Between the historic Liberty Bell and world-famous cheese steaks, Philly has what you might call a diverse appeal. No one can argue that the list of things to see in Philadelphia is anything but impressive. People come to this eastern Pennsylvania city to eat their way through a palate-pleasing tour of food carts, fine restaurants, and cafes. Of course, they also head to town to check out the rich history in America’s first capital city. As if that wasn’t enough, Philadelphia is full of enviable urban parkland that comes alive during the summertime. From Franklin Square to Fairmount Park, there are lots of fun things to do in Philadelphia that involve enjoying mother nature right in the midst of a metropolis.…
Things to do in Philadelphia
Visitors of all ages can enjoy the gentle thrills of Grover’s Vapor Trail rollercoaster, and no matter your age, feel dwarfed in Twiddlebug Land—the rides and attractions here are all over-sized, from the Teeny Tiny Tidal Wave pool formed by Ernie’s garden hose to a watch, spoon, and bucket of sand that make up 3 giant slides.
Head to Sesame Island for a lazy float down Big Bird’s Rambling River, and splash and clamber through the Count’s multi-level Splash Castle. Zip down the slides at Sesame Streak, ride Blast Off to travel to Planet Elmo, and check out all the attractions and play zones in the brand new Cookie's Monster Land.
Don’t miss the shows—Elmo the Musical has your imagination soaring and your feet dancing to the beat as you help Elmo solve the mystery of the missing Cookie Monster, and Let’s Play Together! brings Grover, Bert, and Ernie to the stage to play and explore the heartwarming things that friends do together. Read More close
Categories: Amusement Parks
Meet your guide at color-splashed South Street and head to the Bella Vista neighborhood for a chance to admire the many murals lining the city. Pay a visit to an old-fashioned deli and a bakery before walking down Christian Street, where the 9th Street Market greets you. The country's oldest and largest working open-air market won't disappoint. Peruse its selection of cheeses, chocolates, spices, olive oils, and more.
Continue on to a charismatic strip of Mexican shops (featured in Rocky's famed running scene), and then swing by a neighboring Asian-influenced area. Next, arrive at the well-known intersection of Pat's and Geno's. These 2 local eateries compete for the title of best cheesesteak in Philly; cast your own vote accordingly, should you care to order from either (or both) of the specialty shops. Read More close
Just a few miles from the Philadelphia city center lies 300-year-old Manayunk, which was once home to thriving cotton mills. The mills switched from cotton textiles to wool textiles in order to provide blankets for troops during the Civil War. Manayunk is now home to over 30 restaurants and numerous specialty food stores, many of which are generations old and family-owned and operated.
Along this food tasting route that hugs the scenic Schuylkill River, you stop for samples at delis, bakeries, and specialty shops, most of which are known only by locals. Mouth-watering samples such as cheesesteaks, sticky buns, stuffed breads, tomato pies, and red velvet cupcakes await as you visit 6 different locations. Read More close
The breadth of the Barnes collection is truly amazing. The collection is arranged in ensemble, structured according to light, line, color, and space—an arrangement based on the principles of founder Albert Barnes. You may find a 15th-century Flemish masterpiece hung next to a Picasso, which is just the way Dr.Barnes meant it to be. This offers the opportunity to compare and study works from various time periods, geographic areas, and styles.
The collection is housed in an award-winning building, designed to offer a seamless experience between the gallery and the garden. Take some time to investigate the art library, have a coffee in the garden restaurant, and take in the picturesque landscape. Awestruck is just one of the many words that come to mind to describe your experience among this world-renowned collection.
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Your adventure begins at the National Constitution Center. See where Thomas Jefferson wrote the Declaration of Independence, known now as the Declaration House. Then it's on to the Liberty Bell.
Just steps away from the Liberty Bell on Independence Mall is the President's House, where Presidents George Washington and John Adams lived during their terms as Philadelphia served as the nation's capital from 1790 to 1800. Walk to the nation's first public library, the former Library of Congress, and the Second Bank of the United States, which is now home to a portrait gallery. See Betsy Ross's house, Benjamin Franklin's house, and the only Colonial-themed post office.
This guided walking tour serves as a great orientation and historical overview of the city, giving you the freedom to go back to visit the places that intrigued you most.
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Don't wait for a seat—with priority access, you can zip past the crowds and cozy up to your table in no time. As you wait for your cheeseburger, pasta, grilled chicken sandwich, or salad, listen to the music playing over the speakers and peruse the wide variety of rock 'n' roll memorabilia.
After dessert, take another look around. View classic items on display, like a jacket that once belonged to Jim Morrison, an original drawing by Jerry Garcia, and custom-made leather pants worn onstage by Shakira.
Sample menu includes:
- Hard Rock Cheeseburger or Bacon cheeseburger with seasoned fries
- Honey mustard grilled chicken sandwich with seasoned fries
- Fire-roasted tomato pasta with fresh herbs, parmesan cheese, and garlic toast
- Barbecue pulled pork sandwich with marinated slaw and seasoned fries
- Chicken Caesar salad tossed with grilled chicken and parmesan cheese
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Make your way into Center City to meet your guide, and come hungry! This tasting tour takes you between 5 classic Philly restaurants and independent eateries to sample an array of dishes and delicacies from the City of Brotherly Love. Between stops, your guide shares funny anecdotes and little-known facts about how each food came to be, and offers tips on the best places to eat like a local.
Head to a no-frills sandwich shop to try what’s arguably the best cheesesteak in town, biting into a soft Amoroso roll packed with quickly griddled slices of steak with American cheese. Accompany that with a side of Cheez Whiz fries, and you’ve got yourself an authentic Philadelphian meal. Savor a chewy square of tomato pie at a mom-and-pop pizzeria, and try a fresh-from-the-oven soft pretzel at a locally loved bakery to round out the savory portion of your tour.
Your final stop is at the historic Reading Terminal Market, one of the oldest public markets in the country, where more than 100 vendors peddle produce, meats, groceries, flowers, and specialty foods. Soak up the vibrant atmosphere as your guide leads you to the very best merchant stands to end your tour with tasty bites of 2 sweet treats. Read More close
This tour takes you to Philadelphia's iconic sights and landmarks that narrate Franklin's close relationship with the city in the mid and late 18th century. Starting at Elfreth's Alley—America's oldest neighborhood—where Americans still reside in the terraced homes, you meet your expert guide. Then, visit the museums, structures, and sites at Franklin Court to see the art and inventions of the American diplomat. Discover the wonders of Benjamin Franklin—an author, postmaster, scientist, inventor, and diplomat—a key figure in American history who is often referred to "The First American."
Continue to Christ Church, the American Philosophical Society, and the Portrait Gallery in the Second Bank of the US, and gain an in-depth understanding of Franklin's role in the Revolutionary War, international diplomacy, and the Continental Congress. Read More close
Begin at the water's edge with a discussion of William Penn, the founding father of the Pennsylvania province. Listen to this enthralling story of an architect—literally and politically—as you pass by the beautifully well-preserved buildings of the city center that have stood proudly for over 200 years.
Continue your walk into the Society Hill neighborhood and pay a visit to several significant houses, museums, and churches dating back to the 18th century. As your walk progresses, you move forward through history to discuss how Philadelphia evolved in terms of its architecture, its politics, and its social importance.
You end at Independence Mall, where your guide puts into context the pioneering developments that took place here in the 1770s and '80s. Read More close
Sit back and enjoy the extensive ride as the route takes you around the birthplace of the Declaration of Independence, Grace Kelly, and the renowned cheesesteak sandwich. You can hop on and off as you wish and explore for as little or as long as you like.
Get a real insight into the city's significance to American history and visit the imposing City Hall, which houses the city's government seats. After seeing the famous Liberty Bell, an icon symbol of America's independence, stop at Independence Hall—originally called the Pennsylvania State House and the birthplace of the United States.
As you meander through Elfreth's Alley, one of the oldest residential streets in the US, admire the Georgian and Federal-style houses along the cobblestone sidewalks. While strolling along Boathouse Row, a historic site perched long the Schuylkill River, absorb the picturesque scenery of Victorian houses and boathouses along the water's edge.
- Independence Visitor Center
- Betsy Ross House
- City Hall
- Franklin Institute
- Penn's Landing
- Old City Read More close
Your Philadelphia CityPASS offers priority access and general admission to the following attractions:
- The Franklin Institute
- Philadelphia Trolley Works and Big Bus Company
- Adventure Aquarium
- Philadelphia Zoo or National Constitution Center
- Eastern State Penitentiary or Please Touch Museum
Beyond providing entrance to museums and attractions, your CityPASS booklet contains valuable insider tips, hours of operation, and transportation information.
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Meet your experienced guide downtown and enjoy a brief introduction to the functions of your futuristic ride. Learn how to make quick starts, controlled stops, and tight turns before heading out. Check out the artistic depictions on buildings in the trendy Northern Liberties neighborhood as you roll around in style. Nearby, snap a few photos and investigate the meaning behind the murals of Chinatown and the Old City.
Your trip leader offers insight into the possible meanings behind 20 different and beautiful public works of art. After you wrap up your tour, keep your eyes peeled for more creative compositions, sprayed, rolled, and brushed onto the stone, brick, and mortar of Philadelphia’s urban centers. Read More close
Delight your taste buds with a tour offered by Chew Philly Food Tours, which includes carefully selected and unique tastings. You can tour the cell blocks and solitary punishment cells of Eastern State Penitentiary—which once housed infamous criminals like "Slick Willie" Sutton and "Scarface" Al Capone—or retrace the footsteps of Benjamin Franklin and his fellow patriots during the signing of the Declaration of Independence.
Your Philadelphia adventure is easier and more affordable with the tourist card that offers access to so many things to do, including but not limited to these top attractions, tours, and museums:
- Academy of Natural Sciences
- The Barnes Foundation Museum
- Battleship New Jersey Museum and Memorial
- Betsy Ross House (with audio tour)
- Big Bus Double Decker Bus
- Chew Philly Food Tours
- Eastern State Penitentiary
- Franklin Footsteps Walking Tour
- Franklin Institute Science Museum
- Ghost Tours of Philadelphia
- Philadelphia Trolley Works
- National Constitution Center
- Independence Seaport Museum
- Ride the Ducks
There's no way to fit every sight into one visit to historic Philadelphia, but you have a fighting chance with the Philadelphia Pass.
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The City of Brotherly Love is renowned for its cheesesteaks, which combine tender steak, grilled onions, and melting cheese between the delicious folds of a fresh-baked Italian roll. Find out where locals get their fix as you hop on the deck of a nimble Segway. When you get your first sandwich, bite into it and savor the hearty flavors that have made this on-the-go meal an American classic.
A few napkins later and you’re back on the road, heading to your next stop. Aficionados argue about the best ways to enjoy this sensational snack. Form your own opinion as you experiment with additions like peppers, mushrooms, mayo, and even ketchup. In between locations, admire views of well-known landmarks like Independence Mall, Chinatown, and Society Hill.
When your stomach is full, climb on your curious contraption and zip back through the streets, past beautiful architecture, expansive parks, and—of course—the lingering aroma of beef slices sizzling on a hot griddle. Read More close
Soulful music drifts out the windows of Time Restaurant, a glamorous whiskey bar and eatery whose Art Nouveau décor whisks you straight back to the Jazz Age. Meet your guide here—they’re easy to spot in their authentic ‘20s dress—and cozy up to a table for your first drink, a fruit-flavored whiskey punch that packs a potent kick. Sip your cocktail and nibble on housemade flatbreads as your guide shares stories and pictures of Philadelphia in the Prohibition era.
From there, make your way to 1 Tippling Place, a hard-to-find speakeasy where you can wash down bites of creamy artichoke dip with another classic cocktail—a zippy and refreshing Southside, racketeering gangster Al Capone’s drink of choice.
Pass by some of Philly’s best Art Deco architecture as you head to your last stop, a top-secret location that’s a true speakeasy—no signs and no website but plenty of mysterious ambiance. Grab a stool at the bar to chat over your final tipple, a rum-laced and gingery New Orleans Buck Fizz, before your guide sets you loose for the rest of your evening. Read More close
Upon arrival, meet your professional and knowledgeable guide and board the famous "Duck." From the comfort of your seat, see iconic sites such as the Philadelphia Museum of Art where the Rocky Statue is found, LOVE Park, the National Constitution Center, and the Betsy Ross House. Travel through the neighborhoods of Old City, Society Hill, and the popular South Street. Enjoy land and sea views as your guide shares trivia and insights, and find out why Philadelphia is known as the City of Brotherly Love.
Spectacular views of the city skyline can be seen once the Duck splashes into the Delaware River. As you cruise in style, keep your camera handy for photo opportunities. Attractions seen from the water include the Battleship New Jersey, Penn's Landing, and Adventure Aquarium.
See the sights and listen to the sounds of a thriving historical city from one of the area's most versatile touring vehicles. Take with you an unforgettable experience, a wealth of Philadelphia history, and a story to tell your friends and family.
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Meet up with your experienced guide and enjoy a brief lesson on proper riding technique. When you’re ready to roll, head out into the Old City to begin your tour on narrow cobblestone lanes, including the oldest residential thoroughfare in the country—Elfreth’s Alley. As you ride, your guide shares information about the area and acts as a photographer, snapping photos to share with you after your excursion.
Continue toward the water and reach Penn’s Landing, where you can watch beautiful riverboats chug against the strong currents of the Delaware. Check out the trendy cafes and boutiques of South Street as you approach South Philly, where Italian- and Irish-American communities have fostered a vibrant cultural landscape.
Smell the freshly baked bread wafting from the colorful Italian Market. Buzz closer to see artisans, butchers, and cheesemakers selling their wares from stalls brimming with delicious treats. Nearby, investigate the funky sculptures and installations at Magic Gardens, a non-profit organization dedicated to promoting the work of local artists.
Loop back toward your starting point as you quietly hum by the 18th- and 19th-century edifices in Society Hill, ending your tour with a reflection on the area’s important history and brick-riddled architecture. Read More close
Start your day at the colorful South Street, before meandering the streets of Bella vista district—home to an array of fascinating mosaic artworks. Next, explore the renowned Italian Market, where you can pop into a tempting bakeries, stop at cheese and chocolate specialists, and grab some lunch from one of the inviting stalls, as you marvel at the sights, smells, and sounds of the various local delis and stalls.
From the market, head to Philadelphia’s Magic Gardens. Showcasing the intricate mosaics of Isaiah Zagar, this incredible maze-like structure contains colorful visual anecdotes of the artist and the city. Conclude your tour with a shopper’s stroll down South Street, famous for its bohemian feel.
Hop aboard a local bus and head to down Philly’s eclectic and dynamic South Street or to Philly’s iconic and historic Pine Street , before visiting the historic neighborhood of Queen Village—stroll along winding streets and absorb the charm and character.
You tour is complete as you walk down Fabric Row—America’s largest collection of fabric shops—back to south Street. Read More close
It is said that there is no better way to get a real sense of Philly than to experience the city during the festival season. Dance your way through food stalls, sip a refreshing drink, and get caught up in the excitement as street performers and merry locals create an electric atmosphere. Philly's festivals are legendary for bringing together some of the best displays of culture and cuisine in the city.
The route is decided on the day, according to the festival you are joining. Follow your guide on a short ride on public transport and visit a variety of neighborhoods where you can try refreshing drinks, craft beers, and tasty bites before moving to another festival.
As you learn the history, traditions, and local stories of each celebration, get insider tips from your local guide on the stalls offering the freshest and tastiest snacks, ideal spots to grab a cold beer, or where to get a great bargain on handmade arts and crafts. At the end of the tour, carry on partying with the locals or return to the meeting point with your guide.
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Categories: Tours & Sightseeing
Meet your guide at the Independence Visitor Center near the Independence Mall, National Constitution Center, and US Mint. A walk from the center, through the mall, and across the street takes you to the President's House, a site that served as the White House from 1790 to 1800—home to George Washington and John Adams during Philadelphia's tenure as the US capital.
Pause for a photo at the Liberty Bell and then head to Washington Square to hear stories about William Penn or visit the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier. Independence National Park is one of the most visited historic districts in the US. Walk past its centerpiece, UNESCO-listed Independence Hall, where debates were once held over the Declaration of Independence and US Constitution.
Inside the Independence National Park is Old City Philadelphia, commonly known as "America's most historic square mile." Here, see Benjamin Franklin's home and pass some of the trendiest pubs, shops, and cafés in the city. Take a break at a local coffee shop before continuing to the Betsy Ross House and Christ Church—America's first Episcopal church. End your tour at a local brewpub, where you can sip a locally brewed beer or enjoy a soft drink.
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Begin your beer tour in the heart of modern Philadelphia—City Hall. Meet your local guide and step into the streets just as Philadelphians are finishing up their work days and heading out to happy hour. Explore some of their favorite brewpubs and taphouses, sampling snacks and beers while discussing area history and comparing brews.
As for selection, this tour runs the gamut—from hidden favorites to the most popular drinking establishments in town. You even have the option to visit the oldest operating bar in the city, McGillin's Olde Ale House, an Irish brewpub that dates back to 1860. Taste some of the finest beers Philly has to offer—from breweries like Victory, Yards, Troegs, Sly Fox, Dogfish Head, Nodding Head, Dock Street, and Philadelphia Brewing Co.
When happy hour is through, make your way to central Philly's Rittenhouse Square. This is the perfect place for you to try one of many recommended dinner locales or even head straight back out to one of your new, favorite Philadelphia haunts. Read More close
After meeting your guide at the city's largest railway hub—30th St. Station—and leaving the high, detailed ceilings of the main terminal, walk toward Drexel University and stop at the first group of food trucks for a starting snack. Upon reaching the campus, enter the glazed terra-cotta Main Building and stroll through the newly manicured Quad.
From there, traverse Penn Park—the stately skyline standing in the distance—and make your way to Franklin Field, the oldest college football stadium still in use. Recharge here at the second group of food trucks and continue to the Palestra, often referred to as the Cathedral of College Basketball.
Your guide then leads you to the heart of Penn's campus. As the first public university in the US, every nook and cranny has a story to tell. Visit the Fischer Library, see College Hall, and meander up Locust Walk, a beautiful bricked walkway.
After you've satisfied your craving for knowledge, finish the tour on Spruce Street with a sweet from another food truck. Then take a trolley ride back to the railway station or continue on into the city center. Read More close
Your night begins with a buffet-style candlelit dinner, featuring your choice of salad, Asian-style short ribs, pan-seared chicken, and vegetarian options like Tuscan pasta. For dessert, indulge in a decadent trio of malt ball mousse, chocolate fudge cake, and mini apple crisp.
Visit one of several full-service bars for your cocktail of choice and climb up to the open-air rooftop deck to see the Philadelphia skyline at twilight. While you cruise along the Delaware River, take in landmarks and sights along the historic waterfront. Get within close view of the fascinating U.S.S. Olympia. Built in 1892, this vessel is the oldest steel warship still afloat in the world and the sole surviving naval ship of the Spanish-American War.
Cruise underneath both the Benjamin Franklin Bridge and the Walt Whitman Bridge. Snap as many pictures as you'd like before you head back to the main deck for more dancing. As your cruise moves into its final hour, spend the rest of the evening dancing or simply relaxing with a cocktail and chatting with your fellow cruisers. Read More close
Enter into the city's realm of paranormal sites as your knowledgeable guide shares historical, ancestral, and eyewitness accounts of supernatural activity. Visit the dancing statue of Benjamin Franklin and the burial ground that is now Washington Square Park. From 1704 to 1794, the square was used as a burial yard for strangers in the city with bodies bound in canvas—sans coffins.
Learn about the local folklore and personages of days past, including former resident Edgar Allan Poe and notorious jail-breaker Leo Callahan, the only prisoner to escape from Eastern State Penitentiary and never to be captured. Your guide points out famous film locations from big-screen thrillers such as The Sixth Sense, National Treasure, and Shooter. This intriguing tour is sure to show the "Birthplace of America" in a different light. Read More close