When I was younger, occasionally our family would drive to our home state, New York from Nashville. Although, a little less than 2 hours away from Philadelphia, we never visited. Chances are if you have not been to this city, you most likely have seen it many times in big blockbusters films. Some of the most notable are National Treasure, Sixth Sense, Philadelphia, and Rocky. As time went by I was finally able to visit Philadelphia on my way to New York. Here I will share with you some of the cool and Unusual attractions you can do when visiting Philadelphia.
What to do
There is no shortage of things to do here. There is a little bit for everybody in this city. Below I will mention a few of the things that we did while we were there.
Eastern State Penitentiary – Spending part of your vacation in jail is not ideal. Luckily for you, this one is open just for tours. For just $14 dollars, you can take an audio tour narrated by Steve Buscemi. Eastern State opened in 1829 and was shut down in 1971. Some areas are closed to the public but, there are still many things to see. Also, The jail becomes an attraction for the Holloween season. Check out Al Capone’s fancy cell in the pictures below.
Philadelphia Museum of Art- Ok, so the only reason we came here is to run up the Rocky steps. We love art, but this time we skipped the Art Museum. We were not the only ones. although you may have no interest in going inside the building or running up the stairs, I still recommend you make your way here. The top of the stairs offers great views and a relaxing time by the fountain. After, make sure you take a picture with the Rocky statue around the corner. In case you did not recognize it, the first picture of this post is also of the Rocky steps.
Mütter Museum – For $18 per person, you get admission to this little gem. Beware, this museum is not for the faint of heart. This museum contains medical oddities, pathological anomalies, deformed fetuses and even a mummy. If you are into this type of things I encourage you to set aside some time of your day to pay them a visit. Unfortunately, pictures are not allowed to be taken, but memories of this place will definitely last a lifetime.
Independence Hall and Liberty bell – Inside Independence Hall, the United States Declaration of Independence and the United State Constitution were debated and signed in 1776 and 1787. Tours for this history rich National Park are free. When done with the Independence Hall make sure to walk across to see the liberty Bell. The Liberty Bell is an iconic symbol of the United States Independence. Do not forget to walk 5 minutes to see the last resting place of Benjamin Franklin.
Elfreth’s Alley – Take a stroll down Elfreth’s Alley, the oldest residential street in America, dating back to 1720.
Where to Eat
There is no shortage of places to eat in the city. In a place where there is so much to chose from, my #1 recommendation is Reading Terminal. Reading terminal is to Philadelphia what Grand Central Market is to Los Angeles. If you are struggling to decide between an ocean of great restaurants but, you still cannot make up your mind, head over to Reading Terminal. Italian, Mexican, Mediterranean, burgers, eggs, anything you crave you will find here.
- With so much to do in Philly, a central hotel location is essential. However, if hotels are too pricey for downtown Philly, do not be afraid to stay a few minutes away on the New Jersey side.
- If visiting Independence Hall, it might be worth paying $1.50 to reserve tickets in advance. Independence Hall is usually crawling with tourist and sometimes is just best to have reservations. Always research transportation.
- You can ride a bike, call a Lyft or Uber, and in Philadelphia, you can ride the Philly Phlash. With tourist attractions so close to each other it is very tempting to walk everywhere. After a while, you realize you wasted to much time and energy. Purchase a $5 all day pass for the Philly Phlash. Philly Phlash makes stops at 22 tourist sites around the city every 15 minutes.
- Not a tip but a recommendation. Watch the first National Treasure movie for many fun facts and to see most of the sites I talked about on this post.
Philadelphia is a vibrant city with many things to do. Here are some extra pictures that I took around the city. I would love to hear from you below if you have any additional tips or recommendations.
Hope you enjoyed!