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See the city by foot, by bike, by bus and more
Year after year, Philadelphia is rated as one of the best walking cities in the country. And it’s no wonder why – the city layout is simple to master and our neighborhood streets are filled with fun and diverse shops, restaurants, museums, parks and people.
The compact Center City boasts founder William Penn’s easy-to-follow grid street design. It spans just 25 blocks between two rivers – the Schuylkill and the Delaware. In between, the north/south streets are numbered and the east/west streets have tree names (e.g., Walnut, Spruce, Pine).
In addition, Center City has five main parks or squares (Franklin, Washington, Rittenhouse, Logan and Center), conveniently spread out so as to serve as perfect rest stops during your day out. Curb cut-outs make the city stroller and wheelchair accessible.
Colorful directional signs called “Walk! Philadelphia” have been added throughout Center City that will help you navigate even better. Center City District, the organization responsible for “Walk! Philadelphia,” also populates the streets with uniformed goodwill ambassadors who act as strolling concierges. These ambassadors answer questions, give directions and stay in radio contact with Philadelphia police to promote public safety.
And when the feet get tired, there are plenty of options for getting around town – some practical, some just plain fun.
Philadelphia is quickly becoming one of the most bike-friendly big cities in the country with dedicated bike lanes on city streets, hundreds of miles of trails and a growing number of bicycle commuters.
Philly is more bike-friendly than ever with the launch of Indego, a city-wide bike sharing service starting at just $4 per ride.
Launched in the spring of 2015, Indego allows visitors or members to rent bicycles from 100 stations located from the Delaware River, across the Schuylkill River, into West Philadelphia and from South Philadelphia to North Philadelphia, including Temple University’s main campus.
Cyclists can walk up to any Indego station and check out bikes for quick trips around the city 24 hours a day, seven days a week.. The quick and convenient system allows users to return their bike rental to the nearest station after their ride is complete.
Indego is an initiative of the City of Philadelphia and sponsored by Independence Blue Cross.
The most convenient way to see 22 of the city's top attractions is aboard a PHLASH bus. Single rides are available for just $2 per person ($5 for an all-day pass) with service every 15 minutes at visitor-friendly stops across the city. Attractions accessible via the PHLASH include Penn's Landing, Independence Mall, The Franklin Institute, Philadelphia Museum of Art, Philadelphia Zoo, Please Touch Museum and many more.
Click the image below to view the full PHLASH route map.
Tickets can be purchased online in advance or at the Independence Visitor Center. SEPTA pass holders, children under four and seniors ride FREE!
For more information, click the button below.More on PHLASH
Aside from walking, Philadelphia's excellent transit system is the best way to get around town. The Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority (SEPTA), the nation's fifth-largest transit system, is the most comprehensive bus/subway/commuter-rail system in the United States. SEPTA's vast network of bus, subway, and trolley commuter services will get you anywhere you need to go — or at least very close.
If you're ready to explore the region, the $12 One-Day Independence Pass allows you to travel on any and all SEPTA buses, trolleys, subways and trains, taking you everywhere from Bensalem to the Phillies, from Alden to the Art Museum or Springfield to South Street. Family passes are available for $29, offered to families of up to five where at least one member is 18 years of age. The One-Day Independence Pass may be purchased from the conductor on any Regional Rail train. Passes are also available at SEPTA Ticket and Sales Offices and online using the button below.Purchase SEPTA Passes Online
The Broad Street Line is great for going to a game or concert at the South Philadelphia Sports Complex, visiting one of South Philadelphia's famous Italian Restaurants, getting between hotels and cultural attractions on Center City's impressive Avenue of the Arts or getting to one of the many activities and cultural institutions in the burgeoning neighborhood surrounding Temple University in North Philadelphia.
The Market-Frankford Line and Trolleys quickly connect several highly visited neighborhoods in Philadelphia and is great for traveling between Northern Liberties, Old City, the Historic District, Market East, the Convention Center and Chinatown, City Hall, Rittenhouse Square, University City, West Fairmount Park, Spruce Hill and many more.
And SEPTA Regional Rail connects you with all of the surrounding areas to conveniently take you to popular destinations like East Falls, Manayunk, Chestnut Hill, Mt. Airy, Ardmore's Suburban Square, Villanova, Swarthmore, Doylestown, Downingtown, etc. In addition, SEPTA's Airport Line directly connects the airport with Philadelphia's Center City in under 25 minutes.
Bus routes serve a number of neighborhoods and even more destinations throughout our region. Routes are designed to connect at nearby intersections; along with terminals, loops and transportation centers.View all Bus Routes and Schedules
Go old school and hop on the trolley, which service much of North and West Philadelphia. Select trolleys also service surrounding Towns of the Philadelphia Countryside.View All Trolley Routes and Schedules
In addition to SEPTA, Center City is also served by the PATCO train line. Connecting Philadelphia to parts of Southern New Jersey, PATCO transports more than 34,000 every day with 13 station stops.View PATCO Schedule and Info.
Taxis can be found all over town and are great ways to get to various destinations throughout the city if you’re in a hurry. Cabs are easy to find at transportation hubs like the Philadelphia International Airport and 30th Street Station, but you can also hail one the old fashioned way on most busy city streets.
For those seeking luxury, there are several dependable limousine services in the region offering everything from private cars to stretch rides.
If you’re renting, all major car rental companies have outlets at the airport or in Center City; New Yorkers in particular will find car rentals a bargain in Philadelphia.
If you are renting or driving your own car into Philadelphia, you'll want to be familiar with the city's street parking. click the button below to learn more about Parking in Philadelphia.
Boarding a Big Bus, the Double-Decker bus service made famous in London town, is one more way to see the most popular tourist attractions quickly. Passengers can hop on and off at more than 2 0 stops or sit back and enjoy the beauty of the city during the 90-minute tour.
Another option is the Philadelphia Trolley Works, taking riders on tours led by clever guides capable of quoting fun historic and contemporary facts.
Those looking for a waterfront excursion can hop aboard the amphibious tours of Ride the Ducks or travel the Delaware River using the RiverLink Ferry, which connects Penn’s Landing and the Camden Waterfront.
There are even more ways to explore the city. Glide around in style on a Segway, get a bird's eye view of the city from the Philadelphia Zoo balloon and more.
Looking for more things to do while you're in town for the Pope's visit? Look no further than our wealth of guides to the best of Philadelphia: