Independence Mall

Many of the attractions at Independence Mall are free and open to the public daily. (©D. Cruz/Visit Philly)

Philadelphia on a Budget

By Marissa Baum on 06/23/16, updated 12/22/16
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The best things in life are priceless, and so is being a savvy traveler. In Philly, it's easy to spend multiple days at the many free exhibitions offered at local museums and attractions, allowing you to explore the city without flushing your bank account.

Whether you want to reenact your favorite Rocky scene, be captivated by an artist or learn about local breweries, your list of “to do’s” will be endless. Plus, in a city that is so rich in history, simply walking down streets gives you a great (and free) look into what Philly is all about. 

Between the history embedded in the cobblestones and the many museums and landmarks, there is something for every traveler. Being budget smart will help you enjoy the best this city has to offer by keeping you and your wallet happy.

Philadelphia Museum of Art

©B. Krist/Visit Philadelphia

Attractions

Philadelphia Museum of Art

Get inspiration by wandering through the many galleries of the iconic Art Museum. Every first Sunday of the month and every Wednesday from 5 p.m.-8:45 p.m., the museum offers free admission, so gaining inspiration doesn't have to cost a thing.

Rocky Statue

©f11photo/Shutterstock

Attractions

Rocky Statue

Stop by the Rocky Statue and get your photo taken with the champ! Or live out your favorite movie scene by running up the Arts Museum steps. Even if you don’t want to run the whole way, the view at the top (and the run) is priceless.

Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts

Tom Ipri/Flickr, Creative Commons)

 

Entertainment

Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts

If you can’t make one of their shows, it's still worth heading to the Kimmel Center for a free tour. You'll learn about the architecture and the building that houses some of Philly's best shows. Tours are offered at 1 p.m. daily, on a first-come, first-served basis.

Yards Brewing Company

©C. Smyth/Visit Philadelphia

Attractions

Yards Brewing Company

Calling all beer lovers! Take a tour of the Yards and learn about brewing and their history. Tours are free and available Saturdays and Sundays only from noon to 4 p.m. Plus: free beer samplings are included! But note, because of that, you must be 21+ to go on a tour.

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

Through murallocator.org you can download a walkable Mural tour that takes you through 17 of Center City’s most iconic murals without the price tag of a regular guided tour.

Pizza Brain has a pizza restaurant attached the museum.

Pizza Brain has a pizza restaurant attached the museum. (©M. Kennedy/Visit Philly)

Restaurants

Pizza Brain

Complete with pizza-related vinyl records and pizza-bearing action figures spanning more than 50 years, this is the first ever pizza museum housed right in the city. The tour is free, but a slice of their delicious pie at the end of the tour is worth the price.

Independence National Historical Park

©B. Cruz/Visit Philly

Attractions

Independence National Historical Park

Go hangout on the grass, or dive into some history and pickup free, timed tour tickets for Independence Hall available at the Independence Visitor. And don't miss the the Liberty Bell while you're there—it is also free and open to the public.

Dear Nemesis, Nicole Eisenman, 2014

Dear Nemesis, Nicole Eisenman, 2014, installation view, ICA, University of Pennsylvania. (©Aaron Igler/Greenhouse Media)

Attractions

Institute of Contemporary Art

Come visit the site of Andy Warhol’s first ever solo museum. Admission is always free to explore new art, with many exhibitions showcased by students. But note, the museum is closed Mondays and Tuesdays.

Barnes Foundation

©R. Kennedy/Visit Philadelphia

Attractions

The Barnes Foundation

Get lost for a day in collections of Impressionist, post-Impressionist and early-Modern paintings. Head there the first Sunday of every month for free admission.

Interior of the Museum at the Chemical Heritage Foundation

Courtesy of The Chemical Heritage Foundation

Attractions

Chemical Heritage Foundation Museum

Discover what they didn’t teach you in chemistry class. With free admission, you are welcome to explore and have fun with exhibits that combine science and the world around us.

U.S. Mint

©Joseph Sohm/Shutterstock

Attractions

U.S. Mint

Show me the money, honey. Visit the Mint on a self guided tour to investigate where our nation’s coins come from. Lucky for us, the tour doesn’t cost a dime.

Reading Terminal Market

(Courtesy Reading Terminal Market)

Restaurants

Reading Terminal Market

If you're in Philly for the food, then a visit to Reading Terminal is a must. While it doesn’t cost anything to wander around the market, there are many affordable dining options to choose from once inside. Just be careful, making a decision in this vast market may be your hardest task of the day.

Map of Philadelphia on a Budget