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Museums & Attractions
Philadelphia plays home to an astounding collection of museums, artistic venues and historical attractions. There’s the Liberty Bell, of course — plus amazing art installations, jazz venues, architectural landmarks and much more.
Our Insider’s Guide plots a veritable “what’s what” of Philadelphia’s cultural world, with instant access to more than 350 fact-filled Web pages for more than 500 visitor-ready experiences.
The attractions are searchable by category, location and special interest, while introductory pages for each of the main categories provide even more insider insight — so you’ll be ready to hit the streets and take in the City of Brotherly Love.
Don’t miss these hotspots
- Powel House
- Independence Seaport Museum
- Physick House
- Franklin Square
- Washington Square
- The Philadelphia History Museum at the Atwater Kent
- Declaration (Graff) House
- American Philosophical Society Museum
- Congress Hall
- The President’s House: Freedom and Slavery in the Making of a New Nation
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The world’s only museum dedicated to the U.S. Constitution
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.
America’s oldest farmers’ market
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.”
Save on Philadelphia’s most popular attractions
Save 45% on the combined admission to four of Philadelphia’s must-see attractions with Philadelphia CityPASS, including The Franklin Institute, the Philadelphia Zoo, One Liberty Observation Deck and more.
Dramatic home of the internationally known symbol of freedom
The Liberty Bell has a new home, and it is as powerful and dramatic as the Bell itself. Throughout the expansive, light-filled Liberty Bell Center, larger-than-life historic documents and graphic images explore the facts and the myths surrounding the Bell.
Third-largest art museum in the country and a must-see attraction
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.
Birthplace of both the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution
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.
All-in-one center for info, tickets to Independence Hall, tips from experts and more
Start your visit to Philadelphia at the Independence Visitor Center, where you can get personalized recommendations, tickets to popular attractions, souvenirs, maps and more.
One of the oldest and most beloved science museums in the country
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.
One of the world’s leading collections of French Impressionist and Post-Impressionist paintings
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.
Where kids ages 1 – 7 are boss
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.
A luxurious mid-Georgian 18th-century mansion
The home of Samuel Powel, Philadelphia’s first mayor, is the epitome of 18th-century elegance. On any given evening during its heyday, the guest list frequently included Washington, Adams, Franklin, the Marquis de Lafayette and other luminaries.View More
An interactive museum exploring Philadelphia’s maritime heritage
With historic vessels to board, an underwater ROV to maneuver and a mock cannon to fire, Philadelphia’s maritime museum conveys what the Delaware and Schuylkill Rivers have meant to the city over the years.View More
The 18th-century mansion of the “Father of American Surgery”
Dr. Philip Syng Physick was one of the most accomplished physicians of his time, and a tour of his 18th-century mansion in Society Hill includes some of the medical and surgical tools he invented.View More
Carousel rides, mini-golf, burgers and more
Franklin Square, one of five public squares laid out by William Penn in his plan for Philadelphia, boasts a miniature golf course, classic carousel, burger joint, storytelling bench and picnic area.View More
A leafy retreat with tree-shaded benches, located steps from Independence Hall
Washington Square is one of William Penn’s original five squares set aside to establish parks for the public.View More
New and improved history near Independence Hall
The 1826 Philadelphia History Museum building, located just around the corner from Independence Hall and the Liberty Bell, has provided an exciting gateway into Philadelphia history for nearly 70 years.View More
Where Thomas Jefferson wrote the Declaration of Independence
The all-important words that created a new nation were written by Thomas Jefferson at the home of Jacob Graff. Jr. Visitors can view first-floor exhibits and a short film regarding Jefferson’s endeavors at the home where he rented two second-floor rooms from Graff, a well-known bricklayer.View More
Views of science and humanistic thought at Benjamin Franklin’s intellectual club
American Philosophical Society Museum was erected in the late 1780s and served as our nation’s first museum, national library and academy of science. Today, changing exhibitions highlight the intersections of science, history and art.View More
Home of the U.S. Congress from 1790-1800
Congress Hall hosted two presidential inaugurations (Washington and Adams) and was the home of U.S. Congress from 1790 to 1800 when Philadelphia was temporary capital of the U.S.View More
Commemorating the lives of nine enslaved Africans at the nation’s first executive mansion
President’s House: Freedom and Slavery in the Making of a New Nation explores the paradox of slavery and freedom at the nation’s first executive mansion, in which Presidents George Washington and John Adams lived during their terms and where nine enslaved people served the first president.View More
Celebrating and interpreting African-American history and culture
The African American Museum in Philadelphia, founded in 1976, is the first institution built by a major U.S. city to preserve, interpret and exhibit the heritage and culture of African-Americans.View More
All-in-one center for info, tickets to Independence Hall, tips from experts and more
Start your visit to Philadelphia at the Independence Visitor Center, where you can get personalized recommendations, tickets to popular attractions, souvenirs, maps and more.View More
Preserving and interpreting the American Jewish experience
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.View More
Hundreds of miles of connected trails for hiking, biking, commuting and more
The Greater Philadelphia region is home to one of the largest trail networks in the country, collectively known as The Circuit Trails, providing endless opportunities for recreation and commuting.View More
Labor Day weekend festival on the Benjamin Franklin Parkway returns for its fourth year
September 3-4, 2016View More
The Budweiser Made In America Festival, a massive musical celebration that takes over the Benjamin Franklin Parkway on Labor Day weekend, is set to return in 2016.