Top 23 Philadelphia Attractions


Philadel­phia is a city that played an impor­tant role in the for­ma­tion of the Unit­ed States, because it was here that the Dec­la­ra­tion of Inde­pen­dence was signed. And there are many remark­able build­ings and muse­ums.


Who and why should go to Philadelphia

First of all, Philadel­phia will be of inter­est to those who want to learn more about the his­to­ry of Amer­i­ca. Many sights are ded­i­cat­ed to the sign­ing of the Dec­la­ra­tion of Inde­pen­dence. Many mon­u­ments are locat­ed in the Inde­pen­dence Nation­al His­tor­i­cal Park: the Lib­er­ty Bell, Inde­pen­dence Hall, Inde­pen­dence Palace, etc. And at the Nation­al Con­sti­tu­tion Cen­ter you will learn every­thing about the main doc­u­ment of the state.

If you love vis­it­ing muse­ums, Philadel­phia has plen­ty to do. Art con­nois­seurs should look into the local tem­ples of art, where large col­lec­tions of works by artists and sculp­tors are pre­sent­ed. In the African Amer­i­can Muse­um you can get acquaint­ed with the cul­tur­al her­itage of the African dias­po­ra, and the Muse­um of Arche­ol­o­gy and Anthro­pol­o­gy presents inter­est­ing finds and unique arti­facts.

Also in Philadel­phia there are enough unusu­al build­ings and archi­tec­tur­al mon­u­ments. For exam­ple, the orig­i­nal col­or­ful house called the Mag­ic Gar­dens of Philadel­phia, the city jail where Al Capone served time, and the house muse­um ded­i­cat­ed to Bet­sy Ross, who is cred­it­ed with cre­at­ing the Amer­i­can flag.

Historical landmarks

Independence Hall

independents hol

Inde­pen­dence Hall is locat­ed in Inde­pen­dence Nation­al Park and is an impor­tant his­tor­i­cal mon­u­ment as well as Philadel­phi­a’s most pop­u­lar attrac­tion.

In the 18th cen­tu­ry, meet­ings of the Sec­ond Con­ti­nen­tal Con­gress were held here, and on July 4, 1776, it was here that the Dec­la­ra­tion was approved, unit­ing the colonies of North Amer­i­ca after declar­ing their inde­pen­dence from Eng­land. The build­ing has been rebuilt sev­er­al times, but the inte­ri­or has been com­plete­ly restored.

National Constitution Center

nac centric konstitucii

Here, vis­i­tors can see numer­ous pho­tographs and records that tell about the approval of the main doc­u­ment of the coun­try and its sig­nif­i­cance for Amer­i­can cit­i­zens. The cen­ter also hosts pre­sen­ta­tions and per­for­mances, shows themed films about pub­lic gov­ern­ment pro­grams. The muse­um has its own slo­gan — “Free­dom is call­ing!”.

Elfret Alley

alea elfreta

This is one of the old­est streets in the Unit­ed States, the devel­op­ment of which took place in the 17th-18th cen­turies. Each build­ing on this alley is unique, and the gen­er­al atmos­phere can send you back in time for a while — to the colo­nial peri­od, the years after inde­pen­dence and the dif­fi­cult times of the Great Depres­sion. This amaz­ing alley is rec­og­nized as a his­tor­i­cal nation­al mon­u­ment.

Cultural attractions

Cathedral of Saints Peter and Paul

cerkov st petra

This majes­tic cathe­dral was found­ed in 1846 and was mod­eled after the Lom­bard Church of St. Charles in Rome. The build­ing was built in the style of clas­si­cism, as evi­denced by the round dome, tri­an­gu­lar ped­i­ment and Corinthi­an columns on the facade.

Inside the tem­ple, lux­u­ry reigns — a mosa­ic is laid out on the ceil­ing, bench­es are made of wal­nut, and a mar­ble dome is installed above the altar.

masonic temple

massonski temple

The main cathe­dral of the Grand Mason­ic Lodge is vis­it­ed by thou­sands of tourists. In addi­tion, meet­ings of this mys­te­ri­ous order are held in it on an ongo­ing basis. The neo-Renais­sance church build­ing was erect­ed in 1873. It is dis­tin­guished by an unusu­al appear­ance and lux­u­ri­ous inte­ri­or dec­o­ra­tion, besides, the cathe­dral is rec­og­nized as a his­tor­i­cal mon­u­ment.

Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts

pensilvansk academy

In 1805, a group of artists and patrons cre­at­ed the acad­e­my and the first School of Art in the Unit­ed States. This is one of the best edu­ca­tion­al insti­tu­tions in the field of cul­ture. In 2005, the acad­e­my received an award — the US Nation­al Medal of Arts. It hous­es an exten­sive col­lec­tion of works by lead­ing Amer­i­can artists for vis­i­tors to view.

Church of Christ

cerkov christa

The church in the Gre­go­ri­an style was built in the XVIII cen­tu­ry in the image and like­ness of the tem­ples of Lon­don. Dur­ing the colo­nial peri­od, the cathe­dral played an impor­tant role as the spir­i­tu­al cen­ter of Penn­syl­va­nia, and it was often vis­it­ed by politi­cians: Franklin, Wash­ing­ton, Jef­fer­son, as well as rev­o­lu­tion­ar­ies, thanks to which the Dec­la­ra­tion of Inde­pen­dence was signed. By the way, B. Franklin is buried in the church ceme­tery near its walls.

African American Museum

afro museum

The pur­pose of this muse­um is to pre­serve the African Amer­i­can her­itage. Inter­est­ing expo­si­tions pre­sent­ed in four spa­cious gal­leries tell the sto­ry of the emer­gence and devel­op­ment of the African dias­po­ra in Amer­i­ca.

Here you can learn about the life and work of African Amer­i­cans, their reli­gion, cul­ture and strug­gle for civ­il rights. Here you can not only get acquaint­ed with the exhibits, but also lis­ten to lec­tures and watch the­mat­ic films. Black artists, singers, writ­ers, and politi­cians per­form at the muse­um.

Museums and galleries

Museum of Art

musei iskustv

This is one of the largest muse­ums in the Unit­ed States, tak­ing an hon­or­able third place. About 25 the­mat­ic exhi­bi­tions take place here every year. The col­lec­tion con­sists of 300 thou­sand exhibits — these are objects of applied art of the peo­ples of the world, prod­ucts of great sculp­tors, works of famous sur­re­al­ists and impres­sion­ists. The pride of the muse­um is a col­lec­tion of paint­ings by Van Gogh.

Franklin Science Institute

science institute

The Franklin Insti­tute is a mas­sive three-sto­ry build­ing with show­rooms, spa­cious gal­leries, and an obser­va­to­ry. The muse­um is named after the states­man and inven­tor whose works became the basis of the expo­si­tion.

Here you can see the works of sci­en­tists and inven­tors of the XVIII-XX cen­turies, inno­v­a­tive tech­nolo­gies and tech­no­log­i­cal won­ders. And in the muse­um’s own plan­e­tar­i­um and the Hall of Dinosaurs, it will be inter­est­ing for young vis­i­tors.

Museum of Archeology and Anthropology

museum archeology

The col­lec­tion of the muse­um is rep­re­sent­ed by exhibits found dur­ing archae­o­log­i­cal exca­va­tions and expe­di­tions at the begin­ning of the 20th cen­tu­ry. Amer­i­can archae­ol­o­gists have vis­it­ed dif­fer­ent coun­tries, and the result of their expe­di­tions are the rarest arti­facts: Indi­an amulets, ancient Greek coins, musi­cal instru­ments, Egypt­ian mum­mies and much more.

Rodin Museum

musei rodena

The idea of ​​found­ing the muse­um belonged to the phil­an­thropist and busi­ness­man Jules Mast­baum, who col­lect­ed the work of Auguste Rodin. He want­ed to make a gift to his city and open a muse­um named after the great sculp­tor.

For three years he man­aged to col­lect a large col­lec­tion and in 1929 to ful­fill his dream. The muse­um’s col­lec­tion includes approx­i­mate­ly 150 sculp­tures, includ­ing orig­i­nal works by Rodin, author’s and offi­cial­ly approved copies.

Barnes Foundation

fond barnsa

The founder of the Meri­on Foun­da­tion was the inven­tor and col­lec­tor A. Barnes. In fact, the Foun­da­tion is an art school and muse­um, which exhibits a col­lec­tion of works by French mas­ters of the XIX-XX cen­turies. Here you can see paint­ings by Renoir, Matisse and Cezanne.

The muse­um also presents antiques and sam­ples of dec­o­ra­tive and applied art of the peo­ples of Europe and Amer­i­ca.

Philadelphia Museum of Art

hud museum

The Art Muse­um owns a huge col­lec­tion — about 227 thou­sand exhibits from around the world. Here you can admire paint­ings and sculp­tur­al com­po­si­tions of Chi­nese, Japan­ese and Indi­an mas­ters, ori­en­tal ceram­ics, Roman and Egypt­ian arti­facts, Turk­ish and Per­sian car­pets, as well as look at the col­lec­tion of weapons and armor. Cul­tur­al events are often held near the muse­um build­ing.

Philadelphia parks

Morris Arboretum


The 92-acre park fea­tures endan­gered and exot­ic plants. The arbore­tum is divid­ed into 4 parts: Eng­lish and Japan­ese gar­dens, swan lake and rose gar­den.

The land­scape design of the park is made in the Vic­to­ri­an style, so it’s nice to take a walk here with friends or fam­i­ly. In order to thor­ough­ly exam­ine every cor­ner and admire the beau­ty of the arbore­tum, it is bet­ter to set aside a few hours for a walk.

Independence National Historical Park

nac ist park nesavisimosti

The offi­cial open­ing of the park took place in 1956. It includes sites that are some­how con­nect­ed with the strug­gle of Amer­i­cans for inde­pen­dence in Philadel­phia. On the ter­ri­to­ry of Inde­pen­dence Park there are many his­tor­i­cal build­ings and attrac­tions, as well as edu­ca­tion­al cen­ters.

In par­tic­u­lar, it hous­es the Lib­er­ty Bell and the Inde­pen­dence Palace, where the US Con­sti­tu­tion and the Dec­la­ra­tion were signed and adopt­ed.

Philadelphia Zoo


This is the old­est zoo in the Unit­ed States, found­ed in the 19th cen­tu­ry. A vari­ety of ani­mals live in the park: white lions, polar bears, pan­das and oth­er fau­na from all over the world. Ani­mals live in spa­cious enclo­sures, so both vis­i­tors and res­i­dents of the zoo feel com­fort­able. In total, the park con­tains more than 2000 indi­vid­u­als.

Notable buildings

Liberty Bell

kolokol freedom

The huge bell sym­bol­izes the strug­gle for free­dom, because it was its ring­ing in 1776 that announced the approval of the Dec­la­ra­tion of Inde­pen­dence to the inhab­i­tants of the city. At first it was locat­ed in the hall of Inde­pen­dence Hall, and after 200 years a spe­cial pavil­ion was built for it. On the anniver­sary of Amer­i­ca’s Inde­pen­dence Day on July 4, the bell is struck 13 times.

Magic Gardens of Philadelphia

magic sad

Hear­ing this name, one can imag­ine green thick­ets and flow­er­ing shrubs. But in fact, this is the name of the orig­i­nal house on Philadel­phia Street. Its walls are com­plete­ly cov­ered with pieces of glass and tiles, and the court­yard is a real labyrinth with ter­races, var­i­ous stairs and grot­toes. The avant-garde artist I. Zagar worked on the cre­ation of this unusu­al house.

Philadelphia City Hall

town hall

The Sec­ond Empire style build­ing was designed by archi­tect D. MacArthur, Jr. The date of its con­struc­tion is the end of the 19th — the begin­ning of the 20th cen­tu­ry. It was sup­posed that the town hall would be the tallest build­ing in the world, but the Eif­fel Tow­er bypassed it even at the con­struc­tion stage.

Now the town hall is crowned with a stat­ue of W. Penn, who was the founder of Philadel­phia, and the build­ing itself is includ­ed in the list of nation­al his­tor­i­cal mon­u­ments of the Unit­ed States.

Eastern State Penitentiary

vost turima

The prison, which con­tained dan­ger­ous and famous pris­on­ers, func­tioned in the years 1829–1969. Until 1993, the prison build­ing was aban­doned, and then a muse­um was found­ed on its ter­ri­to­ry, which is vis­it­ed by many tourists. The famous crim­i­nal Al Capone served time here, and today vis­i­tors can see his cell, which is fur­nished with wood­en fur­ni­ture.

Betsy Ross House

dom betsi

It is gen­er­al­ly accept­ed that Bet­sy Ross is the author of the first vari­a­tion of the Amer­i­can flag, on which 13 stars rep­re­sent­ing the states of the coun­try lined up in a cir­cle. Many his­to­ri­ans ques­tion the verac­i­ty of this ver­sion, but they do not give an offi­cial refu­ta­tion either.

Not far from the his­tor­i­cal park, there is a house-muse­um named after the famous woman, and her grave is locat­ed in the court­yard under a spread­ing elm.

Philadelphia Railroad Station


The city has the largest and busiest sta­tion in the state, which receives many trains every day from var­i­ous cities in the Unit­ed States. The sta­tion build­ing looks mas­sive, but at the same time con­cise, it con­tains ele­ments of the clas­si­cal style.

The struc­ture was erect­ed in the 1930s, and was the last of the sta­tions designed in a mon­u­men­tal man­ner.


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