Philadelphia travel tips

Philadelphia skyline

Travelling to Philadelphia for a vacay? Check out our top tips on where to go, what to do, and how to get around this beautiful riverside city.

Known to locals as “Philly”, Philadelphia is a beautiful city in Pennsylvania, USA that’s best known for its cheesesteaks, the Liberty Bell, Mummers, Rocky Balboa and more. The city is also renowned for its rebellious history and the world-famous Philadelphia Orchestra.

If you’re planning on visiting Philly, the best time of year to go is late September or early October, which is just after the summer school vacation finishes and the weather is still nice. From October onwards, it starts to get very cold and often snows.  

Philadelphia is the perfect destination for a weekend city break, and it’s only 1.5 hours by train from New York City which makes it easy to city-hop if you’re keen to stay around for longer. 

Here are some of our top tips if you’re planning a visit:

1. There’s more to Philly than pretzels and cheesesteaks

Obviously, you can’t go to Philly without stuffing your face with a footlong cheesesteak or giant pretzel. We definitely recommend you try these, but Philadelphia is a culinary haven and has loads of incredible places to eat across a range of cuisines from all across the globe. Some of our top recommendations of places to eat in Philly include:

  • The Italian Market – America’s oldest open-air Italian market spanning 10 blocks, filled with everything Italian you could possibly imagine.
  • Zahav – Serving up a fancy 5-course modern take on Israeli mezze, meats and more.
  • HipCityVeg – A veggie fast-casual burger joint with tasty options for everyone.

2. Go to Citizens Bank Park (Phillies Stadium)

If you’re into sports, you can’t go to Philadelphia without visiting the Phillies Stadium. Baseball is one of the biggest sports in the city, and sports buffs can get the full behind-the-scenes experience by going on a guided tour of the park. The baseball season usually runs from April to October each year, so whether you’re a baseball fanatic or just want to be amongst the electric atmosphere of a Phillies match with 40,000+ fans, try scoring yourself some tickets. 

If American Football is more your thing, a Philadelphia Eagles match or stadium tour might be more up your alley instead. 

Speaking of sports, why not try your luck in sports betting. Bet Philly is Philadelphia’s number one source for sports betting, and they have experts that can give sportsbook recommendations and provide efficient odds explanations. 

3. Train like Rocky Balboa on the steps of the Philadelphia Museum of Arts 

Fan of the Rocky movies? Of course, you are! Run the gauntlet like Rocky on the steps of the famous Philadelphia Museum of Arts, and make sure you get a photo of you flexing your muscles at the top for that ultimate Insta moment with a view of the city in the background 💪

4. Get around by PHLASH…

For an easy way to get around the city, jump aboard the PHLASH bus. It’s a bus service that runs between most of Philly’s popular attractions during the peak seasons of the year. A daily service runs from May to September, and a Friday to Sunday service from September till Christmas.

Compared to other tourist bus services in other North American cities, the PHLASH is relatively cheap. You can hop on for just $2 for a single ticket and $5 for an all-day pass which you can use to shuttle you around all day long. Plus, it’s free for seniors and kids under 4. 

It’ll drop you off and pick you up from Philadelphia’s best tourist attractions including the Liberty Bell, One Liberty Observation Deck, Penn’s Landing, Philadelphia Zoo, Rocky Steps, LOVE Park, and loads more. Check out the map here.

5. …or by foot

Be sure to pack your walking shoes! Central Philadelphia is actually pretty small compared to other cities, so we think walking is one of the best ways to see the sights. You can basically follow the PHLASH route between the Delaware Riverfront, through the CBD down to City Hall, then along Benjamin Franklin Parkway towards the Museum of Arts/Rocky Steps and see almost every major attraction along the way.

So whether it’s a weekend away, or a long-term vacay, we hope these handy insider tips will make your stay in Philly a little more authentic. 

Once you visit, make sure you come back and share your insider tips to help other readers know where to go, when to go, and what to avoid over at our Philadelphia Insiders page

Enjoy your trip!