city to enlighten you on American history, before heading off the beaten track to hang out in art spaces and independent coffee shops.
Why you'll love Philadelphia...
- Visiting the birthplace of the United States at the Independence National Historical Park
- Descending into the eerie basement that inspired Edgar Allen Poe’s The Black Cat
- Immersing yourself in Amish culture on a trip outside the city to Lancaster County
- Examining the fascinating specimens at the Wagner Free Institute of Science
- Deciding between Geno’s and Pat’s as the true king of the Philly cheesesteak
- Being watched by tigers overhead in the world’s first animal walkways at Philadelphia Zoo
- Escaping the city to explore the tranquil Wissahickon Valley Park
- Taking a look inside the Eastern State Penitentiary, which once housed the notorious Al Capone
- Musing over the Picassos and Van Goghs in the $25 billion art collection at the Barnes Foundation
- Rubbing shoulders with the locals at foodie heaven, Reading Terminal Market
- Inspecting real slices of Albert Einstein’s brain at the Mütter Museum
- Posing like Rocky, after climbing the 72 steps in front of the Philadelphia Museum of Art
Did you know?
- Philadelphia is a city of firsts. It hosted America’s first birthday, held the first ever Thanksgiving Day Parade, and opened the first newspaper, stock exchange, medical school, and even zoo.
- The Walnut Street Theatre is the longest continually running theatre in the English-speaking world, and the oldest in the United States.
- Roughly a quarter of America’s entire population lives within a five-and-a-half-hour drive of Philadelphia.
There’s no question too small. Start planning your dream trip by talking to our Destination Specialists.
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