Philadelphia is a fantastic destination for all kinds of travelers, whether solo wanderers, families, couples or groups of friends. The city is so much more than the birthplace of America; you will find a diverse collection of art museums, great restaurants, live music and so much more. Beyond the historical landmarks and gorgeous cobbled streets is a city brimming with life and offering visitors so much to see and do. If you are on a budget it’s even better, there are so many great things to do here that don’t cost a fortune. So put down your travel book and use this guide to find the best things to see and do during your time in Philly:
Independence Hall National Park
You cannot say you have been to Philly without visiting some of the city’s most famous sights and they are all to be found here at Independence Hall. Even better, it costs nothing to see them. Check out the Liberty Bell and Independence Hall, but be aware that these are super popular tourist spots so it’s best to arrive early to avoid the crowds. Independence Hall is the location where the Founding Fathers signed the Declaration of Independence and Constitution of the United States; a great place to see for all Americans. You are advised to buy a timed ticket in advance, because this sight is so popular. You can walk up and buy tickets starting at 8:30am. The Liberty Bell doesn’t require a ticket but you will still want to arrive early.
Philly is home to lots of great art galleries and places to browse vintage clothing, antiques and all kinds of quirky boutiques. Head to the Old City neighborhoods to check out some unique finds. Walk down Elfreth’s Alley, a charming cobblestone lane that feels like it hasn’t changed at all in centuries; it probably hasn’t. You can see great historic architecture here as many of the houses are in their original form. Be sure not to miss “Dream Garden”, an astonishing glass mosaic near the historical district.
Philadelphia is a great city to visit if you love getting caught up in the energy and electric atmosphere of a rousing sporting event. The Phillies, in particular, are one of the city’s favorite teams and since this is such an all-American city, why not go and see an all-American sport of baseball. Locals are so proud of their sports teams, so attending an event is a great way to experience the local vibe. Grab a few Philadelphia Phillies tickets and make your way to the ballpark with some popcorn and peanuts for a great summer afternoon. Alternatively, if football is more your thing, the Philadelphia Eagles are a great team to watch.
Tour the U.S. Mint
If you are into cultural and educational activities, Philadelphia is a great place to visit. You can hardly walk a block without running into a museum or historical monument of some kind. If you are interested in how the country produces its currency, you can even take a tour of the U.S. Mint while you are here. It’s actually a free self-guided tour, so you will have lots of freedom to go at your own pace and explore the displays. You can even watch new coins being produced from 40 feet above; unfortunately there are no free samples.
Edgar Allen Poe house
For yet another fun, off the beaten path activity, check out the historical home of the famous poet, Edgar Allen Poe. This is the place where he wrote his famous stories, so while visiting you can imagine how he got his inspiration. The house is open from Wednesdays to Sundays and admission is free.
Explore Franklin Square
If you are traveling with a family be sure to check out Franklin Square, one of the city’s most loved areas for people of all ages. There’s so much to do here and much of it doesn’t cost much at all. Take the kids on a carousel ride or to the mini golf course. There are some great eats to find here, including that great all-American burger and fries. It’s also a great place to just stop and hang out, enjoying some people watching.
Institute of Contemporary Art
Art lovers should make their way to University City to immerse themselves in the massive showcase of contemporary art on display. Admission is free, so take some time out to explore the works of Andy Warhol, Laurie Anderson and many other influential artists who have contributed to the art world over the years.