With so many things to do in Philadelphia, it can sometimes feel overwhelming when it comes to deciding where to go when the sun sets. It’s important to us you make the most of your visit so we’re on hand to help.

From the funniest comedy nights to an urban oasis and the free events the locals don’t miss, we’ve put together the ultimate guide to Philly nightlife…

Discover an oasis

You’re in for a treat if you’re looking for the ultimate way to relax and watch the sun set in this historic city. Make like the locals do and head to the urban oasis that is Spruce Street Harbor Park. There you can lounge on one of their colourful hammocks and watch the world go by the Delaware riverfront.

One of the most bespoke Philadelphia attractions, this truly is an experience like no other. Make an evening of it and order food from one of the many restaurants on the boardwalk. Not many places give you the option to swing under hanging lights as you feast on cheesesteaks, tacos, waffles and more. Ideal for those travelling with their families too, there’s plenty of games and attractions to keep them entertained for as long as you are.

Blue Route, Stop: Hilton Philadelphia at Penn’s Landing/Columbus Boulevard

Experience moonlight cinema

A true hidden gem for anyone wondering what to do in Philadelphia. On the first Friday of every month, gallery and exhibition owners open their doors for a wide variety of free late-night events. Past events include art markets, food and drink nights and special sales. One of the most attended events takes place at Betsy Ross House where everyone is invited to watch a movie under the stars.

Even if you’re not American, there’s something really uplifting about watching a film where the first flag was sewn together. First Friday is a year-round Philadelphia event and has become a tradition since it started in 1991.

Blue Route, Stop: Betsy Ross House, Philly Tour Hub

Tick off ‘sightseeing’ from your travel itinerary

The most popular time to go sightseeing in Philadelphia is during the day, however, some of the main attractions are best seen at night. And when it comes to the Benjamin Franklin Bridge, this couldn’t be truer. Take a picturesque stroll along Race Street Pier and watch as the iconic landmark lights up. With a spacious lawn and a breath-taking view, this pier also doubles up as the perfect picnic spot. We suggest grabbing a blanket, packing a few snacks and making the most of the Philadelphia sightseeing experience.

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Blue Route, Stop: Betsy Ross House, Philly Tour Hub 

Take a late-night tour of Independence Hall

Perfect for anyone that wants to know more about the Declaration of Independence, Independence Hall After Hours is a seasonal tour that is definitely worth attending if you’re visiting Philadelphia during August – October. Described as a realistic trip back to 1776, you’ll be taken for a meal at an 18th century inspired tavern before sneaking into Independence Hall to eavesdrop as Jefferson, Franklin and Adams discuss the declaration. Expect to leave the walking tour entertained and clued up on American history. Make sure you pick up a souvenir from the gift shop afterwards.

Blue Route, Stop: Reading Terminal Market/Convention Center Marriot/Macy’s

Visit one of the many comedy clubs in Philadelphia

We’ve rounded up a mix of our favourite spots for a late-night laugh:

Helium Comedy Club

One of the best stand-up comedy clubs in Philadelphia, Helium has been entertaining crowds with a stellar line-up of famous comedians since 2005. More than just a great way to spend an evening, you can also try out your jokes at one of their open mic nights or join a free stand-up comedy workshop. Of course, if you’d rather watch than participate, you can also buy tickets to a show and let your favourite comedian entertain you for the evening.

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Blue Route, Stop: One Liberty Observation Deck Philly from the Top

Punch Line Philly

Being able to cater for audiences of up to 300 is what separates Punch Line Philly from the other comedy clubs in the area. After all, where else can you go to listen to the likes of Aziz Ansari practice his new material? While you can buy tickets on the door, we recommend booking in advance as the venue is a favourite in the Fishtown entertainment scene. Have a drink at the lobby bar before the show and then head to the outdoor patio for some fresh air afterwards. 

Blue Route, Stop: Betsy Ross House, Philly Tour Hub

Good Good Comedy Theatre

If you prefer to watch comedians in an intimate setting, Good Good is for you. The cash-only theatre is so cosy don’t be surprised if the person on your right turns out to be the next act. You can also BYOB here, dramatically reducing the price of your night out – if you are bringing your own booze make sure to take some cups otherwise you may have to pay for a paper one.

Blue Route, Stop: City Hall/Love Park

Recreate your favourite scene from ‘It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia’ 

Looking for a bar in Philadelphia with a unique twist? Well fans of the popular series ‘It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia’ should head straight to Mac’s Tavern, a pub part owned by Kaitlin Olsen and Rob McElhenney from the cult TV show. Once the novelty of the venue wears off, what’s left is a comfortable tavern where you can enjoy a huge selection of draught and bottled beer, order tasty bar food, catch a game or simply mix with the locals.

Blue Route, Stop: Old City/Christ Church

With our top picks you’ll never be stuck for ideas when someone asks what to do in Philadelphia at night. Make the most of Philadelphia nightlife with these suggestions or find the best watering hole with our list of favourite Philadelphia bars and pubs…