July 23, 2018

Philadelphia's Cultural & Historical Attractions Offer Spanish Guides

Spanish Language Guides, Tours, Programs & More At Philadelphia Parks, Museums & Sites

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A family gets up close to the famously cracked Liberty Bell to read the inscriptions. Photo by D. Cruz for VISIT PHILADELPHIA®
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A centerpiece of Independence National Historical Park in Historic Philadelphia is Independence Hall. Photo by J. Fusco for VISIT PHILADELPHIA®
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The world’s only museum dedicated to the U.S. Constitution, the National Constitution Center. Photo by G. Widman for VISIT PHILADELPHIA®
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The Barnes Foundation displays one of the world’s the finest collections of Impressionist, Post-Impressionist and early Modern paintings. Photo by R. Kennedy for Visit Philadelphia
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The Big Cat Crossing at the Philadelphia Zoo enables visitors to view lions, tigers, jaguars and other animals as they roam overhead. Photo by J. Fusco for VISIT PHILADELPHIA®
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Guests can expect technicolor gardens, thick forests, peaceful meadows, elaborate fountains and winding paths at Longwood Gardens. Photo by B. Krist for VISIT PHILADELPHIA®
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The Franklin Institute demonstrates the science involved in life everywhere, from sports to space. Photo by J. Fusco for VISIT PHILADELPHIA®
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Reading Terminal Market is a one-stop shop for everything from local produce and meats to artisanal cheeses and desserts. Photo by J. Smith for VISIT PHILADELPHIA®
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Spanish-speaking visitors to Philadelphia can feel truly welcomed at many of the region’s attractions, thanks to a wealth of bilingual docents, translated audio guides and multilingual written materials. Each year, more than two-and-a-half million domestic leisure visitors to Greater Philadelphia are of Hispanic/Latino origin (source: Econsult Solutions Inc./Longwoods International). Accordingly, the region’s historical and cultural sites cater to Spanish-speaking guests.

History:

  • Eastern State Penitentiary – Spanish-speaking visitors catch every sound effect or eerie-sounding narration while creeping through the fortress-like former American prison. Both the audio tour and a written translation of the tour—which guests read while listening to the original, theatrical, English version—are available. 22nd Street & Fairmount Avenue, (215) 236-3300, easternstate.org
  • Independence Hall, Congress Hall and Old City Hall For those travelers touring America’s first federal government buildings, a two-page Spanish guide available at the National Park Service desk at the Independence Visitor Center (IVC) introduces parts of these famous historic sites. What’s more, Spanish-speaking tourists can read up on the park and the buildings it manages on the park’s website. Chestnut Street between 5th & 6th Streets, nps.gov/inde
  • Independence Visitor Center (IVC) – Multilingual Visitor Services Representatives can assist with all trip-planning needs at the official visitor center for the Greater Philadelphia region, which also operates satellite locations. Visitors can speak with Spanish-speaking staff and pick up the Official Philadelphia International Guide Filadelfia Guía de Filadelfia Para Visitantes, offering both broad and in-depth looks at the essential city. Main location, 599 Market Street, (800) 537-7676, PHLvisitorcenter.com; City Hall Visitor Center, 1 S. Penn Square, Room 121, (Broad & Market Streets), (267) 514-4757, PHLvisitorcenter.com/CityHall; Sister Cities Park Visitor Center, (open May-Octber), 200 N. 18th Street, (267) 514-4760, PHLvisitorcenter.com/SisterCities; Pennsylvania Convention Center, (available at the Visitor Information Desk during some conventions), 1101 Arch Street
  • Liberty Bell Center – A tour through the iconic Liberty Bell Center inspires visitors by telling the story of how liberty came to be in the United States—and how people seek freedom around the globe. The site’s free, 10-minute video about international struggles for liberty is translated into Spanish, as is a one-page brochure about the Liberty Bell itself. After hours, Spanish-speaking visitors can listen to a brief audio recording about the Bell outside of the building on the east side. 6th & Market Streets, nps.gov/inde
  • Mural Arts Philadelphia – Thanks to this program, Philadelphia is globally known as “The City of Murals.” By arranging for a Spanish guide in advance, Spanish-speaking art lovers can enjoy a private walking or trolley tour of a selection of the city’s thousands of public art works. Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, 128 N. Broad Street, (215) 925-3633, muralarts.org
  • Museum of the American Revolution – The Historic District’s newest museum tells of the struggles and successes of forming a new nation via gallery guides in Spanish. Items on display include works of art, manuscripts, interactive exhibits and the tent George Washington used as his wartime command center. 101 S. 3rd Street, (215) 253-6731, amrevmuseum.org
  • National Constitution Center Before touring the world’s only museum about the U.S. Constitution, visitors can head to the museum’s website for a visitor’s guide in Spanish and other languages. 525 Arch Street, (215) 409-6700, constitutioncenter.org
  • National Museum of American Jewish History Visitors immediately notice a striking glass façade reflecting the accessibility of the museum, the open nature of America and the fragility of democracy. Inside, the museum offers translated visitor guides in Spanish, Hebrew, simplified Chinese and Korean, as well as private, guided tours in Spanish, Hebrew and French. Those interested should call ahead to arrange. 101 S. Independence Mall East, (215) 923-3811, nmajh.org
  • One Liberty Observation Deck The attraction offers visitors a “Philly from the top” experience at 57 floors above street level. Five multilingual, interactive touch screens feature a panorama of the cityscape, where Spanish-speaking visitors can zoom in on a point of interest or find a favorite Philly locale to learn more in their native language. 1650 Market Street, (215) 561-DECK (3325), phillyfromthetop.com
  • Please Touch Museum – Many of the children’s museum’s temporary exhibits are multilingual, including in Spanish. Visitors are encouraged to check the museum’s website before touring for the most current temporary exhibits. 4231 Avenue of the Republic, (215) 581-3181, pleasetouchmuseum.org
  • The Academy of Natural Sciences of Drexel University The natural history museum provides a Spanish translation of the tour brochure and a Spanish-speaking staff member for general inquiries. 1900 Benjamin Franklin Parkway, (215) 299-1000, ansp.org
  • The Franklin Institute Before touring one of America’s most celebrated science museums, visitors can head to the museum’s website to download a map in English and Spanish. Upon arrival, visitors find printed maps and some internal signage in Spanish. 222 N. 20th Street, (215) 448-1200, fi.edu
  • Valley Forge National Historical Park One of the earliest national parks to offer a Spanish cell phone tour is the site of General George Washington and the Constitutional Army’s Winter Encampment of 1777-1778. The free audio tour consists of two- to three-minute messages that share information about the park’s monuments, natural history and historical attractions. It can be accessed by calling (484) 396-1015. A Spanish translation of the official park brochure is available at the park’s Visitor Center. 1400 Outer Line Drive, King of Prussia, (610) 783-1099, nps.gov/vafo

Art & Culture:

  • Barnes Foundation – Some 181 Renoirs, 69 Cézannes, 59 Matisses, 46 Picassos, 16 Modiglianis and 7 Van Goghs, along with textiles, metalwork and African sculpture make the Barnes one of the world’s greatest art repositories. Tour operators may bring their own translator for docent-led collection tours, and the venue supplies information sheets and guidelines in French, German, Spanish, Russian, Japanese, Korean and Mandarin. 2025 Benjamin Franklin Parkway, (215) 278-7200, barnesfoundation.org
  • Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts Spanish speakers can marvel at the impressive performing arts venue during a guided English-language building and theater tour with a written guide in Spanish that includes all the tour information. Free tours begin daily at 1:00 p.m. 300 S. Broad Street, (215) 790-5800, kimmelcenter.org
  • Philadelphia Museum of Art Upon entering, Spanish-speaking guests can acclimate themselves by picking up a building and gallery map in Spanish and talking to bilingual staff members for more information about exhibitions, ticketing and directions. 26th Street & Benjamin Franklin Parkway, (215) 763-8100, philamuseum.org
  • Reading Terminal Market This beloved 125-year-old indoor public market offers a simplified version of their English directory translated into Spanish. It’s exactly what visitors need to navigate the stands selling meats, fruits, vegetables, cheeses, Amish delicacies and Philly classics. 51 N. 12th Street, (215) 922-2317, readingterminalmarket.com

Tours:

  • Philadelphia Personal Tours – For a top-rated historical tour through Philadelphia, as voted on by the Philadelphia Concierge Association, Spanish-speaking tourists can hire Philadelphia Personal Tours, led by Tom Walker. The informative and fun private tours navigate town by car or limo and include an interpreter (costs $40 per hour above the price of an English tour). (215) 327-5413, philadelphiapersonaltours.com
  • Philly By Night Double-Decker Bus Tour This tour, available on select Big Buses in English, Spanish, Portuguese, Italian, French, German and Mandarin, whisks visitors after dusk past lit-up attractions in a one-and-a-half-hour timeframe. The single stop lets passengers climb the Rocky steps at the Philadelphia Museum of Art—the perfect spot to take in the city’s electric skyline. Walk-ups are welcome; reservations, recommended. 12th & Filbert Streets, (215) 389-TOUR, phillytour.com
  • Philadelphia Sightseeing Tours – Bright red open-top buses make 28 stops in a 16-mile city loop, passing dozens of attractions during a narrated, 1.5-hour tour. One-, two- or three-day passes come with off-and-on privileges and automated, earphone-based translation in Spanish, French, German and/or Mandarin, ensuring every attraction gets its due. The Philadelphia Bourse, 111 S. Independence Mall E., (215) 922-2300, phltour.com
  • Philadelphia Trolley Works Private tours of Center City Philadelphia are available with a Spanish-speaking guide. Groups can charter a private trolley or double-decker bus with a guide or book a private walking tour. Guests can choose a Philadelphia Trolley Works vehicle, a walking tour or a tour guide in their own vehicle. 5th & Market Streets, (215) 389-TOUR, phillytour.com
  • Philadelphia Zoo – Home to nearly 1,300 animals, the zoo offers Spanish-language, docent-led tours by reservation (for an additional $5 per person, Fridays from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.). Whether visitors are interested in learning about the mating habits of big cats, what rhinoceros eat or the zoo’s history, they have plenty of guided tours from which to choose. 3400 Girard Avenue, (215) 243-1100, philadelphiazoo.org
  • Specialty Tours Multi-themed, custom-designed, private walking and driving tours through Philadelphia and the countryside are this company’s specialties. Spanish-speaking guides are available for an additional $25. Tours are offered in six languages: English, Spanish, French, German, Portuguese and Italian. (215) 625-7980, specialty-usa.com

Horticulture:

  • Longwood Gardens Serving as one of the nation’s largest public gardens, Longwood Gardens enlightens Spanish-speaking horticulture-lovers with a free brochure that provides descriptions of the garden’s highlights, the story of how the garden evolved and logistical information to help them navigate. 1001 Longwood Road, Kennett Square, (610) 388-1000, longwoodgardens.org

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.

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