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The Pope's Visit &
World Meeting of Families

September 22-27: Pope Francis and a global celebration come to Philadelphia

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The Pope's Visit to Philadelphia


Pope Francis' historic visit to Philadelphia was truly wonderful. THANK YOU to all the residents, visitors, volunteers, city agencies, organizations and more that were part of such an amazing, once-in-a-lifetime experience and celebration.

 
 
 
 

 

The World Meeting of Families Conference, the world's largest gathering of Catholic families, will host 100 speakers, panel discussions, workshops and more at the Pennsylvania Convention Center from September 22-25.

Then the citywide Francis Festival takes place over the weekend of September 26-27.

Pope Francis will arrive on Saturday, September 26 and speak at Independence Hall before celebrating at the Festival of Families, a massive free party and concert held on the Benjamin Franklin Parkway.

And on the afternoon of Sunday, September 27, the pope will say a Mass for hundreds of thousands of people, also on the Benjamin Franklin Parkway.

On this page you'll find information on when the pope is coming, why he'll be here and what he'll be doing once he's in Philadelphia.

 

A SPECIAL MESSAGE FROM POPE FRANCIS

 
 

SATURDAY FAST FACTS

  • Daylong Festival of Families to run on multiple stages on the Benjamin Franklin Parkway starting at 12:45 p.m.
  • At 4:45 p.m., Pope Francis to give speech across town at Independence Hall.
  • After the speech at Independence Hall, a papal parade will take the pope up and down the Benjamin Franklin Parkway and around City Hall.
  • Mark Wahlberg will host the Festival of Families on the Benjamin Franklin Parkway.
  • Aretha Franklin, Andrea Bocelli, The Philadelphia Orchestra and more will perform with Pope Francis in attendance beginning at 7:30 p.m.
  • All times are scheduled times and are subject to change.

Read on for our detailed breakdown of the papal itinerary.


 

Papal STOP 1 (Saturday): Pope Francis to give speech on Independence Mall

When:Saturday, September 26
Time:4:45 p.m.*
Where:In front of Independence Hall

* All times are scheduled times and are subject to change. Text “papalvisit” to 888777 to receive text alerts regarding the papal weekend from the Philadelphia Office of Emergency Management.

Photo courtesy Independence National Historical Park

Pope Francis will speak at Independence Hall about religious freedom and immigration on Saturday, September 26 at 4:45 p.m.

The event is expected to attract about 30,000 people.

TICKETS NO LONGER AVAILABLE FOR INDEPENDENCE MALL SPEECH

The pope's speech at Independence Hall is free and open to the public, but tickets are required to attend.

Approximately 10,000 free tickets were made available for Pope Francis' Independence Hall speech on a first-come, first-served basis.

Tickets are no longer available for Pope Francis' Independence Hall speech. The pope's speech will be simulcast on the 40 Jumbotrons located throughout Center City. (See map below.)

Click the button below to access the official ticket page on the World Meeting of Families website.



Papal STOP 2 (Saturday): Papal Parade on the Benjamin Franklin Parkway

When:Saturday, September 26
Time:After the pope's speech at Independence Hall at 4:45 p.m and before the pope's 7:30 p.m. arrival at the Festival of Families concert. Exact time of procession has not been announced.*
Where:Benjamin Franklin Parkway and City Hall

* All times are scheduled times and are subject to change. Text “papalvisit” to 888777 to receive text alerts regarding the papal weekend from the Philadelphia Office of Emergency Management.

Pope Francis will ride in a papal parade on Saturday, Sept. 26 prior to the Festival of Families celebration.

The pope will begin at Eakins Oval, go down the Benjamin Franklin Parkway, head around City Hall then go back up the Benjamin Franklin Parkway before ending at the steps of the Philadelphia Museum of Art.

Note: The pope's vehicle will use the outer lanes of the parkway between Eakins Oval and Logan Square.

See the map below for Saturday's parade route and the location of the Jumbotrons throughout Center City.

OFFICIAL WMOF WALKING MAP

Map courtesy World Meeting of Families


Papal STOP 3 (Saturday): Pope Francis visits the Festival of Families celebration and giant free outdoor concert

When:Saturday, September 26
Time:Programming begins at 12:45 p.m.; Pope Francis arrives about 7:30 p.m.*
Where:Benjamin Franklin Parkway

* All times are scheduled times and are subject to change. Text “papalvisit” to 888777 to receive text alerts regarding the papal weekend from the Philadelphia Office of Emergency Management.

G. Widman for Visit Philadelphia

After his speech at Independence Hall, Pope Francis will head to the Benjamin Franklin Parkway for the Festival of Families, a free celebration of community, faith and family.

The celebration, hosted by Oscar-nominated actor Mark Wahlberg, will feature music and visual performances set to educate and entertain attendees from around the world. The world-renowned Philadelphia Orchestra will perform with some of the night's biggest stars, including Andrea Bocelli, Aretha Franklin and Juanes.

HEADLINERS INCLUDE:

  • "Queen of Soul" Aretha Franklin
  • Italian classical tenor Andrea Bocelli
  • American rock band The Fray
  • Comedian Jim Gaffigan
  • Latin American pop-star Juanes, and
  • The Philadelphia Orchestra.

Performances will begin at 12:45 p.m. on the Logan Square stage before transitioning to the Eakins Oval stage at 5:27 p.m.

If you can't attend the Festival of Families, you can livestream the event via Tidal here.

For the full list of performers at the Festival of Families, click the button below.

Photo courtesy Andrea Bocelli


TICKETED AREA AND NON-TICKETED AREA ON THE PARKWAY

  • Ticketed area: Starting at 20th Street and moving northwest on the Benjamin Franklin Parkway to Eakins Oval.
  • Non-ticketed area: Starting at 20th Street and moving southeast to City Hall and the stage at Logan Square.

The Festival of Families is free and open to the public, though tickets are required to access the area from 20th Street to Eakins Oval.

No tickets are required to access the Benjamin Franklin Parkway from 20th Street to City Hall, though attendees will need to go through a security checkpoint.

See the map below for exact locations of ticketed (red area) and non-ticketed (blue area) sections, and click here for the full map.

Image courtesy U.S. Secret Service

Tickets to access the area from 20th Street to Eakins Oval are no longer available for the Festival of Families.

WHAT CAN I BRING TO THE PAPAL EVENTS?

Food, water and small bags will be allowed within the Francis Festival grounds. Please refer to the recently released Secret Service map for an extensive list of items what will not be allowed past security checkpoints.

TIDAL LIVESTREAM

Can't make it to the papal events in Philadelphia? You can still watch at home thanks to a livestream from Tidal.

Starting on Saturday, Sept. 26 at 9:30 a.m., Tidal will livestream the papal events, including events not open to the public.

Click play below to stream the papal events in Philadelphia.

For more on the Festival of Families, click the button below.



I'll Be There Campaign

To help build excitement for the papal visit, the City of Philadelphia and World Meeting of Families have unveiled a brand-new citywide excitement-building campaign: “I'll Be There.”

Tell your friends you'll be there by retweeting the above tweet from your account.



Center City Resident & Looking For More Information?

To keep Philadelphia residents informed and prepared for the World Meeting of Families — and particularly for the weekend of the papal visit — World Meeting of Families organizers have put together a Papal Visit Playbook.

Click the button below to access the playbook, which includes information on parking, access to certain areas of the city and much more.

Papal Mass - Sunday, September 27


The main event will be a Mass said by Pope Francis on the Benjamin Franklin Parkway in front of hundreds of thousands of people on Sunday, September 27.

 

SUNDAY FAST FACTS

  • Pope Francis will ride in a papal parade on the Benjamin Franklin Parkway before the Mass, but time and specific location are still to be determined.
  • Pope Francis will say Mass on the Benjamin Franklin Parkway at 4 p.m.
  • All times are scheduled times and are subject to change.

Papal STOP 4 (Sunday): Papal Parade

When:Sunday, September 27
Time:Before the Mass on the Benjamin Franklin Parkway*
Where:Benjamin Franklin Parkway

* All times are scheduled times and are subject to change. Text “papalvisit” to 888777 to receive text alerts regarding the papal weekend from the Philadelphia Office of Emergency Management.

Pope Francis will ride in a papal parade on Sunday, Sept. 27 prior to Mass on the Benjamin Franklin Parkway.

The exact route that the pope will take is still to be decided, but it will likely be shorter to ensure that the Mass starts on time.



Papal STOP 5 (Sunday): Papal Mass on the Benjamin Franklin Parkway

When:Sunday, September 27
Time:4 p.m.*
Where:Benjamin Franklin Parkway

* All times are scheduled times and are subject to change. Text “papalvisit” to 888777 to receive text alerts regarding the papal weekend from the Philadelphia Office of Emergency Management.

B. Krist for Visit Philadelphia

Pope Francis, along with hundreds of thousands of people from around the globe, will celebrate a papal Mass on the Benjamin Franklin Parkway on Sunday, September 27 at 4 p.m.

The Mass will conclude Pope Francis' visit to the City of Brotherly Love.

TICKETED AREA AND NON-TICKETED AREA ON THE PARKWAY

  • Ticketed area: Starting at 20th Street and moving northwest on the Benjamin Franklin Parkway to Eakins Oval.
  • Non-ticketed area: Starting at 20th Street and moving southeast to City Hall and the stage at Logan Square.

The Mass on the Benjamin Franklin Parkway is free and open to the public, though tickets will be required to access the area from 20th Street to Eakins Oval.

No tickets are required to access the parkway from 20th Street to City Hall, though attendees will need to go through a security checkpoint.

See the map below for exact locations of ticketed (red area) and non-ticketed (blue area) sections, and click here for the full map.

Image courtesy U.S. Secret Service

Tickets to access the area from 20th Street to Eakins Oval are no longer available for the Mass on the Parkway. Click the button below to access the official ticket page on the World Meeting of Families website.

WHAT CAN I BRING TO THE PAPAL EVENTS

Food, water and small bags will be allowed within the Francis Festival grounds. Please refer to the recently released Secret Service map for an extensive list of items what will not be allowed past security checkpoints.

LOCATIONS OF JUMBOTRONS/PUBLIC VIEWING SCREENS

More than 40 Jumbotrons will be set up around the city so people can see the papal events from a distance.

In addition to allowing people the chance to see the main papal events, the screens will also show events that will not accessible to the public, including Pope Francis' special Mass at the Cathedral Basilica of SS. Peter and Paul.

Check out the map of Jumbotron locations below.


LOGISTICS

With hundreds of thousands of visitors descending on the Benjamin Franklin Parkway for the pope's visit, there are a lot of logistics that still need to be organized for the event.

If you're planning on attending any of the papal events, you'll need to plan in advance how to get into the city. Check out our section on transportation for more information.

We also have sections below on accommodations and on staying over in the region, fun things to do in Greater Philadelphia and much more.

Check the official World Meeting of Families page on the Papal Visit by clicking the button below.

Twitter Accounts to Follow

Stay up to date on goings-on in Philadelphia via one of the following Twitter handles.

Twitter Accounts To Follow
@WMF2015 @visitphilly @uwishunu
@PhiladelphiaGov @PhilaOEM @philly311
@SEPTA @SEPTA_SOCIAL @RidePATCO


Philadelphia's Papal History

Pope Francis’ visit to Philadelphia marks the second time the city has hosted a sitting pope.

In October 1979, one million onlookers greeted Pope John Paul II for a Mass on the Benjamin Franklin Parkway during his first papal visit to the United States.

He spent 21 hours and 12 minutes in the city and also said a Mass for 13,000 priests and nuns at the Philadelphia Civic Center. Later, worshippers lined up before 3:30 a.m. to see the pontiff at St. Peter the Apostle Church, which houses a shrine to St. John Neumann; he also stopped at the Ukrainian Catholic Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception and St. Charles Borromeo Seminary, where 170 seminarians chanted and stomped their feet to welcome him.

A total of two million people saw him, and many banks closed in his honor. One physical landmark remains: a 37-foot cross used in the Center City Mass now stands on the grounds of St. Charles Borromeo Seminary.

PAPAL PARADES — September 26 and 27


Photo courtesy World Meeting of Families

PAPAL PARADE FAST FACTS

  • Pope Francis will ride in a papal parade on the Benjamin Franklin Parkway on both Saturday, Sept. 26 and Sunday, Sept. 27.
  • Saturday's parade will run along the Benjamin Franklin Parkway and around City Hall. (See parade map below for details.)
  • The procession will take place after the pope's speech at Independence Hall at 4:45 p.m. and before the pope's arrival around 7:30 p.m. at the Festival of Families. The exact time has not been announced.
  • The details of Sunday's parade, set to take place before the pope says Mass on the Benjamin Franklin Parkway, are not yet finalized.
  • All times are scheduled times and are subject to change.

Saturday Papal Parade

When:Saturday, September 26
Time:After the pope's speech at Independence Hall at 4:45 p.m.and before the pope's 7:30 p.m. arrival at the Festival of Families concert. The exact time has not been announced.*
Where:Benjamin Franklin Parkway and City Hall

* All times are scheduled times and are subject to change. Text “papalvisit” to 888777 to receive text alerts regarding the papal weekend from the Philadelphia Office of Emergency Management.

Pope Francis will ride in a papal parade on Saturday, Sept. 26 prior to the Festival of Families celebration.

The pope will begin at Eakins Oval, go down the Benjamin Franklin Parkway, head around City Hall then go back up the Benjamin Franklin Parkway before ending at the steps of the Philadelphia Museum of Art.

Note: The pope's vehicle will use the outer lanes of the parkway between Eakins Oval and Logan Square.

See the map below for Saturday's parade route.



Sunday Papal Parade

When:Sunday, September 27
Time:Before the Mass on the Benjamin Franklin Parkway*
Where:Benjamin Franklin Parkway

* All times are scheduled times and are subject to change.

Pope Francis will ride in a papal parade on Sunday, Sept. 27 prior to the Mass on the Benjamin Franklin Parkway.

The exact route that the pope will take is still to be decided, but it will likely be shorter to ensure that the Mass starts on time. Stay tuned for more updates.



Recent Pope Visit Coverage on Uwishunu


Stay on top of #Popeinphilly and #WMF2015

The official hashtags for the Pope's visit and World Meeting of Families are #Popeinphilly and #WMF2015.

ACCOMMODATIONS AND WHERE TO STAY


Photo courtesy Philadelphia Marriott Downtown
Philadelphia Hotels
There are more than 100 hotels in the Philadelphia region.

In anticipation of Pope Francis’ visit and the Francis Festival, Philadelphia is ready to welcome locals and visitors to enjoy this once-in-a-generation event.

To experience it in the most comfortable and convenient way possible, city officials and hospitality leaders are encouraging people to book a long weekend hotel stay in a Center City hotel.

Staying in a hotel for the weekend is the most comfortable and convenient way to experience the Francis Festival and papal visit. Those staying in Center City will enjoy easy walks to all papal events and throughout the festival grounds.

There are plenty of first-class hotel rooms available in Philadelphia, including many within the Francis Festival grounds, and most hotels do not require a minimum-night stay.

As of September 2015, there are still rooms available.

As an added benefit and to encourage return visitation, those checking into city hotels on Friday or Saturday will receive two free tickets to the One Liberty Observation Deck, opening in November. Tickets are redeemable from January 1 through March 31, 2016.

In addition, many hotels are offering fun papal perks for those booking rooms. The Inn at Penn, for example, is providing guests with SEPTA tokens and a “Pope Pack” containing Philadelphia-inspired snack items to take with them on their pilgrimage to the papal events.

Browse the hotels available in the Greater Philadelphia area by clicking the button below.



The Visit Philly Overnight Hotel Package

Looking to book a hotel for your stay during the World Meeting of Families and the papal visit?

Take advantage of the always affordable Visit Philly Overnight Hotel Package™.

The offer includes a two-night stay for any two consecutive nights during the week, a With Love, Philadelphia XOXO® welcome gift and free parking at the hotel (up to a $100 value at Center City hotels).

Note: For Center City hotel check-ins starting as early as Thursday, Sept. 24 and through Monday, Sept. 28, the Visit Philly Overnight Hotel Package free parking offer will be affected by security measures put in place surrounding Pope Francis' visit to Philadelphia. Please contact the property you're staying with for further information.

Click the button below to compare rates and check availability of hotels in Philadelphia.

 
G. Widman for Visit Philadelphia


Airbnb

Another accommodation option for Philadelphia visitors and travelers: Airbnb.

With a presence in more than 34,000 cities and 190 countries, Airbnb has become a resource both for travelers looking for unique accommodations around the world and for residents looking to open up their homes, apartments and more to visitors.

From row homes to apartments, private bedrooms to hostels, travelers have tons of options on where to stay, how long to stay for and much more.

For more information on Airbnb in Philadelphia, click the button below.



Stay With A Family/Host A Familiy

As an alternative to hotel accommodations and to support the volume of people coming to the Philadelphia area, Philadelphia area families can open their doors to visitors.

For more information on either hosting a family or finding a family to stay with, please visit the official “Host a Family” page by clicking the button below.

TRANSPORTATION & GETTING AROUND


R. Kennedy for Visit Philadelphia

Getting Around Center City Philadelphia

FAST FACTS

  • Beginning Thursday, Sept. 24 at 10 p.m., preparations for the Francis Festival, including travel restrictions and road closures, will begin to go into effect before the thousands of visitors arrive on Saturday and Sunday.
  • The Francis Festival grounds will surround Center City, and inbound vehicular traffic will be restricted beginning Friday, Sept. 25.
  • Walking will be the best way to get around the city.
  • Highway closures will include I-676, the Benjamin Franklin Bridge and parts of I-76.
  • Pedestrian and biking access will be allowed in most areas of the Francis Festival grounds; the Benjamin Franklin Bridge will be open to pedestrians.
  • There is no official word or specific date or time when roads will reopen following the papal events.

WALKING MAP WITH ESTIMATED TIMES

Check out the map below to get a general idea of how long it will take to walk around Center City Philadelphia, courtesy of data from gophillygo.org. Note: These times do not include the time it may take to go through security around the Benjamin Franklin Parkway or Independence Hall. Please plan accordingly.

Map courtesy Independence Visitor Center Corporation

Center City Philadelphia will be operating business as usual during the World Meeting of Families Congress from Monday, Sept. 21 to Thursday, Sept. 24.

Some travel restrictions will begin to be implemented starting the evening of Thursday, Sept. 24 in preparation for the Francis Festival and the arrival of Pope Francis on Saturday, Sept. 26.

Official Papal Events Walking Map From The U.S. Secret Service

The U.S. Secret Service is in charge of security for the papal visit. Here is their official map detailing access to Center City Philadelphia:

Map courtesy U.S. Secret Service

ACCESS PERIMETERS

Starting Thursday, Sept. 24 at 10 p.m., the city will begin to establish three perimeters within Center City. (See map below for corresponding colors.)

  • Secure perimeters (red line): The city will establish secure perimeters on the Benjamin Franklin Parkway and around Independence Hall. These areas will be fenced off, and people will need to pass through magnetometers to enter.
  • Secure vehicle perimeters (black line): Surrounding the secure perimeters will be a secure vehicle perimeter. No traffic or street parking will be allowed within this area.
  • The Francis Festival grounds (green line): Beginning Friday, Sept. 25 at 6 p.m., the Francis Festival grounds, which surround the aforementioned perimeters, will restrict inbound vehicular traffic to Center City. Private vehicles will be able to travel within the Francis Festival grounds if they are already inside it but cars cannot enter the Francis Festival grounds until approximately Monday morning. Cars not in the secure vehicle perimeter (black line on map) will be able to remain parked within the Francis Festival grounds.
  • Emergency access lanes (yellow line): The city has designated a number of emergency access lanes. These roads will be reserved for emergency access vehicles.
Maps courtesy City of Philadelphia

The Francis Festival Grounds

The boundaries of the Francis Festival grounds are:

  • Spring Garden to Ridge, Ridge to Girard, Girard to Schuylkill River
  • South Street river to river
  • Delaware Avenue from South Street to Spring Garden Street
  • The edge of the Schuylkill River, up Kelly Drive to just below the Girard Street Bridge.

Starting at 10 p.m. on Friday, September 25, additional inbound restrictions will extend west of the Schuylkill River. The West Philadelphia Francis Festival grounds are:

  • Powelton Avenue from 32nd to 38th streets
  • University Avenue to Grays Ferry
  • The edge of the Schuylkill River and train tracks
  • 38th Street from Powelton Avenue to University Avenue.
Map courtesy City of Philadelphia
 

MAJOR HIGHWAY CLOSURES

In addition, several of the following major roadways will be closed beginning on Friday, Sept. 25th:

  • The Benjamin Franklin Bridge (closed to vehicular traffic)
  • I-76 eastbound from I-476 to I-95 and I-76 westbound from I-95 to U.S. Route 1 (Roosevelt Extension)
  • I-676 in both directions from I-76 to I-95, and
  • U.S. Route 1 northbound between I-76 and Lancaster Avenue and southbound between Belmont and Lancaster avenues.
Map courtesy PA Department Of Transportation

Contrary to previous reports, I-95 will remain open to traffic with only selected ramps closed due to street closures within the city and security needs.

City Avenue will be open between I-76 and Belmont Avenue, but will be subject to unannounced periodic closures for security reasons.

There is no official word or specific date or time when roads will reopen following the papal events.

For more information on road closures and the the Francis Festival grounds, click the button below.

MAJOR HIGHWAY CLOSURES — NEW JERSEY

CURRENT TRAFFIC CONDITIONS:

For up-to-the-date information on current traffic conditions, click the map below.

Getting Around On SEPTA Regional Rail

SEPTA's Regional Rail train line conveniently connects Center City Philadelphia with destinations in the four surrounding counties and beyond, and is a great transportation option for visitors coming into the city from afar.

In order to ride Regional Rail during the pope's visit on September 26 and 27, visitors will need to have purchased a special one-day Papal Visit Pass and board at one of 18 Regional Rail stations that will be open. Passes cost $10 per person, and $5 for seniors and disabled persons.

DETAILS ABOUT SEPTA REGIONAL RAIL PASS

  • You must pre-purchase a one-day pass to ride Regional Rail on either day of the weekend of the papal visit.
  • Trains will operate from 18 selected stations. All other stations will be closed, including Suburban Station.
  • Remaining passes are available at select Center City SEPTA stations.

PASSES ARE STILL AVAILABLE AT:

  • Jefferson Station
  • 30th Street Station
  • University City Station
  • Temple University Station

Passes for a particular boarding station will continue to be sold until the maximum number of passes has been reached for a specific station and for a specific day (Saturday or Sunday).

Click the button below for more information on where to purchase a pass.

Click the map below for a map of on-board SEPTA stations to choose from.

Map courtesy SEPTA

Depending on the point of origin, Regional Rail trains will drop passengers off at one of three Center City stations:

Jefferson Station: Norristown Transportation Center, Pennbrook, Fort Washington, Warminster, Woodbourne, Fox Chase, Airport Terminals A/B and C/D

30th Street Station: Paoli, Radnor, Chestnut Hill West, Levittown, Croydon, Cornwells Heights, Wilmington, Marcus Hook

University City Station: Eastwick, Media, Primos

The station name will be printed on your pass which will ONLY be good for that location.

From the airport, SEPTA's Airport Regional Rail Line will run every 30 minutes both into and out of the city. It's an extremely fast and easy way to get from the airport to downtown. Note: The trains will stop at only two stations: University City and Jefferson Station.

SEPTA has detailed information about parking, loading zones and more for each of the 18 stations that will be in service. Click the buttons below for more information about Regional Rail during the papal visit as well as an interactive map of the regional rail stations open during the papal weekend.



Getting Around On SEPTA Subway, Bus & Trolley

FAST FACTS

  • Subway, bus and trolley schedules will be altered for the papal visit, and SEPTA buses will not be able to enter the Francis Festival grounds.
  • Three-day transit passes ($10) are on sale now.
  • Tokens, transfers and weekly and monthly passes will be accepted as well.

SEPTA will alter the schedules for its subway, bus and trolley lines during the papal visit.

Three-day transit passes for travel on all SEPTA subways, buses and trolleys from Saturday, Sept. 26 through Monday, Sept. 28 cost $10 and are available now at all regular sales locations along the Market Frankford and Broad Street Lines, designated cashiers' booths and at Center City Regional Rail Stations.

Customers will also be able to use tokens, transfers and weekly and monthly passes on subways, buses and trolleys during this time. Cash will be accepted on buses and trolleys.

See the map below for the altered subway stops for the papal weekend.


Map courtesy SEPTA

For information on changes to specific bus, trolley and subway lines, click the button below to access SEPTA's official papal visit page.



Getting Around On SEPTA Norristown High Speed Line and Trolley Routes 101/102

Travelers planning to use Trolly Routes 101/102 or the Norristown High Speed Line need Special 3-Day Transit Passes for Saturday, Sept. 26 and Sunday, Sept. 27.

Note: These passes are no longer available for purchase.

For more information on Trolley Routes 101/102 and the Norristown High Speed Line, click the button below.



Getting To/From Philadelphia On PATCO

PATCO (Port Authority Transit Corporation) will provide non-stop service to Center City from New Jersey on Saturday, Sept. 26 and Sunday, Sept. 27 for the Papal Visit.

Four New Jersey stations will be open for service: Lindenwold, Woodcrest, Ferry Avenue and Broadway (Walter Rand Transportation Center). All passengers will need to disembark at the 9/10th & Locust streets station in Philadelphia. Return trips will leave from the same 9/10th & Locust streets station and only stop at the aforementioned four New Jersey stations.

patco pope papal visit map
Map courtesy PATCO

A one-day FREEDOM card costs $5, and a two-day FREEDOM card costs $10. Cards can be purchased in advance at service centers at Broadway and at Woodcrest. On the day of each event, tickets can be purchased at Lindenwold, Woodcrest, Ferry Avenue, Broadway and at 9/10th & Locust.

For more information on getting to Philadelphia from New Jersey on PATCO, click the button below.



Getting To/From Philadelphia On Amtrak

Amtrak is one of the best ways to get to Philadelphia from Washington DC, New York, Harrisburg and more.

Those wishing to travel via Amtrak should book their tickets as far in advance as possible. Depending on demand, Amtrak may add coaches and extra trains.

Some trains will provide service to and from NJ Transit's Hamilton Station, where Amtrak does not normally stop.

acela amtrak pope philadelphia
Photo courtesy Amtrak

Note: All Amtrak trains will require reservations for the weekend of the papal visit. Passengers will not be permitted to purchase tickets on board trains.

For more information on Amtrak and to purchase tickets, click the button below.



Getting To/From Philadelphia On RiverLink Ferry

The RiverLink Ferry is another option for folks looking to get across the Delaware River from New Jersey into Philadelphia.

The ferry will run all weekend long, including from 7:30 a.m. to midnight on both Saturday, Sept. 26 and Sunday, Sept. 27. One-way tickets, which must be purchased in advance, will cost $7 per person. Purchased tickets will include specific sailing times.

Parking is now available in Camden along the Delaware River waterfront.

Ferry riders can get to the Delaware River waterfront either via NJ Transit or by purchasing a placard for $44 (in advance or on the day of) and driving and parking in one of the parking lots along the river.

Once on the Philadelphia side of the river, people can make the 10-minute walk to the subway stop at 2nd and Market streets.

For more information and to purchase tickets for the RiverLink Ferry, click the button below.



Getting To/From Philadelphia On NJ Transit

NJ Transit will be operating a modified schedule on the Atlantic City Rail Line and River Line for the Papal visit on Saturday, Sept. 26 and Sunday, Sept.27.

Those wishing to travel on those lines will need to purchase special tickets in advance. No one will be allowed to board without a special ticket.

  • Atlantic City Line: The Atlantic City Line will run express to Philadelphia with no stops. Special tickets for the Atlantic City Line, which will cost $30, are available here. A limited number of tickets will also be available for purchase at select stations.
  • River Line: The River Line will run every 15 minutes between Trenton and Walter Rand on the weekend of the papal visit. The only stops the River Line will make will be at Trenton, Bordentown, Florence, Burlington South, Pennsauken Rt. 73, Pennsauken Transit Center, and Walter Rand. Trains will not operate beyond the Walter Rand Transportation Center in downtown Camden.

For more information on NJ Transit, click the button below.

Getting To/From Philadelphia On Bus

Those traveling to Philadelphia by charter bus were required to register their bus with the World Meeting of Families by Monday, August 31.

Bus registration for the Papal Visit is a requirement for all commercial buses, including motor coaches, school buses, mini buses, RVs and commercial passenger vans.

MegaBus: There will be limited service on MegaBus on Friday, Sept. 25 and Monday, Sept. 28. There will be no service on Saturday, Sept. 26 and Sunday, Sept. 27.

Bolt Bus: Bolt Bus operations will cease on Friday, Sept. 25 at 10 p.m. and will not resume until Monday, Sept. 28 at noon.



Getting Around The City On The $2 PHLASH Visitor Bus

PHLASH
J. Fusco for Visit Philadelphia

The PHLASH, the signature bright purple bus offering quick and convenient transportation to Philadelphia's top attractions, will be operating on a special weekday schedule during the World Meeting of Families.

DETAILS ABOUT PHLASH SCHEDULE

  • WMOF Service: September 21-25: 10 a.m.-6 p.m. with some detours, especially on and around the Benjamin Franklin Parkway
  • No Service Saturday, September 26 and Sunday, September 27

PHLASH costs just $2 per person per ride ($5 for an all-day pass). Children 4 and under and seniors are always FREE.

Click the button below for more info on Phlash leading up to the papal visit.



Walking

Walking will be the best way to get around the city.

With hundreds of thousands of people coming to Philadelphia for the World Meeting of Families and the Papal visit, the best way to get around Center City Philadelphia will be by walking.


Good news: Philadelphia is consistently rated as one of the best walking cities in the country, so walking around a lot during the World Meeting of Families should be a breeze.


Note that visitors and residents may be required to walk a few miles and may have to pass through security zones in order to access certain parts of the city.

Check out the map below to get a general idea of how long it will take to walk around Center City Philadelphia, courtesy of data from gophillygo.org. Note: These times do not include the time it may take to go through security around the Benjamin Franklin Parkway or Independence Hall. Please plan accordingly.

Map courtesy Independence Visitor Center Corporation


Biking

Along with walking, biking is the best way for residents and visitors to get around the Francis Festival grounds during the Papal visit.

Unlike private vehicles, bikes will be able to both enter and exit the Francis Festival grounds around Center City Philadelphia. In addition, bikes will be allowed to be used to travel between points within the festival grounds. In other words, bicycles will be allowed everywhere except within the secure perimeter around the Benjamin Franklin Parkway and Independence Hall.

Bicyclists will be allowed to enter, exit and travel within the Francis Festival grounds.

In addition, bicycles will be allowed on the Benjamin Franklin Bridge (which will be closed to vehicular traffic), but bikes must be walked over the bridge.

Below, check out the Papal Visit bike map, put together by the Bicycle Coalition of Greater Philadelphia, for a better sense of biking around the city during Pope Francis' visit as well as info about the availability of Indego — Philly Bike Share.


INDEGO - PHILLY BIKE SHARE

Indego — Philly Bike Share will be available during the weekend of the papal visit.

Indego will provide staffed, corral service at several stations to guarantee bike and dock availability, and to answer customer questions.

STAFFED INDEGO STATIONS:

  • Rittenhouse Square station (Walnut & 19th streets)
  • Foglietta Plaza station (Front & Dock streets)
  • 30th Street station (30th & Market streets)
  • Broad & Spring Garden station

Many other Center City stations will be closed.

Courtesy Indego

For complete information on what Indego stations will be opened and closed during the weekend of the papal visit, click the button below.



Driving

Driving private cars in Center City Philadelphia will be nearly impossible during the Pope's visit. Residents and visitors should plan on taking public transportation or walking.



Taxis and Uber

Taxis and Uber Black Car and SUV will be available within the Francis Festival grounds until 2 a.m. on Saturday, Sept. 26. Taxi and Uber Black Car service will resume on the morning of Monday, Sept. 28 at 3 a.m.

Map courtesy Uber

Click the button below for more info on Uber in Philly during the papal visit.



Papal Visit Playbook

To keep Philadelphia residents informed and prepared for the World Meeting of Families — and particularly for the weekend of the Papal visit — WMOF organizers have put together a Papal Visit Playbook..

Click the button below to access the Papal Visit Playbook.

Twitter Accounts to Follow

Stay up to date on goings-on in Philadelphia via one of the following Twitter handles.

Twitter Accounts To Follow
@WMF2015 @visitphilly @uwishunu
@PhiladelphiaGov @PhilaOEM @philly311
@SEPTA @SEPTA_SOCIAL @RidePATCO

MORE THINGS TO DO & PLANNING YOUR TRIP


As families around the globe prepare for their pilgrimage of faith to the World Meeting of Families (WMOF), the city is preparing to welcome them.

Visitors in town for the week-long event will find a city with a rich history of religious freedom and a strong Catholic heritage, a wide range of affordable attractions for all ages and services and resources that will enrich their experience.

What People Are Saying About Philly

Philadelphia is an awesome place to visit right now. Just look at what the press is saying about the city recently:

Huffington Post called Philadelphia
"The Coolest City In America."

LINK

The New York Times ranked Philadelphia as
"#3 Out of the 52 Places to Visit in the World in 2015."

LINK

Walk Score ranked Philadelphia as
"The Fourth Most Walkable City in the U.S."

LINK

So Here Are Some More Things To Do

Looking for more things to do while you're in town for the Pope's visit? Look no further than our wealth of guides to the best of Philadelphia:



Papal Visit Business Resource Center

If you're a museum, attraction or business with questions regarding your operations during the papal visit, the city of Philadelphia has put together a Papal Visit Business Resource Center to address your concerns and answer your questions.

Click the button below to access the Business Resource Center.



Go Philadelphia! App

Good news: Planning what to do during the pope’s visit to Philadelphia just got a whole lot easier.

The World Meeting of Families (WMOF) has launched the Go Philadelphia! app, featuring information about regional attractions and the family-friendly events, activities and exhibitions taking place during the papal visit and WMOF between September 18 and 29.

The app will be a great resource for visitors to all of these events and more, and is now available for download on iTunes and Google Play for iPhones and Androids.

Click the buttons below to download the Go Philadelphia! app.



World Meeting of Families Film Festival

The first-of-its-kind World Meeting of Families Film Festival will run Tuesday, September 22 through Friday, September 25 to complement the programming surrounding the World Meeting of Families and the pope’s visit.

A selection of 13 Philadelphia-centric and family-friendly films have been curated by the Greater Philadelphia Film Office and the World Meeting of Families to be screened during the four-day festival, with such highlights as The Mighty Macs, Diary of a City Priest, A Man for All Seasons, Invincible and the premiere of Urban Trinity.

Photo courtesy Kimmel Center

The Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts’ Perelman Theater will serve as the primary venue for the festival, with additional showings at Congregation Rodeph Shalom (just for Philadelphia students) and at the Pennsylvania Concention Center, where a huge sing-a-long Sound of Music screening will take place on Friday, September 25.

For a complete schedule of Kimmel Center screenings, click the button below.

What's Open & What's Closed


Table Of Attractions That Will Be Open On Friday, Saturday and Sunday, Sept. 25-27

Attraction Friday 9/25 Saturday 9/26 Sunday 9/27
Key
  • Open
  • Closed


A number of Philadelphia museums and attractions have changed their normal operating days and times for the weekend of the papal visit.

Use the above table to see when some of Philadelphia's museums and attractions will be open and closed.

For more information on what's open and closed in Philadelphia, click the button below.



Official WMOF and Pope Visit Pop-Up Gift Shops

Courtesy World Meeting of Families

FAST FACTS

  • The Official World Meeting of Families & Pope’s Visit merchandise pop-up shop is now open seven days a week.
  • Located at 1101 Market Street on the ground floor of the Aramark Building.
  • Features a selection of World Meeting of Families and Pope Francis branded items.
  • There will also be official retail locations inside the Pennsylvania Convention Center (Sept. 21-27), at Independence Mall (Sept. 26), and on the Benjamin Franklin Parkway (Sept. 26-27).

In celebration of Pope Francis' visit to Philadelphia, World Meeting of Families and Aramark have opened the official Pope pop-up gift shop at 1101 Market Street. The shop will be the go-to place for official World Meeting of Families and Pope Francis merchandise and will be open daily from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. through September 27.

Inside of the pop-up shop a variety of goods will be available for sale — t-shirts, keychains, coffee mugs and religious items like rosaries and prayer cards.

Beyond the pop-up shop at 1101 Market Street, official merchandise will be available at additional pop-up shops, too. The Pennsylvania Convention Center will host a pop-up shop from September 21 through 27, Independence Mall will host a pop-up shop on Saturday, September 26 and the Benjamin Franklin Parkway will host a pop-up on September 26 and 27.

For more information on the Pop-Up Gift Shops and to view select available items, click the button below.



#OpenInPHL For Businesses, Restaurants And Bars

Check the hashtag #OpenInPHL for more information on the smaller businesses, restaurants and bars that will be open over the papal weekend.



I'll Be There Campaign


To help build excitement for the papal visit, the City of Philadelphia and World Meeting of Families has unveiled a brand-new citywide excitement-building campaign: “I’ll Be There.”

Tell your friends you'll be there by retweeting the above tweet from your account.

FAQ


When will the Pope be in Philadelphia?

Pope Francis will arrive on Saturday, September 26 and speak at Independence Hall before celebrating at the Festival of Families, a massive free party held on the Benjamin Franklin Parkway.

On the afternoon of Sunday, September 27, the pope will say a Mass for hundreds of thousands of people on the Benjamin Franklin Parkway.

Scroll up or click the links to access our sections on the events for both Saturday and Sunday.



Are there tickets available for the Papal events? Are the events open to the public?

Independence Hall: Free tickets are required to attend the pope's speech at Independence Hall. Tickets are no longer available.

Festival of Families/Papal Mass: The Festival of Families on Saturday, Sept. 26 and the papal Mass on Sunday, Sept. 27 are both free and open to the public, though tickets are required to access the area from 20th Street to Eakins Oval. Tickets are no longer available for the Festival of Families or the Mass.

No tickets are required to attend the Festival of Families or the Mass on the parkway on the remainder of the Benjamin Franklin Parkway from 20th Street to City Hall. Attendees will need to go through a security checkpoint.



How can I get to Philadelphia for the events?

There are a ton of ways to get to Philadelphia for the papal events, including Amtrak, SEPTA, NJ Transit, PATCO and more. For full transportation details, check out our complete guide to the best ways to get to Philadelphia for the pope's visit or scroll up to our section on transportation.



How can I get around Philadelphia during the events?

Walking will be the easiest way to get around Center City Philadelphia during the papal events. Biking is another great way for residents and visitors to get around — bikes will be able to both enter and exit the Francis Festival grounds around Center City Philadelphia. For full transportation details on getting around Philadelphia, scroll up to our section on transportation.



What's the weather like in Philadelphia in September?

The average temperature in Philadelphia in September is 75° F / 25° C during the day and 55° F / 15° C in the evening. Click here for an updated forecast for the weekend.



What will security be like during the Papal visit?

The Francis Festival grounds will encompass Center City, and inbound vehicular traffic will be restricted beginning Friday, Sept. 25. Attendees, visitors and residents entering the Francis Festival grounds will not to go through magnetometers unless they are accessing the areas near Independence Hall and the Benjamin Franklin Parkway. Scroll up to our transportation section for more information.



What can I bring to the Papal events?

Food, water and small bags will be allowed within the Francis Festival grounds. Please refer to the recently released Secret Service map for an extensive list of items what will not be allowed past security checkpoints.



Will there be public restrooms? Handicap accessibility? Medical help? Jumobtrons and speakers?

Public restrooms: About 3,600 toilets and urinals will be available along the Benjamin Franklin Parkway for the weekend of the papal visit. Area businesses and public restrooms will also be available for use.

Handicap accessibility: All entrances to the papal events will be handicap accessible, and there will be ADA-compliant viewing platforms with ramps and railings, sign language interpretive services, audio descriptive services and ADA-compliant restroom facilities. Access to food concessions and retail stations will also be ADA-compliant and service animals will be properly accommodated as well. WAV (wheelchair accessible vehicles), SEPTA CCT and UberWAV (PUC-licensed paratransit partners) will have no restrictions entering the Francis Festival grounds. More information on SEPTA CCT accessibility information can be found here.

Medical help: Medical aid stations will be set up throughout Center City, including in and around the major papal events on the Benjamin Franklin parkway and at Independence Hall. Refer to the recently released Secret Service map for exact locations.

Jumbotrons and speakers: There will be approximately 40 Jumbotrons and speakers stationed throughout Center City Philadelphia.



How can I get updates on scheduling changes during the papal weekend?

Click here for a full list of Twitter accounts to follow leading up to and during the papal weekend, including the City of Philadelphia, World Meeting of Families, SEPTA and more.

In addition, the City of Philadelphia Office of Emergency Management recommends residents and visitors sign up for a text alert system set up exclusively for the weekend of the papal visit. To register, text “papalvisit” to 888777.



Will there be cell service and/or Wi-Fi on the parkway or at the papal events?

Cell phone carriers have worked to increase cell phone and data capacity in Philadelphia in anticipation of the crowds at the papal visit. That said, with the expected size of the crowd, there is a possibility of connection issues. Good news: Free Wi-Fi hotspots will be available at each of the 40 Jumbotrons stationed throughout Center City Philadelphia. Comcast has also announced that it will open its Wi-Fi hotspots to the public. (They are usually only available to Xfinity customers.)



Where can I stay in Philadelphia?

Hotels rooms are still available in Philadelphia and the surrounding areas. Airbnb is another viable option for visitors. Scroll up or click the link to access our section on accommodations and hotels for more information on staying over.



What can I do in Philadelphia while I'm there?

Philadelphia, recently named the "coolest city in America" by The Huffington Post, is a city rich with history, arts and culture, restaurants, nightlife, shopping and more.

Scroll up or click the link to access our section on things to do for much more information on all the great things there are to see and do in the Greater Philadelphia region.



Why is the pope coming to Philadelphia? What is the World Meeting of Families?

Pope Francis is coming to Philadelphia as part of the World Meeting of Families celebration in 2015.

The World Meeting of Families Conference, the world's largest gathering of Catholic families, will host 100 speakers, panel discussions, workshops and more at the Pennsylvania Convention Center from September 22-25.

Then the citywide Francis Festival takes place over the weekend of September 26-27.



When will roads in and around Philadelphia reopen?

There is no official word or specific date or time when roads will reopen following the papal events.



More questions?

For more frequently asked questions about the World Meeting of Families, check out the official FAQ on the World Meeting of Families website and the FAQ from Philly.com by clicking the buttons below.

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