Things to do in
Philadelphia

Philly is steeped in history. Get a sense of where it all began with the Liberty Bell and Independence Hall.

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Our most recommended things to do in Philadelphia

Philadelphia: Eastern State Penitentiary Admission

1. Philadelphia: Eastern State Penitentiary Admission

Discover the historic building of the Eastern State Penitentiary which stands today in ruin, a haunting world of crumbling cellblocks and empty guard towers. Learn about how when Eastern State opened more than 180 years ago, it changed the world of prisons and was copied throughout the world. Known for its grand architecture and strict discipline, this was the world's first true "penitentiary," a prison designed to inspire penitence, or true regret, in the hearts of prisoners. Discover how the building itself was an architectural wonder; it had running water and central heat before the White House. Marvel at the vaulted, sky-lit cells which once held many of America's most notorious criminals, including bank robber "Slick Willie" Sutton and Al Capone. As you explore the building, listen to 'The Voices of Eastern State' audio tour which is included in your admission price. Narrated by actor Steve Buscemi (known for Boardwalk Empire, Fargo, Armageddon, and Ghost World), this rich, stereo soundscape mixes dozens of voices. Hear the stories of 3 former wardens and 25 guards and inmates which create an atmospheric tour as you stroll through Eastern State's cellblocks and yards. When you arrive, receive an MP3 player and headset that will guide you through the penitentiary complex and explain the prison's history. This audio guide contains a main audio route, plus additional stops for subjects like escapes, riots, sports, sexuality, and more. You are free to tour at your own pace and to listen to (or skip) stops based on your interests. Also discover interactive experiences, history exhibits, and a critically acclaimed series of artist installations.

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Philadelphia: Double-Decker Hop-on Hop-off Sightseeing Tour

2. Philadelphia: Double-Decker Hop-on Hop-off Sightseeing Tour

Explore the origins of America on a hop-on hop-off bus tour of Philadelphia. Discover the city where America’s Founding Fathers first declared independence, and ratified the US Constitution and Bill of Rights. Along the way, enjoy stunning views of historic landmarks including the Christ Church Burial Grounds, Elfreth’s Alley, the Betsy Ross House, and Independence Hall.   Begin your tour at the Bourse Building, across from Independence Hall and the Liberty Bell. Listen to the multilingual audio commentary as you enjoy the views from the open-top deck. See the Friendship Gate in Chinatown and be amazed by the architecture of Philadelphia’s City Hall.   Hop off to explore the various museums along Benjamin Franklin Parkway, including the world's largest collection of post-impressionist art at the Barnes Foundation. Marvel at Philadelphia’s skyline and stop to enjoy a bird’s-eye view from the One Liberty Observation Deck. Pass through the charming neighborhood of Society Hill and end your tour with a drive along the banks of the Delaware River. Stops:  • The Bourse Building  • Betsy Ross House  • National Constitution Center  • Chinatown  • Reading Terminal Market  • Love Park  • Cathedral Basilica  • Logan Circle  • Rodin Museum  • Eastern State Penitentiary  • Special Events - The Perelman Building  • The Rocky Steps and Statue  • West Entrance of the Philadelphia Museum of Art and Boat House Row  • Civil War Memorial  • Please Touch Museum  • Philadelphia Zoo  • Franklin Institute  • Mutter Museum  • One Liberty Observation Deck  • Avenue of the Arts  • Society Hill, Antique Row  • Mother Bethel A.M.E Church  • Headhouse Square  • Vietnam & Korean War Memorials  • Penns Landing  • Museum of the American Revolution  • Christ Church  • The Liberty Bell

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Philadelphia: Horse-Drawn Carriage Tour of Historic Old City

3. Philadelphia: Horse-Drawn Carriage Tour of Historic Old City

Enjoy this private carriage ride through the tree-lined streets of Philadelphia’s Independence National Historic Park, Society Hill, and Old City. Your personal guide will whisk you away on a leisurely ride through historic Philadelphia giving you entertaining insights on the City of Brotherly Love's past and present. Choose the daytime option for picture-perfect views of all the sights or the night option to take in the illuminations when the crowds are gone.

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Philadelphia: Founding Fathers Historical Walking Tour

4. Philadelphia: Founding Fathers Historical Walking Tour

Meet your guide behind the Religious Liberty Statue just outside the National Museum of American Jewish History and begin your exciting journey through America's history. Enjoy views of the site of Ben Franklin's home as you continue through the historic district. See Independence Mall, the National Constitution Center, and the U.S. Mint as you walk across the Mall and into the presidential home of George Washington and John Adams.  In the front yard of Independence Hall, see the site of the signing of the Declaration of Independence and the U.S. Constitution. Exit the park and head back into the old city, ending the tour at a local brewpub. Enjoy a craft beer brewed on the premises (or a soft drink if you prefer).

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Philadelphia: Buffet Lunch or Dinner Cruise with Music

5. Philadelphia: Buffet Lunch or Dinner Cruise with Music

See the sights of the city from onboard the Spirit of Philadelphia during a 2-hour lunch or 3-hour dinner cruise on the Delaware River. Enjoy an attended buffet dining experience as you sail through the city and delight in panoramic views of the skyline. Board your vessel at Penn's Landing and receive a personal greeting. Have your photo taken by the ship's photographer to capture the memory before being seated at your private table. Once there, gorge on your lunch or dinner buffet which includes an array of dishes and delicacies. At the salad bar choose from organic mixed field greens salad, organic spinach and kale salad, green bean salad, bean and chickpea salad, red beetroot salad, and more. At the veggie station, opt for roasted broccoli florets, creamed corn and cheddar cheese casserole, baked ziti pasta, and tasty mashed potatoes. For your entree, dine on oven-baked Atlantic flounder fillet, honey and sesame chicken, or Italian beef meatballs. If you’ve still got room for dessert, tuck into some seasonal fruit, fluffy raspberry mousse, lemon pound cake, coconut vanilla cake, and carrot cake. After your meal, sip your cocktail on our spacious outdoor deck as you glide along the river for optimal views of the city.

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From New York City: Washington and Philadelphia 1-Day Tour

6. From New York City: Washington and Philadelphia 1-Day Tour

Your day will begin with an early morning departure from Times Square in Manhattan, where you’ll be greeted by your bilingual tour guide for the day. After 4-5 hours, your first destination will be the nation's current capital, Washington, DC. Once there, visit the Iwo Jima Memorial and the Lincoln Memorial. During the tour, stop for a classic outside view of the White House, home and office of the U.S. President, and the Capitol Building, home of the U.S. Congress. Your visit to Washington concludes with free time for lunch on your own and a possible short visit to one of the Smithsonian museums, the world-famous National Air and Space Museum. Your next destination, after a 3-hour journey, will be the first-ever U.S. capital, Philadelphia, PA. Visit its historic Old City neighborhood and the Independence National Historical Park where your guide will lead you on a brief walking tour. Then, ascend to the top of the Rocky Steps before returning to Times Square in Manhattan.

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Philly & Amish Country Day Trip from NYC

7. Philly & Amish Country Day Trip from NYC

Enjoy a unique day in historic Philadelphia and Lancaster County, home to Pennsylvania’s Amish community. You’ll travel from New York through New Jersey on your way to Philadelphia, the City of Brotherly Love. On your guided tour of Philadelphia you’ll see Elfert Alley, which is the oldest inhabited street in America. You’ll visit the Liberty Bell and Constitution Hall, and have the opportunity to run up the famous Rocky Steps at the Philadelphia Museum of Art. Following your sightseeing in Philadelphia, the tour heads to Lancaster County, home to Pennsylvania’s Amish community. Explore the Amish market and enjoy some country cooking at lunch. After lunch at the Amish market you’ll go on an authentic Amish buggy ride through farm country and learn how the Amish live without the benefit of modern technology. Imagine no electricity, no running water, no telephones, and no appliances!

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Philadelphia: Go City All-Inclusive Pass w/ 30+ Attractions

8. Philadelphia: Go City All-Inclusive Pass w/ 30+ Attractions

Enjoy an all-inclusive multi-attraction pass that gets you into over 30 Philadelphia attractions. Just select the number of days you want to sightsee for (1, 2, 3 or 5 days), then enjoy admission to as many included attractions as you want to visit for the number of days you selected the pass for. Simply show your Go City pass at included attractions for admission and pay nothing at the gate. Activate the pass by visiting your first attraction, then, use it on consecutive calendar days. The attractions include: • Hop-on, Hop-off Big Bus Philadelphia Tour• Eastern State Penitentiary• Franklin Institute Science Museum• Philadelphia Museum of Art• National Constitution Center• Betsy Ross House• Adventure Aquarium• Philadelphia Zoo• LEGOLAND Discovery Center Philadelphia• Barnes Foundation• Academy of Natural Science• Battleship New Jersey Museum & Memorial• Ghost Tour of Philadelphia• Independence Seaport Museum• Christ Church Burial Ground Tour• City Hall Tower and Observation Deck• National Museum of American Jewish History• Dark Philly Adult Night Tour• National Liberty Museum/We the People• Longwood Gardens• African American Museum• Rodin Museum• Franklin Footsteps Walking Tour• Penn Museum• RiverLink Ferry• Brandywine River Museum of Art• The Simeone Foundation Automotive Museum• History and Cheesesteak Tour• Murder by Gaslight - A Walking Tour Mystery

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Philadelphia: National Constitution Center - Flexible Ticket

9. Philadelphia: National Constitution Center - Flexible Ticket

Visit the National Constitution Center and learn all about this key moment in American history when the American Constitution was drawn up and signed, here in Philadelphia. Browse hundreds of artifacts and delight in the array of interactive multimedia exhibits. Get involved and vote for your all-time favorite President and take the Presidential Oath of Office. This self-proclaimed 'Museum of We, the People' brings together people of all ages and perspectives, across America and around the world, to learn about, debate, and celebrate the greatest vision of human freedom in history, the U.S. Constitution. Some of the rare artifacts you'll see here include a copy of the Emancipation Proclamation from 1864 signed by Abraham Lincoln, a ratification copy of the 19th Amendment, and the first public printing of the U.S. Constitution National Constitution Center highlights include: Freedom Rising - Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O’Connor called this “the best 17-minute civics lesson in the country.” Narrated by a live actor, this multimedia theater-in-the-round performance sets the stage for the National Constitution Center visitor experience. Signers’ Hall – visitors can ‘sign the Constitution’ and see 42 iconic, life-size bronze statues of each of the Founding Fathers present for the signing on September 17, 1787. The Story of We the People – Explore over 100 multimedia elements, including rare artifacts, and discover for yourself why the U.S. Constitution is as important today as it was over 200 years ago. Exhibits including: Constituting Liberty - From the Declaration to the Bill of Rights; American Treasures - Documenting the Nation's Founding; Civil War and Reconstruction - the battle for Freedom & Equality; and The 19th Amendment: How Women Won the Vote. Come away inspired and full of historical knowledge.

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Philadelphia: City Explorer Pass with 3 to 7 Attractions

10. Philadelphia: City Explorer Pass with 3 to 7 Attractions

The Explorer Pass is a multi-attraction pass that includes admission to 3, 4, 5, or 7 Philadelphia attractions of your choice. There are over 30 attractions and tours to choose from. Simply purchase a pass for the number of attractions you want to visit. There's no need to decide which attractions you want to visit before your trip. Just choose as you go from the options included. Visiting your first attraction activates your pass. Then, you’ll have 60 days to use it. Simply show your pass at designated ticketing areas at included attractions for admission and pay nothing at the gate. You'll also get a digital guide with detailed attraction descriptions and hours of operation to help plan your itinerary. Save up to 40% on admissions to your choice of 3-7 attractions. The attractions include: • Hop-on hop-off Big Bus Philadelphia Tour• Eastern State Penitentiary• Franklin Institute Science Museum• Philadelphia Museum of Art• National Constitution Center• Betsy Ross House• Adventure Aquarium• Philadelphia Zoo• Barnes Foundation• Academy of Natural Science• Battleship New Jersey Museum and Memorial• Ghost Tour of Philadelphia• Independence Seaport Museum• Christ Church Burial Ground Tour• City Hall Tower & Observation Deck• National Museum of American Jewish History• Dark Philly Adult Night Tour• National Liberty Museum/We the People• Longwood Gardens• African American Museum• Rodin Museum• Franklin Footsteps Walking Tour• LEGOLAND Discovery Center Philadelphia• History and Cheesesteak Tour• Penn Museum• Independence Tour• Brandywine River Museum of Art• Murder by Gaslight - A Walking Tour Mystery• The Simeone Foundation Automotive Museum• RiverLink Ferry

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Frequently asked questions about Philadelphia

What top attractions are a must-see in Philadelphia?

Planning Your Visit

  • Age limit

    For all tours involving alcohol, such as to vineyards, all participants must be over 21 years of age.

  • Summer fun

    Philadelphia is known for its summer events, so check online to see what's happening to ensure you don't miss out!

  • City tours

    Plan to visit Philadelphia if you're visiting other East Coast cities like Washington DC or NYC - it's a relatively short drive or train ride.

  • Local dish

    Philadelphia's famous sandwich is the cheesesteak. The best place to try one? You'll get different answers depending on who you ask and in which part of the city!

Good to know

  • Language
    English
  • Currency
    USD ($)
  • Time Zone
    UTC (-04:00)
  • Country Code
    +1
  • Best time to visit
    In terms of avoiding the humidity and crowds of the summer months and the snowfall in the fall and winter, March through May is your best bet for enjoying perfect weather in the City of Brotherly Love.

Other Sightseeing Options in Philadelphia

Want to discover all there is to do in Philadelphia? Click here for a full list.

What people are saying about Philadelphia

Overall rating

4.5 / 5

based on 1,501 reviews

The experience is really wonderful. I haven’t tried Segway before. The guide is very patient and careful. I learnt the Segway very fast. It is easy. I chose the 1 hour route because the other is closed during winter.We went throughout the old city and see a lot of interesting places like a glass art wall and local market. It is especially good for solo travelers because the guide will take the picture for you. The route is difficult to figure out by yourself so it really worths it. The tour went fast so it may not be a good choice if you want to stop for a while to look into each spots. And It’s so cold in December. It may be better to go in spring and autumn for the 2 hour route.

The Double-Decker Hop-on Hop off Sightseeing tour is a must to see Philadelphia especially if you have only several days in the city. It has a lot of stops to be able to see most of Philadelphia. The tour guides and bus drivers were amazing. We took the 2 day tour and it was worth every penny. Our favorite stops were the Liberty Bell, The Independence Hall and of course the Reading Terminal Market where we sampled several ethnic foods as well as bought goodies and fruits, etc. If I'm craving of authentic ethnic food, I just hop in the plane the go to Philly then take the hop on hop off.

The tour with Dick was just outstanding. When it comes to the history of Philadelphia he knows everything, and is happy to answer all questions and go into details. He also is a very good storyteller. The time on the tour went by incredibly fast, which shows how captivating it all was. I would recommend this tour to everyone who enjoys good stories and history!

Fun museum especially for families. The self guided tour of the frigate Olympia was very interesting. All ages would enjoy both experiences. And just the waterfront setting was worth the trip!

Howard was great. Very knowledgeable and personable. Patient with our kids and kept them engaged