Top Things to Do in Philadelphia

City of History

When visiting a city for the first time, it’s important to hit all the spots that city is known for. And in Philadelphia, we’re known for our history: the Liberty Bell, Independence Hall and the Betsy Ross House are all major parts of America’s past that every one should see at least once.

Philly's Best

But beyond our (many) historical sites, Philly is also home to many other attractions. Photo opportunities abound at LOVE Park and the Rocky Statue (be sure to run up the steps for the ultimate experience), art is a major focus at the famous Philadelphia Museum of Art and sports fanatics will find bliss in South Philly, where all three of our stadiums sit beside one another.

So whether you are visiting for the first time, back after a long hiatus or just want to explore Philadelphia more in depth, here are our favorite must-do things. 

Liberty Bell Center

The 2,080-pound bell with its famous crack rang on July 8, 1776, to announce the first public reading of the Declaration of Independence. These days, the world’s most famous bell is preserved here across from Independence Hall. Free. Daily 9 am-5 pm.

National Constitution Center

Located just two blocks from Independence Hall and the Liberty Bell, this dynamic and modern museum tells the story of the U.S. Constitution through interactive and multimedia exhibits. $11-$14.50. M-Sa 9:30 am-5 pm, Su noon-5 pm.

Independence Hall

Built for the Pennsylvania legislature, Independence Hall became famous as the “Birthplace of the United States” after the Declaration of Independence was adopted and the U.S. Constitution was drafted here. Free, timed tickets available at the Independence Visitor Center (Sixth and Market streets). Daily 9 am-5 pm.

The Franklin Institute

The city’s celebrated, family-friendly science museum explores the history and future of science through hands-on exhibits such as "Your Brain," "Changing Earth," "Electricity" and even a walk-through "Giant Heart." Immersive special exhibitions often sell out. $23, children (ages 3-11) $19 (special exhibitions more).

Eastern State Penitentiary Historic Site

Once the most famous and expensive prison in the world, Eastern State Penitentiary is now a haunting, crumbling, abandoned building remembered for its notorious captives. Tours include cell blocks, solitary punishment chambers, Al Capone’s lavishly decorated cell, death row and hospital wing. $12-$16. Open daily.

Please Touch Museum

Located in the renovated Memorial Hall, this children’s museum provides learning opportunities through play. Hands-on experiences include "Adventure Camp" (indoor treehouse), "Rocket Room" (build and launch rockets), "River Adventures" (mini Schuylkill River). $19. Open daily.

City Hall and Tower

Philadelphia's center of city government is the world’s tallest masonry load-bearing structure and the country’s largest municipal building. Tours offered daily. Interior & tower: $15, senior/military $10, student/youth $8, children (under 3) free.

Love Park (JFK Plaza)

Located in downtown Philly, JFK Plaza has been nicknamed LOVE Park thanks to artist Robert Indiana's famous LOVE sculpture which overlooks the plaza and fountain. The park is also home to the Fairmount Park Welcome Center, free concerts, food trucks and events.

Reading Terminal Market

Founded in 1893, Reading Terminal Market has evolved into one of Philadelphia’s major dining destinations, a food mecca where you can taste international and local specialties, including cheesesteaks and Pennsylvania Dutch treats.

Philadelphia Zoo

America's first zoo is a Victorian-landscaped, 42-acre area housing more than 1,300 animals in naturalistic habitats. Attractions include the WildWorks Ropes Course, a children's zoo, a butterfly habitat and more. $19.95-$24.95. Open daily (hours vary by season).

Betsy Ross House

The Colonial-style historic home of America’s famous flag maker features period furnishings and Betsy Ross’ own personal belongings, plus an upholstery shop and special exhibitions. $4-$8. Daily 10 am-5 pm (March 1-Nov. 30); Tu-Su 10 am-5 pm (Dec. 1-Feb. 29).

Rocky Statue

In 2006, a nearly 10-foot bronze statue of iconic movie character “Rocky” took its permanent place near the famous front steps of the Philadelphia Museum of Art. The statue has become a popular spot for selfies, followed by a sprint up the steps just like Sylvester Stallone did in his Oscar-winning film.

Franklin Square

This historic park is one of the city’s five original squares—as designed by William Penn—and features Philly-themed mini-golf, playgrounds, the SquareBurger snack shack and the Parx liberty carousel, plus a renovated fountain with shows. Philly mini-golf: $10, children (ages 3-12) $8, under 3 free.

Mural Arts Program Tours

Explore the world's largest outdoor art gallery by taking a walking, trolley, train tour or Segway with alternating themes of interest. Experienced guides give visitors an insider's view of the murals, artistic process and community histories that the murals embody. Guided tour prices vary. Check website for details.