Philadelphia Sights

Today you can find Philadelphia's compact 5-square-mile downtown (William Penn's original city) between the Delaware and the Schuylkill (pronounced skoo-kull) rivers. Thanks to Penn's grid system of streets—laid out in 1681—the downtown area is a breeze to navigate. The traditional heart of the city is Broad and Market streets (Penn's Center Square), where City Hall now stands. Market

Street divides the city north and south; 130 South 15th Street, for example, is in the second block south of Market Street. North–south streets are numbered, starting with Front (1st) Street, at the Delaware River, and increasing to the west. Broad Street is the equivalent of 14th Street. The diagonal Benjamin Franklin Parkway breaks the rigid grid pattern by leading from City Hall out of Center City into Fairmount Park, which straddles the Schuylkill River and Wissahickon Creek for 10 miles.

Although Philadelphia is the fifth-largest city in the nation (about 1.5 million people live in the city, 6.4 million in the metropolitan area), it maintains a small-town feel. It's a cosmopolitan, exciting, but not overwhelming city, a town that's easy to explore on foot yet big enough to keep surprising even those most familiar with it.

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Fodor's Choice

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Historic Area 24

Fairmount Park 20

Old City 15

Society Hill 15

Manayunk, Germantown, and Chestnut Hill 12

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Chestnut Hill and Mount Airy 3

Germantown 9

Rittenhouse Square and Avenue of the Arts South 11

Center City 11

Queen Village and South Philadelphia 10

Benjamin Franklin Parkway 9

Penn's Landing and Camden Waterfront 8

University City 6

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Archaeological Site/ Ruins 1

Arts/ Performance Venue 3

Bridge/ Tunnel 1

Building/ Architectural Site 7

Cemetery 2

Convention Center 1

Garden/ Arboretum 4

Government Building 2

Historic District/ Site 3

Hospital–Sight 1

Hotel–Sight 1

House/ Mansion/ Villa 19

Information Center 1

Jail 1

Library/ Archive 6

Market/ Bazaar 2

Memorial/ Monument/ Tomb 1

Military Site 1

Museum/ Gallery 38

Nature Preserve/ Wildlife Refuge 1

Nautical Site/ Lighthouse 4

Neighborhood/ Street 7

Park (National/ State/ Provincial) 1

Park/ Playground 6

Plaza/ Square/ Piazza 3

Promenade/ Boardwalk 1

Public Art (Mural/ Sculpture/ Statue) 5

Religious Building/ Site/ Shrine 11

Restaurant–Sight 1

Store/ Shop/ Mall 1

Viewpoint/ Scenic Overlook 2

Zoo/ Aquarium 3

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Family 17

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Philadelphia Sights

Showing 141 out of 141 Results

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USS Becuna

  • Nautical Site/Lighthouse

You can tour this 318-foot-long "guppy class" submarine, which was commissioned in 1944 and conducted search-and-destroy missions in...

USS Olympia

  • Nautical Site/Lighthouse

Commodore George Dewey's flagship at the Battle of Manila in the Spanish-American War is the only remaining ship from that war. Dewey...

United States Mint

  • Museum/Gallery

The first U.S. mint was built in Philadelphia at 16th and Spring Garden streets in 1792, when the Bank of North America adopted dollars...

University Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology

  • Museum/Gallery

Rare treasures from the deepest jungles and ancient tombs make this one of the finest archaeological and anthropological museums in the...

Valley Green (Wissahickon Park)

  • Park/Playground

There are many great sections of Fairmount Park, but the 1,800 acres around Valley Green known as Wisssahickon Park may be the most stunning...

Washington Square

  • Plaza/Square/Piazza

This leafy area resembling a London park has been through numerous incarnations since it was set aside by William Penn. From 1705 until...

Welcome Park

  • Park/Playground

A scale model of the Penn statue that tops City Hall sits on a 60-foot-long map of Penn's Philadelphia, carved in the pavement of Welcome...

Woodford

  • House/Mansion/Villa

The Naomi Wood collection of antique household goods, including Colonial furniture, unusual clocks, and English delftware, can be seen...

Woodmere Art Museum

  • Museum/Gallery

This modest-sized museum has trouble drawing a crowd due to its location halfway down the other side of the hill from Chestnut Hill's...

Wyck

  • House/Mansion/Villa

Between the 1690s and 1973, Wyck sheltered nine generations of the Wistar-Haines family. Their accumulated furnishings are on display,...

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