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Take Back Your Vacation:
The 3.2-Day Itinerary in Philadelphia

Use your hard-earned time off with a vacation in the city

You've earned your time off, so use it. Explore the city with our 3.2-day itinerary. Credit: B. Krist for Visit Philadelphia

Description

Do you use all your vacation days? If you are like 42% of Americans, you leave 3.2-days unused. And that’s not healthy. The U.S. Travel Association discovered that when it comes to taking vacation, we are a nation of slackers. Imagine what you could do with those 3.2-days: reconnect with your family and friends; jump-start a healthier you; discover a new interest or explore a new city.

To help you take back your vacation days (and nights), we’ve put together an itinerary featuring a robust selection of the Philadelphia’s top attractions, restaurants and can’t-miss experiences.

The next 3.2-days are all yours. Let’s get started.

Please note: Times listed in the stops below are estimated based on a 12-14 hour day. Take more or less time as needed and remember to get plenty of beauty rest, it’s going to be a busy 3.2-days!

Book Your Stay

One of the most important pieces of your 3.2-day experience is where you rest and regroup each night. Fortunately, Philadelphia features comfortable hotels suitable for all budgets. Be sure to check out the Visit Philly Overnight Hotel Package, where your car stays free. For more hotel options, click here.

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EXPANDSHRINK

Green Eggs Cafe – Midtown Village

Eco-conscious fare with something for everyone

Enjoy a hearty start to the day at Green Eggs Cafe in Midtown Village.

DAY 1 – STOP 1
Treat yourself to something more than your usual mad dash through the local coffee shop. Start your day with breakfast at Green Eggs Cafe. Whether you opt for the “Kitchen Sink” three-egg omelet or a lighter tofu scramble, almost everything from this eco-friendly cafe is locally produced and/or organic.
(1 hour)

Midtown Village is the home of the city’s third location of this popular breakfast, brunch and lunch spot.

212 S. 13th St
Philadelphia, PA 19107
267.861.0314
 

Independence Hall

Birthplace of both the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution

Independence Hall

DAY 1 – STOP 2
Your first stop of the day is at Independence Visitor Center to pick up your free, timed tickets to tour Independence Hall. (Be sure to reserve your tickets in advance of your trip here). With tickets in hand, you can now discover the birthplace of our nation.
(45 minutes)

They risked everything — “their lives, their fortune and their sacred honor.” During the blistering summer of 1776, 56 courageous men gathered at the Pennsylvania State House and defied the King of England. Eleven years later, representatives from 12 states gathered to shape the U.S. Constitution, finally creating one unified nation.

520 Chestnut Street
Philadelphia, PA 19103
(215) 965-2305
 

Congress Hall

Home of the U.S. Congress from 1790-1800

Congress Hall is attached to Independence Hall on west side.

DAY 1 – STOP 3
Ever wonder how the Senate and House of Representatives came to be called the upper and lower houses? Pop into the original Congress Hall and find out.
(30 minutes)

Like the democratic ideals it once served, Congress Hall is simple, but powerful. The nation’s fledgling legislature occupied the former County Court House, a two-story brick Georgian structure that characterized Congress’ roles.

6th and Chestnut Streets
Philadelphia, PA 19106
(215) 965-2305
 

The Liberty Bell Center

Dramatic new home of the internationally known symbol of freedom

The Liberty Bell in Historic Philadelphia

DAY 1 – STOP 4
Just across the street is the famously cracked Liberty Bell. Don’t be fooled by the sometimes long lines; they move quickly.
(30 minutes)

The Liberty Bell has a new home, and it is as powerful and dramatic as the Bell itself. Throughout the expansive, light-filled Center, larger-than-life historic documents and graphic images explore the facts and the myths surrounding the Bell.

526 Market Street
Philadelphia, PA 19106
(215) 965-2305
 

Benjamin Franklin Museum

Revitalized museum dedicated to the life and legacy of America’s favorite Renaissance man

Outside the Benjamin Franklin Museum in the Historic District.

DAY 1 – STOP 5
Among the Founding Fathers, Ben Franklin was a rock star. He still is, especially in Philadelphia, and the newly renovated, must-see Benjamin Franklin Museum gives a glimpse as to why with hands-on activities, artifacts and cool info.
(1 hour)

Dedicated to the life, times and legacy of Philadelphia’s famous founding father, the Benjamin Franklin Museum is now open following a major two-year revitalization.

317 Chestnut Street
Philadelphia, PA 19106
(215) 965-2305
 

Talula’s Daily

High quality on-the-go grub on Washington Square

Grab fresh, local ingredients and tasty, on-the-go meals at Talula’s Daily.

DAY 1 – STOP 6
Lunch break! Just off historic Washington Square you’ll find Talula’s Daily, an eat-in/take-out cafe that serves creative sandwiches for vegetarians and omnivores, salads, cheeses and other healthy bites.
(1 hour)

Neighboring Talula’s Garden in Washington Square, Talula’s Daily offers the same fresh, high quality ingredients on-the-go.

 

Dream Garden

Louis Comfort Tiffany meets Maxfield Parrish in a one-of-a-kind creation

The Dream Garden

DAY 1 – STOP 7
Stretch your legs after lunch with a walk to the Curtis Center for a peek at stained glass masterpiece Dream Garden, a collaboration between Maxfield Parrish and Louis Comfort Tiffany.
(15 minutes)

One of only three such works ever undertaken by Tiffany Studios, the piece is comprised of 24 panels that took six months to install in its Philadelphia setting. In 1998, after the piece was put up for sale and casino magnate Steve Wynn attempted to purchase it, a citywide outcry nixed the deal, and the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts purchased its alumnus’ famous Dream Garden to make sure it would remain where it has always been.

601 Walnut Street
In the Lobby of the Curtis Center
Philadelphia, PA 19106
(215) 238-6450
 

National Constitution Center

The world’s only museum dedicated to the U.S. Constitution

Exterior of the National Constitution Center

DAY 1 – STOP 8
Continue your afternoon stroll up Independence Mall as you make your way to the National Constitution Center. At your destination, check out Freedom Rising, a live performance that sets the stage for the museum’s interactive activities and exhibits that bring our Constitution to life.
(2 hours)

The 160,000-square-foot National Constitution Center explores and explains this amazing document through high-tech exhibits, artifacts, and interactive displays. In the star-shaped Kimmel Theater, powerful music, a live actor and 360 degrees multi-media images tell the story of We the People.

525 Arch Street
Philadelphia, PA 19106
(215) 409-6700
 

Once Upon a Nation

History that speaks to you

A storytelling bench in Historic Philadelphia

DAY 1 – STOP 9
You have a bit of free time before dinner, so keep an eye out for the Once Upon A Nation Storytelling Benches, where professional storytellers regale you with tales of America’s past.
(30 minutes)

Discover the true stories scattered in Philadelphia’s Historic District in the places the actually happened with Once Upon A Nation™.

6th and Race Streets
(Locations vary for each attraction)
Philadelphia, PA 19106
(215) 629-4026
 

National Museum of American Jewish History

Preserving and interpreting the American Jewish experience

The New National Museum of American Jewish History

DAY 1 – STOP 10
Reconnect with generations past at the striking National Museum of American Jewish History. Discover more than 350 years of American Jewish history through the evocative objects, special exhibitions and interactive displays.
(2 hours)

Rising five stories above Independence Mall, in the heart of historic Philadelphia, the National Museum of American Jewish History brings to life the 360-year history of Jews in America.

101 S. Independence Mall East
Philadelphia, PA 19106
(215) 923-3811
 

Fork

A stylish New American bistro and Old City anchor

http://photos.visitphilly.com/Fork-Bread-Tablescape-Credit-Jason-Varney-200.jpg

DAY 1 – STOP 11
Hungry? Dinner options near Historic Philadelphia are plentiful. Try out Fork and their menu of locally grown, organic fare that combines good health and good taste.
(1.5 hours)

A stylish New American bistro and Old City anchor

306 Market Street
Philadelphia, PA 19106
(215) 625.9425
 

Franklin Square

Carousel rides, mini-golf, burgers and more

Franklin Square, one of Philadelphia’s five original public squares, boasts several family-friendly attractions, including a miniature golf course, classic carousel, burger joint, storytelling bench, picnic area and more.

DAY 1 – STOP 12
After dinner, let the kids burn off some energy at Franklin Square. One of William Penn’s original squares, it has been stunningly restored, and children love to climb, swing and jump in the playground, ride the carousel or rope their parents into a game of mini-golf. No kids? Enjoy nature and reconnect with quiet conversation.
(1.5 hours)

Franklin Square, one of Philadelphia’s five original public squares laid out by William Penn in his original plan for the city, boasts several family-friendly attractions, including a miniature golf course, classic carousel, burger joint, storytelling bench, picnic area and more.

200 N. 6th St
Philadelphia, PA 19103
(215) 629-4026
 

Bank & Bourbon

Craft cocktails and comforting dishes at the Loews Philadelphia Hotel

Bank and Bourbon, located on the ground-floor of the Loews Philadelphia Hotel.

DAY 1 – STOP 13
Ease into the evening with a nightcap. Sip on one of the 75 varieties of bourbon, rye and whiskey at Bank & Bourbon, the new hotspot at the Loews Philadelphia Hotel.
(1.5 hours)

Taking over the ground-floor of the Loews Philadelphia Hotel, Bank & Bourbon is a relaxing restaurant featuring classic American dishes and an extensive selection of the namesake brown-liquor.

1200 Market Street
Philadelphia, PA 19107
(215) 231-7300
 

Sabrina’s Café

A bright and cozy BYOB in South Philadelphia

DAY 2 – STOP 1
For a hearty, healthy start to the day, the whole-wheat pancakes or the house-made granola at Sabrina’s Café are good bets.
(1 hour)

Nestled near the Italian Market in South Philadelphia, this corner bakery-turned-restaurant serves outstanding, consistent dishes in a cozy, inviting atmosphere. And it just may be Philadelphia’s most popular restaurant.

910-912 Christian Street
Philadelphia, PA 19147
(215) 574-1599
 

Benjamin Franklin Parkway

Philadelphia’s most artistic mile

DAY 2 – STOP 2
Hope you packed your walking shoes because you are off to the Benjamin Franklin Parkway, Philadelphia’s Champs-Élysées. America’s most artistic mile, the Parkway is home to some of the world’s best art collections.

Often compared to the Champs Elysées in Paris, the Benjamin Franklin Parkway stretches from Logan Circle to the Philadelphia Museum of Art and boasts many cultural institutions along its broad boulevard.

Benjamin Franklin Parkway
Philadelphia, PA
 

The Barnes Foundation

One of the world’s leading collections of French Impressionist and Post-Impressionist paintings

Gallery space at The Barnes Foundation, arranged as originally intended.

DAY 2 – STOP 3
First stop is the stunning Barnes Foundation, housing 181 Renoirs, 69 Cézannes and 59 Matisses, along with works by Manet, Degas, Seurat, Prendergrast, Titian and Picasso and magnificent African art.
(1.5 hours)

The Barnes Foundation on the Benjamin Franklin Parkway inspires discovery with the world’s largest collections of Impressionist, Post-Impressionist and early Modern paintings and African sculpture.

2025 Benjamin Franklin Parkway
Philadelphia, PA 19130
(215) 278-7000
 

Rodin Museum

The largest collection of Auguste Rodin sculptures outside France

“The Thinker” outside of the Rodin Museum.

DAY 2 – STOP 4
Next up is the Rodin Museum a jewel box of a museum with the world’s largest collection of the sculptor’s work outside of Paris. Before moving on, enjoy a few minutes of quiet contemplation in the gardens.
(1 hour)

The greatest hits of the famed 19th-century sculptor are all here – bronze casts of Eternal Springtime, The Gates of Hell, The Burghers of Calais, and, of course, The Thinker. Bold, energetic and emotionally intense, these works are set in a temple-like building down the Benjamin Franklin Parkway from the Philadelphia Museum of Art, which administers the collection.

Benjamin Franklin Parkway and 22nd Street
Philadelphia, PA 19101
(215) 763-8100
 

The Rocky Statue and the Rocky Steps

Two of the most famous tourist attractions in Philadelphia

The famous East Steps of the Philadelphia Museum of Art.

DAY 2 – STOP 5
You may recognize the steps at the next stop. Nicknamed the “Rocky steps” for their role in the iconic film series, visitors typically pose for a photo next to the Rocky statue at ground level then recreate the famous boxer’s staircase run. Go ahead. We’ll wait.
(15 minutes)

The Rocky Statue and the “Rocky Steps” — better known as the Art Museum Steps — are two of the most popular attractions in Philadelphia. Visiting the statue, running up the steps and taking a picture at the top is pretty much a must on your first visit to Philadelphia. It’s a rite of passage.

Art Museum Steps
(To the right of the base of the Art Museum Steps)
Philadelphia, PA 19019
 

Philadelphia Museum of Art

The Art Museum covers 10 acres and houses more than 300,000 works spanning 2,000 years

The Philadelphia Museum of Art

DAY 2 – STOP 6
After you celebrated your victorious climb to the top of the stairs, head inside to the internationally acclaimed Philadelphia Museum of Art, where you will discover a collection of 300,000 works spanning 2,000 years.
(1.5 hours)

Like Philadelphia’s own Parthenon, the Philadelphia Museum of Art sits majestically on a rise at the end of the Benjamin Franklin Parkway. The vast collections of this temple of art make it the third-largest art museum in the country, and an absolute must-see on the city’s cultural circuit.

2600 Benjamin Franklin Parkway
Philadelphia, PA 19130
(215) 763-8100
 

Granite Hill

A premier restaurant inside the Philadelphia Museum of Art

Granite Hill occasionally pairs menu items with the Museum’s exhibitions.

DAY 2 – STOP 7
By now, you may be experiencing a few hunger pangs. Take a break from the amazing art and enjoy lunch at the museum’s cafeteria or a more leisurely experience at Granite Hill restaurant.
(2.5 hours)

Once visitors have checked out every nook and cranny of the Philadelphia Museum of Art, they don’t have to go far to get a world-class meal at Granite Hill.

2601 Benjamin Franklin Pkwy
Philadelphia, PA 19130
(215) 684-7990
 

The Franklin Institute

One of the oldest and most beloved science museums in the country

Front of the Franklin Institute.

DAY 2 – STOP 8
Your walk to The Franklin Institute will take about 15 minutes. Once you arrive, you’ll be in one of the nation’s oldest and most beloved science museums. Check out the new, hands-on Your Brain exhibit, opening in June, and the walk-through Giant Heart, a favorite for generations of Philadelphians.
(2 hours)

An innovator in designing hands-on exhibits before “interactive” became a buzzword, The Franklin Institute is as clever as its namesake. Its eminently touchable attractions explore science in disciplines ranging from sports to space.

222 N. 20th Street
Philadelphia, PA 19103
(215) 448-1200
 

Academy of Natural Sciences of Drexel University

One of the world’s foremost natural history museums

Dinosaur Hall at the Academy of Natural Sciences

DAY 2 – STOP 9
Hang on. There’s still The Academy of Natural Sciences of Drexel University with Dinosaur Hall, the Inside Out exhibit, gems and other natural wonders.
(1 hour)

Celebrating scientific discovery for more than 200 years.

1900 Benjamin Franklin Parkway
Philadelphia, PA 19103
(215) 299-1000
 

Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts

One-stop multi-culture on the Avenue of the Arts

The Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts

DAY 2 – STOP 10
After a brief intermission, it’s time to take your seat for a show at the Kimmel Center, the stunning home of the Philadelphia Orchestra on the Academy of Music.
(2.5 hours)

The brightest light on the Avenue of the Arts is the dazzling regional performing arts center, whose discreet brick exterior rises to a bold 150-foot glass vaulted rooftop for startling views of the city.

Broad and Spruce Streets
Philadelphia, PA 19102
(215) 893-1999
 

Volvér

A theatrical dining experience by Chef Jose Garces at the Kimmel Center

Two different ever-evolving tasting menus highlight seasonal and local ingredients.

DAY 2 – STOP 11
Your theatrical evening continues with a luxurious dinner at Chef Jose Garces’ newest restaurant, Volver, located in the Kimmel Center. Expect a meal to remember with this unique, theatrical dining experience. Advance tickets are required for the main dining room, but the bar is first-come, first-served.
(1.5 hours)

Based on Garces’ world travels, Volvér offers two distinct experiences for diners: a first-come, first-served champagne bar dubbed Bar Volvér and a ticketed dining experience with just two seatings a night.

300 S. Broad Street
Philadelphia, PA 19102
(215) 670-2303
 

Parc

Stephen Starr’s popular Rittenhouse Square bistro pays homage to Paris

Parc on Rittenhouse Square

DAY 3 – STOP 1
Breakfast at Parc is a getaway-worthy indulgence. Score a sidewalk or window seat for a view of Rittenhouse Square while savoring oatmeal bruleé, polenta and eggs basquaise or other French-inspired dishes.
(1 hour)

With Parc, famed restaurateur Stephen Starr brings a certain je ne sais quoi to Rittenhouse Square. Parc offers an authentic French bistro experience, fully equipped with a chic Parisian ambiance and gorgeous sidewalk seating overlooking the Square.

227 S. 18th Street
Philadelphia, PA 19103
(215) 545-2262
 

Rittenhouse Row

Shops, restaurants, boutiques, galleries, bars and more

Rittenhouse Row

DAY 3 – STOP 2
Time for some retail therapy. Rittenhouse Row, located in Philadelphia’s Rittenhouse Square neighborhood, is the perfect place to give your credit cards a workout. Dozens of specialty stores and owner-operated boutiques—Nicole Miller, Barney’s Co-Op, Knit Wit and Joan Shepp—keep fashionistas ahead of the style curve with high-end designs.
(3 hours)

Shops, restaurants, boutiques, galleries, bars and more

18th Street and Walnut Street
Stretching from Broad St. to 21st St., between Spruce and Market Streets
Philadelphia, PA 19103
 

Di Bruno Bros.

A glistening specialty food emporium providing a veritable feast for the senses

Cheesecave at the Chestnut Street Di Bruno Bros.

DAY 3 – STOP 3
Slip into Di Bruno Bros. for lunch. The extensive selection of gourmet sandwiches, specialty take-out items and prepared food will give you the energy to keep going.
(1 hour)

The Di Bruno Bros. specialty store on Chestnut Street is an absolute must-see if you appreciate food. At all. Seriously. This place is very close to a boutique foodies heaven.

1730 Chestnut Street
Philadelphia, PA 19103
(215) 665-9220
 

PHLASH Downtown Loop

See Philadelphia in a PHLASH

See Philadelphia’s most popular attractions aboard the PHLASH bus.

DAY 3 – STOP 4
The afternoon is all about the kids—and adults who are kids at heart. Hop aboard the PHLASH, the can’t-miss-it big purple bus that whisks visitors all around town. For $2 per ride or $5 for a thrifty all-day on-and-off pass, you can take the Phlash from the Delaware to the Schuylkill River.
(2 hours)

The PHLASH is the quick, easy and inexpensive connection to key Philadelphia historic attractions and cultural institutions.

20 Stops through Philadelphia
(484) 881-3574
 

The Philadelphia Zoo

Animals and plants thrive at America’s first zoo

Philadelphia Zoo

DAY 3 – STOP 5
Take the PHLASH bus to the Philadelphia Zoo, the oldest zoo in the nation. The 42-acre expanse houses an impressive selection of animals including lions, giraffes, polar bears and gorillas. Don’t miss the Big Cat Crossing, an overhead passageway that lets the zoo’s large cats, including lions and tigers, stretch their legs.
(2 hours)

Animals and plants thrive at America’s first zoo

3400 West Girard Avenue
(34th St. and Girard Ave.)
Philadelphia, PA 19104
(215) 243-1100
 

Mercato

A former market comes back to life

Mercato BYOB

DAY 3 – STOP 6
After a brief rest back at your hotel, it’s time for dinner. For a real Philly experience, try one of the city’s many BYOB (bring-your-own-bottle) restaurants. First, stop at a state-owned liquor store to pick up your favorite wine. The chefs at Mercato focus on high-quality, locally sourced ingredients and change their menus based on what’s fresh.
(2 hours)

Located in what used to be a neighborhood corner market, Mercato — which means “market” in Italian — expands on its namesake theme by emphasizing fresh, local ingredients in its contemporary Italian menu.

1216 Spruce Street
Philadelphia, PA 19103
(215) 985-2962
 

The Franklin Mortgage & Investment Company

Top-rated drinking establishment serves up classy cocktails with Prohibition-style

Cocktails at the Franklin Mortgage & Investment Company

DAY 3 – STOP 7
Continue your dinner conversation over a late-night drink. Named after the largest alcohol ring in the country during Prohibition, The Franklin Mortgage & Investment Company has garnered numerous awards from the likes of Bon Appétit and GQ for its uber-creative cocktails.
(1.5 hours)

Channeling speakeasies of the Prohibition-era, The Franklin Mortgage & Investment Company has only one focus: making the best cocktails around.

112 South 18th Street
Philadelphia, PA
(267) 467-3277
 

Reading Terminal Market

America’s oldest farmers’ market

Delicious Pennyslvania Dutch pies and baked goods? Yes, please.

DAY .2 – STOP 1
Make like a local and stop by the Reading Terminal Market, one of the nation’s oldest working markets where you can eat in or take a taste of Philly home. With more than 80 merchants, breakfast can be anything from made-to-order crepes from Profi’s Creperie to a veggie shake at Four Seasons Juice Bar to a scrumptious home-baked pastry from the Amish merchants. And you’ll want some of your favorite Philly treats from the Pennsylvania General Store to nosh on during your trip home.
(2 hours)

Established in 1892 at 12th and Arch Streets, Reading Terminal is the nation’s oldest continuously operating farmers’ market. Today, this indoor foodie paradise is a one-stop shop for everything from local produce and meats to artisanal cheeses and incredibly delicious desserts and baked goods. It’s also home to the “best sandwich in America.”

12th and Arch Streets
Philadelphia, PA 19107
(215) 922-2317
 

Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts

A masterful collection of American art housed in a historic Center City building

Gallery in the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts

DAY .2 – STOP 2
You still have some time, so make it count. Discover something you haven’t seen yet. Take a walk through Chinatown before bringing your 3.2-day experience to a close at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, the nation’s first art museum and school of fine arts.
(3 hours)

A jewel nestled in the heart of Center City, the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts (PAFA) hosts vast collection of American art boasts treasures by local and national luminaries such as Charles Willson Peale (founder of the Academy), Thomas Eakins (who taught here), and Violet Oakley.

118-128 N. Broad Street
(Broad and Cherry Streets)
Philadelphia, PA 19102
(215) 972-7600
 

Details

Transportation

By foot, by car and by public transportation

Duration

3.2 Days

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