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The Rocky Statue

CREDIT: J. Smith for Visit Philadelphia

The Liberty Bell

CREDIT: D. Cruz for Visit Philadelphia

One Liberty Observation Deck

CREDIT: M. Fischetti for Visit Philadelphia

Eastern State Penitentiary

CREDIT: M. Fischetti for Visit Philadelphia

Race Street Pier

CREDIT: R. Kennedy for Visit Philadelphia

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The Most Instagrammable Places
in Philadelphia

Where to snap the best photos while exploring the city

In Philly, photo opportunities are abundant.

The city is filled with beautiful sites to see and gems to discover, all of which will make your Instagram glow.

Fill your camera with LOVE or with sunset scenes that stretch across the nearly 1.5-mile Benjamin Franklin Bridge that hovers above the Delaware River.

And in what other city can you meet Rocky (sort of) and pose by his side for a photo? Then march up the same 72 stone steps of his legendary run and bask in a picture-perfect skyline view?

These iconic settings are just two among the many incredible and most Instagrammable places in Philadelphia, and all are perfect for capturing as well as relaxing and exploring. Come prepared to stay awhile at each stop along your trip — our guide transforms Philly into a photographer's playground and is bound to inspire more than a few creative snaps.

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The Rocky Statue and Philadelphia Museum of Art Steps

Run like a legend and celebrate your triumph with a cityscape view

Visiting the Rocky statue and running up the Philadelphia Museum of Art steps, also known as the "Rocky Steps", is pretty much a must on your first visit to Philadelphia. It’s a rite of passage, and the picture-taking opportunities at both stops (located right next to each other) certainly warrant capturing it all.


Snap a selfie with Rocky, then embark on the legendary, 72-step run that meets you just seconds away. As you reach the top, be sure to turn around before you revel in your accomplishment — the city view that meets you will feel like all the celebration you need. The cherry on top? The beautiful Philadelphia Museum of Art is just a few additional steps away, awaiting with a haven of art inside for you to check out.
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LOVE Sculpture

Sculpture is being renovated through fall '17; check out sister sculpture AMOR nearby

Note: Robert Indiana’s LOVE sculpture has been removed for renovation while the sculpture’s home — Philadelphia’s iconic John F. Kennedy Plaza, better known as LOVE Park — gets an overhaul ahead of its re-opening in September 2017. However, just a short walk away from LOVE Park stands the equally grand AMOR sculpture, the bilingual version of the LOVE sculpture, on display at Sister Cities Park.
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The Liberty Bell and Independence National Historical Park

Celebrated history worth capturing

The Liberty Bell may have been silenced centuries ago, but as one of the nation's most symbolic pieces of history, it still rings itself worthy of an excellent photo opportunity. Surrounding it, soaring glass walls offer dramatic and powerful views of both the Liberty Bell and Independence Hall, situated just a few steps away.


Both the Declaration of Independence and the U.S. Constitution were signed at Independence Hall, making the grand historic building – dating back to 1732 – certainly worthy of a post-Liberty-Bell photo. And these are just two of the many photo-worthy sites located in Philadelphia’s Independence National Historical Park, also known as the birthplace of American democracy.
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Boathouse Row and Waterworks

Two majestic scenes that rest on the shore of the Delaware River

Perched just behind the Philadelphia Museum of Art lay two majestic scenes, each of which boast prime photo ops during both daylight and evening hours. Boathouse Row, located on Kelly Drive, is a collection of 19th-century boathouses that line the river and house an array of local boating clubs. While worth a view during the day, lights outline each house at night to create one of the city’s loveliest views.


The neoclassical Water Works is a National Historic Landmark whose surrounding grounds offer breathtaking views of the Center City skyline, the Philadelphia Museum of Art and Boathouse Row from the edge of the Schuylkill River.
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Race Street Pier

A relaxing waterfront respite and breathtaking bridge view in the heart of the city

Yet another of Philadelphia’s amazing outdoor spaces, the Race Street Pier on the Delaware River Waterfront is a relaxing respite in the heart of the city. Located in the shadow of the Benjamin Franklin Bridge, it offers breathtaking views and incredible photo opportunities to capture the beautiful blue suspended pathway that connects Philadelphia to Camden, New Jersey.
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Benjamin Franklin Bridge

After capturing the Benjamin Franklin Bridge from beneath at Race Street Pier (mentioned above), head on up to its pedestrian pathway, which allows you to snag prime waterfront views as you stroll your way across. The nearly 1.5-mile footpath is a popular spot for runners, bikers and photographers alike.
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One Liberty Observation Deck

Panoramic views of the city from 57 floors above ground

Currently the tallest standing attraction within Philadelphia, the panoramic outlook from the 57-story One Liberty Observation Deck can't be beat. At 883 feet above street level, the observatory offers 360-degree views of Center City and beyond, with opportunities to view the cityscape in every direction. Even the inside holds picture-perfect material, with installations that include a towering Benjamin Franklin sculpture that's both hard to miss and hard to refrain from capturing with your camera.
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Cheesesteak Central at 9th & Passyunk – Pat's and Geno's

Mouthwatering photo ops via Philly's signature sandwich

Here in Philadelphia, cheesesteaks are a civic icon, a tourist draw and a cultural obsession. Often imitated around the world, the cheesesteak is rarely duplicated successfully outside of Philadelphia. In other words, there's really little point in not ordering one when you're in the sandwich's signature city, especially at Philly's own cheesesteak hotspot at 9th St. and Passyunk Ave.
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Schuylkill Banks Boardwalk

Capture skyline views from just atop the water

The Schuylkill Banks Boardwalk is a 2,000-foot-long pathway that extends the Schuylkill River Trail from Locust to South Street. The scenic path takes pedestrians, runners, bicyclists and certainly plenty of photographers on an over-the-water pathway that provides one of the best skyline perspectives around during every step of the journey. Consider a visit during both daylight and nighttime hours, as each will bring its own unique, water-reflected flair to your photos. You'll want to also be sure to check out the South Street end of the boardwalk, where a 460-foot-long ramp will take you up to the South Street Bridge. At the top, awesome overhead views of the entire path await.
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City Hall Tower Observation Deck

Awesome city views from right beneath the eyes of Billy Penn

Catch awesome city views from just beneath the eyes of the William Penn statue at the observation deck located at the top of City Hall, some 500 feet above the ground. Here, 360-degree views allow you and your camera to spot citywide sites such as Fairmount Park, the Benjamin Franklin Bridge and all 12 miles of Broad Street, one of the longest streets in the country.
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Dilworth Park at City Hall

Both summer and winter bring magic to this central public park

Dilworth Park, a new multifaceted gathering space, is located at the base of City Hall. The area hosts an array of magical events that beg to be captured and encloses awesome features like an enormous Great Lawn, an outdoor café operated by Jose Garces, a computer-programmable fountain, a performance space and activity areas for outdoor markets.


During cold-weather months, individuals of all ages flock to the Rothman Ice Rink, a winter pop-up that allows visitors to skate in the heart of Philadelphia. Get your camera ready because aside from cruising on the ice, lots of photo-snapping is bound to occur.
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Avenue of the Arts and South Broad Street

The best ground-level viewpoint of the grand City Hall

Stretching along South Broad Street, the Avenue of the Arts is the city's performing arts district. Venues here include the Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts, home of The Philadelphia Orchestra, and other awesome theaters and performance spaces. Look north and you'll also find one of the best perspectives of Philly's towering City Hall caught from the ground level.
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Rittenhouse Square

Prime people-watching in Philly's favorite town square

It's hard to capture all that Rittenhouse Square embodies, but it's undeniable that the people-watching opportunities in the tree-lined park are abundant. Amidst the serene green space and numerous benches that allow you to unwind, you can also often find live performances from musicians, dancers and other buskers in the area.
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Elfreth's Alley

The nation’s oldest continuously inhabited residential street

Named for blacksmith and property-owner Jeremiah Elfreth, Elfreth’s Alley was home to the 18th century artisans and trades-people who were the backbone of colonial Philadelphia. Three hundred years later, the houses on this narrow, cobblestone street are still hot properties – and hot photo subjects. While a modern city has sprung up around it, Elfreth's Alley preserves three centuries of evolution through its old-fashioned flower boxes, shutters, Flemish bond brickwork and other architectural details. Two adjacent houses, built in 1755, are now a museum and are open to the public for indoor photo-ops, too.
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Spruce Street Harbor Park (Seasonal)

A summertime haven where both daytime and nighttime visits are a must

In the warmer months, Spruce Street Harbor Park is one of Philly's greatest outdoor oases. During the day, hammocks strung throughout the park greet visitors seeking to unwind in an open-air setting of trees adjacent to the Delaware River. Food and drink options abound, as well as outdoor lawn games – including a jumbo-sized chess board – worthy of a fun photo snap.


Once the sun sets, the park lights up with hundreds of multi-colored LED lights, creating a breathtaking evening landscape. Three floating barges – open day and night – light up the view over the Delaware River and house a pop-up restaurant and bar featuring delicious bites from the Garces Group.
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Blue Cross RiverRink Summerfest and Winterfest (seasonal)

Winter brings ice skating and summer brings rollerblading at this awesome riverfront park

In the summer, Blue Cross RiverRink Summerfest transforms Penn’s Landing into into an awesome roller skating rink that brings plenty of picturesque charm. As an added bonus, Summerfest seamlessly connects to Spruce Street Harbor Park via a path along the river.
In the the winter, the popular roller-skating rink from Summerfest is repurposed into a winterized riverfront park, equipped with an Olympic-sized ice rink overlooking the Delaware River, a ski chalet-style lodge and a winter garden with recycled shipping containers, a heated tent, holiday trees, fire pits and plenty of cozy seating. To top it all off, twinkling lights are strung throughout to illuminate the entire area at night.


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Philly's Pop-Up Beer Gardens

Summer in the city means frequent visits to beer gardens to enjoy the warm weather — and in Philadelphia, we can’t get enough of them. From the aforementioned Spruce Street Harbor Park to the Pennsylvania Horticultural Society's multi-neighborhood selection of beer gardens to The Oval at the foot of the Philadelphia Museum of Art, a number of open-air spaces to relax and unwind come to the city every year. Not only does each pop-up offer a refreshing environment to relax and unwind but they also hold unique characters perfect for capturing and celebrating the art of gardening in the midst of an urban environment.
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Philadelphia's Magic Gardens

Cement, bicycle spokes, bottles, ceramic shards and other artistic knick-knacks create one huge mosaic sanctuary that covers an indoor and outdoor space equivalent to half of a city block. Philadelphia’s Magic Gardens is the mastermind of local artist Isaiah Zagar, who began tiling South Street in the 1960s and hasn't stopped since. Zaagar has mosaics throughout the city, but Magic Gardens offers a centralized place to capture his glistening creativity.
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Eastern State Penitentiary

Radical 19th-century prison with massive, 30-foot fortress-like walls

Eastern State Penitentiary, with its soaring, castle-like Gothic architecture, sits in the center of the family-friendly neighborhood of Fairmount, its towers standing tall above the quaint stores and coffee shops on Fairmount Avenue. The 11-acre prison housed notorious figures, such as bank robber Willie Sutton, who staged a breakout in 1945, and Al Capone, who furnished his cell with antiques, rugs and oil paintings. Tours within its grounds include a look at life inside the prison’s historic cell blocks and offer step after step of (somewhat spooky) visual opportunities. From the cathedral-like hallways to the haunting, sky-lit prison cells, there's plenty to take in.
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Chinatown Friendship Gate

Colorful portal to Philadelphia’s Chinatown neighborhood

From the food to the eclectic shops to the cultural events going on during any given week, Chinatown is a haven for photographers. The neighborhood offers tons to work with, but the gateway that stands 40-feet tall at its entrance is undoubtedly a sight that's not to be missed. With its alluring, gilt-painted design and radiating colors, the beautiful icon stands tall and proud and waiting to be captured.
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30th Street Station

One of America's first transportation hubs – and a strikingly beautiful one at that

Hopping a train to Philly? Prime Instagram opportunities await as soon as you step off the platform and walk up the stairs. Amtrak's 30th Street Station greets visitors with grand, Corinthian columns, Art Deco-styled chandeliers, intricately patterned high ceilings and a Tennessee marble floor. The neoclassical exterior is a beautiful site as well, so be sure to take your time strolling around inside and out before venturing away from this national transportation landmark. Opened in 1933, the building is rich in history and photo-striking splendor.
At 30th Street Station, you'll also find one of our Visit Philly Photo Spots, perfect for adding a little visual love to your Instagram. XOXO! Note: The XOXO statues at 30th Street and at the Independence Visitor Center are in the process of being cleaned and will be back in action in early April 2016.
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Belmont Plateau

City skyline views from the perfect picnic setting

As part of Fairmount Park in West Philadelphia, the elevated fields at Belmont Plateau offer dramatic views of the Center City skyline and a prime spot for taking in the sunset. Pack a picnic and spread out across the grass to further enhance the experience – and your photo possibilities, too.
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Washington Avenue Green and Pier 53

An elevated view from a picturesque spiral staircase

This renovated waterfront area allows visitors to walk along the Delaware River and enjoy panoramic views of the Philadelphia skyline. Climb up the pier's amazing spiral staircase, and take note of the surrounding wetlands, protected with eco-friendly plantings and an above-water boardwalk.
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Cira Green Rooftop Park

Awesome skyline views from a green rooftop hangout

University City's Cira Green claims the title of Philadelphia’s first overhead public park. Situated 95 feet above street level, this 1.25-acre urban park utilizes space atop a parking garage next to a 33-story residential building. The grassy hangout haven offers not only a great place to catch the breeze, but also a unique view of the city skyline.
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6ABC Zooballoon

Skyline and zoo animal views from a hot air balloon

Ever dream of snapping photos from a hot air balloon? The popular 6ABC Zooballoon lets you see that vision to reality. Rise to heights of 400 feet in the air, where you can overlook the giraffes, zebras, polar bears and more of the Philadelphia Zoo. You'll also find spectacular, one-of-a-kind views of Fairmount Park, Center City and the Schuylkill River.
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Addison Street

A nighttime haven of illuminated trees

The trees lining the small, Rittenhouse Square side street known as Addison Street twinkle with thousands and thousands of tiny, majestic lights all year around. The illuminated picture this paints at night is one not to be missed.
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