Exploring Philadelphia top attractions reveals its captivating history and vibrant culture. Independence Hall is one of America’s most important historical cities. In 1776, the Declaration of Independence was adopted, and in 1787, the Constitution was drafted. William Penn, a Quaker and named namesake of Pennsylvania, is a catalyst for the changes that transformed these British colonies into an independent nation.
Philadelphia top tourist attractions is a historic city, home to women-of-the-revolution, historic buildings, and structures such as the Liberty Bell. Many of these landmarks have been restored, and are found in Germantown.
West of Schuylkill River, lies Philadelphia’s sprawling green belt known as Fairmount Park. The park features many Victorian style mansions and Federal-style Historic Houses. Beside that lie the Philadelphia Museum of Art and the Rodin Museum. The southern boundary of Fairmount Park is the museum district, including Franklin Institute and Academy of Natural Sciences.
Philadelphia top attractions
Philadelphia top attractions are a treasure trove of American history and culture. The city’s iconic landmarks, including Independence Hall, the Liberty Bell, and Betsy Ross House, offer an immersive experience of America’s revolutionary past. Visitors can explore the National Constitution Center to learn about their country’s government’s formation or stroll through Reading Terminal Market for some authentic Philly cheesesteaks.
Beyond its historical significance, Philadelphia is also home to world-class museums like the Philadelphia Museum of Art and Franklin Institute Science Museum that showcase art collections from every corner of the globe alongside cutting-edge science exhibits. For outdoor enthusiasts seeking adventure in nature, Fairmount Park offers over 9,200 acres of green space with winding trails ideal for hiking and biking while taking in stunning views of the Schuylkill River, philly top attractions won’t disappoint!
To get started, you should begin by checking out our list of the top tourist attractions in Philadelphia, we are here with the list of top attractions in Philadelphia for you.
1. Liberty Bell Pavilion
The Liberty Bell is Philadelphia top attractions. It was ringed to commemorate the signing of the Constitution, while a large crack developed in 1846, when it was tolled in celebration of George Washington’s birthday
The need for unity dictated the design of a swing-percussion U.S. bell from an abolitionist, a suffragist, and other groups who embraced it. It was designed to be part of a movement that would culminate in Philadelphia by 1915.
The Liberty Bell Pavilion is free to enter, and it’s one of the free (or low cost) things to do in Philadelphia.
Address: 143 South Third Street, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
2. Independence Hall
Independence Hall was the center of government for the colony of Pennsylvania and became well-known as the place where independence was declared in 1776. In 1787, the Continental Congress met in Independence Hall to write up the new constitution. It was also used in 1801 by President Thomas Jefferson to hold his famous reception for Emperor Alexander II of Russia, last Emperor of the Romanov dynasty.
A highlight of Philadelphia is the Assembly Hall, where the Second Continental Congress met to discuss independence from the British. This is where the Declaration of Independence was signed and George Washington was chosen as commander-in-chief for the Continental army.
You can visit Independence Hall, one of the most iconic landmarks in Philadelphia, without paying an entrance fee. Tickets are limited, and all visitors need to be prepared for security screening. Free ESL services are available upon request.
Address: 143 South Third Street, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
3. Independence National Historical Park
Independence National Historical Park plays an important role as America’s most historic square mile. Independence Hall is one of the historic sites it houses, as well as Liberty Bell and other significant places. The building has seen some of Amerca’s most important moments in history and hosted some of its country’s founders. Independence Hall hosted the adoption of the Declaration of Independence on July 4, 1776 and saw the creation of the United States Constitution in 1787.
The building is flanked by Congress Hall, where the first Congress of the United States met from 1790 to 1800 and George Washington and John Adams were elected President and settled on New York’s first city hall.
From Independence Hall to the north a large park-like Independence Mall extends, while across its eastern side at 55 North 5th Street is the National Museum of American Jewish History. For a range of venues, exhibits that highlight the celebration of the related revolutionary inventor and more, the Visitor Center off Dock Street is a good starting point for your visit.
4. Philadelphia Museum of Art and the “Rocky Steps”
The Philadelphia Museum of Art has an extensive art collection that includes paintings by Rogier van der Weyden and the Van Eyck brothers. Among these are some of the best medieval galleries, which include pictures by rogier and the von Egyck family.
Creating a diverse collection that is represented by 18th-century, 19th-century, 20th-century, and modern artists including Van Gogh, Toulouse-Lautrec, Cézanne, Renoir, Miró and Picasso.
American artists such as Thomas Eakins, Charles Wilson Peale, and many others have created many pieces of great art. On the other hand, the Asian art collection boasts jade, porcelain, and Oriental carpets.
Visitors to the museum flock to see the Neoclassical building fronted by a broad set of stairs that has become famous thanks to the Rocky movies. Since then, thousands of visitors have come each day to race up the steps and strike a Rocky pose along the city’s skyline. Again it is include in Philadelphia top attractions.
Address: 2600 Benjamin Franklin Parkway, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
5. Reading Terminal Market
Despite being a National Historic Landmark, Popular tourist attractions in Philadelphia is Reading Terminal Market has been in operation since 1893. The building was built by the Reading Railroad Company and was originally used to provide food vendors with space while they were present during the construction of the new station.
The old market has undergone renovations, but it still retains its unique ambience and many of the structures original features. Today, you will encounter more than 80 merchants, 75 of which are small independent businesses. Both locals and tourists come to buy local produce; free-range meats; canned goods; fresh-basted breads; and handmade crafts, including clothing, jewelry, and gifts. Several vendors specialize in Pennsylvania Dutch foods.
Address: 51 North 12th Street, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
6. The Barnes Foundation
Dr. Albert Barnes founded the museum in 1892 to house his collection of Impressionistic and Post-impressionist paintings, which include the world’s largest Renoir collection, more Cézanne works than there are in all of France and almost 60 Matisse paintings. Matisse also painted in Philadelphia. Other well-known artists include Degas, Manet, and Modigliani.
The museum offers free admission and activities on the first Sunday of every month for an interactive experience. On the first Friday of the month, guests can enjoy live music and refreshments to make your visit informative, entertaining, and friendly.
Address: 2025 Benjamin Franklin Parkway Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
7. LOVE Park
Philadelphia has a really cool sister city. It’s called “Brotherly Love” and it celebrates in the city of Philadelphia with a really iconic sculpture from 1956, designed by Robert Indiana. It is included in Philadelphia top attractions.
Philadelphia’s LOVE Park is laid out near the entrance to the Benjamin Franklin Parkway and takes its name from this square. It boasts and a background of elegant architecture, along with museums like The Barnes Foundation, Franklin Institute, and Philadelphia Museum of Art.
With a variety of green areas and space for events, LOVE Park is the scene of many pop-up events, including a Christmas village.
Address: 16th Street and JFK Boulevard, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
8. Please Touch Museum
The Please Touch Museum is popular tourist attractions in Philadelphia, It is fully interactive museum that gives children everywhere a chance to learn through play. The museum puts out replicas of cultural artifacts and uses interactive technology to help kids explore history, science fiction worlds and even outer space.
Exhibits like the kid-sized home allow kids to experience different professions, including constructing their own city on the exhibit, while learning about science and physics. This exhibit is both educational, emphasizing water usage and gravity, as well as fun and interactive.
The museum focuses on teaching visitors about gardening, animal husbandry, and sustainable farming through interactive exhibits. The exhibit gardens feature heirloom vegetables and plants to help them learn about nutrition and sustainability.
Address: Memorial Hall, Fairmount Park, 4231 Avenue of the Republic, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
9. Philadelphia Zoo
Philadelphia best tourist attractions is The Philadelphia Zoo creates engaging and interactive exhibits that provide a close-up look at many different animals. They also are active in wildlife conservation and rehabilitation efforts and educating visitors about the ways humans impact the earth’s other residents.
One of the most amazing things about the zoo is the Big Cat Falls, a place where you can come and explore the beautiful terrain and see all of the other animals running around in their habitat. Another favorite inch both kids and adults are the African Plains, where you get to meet some of the zoo’s most interesting animals such as giraffes, hippos, and white rhinos.
The park is home to some of Australia’s most fascinating wildlife, including red kangaroos and emus. Other attractions include Bear Country, which is home to species from Asia, South America, and North America, as well as Carnivore Kingdom, where you can meet dwarf mongooses and even the (vegetarian) red panda. There are also a reptile and amphibian house; an aviary; and Monkey Junction, which is home to two pairs of spider monkeys.
At the small mammal house, visitors can see the night-time residents going about their day as they are lit up with artificial lighting. The zoo also operates a primate reserve and a rare animal conservation center where you get to see a variety of endangered animals and learn more about issues facing the Earth’s most endangered beings.
Address: 3400 West Girard Avenue, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
10. Rodin Museum
Tourist places in Philadelphia, The Rodin museum is one of the most highly regarded in the world, and has one of the most extensive collections of sculptures by French artist Auguste Rodin outside of France. The museum includes castings, bronzes, and marbles depicting some of his best-known masterpieces.
Art lovers can view his most well-known works, including The Thinker and Rodin’s seminal work, The Gates of Hell. Rodin’s career was remarkable for its unconventional training and its philosophy that sculpture should stay true to the natural form, and he is considered the father of modern sculpture.
Address: 2151 Benjamin Franklin Parkway, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
11. The Franklin Institute Science Museum
In honor of the famous scientist, this museum is an interactive experience where you can explore Franklin’s own experiments. With many different museums under one roof, including the Franklin Institute Science Museum, there are even exhibits about his life itself.
The center is dedicated to bettering human understanding of technology and space, offering visitors experiences in areas such as computer technology, information technologies, space travel and astronomy. The building also includes an IMAX theater which shows realistic views into the universe as well as planetarium.
Address: 222 N 20th Street, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
12. Fairmount Park
This fantastic park along the Schuylkill River and Wissahickon Creek is home to the Philadelphia Zoo, The Rodin Museum, the Philadelphia Museum of Art, and The Shofuso Japanese house and garden, as well as a host of other attractions and things to see. There are also gardens, ball fields, swimming pools, tennis courts, hiking paths, picnic areas, and playgrounds.
Shofuso, a house in Japan that is traditionally built using natural materials and tools, was brought to Philadelphia and placed with other Japanese structures at the 1876 Centennial Exposition. The Tanabata Family Weekend has family-friendly activities and traditional Japanese crafts.
Another attraction, at the edge of the 2,000-acre park, has 15 historic boathouses along the Schuylkill River. These rowing clubs have served as a major atmosphere for Philadelphia’s college students and are an important part of Philadelphia’s history. The park contains both public green space and watershed protection.
Address: Reservoir Drive, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
13. Eastern State Penitentiary
At the time of its opening in 1829, Eastern State Penitentiary was considered the world’s most expensive, high-tech prison. Visitors to the penitentiary can see Capone’s luxurious cell as it was during his stay. Willie Sutton and Al Capone were some of many notable prisoners.
Visitors can take tours of the prison that tells many stories of and compares the incarceration in other countries. The historical museum has exhibits on how incarceration has been shaped by laws, politics and society.
Address: 2027 Fairmount Avenue, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
14. Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts Museum
The Fine Arts Museum features a collection of American art from the 18th, 19th and 20th centuries, including works by early American artists all the way to Andy Warhol. It is housed in a National Historic Landmark building designed by American architects Frank Furness and George W. Hewitt.
The Fine Arts Academy’s museum is home to recent exhibitions and archives. It also has many student-made exhibits of works from the academy’s rich history. The Fine Arts Academy in Philadelphia is the nation’s oldest fine arts school.
Address: 118 North Broad Street, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
15. City Hall
Philadelphia’s City Hall is the largest building in the US, and from its foundation, it on solid granite. It has a 548-foot tower which is taller than any building without a steel frame.
In the top of the tower, sits a 27 ton statue of William Penn, with tourists at his feet, who can admire a panorama of the city and all over the park below. Ranging from tickets to guided tours, tourists have many options to experience both parts of this iconic building.
Address: 1401 John F Kennedy Blvd, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
16. Society Hill Historic District
A variety of restored buildings, colonial homes and stores exist in this interesting area near the Walnut Street and Washington Square intersection.
The area around Washington Square attracts visitors with many attractions to explore, such as the Polish American Cultural Center, Old St. Mary’s Church, and the Historical Society of Pennsylvania Library. Society Hill Historic District is another Tourist places in Philadelphia.
In Washington Square, the burial ground for those who held back the British, is a Tomb of the Unknown Soldier. It honors all unknown revolutionary war soldiers and is the only one in America to be honored with eternal flame.