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Pictured: The Betsy Ross House

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Museums & Attractions

Ben Franklin

Benjamin Franklin Museum

Outside the Benjamin Franklin Museum in the Historic District. Credit: J. Fusco for Visit Philadelphia

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

Featured Listings

  • National Constitution Center

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

    Exterior of the National Constitution Center

    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.

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  • Reading Terminal Market

    America’s oldest farmers’ market

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

    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.”

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  • Philadelphia CityPASS

    Save on Philadelphia’s most popular attractions

    Philadelphia CityPASS

    Save 47% on the combined admission to five of Philadelphia’s must-see attractions with Philadelphia CityPASS, including The Franklin Institute, the Philadelphia Zoo, the National Constitution Center and more.

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  • The Liberty Bell Center

    Dramatic home of the internationally known symbol of freedom

    The Liberty Bell in Historic Philadelphia

    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.

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  • Philadelphia Museum of Art

    Third-largest art museum in the country and a must-see attraction

    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.

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  • Independence Hall

    Birthplace of both the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution

    Independence Hall

    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.

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  • Independence Visitor Center

    Start at the Visitor Center

    Independence Visitor Center

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

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  • 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.

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  • 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.

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  • Please Touch Museum

    Where kids ages 1 – 7 are boss

    Ride on the restored 1908 carousel at the Please Touch Museum.

    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.

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  • The Roots Picnic

    A day of incredible music at Penn’s Landing

    The Roots Picnic

    May 30
    Now in its seventh year, The Roots Picnic is bigger and better than ever with a day of incredible and diverse music at the Festival Pier at Penn’s Landing.

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  • Nightscape: A Light and Sound Experience at Longwood Gardens

    An immersive garden-wide after-dark installation

    The chance to see stunning sights at Longwood Gardens will continue after dark with the immersive after-dark-only installation Nightscape.

    July 1
    The chance to see stunning sights at Longwood Gardens will continue after dark in the summer and fall of 2015 with the launch of the immersive after-dark-only installation Nightscape: A Light and Sound Experience.

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  • The Philadelphia Zoo

    Animals and plants thrive at America’s first zoo

    As you approach PECO Primate Reserve, imagine for a minute that a group of primate conservationists have taken up residence in an abandoned timber mill to help save primates from around the world.

    One of the best laid-out and most animal-packed zoos in the country, the Philadelphia Zoo is set among a charming 42-acre Victorian garden with tree-lined walks, formal shrubbery, ornate iron cages and animal sculptures.

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  • Eastern State Penitentiary

    Radical 19th century prison designed to create social change

    The looming exterior of Eastern State Penitentiary

    Eastern State Penitentiary set the standard for penal reform, with its soaring, castle-like Gothic architecture and its founders’ Quaker-inspired belief that solitary confinement could reform criminals.

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  • Please Touch Museum

    Where kids ages 1 – 7 are boss

    Ride on the restored 1908 carousel at the Please Touch Museum.

    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.

    View More
  • 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.

    View More
  • Center City Jazz Festival

    Day-long celebration of jazz in Philadelphia

    Chris’ Jazz Cafe is one of four venues hosting the Center City Jazz Festival.

    April 25
    Spend the day relaxing with live jazz during the fourth annual Center City Jazz Festival. Part of Jazz Appreciation Month, the day-long festival features 16 bands performing at four Center City venues.

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  • 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.

    Franklin Square, one of five public squares laid out by William Penn in his plan for Philadelphia, has undergone a dramatic renovation. The park now boasts a miniature golf course, classic carousel, burger joint, storytelling bench and picnic area.

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  • Kensington Kinetic Sculpture Derby & Festival 2015

    Off-beat design competition and community arts festival

    Celebrate creativity and community spirit during the Kensington Kinetic Sculpture Derby & Festival.

    May 16
    The Kensington Kinetic Sculpture Derby & Festival is the new name for one of the city’s quirkiest spring events. Formerly two events, the Trenton Avenue Arts Festival and Kensington Kinetic Derby, is a day-long celebration of the creative spirit and community pride.

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  • Valley Forge National Historical Park

    Where the spirit of the Revolution received its sternest test

    Experience history at Valley Forge.

    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.

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  • The Liberty Bell Center

    Dramatic home of the internationally known symbol of freedom

    The Liberty Bell in Historic Philadelphia

    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.

    View More
  • Independence Visitor Center

    Start at the Visitor Center

    Independence Visitor Center

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

    View More
  • Philadelphia CityPASS

    Save on Philadelphia’s most popular attractions

    Philadelphia CityPASS

    Save 47% on the combined admission to five of Philadelphia’s must-see attractions with Philadelphia CityPASS, including The Franklin Institute, the Philadelphia Zoo, the National Constitution Center and more.

    View More
  • Rittenhouse Square

    Philadelphia’s most popular town square

    In the picturesque, tree-lined streets surrounding Rittenhouse Park, you will find charming townhomes, luxurious spas, amazing eateries, jewelry stores and the highest of high-end fashion boutiques.

    Rittenhouse Square is as popular with residents as it is with visitors. In the picturesque, tree-lined streets surrounding the park, you will find charming townhomes, luxurious spas, amazing eateries, jewelry stores and the highest of high-end fashion boutiques.

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  • Simeone Foundation Museum

    One of the world’s most remarkable collections of race cars

    Within the walls of the newly opened Simeone Foundation Museum, you’ll find 60 of the world’s rarest and most famous race cars.

    Within the walls of the Simeone Foundation Museum — the only museum of its kind in North America — you’ll find 60 of the world’s rarest and most famous race cars. And if luxury is your style, names like Alfa Romeo, Bentley, Mercedes-Benz, Jaguar and Maserati are pretty tough to beat.

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