Philadelphia Travel Guide

USA  #1 in Best Day Trips from New York City
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Best Things To Do in Philadelphia

History pervades Philadelphia's major attractions: America's Founding Fathers signed the Declaration of Independence here in Independence Hall, and the city's Liberty Bell rang in 1776 to summon citizens for the first reading of the Declaration. Philly is also home to the green Fairmount Park and the bustling Rittenhouse Square. Noteworthy museums include the odd Mutter Museum and the Philadelphia Museum of Art with its remarkable collection of impressionist art.

How we rank Things to Do

Updated April 3, 2019

  • #1
    Liberty Bell Center
    View all Photos
    #1 in Philadelphia
    Sightseeing, Free
    TYPE
    1 to 2 hours
    TIME TO SPEND
    Sightseeing, Free
    TYPE
    1 to 2 hours
    TIME TO SPEND

    Opposite Independence Hall, you'll find the Liberty Bell Center in Independence National Historical Park. Now residing in a huge glass gazebo, this 2,080-pound piece of history was once mounted in the belfry of Independence Hall. It was used to mark important historic events, most notably at the first public reading of

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  • #2
    Independence Hall
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    #2 in Philadelphia
    Sightseeing, Free
    TYPE
    1 to 2 hours
    TIME TO SPEND
    Sightseeing, Free
    TYPE
    1 to 2 hours
    TIME TO SPEND

    If you're interested in history, you must visit this red-brick Georgian-style building (located in Independence National Historical Park in the Old City), where the Second Continental Congress met off and on from 1775 to 1783. More importantly, it was here that the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution were debated, drafted and

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  • #3
    Philadelphia Museum of Art
    View all Photos
    #3 in Philadelphia
    Museums
    TYPE
    Half Day to Full Day
    TIME TO SPEND
    Museums
    TYPE
    Half Day to Full Day
    TIME TO SPEND

    Whether you're actually interested in the exhibits or just looking to re-enact that timeless scene from "Rocky," the Philadelphia Museum of Art is a must-see. Modeled after the ancient Greek temples, this notable attraction is one of the leading museums in the country. After you've made it to the top

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  • #4
    Rittenhouse Square
    View all Photos
    #4 in Philadelphia
    Free, Neighborhood/Area
    TYPE
    2 hours to Half Day
    TIME TO SPEND
    Free, Neighborhood/Area
    TYPE
    2 hours to Half Day
    TIME TO SPEND

    While it was once a grazing area for livestock, Rittenhouse Square is now one of the swankiest areas in the city. Named for David Rittenhouse, the first director of the United States Mint, this neighborhood – several blocks southeast of the Mütter Museum – now features plenty of top-notch restaurants, elegant stores

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  • #5
    Reading Terminal Market
    View all Photos
    #5 in Philadelphia
    Shopping, Free
    TYPE
    1 to 2 hours
    TIME TO SPEND
    Shopping, Free
    TYPE
    1 to 2 hours
    TIME TO SPEND

    For a taste of local Philly produce, baked goods, coffee and more, head to Reading Terminal Market in the Market East District. This market is located beneath the Reading Railroad's 1891 train station (a National Historic Landmark) and harbors more than 80 different vendors. Here, you can sample food from

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  • #6
    National Museum of American Jewish History
    View all Photos
    #6 in Philadelphia
    Museums
    TYPE
    2 hours to Half Day
    TIME TO SPEND
    Museums
    TYPE
    2 hours to Half Day
    TIME TO SPEND

    The National Museum of American Jewish History aims to connect Jews to their heritage and inspire people of all backgrounds to appreciate the diversity of the Jewish experience. More than 30,000 artifacts illustrate immigration, worship, hard work, community and family life. The first floor features the "Only in America Gallery/Hall

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  • #7
    Rodin Museum
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    #7 in Philadelphia
    Museums, Sightseeing, Tours, Free
    TYPE
    1 to 2 hours
    TIME TO SPEND
    Museums, Sightseeing, Tours, Free
    TYPE
    1 to 2 hours
    TIME TO SPEND

    Home to one of the largest public collections of Rodin's work outside of Paris, the Rodin Museum, which opened in 1929, boasts almost 150 bronzes, marbles and plasters created by Auguste Rodin. The collection represents every phase of the illustrious artist's career. Highlights include The Kiss, Rodin's famous sculpture of

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  • #8
    Eastern State Penitentiary
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    #8 in Philadelphia
    Sightseeing, Tours
    TYPE
    2 hours to Half Day
    TIME TO SPEND
    Sightseeing, Tours
    TYPE
    2 hours to Half Day
    TIME TO SPEND

    The castle-like Eastern State Penitentiary is one of Philadelphia's most important historic sites. Having opened in 1829, this Quaker-inspired prison sought to reform prisoners using isolation and reflection rather than capital punishment and physical abuse. Although it was shut down in the 1970s, the Eastern State Penitentiary led the way

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  • #9
    Please Touch Museum
    View all Photos
    #9 in Philadelphia
    Museums
    TYPE
    2 hours to Half Day
    TIME TO SPEND
    Museums
    TYPE
    2 hours to Half Day
    TIME TO SPEND

    Many say this children's museum is one of the best in the country, offering dozens of hands-on displays related to everything from gardening to construction zones. You and your kids can travel to Wonderland with the Mad Hatter's tea party, practice your reading skills in Wordsworth's Cottage and learn about

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  • #10
    Masonic Temple
    View all Photos
    #10 in Philadelphia
    Sightseeing
    TYPE
    1 to 2 hours
    TIME TO SPEND
    Sightseeing
    TYPE
    1 to 2 hours
    TIME TO SPEND

    Constructed in the late 19th century and decorated by artist George Herzog, this sturdy stone temple is one of the largest of its kind and was once the meeting place of one of history's more legendary organizations. Tour the temple's seven meeting rooms, each of them dedicated to ideal forms

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  • #11
    Philadelphia Zoo
    View all Photos
    #11 in Philadelphia
    Zoos and Aquariums
    TYPE
    Half Day to Full Day
    TIME TO SPEND
    Zoos and Aquariums
    TYPE
    Half Day to Full Day
    TIME TO SPEND

    Having opened way back in 1874, the Philadelphia Zoo is the first and oldest zoo in the country, but this 42-acre facility does a great job hiding its age. With nearly 1,300 animals residing here, there is plenty to keep you and your kids entertained for the entire day. Swing

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  • #12
    Franklin Institute Science Museum
    View all Photos
    #12 in Philadelphia
    Museums
    TYPE
    2 hours to Half Day
    TIME TO SPEND
    Museums
    TYPE
    2 hours to Half Day
    TIME TO SPEND

    Unlike the Please Touch Museum, the Franklin Institute is sure to appeal to kids of all ages, not to mention the young-at-heart. Interactive displays help you and your kids learn about everything from physics to astronomy. While you're here, don't miss the SportsZone, which explains the science behind sports like surfing

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  • #13
    Mutter Museum
    View all Photos
    #13 in Philadelphia
    Museums
    TYPE
    1 to 2 hours
    TIME TO SPEND
    Museums
    TYPE
    1 to 2 hours
    TIME TO SPEND

    You may want to think twice about bringing your kids to the small yet fascinating Mütter Museum. Housed within The College of Physicians of Philadelphia, Mütter is dedicated to the exposition of medical oddities. While most museums like this fill their halls with old pictures and antique scalpels, this rather

    ...Read More »
  • One Liberty Observation Deck
    View all Photos
    Sightseeing
    TYPE
    Less than 1 hour
    TIME TO SPEND
    Sightseeing
    TYPE
    Less than 1 hour
    TIME TO SPEND

    Read More »

  • Chew Philly Food Tours
    View all Photos
    Sightseeing, Tours
    TYPE
    2 hours to Half Day
    TIME TO SPEND
    Sightseeing, Tours
    TYPE
    2 hours to Half Day
    TIME TO SPEND

    Read More »

  • National Liberty Museum
    View all Photos
    Museums
    TYPE
    1 to 2 hours
    TIME TO SPEND
    Museums
    TYPE
    1 to 2 hours
    TIME TO SPEND

    Read More »

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