The Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts, Philadelphia

The Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts showcases famous pieces in addition to student work. (©B. Krist/Visit Philly)

Philadelphia for Art Lovers

By Jessica Tzikas on 03/03/16, updated 01/05/17
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People come from all over the world to visit the Philadelphia Museum of Art—and for good reason. The museum has been around since 1876, first as a centennial exhibition, growing every decade to become the cultural landmark it is today.

But outside the walls of the museum, there are tons of other art-focused exhibits and activities to do—many of which get you outside the confines of a museum. An entire Philadelphia neighborhood focuses on art—with chic boutiques and art galleries lining the streets. And we even have a famous street that offers art everywhere you look (be sure to take a peek down alleyways).

If it’s just simply art museums that pull at your heartstrings, Philly has many of those too, all focusing on different styles of art and housing a variety of artists. 

Philadelphia Museum of Art

©B. Krist/Visit Philadelphia

Attractions

Philadelphia Museum of Art

Monet, Matisse, Cèzanne. Just some of the iconic names you’ll find at the Philadelphia Museum of Art. Plan to spend the majority of your day here: as the "cultural heart of Philadelphia," they have a restaurant inside and enough collections to keep you busy for hours.

Philadelphia Magic Gardens

©R. Kennedy/Visit Philadelphia

Attractions

Philadelphia's Magic Gardens

Weather-permitting, make South Street’s Magic Gardens a must-stop during your visit. Ten minutes is all you need to see the mazelike mosaic wonderland: Walk around, snap a few pictures, and leave feeling newly inspired.

Old City, a neighborhood in Philadelphia.

Old City is known as America's most historic mile. (©J. Fusco, Visit Philly)

Areas to Explore

Old City

America’s historic square mile is also one of Philadelphia’s most artistic. More than 55 galleries and showrooms call Old City home, and if you’re in town the first Friday of the month, be sure to check out First Friday, an outdoor celebration of new art exhibits in the area.

The Mural Arts Tour shows Philly's mural program from the comfort of a trolley.

The Mural Arts Tour shows Philly's mural program from the comfort of a trolley. (©R. Kennedy, Visit Philly)

Activities, Attractions, Areas to Explore

Mural Arts Program Tours

Philly is known for its murals, and thanks to the Mural Arts program, there are many ways to see them. We suggest the trolley tour (Apr-Nov), which shows you over 35 murals in a variety of neighborhoods. Or if you need to fit some exercise into your day, the walking tour is a mile of beautiful art.

Barnes Foundation

©R. Kennedy/Visit Philadelphia

Attractions

The Barnes Foundation

The Barnes began as an outlet for Albert C. Barnes to promote his collection of fine art. Today, that same mission is put forward with a wide range of Impressionist, post-Impressionist and early-modern collections. Fit about two hours into your day to explore, you'll be instantly inspired just from the front entryway.

Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts

©J. Fusco/Visit Philadelphia

Attractions

Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts

If contemporary is your art form of choice, be sure to pay PAFA a visit. Both a school and a museum, you’ll find inspiration from infamous names as well as students. Check our their website beforehand to see upcoming performances and special events.

James A. Michener Art Museum

Rockwell Kent (1882-1971), Power...for the Wheels of Progress, 1945, oil on canvas, 38 x 44 in. Courtesy, Earth and Mineral Sciences Museum & Art Gallery, The Pennsylvania State University

Attractions

James A. Michener Art Museum

Located in Doylestown, Pennsylvania, this museum is a bit of a trip outside the city, but it’s well worth it. The outdoor sculpture gallery should be your first stop before venturing inside to see artwork inspired by the area and a tribute to the career of James A. Michener himself.

Woodmere Art Museum

©J. Fusco/Visit Philadelphia

Attractions

Woodmere Art Museum

Chestnut Hill is known for many things: the grand homes, the open-air shopping and the Woodmere Art Museum. Get a deeper look into the artists that call Philadelphia home with collections promoting the beauty of the city and the surrounding areas.

Map of Philadelphia for Art Lovers