10 Best Things To Do In Downtown Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

things to do in philadelphia downtown
Louise
Louise 
Updated

Known as Pennsylvania’s largest city, Philadelphia is a wonderful place with rich culture, fascinating heritage, and interesting history. Most tourists who visit this part of Pennsylvania never miss checking out the historical Liberty Bell in the Independence Hall. If you are in town and haven’t seen it, you definitely should as it marks a significant part of America’s history. Another fascinating Philadelphia tourist destination is the Philadelphia Museum of Art with the iconic statue of Sylvester Stallone. Being the sixth populous city of the United States, Philly definitely has so much in store for its visitors. If you haven’t been to Philadelphia, here is a guide of activities that you should try while you are in the city. Feel free to browse below for the best things to do in downtown Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

1. Snap a photo in front of Liberty Bell

things to do in philadelphia downtown | snap a photo in front of liberty bell

If you are visiting Philadelphia for the first time, you should definitely check out the Liberty Bell in the Independence Hall located in Market Street. It is of great significance to the history of America, conveying the message, “Proclaim Liberty throughout all the land unto all the inhabitants thereof”. It is a symbol of freedom from oppression and slavery–and ultimately, freedom in all forms. Learn more about it from your visit and don’t forget to take a selfie as a souvenir.

Liberty Bell

Address: Market St, Philadelphia, PA 19106, USA

Website: Liberty Bell

Opening hours: 9am-7pm (daily)

Price: Free admission

2. Explore the Independence Hall


The Independence Hall is a significant venue in the history of the United States of America. It is where the Constitution and the Declaration of Independence were drafted and formalized. It is now the most visited landmark of the Independence National Historical Park. It features a Georgian architecture style and is home to important artifacts such as the Liberty Bell, historical documents, preserved chambers, and a lot more.

Independence Hall

Address: 520 Chestnut Street between 5th and 6th streets, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Website: Independence Hall

Opening hours: 9am - 7pm (daily)

Price: Free admission

3. Check out the iconic LOVE sculpture and enjoy a day at the park


While in Philadelphia, you should definitely check out the fantastic LOVE sculpture in the John Kennedy Plaza and take a selfie with it as a souvenir. It is an iconic piece by Robert Indiana installed in the 1970s. Aside from that, you could stay for a while and enjoy a morning or afternoon walk in the park as it is very calming and relaxing. You may also use your time here to get your creative juices freely flowing and just spend a meditative day in this beautiful place.

Love Park

Address: Arch St, Philadelphia, PA 19102, USA

Website: Love Park

Opening hours: 7am - 10pm (daily)

Price: Free admission

4. See the charming boat houses on Schuylkill River

Behind Philly's art museum
Source: Photo by user joiseyshowaa used under CC BY-SA 2.0

If you want to go to a peaceful and quiet place in Philadelphia, you should check out the charming boat houses on Schuylkill River. It showcases historic boathouses that date back to 1853. Aside from these boats, the area itself boasts of picturesque sights. Marvel at the beauty of Philadelphia’s breathtaking waterfront views and the majestic skyline. Aside from that, it is also a delightful place for jogging and biking as it provides tourists with a clear and safe route. There are also superb eateries and cafes in the area just in case you get hungry.

Boathouse Row

Address: 1 Boathouse Row, Philadelphia, PA 19130, USA

Website: Boathouse Row

Opening hours: 24 hours (daily)

Price: Free of charge

5. Shop till you drop at the Reading Terminal Market


The Reading Terminal Market is the city’s commercial hub. It features amazing retail shops and exquisite eateries. While in Philadelphia, you should not miss the trades, vibes, and experiences in the Reading Terminal Market. Be sure to try a lot of authentic local food and buy fresh produce from carefully screened suppliers. Aside from delectable dishes, there are also souvenir shops that you should check out. One thing to note is you should be careful with your belongings as the management are not responsible for loss or damages of such valuables.

Reading Terminal Market

Address: 51 N 12th St, Philadelphia, PA 19107, USA

Website: Reading Terminal Market

Opening hours: 8am - 6pm (daily)

Price: Free entry

6. Tour the Eastern State Penitentiary


Popularly known as ESP, Eastern State Penitentiary is another fascinating landmark in Philadelphia. It is also noted as America’s most historic prison, established in the early 1800s. If you are into creepy stuff and haunting stories, visit this tourist destination that used to be the most expensive prison in the whole world. Now, only empty guard towers, rusty cellblocks, and remnants of history are what’s left to see. Guided tours are also offered for tourists and scavenger hunts are popular for kids.

Eastern State Penitentiary

Address: 2027 Fairmount Ave, Philadelphia, PA 19130, USA

7. Enjoy leisurely walks at Spruce Street Harbor Park

things to do in philadelphia downtown | enjoy leisurely walks at spruce street harbor park

Noted as one of the best tourist destinations in Philadelphia, Spruce Street Harbor Park is definitely a must-visit for tourists who want to immerse in the city’s culture. It features an urban beach with floating gardens and a plethora of bars and restaurants, adorned with glistening LED lights. It is definitely a charming place to spend a memorable night in the city under the starry skies. Visit on a Saturday and you will enjoy the Art Star Pop Up Market that it hosts weekly.

Spruce Street Harbor Park

Address: 301 S Christopher Columbus Blvd, Philadelphia, PA 19106, USA

Website: Spruce Street Harbor Park

Opening hours: 24 hours (daily)

Price: Free entry

8. Admire the art space at Philadelphia's Magic Gardens


Situated in South St, Philadelphia, Philadelphia’s Magic Gardens features the largest gallery of art by mosaic artist Isaiah Zagar. It also includes a fascinating art labyrinth and indoor galleries that are made from recycled materials such as china plates, bike wheels, kitchen tiles, and others. This fantastic and charming city destination is open for public view with an admission fee of only 8 USD.

Philadelphia's Magic Gardens

Address: 1020 South St, Philadelphia, PA 19147, USA

Website: Philadelphia’s Magic Gardens

Opening hours: Wed - Mon: 11am - 6pm (Closed on Tue)

Price: 8 USD

9. Visit the historic Jewish Quarter (from USD 480.0)

While in the lovely city of Philadelphia, you might want to visit the historic Jewish Quarter. It is was established during the mass migration of the Jewish people in Philadelphia. On a different note, there are available guided tours in the area for interested tourists. Tourists are free to ask questions and learn more about this fascinating district and its culture. They also offer private tours for independent groups. Some of the stops include synagogues in the Jewish neighborhood, souvenir shops, banks, schools, cafes, and others.

Walking Tour of Philadelphia Historic Jewish Quarter

Duration: 2 hours

10. Discover fascinating masterpieces in the Rodin Museum (from USD 25.0)

things to do in philadelphia downtown | discover fascinating masterpieces in the rodin museum

Another fascinating tourist attraction in Philadelphia is the Rodin Museum. The museum was originally a gift to the city of Philadelphia by the rich movie theatre-magnate, Jules Mastbaum. It houses a collection of majestic sculpture masterpieces as well as drawings, prints, and letters, of the great Auguste Rodin. Aside from the fantastic art collection and the marvelous architecture of the museum, guests are also drawn to the lovely gardens of Rodin Museum, featuring rich greeneries and perfectly manicured lawns.

Philadelphia Museum of Art and The Rodin Museum

Duration: 1 day

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Lovely Philadelphia

Surely, Philadelphia is a fascinating city to visit as it boasts of fantastic tourist destinations and exciting things to try. It never runs out of amazing things to offer, and a day would not be enough to try all these. So, we hope that this guide may come in handy when you visit the beautiful city. Make sure to cross our everything on this list of best things to do in downtown Philadelphia, Pennsylvania most of it, if not all, and enjoy a wonderful time. Who knows, you might want to come back for round two.

Disclosure: Trip101 selects the listings in our articles independently. Some of the listings in this article contain affiliate links.

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She is a lover of life and a very optimistic person. She thinks of herself as a vessel of a billion possibilities, which can harness limitless potential. Trying new experiences, going places she's...Read more

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