The Getaway
20 Must-Visit Tourist Attractions of Philadelphia

The largest city in Pennsylvania and one of the most historic cities in the nation, Philadelphia is filled with must-see attractions that underscore its history and vibrant culture. Philadelphia is a U.S. World Heritage City that attracts throngs of visitors every year. From its museums and sports arenas to its riverfront and cheesesteaks, Philadelphia brims with attractions you don't want to miss during a visit.


01 Sightseeing at City Hall


As the largest municipal building in the nation, Philadelphia's City Hall boasts fifteen acres of floor space and features a famous statue of William Penn, the founder of Pennsylvania. The building contains an observation deck, manicured lawns, a fountain, a park, and a cafe. Built between 1871 and 1901, the Second Empire-style structure is a National Historic Landmark you don't want to miss when you're in town.

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02 Then stop at Liberty Bell Pavilion


The Liberty Bell is one of the nation's most beloved and historical symbols of our national independence. The bell was cast in 1752, but it became a potent icon of freedom when it was rung on July 4, 1776, when the nation's founders declared independence from British rule. Today, the Liberty Bell is one of the city's most celebrated attractions.

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03 Celebrate America at Independence Hall


Independence Hall was constructed in 1753 and served as a meeting place for the Second Continental Congress. It was also the site of the 1787 Constitutional Convention. Independence Hall is the heart of the Independence National Historical Park, which is a World Heritage Site. The structure is easily one of the nation's most iconic symbols of freedom and attracts tourists throughout the year.

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04 Enjoy family time at the Philadelphia Zoo

The renowned Philadelphia Zoo opened its doors to the public in 1874 and is regarded as one of the most revered zoos in the U.S. Today, Philadelphia Zoo is home to about 1,300 animals and features a celebrated center for breeding species that are known to suffer breeding difficulties while in captivity. A family-friendly destination, the zoo also boasts a carousel, petting zoo, and paddleboat lake.

05 Get ready to sample all the foods at Reading Terminal Market

Vendors and customers in Reading Terminal Market

Reading Terminal Market is a historic public marketplace that first opened in 1893 beneath the Reading Railroad Company's elevated train shed. The market is open daily and has become a popular destination for foodies. It's a great place to shop for artisanal cheeses, cured meats, and local produce. There are plenty of places to enjoy everything from a traditional Amish meal to a quintessential Philly cheesesteak.


06 Tour the Museum of the American Revolution

The Museum of the American Revolution is another Philly venue that celebrates the nation's rich history--particularly its War of Independence. The museum features historic relics and high-tech displays that are popular with visitors. The Museum of the American Revolution is located near Independence Hall. If you're a history buff, you'll want to spend time perusing this major Philly attraction.

07 Grab a hotdog at Citizens Bank Park


If you're visiting Philadelphia during baseball season, you should procure tickets to see the Phillies play at Citizens Bank Park, which is part of the South Philadelphia Sports Complex. The ballpark features seating for more than 43,000 fans and features a state-of-the-art venue for baseball fans.

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08 Relax on the grounds of Fairmount Park

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Philadelphia's largest municipal park, Fairmount Park, is a major city attraction. The Schuylkill River divides the park, and it's known for its picturesque waterfront landscapes. Visitors will find an Arboretum, horticultural center, Memorial Hall, reservoirs, recreational centers, playgrounds, and more within the park's grounds. Interspersed throughout the park are also many installations of public art.


09 Walk the halls of the Philadelphia Museum of Art

Philadelphia Museum of Art, Pennsylvania dszc / Getty Images

The Philadelphia Museum of Art is one of the city's most important cultural attractions. In fact, this museum is one of the most celebrated art museums in the country. The museum is home to more than 240,000 objects. Its collection of masters is one of the largest outside of Paris. Aside from Western Art and modern American art, the museum also features an outstanding collection of Asian art.


10 Visit the founding fathers at Christ Church


As a historic place of worship where Founding Fathers like George Washington attended, Christ Church is another major Philly attraction. The church was the site where the nation's first African American priest was ordained. It contains a burial ground where many of the nation's most important figures, like Benjamin Franklin, reside. Because of its significance to the nation, the church features predominantly on many city tours.

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11 Try not to scream at Eastern State Penitentiary

Eastern State Penitentiary is a U.S. National Historic Landmark. This former prison will give you the creeps—it looks like it could be an American Horror Story set, like, tomorrow. In fact, it's served as a filming location for numerous films and TV shows. The museum hosts art exhibits and hair-raising Haunted House events between screen gigs.

12 Get cultured and visit the Barnes Foundation

The Barnes Foundation is a world-class collection of impressionist, post-impressionist, and modern art housed in a building with a futuristic facade and contemporary interiors. The way Albert C. Barnes arranged these prized artworks is erudite and worth contemplation. You'll be blown away by the big names in the gallery, including Renoir, Matisse, Rousseau, Monet, Manet, Modigliani, Picasso, Van Gogh, and Cezanne. A museum app provides supplementary info about individual pieces, should you want it. The Foundation also offers online art history classes and temporary exhibitions.

13 Skip breakfast and visit the cheesesteak corner

There's a Philadelphia rivalry you need to know about, and nope, no sports teams are involved. This is a South Philly cheese steak showdown between Pat's King of Steaks and Geno's Steaks. The longstanding war between OG sandwich merchants Pat's and the confident new kid on the block has raged ever since Geno's opened its doors in 1966. Your mission, friend, is to test both of these sensational cheese steaks and determine a winner. Rocky Balboa chose Pat's, by the way.

14 Chill out on Longwood Gardens

Wherever your gaze lands in Longwood Gardens, there's beauty, and you can spend hours appreciating it. There's lots of shade, stroller-friendly pathways, and just as much to see at night when the fountain light performances delight visitors as during the day when the sun does wonders for the blooms and landscape art. Drone elements and illuminated water features add an exciting dimension to the evening shows. Don't just visit during spring and summer—the holiday season here is enchanting.

15 Grab a pint at Doobies Bar

Doobie's is a cherished neighborhood tavern on Lombard Street. It's one of Philly's best dive bars, at least according to Philadelphia Magazine, and we trust these local arbiters of taste. The Fitler Square watering hole has gained a following for its David Bowie memorabilia, jukebox, board games, and cat rescues. You won't be disappointed if you're looking for vegan pub grub options either—just don't forget to take cash.

16 Lose a few hours on Philly's waterfront

Philly's revitalized Delaware River waterfront district is a splendid public space with parks like colorful Spruce Street Harbor Park, an awesome outdoor event venue in Great Plaza, and multiple other attractions. Penn's Landing screams fun. You can go ice skating, watch free movies, or be amazed by the Fourth of July fireworks. The views from the Moshulu sailing ship are chef's kiss, and when you've filled your belly, you can cruise on the Spirit of Philadelphia.

17 Fuel your imagination at Philadelphia's Magic Gardens

Philadelphia's Magic Gardens will give you serious Gaudi in Barcelona vibes. They're just as trippy as Park Güell and Casa Batlló. The artist responsible for Magic Gardens, Isaiah Zagar, was indeed inspired by artists like Gaudi to create vast mosaic murals. He's used mixed media and travel souvenirs to create over 200 murals since the 1960s. Why not make your mark on Philly and assist Mr. Zagar with mosaicing during one of his spring and summer weekend workshops?

18 Nerd out with Amalgam Comics and Coffeehouse pop-ups

When it opened, Amalgam Comics and Coffeehouse was the first black-woman-owned geek culture store on the East Coast. Owner Ariell Johnson envisioned a space selling diverse, inclusive fantasy comic books, nerd paraphernalia, and cups of Joe. The brick-and-mortar store survived for seven years before Johnson decided to close up shop in the wake of the COVID pandemic and move online. You can follow Amalgam's social media for interesting gamer events and market pop-ups.

19 It's ok to stare while visiting the Mütter Museum

There are Ringerverse geeks. And then there are genuine straight-A smarty pants. The Venn diagram segment where people fall into both categories is slim indeed, but if you feel you qualify, you may want to check out the Mütter Museum at The College of Physicians of Philadelphia. Phew—that was quite the mouthful! This medical museum is super popular. Expect skulls, specimen jars, anatomical deformities, wax models, antique tools, and the generally macabre.

20 Save room for Stogie Joe's Tavern

Serious question. Could there be anything more lovely than a signature stromboli from Stogie Joe's Tavern? If you have no clue what we're talking about, it's high time you made your way to this well-liked pub on E Passyunk Ave. The spaghetti Bolognese, chicken parm, and pizza are delizioso too.


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