We love Philly and there are so many things to do in Philadelphia – which is what we are sharing in this Philadelphia travel guide.
Just a few hours from New York City, Philadelphia is a popular destination for those traveling the east coast. A quaint city that takes you back to historic America. Philly is one of my favourite cities in America and we have managed to squeeze down the best things to do in Philadelphia to this list of 10.
Whilst you’re staying in the city, make sure you enjoy some of these day trips from Philadelphia too.
Things to know before you go to Philadelphia
Best things to do in Philadelphia
INDEPENDENCE HALL AND THE LIBERTY BELL
One of the main reasons tourists head to Philadelphia is to visit Independence Hall; where the declaration of Independence was signed and the home of the famous Liberty Bell. Independence Hall is open from 9 am – 5 pm with entrance free but you are restricted to the tour times, whilst the Liberty Bell is open 9 am to 5 pm, also with free entrance on a first-come, first-served basis.
EASTERN STATE PENITENTIARY
A lesser-known point of interest in Philadelphia, this state penitentiary is the oldest standing penitentiary in America and was home (and a very comfortable one) to Al Capone. Tickets are available at the entrance for $14 including an audio tour, with the penitentiary open from 10 am to 5 pm. The entrance fee is included in the Philadelphia CityPASS. This is my favorite attraction in Philly.
EAT A PHILLY CHEESESTEAK
Every deli and sandwich bar sells the Philly Cheesesteak, so make sure you grab one whilst you’re in town. Pat’s King Of Steaks on 9th Street & Passyunk Avenue is a great choice and the founder of the steak sandwich.
As cheesy and touristy as it sounds (and is), no trip to Philadelphia is complete until you have had your snapshot with the Rocky Statue and completed the infamous ‘run’ up the stairs.
PHILADELPHIA MUSEUM OF ART
Open from 10 am to 5 pm, the Museum of Art holds innovative exhibitions and popular artworks from around the world. Definitely worth a visit whilst you’re in town with entrance fees costing $20.
THE FRANKLIN MUSEUM
Ideal for families, The Franklin Museum is an interactive and renowned museum for science and technology. The adult entrance fee costs $19.95 whilst children’s admission costs $15.95 and the museum is open from 9am to 5pm whilst additional exhibitions cost extra. The admission fee is included in the Philadelphia CityPass.
PLEASE TOUCH MUSEUM
Home to two floors of interactive education exhibitions and artistic experiences, the Please Touch Museum was built for children to have fun and learn. Entrance is included in the Philadelphia CityPASS or children and adult admission costs $17 without the pass. The Museum is open from 9 am to 5 pm Monday to Saturday and 11 am to 5 pm on Sundays.
READING TERMINAL MARKET
For some mouthwatering food stalls, head to Reading Terminal Market; as seen on Man Vs Food. The market includes the signature Philly Cheesesteak as well as every other food you could think of from around the world. We spent 2 days in Philadelphia and wish we had stayed longer just so we could eat more food from this market!
With exploration trails and a whole host of animals, the Philadelphia Zoo is one of the best Zoos I have visited. Opening times vary with general times being around 9.30 am to 5 pm during the summer months. Adult tickets cost $20 during the season or get yourself a CityPASS to save money.
This Aquarium offers lots of different exhibits, including an opportunity to touch a shark. The Adventure Aquarium is a fun place to spend an afternoon whilst in Philadelphia. Admission fee is also included in the Philadelphia CityPASS or you can pay $26.95 for adult admission.
What to pack
- No matter where we travel to, I always take these trusty hand sanitizer’s and a mini first aid kit.
- We love these toiletry bags (especially great for smaller bathrooms) and choose a laptop bag like this as our hand luggage.
- We keep our devices charged on long travel days with these lightweight battery packs and bring these worldwide travel adaptors on all our trips.
- I still struggle not to overpack so stick to using an expandable suitcase like these, over backpack and always take my trusty luggage scales to avoid being charged at the airport.
- We LOVE this camera for our travel photography.
- For a cheap, easy and compact camera, we use this to vlog and take photographs.
- We use this travel drone (but make sure to check drone laws in your chosen destination first).
- This is our favourite travel Insurance because it covers so many activities and travel situations that could arise on longer trips but also offers year coverage.