Renowned amongst travellers for its cheesesteaks and iconic Liberty Bell, the city of Philadelphia is the second largest city on the East Coast of the United States and was the first World Heritage City in the nation, thanks to its historic square mile. Philadelphia is easily accessible as a weekend trip from New York or a holiday in its own right. It is home to a wide range of attractions including LOVE Park, the Philadelphia Museum of Art and ‘Rocky’ steps, South Philadelphia’s Sports Complex, plus Reading Terminal Market, which is one of America’s oldest and largest public markets.
The 5 must do activities and attractions in Philadelphia include:
Philadelphia’s Historic Mile
Regarded as the ‘Birthplace of America’, Philadelphia was founded in 1682 and played a vital role in the American Revolution. The city is famous for its Historic Mile, which is home to some of the nation’s most iconic monuments and buildings. Highlights in the area include the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Independence Hall, which offers free tours of the halls where Benjamin Franklin, Thomas Jefferson and the other Founding Fathers signed the Declaration of Independence on 4th July 1776. Visitors should make sure to head across the street from Independence Hall to marvel at the Liberty Bell, which today stands as a symbol of American freedom. For more information on attractions in the Historic Mile, click here.
Reading Terminal Market
A foodie’s paradise, Reading Terminal Market is one of America’s oldest and largest public markets and this year celebrated its 125th year of opening. Housed in a National Historic Landmark building since 1893, Reading Terminal Market offers a wide variety of delicious food options, including the Philly Cheesesteak at Carmen’s and DiNic’s’ Roast Pork Sandwich, which was crowned the Best Sandwich in America by the TV series ‘Man vs. Food’ in 2013. Visitors to the market can also find fresh produce, seafood, artisanal cheeses, cut flowers, cookbooks and kitchenware.
The recently renovated LOVE Park, which is officially known as John F. Kennedy Park, offers visitors the perfect opportunity to snap a selfie in front of the iconic centrepiece of the Park, Robert Indiana’s LOVE statue. Just steps away from Philadelphia’s City Hall, the park’s sculpture was first placed in the plaza in 1976 as part of the United States’ Bicentennial celebration of independence. Following a recent renovation, the park now provides visitors with ample green space and a new water feature to enjoy.
Philadelphia Museum of Art and “Rocky Steps”
Visitors to Philadelphia can follow in the footsteps of Rocky Balboa by running up the Philadelphia Museum of Art’s 72 steps, which were made famous in Sylvester Stallone’s epic montage. The bottom area of the steps is home to the Rocky Statue, which featured in Rocky III and Rocky V and was eventually donated to the city by Stallone himself. At the top of the steps, travellers can enjoy the amazing view of Philadelphia’s skyline down Benjamin Franklin Parkway, which hosted the Eagles’ victory parade following the team’s Super Bowl win earlier this year. Or head inside the museum to marvel at more than 2,000 years of paintings, sculpture, decorative arts and architectural settings, including the world’s largest and most important collection of works outside Europe by Marcel Duchamp and an impressive collection of sculpture by Constantin Brancusi.
Sports Complex in South Philadelphia
For sports enthusiasts, a first time visit to Philadelphia isn’t complete without a visit to South Philadelphia, the hub of Philadelphia’s professional sports teams. Visitors can attend a game any time of year, with the Phillies baseball team playing at Citizens Bank Park and the Philadelphia Eagles based at Lincoln Financial Field. Ice hockey fans can spectate the Philadelphia Flyers at the Wells Fargo Center, which is also home to the city’s basketball team, the Philadelphia 76ers. In 2019, the new Museum of Sport will open in the neighbourhood, inviting visitors to learn more about the history of some of the most recognisable sports brands in the United States. Until then, XFINITY Live! is the ultimate sports-lover destination, offering live screenings of games and multiple dining and entertainment venues right in the centre of the sports complex.