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CREDIT: B. Krist for Visit Philadelphia

Located next to Independence Mall, where the country’s Founding Fathers declared liberty and built a free nation, Old City still boasts charming cobblestone streets and plenty of 18th-century charm — along with an independent streak that’s evident in everything from its owner-operated shops to its edgy art scene.

Its proximity to the Liberty Bell, Penn’s Landing and the Benjamin Franklin Bridge makes Old City, which runs from Vine Street to Walnut Street north to south and from 7th Street to the Delaware River east to west, a favorite for out-of-towners as much as for the residents who call it home. People love the neighborhood for its fashionable boutiques, great restaurants, eclectic galleries and theaters and vibrant nightlife. Especially popular are First Fridays, when art lovers fill the streets and hop from gallery to gallery.

What To Do

Independence Mall

The birthplace of the nation, the historic heart of Philadelphia resides along Independence Mall. Home to Independence Hall and The Liberty Bell Center, the Mall also boasts a number of cultural institutions including the National Museum of Jewish American History, the National Constitution Center and the Philadelphia History Museum. Be sure to stop by the Independence Visitor Center for tickets to city attractions and helpful information.

Penn’s Landing

The Delaware River Waterfront hosts family-friendly attractions and events all year long. With scenic views of the Benjamin Franklin Bridge, Penn’s Landing is a popular seasonal destination with attractions like Spruce Street Harbor Park and the Blue Cross RiverRink.

2nd Street

Stroll along 2nd Street in Old City and you’ll find a wide variety of attractions, restaurants and activities. The popular street is home to number of art galleries, independent boutiques and renowned restaurants. Within a two block stretch you can wander through the hallowed space of Christ Church, browse an impressive collection of used vinyl at AKA Records, take in a show at the Arden Theater and grab a drink at The Continental.

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Getting Around

Old City is easily accessible via SEPTA’s Market-Frankford subway line with stops at 5th or 2nd and Market Streets. A large number of bus routes also make stops in Penn’s Landing and the seasonal PHLASH bus offers convenient access to Philadelphia’s top attractions from the Independence Visitor Center.


The hotels of Old City offer comfort and convenient access to Philadelphia’s historic attractions. Stay in the historic Penn’s View Hotel built in 1828 or the modernist Hotel Monaco overlooking Independence Hall. For more hotels and to book your stay, click the button below.

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Neighborhood Highlights

Old City Highlights

Penn’s View Hotel Penn’s View Hotel

Penn’s View Hotel

Charming European hospitality in historic Old City

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Declaration (Graff) House Declaration (Graff) House

Declaration (Graff) House

Thomas Jefferson wrote the Declaration of Independence here

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Franklin Square Franklin Square

Franklin Square

Carousel rides, mini-golf, burgers and more

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The National Constitution Center on Independence Mall The National Constitution Center on Independence Mall

National Constitution Center

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

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Elfreth’s Alley Elfreth’s Alley

Elfreth’s Alley

The nation’s oldest continuously inhabited street

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The Dream Garden The Dream Garden

Dream Garden

Louis Comfort Tiffany meets Maxfield Parrish in a one-of-a-kind creation

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Top Old City Stories

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