Top Tips for visiting Philadelphia
With such a rich historical heritage, Philadelphia is one of those cities that all Americans simply must visit at least once. There’s so much to keep you entertained in Philadelphia. The city is famous for being the birthplace of liberty, since both the Declaration of Independence and the United States Constitution were signed here, and it was the nation’s capital before Washington, D.C.
The city is far from being stuck in the past, though. Today, Philadelphia is a vibrant city that’s filled with world-class museums and attractions, along with exciting nightlife, restaurant, cultural, and sports scenes. It’s hard for first-time visitors to know where to start, so use these tips to plan your trip to Philadelphia.
Pick a Hotel in a Great Location
Image via Flickr by Pmillera4
Since there’s so much to see in Philadelphia, it’s best to pick a high-quality hotel that’s centrally located. You’ll find the best IHG hotels near Penn’s Landing and Center City, both of which are convenient bases for your trip. The historic Old City area is also a good neighborhood to stay in, as it’s near Independence Park and the Liberty Bell. Old City is also convenient for those attending concerts at the Susquehanna Bank Center in Camden.
Take a Free Walking Tour
To learn more about Philadelphia’s history in an easy and affordable way, take a free walking tour. Choose from the Independence Mall Tour, which explores America’s most historic district, or take tours that focus on food or ghosts! Just pay what you feel the tour was worth.
You can also explore the city at your own pace while learning about Philadelphia’s past. The historic district now has 13 storytelling benches where you can listen to professional storytellers recount five-minute tales about the city in the places where they happened, all for free.
Try a Famous Philly Cheesesteak
You can’t visit Philadelphia without trying the city’s famous Philly cheesesteak. Head to Pat’s Steaks, where the dish was originally created in the 1930s. You can also head to Jim’s Cheesesteaks on South Street. It’s been around for over 60 years and is still a local favorite, so you know it’s the real deal.
Reserve Your Tickets for Independence Hall
Independence Hall is one of Philadelphia’s most popular attractions, so to avoid disappointment, you should book tickets in advance. All guests have to take a tour to enter Independence Hall, and timed tickets are required from March to December. If you visit during January or February, you don’t need a timed ticket.
Explore the City’s Neighborhoods
In addition to visiting the main attractions, make time to explore the diverse and vibrant neighborhoods that have welcomed generations of immigrants from all across the world. Visit the Italian Market on South Ninth Street, where you can find Italian shops and bakeries alongside Mexican, Chinese, and Middle Eastern food. Neighborhoods like Fish Town, East Passyunk, and Bella Vista are also worth exploring.
It’s easy to get around the area without a car, as Philadelphia is a very walkable city. It also has good public transportation system, a hop-on, hop-off sightseeing bus, and a purple tourist bus called the Phlash bus that makes over 20 stops near popular attractions in the summer.
Have you been to Philadelphia? Do you have any more tips for first-time visitors?
This post was kindly sponsored by InterContinental Hotels Group, but, as always, all tips and opinions are my own.