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Things to Do

Independence Visitor Center

Independence Visitor Center

Independence Visitor Center Credit: G. Widman for GPTMC

Famous as the birthplace of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness, Philadelphia offers much more than cobblestone streets and historical landmarks. Cultural, culinary, artistic and ethnic treasures abound in this city and its surrounding countryside.

What makes Philadelphia so memorable is its unique blend of experiences that you have to discover in person. By day, explore four centuries of history and architecture, beautiful neighborhoods, remarkable museum collections and endless shopping. After the sun sets, the city heats up with acclaimed performing arts, amazing dining and vibrant nightlife.

Don’t miss these hotspots

Featured Listings

  • Terror Behind the Walls

    Premier haunted house in Philadelphia’s historic prison

    Terror Behind the Walls

    Open through November 8
    The massive Eastern State Penitentiary — a gothic, castle-like structure in Philadelphia’s Fairmount neighborhood — is home to one of the nation’s largest and most ambitious haunted attractions, Terror Behind the Walls.

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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 Philadelphia’s five original public squares laid out by William Penn in his original plan for the city, boasts several family-friendly attractions, including a miniature golf course, classic carousel, burger joint, storytelling bench, picnic area and more.

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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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  • 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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  • CityPASS Philadelphia

    Save on Philadelphia’s most popular attractions

    Philadelphia CityPASS

    Save 46% on admission to Philadelphia’s must-see attractions with Philadelphia CityPASS.

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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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  • 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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  • 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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  • Philadelphia Museum of Art

    The Art Museum covers 10 acres and houses more than 300,000 works spanning 2,000 years

    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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  • 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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  • 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 Philadelphia’s five original public squares laid out by William Penn in his original plan for the city, boasts several family-friendly attractions, including a miniature golf course, classic carousel, burger joint, storytelling bench, picnic area and more.

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  • Art Star Craft Bazaar

    High-quality handmade goods from local and national artists

    Art Star Craft Bazaar features more than 150 local and national artists.

    November 8 – 9
    One of Philly’s finest craft fairs, Art Star Craft Bazaar features more than 60 local and national artists showing off and selling high-quality handmade goods.

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  • Dilworth Park

    Undergoing renovations to become one of the city’s great green spaces

    Rendering of the renovated Dilworth Plaza, opening in 2014.

    Now open
    Located at the foot of City Hall, Dilworth Park has undergone a major — and awesome — transformation into a modern and welcoming outdoor space with new plantings, lawns, a programmable fountain, a cafe with outdoor seating and two iconic glass entrances to the underground concourse.

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  • Philadelphia Museum of Art
    Craft Show

    Sculptures, mixed-media pieces, paintings, textiles and more on view and for sale

    The Philadelphia Museum of Art Craft Show welcomes 195 of the finest and most dynamic craft artists in the U.S. to display and sell their best work for four days in November at the Pennsylvania Convention Center.

    November 6-9
    The Philadelphia Museum of Art Craft Show welcomes 195 of the finest and most dynamic craft artists in the U.S. to display and sell their best work for four days in November at the Pennsylvania Convention Center.

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  • The Rothman Ice Rink
    at Dilworth Park

    Three months of ice skating in the shadow of City Hall

    This winter, the transformation of the west side of City Hall continues with the premiere of the brand-new Rothman Ice Rink at Dilworth Park.

    The brand-new Dilworth Park has transformed the west side of City Hall into a multi-use public plaza. This winter, the transformation continues — this time, in the form of an awesome ice rink.

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  • William Glackens at
    the Barnes Foundation

    Comprehensive exhibition of influential painter and friend to Dr. Barnes

    William Glackens. Cape Cod Pier, 1908.

    The Barnes Foundation is hosting the first comprehensive survey of painter William Glackens in nearly half a century. William Glackens, brings together more than 90 works from public and private collections throughout the U.S., including paintings and works on paper never before shown in public.

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  • Franklin Square Holiday Festival & Electrical Spectacle Holiday Light Show

    Brilliant bright display inspired by the imagination of Benjamin Franklin

    Winter nights are joyfully brighter this holiday season with Electrical Spectacle: A Holiday Light Show at Franklin Square.

    Winter nights are joyfully brighter this holiday season with Franklin Square’s Electrical Spectacle, a free holiday nighttime light show that’s bigger and brighter than ever in 2014.

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  • City Hall

    The largest municipal building in the country and the finest example of the Second Empire style

    Philadelphia City Hall

    City Hall is the largest municipal building in the United States, containing over 14.5 acres of floor space. It is an architectural treasure inside and out.

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  • Paine’s Park

    Fantastic skatepark in the heart of the city

    http://photos.visitphilly.com/PainesPark_2013-6-M.Edlow-400vp.jpg

    Located on the Schuylkill River Banks, Paine’s Park is a public, riverfront oasis for skateboarders and visitors alike.

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  • First Person Arts Festival

    The only festival of its kind dedicated to personal stories from everyday people

    Poet Sonia Sanchez

    November 4 – 15
    The only festival of its kind in the world, the 13th annual First Person Arts Festival is a celebration of real life. Artists and everyday people from across the country take part in the annual event, sharing their personal stories and experiences.

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