Follow these tips to have an indie travel experience in Philly.

  • Get the Philadelphia CityPASS. You can get a greatly discounted rate for admission to 6 Philadelphia attractions within 9 days of initial use.
  • Thanks to the Mural Arts Program, much of the art attractions in the city are totally free.
  • Check out Philadelphia’s Magic Gardens for a really cool and original folk art environment.
  • If you’re a college basketball fan, go explore the Palestra, a museum highlighting Philadelphia’s Big 5 programs.
  • There are plenty of parks to hang out in and explore during your time in Philly.
  • Go see a sporting event with some of the most passionate fans in the country.

Why you should add Philadelphia to your RTW travel list

  • Feel the love in the City of Brotherly Love
  • Fatten up on a Philly Cheesesteak and hoard a hoagie
  • Visit the birthplace of the Declaration of Independence during July, for parades, fireworks, the whole nine yards
  • Get dressed up for the Mardi Gras-like New Year’s Day Mummer’s Parade
  • No visit would be complete without seeing the Liberty Bell
  • See the diversity of cultures in South Philadelphia
  • Take a day trip out to Pennsylvania Dutch Country
  • Philly is one of the most walkable cities in the country, which always bodes well for RTW travelers.

Why you should not add Philadelphia to your RTW travel list

  • If you find yourself in the US in the winter, Philly can be pretty brutal in terms of weather.
  • Pennsylvania has some complicated liquor laws that make buying liquor a little more difficult than other cities. This also effects restaurants, many of which are BYOB, so pay attention if you want to have a cocktail with dinner.


Philadelphia, Pennsylvania can be viewed in a couple of ways. It can be seen as a city that is forever tied to a great history. It was, after all, where the Declaration of Independence was crafted and the United States of America born. It was also the home of that flag sewing Betsy Ross and the great inventor/statesman William Penn. It is also the home to the Liberty Bell and to Rocky Balboa.

Modern Philadelphia is also a city defined by its neighborhoods. In South Philadelphia you’ll find an Italian community that is proud of its heritage and that is home to a one of a kind outdoor market. The northern part of the city is home to those who claim connection to Ireland. Center City is a neighborhood that is slowly being redefined to include young urban professionals and the homosexual community. West Philadelphia is predominantly African-American.

What to do

Having such strong connection with the history, Philadelphia is filled with historical sites to visit. You must visit Independence National Historic Park, where you’ll find the Liberty Bell, Independence Hall and Constitution Hall. If you are interested in literature, you should visit the Edgar Allan Poe National Historic Site.

If you happen to be here around Bastille Day, make sure not to miss the celebrations at the Eastern State Penitentiary, the “most historic prison” in US. A lot of museums are also waiting for the tourists. The parks are an excellent way to relax after a day spent exploring the history of the city.

Getting there

Getting a good deal on flights to Philadelphia is usually not super difficult. Philadelphia International Airport (PHL) does have a train that connects with the main train station downtown.

If you need to go to the airport by car you can save both time and money by paying for the Philadelphia airport parking before leaving. Or you can choose the Philadelphia airport shuttle to take you to the airport and back.

Where to stay

Compared to New York City and Washington, DC, hotels in Philadelphia are a bargain. The ones located in Center City tend to be more expensive, but they also are the most convenient. You might want to sacrifice a little money for a place that is easily within walking distance of most of the sites. A couple of youth hostels are located downtown, but book early as they fill up fast.