Things to Do in the City of Philadelphia

Philadelphia, known as the “City of Brotherly Love,” is rich in history, culture, and vibrant urban life. From exploring historic landmarks and world-class museums to enjoying delicious food and diverse neighborhoods, there’s something for everyone in this dynamic city. Here’s a guide to some of the best things to do in Philadelphia.

1. Explore Historic Landmarks

Independence Hall

Independence Hall is the birthplace of American democracy, where the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution were debated and adopted. Take a guided tour to learn about its significant role in American history.

Liberty Bell

Located near Independence Hall, the Liberty Bell is an enduring symbol of freedom and independence. Visit the Liberty Bell Center to see this iconic artifact and learn about its history.

Betsy Ross House

Tour the Betsy Ross House, the historic home of the woman credited with sewing the first American flag. The house offers interactive exhibits and insights into her life and legacy.

2. Visit World-Class Museums

Philadelphia Museum of Art

The Philadelphia Museum of Art is one of the largest art museums in the country, featuring an extensive collection of art from around the world. Don’t miss the famous “Rocky Steps” and statue outside the museum.

The Franklin Institute

The Franklin Institute is a leading science museum with interactive exhibits, a planetarium, and an IMAX theater. It’s a great destination for families and science enthusiasts.

The Barnes Foundation

The Barnes Foundation houses an impressive collection of impressionist, post-impressionist, and early modern art. The museum’s unique display and educational approach make it a must-visit for art lovers.

3. Enjoy the Outdoors

Fairmount Park

Fairmount Park is one of the largest urban park systems in the country, offering trails, gardens, and recreational facilities. Visit the Shofuso Japanese House and Garden or take a paddleboat ride on the Schuylkill River.

Spruce Street Harbor Park

During the summer, Spruce Street Harbor Park transforms into a vibrant urban oasis with hammocks, food vendors, games, and floating gardens. It’s a perfect spot to relax and enjoy the waterfront.

4. Savor the Local Cuisine

Reading Terminal Market

Reading Terminal Market is a bustling food market featuring a wide variety of local and international cuisine. Be sure to try a Philly cheesesteak, Pennsylvania Dutch pretzels, and other local favorites.

Pat’s King of Steaks and Geno’s Steaks

For an authentic Philly cheesesteak experience, visit the famous rivals Pat’s King of Steaks and Geno’s Steaks, located across the street from each other in South Philadelphia.

5. Explore Diverse Neighborhoods

Old City

Old City is known for its historic charm, cobblestone streets, and vibrant arts scene. Visit the many galleries, boutiques, and restaurants, and explore historic sites like Elfreth’s Alley and Christ Church.

South Street

South Street is a lively area known for its eclectic shops, bars, and restaurants. Don’t miss the Magic Gardens, a mosaic art installation that spans half a city block.

6. Attend Sports Events

Philadelphia is a passionate sports city with teams in all major professional leagues. Catch a game at one of the city’s iconic venues:

  • Lincoln Financial Field: Home of the NFL’s Philadelphia Eagles.
  • Citizens Bank Park: Home of MLB’s Philadelphia Phillies.
  • Wells Fargo Center: Home of the NBA’s Philadelphia 76ers and NHL’s Philadelphia Flyers.

7. Experience Performing Arts

Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts

The Kimmel Center hosts a variety of performances, including Broadway shows, concerts, and ballet. It’s the cultural heart of Philadelphia’s performing arts scene.

The Philadelphia Orchestra

Attend a concert by the renowned Philadelphia Orchestra, one of the “Big Five” American orchestras, known for its rich history and exceptional performances.

8. Discover Science and Nature

Academy of Natural Sciences of Drexel University

Explore natural history exhibits, including dinosaur skeletons, live animal shows, and interactive displays at the Academy of Natural Sciences.

Philadelphia Zoo

Visit the Philadelphia Zoo, America’s first zoo, featuring a wide range of animal exhibits, a children’s zoo, and unique experiences like the Zoo360 animal exploration trails.

9. Enjoy Festivals and Events

Philadelphia Flower Show

The Philadelphia Flower Show is the largest indoor flower show in the world, showcasing stunning floral displays and garden designs. It’s held annually in the spring at the Pennsylvania Convention Center.

Wawa Welcome America Festival

Celebrate Independence Day with the Wawa Welcome America Festival, a week-long event featuring concerts, fireworks, parades, and family-friendly activities throughout the city.

10. Shop and Stroll

Rittenhouse Square

Rittenhouse Square is a charming park surrounded by upscale shops, restaurants, and cafes. It’s a great place to relax, people-watch, and enjoy the vibrant city atmosphere.

The Italian Market

Explore the Italian Market, one of the oldest and largest open-air markets in the country. It’s a fantastic spot for fresh produce, meats, cheeses, and other specialty foods.

Philadelphia offers a rich blend of history, culture, and modern urban experiences. Whether you’re exploring historic sites, enjoying world-class museums, or savoring local cuisine, the City of Brotherly Love has something to offer everyone.


Philadelphia, with its rich history, vibrant culture, and diverse attractions, offers something for everyone. From iconic landmarks like Independence Hall and the Liberty Bell to world-class museums, outdoor parks, and delicious local cuisine, the city provides a unique blend of experiences. Whether you’re exploring historic sites, enjoying arts and science museums, or savoring a Philly cheesesteak, Philadelphia promises an unforgettable visit filled with adventure and discovery.