The Pope’s Visit to Philadelphia & World Meeting of Families 2015
Pope Francis and a global celebration come to Philadelphia
September 22-27, 2015
Everything You Need To Know About The Pope’s Visit to Philadelphia 2015
Start planning Pope Francis’ visit with our complete guide, including detailed information on the papal visit, accommodations, transportation, other things to do and more. Click the button below for more info.
Join Pope Francis along with hundreds of thousands of people from around the globe in Philadelphia for the 8th World Meeting of Families (WMOF) in September 2015.
Dates: September 26-27
Pope Francis will arrive on Saturday, September 26 and speak at Independence Hall before celebrating at the Festival of Families, a massive free party held on the Benjamin Franklin Parkway.
And on the afternoon of Sunday, September 27, the pope will say a mass for hundreds of thousands of people, also on the Benjamin Franklin Parkway.
For more detailed information on the pope’s itinerary, click the button below.
Due to the volume of visitors expected and security arrangements, traffic restrictions in Center City will be in place and select state-managed roads will be closed beginning on Friday, September 25 at 10 p.m. and continuing through Monday morning.
Walking will be the best way to get around the city, with pedestrian and biking access (yes, Indego, too!) allowed in most areas of the festival grounds; the Ben Franklin Bridge will be open to pedestrians.
For complete information on the Francis Festival grounds, including public transportation, access perimeters and a walking map, click the button below.
Philadelphia is ready to welcome locals and visitors to enjoy this once-in-a-generation event. To experience it in the most comfortable and convenient way possible, book a long weekend hotel stay in a Center City hotel.
Plenty of first-class hotel rooms are still available in Philadelphia, including many within the Francis Festival grounds, and most hotels do not require a minimum-night stay.
As an added benefit, those checking into city hotels on Friday or Saturday will receive two free tickets to the One Liberty Observation Deck, opening in November. Tickets are redeemable from January 1 through March 31, 2016.
Things To Do
As families around the globe prepare for their pilgrimage of faith to the World Meeting of Families (WMOF), the city is preparing to welcome them.
Visitors in town for the week-long event will find a city with a rich history of religious freedom and a strong Catholic heritage, a wide range of affordable attractions for all ages and services and resources that will enrich their experience.
For more information on things to do in Philadelphia during the World Meeting of Families and Papal visit, click the button below.
Due to the volume of visitors expected and security restrictions on Saturday and Sunday, some museums and attractions in Philadelphia have alternative hours of operation.
Before heading out, we advise calling ahead to be sure any destination is #OpeninPHL. Click the button below for detailed information on what’s open and closed.
Top Events and Exhibitions With Religious Connections During the Pope’s Visit to Philadelphia
Philadelphia attractions have rolled out the white carpet with special events, exhibits and tours.
For free at the Pennsylvania Convention Center, visitors can see a life-size marble casting of one of Michaelangelo’s Pietá and more than 80 biblical artifacts, including sections from the Dead Sea Scrolls.
Elsewhere, museum-goers can take in stunning artifacts and objects from the Vatican at The Franklin Institute, one of the world’s oldest papyrus fragments at the Penn Museum and many more exhibits with religious connections.
Before heading out to any attraction, be sure to note what’s open and closed, as some museums are closed on Saturday and/or Sunday.
Pope-Inspired Food and Drink Specials at Restaurants and Bars
From food and drink inspired by Pope Francis’ birth country (Argentina) and current home (Vatican City surrounded by Rome, Italy) to a growing number of exclusive religious- and papal-themed beers, many Philadelphia restaurants, bars and bakeries are getting creative with their offerings.
Some specials run all September long, others begin the week of the World Meeting of Families Congress (September 22-25) and still others are available just the weekend of the papal visit (September 26-27).
A Trail of Sacred Spaces in Greater Philadelphia
A long list of sacred places, thanks to their history, architecture or emotional resonance, make Greater Philadelphia an awe-inspiring place to visit all the time — even when the pope is home in the Vatican.
Around the region, new sites rise next to centuries-old houses of worship. Together, they provide physical testaments to the indomitable spirit of people who made great sacrifices for the liberty to worship as they please.
Click the button below for a look at the region’s old and new sacred sites.
World Meeting of Families Congress
Dates: September 22-25
Held every three years, the World Meeting of Families (WMOF) is the world’s largest gathering of Catholic families. The Vatican confirmed Pope Francis will make his first visit to the United States during the event.
Open to all, the inspirational event offers a week of celebration, discussion and learning.
The next WMOF marks the first time in the event’s history that it will be held in the United States. Past destinations include Rome, Rio de Janeiro, Mexico City and Milan.
Approximately 100 speakers will lead panel discussions and workshops at the Pennsylvania Convention Center focused on the theme “Love is our Mission: The Family Fully Alive” chosen by Pope Francis.
Registration for the World Meeting of Families 2015 in Philadelphia is now open. To register and learn more about the WMOF, click the button below.
World Meeting of Families Film Festival
The World Meeting of Families Film Festival runs concurrently to complement the programming surrounding the World Meeting of Families and the pope’s visit.
A selection of 13 Philadelphia-centric and family-friendly films have been curated by the Greater Philadelphia Film Office and the World Meeting of Families to be screened during the four-day festival, and the Kimmel Center’s Perelman Theater will serve as the primary venue for the festival. An additional public screening will take place at the Convention Center, where a sing-a-long Sound of Music event will take place on Friday, September 25.
Tickets ($10, adults, $5, children) are available online. Click the button below for more information.
In the neighborhood
1776 Benjamin Franklin Parkway
Philadelphia, PA 19103
- Sonesta Philadelphia
- The Logan, Philadelphia’s Hotel
- The Windsor Suites Philadelphia
- Le Méridien Philadelphia
- Sheraton Philadelphia Downtown Hotel
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Museums & Attractions
480 S. Broad Street Suzanne Roberts Theatre Philadelphia, PA 19146
- PIFA Street Fair
- KAWS @ PAFA
- Pennsylvania Ballet
- The Wilma Theater
- Arch Street United Methodist Church
- Merriam Theater
- The Philadelphia Orchestra
- Philadelphia Music Alliance Walk of Fame
- Art on City Hall
- View more attractions
Restaurants & Dining