Philadelphia in America, aka Philly, is the city of independence and is known for its world famous Philly Cheesesteaks and the Rocky Steps. It might not be the first city you would visit when traveling to America, but trust us, Philly really is that worth it!
What to Do in Philadelphia: Seven Tips!
Philadelphia, I think this is one of the most historic cities in the States. The Declaration of Independence was signed here and one of the very first prisons is located here. In addition, you will find the most adorable colonial British streets here and a lot of creativity. Also planning to visit this charming city? Below are some must-dos!
Eastern State Penitentiary
The Eastern State Penitentiary is an absolute must-see in Philadelphia that you should not miss. I thought this prison was very special to see! Many prisons worldwide are based on this prison and in addition once well-known criminals such as Al Capone and ‘Slick Willie’ could call this their home. What makes this prison so special is that everything is still in its original state, which greatly enhances the feeling. I definitely recommend doing an audio or guided tour, so you can get to know the story behind this prison better.
Independence Hall & Liberty Bell
You can’t miss it when you are in Philadelphia, the Independence Hall and Liberty Bell. Why not? Well, because this is the place where American independence was signed on July 4, 1776 and the American Constitution was drafted. Yep, Philadelphia has been really mega important in American history. The Liberty Bell also symbolizes this and is also an icon for freedom in general.
Learn about America and Philadelphia on a Tour of ‘The Historic Mile’
This city has a lot of history. Of course, many people know the Independence Hall and Liberty Bell, but there is so much more to see! The best way to see everything? Take a guided walking tour along the most historic spots via ‘The Historic Mile’. Even if you want to know more about the city, I definitely recommend a walk with Philly Tour Hub.
The guide can tell you a lot and during such a tour you will also pass more photogenic and special places such as Elfreth’s Alley (one of the most photographed streets in the entire city!), Betsy Ross House (it is said that this is the house where seamstress and flag maker Betsy Ross made the first American flag) and Ben Franklin’s grave (he was a well-known American politician and scientist).
Museum of the American Revolution
Want to learn even more about Philly’s history? Then you should not miss this museum. An important part of American history has taken place in Philly and the Museum of the American Revolution tells you all about it!
Philadelphia’s Magic Gardens
Have you taken enough knowledge about the history of Philadelphia and America? Then it’s time for a good dose of creativity at Philadelphia’s Magic Gardens. What a special art you will find here! This masterpiece is by artist Isaiah Zagar. It is very colorful and you can go wild for some Insta shots. You are actually walking and looking at a gigantic mosaic here and it is a kind of gigantic collection of materials such as bottles, bicycle wheels, pieces of stone and plates. You will certainly be amazed in this colorful maze!
Philadelphia Museum of Art
This world-renowned museum is home to more than 200 galleries displaying art from Asia, Latin America and Europe. Besides being a spectacular building, you will also find the well-known ‘Rocky Steps’ here, which owe their fame to the movie ‘Rocky’.
In addition, at the bottom of the stairs, a bit hidden between the trees, you will find the ‘Rocky Statue’. Despite the fact that it is ‘just’ a statue, tourists are queuing up to take a picture with this famous figurehead.
Reading Terminal Market
In addition to having a rich history, Philly also has delicious cuisine! Foodies can really indulge themselves here and fully enjoy the delicious delicacies that the city has to offer. One of the best places to go: Reading Terminal Market! So definitely pay a visit to this indoor food hall and let your taste buds work overtime. From fresh donuts to the famous Philly Cheesesteaks, there really is something for everyone here. You will find all the local specialties that the city has to offer.
How to Plan Your Trip to Philadelphia in America (or Combine It With a Visit to New York)
There aren’t a lot of travelers who travel to America just for Philadelphia, but that’s why it might be nice to know that Philly is a city par excellence that you can easily visit as a day trip from New York. You can drive from New York to Philadelphia within 2.5 hours by car and by public transport it takes about 1.5 hours.
Philadelphia is also great to add to your itinerary when you’re on a road trip along the East Coast. On the east coast you will find cool cities, so there is not only New York, but also Philadelphia and Florida in the south.
Fly to Philadelphia
After my trip I really advise you to stay longer than a day in this nice city, but you can also ideally combine it. Another great advantage, from Amsterdam you can fly there with Aer Lingus for next to nothing! You can sometimes find flights from 250 euros . Philadelphia is therefore a really good starting point to start an American road trip.
Hotel tip for Philadelphia?
I stayed overnight at the Fairfield Inn and Suites by Marriott in Philadelphia. Located in downtown Philadelphia, this hotel is the perfect base from which to explore the city. The rooms are nicely furnished and equipped with all facilities. In addition, the staff is also extremely friendly and helpful.
Best Time to Travel to Philadelphia & America
Winter can be really cold in Philadelphia, the temperature easily drops below zero, so we recommend spring, summer or fall. The months of June, July, August and September are the hottest. It is then on average around 28 degrees. In the spring (April and May) it fluctuates around 20 degrees on average and in the autumn (October and November) it is around 15 degrees.