Philadelphia Visitor Guide 2021: Everything you need to know

31 January, 2021by Bounce

The City of Brotherly Love is the biggest in Pennsylvania and one of the most important in the eastern United States. It's a city rich in history, and it played an especially important part in the Revolutionary War that saw the colonies of the United States separate from Britain. In fact, Philadelphia was even the capital of the new nation of the United States until 1800.

But for all Philly's historical importance, the city has more going for it than just a glorious past. Its many universities and colleges have made it an educational hub and an important place for research. It has more outdoor sculptures and murals than any other US city. And its mixture of historic and modern attractions pull in over forty million tourists per year. Whether it's your first visit to Philadelphia or your hundredth, you'll find plenty to do in this unique and vibrant city.

A weekend in Philadelphia

There's lots to explore in Philadelphia, but a weekend may be just enough to give you a taste of the city. Drop off your heavy bags at a Philadelphia bag storage and set out to explore what this historic town has to offer.

  • Get a classic Philadelphia photo in front of the Liberty Bell. This cracked bell has become a symbol of liberty and freedom throughout the United States, and is a must-visit on any trip to the city.

  • See where the United States was born at Independence Hall. This impressive building was a meeting place for the founding fathers, and the Declaration of Independence was signed inside. The framework for the U.S. Constitution was also laid down here. As a result, this is a crucial building in American history.

  • Check out the revitalized waterfront along the Delaware River. In recent years, this has become one of the most interesting neighborhoods in the city. With gorgeous views, exciting bars and restaurants, and plenty of fun activities, a stroll along the waterfront is a perfect way to spend a Philadelphia evening.

Philadelphia lockers

As one of the oldest towns in the United States, Philadelphia's historic core is more walkable than most. Often, exploring on foot is the best way to enjoy what Philly has to offer. You can make things easier on yourself by dropping off your bags at a luggage locker in Philadelphia before you explore. Many of the city's museums and historic sites don't allow large bags inside, so leave your belongings safely behind until you're ready to pick them up again.

Off the beaten path in Philadelphia

Philadelphia can sometimes seem overrun with tourists, especially at the more significant historical sites. If you dig a little deeper, you'll find some places most tourists never discover. And often, these places can give you a deeper understanding of the real life of this famous city.

  • Get some fresh air at John Heinz National Wildlife Refuge. The first urban wildlife refuge in the country, this park feels a long way from the city. Home to dozens of species of birds, it's a great place to reconnect with nature.

  • Visit a uniquely fascinating science museum at Wagner Free Institute of Science. Dating back to 1855, this museum houses the natural history collection of William Wagner and is a great place to learn something while you avoid the crowds. Drop off your unneeded bags at a Philadelphia luggage locker before you visit.

  • Check out an artist village at Cherry Street. Only recently renovated, the pier boasts an outdoor garden and over a dozen artist studios where you can meet some of the leading lights of the city's cultural scene. Buy a painting or just enjoy the views of the Delaware Bridge in this unique neighborhood.

What to do alone in Philadelphia

Packed with museums, galleries, and other cultural attractions, Philly is a great place to visit solo. Whether you find yourself in town for business or for vacation, there's no end of ways to spend some time in this impressive city.

  • Check out the museums along the Benjamin Franklin Parkway. Home to the Franklin Institute, the Rodin Museum, and the stunning Philadelphia Museum of Art, you could spend days on this single street exploring all the cultural jewels it has to offer. Many of the institutions don't allow large bags, so make sure you drop yours off at a Philadelphia luggage storage service before you go.

  • Dive into Philadelphia's cultural scene at Reading Terminal Market. Locals and tourists alike come here for produce, and there are great restaurants inside the market. There's much more to Philly's food scene than cheesesteak, and you'll be able to try some of its best offerings here.

  • Learn more about the complicated history of Philadelphia with a small group tour. Context tours are for groups of no more than six people and are led by genuine scholars, so they can give you a far deeper understanding of the sights of the city.

The best souvenirs in Philadelphia

Philadelphia is a great place to shop. If you're looking for a quirky memento of the town, pick up a Phillies Fanatic puppet. Majestic Clubhouse Store is the place to get all your Phillies branded gear. Or you could get a limited-edition coin from the US Mint, which was first established in the city in 1792. Collector's editions of coins make great souvenirs and can even increase in value as the years go by. Or for something a little tastier, visit Marcie Blaine artisanal chocolates. The handcrafted treats here look almost as good as they taste, and the hardest part will be making sure they make it all the way home with you.

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