Philadelphia is a city with a long and important history. Known as the birthplace of United State because the declaration of independence took place here as well as the signing of the constitution.
It has a long list of attractions but most of them are history related which will not raise interest for the average traveler who will focus more on the architecture, specially the colorful alleys.

Nickname: Philly, Phila.
State‎: ‎Pennsylvania.

Where to find the best views of Philadelphia.
Rocky Steps


Must-see in Philadelphia.

  • Elfreth’s Alley
  • Rocky Steps
  • Eastern State Penitentiary

Cheese steak which is not a steak with cheese. It actually is a sandwich with thinly sliced beef meat and melted cheese.

How long?
Two full days it’s the right time but if you have a special interest in the history of America then you could spend several extra days.

Anytime of the year although the warm architecture and the colorful alleys are more enjoyable on sunny days so I would avoid winter.

Historic District

The Historic District is biggest touristic attraction. It is the east side of town and the highlights include the Independence Park, Elfreth’s Alley along with a beautiful architecture.

Independence Park

The Independence National Historical Park is a place of high importance about the history of the country. On the Independence Hall the Declaration of Independence was signed and they stop being a colony of the British as well as the Constitution of the United States. It was declared as World Heritage Site by the UNESCO.

Liberty Bell is another icon of the American history. This bell was used to call lawmakers to discuss about new laws and inform the people about public meetings. This is a stop I would not recommend for most people, specially foreigners because it has not much attractive besides its history and you will likely have to wait in line to get into the building it’s located and see it. 

Independence Park Architecture. There are many other buildings around the park, most red brick style, very pleasing to walk around such as the Carpenters’ Hall, or the greek style Second Bank of America.

Lastly you have the Museum of the American Revolution if you want to dive into history.

Elfreth’s Alley

Elfreth’s Alley is the most popular alley in Philadelphia. This place was home to some of the first immigrants of the city dating back to early 1700. Also referred as the oldest residential street in America.
Ideal to visit on daytime on a clear sky day.

Ubicación: Google Maps.

There are some other alleys around town almost as pretty as this one but not touristic at all. One of those is Cuthbert St. (location) few steps away from Elfreth’s Alley.
On the way to downtown is S Hutchinson St. (location) and Quince St. couple blocks away (location).

Most beautiful places in Philadelphia.
Elfreth’s Alley
Lovely alleys of Philadelphia.
Cuthbert St.
Hidden places of Philadelphia.
S Hutchinson St.

Society Hill

Society Hill is not a specific touristic place but it is the most beautiful neighbourhood to enjoy more the town’s architecture. Don’t miss walking along the S 3rd St.

Location: Google Maps.

Where to find the nicest architecture in Philadelphia.
Streets of Society Hill
Beautiful architecture of Philadelphia.
Architecture of Society Hill


Downtown is the somewhat modern part of town and it goes around City Hall.

City Hall

City Hall is an imposing building. It is possible to go inside and even climb to its observatory but considering the skyline of the city I would not put it into my priority list. Most tourist would consider enough to just walk around the building.

City Hall, Downtown Philadelphia.
City Hall

Reading Terminal Market

Reading Terminal Market is an amazing place to enjoy a good local style meal. Many options and great ones. Hershel’s East Side Deli has incredible sandwiches! Another popular place is Dutch Eating Place.

Location: Google Maps.
Duration: 1 hour.
Opening hours: everyday from 8 to 18 hours.

Best places to eat in Philadelphia.
Reading Terminal Market
Must try food in Philadelphia.
Sandwich (not a cheeseteak) from Hershel’s East Side Deli

Logan Square

Logan Square is a nice place surrounded by important public buildings and museums. The most popular ones are the Academy of Natural Sciences and The Franklin Institute. Although it is a nice place is not a must-see if you don’t plan on entering one museums but if you are walking your way to the Museum of Art you should totally pass though here.

Rocky Steps & Museum of Art

I’m not the right person to talk about museums but I am one to talk about the view from the Philadelphia Museum of Art. Rocky Steps is a spot on the stairs leading to the museums where you will find a lovely view of the city worth of a postcard. I recommend coming in the afternoon after visiting Eastern State Penitentiary.

Location: Google Maps.

Where to find the best views of Philadelphia.
Rocky Steps

Eastern State Penitentiary

Eastern State Penitentiary was a very important prison worldwide. It was pioneer with the concept of reforming the prisoners instead of punishing them. They were locked on individual cells isolated even from the guards which was hoped to give them time to think about their mistakes but most of them end up going crazy.
Al Capone was a prisoner here.

Nowadays the penitentiary is open to public as a museum and it is one of the top places to visit in town. Some of you might have seen this place on the 1995 movie 12 Monkeys which was filmed here. If you don’t know what I’m talking about go watch the movie. It’s great.

Don’t miss: the hospital of the prison. Only possible to visit it as part of a mini guided tour (20 minutes). Check the itinerary on the booklet you get with the entry (Hands-on History section).

Location: Google Maps.
Entry fee (online): 14 USD general | 10 USD students.
Prices at the door are 2 USD more expensive.
Type of visit: self guided. Audio tour recommended. Short guided sections.
Duration: 2~3 hour.
Opening hours: 10 to 17 hours.

Places to visit in Philadelphia.
⁨Eastern State Penitentiary
Places to visit in Philadelphia.
⁨Eastern State Penitentiary
Scary places to visit in Philadelphia.
The Hospital
Abandoned prison to visit in America.
⁨Eastern State Penitentiary

Battleship New Jersey

The Battleship New Jersey was an important large ship that is currently displayed as museum since its decommission. It can be visited very easy from Philadelphia.

The ship is giant and it has several levels and too many rooms to see. From those used by the sailors to the artillery and beyond.

Location: Google Maps.
Entry fee: 25 USD.
Type of visit: self guided. Guided tours available at extra cost.
Duration: 2~3 hour.
Opening hours: 9:30 to 17 hours.
Reservation: online or in person.

How to get to the Battleship New Jersey from Philadelphia.
Take the RiverLink Ferry departing from Penn’s Landing in Philadelphia heading to Camden, New Jersey. The ferry goes up the river to the Franklin Bridge getting further away from the Battleship. Don’t panic! Later it goes down docking within walking distance from the battleship.
At the dock in New Jersey there are free shuttle carts waiting to take passengers to the Battleship and avoid the walk. You can also take this ride to get back to the ferry once you’re done.

RiverLink Ferry
Port in Philadelphia: Penn’s Landing.
Port in New Jersey: Camden.
Price: 9 USD round-trip.
Frequency: departs every 1 hour. Time table.
Duration: 15 minutes.
Operating Hours: 10 to 18 hours.
Reservations: online or at the port.
Shuttle Cart: free.

Things to do in Philadelphia.
Battleship New Jersey
Things to do in Philadelphia.
Things to do in Philadelphia.

Where to sleep in Philadelphia

The touristic area is not big and there are plenty of options to chose. Moving within this area is not a big problem. The location of the hotel doesn’t play a big role at the time of picking up one.

Downtown (around City Hall) is the area with most city style. Conveniente but I prefer the Old Town (around Independence Park) which is quiet, lovely architecture and beautiful alleys. 

University City (west of town, across the river) is a modern neighbourhood with plenty hotels but it’s not so close like the other ones. The train station is here although it doesn’t make any difference since the hotels are not close enough to it.

  • Cheap hotels: Apple Hostels for its private rooms. It is a hostel so you can get a bed in a shared dorm.
  • Midrange: Loews excellent location and it usually has some very decent rates (but when they don’t they go crazy high)
  • Luxury: The Rittenhouse or Ritz Carlton.
  • Experience: Cornerstone very pretty but fur away. Morris House almost as pretty as the previous one but in a lot better location.