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. When planning your Philly trip, be sure to check out the following sites.
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 as well as manicured lawns, a fountain, park, and cafe. Built between 1871 and 1901, the Second Empire-style structure is a National Historic Landmark that you don't want to miss when you're in town.
The Liberty Bell is one of the nation’s most beloved and historic 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.
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.
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.
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.
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 as well as 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 set aside time to peruse this major Philly attraction.
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.
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. Within the park's grounds, visitors will find an Arboretum, horticultural center, Memorial Hall, reservoirs, recreational, centers, playgrounds, and more. Interspersed throughout the park are also many installations of public art.
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.
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 largely on many city tours.