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A Tour of Benjamin Franklin Parkway

How to experience America’s most artistic mile

The Benjamin Franklin Parkway is Philadelphia's Champs Elysees. Credit: B. Krist for Visit Philadelphia

Description

Benjamin Franklin Parkway is Philadelphia’s Champs Elysees — or its Pennsylvania Avenue.

While there is no Arc de Triomphe or White House, but there are such fine buildings as the Philadelphia Museum of Art, the Rodin Museum, the Barnes Foundation, the Franklin Institute, the Cathedral of SS. Peter and Paul, and City Hall. Fountains, small parks, statues and monuments all lend a formality that gives the Parkway its own special aura.

This is our guide — complete with map — to exploring the many museums and cultural institutions that line the mile-long stretch.

And if you want to take a 3-D flyover of the parkway, check out our even more immersive map experience here.

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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

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
 

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.

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
 

Azalea Garden

A scenic spot for beautiful blooms

Azalea Garden

One of Philadelphia’s most recognized gardens, the Azalea Garden at the Philadelphia Museum of Art features just over four-acres of fantastic horticulture.

Kelly Drive and Fairmount Ave.
Philadelphia, PA 19130
 

Rodin Museum

The largest collection of Auguste Rodin sculptures outside France

“The Thinker” outside of the Rodin Museum.

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
 

Rodin Museum Garden

Art and nature combine for year-round beauty

“The Thinker” outside of the Rodin Museum.

In the spirit of its original 1929 design, the grounds of the Rodin Museum have undergone an extensive transformation to reflect the important blend of art and nature.

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

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.

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
 

Sister Cities Park

Outdoor oasis on the Benjamin Franklin Parkway

Sister Cities Park

Located on Logan Square in front of the Cathedral Basilica of Saints Peter and Paul, Sister Cities Park is a welcoming space featuring a brand new café, boat pond, educational garden and commemorative fountain.

18th Street and Logan Square
Philadelphia, PA 19102
1-800-537-7676
 

Swann Memorial Fountain

1924 by Alexander Stirling Calder

Swann Memorial Fountain.

The center of Logan Square belongs to a popular fountain sculpture by Alexander Stirling Calder, son of the City Hall artist. Designed with architect Wilson Eyre, the work memorializes Dr. Wilson Cary Swann, founder of the Philadelphia Fountain Society.

19th Street and Logan Square
Logan Square
Philadelphia, PA 19103
 

The Franklin Institute

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

Front of the Franklin Institute.

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
 

Free Library of Philadelphia

Incredible collection of rare books, special collections and media

Free Library of Philadelphia

A stunning Beaux-Arts building along the culture-heavy Benjamin Franklin Parkway serves as the hub for the Free Library of Philadelphia, which includes 50 branches around the city.

1901 Vine Street
Philadelphia, PA 19103
(215) 686-5322
 

Free Library of Philadelphia Rare Book Department

Highlights of book history preserved for posterity

Free Library of Philadelphia

The Rare Book Department is a worthwhile adventure. It resides on the third floor of the grand Beaux Arts building that house the Free Library of Philadelphia. Ask at the information desk in the lobby for the elevator. When you arrive ring the entrance bell beside the glass door and brace yourself for a pleasant plunge into 4,000 years of history.

When architects Horace Trumbauer’s and Julian Francis Abele’s building on Logan Circle opened in 1927, rare books were collected elsewhere in town. The Central Branch of the public library soon became a popular repository for everything from Sumerian cuneiform tablets to the works of Beatrix Potter. When the entire library of William McIntire Elkins, including the room that housed it, was given to the library in 1949, the Rare Book collection grew into a full-fledged department.

1901 Vine Street
Philadelphia, PA 19103
(215) 686-5416
 

Aviator Park

Welcoming green space in front of The Franklin Institute

Aero Memorial at Aviator Park

Aviator Park, located on the Benjamin Franklin Parkway adjacent to The Franklin Institute and Moore College of Art + Design, serves as an open, green, family-friendly oasis.

20th Street and the Benjamin Franklin Parkway
Philadelphia, PA 19103
 

Academy of Natural Sciences of Drexel University

One of the world’s foremost natural history museums

Dinosaur Hall at the Academy of Natural Sciences

Celebrating scientific discovery for more than 200 years.

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

The Fountain Restaurant

A Five-Star restaurant at the Four Seasons Philadelphia

The Fountain Restaurant

The Fountain Restaurant in the Four Seasons Hotel Philadelphia has received seemingly every type of accolade there is, from Forbes Travel Guide’s 2010 Five Star award a perfect Five Diamond rating from AAA.

1 Logan Square
Philadelphia, PA 19103
(215) 963-1500
 

Capriccio at Cafe Cret

Relax and refresh on the Benjamin Franklin Parkway

Capriccio at Cafe Cret on the Benjamin Franklin Parkway.

Take a break from sightseeing on the Benjamin Franklin Parkway with a beverage and bite to eat at Capriccio at Cafe Cret.

16th Street and the Benjamin Franklin Parkway
Philadelphia, PA 19102
(215) 735-9797
 

LOVE Park

Officially known as John F. Kennedy Plaza

LOVE Park

A favorite destination for tourists and locals alike, John F. Kennedy Plaza gets its famed nickname “LOVE Park” due to its famous sculpture.

16th and JFK Boulevard
Philadelphia, PA 19102
 

LOVE Statue

1976 by Robert Indiana

LOVE statue in Love Park Philadelphia

The City of Brotherly Love’s best-known landmark is LOVE itself — the Robert Indiana sculpture in John F. Kennedy Plaza, northwest of City Hall. Installed in 1976, LOVE was briefly snatched away in 1978, but popular demand brought it back where it belongs.

15th Street and John F. Kennedy Blvd.
John F. Kennedy Plaza
Philadelphia, PA 19102
 

City Hall

The largest municipal building in the country and the finest example of the Second Empire style

Philadelphia City Hall

City Hall is the largest municipal building in the United States, containing over 14.5 acres of floor space. It is an architectural treasure inside and out.

Broad Street and Market Street

Philadelphia, PA 19107
(215) 686-2840
 

Ruth and Raymond G. Perelman Building

Fashion and modern design highlight the Philadelphia Museum of Art’s first major expansion

The Ruth and Raymond G. Perelman Building.

Enthusiasts of fashion and modern design will relish a visit to the Ruth and Raymond G. Perelman Building, the first major expansion of the Philadelphia Museum of Art.

Fairmount Avenue and Pennsylvania Avenue
Philadelphia, PA 19130
(215) 763-8100
 

Lenfest Plaza

Your gateway to Philadelphia’s vibrant art scene

The Paint Torch at Lenfest Plaza.

Lenfest Plaza at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts (PAFA) is one of Philadelphia’s newest open-air gathering spaces.

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

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