Population: The five-county region (Bucks, Chester, Delaware, Montgomery and Philadelphia counties) is home to 2.5 million people. The city of Philadelphia has more than 1.5 million residents, making it the second-largest city on the East Coast and the sixth-largest city in the country.
Demographics: Philadelphia’s population is approximately 42% African-American, 35% Non-Hispanic White, 12% Latino/Hispanic and 7% Asian.
Location: Philadelphia is a two-hour drive from New York City, two-and-a-half hours from Washington, DC and 45 minutes from Atlantic City, with convenient access to the Pennsylvania Turnpike, I-76, I-95 and the New Jersey Turnpike. One-quarter of the U.S. population lives within a five-hour drive of Center City Philadelphia.
Visitation: In 2017, Greater Philadelphia welcomed 43.3 million domestic visitors, of which 38.2 million—that’s 88%—came for a leisure purpose.
Climate: Philadelphia has four distinct seasons. Average January temperature: 33 degrees; July: 78 degrees. Average yearly rainfall: 41 inches; normal snowfall, 23 inches.
Getting Here: Philadelphia International Airport (PHL), about seven miles from Center City, is a base for 25 airlines, with about 500 daily flights to more than 130 domestic and international cities, serving more than 30 million commercial passengers yearly.
Amtrak’s 30th Street Station is an East Coast hub for trains along the northeast corridor, including Boston (six-hour commute), New York (under 90 minutes), Baltimore (90 minutes) and Washington, DC (two hours).
Getting Around: Center City’s grid of streets is easy to navigate. Public transportation options:
- Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority (SEPTA), operates a vast network of bus, subway and trolley commuter services in the city and region. The SEPTA Airport Rail Line connects the airport with Center City.
- Indego, Philadelphia’s bike-share program, offers 24-hour, 30-day and yearly pass options to ride one of the hundreds of bright blue bicycles stationed at more than 120 stations around the city.
History: In 1682, English religious exile and scion William Penn purchased a tract of land from the Lenni Lenape tribe. He named the land the Greek term for City of Brotherly Love. In July 1776, representatives from 13 colonies gathered in Philadelphia to sign the Declaration of Independence. The city was the U.S. capital from 1790 to 1800 and the nation’s center of culture and industry through the 19th century. Today, Philadelphia is a thriving destination, popular for its history, arts and culture, and dining.
Hotels: Philadelphia has more than 17,000 hotel rooms, with more than 11,000 in Center City and more than 3,300 around the Philadelphia International Airport. The city anticipates adding 1,800-plus rooms in nine new hotels through 2019.
Colleges and Universities: Nearly 450,000 students attend upwards of 50 colleges, universities and post-graduate institutions in Philadelphia’s five-county region.
Some Famous Philadelphians: Actors/Directors: Kevin Bacon, Bradley Cooper, Grace Kelly, Rob McElhenney, Ana Ortiz, M. Night Shyamalan. Athletes: Kobe Bryant, Wilt Chamberlain, Joe Frazier, Dawn Staley. Authors: Louisa May Alcott, James A. Michener, Jennifer Weiner. Fine Artists: Thomas Eakins, Horace Pippin, N.C. and Andrew Wyeth. Musical Artists: Marian Anderson, Frankie Avalon, Boyz II Men, Chubby Checker, Eddie Fisher, Freeway, Gamble & Huff, Hall & Oates, Patti LaBelle, Meek Mill, Pink, The Roots, Jill Scott, Jazmine Sullivan. Journalists: Ed Bradley, Chris Matthews. Multi-talented Artists: Eve, Tina Fey, W.C. Fields, Kevin Hart, Will Smith.
Filmed in the Area: Baby Mama, Beloved, Creed (and soon-to-debut Creed II), Fallen, The Happening 2008, In Her Shoes, Invincible, It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia, Jersey Girl, Kevin Hart: What Now?, Lady in the Water, Law Abiding Citizen, Limitless, Mannequin, Marley & Me, National Treasure, Philadelphia, Signs, Silver Linings Playbook, The Sixth Sense, Trading Places, Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen, Unbreakable (and Glass), Up Close & Personal, The Village, The Visit, Twelve Monkeys, Witness, The Wrestler and each Rocky (except IV)
Distinctions: Philadelphia is home to many U.S. firsts: first subscription library (The Library Company of Philadelphia, 1731), first hospital (Pennsylvania Hospital, 1751), first reading of the Declaration of Independence (1776), first Fourth of July celebration (1777), first stock exchange (Philadelphia Stock Exchange, 1790), first U.S. capital (1790-1800), first art museum and school (Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, 1805), first natural history institution (The Academy of Natural Sciences, 1812), first zoo (Philadelphia Zoo, 1874), first Mother’s Day (1908), first Thanksgiving Day Parade (1920), first professional football game (Philadelphia Eagles beat Cincinnati Reds, 64-0, 1934), first computer (ENIAC, 1946), first pizza museum (Pizza Brain, 2011). More superlatives: America’s oldest street in continuous use (Elfreth’s Alley, 1702), the East Coast’s largest mall (King of Prussia Mall), the most murals in the country (approximately 4,000), the largest landscaped city park (Fairmount Park, 8,700 acres) and the oldest African-American newspaper (The Philadelphia Tribune, 1844).
VISIT PHILADELPHIA® is our name and our mission. As the region’s official tourism marketing agency, we build Greater Philadelphia’s image, drive visitation and boost the economy.
On Greater Philadelphia’s official visitor website and blog, visitphilly.com and uwishunu.com, visitors can explore things to do, upcoming events, themed itineraries and hotel packages. Compelling photography and videos, interactive maps and detailed visitor information make the sites effective trip-planning tools. Along with Visit Philly social media channels, the online platforms communicate directly with consumers. Travelers can also call and stop into the Independence Visitor Center for additional information and tickets.