Looking for history in the US? Philadelphia is hard to beat. This charismatic city was integral to the founding of this great country – home to a number of its most important historical sites. Visit the actual place the Declaration of Independence was signed and several attractions linked to Benjamin Franklin – the city’s most famous son. You can also run up the Rocky Steps – a landmark inspired by Philadelphia’s best-known fictional resident. Check out our list of the best places to visit in Philadelphia below for an inspiring mix of history, culture and fun.
Want to visit the birthplace of one of the world’s greatest nations? Then this is it. It’s not often you get to see the exact spot a country was born - but Philadelphia’s Independence Hall is where both the Declaration of Independence and United States Constitution were adopted. You can feel the history almost oozing out of the walls.
The Liberty Bell
You have to see this iconic symbol of American freedom during your stay. It’s believed the bell was rung on the signing of the Declaration of independence, but it wasn’t until later that it was adopted as a symbol of the freedoms gained on that day.
Philadelphia Museum of Art
Have you got the eye of the tiger? That’s right, this is the spot that Rocky Balboa runs up the stairs to complete his training montage and prove his worth to the world. Get your picture taken with the statue of the fictional champ – donated to the city by star and creator Sylvester Stallone. Plus, don’t forget that inside there’s a world-class art gallery to explore too.
Discover more history at one of America’s most respected museums. You can interact with robots from around the world, explore ancient Egypt and visit some of the US’s great national parks at the IMAX film adventure – all under one roof.
Eastern State Penitentiary
Once the most famous, biggest and most expensive prison in the world – this was the model for countless other jails around the world. Inmates included the legendary gangster Al Capone, and you can explore the haunting world of eerie cellblocks and guard towers during your tour.
Benjamin Franklin Parkway
Stroll the city’s grandest boulevard, fittingly named after its most famous resident. With the imposing Philadelphia Museum of Art at one end and tree-lined green spaces to sit and relax in – this is one of the city’s most popular spots.
Please Touch Museum
Ever wanted to visit a museum where you are allowed to touch the artefacts? Then this is the place for you. Adults and children can have fun learning together as they are entertained and inspired in equal measure. A popular favorite, and definite inclusion on any list of Philadelphia things to do.
Ride a carousel, play mini golf, or enjoy a picnic in the 8-acre (32,000-square meter) Franklin Square. One of the city’s original five public places, as laid out by William Penn – this is an urban green space with a difference. Make the most of the many attractions – and look out for the festivals regularly held here.
The Magic Gardens
Satisfy your creative side with a visit to one of Philadelphia’s most unique artistic hotspots. This folk art and gallery space spans half a city block, made up of labyrinths and mosaics using mostly found materials. It’s all the brainchild of local artistic legend, Isaiah Zagar.
Reading Terminal Market
Discover some of the city’s best shopping at the Reading Terminal Market – one of the oldest in Philadelphia. Hundreds of stalls sell everything from fresh fruit and veg to exotic spices, fabrics, cloths and more. Some of the stallholders are even descendant from original traders in the 1859 market – anchoring the market to its impressive history.