Step back into Colonial times and learn about the birth of this nation, then live in the moment at one of Philadelphia's trendiest nightspots. Study American artists at the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts before embarking on a Mural Arts Tour to learn how some of today's most modern artists beautify the city. Shop for treasures on Antique Row, or hit Old City's funky boutiques for something more contemporary. From museums and architecture, to tax-free shopping and scrumptious dining, Philadelphia offers you countless ways to make the most of your stay.
Philadelphia is located just 2 hours drive from New York City or just over an hour by Amtrak train, Washington, DC is approx 3 hours by car or 1 hour 40 mins by Amtrak train. The Amtrak train brings you conveniently into the heart of the city at 30th Street station where you will be just a short walk or taxi drive away to many of the cities hotels and attractions. If you are flying into Philadelphia then your only 8 miles away from Center City and the journey by taxi will take approx 30 mins and there is set taxi cost of $28.50 plus tip, You can also take the high speed SEPTA train which leaves each airport terminal every 30mins and cost just $7 each way, centre city stops are sub-urban station and Market East Station.
Despite being the 2nd largest city on the east coast Philadelphia is truly a walking city, and many of its attractions are readily accessible by foot. Philadelphia was designed on a rectilinear street grid plan in 1682; one of the first cities in North America to use a grid system. At the urging of city founder William Penn, surveyor Thomas Holme designed a system of wide streets intersecting at right angles between the Schuylkill River to the west and Delaware to the east, including five squares of dedicated parkland.
The city offers an extensive, easy-to-navigate transit system that includes buses, subways, trains, and trolleys.
Philadelphia can be a perfect start to a Pennsylvania self drive tour or is a great long weekend destination with ample to keep you occupied and a lot less expensive than other US city break destinations like New York City, Boston and Washington DC - check out our weekend Philly citybreak deals.
We are sure you will fall in Love with Philadelphia, everyone that visit’s this great city always does !, but don’t just take our word for it here is what some well known name’s have to say about Philly...
“Philadelphia has a vibe - it doesn’t feel like Boston or New York...You have a downtown that feels like an urban centre, and you’re not gonna find as many diverse working-class neighbourhoods [in other places].”
Kevin Bacon, Actor
“Nothing beats Philadelphia in the summertime.”
Will Smith, Actor
“There was a pretty good scientist here in Philadelphia named Benjamin Franklin who was able to fool around with kites and keys and all kinds of stuff before he helped write our Constitution. So you’ve got a pretty good legacy here in Philadelphia of innovation.”
President Barack Obama
"Philadelphia's been like a real safe haven for me. The reason I'm here today is because of Philadelphia. They just backed the film. It was a real perfect blend of the character, which really represented the people of Philadelphia."
Sylvester Stallone, Writer/Star "Rocky"
"I'll tell you, I love Philadelphia. I have a lot of love and loyalty for the place. I feel very at home here. Once you put on the Eagles uniform, as long as you do them proud and give your all, as long as you don't pull a T.O., they're going to love you forever."
Mark Wahlberg, star of "Invincible"
"I love Philadelphia because they have the best cheesesteaks and pretzels and it’s a City of Brotherly Love. I always kept my home in Philadelphia because Philadelphia keeps me grounded. It’s like I know who I am. I just love Philadelphia. Anyone that doesn’t love Philadelphia, check yourself before you wreck yourself.”
Patti LaBelle, R&B and Soul singer/songwriter.
The American Dream was founded in Philadelphia through the prowess of courageous and entrepreneurial visionaries.
They crafted the model for modern day democracy that inspires people globally to embrace the power of their individuality and our human potential.
Philadelphia is home to iconic places such as Independence Hall, the birthplace of the U.S. Constitution, where ideas were manifested and actions taken that sparked the American experiment and forever changed the world.
Here, the old stands with the new with a diversity of great architecture telling the American story. The past resides deeply in the story of independence, invention, contradiction and resilience, as told by the story of the President’s House.
Philadelphia is the city that represents the American values of freedom. It is the place where ideas meet courage and intellect meets ingenuity to design a modern day renaissance city. Multicultural, open, beautiful and modern, Philadelphia IS America.
A vibrant and celebratory energy fills the streets with innovative shops, a world-class culinary culture, international and local arts and music scene, and a nightlife that moves through the city with ease.
Rated as America’s #1 City for Culture by Travel + Leisure, Philadelphia’s art, music, film, design, fashion, performance and culinary energy is thriving.
Only 75 minutes from New York, Philadelphia has become the “now” place where young artists collaborate to innovate everything from food to fashion, creating a renaissance environment.
International artists are drawn to engage with Philadelphia’s mural arts phenomenon, the largest such community art initiative in the world. Art galleries are accessible, friendly and host monthly First Friday celebrations. Expressive fashion designers and cutting edge retailers like Urban Outfitters are experimenting and launching new concepts.
Cultural festivals like the Odunde Festival highlight the city’s diverse heritage, the Philadelphia Live Arts Festival + Philly Fringe launches annual performances on the edge, while Broadway shows and the Philadelphia Orchestra lead the Avenue of the Arts. Hip Hop, Jazz, R&B, Neo Soul, Latin and Pop are at the core of Philadelphia led by bands such as The Roots, the house band on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon.
The Barnes Foundation, sitting along the Parkway with the Philadelphia Museum of Art and Rodin Museum, places Philadelphia as one of the premier art destinations in the world.
With the largest city-owned urban park system in the world, Philadelphia is the greenest city in America.
Endless adventure trails, riverfronts, bicycling and neighbourhoods are woven through the city unlike anywhere in the US.
Picturesque Boathouse Row, where the universities’ team compete on the river, sits below the Benjamin Franklin Parkway, lined with the internationally renowned Philadelphia Museum of Art, The Barnes Foundation and Rodin Museum. The river, parks and trails are vibrant with activity. Take a short drive to explore Valley Forge National Historical Park and observe the remarkable flora at Longwood Gardens.
With nine professional sports teams, four state-of-the-art arenas, numerous annual events, including the Philadelphia Marathon, a cycling race and regattas, and a community that loves a good game, Philadelphia is the country’s best city for taking in a sporting event.
City streets are tree-lined and surprisingly intimate, all leading to signature parks that define each neighbourhood. Parks are safe, with activities part of the daily life of the people and families who come to relax, eat, play and stroll.
Passionate about preservation and a clean environment, Philadelphia leads the United States in a Green City culture.
Walk everywhere. Bicycle anywhere. Taxi anywhere.
Fourteen friendly neighborhoods merge through the city and offer unique parks, gardens, quaint restaurants and coffee shops. No matter your age, you’ll feel like you live here after a comfortable and manageable experience.
Valued as accessible, affordable and with endless tourism and travel amenities, Philadelphia hotels provide accommodations from quiet and luxurious to hip and happening. Highly rated for its retail experience, Philadelphia offers tax-free shopping throughout Centre City at unique shops along 13th Street, high-end retailers on Walnut Street or boutiques in Old City. University City also offers exceptional stores. Visitors can discover great finds on fashion, art, gifts and home goods, compared to New York. The King of Prussia Mall, boasting more retail space than any other U.S. mall and top brands, is only a short drive away.
The BYOB (bring your own bottle) dining experience is a Philadelphia treasure, and allows patrons to bring their own bottle of wine, making high dining an economical pleasure.
Philadelphia was founded on the Quaker principles, so social equality is in our DNA!
Family-friendly attractions are around every corner. The warm and friendly Philadelphia community embraces diversity and welcomes travelers with families and new residents seeking to build careers in this accessible city.
Neighbourhoods are the fabric of Philadelphia.
Intimate, well-lit streets provide the adventure of discovery in city that is easy to navigate. Quintessentially American with a European flavor, Centre City is walk able from river to river and beyond.
Nightlife throughout the city is alive and vibrant into the late hours.
While famous for the cheesesteak (gotta have one), Philadelphia is known for an endless variety of creative food destinations in every neighbourhood with unique restaurants, bars, cafés and food trucks at every turn.
The theatre district at the Avenue of the Arts glows with hotels, restaurants and performance venues.
Small theatre and music venues are tucked throughout the city and region. High design to vintage shopping expresses the creative culture of Philadelphia. Walking north through the courtyard of the largest city hall in the country appears the Convention Centre District with the oldest art school and museum in the country. Hundreds of restaurants, bars, museums and shops are easily accessible with a short walk or subway ride from the Pennsylvania Convention Centre.
Public art is way of life in Philadelphia with more than 3,500 murals, sculpture and mosaic integrated into the landscape. From small village-like streets with historical churches and homes, to modern day piazzas, skyscrapers and grand open space, Philadelphia‘s personalities emerge as you wander.
Philadelphia is made up of distinctive districts each owning its own character and charm, here is a quick guide to them:
Old City/Society Hill/Historic/Waterfront
The City's trendiest district is filled with fantastic bistros, clothing boutiques, and contemporary art galleries. As America's first business district, there's also an abundance of history resting among Colonial detail and cobblestone walkways, including the African American Museum in Philadelphia, Christ Church, where George and Marsha Washington worshipped, and the adjacent Burial Ground, where Benjamin Franklin is buried. The historic District is also home to independence National Historical Park, the Liberty Bell, and the National Constitution Center.
Purely Pennsylvania’s favourite: Boasting more than 750,000 objects and illustrations, the African American Museum in Philadelphia is a must.
The former shipbuilding port is one of the city's oldest areas. Modest South Philadelphia neighbourhoods have long been a haven for immigrants, lending to a hotbed of authentic dining spots. Orders some gourmet cheeses, octopus, and imported olives at the Italian Market on 9th Street. This unique five-block outdoor market boasts an atmosphere resembling Naples.
Purely Pennsylvania’s favourite: Visit the Mummers Museum to see the elaborate costumes and learn the history behind the extravagant and entertaining local New Year's tradition.
Explore the bustling Pennsylvania Convention Center, Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts, and Reading Terminal Market - the oldest continuous farmers' market in North America, featuring authentic Philadelphia cheese steaks, soft pretzels, Amish specialties, spices, flowers, fresh fish, and much more.
Purely Pennsylvania’s favourite: Nearby, the Chinese Friendship Gate, at 10th and Arch streets, welcomes visitors to Chinatown.
Find inspiration in this district's colourful murals that are part of Philadelphia's internationally renowned Mural Arts Program, now celebrating its 25th anniversary. Treasure hunt along Antique Row on Pine Street and Jewellers’ Row on Sansom Street.
Purely Pennsylvania’s favourite: Visit the Philadelphia Sketch Club at 235 S. Camac Street, the nation's oldest artist club, founded in 1860.
At the centre of this posh neighbourhood filled with fabulous shopping is a genteel park called Rittenhouse Square, complete with a plaza and fountains designed to resemble a Parisian park. Elegant Philadelphia restaurants frame the square.
Purely Pennsylvania’s favourite: Stroll along Walnut Street for some of the world's most famous retailers, high-end boutiques, and charming outdoor cafes.
The majestic Benjamin Franklin Parkway is adorned with public art and lined with flags of the world. Visit acclaimed institutions such as The Franklin, The Academy of Natural Sciences, and the Rodin Museum. See the renowned art collection of the Barnes Foundation when it moves here in 2011. The boulevard is crowned by the magnificent Philadelphia Museum of Art, whose cascading steps were made famous in the film Rocky.
Purely Pennsylvania’s favourite: Visit John F. Kennedy Plaza, also known as Love Park, to view the iconic LOVE Sculpture.
This educational epicentre is home to six colleges and universities, including the university of Pennsylvania and Drexel University. As Philadelphia's first suburb, this is one of the city's most diverse neighbourhoods. Tree-lined streets are filled with Italianate architecture, community gardens, and a full range of restaurants, galleries museums, and theatres.
Purely Pennsylvania’s favourite: As the city's education hub and home to constant creativity, University City hosts numerous music and film festivals.
Philadelphia the City of First’s! – The first Hospital, The first zoo, The first botanical garden, The first USA flag, The first Capital of the USA, The first stock exchange, The first Bank, The first library, the first waterworks, the first university and even the first White house !
The first thing we recommend you to do in Philadelphia is to stop by the Independence Visitor Centre located in Independence Mall at 6th and Market Streets, the centre is the perfect place to begin your visit to the Philadelphia region. The Visitor Centre is just a stone’s throw from some of Philadelphia’s most popular attractions, including the new Liberty Bell Centre, Independence Hall and the National Constitution Centre.
Thanks to the centre’s friendly and knowledgeable staff, you’ll get a free comprehensive orientation to the culture, history, shopping and dining options available throughout the Greater Philadelphia region in an environment that is welcoming and convenient. After stopping at the Independence Visitor Centre, you will know where to go, what to see and how to get there.
While visiting this dynamic city, you'll be wowed by the diversity that surrounds you. Philadelphia's culture is a mix of old and new, historic and hip, traditional and trendy, and promises to give you the experience of a lifetime. Here is Purely Pennsylvania’s top things to do whilst in Philadelphia:-
In spring 2013, the Philadelphia Zoo will unveil the KidZooU: Hamilton Family Children’s Zoo & Faris Family Education Centre, a wildlife academy that unites an education centre with a reimagined children’s zoo. Open year-round, the zoo will feature rare breeds of goats, sheep, ducks, chickens, miniature horses, pigeons, tropical butterflies, Australian parakeets, coral reef fish and more, along with two climbing towers (one for goats and one for kids), a primate trail situated in the treetops and a barnyard and stables. Inside, the education centre will teach kids to become champions for energy conservation and endangered animals.
Families can roll up their sleeves and prepare for a thrill at Adventure Aquarium on the Camden, NJ Waterfront, America’s Most Touchable Aquarium.
Open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., 365 days a year, Adventure Aquarium is a true waterfront treasure, featuring nearly 200,000 square feet of space, more than two million gallons of water and 6,500 animals.
The fifth largest aquarium in the country, Adventure Aquarium is the only aquarium in the world to exhibit hippos and one of only two aquariums in the country to exhibit a Hammerhead Shark. Adventure Aquarium offers numerous hands-on touch experiences including the all new Stingray Beach Club, where families can touch and hand-feed gentle and curious stingrays.
Franklin Square, one of Philadelphia’s five original public squares laid out by William Penn in his original plan for the city, has undergone a dramatic renovation. The park now boasts several family-friendly attractions, including a miniature golf course, classic carousel, burger joint, storytelling bench, picnic area and more.
Philadelphia Museum of Art
Like Philadelphia’s own Parthenon, the Philadelphia Museum of Art sits majestically on a rise at the end of the Benjamin Franklin Parkway. The vast collections of this temple of art make it the third-largest art museum in the country, and an absolute must-see on the city’s cultural circuit.
Among its impressive holdings in Renaissance, American, Impressionist and Modern art, some standouts include a great Rogier van der Weyden altarpiece, a large Bathers by Cezanne, a room devoted to Philadelphia’s own Thomas Eakins, and Marcel Duchamp’s notorious mixed-media Bride Stripped Bare by her Bachelors (The Large Glass), exactly as the dada master installed it.
Upstairs, breathe in other cultures and times through over 80 period rooms, from the medieval cloister to the Indian temple. The Museum has wowed visitors in recent years with shows it helped to organise, from Cezanne and Degas to Brancusi and Barnett Newman.
Valley Forge National Historical Park
General George Washington’s historic winter of 1777-78 Valley Forge encampment on more than 3,600 acres of rolling hills and well-worn trails, Valley Forge is now a magnet for runners, bicyclists and picnickers as well as history buffs.
The vast expanse of open space links the Schuylkill River Trail to the Horse Shoe Trail, creating a hub in the 75-mile system tying Philadelphia to the Appalachian Trail.
Yet the monuments, statues and buildings evoking more than 230 years of American history give this expanse of nature a palpable sense of the past, making it a favourite destination for families.
The Liberty Bell Centre
The Liberty Bell has a new home, and it is as powerful and dramatic as the Bell itself. Throughout the expansive, light-filled Centre, larger-than-life historic documents and graphic images explore the facts and the myths surrounding the Bell.
X-rays give an insider’s view, literally, of the Bell’s crack and inner-workings. In quiet alcoves, a short History Channel film, available in English and eight other languages, traces how abolitionists, suffragists and other groups adopted the Bell as its symbol of freedom.
Other exhibits show how the Bell’s image was used on everything from ice cream moulds to wind chimes. Keep your camera handy. Soaring glass walls offer dramatic and powerful views of both the Liberty Bell and Independence Hall, just a few steps away.
The Eastern State Penitentiary
Eastern State Penitentiary was once the most famous and expensive prison in the world, but stands today in ruin, a haunting world of crumbling cellblocks and empty guard towers. Known for its grand architecture and strict discipline, this was the world’s first true “penitentiary,” a prison designed to inspire penitence, or true regret, in the hearts of convicts. Its vaulted, sky-lit cells once held many of America’s most notorious criminals, including bank robber “Slick Willie” Sutton and Al Capone. For a small charge you can take a one-hour guided walk through the empty Penitentiary complex. There are even photographs of the inmates' Christmas celebrations on view. The tour route may change to accommodate inclement weather, but will generally include the cellblocks, center surveillance hub, Al Capone's Cell and either Cellblock 15 (Death Row) or the newly restored Alfred W. Fleisher Memorial Synagogue.
Are you in Philadelphia from mid September to October?, then have the scariest Friday, Saturday or Sunday night of your life, when darkness falls the Eastern State Penitentiary comes alive with a haunted house experience not to be missed, reservations are highly recommended for this popular experience.
National Constitution Centre
It’s only four pages long, but the U.S. Constitution is among the most influential and important documents in the history of the world.
The 160,000-square-foot National Constitution Centre explores and explains this amazing document through high-tech exhibits, artefacts, and interactive displays. The Kimmel Theatre, a 350-seat star-shaped theatre, features “Freedom Rising,” a multimedia production combining film, a live actor and video projection on a 360° screen to tell the stirring story of “We the people.”
Then experience it yourself: don judicial robes to render your opinion on key Supreme Court cases, then take the Presidential oath of the office.
In Signers’ Hall, where life-size bronze figures of the Constitution’s signers and dissenters are displayed, visitors can choose to sign or dissent.
One of the rare original public copies of the Constitution is on display.
When you’re at Longwood Gardens, it’s easy to imagine that you’re at a giant, royal garden in Europe. Stroll along the many paths through acres of exquisitely maintained grounds featuring 11,000 different types of plants. Encounter a new vista at each turn: the Italian Water Garden, Flower Garden Walk, aquatic display gardens and many others. Amble through Peirce’s Woods, eight outdoor “rooms” of distinct woodland habitats.
Inside the Conservatory is a lush world of exotic flowers, cacti, bromeliads, ferns and bonsai. Each season brings a different pleasure: spring magnolias and azaleas; summer roses and water lilies; fall foliage and chrysanthemums; and winter camellias, orchids and palms.
On land Quaker settler George Peirce purchased from William Penn, Peirce’s grandsons planted an impressive arboretum. The presence of a sawmill on the property prompted industrialist Pierre Samuel du Pont to buy the land in 1906 to save the trees.
Christmas is spectacularly celebrated with carillon concerts, poinsettias and thousands of lights; summer evenings are embellished with concerts, illuminated fountain displays and occasional fireworks.
They risked everything — “their lives, their fortune and their sacred honour.” During the blistering summer of 1776, 56 courageous men gathered at the Pennsylvania State House and defied the King of England. Eleven years later, representatives from 12 states gathered to shape the U.S. Constitution, finally creating one unified nation.
The guided tour of Independence Hall, led by National Park rangers, begins in the courtroom where lawyers from opposing sides shared tables and law books.
George Washington’s “rising sun” chair dominates the Assembly Room which is arranged as it was during the Constitutional Convention. In the adjacent West Wing, the original inkstand used to sign the Declaration and an original draft of the Constitution are displayed.
The Franklin Institute
An innovator in designing hands-on exhibits before “interactive” became a buzzword, The Franklin Institute is as clever as its namesake. Its eminently touchable attractions explore science in disciplines ranging from sports to space.
Highlights include The Sports Challenge, which uses virtual-reality technology to illustrate the physics of sports; The Train Factory’s climb-aboard steam engine; Space Command’s simulated earth-orbit research station; a fully equipped weather station; and exhibits on electricity.
Films like “Everest” and “The Lion King” assume grand proportions on the Tuttleman IMAX Theater’s 79-foot domed screen; galaxies are formed and deep space explored in North America’s second-oldest planetarium, which reopened in 2002, sporting the continent’s most advanced technology. Don’t miss the 3D Theatre and the indoor SkyBike.
The Barnes Foundation
The new 93,000-square-foot, two-story building, designed by architects Tod Williams and Billie Tsien, is described as a “gallery in a garden, a garden in a gallery.” Boasting a textured grey-and-gold Ramon limestone exterior and a glass canopy that glows at night, the building is a breathtaking addition to the Parkway Museum District.
The four-and-a-half acre landscaped grounds reference the Barnes Arboretum in Merion, which will reopen in the late summer of 2012. In addition, the building boasts a number of sustainable features, including a green roof and permeable surfaces that allow for rain and grey water re-use.
But the true draw is the Barnes Collection featuring 181 Renoirs, 69 Cézannes and 59 Matisses, along with works by Manet, Degas, Seurat, Prendergrast, Titian and Picasso.
The 12,000-square-foot gallery preserves the scale, proportion and configuration of the original Merion location. The priceless works are symmetrically arranged according to size, and often paired with artifacts and furniture (think: African sculpture, Pennsylvania Dutch folk art, antique Chinese paintings) organized around themes and formal elements. The scheme is the physical manifestation of the teachings of the man who collected the works, Albert C. Barnes.
The Rocky Statue & steps
One of Philadelphia’s most famous pieces of public art is a bigger-than-life boxer… literally. Originally created for Rocky III, the sculpture is now a real-life monument to a celluloid hero. The fictional Rocky Balboa of Sylvester Stallone’s Rocky movies were immortalised in bronze in 1980. After filming for the movie completed, Stallone donated the statue to the City of Philadelphia.
The statue is located at the bottom of the stairs at the Philadelphia Museum of Art, so be sure to get a photo with Rocky Balboa himself.
As famous as the statue itself are the stairs leading to the East Entrance of the Philadelphia Museum of Art, aka “The Rocky Steps.” Making the iconic trip up the steps is regarded as a symbol of perseverance and determination. Each year, thousands of people, young and old, recreate the scene from the legendary movie and make the trek up the steps. So remember to pack running shoes before you make the trip!
Once you reach the top and mimic Rocky’s triumphant celebration, turn around for a breathtaking view of the scenic Benjamin Franklin Parkway and the Center City skyline.
Reading Terminal Market
This 117-year-old indoor farmers market in the Convention Centre district offers fresh produce, meat, seafood, prepared meals, chocolates, cakes, gifts and much more. Pick up some fresh baked Amish goods or try a famous Philly cheeseteak while taking in the sights, sounds and tantalising smells.
Named for one of the greatest sculptures of all time, this museum houses the largest collection of Auguste Rodin’s work outside of Paris. The Spectacular museum showcases Rodin’s bronze castings, plaster studies, drawings, prints, letters and books. See his celebrated sculpture “The Thinker” at the museums entrance and relax at the reflecting pool in the surrounding courtyard.
Featuring 215 miles of recreation trails, 139 picnic sites, 34 miles of waterways and six golf courses, Fairmount Park is the nation’s largest landscaped urban park. Enjoy your favourite outdoor activity: walk, jog, bike, play Frisbee, go horse riding or play disc gold on the nation’s second oldest course. Mann music center is also located in the park along with the Japanese house and garden.
Stroll the oldest continuously occupied residential street in America. Since 1702, Philadelphians have raised families in the modest homes along Elfreths Alley, including the hard working people who helped build and maintain the city through the 18th and 19th centuries. The Alley remains a living community where dedicated residents keep its history alive.
Shop till you drop – Tax free - Philadelphia, with that lovely, state-wide law that keeps clothing tax-free, is the perfect city to visit for a shopping break. With a wonderful mix of urban shopping districts, some of the nation’s largest retail centres and tax-free shopping on clothing and shoes, you’ll need an extra bag to bring everything home!
Here is our pick of the best not to miss shopping areas:
King of Prussia Mall
Adjacent to Valley Forge and boasting seven world class department stores and more than 400 stores, boutiques, and restaurants, King of Prussia has more pure retail shopping space than any other attraction in America and it features stores that cannot be found elsewhere in the region.
Philadelphia Premium Outlets
Brand loyalists and cost-conscious shoppers cheered the opening of Philadelphia’s newest addition to its already stellar roster of retail offerings. Located just 35 highway miles northwest of downtown Philadelphia and minutes from Valley Forge, the Philadelphia Premium Outlets in Limerick feature more than 150 designer and brand-name outlet stores in an astounding 425,000-square-foot space. Upscale merchants such as Calvin Klein, Coach, J.Crew and Sony are among the outlet stores tempting shoppers.
Franklin Mills, the Landmark of the Discount Shopper, offers bargain hunters top designer names at up to 60% off designer merchandise every day — with no sales tax on clothing in Pennsylvania.
This 1.7 million-square-foot enclosed mall is located only 15 miles from Center City Philadelphia and is home to 200 great stores, two food courts, seven theme restaurants and a 14-screen movie theatre.
Daily shuttle services from Philadelphia hotels, airport and train station is available. Shuttle service is also available on Academy Bus Lines departing from the Port Authority weekly in New York City.
If upscale and chic is your style and runway fashions are your flair, then Rittenhouse Row is all you. Surrounded by over 200 upscale dining, retail and cultural establishments, here stands one of the nation’s most exclusive shopping neighbourhoods, stretching from the Avenue of the Arts (Broad Street) to 21st Street, between Spruce and Market Streets.
Rittenhouse Row is brimming with art galleries, haute couture boutiques, national retailers, specialty shops, luxurious spas and salons, restaurants and cafés. Whether you’re looking for a bargain, a bauble or a baguette, you’ll find it here.
Shops at the Bellevue. The historic Bellevue building, which anchors Rittenhouse Row and the Avenue of the Arts, features such designer shops as Nicole Miller, Polo/Ralph Lauren and Williams-Sonoma — and if you’ve got a sweet tooth, take a well-deserved break at Teuscher Chocolates. World-class restaurants include The Palm, XIX and Bliss.
Shops at Liberty Place you’ll find shops like J. Crew, Nine West, Express, Godiva Chocolates and much more. Further down the street is H&M, one of two Centre City locations of the stylish European chain.
Macy’s Department Store
It’s time to explore Macy’s, the huge department store located just east of Broad Street. Originally the home of Wanamaker’s, this lovely old store will take you back to the days when a trip downtown to shop was a very special occasion. For the music lovers in your party, make sure to stay until 12 noon to catch the Grand Pipe Organ’s daily recital. (Every Purely Pennsylvania clients gets an extra 10% off regular, sale and clearance merchandise, discount card sent with your tickets)
At night, Philadelphia is sizzling with activity — it’s an exciting, welcoming place to sip cocktails, hear live music and/or do your own thing.
Philly has a diverse bar scene—there’s truly something for everyone. Live music clubs, college bars, dance clubs, dive bars, Irish Pubs, gay bars and sports bars are just a few of the drinking establishments that can be found in Philadelphia.
Old City has many popular bars including Eulogy Belgian Tavern that boasts about 300 bottled beers and over 20 on tap. Lucy’s Hat Shop, near Eulogy, has an infamous happy hour that attracts hordes of college students. Northern Liberties is another area of Philadelphia that is home to several great bars. The Khyber is a funky live music venue with two floors, each with its own bar.
In the City on a Thursday night? then there is a truly unique experience not to be missed at “The Sound of Philadelphia” 309a Broad Street a 55 seat adult style club/studio for residents and tourist to embrace live performances by Philadelphia’s rising and established stars whilst being surrounded and inspired by memorabilia and autographed wall murals celebrating the musical legacy of Rock & Roll hall of famers Gamble & Hoff. Live performances start every Thursday at 7pm, by sure to stop by the Sound of Philadelphia souvenir shop on Broad Street to book your seat at the popular venue experience.
Jolly’s Dueling Piano Bar, at 2006 Chestnut Street features the American phenomenon of dueling pianos, The 125-seat venue offers a live, loud and interactive experience in a funky, intimate atmosphere. And in keeping with the history of duelling pianos— the concept debuted in New Orleans during the Great Depression. Every Tuesday through Saturday, two talented pianists/singers with a 2,000+ song repertoire will spar with songs chosen by audience requests. The show is fast-paced, interactive and audience driven, and the “duel” is as much between the audience as the players. Everyone is encouraged to sing along, and audience members and staff are often invited on stage.
Restaurants - You can enjoy great food at anytime in Philadelphia with over 19000 restaurants on offer - Here is a quick guide to each area:
City Centre: Home to some of Philadelphia’s best restaurants, the Center City dining scene is diverse and happening. From high-end steakhouse chains such as Ruth’s Chris and Morton’s to luscious Italian food at Osteria, Philly’s Center City restaurants offer an appealing combination of American cuisine and international fare. Center City is home to restaurant Morimoto, featuring the exquisite Japanese fusion dishes by lauded “Iron Chef” Masaharu Morimoto, as well as to the Museum Restaurant, which features a seasonal menu that rotates to compliment, in region or origin, the exhibits in the Philadelphia Museum of Art. A favourite of Philadelphia locals, Bistro St. Tropez draws crowds with seasonal French bistro fare and breathtaking views of the Schuylkill River. No matter what your taste, restaurants in Center City offer a bounty of appealing dining options.
Rittenhouse Square: Rittenhouse Square restaurants are an eclectic blend of fine dining establishments and accessible neighbourhood bistros. From American cuisine with Asian influences at Twenty Manning to complex, Basque-influenced tapas at Tinto and contemporary Mexican fare at Tequila’s, Philadelphia diners have a lot to choose from in this vibrant dining neighbourhood. Rittenhouse Square Italian restaurants are popular with locals, who seek out straightforward pasta and pizza at Bellini Grill, Northern Italian flavours at Le Castagne and Tuscan cuisine with traditional Jewish-Italian influences at Il Portico Ristorante. For amazing views of the city head for R2L which is located on the 37th floor of Two Liberty Place, R2L reflects the art deco look of its building’s exterior and pays tribute to the mood and essence of that time, Chef Daniel Stern takes tradition American flavours and brings them up to date with a modern Twist. For a taste of Cuba head to Walnut Street where you find Alma de Cuba - vibrant colour and rhythm surround you as you are truly transported to a rare and unique place. Sensuous texture, high-end design and native imagery invoke the true soul of Cuba at this multi-level gem. A glowing, dramatically lit bar and lounge buzzes with the festive spirit of Havana while sheer canvas, leather and panoramic landscapes define the main dining area creating a luxurious setting for decadent Latin-inspired cuisine.
Old City: While Philadelphia’s Old City neighbourhood is packed with history, it’s also an epicentre of dining and nightlife in the city. Restaurants in Old City cover a spectrum of international influences, from Pan-Asian fusion at Buddakan to classic Italian at LaScala’s, Japanese food at Haru Sushi and French Mediterranean flavours at Patou. Many of Philadelphia’s Old City restaurants like Bleu Martini and Beneluxx Tasting Room have vibrant bar scenes, gathering well-dressed crowds on weekends for a little dining, drinking and dancing.
University City: Funky, spirited and eclectic University City is one of the most unique neighbourhoods in Philadelphia. Only 2.2 square miles, University City is home to University of Pennsylvania, Drexel University and University of the Sciences in Philadelphia, not to mention several prominent medical institutions. Filled with Victorians and early 20th century homes, this quaint neighbourhood is also home to an incredible variety of restaurants that occupy spaces between student housing, cute shops, fun nightlife destinations and galleries. University City restaurants range from popular sushi restaurants like Pod to neighbourhood favourites like Marigold to organic restaurants like White Dog Café. The prices in these beautiful restaurants vary drastically, offering options suitable to both doctor and student budgets.
North Philadelphia: Peppered with restaurants, charming Northern Philadelphia neighbourhoods like Manayunk, Chestnut Hill, East Falls and even Northern Liberties offer an array of Philadelphia dining options for every palate. Jake’s Restaurant and Bar in Manayunk is a lively neighbourhood favourite for American classics. Foodies can dine along the Schuylkill River at Franco’s Tratoria or enjoy delicious continental cuisine at the Valley Green Inn, one of the most historic restaurants in Philly. For a romantic date, earth- and health-conscious diners can indulge in organic cuisine at the intimate Copper Bistro.
South Philadelphia: hops and massive sports arenas that are home to Philadelphia’s professional teams, South Philadelphia is a popular Philly district. To satisfy shoppers, sports fans and bar-hoppers, this area is also packed with restaurants. Passayunk Avenue, also known as South Philly’s “restaurant row,” and South Street are pedestrian-friendly areas that are good for strolling to find the ideal dining spot. One of the most well known South Philly restaurants is JAMES, a contemporary American restaurant focused on sustainable cuisine. A must-visit area for fans of Italian cuisine, South Philly is also home to a number of Italian restaurants, including the refined Paradiso, lively Popi’s Italian Restaurant.
How about some of these half day and full day suggestions whilst in this wonderful city:
First Time to Philadelphia !
Half Day Itinerary
Get to know Philadelphia on a professionally guided city tour. Pick one of three modes of transportation: Trolley Tour, Ride the Ducks Sightseeing Tour, or a Big Bus Tour.
Relive Colonial and Revolutionary War-era history at iconic sites around Independence National Historic Park, including Independence Hall, the Liberty Bell Centre, and the National Constitution Centre. Stop by Betsy Ross' home and then stroll America's oldest street, Elfreth's Alley.
Enjoy a hearty lunch at City Tavern, sample Philadelphia staples at Reading Terminal Market, or grab a cheese steak at Jim's Steaks on South Street.
Make it a Full Day
Experience the city's renowned museums along the Benjamin Franklin Parkway, including The Franklin; the Rodin Museum; and the Philadelphia Museum of Art, where you can run up the steps made famous in the "Rocky" film series.
Fill some shopping bags in only-in-Philadelphia retail districts such as Rittenhouse Row, Antique Row and South Street. Take in dinner and a show along the Avenue of the Arts, the city's premier arts and entertainment district.
Choose from more than 25 restaurants ranging from Sushi to soul food followed by a jaw-dropping opera, jazz, or dance performance.
Half Day Itinerary
Start at Independence National Historical Park - America's most historic square mile - where you'll see the Liberty Bell, Independence Hall, and the President's House Commemorative Site. Wander the National Constitution Centre and see a copy of the U.S. Constitution and President Barack Obama's famous "Race Speech". Have lunch at City Tavern where costumed servers will bring you authentic Colonial dishes. Or, for an open-air tradition that spans more than 125 years, grab some fresh produce, bread and gourmet cheese at the Italian Market in South Philadelphia.
Listen to an informative talk by a historian at Christ Church and see where George Washington, Benjamin Franklin, and Betsy Ross worshipped. See the nation's first post office and print shop at Franklin Court and then stroll Elfreth's Alley, the oldest street in America.
Make it a Full Day
Tour Eastern State Penitentiary, Philadelphia's famous prison-turned-museum that once held Al Capone and "Slick" Willie Sutton. Visit Fairmount Park and its 18th-and early 19th-century mansions and then tour the mansions of historic Germantown and the nearby Victorian gardens of Morris Arboretum.
Have dinner in Chestnut Hill, a National Historic District north of Centre City, where you'll find more than 200 boutique shops, art galleries, antique stores, cosy cafes, and fine restaurants.
Half Day Itinerary
Start with a guided tour of Independence National Historic Park, where you'll view the award-winning film Independence, see the site where Thomas Jefferson drafted the Declaration of Independence, and snap a picture of the Liberty Bell. Grab a food-court lunch at the historic Bourse building across from the Liberty Bell Centre.
See more than 1,600 animals at the Philadelphia Zoo, stop by the dinosaur exhibit at The Academy of Natural Sciences, and then re-enact the triumphant run up the Philadelphia Museum of Art steps from the film "Rocky".
Make It a Full Day
Board the Riverlink Ferry from Penn's Landing and cross the Delaware River to New Jersey to visit Adventure Aquarium. Visit Philadelphia's two most famous cheese steak purveyors at 9th and Passyunk streets and order a freshly made Philadelphia classic.
Experience an evening of sound and light at the Lights of Liberty in Independence National Historical Park where special effects tell the story of the American Revolution as it happened, where it happened.
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