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Pictured: National Constitution Center

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Philadelphia Museums

Were Benjamin Franklin, the city’s first museum patron, to come back to 21st Century Philadelphia, he would marvel at what he had started. Philadelphia’s museums are small and massive, historic and modern, interactive and exclusive, eccentric and unexpected.

There are grand places like The Franklin Institute Science Museum and those that are intimate, like the Polish American Cultural Center Museum. There are the irreverent, like The Philadelphia Insectarium, and the specialized, like the Philadelphia Athletics Museum.

Featured Listings

  • 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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  • 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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  • Philadelphia CityPASS

    Save on Philadelphia’s most popular attractions

    Philadelphia CityPASS

    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.

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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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  • 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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  • 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

    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.

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  • 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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  • The African American Museum
    in Philadelphia

    Celebrating and interpreting African-American history and culture

    African American Museum in Philadelphia

    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.

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  • Penn Museum

    Unearthing the riches of the world’s cultural heritage

    A Sphinx at the University of Pennsylvania Archeology and Anthropology Museum

    If you called its 15-ton Egyptian sphinx “one in a million,” you’d be right: it is just one in a collection of nearly a million objects at the Penn Museum (also known as the University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology)—one of the world’s finest archaeological and anthropological museums.

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  • National Museum of American Jewish History

    Preserving and interpreting the American Jewish experience

    The New National Museum of American Jewish History

    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.

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  • Powel House

    A luxurious mid-Georgian 18th-century mansion

    Once the home of Elizabeth and Samuel Powel, an 18th-century power couple, the Powel House simply drips elegance.

    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.

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  • Independence Seaport Museum

    An interactive museum exploring Philadelphia’s maritime heritage

    Sailing on the river outside the Independence Seaport Museum.

    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.

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  • Physick House

    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.

    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.

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  • The Philadelphia History Museum at the Atwater Kent

    New and improved history near Independence Hall

    The Philadelphia History Museum at the Atwater Kent holds a vast collection of over 100,000 pieces of history.

    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.

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  • Declaration (Graff) House

    Where Thomas Jefferson wrote the Declaration of Independence

    Inside the Declaration (Graff) House, Thomas Jefferson wrote the monumental 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.

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  • American Philosophical Society Museum

    Views of science and humanistic thought at Benjamin Franklin’s intellectual club

    The American Philosophical Society Museum, a brick building erected in the late 1780s, served our nation’s first museum, national library and academy of science.

    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.

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  • The African American Museum
    in Philadelphia

    Celebrating and interpreting African-American history and culture

    African American Museum in Philadelphia

    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
  • Independence Visitor Center

    All-in-one center for info, tickets to Independence Hall, tips from experts and more

    Independence Visitor Center

    Start your visit to Philadelphia at the Independence Visitor Center, where you can get personalized recommendations, tickets to popular attractions, souvenirs, maps and more.

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  • National Museum of American Jewish History

    Preserving and interpreting the American Jewish experience

    The New National Museum of American Jewish History

    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.

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  • Bloomsday in Philadelphia

    A weeklong celebration of James Joyce’s Ulysses

    On June 16, the world celebrates James Joyce’s masterpiece Ulysses with a special holiday coined Bloomsday.

    June 9-16, 2016
    Celebrate Leopold Bloom’s fictional journey through the streets of Dublin, as imagined in James Joyce’s novel, Ulysses, during the Rosenbach Museum’s Bloomsday celebration.

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  • Glencairn Museum

    Centuries of religious artifacts in a modern castle

    The Glencairn Museum, housed in a beautiful neo-Romanesque castle, holds a wealth of religious art and history.

    Centuries of religious artifacts and history lay within this beautiful neo-Romanesque castle located in Montgomery County.

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  • One Liberty Observation Deck

    A top notch spot for sky-high views of Philadelphia and the surrounding region

    From high atop the 57th floor of Liberty Place, visitors to the One Liberty Observation Deck will be gobsmacked by the 360° landscapes that stretch for miles while also hearing tidbits of Philadelphia’s past and its evolution into a major American city.

    Now open
    From high atop the 57th floor of Liberty Place, visitors to the One Liberty Observation Deck will be gobsmacked by the 360° landscapes that stretch for miles while also hearing tidbits of Philadelphia’s past and its evolution into a major American city.

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  • The Rosenbach of the Free Library of Philadelphia

    A wonderland for lovers of books and antiques

    The Rosenbach of the Free Library of Philadelphia

    Tucked away among the elegant 19th-century town homes near Rittenhouse Square, The Rosenbach of the Free Library of Philadelphia houses one of the world’s great collections of manuscripts, literature and rare books.

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  • The Liberty Bell Center

    Dramatic home of the internationally known symbol of freedom

    The Liberty Bell’s home on Independence Mall is as powerful and dramatic as the bell itself.

    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.

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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.

    View More
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