Key Attractions in Philadelphia
See the Best of the Area
The Barnes Foundation
An elegant gala kicks off a year-long celebration of the opening of the Barnes in Philadelphia. Exclusive member opportunities, 10 days of special opening events, and other inaugural year programs are made possible thanks to the generous support of PNC, Comcast, and thousands of Barnes Foundation donors, members, volunteers, students and alumni. Learn more about the Philadelphia opening here.
Discover the legendary collection of the Barnes Foundation, one of the world's finest holdings of impressionist, post-impressionist, and early modern paintings, African sculpture, metalwork, and more.
Celebrated for its exceptional breadth, depth, and quality, the Barnes Foundation's art collection includes works by some of the greatest European and American masters of impressionism, post-impressionist, and early modern art, as well as African sculpture, Pennsylvania German decorative arts, Native American textiles, metalwork, and more.
Betsy Ross House
No visit to Historic Philadelphia would be complete without a stop at the home of America's most famous flagmaker. The Betsy Ross House is located in the heart of Philadelphia's Most Historic Square Mile. More info
The seat of government for the city of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. At 167 m (548 ft), including the statue, it is the world's second-tallest masonry building, only 1.6 feet shorter than Mole Antonelliana in Turin. The weight of the building is borne by granite and brick walls up to 22 feet (6.7 m) thick, rather than steel; the principal exterior materials are limestone, granite, and marble. Stop by the visitors’ center in the heart of City Hall for your chance to experience a tour and a bird’s eye view of the city from the tower. More info
In the court itself once stood his house. What is known of the house is that it was 3 stories high, covered 33 feet square, and included 10 rooms. The house was built in 1812. Because no historical records of the look of the exterior exist, the space once occupied by the house is marked by a wonderful, oversized "Ghost Structure" designed by world-famous architect Robert Venturi and built in 1976 for the bicentennial. You can look through portals to see into Franklin's privy pits, wells, and foundation. An extremely rare Bristol punchbowl and other ceramic artifacts were found in the privy pit. More info
Construction of the Pennsylvania State House, which came to be known as Independence Hall, began in 1732. It was a symbol of the nation to come. At the time it was the most ambitious public building in the thirteen colonies. The Provincial government paid for construction as they went along, so it was finished piecemeal. It wasn't until 1753, 21 years after the groundbreaking, before it was completed. It was the original "Philadelphia lawyer," none other than Andrew Hamilton that oversaw the planning and worked to guarantee its completion. Hamilton had won renown for his successful 1735 defense of Peter Zenger in New York that was to become a freedom-of-the-press landmark. More info
Liberty Bell Center
The old cracked Bell still proclaims Liberty and Independence Hall echoes the words, "We the People." Explore Franklin's Philadelphia and learn about the past and America's continuing struggle to fulfill the Founders' Declaration that "all men are created equal." More info
Love is a sculpture by American artist Robert Indiana. It consist of the letters LO (with the O canted sideways) over the letters VE. More info
National Constitution Center
The National Constitution Center i n historic Philadelphia is America's most interactive history museum. Located just two blocks from the Liberty Bell and Independence Hall, it is the only museum devoted to the U.S. Constitution and the story of we, the people. This piece of American history is a must-see Philadelphia attraction. More info
Philadelphia Museum of Art and the “Rocky Steps”
Besides its architecture and collections, The Philadelphia Museum of Art is also well-known for its role in Rocky. Run up the Rocky Steps and recreate the movie’s most memorable scene. Then visit one of the 25 exhibitions presented by the museum each year, focused presentations exploring specific topics to masterpieces on loan from museums worldwide. More info
The zoo is 42 acres (170,000 m2) and is home to more than 1,300 animals, many of which are rare and endangered. The zoo features a children’s zoo, a balloon ride, a paddleboat lake, and many interactive and educational exhibits. More info
Markets have been a part of Philadelphia’s history since the city’s development by William Penn in the late seventeenth century. When William Penn’s managers established the town of Philadelphia, one of their first actions was to herd the ragtag crowd of farmers, fisherman, and huntsman, who were hawking their goods all over the bustling settlement, into an open area at the foot of what was known as High Street, along the Delaware River. By the middle of the nineteenth century, the string of market sheds had become six blocks long, making the easternmost mile of the city’s main street a veritable babble of farmers and food purveyors on most days. Today, Reading Terminal offers an exhilarating selection of baked goods, meats, poultry, seafood, produce, flowers, ethnic foods, cookware and eclectic restaurants are peppered throughout the Market. More info
The best-known of Rodin's works, The Thinker (1880-1882), sits outside the museum in the entry courtyard. Though no longer used, visitors once entered through a cast of The Gates of Hell, located at the entrance into the museum. This massive 5.5-m-tall bronze doorway was originally created for the Museum of Decorative Arts (which was to have been located in Paris but never came into existence). Rodin sculpted more than 100 figures for these doors from 1880 until his death in 1917. This casting is one of the three originals; several others have been made since. Several of his most famous works, including The Thinker, are actually studies for these doors which were later expanded into separate works. More info
The municipal park system of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. It consists of 63 parks, with 9,200 acres, all overseen by the Fairmount Park Commission. More info
The Franklin Institute
Named after the noted American scientist and statesman Benjamin Franklin, the Institute is a museum in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, and one of the oldest and premier centers of science education and development in the United States. The Institute itself comprises three centers — The Science Center, The Franklin Center, and The Center for Innovation in Science Learning. It also houses the Benjamin Franklin National Memorial. More info
United States Mint
The Mint was created by Congress with the Coinage Act of 1792, and placed within the Department of State. Per the terms of the Coinage Act, the first Mint building was located in Philadelphia, then the U.S. capital. It was the first building of the Republic raised under the Constitution. More info
For more ideas for exciting Philadelphia travel, speak with our concierge.