Essential Travel Guide to Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

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Philadelphia has always been a popular destination for Americans, especially families, who want to see and learn more about the early history of the United States. Enhance your trip with this one-stop travel guide to Philadelphia, featuring all the best hotels, neighborhoods, things to do, and places to eat and drink in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

It’s a fascinating place with so much to do that you could easily fill a week with activities, from visiting Independence Hall and the Liberty Bell, to eating your way around Reading Terminal Market, and trying all of the exciting restaurants and breweries.

» While you are there you might want to check out these 10 Top Pennsylvania Wineries to Visit.

Philadelphia Skyline - travel guide to philadelphia

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History in Philadephia

The Declaration of Independence was signed in Independence Hall, and many years later the United States Constitution was first drafted in the same hall. This is what draws many tourists to Independence National Historic Park (Old City) where the Liberty Bell, Independence Hall and Constitution Hall are all located.

You can view the Constitution and Declaration of Independence in Constitution Hall and take a walk through the many Revolution-era buildings that have been restored and preserved. Travel to Philadelphia, once the capital of the United States, and see for yourself the remnants of revolutionary battles and the emergence of a new, independent nation.

What to Do in Philadelphia

Philadelphia Independence Hall

Tourists in Philadelphia often start their exploration at Independence National Historic Park in Center City, where the Liberty Bell, Independence Hall and Constitution Hall are all concentrated.

You can view the Constitution and Declaration of Independence in Constitution Hall and take a walk through the many Revolution-era buildings that have been restored and preserved. 

>> Looking for a way to get around the city? Try the Philadelphia Hop-on-Hop-off City tour.

In Philadelphia many of the main sights are within walking distance of the city center. You can visit the masterpieces of the Philadelphia Museum of Art, the steps of which were made famous by Sylvester Stallone in Rocky. Then head over to JKF Plaza to see the famous LOVE statue.

Nearby is Reading Terminal Market where you can try a famous Roast Pork sandwich and find all kinds of delicious specialties to taste.

Don’t forget to head over to Passyunk Avenue to try an original Philly Cheesesteak Sandwich at Pat’s and Gino’s.

Plan ahead, book some of the tours that we mention in the guide below:

Take a City Brew Tour

One of the best ways to sample the beer while having a great time is to take a City Brew Tour. Experience Philadelphia’s craft beer scene and rich history in an entirely new way! Spend the day with City Brew Tours Philadelphia as you sample your way through the city, along a journey filled with local breweries, artisan beers and delicious food.

  • Sample up to 16 beer styles across 4 stops
  • Guided beer pairing meal
  • Comfortable round-trip transportation
  • Behind-the-scenes access to the inner workings of Philly & NJ’s brewhouses
  • Interactive lessons in beer history and culture

Book a tour here

Tours to Book:

What & Where to Eat in Philadelphia

Everyone’s heard of the famous Philly Cheesesteak sandwich and it’s one of the major reasons to visit the city. We suggest checking out Gino’s and Pat’s, two competing shops located directly across from each other on Passyunk Ave, but also trying a few others around town to see which is your favorite.

One of the best ways to see what there is to eat in Philly is on a food tour. We suggest the Flavors of Philly Food Tour. You can also put together your own self-guided food tour with our suggestions here.

craft beers lined up

Another thing Philly does really well is craft beer. Try one or all of our favorite 5 craft breweries in the city.

Markets are great places to try lots of great food. Try a famous Roast Pork sandwich and other delicious specialties at the Reading Terminal Market. Also pop into the Bourse for lunch options.

Where to Stay in Philadelphia

You’ll want to decide where to stay based on what you want to do in the city, but it’s a pretty safe bet to stay somewhere in Center City. It’s very easy to walk around the main attractions, the historical buildings, and the best shopping areas from that location.

Here are our top recommendations for places to stay in Philadelphia. You can use any of the links you wish to see reviews, prices, or to book your hotel (they are affiliate links from which we receive a small commission):

Essential Travel Guide to Philadelphia

Philadelphia essential guide
A shortcut guide to Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

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Essential Travel Guide to Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

23 thoughts on “Essential Travel Guide to Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

  1. Jey Jetter says:

    Hey Laura, this is a great idea with the PDF to download! I remember Philadelphia from my trip 10 years ago, but I would go again and use your guide this time! 😀 Happy Travels

  2. Amélie says:

    Sweet infographics! It’s a great tool to download on my iPhone and be able to consult on the fly!

  3. Kathrin says:

    This is so handy! Great for a fast overview 🙂 and @Natasha, I’d love to visit during the food and wine festival as well.

  4. LeAnna says:

    We have a 6 hours in Philly tomorrow on our way back to Germany. Would we be able to realistically hit any of these spots and still make it back to the airport in time for our flight? I wouldn’t mind a classic Philly Cheese Steak!!!

  5. Anne Sutherland-Smith says:

    Thanks for sharing a great infographic about Philadelphia – I have not visited yet but it is definitely on my list. I don’t know what a cheese steak is but I will definitely have to find out!

  6. Carolann says:

    This is perfect! Great way to summarize everything you need to know when travelling to Philly! We are thinking of exploring Pennsylvania this year so we’ll definitely be saving this!

  7. Geert says:

    It’s always good to know where I can find craft beer haha 😉 I don’t think Philadelphia is coming onto my travel path soon, but I’ll keep a copy of the pdf handy in case I do go for that US road trip!

    • Laura Lynch says:

      Philadelphia is a bit off the path for visitors to the U.S., understandably. But just in case!

  8. Vanessa says:

    I love all the suggestions of the places to eat. I’ve only been to Philly twice but each time I’ve had incredible food. There’s some really diverse flavors there.

  9. Jessica says:

    This is SOOOO cool! Love how you made it! Went to Philly a few years ago for a weekend with my sister and we loved every minute of our short trip!

  10. Arzo Travels says:

    Oh, I love the graphic. It is such a good overview and sometimes not many words are needed….Btw: Sofitel is always a good idea:)

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