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Philadelphia: Top 23 Places You Must See

By Nick K, Posted on 06 Dec, 2022 at 07:10 am

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Philadelphia Top Attractions

Philadelphia is one of the most historic cities in America. From its many museums to the Liberty Bell, iconic landmarks are scattered all throughout the city. What are some of these top places you must see? Find out in this post!


Reading Terminal Market

If you love food, then you'll definitely want to check out Reading Terminal Market during your time in Philadelphia. This historic market features over 80 vendors selling a wide variety of food, from fresh produce and meats to prepared foods and international specialties. You can also find plenty of Pennsylvania Dutch goods here, like homemade pies and whoopie pies. Be sure to come hungry, because there's a lot to see and taste at Reading Terminal Market!


Philadelphia Museum of Art

The Philadelphia Museum of Art is one of the world's largest museums, with a collection of more than 2 million objects. The museum is located in Philadelphia's Fairmount Park, on the east bank of the Schuylkill River.

The museum was founded in 1876 by a group of citizens who wanted to bring art to the people of Philadelphia. The museum's collection includes paintings, sculptures, prints, drawings, photographs, and other works of art from around the world.

The Philadelphia Museum of Art is open every day except Monday. Admission is free for all visitors.


The Franklin Institute

The Franklin Institute is one of the most popular tourist destinations in Philadelphia. The museum was founded in 1824 and is named after Benjamin Franklin, one of the most influential Founding Fathers of the United States. The museum is dedicated to promoting science and technology education and public engagement.

The Franklin Institute has a wide range of exhibits that cover various topics in science and history. There are permanent exhibits on topics such as electricity, space exploration, and the human body. The museum also has a planetarium and a giant screen theater where visitors can learn about the night sky and watch educational films.

The Franklin Institute is open every day from 9:30 am to 5:00 pm. Admission for adults is $19.95, while admission for children ages 3-11 is $12.95.


Philadelphia Zoo

The Philadelphia Zoo is a must-see for animal lovers, as it houses over 1,300 animals from all corners of the Earth. As one of America's oldest zoos, it boasts a rich history and a diverse range of both domestic and exotic creatures. The zoo is also known for its innovative exhibits, like the recently opened Gorilla Treeway. You can see gorillas swinging from vines high above your head as you walk through this exhibit. Other popular exhibits include the big cats, primates, and reptiles.


Independence National Historical Park

Independence National Historical Park is home to some of the most important historical sites in the United States. The park includes Independence Hall, where the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution were both signed, as well as the Liberty Bell, an iconic symbol of American freedom.

Visitors to the park can explore these and other sites at their own pace, or take part in one of the many ranger-led programs offered throughout the year. There is also a museum on site that tells the story of Philadelphia's role in the founding of the United States.

Whether you're interested in American history or just want to see some of Philadelphia's most famous landmarks, Independence National Historical Park is a must-see.


Liberty Bell

The Liberty Bell is one of Philadelphia's most iconic landmarks. The bell was commissioned in 1752 and was cast in London. It was originally placed in the Pennsylvania State House, now known as Independence Hall. The bell rang on July 8, 1776, to summon the citizens of Philadelphia to hear the first public reading of the Declaration of Independence. The bell also rang on September 18, 1777, to celebrate the American victory at the Battle of Brandywine.

In the 19th century, the bell became a symbol of the abolitionist movement. It was also rung on Abraham Lincoln's inauguration day in 1861. Today, the Liberty Bell is housed in its own glass pavilion on Independence Mall.


Barnes Foundation

The Barnes Foundation was founded in 1922 by Dr. Albert C. Barnes. The museum holds some of the finest Impressionist, Post-Impressionist, and Early Modern paintings, as well as African art pieces, Native American ceramics, and antiquities. The Barnes Foundation is located in Merion Station, just outside of Philadelphia.


Eastern State Penitentiary

Eastern State Penitentiary was once one of the most famous and expensive prisons in the world. Designed by architect John Haviland and opened in 1829, Eastern State Penitentiary quickly became a model for more than 300 prisons worldwide. The prison is most known for its strict regime of solitary confinement, which was believed to reform prisoners by isolating them from the corrupting influences of society. Although the prison was closed in 1971, it has since been reopened as a museum that allows visitors to explore the facility and learn about its history.


Please Touch Museum

The Please Touch Museum is one of Philadelphia's top attractions for families. This hands-on museum is designed specifically for children ages seven and younger. With interactive exhibits, play areas, and a wide variety of educational programming, the Please Touch Museum is a must-see for any family visiting Philadelphia.

The museum's collection includes over 800 objects spanning a wide range of history and cultures. Exhibits focus on themes such as transportation, communication, community, and imagination. Visitors can explore a replica of Independence Hall, take a ride on a vintage trolley car, or try out early American toys and games.

In addition to the permanent exhibits, the Please Touch Museum also offers a variety of special events and programs throughout the year. Special exhibitions have included "The World Around Us" (an exploration of different cultures), "The Art of Play" (a celebration of the power of play), and "Make Believe: Theater for Young Audiences." Programs include story times, performances, workshops, and more.

The Please Touch Museum is located in Philadelphia's historic Fairmount Park neighborhood. The museum is easily accessible by public transportation; SEPTA bus routes 6, 7, 32, 33, 38, and 48 all stop within two blocks of the museum.


Philadelphia's Magic Gardens

Philadephia's Magic Gardens is a must-see for anyone visiting the City of Brotherly Love. This one-of-a-kind public art space is the brainchild of mosaic artist Isaiah Zagar, who transformed a rundown city block into a gorgeous oasis filled with colorful tilework, murals, and found objects.

Wandering through the gardens is like taking a journey through Zagar's mind – there's so much to see and take in, from the massive centerpiece mural made up of over 50,000 pieces of glass and mirror to the countless smaller mosaics and sculptures dotting the walls and floors. It's an immersive experience that's sure to leave you feeling inspired.

Best of all, Philadelphia's Magic Gardens is free to visit! It's open every day from 10 am to 6 pm (with extended hours on Fridays and Saturdays), so there's no excuse not to check it out.


The Mütter Museum at The College of Physicians of Philadelphia

The Mütter Museum is a unique, one-of-a-kind museum located in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The museum is dedicated to the history of medicine and features an extensive collection of medical artifacts, anatomical specimens, and medical tools. The Mütter Museum is a must-see for anyone interested in the history of medicine or the human body.


Franklin Square

Franklin Square is one of the five original squares planned by William Penn when he founded Philadelphia in 1682. It is named after Benjamin Franklin, who was a key figure in the city's development. The square has been revitalized in recent years and is now a popular spot for visitors.

Franklin Square is home to the Philadelphia park system's first playground, which was built in 1937. The park also has a carousel, miniature golf course, and fountain. The park is a great place to take a break from sightseeing and enjoy some time outdoors.


Museum of the American Revolution

The Museum of the American Revolution is one of the most popular tourist destinations in Philadelphia. The museum tells the story of the American Revolution through interactive exhibits, artifacts, and multimedia presentations. Visitors can learn about the causes of the Revolution, the major events and battles, and the people who made history. The museum also has a research center and library where visitors can further their knowledge of the American Revolution.


National Constitution Center

The National Constitution Center is a must-see for anyone interested in American history. This interactive museum brings the Constitution to life, with exhibits on the Founding Fathers, the Civil War, and more. You can even take a presidential oath of office! The center also offers a variety of educational programs, making it a great place to learn more about our country's past.


Philadelphia Museum of Art

The Philadelphia Museum of Art is one of the largest museums in the United States and houses an impressive collection of art from around the world. The museum's permanent collection includes paintings, sculptures, furniture, and other objects from ancient Egypt, Rome, Greece, and other cultures. The museum also has a large collection of American art, including paintings by John Singer Sargent, Edward Hopper, and Andrew Wyeth.

Visitors to the Philadelphia Museum of Art can explore the galleries at their own pace or take part in one of the many docent-led tours that are offered daily. The museum also offers a variety of educational programs for children and adults.


Elfreth's Alley Museum

To get an authentic experience of Philadelphia during the 18th and early 19th centuries, Elfreth's Alley is unrivaled. This historic street, located just a few blocks from Independence Hall, is lined with 32 houses that date back to 1728. Today, it's home to the Elfreth's Alley Museum, which offers guided tours of several of the homes as well as special exhibits on various aspects of Philadelphia history.

Whether you're a history buff or just looking for a unique way to spend an afternoon, a visit to Elfreth's Alley Museum is sure to be enjoyable and informative.


Betsy Ross House

Betsy Ross House is the birthplace of the American flag. Betsy Ross sewed the first American flag in this house. The house is now a museum that tells the story of Betsy Ross and the American flag. Visitors to the museum can see artifacts from the Revolutionary War, including a piece of the original flag that Betsy Ross sewed.


Love Park Philadelphia

Love Park is a public park in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States, that is located between 15th and 16th Streets, and JFK Boulevard and Arch Street in Center City. The park is also adjacent to the Reading Terminal Market. The park was designed by Vincent G. Kling & Associates and opened on June 14, 1972.

The park was originally known as John F. Kennedy Plaza, but was renamed Love Park in 1965 as a tribute to Robert Indiana's LOVE sculpture which overlooks the plaza from its perch atop the Benjamin Franklin Parkway. The 12-foot (3.7 m) tall aluminum sculpture was commissioned by the city of Philadelphia for the United States Bicentennial in 1976, and installed atop the steps of the Municipal Services Building on February 14, 1977. It has become one of the city's most iconic landmarks and one of its most popular tourist destinations.

In addition to being home to the famous LOVE sculpture, Love Park is also home to many other works of public art including: "The Swimmer" by Terry Schoonhoven, "The Six Musicians" by Henry Mitchell, "The Singing Fountain" by Stefano Cardoselli, "Piano Man" by Red Grooms, and " Philly Rocking Chair" by Jerry Spector.


Penn Museum

The Penn Museum, located on the campus of the University of Pennsylvania, is one of the oldest and largest museums in the United States. Founded in 1887, the museum has a collection of more than 1 million artifacts from around the world. The museum's Egyptian gallery is one of the largest in the world and includes objects from the tomb of King Tutankhamun. Other galleries at the Penn Museum include those devoted to ancient Greece, Rome, and Mesoamerica. The museum also has an active program of archaeological excavations both in the United States and abroad.


Adventure Aquarium

Adventure Aquarium is one of the top places you must see when in Philadelphia. This world-class aquarium is home to over 8,000 animals, making it one of the largest collections of marine life in the world. Highlights include a walk-through shark tunnel, penguin cove, and stingray beach. Visitors can also get up close and personal with some of the animals during feedings and behind-the-scenes tours.


Spruce Street Harbor Park

Spruce Street Harbor Park is one of the most popular places to visit in Philadelphia. The park has a boardwalk, a beach, and a playground, as well as plenty of restaurants and shops. Visitors can also take a boat ride or go kayaking.


Weitzman National Museum of American

The Weitzman National Museum of America is one of the top places you must see when in Philadelphia. The museum is dedicated to American art from the colonial period to the present day. The collection includes paintings, sculptures, prints, and photographs. The museum also has a library and archives which contain over 300,000 books, manuscripts, and other materials.


Rodin Museum

The Rodin Museum in Philadelphia is a must-see for art lovers. The museum houses the largest collection of Auguste Rodin's works outside of Paris, and features a number of his most famous sculptures, including "The Thinker" and "The Kiss."

In addition to the Rodin sculptures, the museum also has a beautiful garden with fountains and flowers, making it a perfect place to relax and enjoy the art.



There you have it — the top 23 places you must see when in Philadelphia. This city is rich in history and culture, and there is something here for everyone to enjoy. So whether you're a history buff, a foodie, or just looking to explore a new place, be sure to add Philadelphia to your list of must-see destinations.

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About Author

Nick K

Nick K, a travel blogger based in Europe, has been a solo traveler for over 15 years. He always has had his head over the skies and his backpack all over the world. He has traveled to over 30 countries and has penned down his experience with the motto of "on the next destination." He has written over 300+ blog posts written with a combo of videos and photography.