Philadelphia

Philadelphia continues on its upward trend of development in terms of new construction, a restaurant renaissance, and a cultural revival. The city rests its heels on an impressive past, and thanks to aggressive civic leadership and a close-knit local community, it continues to push toward an exciting future. And in many ways, it’s only started to realize its potential.

Philadelphia is a place of contrasts: Grace Kelly and Rocky Balboa; Vetri—one of the nation's finest Italian haute-cuisine restaurants—and the fast-food heaven of Jim's Steaks; Independence Hall and the modest Mario Lanza Museum; 18th-century national icons with 21st-century–style skyscrapers soaring above them. The Philadelphia Orchestra performs in a stunning concert hall—the focal point of efforts to transform Broad Street into a multicultural Avenue of the Arts. Along the same street, 25,000 Mummers dressed in outrageous sequins and feathers historically have plucked their banjos and strutted their stuff in a parade every New Year's Day. City residents include descendants of the staid Quaker Founding Fathers, the self-possessed socialites of the Main Line, and the unrestrained sports fans, who are as vocal as they are loyal.

Philadelphia has a population of just over 1.5 million, but is known as a city of neighborhoods (some say there are 109). Shoppers haggle over the price of tomatoes in South Philly's Italian Market; families picnic in the parks of Germantown; street vendors hawk soft pretzels in Logan Circle; and all around the city vendors sell local produce and other goods at farmers' markets. There’s also a strong sense of neighborhood loyalty: ask a native where he's from and he'll tell you: Fairmount, Fishtown, or Frankford, rather than Philadelphia.

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 sixth-largest city in the nation (about 1.5 million people live in the city, more than 6 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.

Sort by: 7 Recommendations {{numTotalPoiResults}} {{ (numTotalPoiResults===1)?'Recommendation':'Recommendations' }} 0 Recommendations
CLEAR ALL Area Search CLEAR ALL
Loading...
Loading...
  • 1. Elfreth's Alley

    Old City | Historic District/Site

    This alley is the oldest continuously occupied residential street in America, dating back to 1702. Much of Colonial Philadelphia resembled this...Read More

    View Tours and Activities
  • 2. Independence Hall

    Old City | Museum/Gallery

    The birthplace of the United States, this redbrick building with its clock tower and steeple is one of the nation's greatest icons. America...Read More

    View Tours and Activities
  • 3. Liberty Bell Center

    Old City | Historic District/Site

    The bell fulfilled the words of its inscription when it rang to "proclaim liberty throughout all the land unto all the inhabitants thereof,...Read More

  • 4. Congress Hall

    Old City | Museum/Gallery

    Formerly the Philadelphia County Courthouse, Congress Hall was the meeting place of the U.S. Congress from 1790 to 1800—one of the most important...Read More

  • 5. Historic RittenhouseTown

    Chestnut Hill | Historic District/Site

    North America's first paper mill was built here in 1690 by Mennonite minister William Rittenhouse. Over the next 150 years, 10 generations of...Read More

  • 6. Independence Visitor Center

    Old City | Visitor Center

    This is the city's official visitor center as well as the gateway to Independence National Historical Park. Here, you'll find a fully staffed...Read More

  • 7. The President's House

    Old City | Ruins

    This site commemorates the location of the home to U.S. presidents George Washington and John Adams from 1790 to 1800, as well as nine enslaved...Read More

No sights Results

Please try a broader search, or expore these popular suggestions:

There are no results for {{ strDestName }} Sights in the searched map area with the above filters. Please try a different area on the map, or broaden your search with these popular suggestions:

Around the Web