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Top 10 Most Visited Attractions In Philadelphia

A guide to checking the most popular attractions in Philadelphia off your to-do list

The Liberty Bell, Independence Hall and the Rocky Statue are some of Philadelphia's most popular attractions. Credit: Left by M. Fischetti; Right by J. Smith; both for Visit Philadelphia

Description

Philadelphia welcomes around 40 million visitors every year and with that many people coming into town to check out the things to do. We thought it would be cool to take a look at what the most visited attractions in the city are.

So below is our guide — in both list view and map view — of the most visited attractions in Philadelphia.

So whether you’re planning your first trip to Philadelphia, coming back for the tenth time, or already here and wondering where you should take someone coming to visit you, this is a good place to start in order to make sure you hit all of the can’t-miss attractions.

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Reading Terminal Market

America’s oldest farmers’ market

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

The number one most visited attraction in Philadelphia is Reading Terminal Market, the city’s famous indoor foodie paradise that is a one-stop shop for everything from local produce and delicious sandwiches to artisanal cheeses and desserts. More than six million people(!) a year visit the market and for good reason: it’s amazing.

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
 

Independence National Historical Park

The birthplace of American democracy

The Liberty Bell Philadelphia

Known as the birthplace of American democracy, Historic Philadelphia’s Independence National Historical Park (INHP) is located on the site of many of the seminal events that carried the nation through its founding as a global leader of democratic ideals. INHP welcomes more than 3.5 million visitors every year.

Known as the birthplace of American democracy, Historic Philadelphia’s Independence National Historical Park (INHP) is located on the site of many of the seminal events that carried the nation through its founding as a global leader of democratic ideals.

1 North Independence Mall West
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

The majority of the 3.5 million visitors to Independence National Historical Park every year line up to see what is the park’s most visited and most famous attraction, the Liberty Bell.

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
 

Independence Hall

Birthplace of both the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution

Independence Hall

While historical attractions abound in Philly, Independence Hall has particular significance to the development of the nation. In this building in 1776, the Founding Fathers came together to sign the Declaration of Independence. Eleven years later, representatives from a dozen states met here to lay the framework for the U.S. Constitution. Today, the building is the centerpiece of Independence National Historical Park, and guided tours are available to visitors year-round.

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
 

Independence Visitor Center

Start at the Visitor Center

Independence Visitor Center

The official Visitor Center of Philadelphia and Independence National Historical Park, the Independence Visitor Center welcomes around two and a half million people every year. It’s the perfect place to begin your visit to Historic Philadelphia.

The Independence Visitor Center is the perfect place to begin your visit to the Philadelphia region.

6th and Market Streets
Philadelphia, PA 19106
(800) 537-7676
 

Valley Forge National Historical Park

Where the spirit of the Revolution received its sternest test

Experience history at Valley Forge.

In the winter of 1777-1778, Valley Forge was the encampment headquarters of the Continental Army during the Revolutionary War. Today, a park on this site honors the sacrifice and strength of those who helped secure freedom for the United States. Valley Forge National Historical Park offers a variety of programming throughout the year, including guided tours and living history demonstrations. More than a million visitors a year visit Valley Forge National Historical Park.

With more than 3,600 acres of rolling hills and well-worn trails, Valley Forge is now a magnet for runners, bicyclists and picnickers as well as history buffs.

1400 N. Outer Line Drive
King of Prussia, PA 19406
(610) 783-1099
 

The Philadelphia Zoo

Animals and plants thrive at America’s first zoo

Philadelphia Zoo

Situated on 42 acres of lush gardens, the Philadelphia Zoo is home to nearly 1,300 animals — many rare and endangered. In addition to leading the way in conservation efforts, America’s first zoo features award-winning exhibits such as First Niagara Big Cat Falls, the McNeil Avian Center, the PECO Primate Reserve and seasonal family-friendly events. The zoo welcomes more than a million visitors every year.

Animals and plants thrive at America’s first zoo

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

Longwood Gardens

One of the world’s premier horticultural display gardens

Spring at Longwood Gardens.

More than a million people every year visit Brandywine Valley’s Longwood Gardens for the dazzling displays that elevate the art of horticulture. Longowod boasts 1,077 acres, including 40 indoor and outdoor gardens. In addition to summer fireworks and breathtaking holiday displays, Longwood hosts concerts year round.

When you’re at Longwood Gardens, it’s easy to imagine that you’re at a giant, royal garden in Europe. Stroll along the many paths through acres of exquisitely maintained grounds featuring 11,000 different types of plants.

1001 Longwood Road
Kennett Square, PA 19348
(610) 388-1000
 

The Franklin Institute

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

Front of the Franklin Institute.

The Franklin Institute, the region’s premier science museum, features a full city block of kid-friendly exhibitions, such as the walk-through Giant Heart, Space Command, Sports Challenge, Electricity and Changing Earth. It’s also home to the Tuttleman IMAX Theater and the renowned Fels Planetarium.

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
 

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.

One of the original five squares in William Penn’s plan for the city, Franklin Square is now a modern and fun family park, with a Philly-themed miniature golf course, a restored marble fountain, playgrounds and an old-fashioned carousel featuring famous Philly horses. And when hunger strikes, SquareBurger delivers with awesome burgers, fries and shakes.

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
 

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

The Philadelphia Museum of Art was forever immortalized in the classic Rocky film franchise. While the “Rocky Steps” draw a slew of visitors who want to reenact Stallone’s on-screen training regimen, the museum is even more impressive inside. The astounding art collection here comprises more than 200 galleries housing more than 227,000 works in media, including photography, sculpture, paintings, textiles and more.

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 are two of the most popular attractions in Philadelphia. We don’t have an exact visitor count, but if we did it would be near the top. The Art Museum steps have been declared the second most famous movie location in the entire world(!!). Visiting the statue, running up the steps, and taking a picture at the top is pretty much a must on your first visit to Philly. It’s a right of passage.

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
 

National Constitution Center

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

Exterior of the National Constitution Center

Dedicated to the four most powerful pages in America’s history, the National Constitution Center explores examines “We the People.” Museum-goers explore exhibits and artifacts, take in the theatrical production Freedom Rising and walk among the 42 life-size, bronze statues of the Founding Fathers.

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
 

Please Touch Museum

Where kids ages 1 – 7 are boss

The carousel at the Please Touch Museum.

Housed in Fairmount Park’s Memorial Hall, the kid-centric Please Touch Museum® includes two full floors of interactive exhibit zones, plus a fully restored 100-year-old carousel. Youngsters can play and pretend amid Alice’s Wonderland, River Adventures and other hands-on fun. And on Target First Wednesdays, the museum stay opens 4:00-7:00 p.m. with $2 admission.

The city’s award-winning children’s museum is fun-filled, totally hands-on and so delightful that adults are entertained, too. Each nook and cranny has a different theme — from the fantastic to the practical.

4231 Avenue of the Republic
Memorial Hall in Fairmount Park
Philadelphia, PA 19131
(215) 581-3181
 

The Betsy Ross House

The birthplace of the American flag

Betsy Ross inside her home

The last spot on our list is home to the birthplace of the first Stars & Stripes. The Betsy Ross House is an 18th-century house alive with the sights and sounds of the times. Visitors find out much more about the famous seamstress (who was actually an upholsterer and rare female business owner) than any school history book tells.

Did she or didn’t she? Ask Betsy Ross about her role in making the first American flag yourself when you visit the iconic home of America’s most famous flag maker.

239 Arch Street
The American Flag House and Betsy Ross Memorial
Philadelphia, PA 19106
(215) 686-1252
 

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