Why Philly is one of the easiest American cities to visit — Visit Philadelphia
We understand: Traveling can be a real headache. You need to strip down all your items to the bare essentials, carry them to a remote location, and hope you can relax enough to really enjoy yourself.
philadelphia creamhowever, is not like other travel destinations.
Just like its inhabitants, the city exudes ease, relaxation and freshness. Not only is getting to and around Philadelphia a breeze logistically, but immersing yourself in the culture of the city is also more than easy.
After a few days you will start to feel like a local. Seriously.
But if you need a little more convincing, allow us to give you 12 reasons why a trip to Philadelphia is more than simple.
1. Getting here is a snap
It is all good. You arrive. Need help getting here? You have many options.
Right in the middle of other East Coast metropolitan areas like New York and Washington DC, getting to Philadelphia is only a short drive away. If you prefer public transit, Amtrak, NJ Transit, Greyhound, and Megabus all make stops in Philadelphia from destinations near and far.
Plus, for visitors to the suburbs of Pennsylvania and southern New Jersey, a short SEPTA or PATCO regional train ride is all it takes to swap the suburbs for big-city surroundings.
2. It’s easy on the wallet
You don’t need to spend a ton of money to have a great time here.
Visitors can find free attractions throughout the city, including $0 admission to attractions at Independence National Historical Park and Spruce Street Harbor Park. Philadelphia’s historic Philadelphia is packed with free entertainment, like the Liberty Bell Center and Elfreth’s Alley.
For everything else — think hotels, food and drink, and museums — prices are low compared to neighboring cities (even with inflation!), so a stay in Philadelphia won’t break the bank. Even better? The city’s most famous delicacy, the cheesesteak, remains one of the best for your few dollars.
3. Independence Visitor Center is your one stop shop for necessary information
Let’s be honest: visiting a new city can be overwhelming. Fortunately, the Independence Visitor Center is there for you.
With maps, brochures, tickets, tourist information and expert advice (available in several languages), you can feel equipped for your stay, knowing where to go and how to get there.
Plus, it’s located on the edge of Philadelphia’s historic district, so you won’t be far from many must-see sites (we’re looking at you, Liberty Bell, and Independence Hall).
4. You can see one of the world’s most iconic attractions 24/7
A few images come to mind when thinking of the nation and its founding: George Washington crossing the Delaware River, the signing of the Declaration of Independence, and the Liberty Bell. (Hey, this all happened in Philadelphia and the countryside!)
Pro tip: The Liberty Bell is conveniently located in a glass-walled center, giving passers-by after hours a look at the iconic gong.
But you really should head inside the Liberty Bell Center to get a 360 degree view of the bell, the glorious crack and all. Even better? No ticket required.
5. You can eat like a food critic any night of the week
With dozens of restaurants honored by the James Beard Foundation, Philly is a diner’s delight. Although some larger establishments (see: Zahav, Vernick Food & Drink) aren’t the easiest to book (tip: try to sit at the bar), there are plenty of high-end restaurants (classy and casual variety) where you can can have an improvised meal.
Head to Hardena and sample beef rendang, cozy up at the bar at Monk’s Cafe for craft beer and mussels, or sample snails for lunch at Le Parc. The possibilities (and delights) are endless.
6. You can cater to all food preferences at major culinary hotspots
The problem: You want a veggie-heavy meal, and your travel partner might opt for a meat sandwich. No need to settle down: Philly is full of food halls and eateries that house dozens of vendors offering a variety of cuisines.
At Reading Terminal Market, one of the oldest and largest public markets in the country, visitors can eat everything from roast pork sandwiches to Middle Eastern vegetarian dishes. Bourse Food Hall is conveniently located near historic Philadelphia for hungry tourists.
Nestled in neighborhoods – or encompassing entire neighborhoods – throughout the city, the Italian Market, East Passyunk Avenue and Chinatown are must-visit places to eat.
7. You can entertain children of all ages
Bring the kids!
Philly is perfect for families. Youngsters can have a blast at the Please Touch Museum (a kid-friendly interactive museum) and Smith Memorial Playground (including a huge slide!).
Got a wide variety of ages in tow? The Franklin Institute (walk through a giant heart) and the Philadelphia Zoo (lions, tigers and bears – oh my!) are sure to please the entire crew.
Hop aboard PHLASH, a bus service that transports visitors to many of these top attractions such as Penn’s Landing, the Barnes Foundation, the Philadelphia Museum of Art, Reading Terminal Market and more – so no more coordinating trips complicated long distance with grumpy people or teenagers.
8. You can support various businesses in each neighborhood
Home to hundreds of black-owned stores and boutiques, black-owned restaurants, Asian-owned restaurants, Latino-owned restaurants, and women-run kitchens, Philly is teeming with diverse businesses.
Shop for unique homewares at YOWIE in Queen Village, cool off with a popsicle at West Philly’s Lil Pop Shop, and stock up on delicious tapas at Amada in Old Town.
9. Getting around is as easy as putting on comfortable shoes
While most people drive to Philadelphia by car, once you’re here you don’t need that drive at all. This is because the town is so walkable.
According to Redfin’s Walk Score, Philly is the eighth most walkable major city in the United States, which means you can cover a lot of ground on foot. Center City (aka downtown Philadelphia) stretches 26 city blocks from river to river to give you some perspective.
And thanks to the grid structure of downtown Philadelphia’s streets (shout out to you, William Penn!), there are only four directions you can go – north, south, east, or west – so find your path is less complicated than, say, some European cities, where all the roads go wrong.
10. You can plan a getaway in your getaway
Why visit only one place? Take a trip to the nearby countryside to explore the quaint and charming towns of Bucks, Chester, Delaware and Montgomery counties, all incredibly accessible by car and public transport.
Admire the works of art at the Brandywine River Museum of Art, marvel at the beauty of Longwood Gardens, or hug Big Bird at Sesame Place (or all of the above).
11. Hotel parking is easy and ventilated
Speaking of parking, most hotels in Philadelphia have parking lots or offer valet parking – take that, NYC! — to reassure motorists.
If you’re driving into town, unload your car at the hotel and forget about it until you’re ready to go. You will not need it during your stay. Why? See below.
12. Visit Philly Overnight Hotel Package Perks Make Your Stay Easier
Sleepover ! Philly is best experienced over multiple days, and the Visit Philly Overnight Hotel package helps you do just that.
Not only do you have your choice of one of 20 participating hotels, including the Loews Philadelphia Hotel, Ritz Carlton Philadelphia and Live! Casino & Hotel – but the package also includes free hotel parking (which can cost you up to $100 for two days) and two non-timed tickets to Harry Potter: The Exhibition (available for stays until September 11, 2022).
While perks change seasonally, free parking is a constant. Score!