Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, is full of rich American history. It is also a modern, vibrant city that boasts the largest population in Pennsylvania.
Also known as “the city of brotherly love,” Philadelphia offers visitors many activities ranging from historical tours and outdoor experiences to fine dining and indoor spaces such as art and science museums. According to ratings by travelers on TripAdvisor.com, here are the most popular things to do on your visit to Philadelphia.
Escape From The Eastern State Penitentiary
A former prison in use from 1829 until 1971, Eastern State Penitentiary housed famous prisoners such as Al Capone and Willie Sutton.
Visitors can take audio tours of the property year-round, seven days a week. If you're into the paranormal, the prison transforms into multiple haunted houses during select nights in September, October, and November.
Pay a Visit to Independence Hall
Currently, Independence Hall is open to visitors via ticketed tours only. Tickets are free but include a $1 per ticket administration fee.
Visitors can see the rooms where delegates gathered in the summer of 1776 to declare America's independence from England. Eleven years later, representatives from the early states gathered at Independence Hall once again to draft the Constitution of the United States of America.
Wander With Wonder at The Philadelphia Museum of Art
Initially chartered in 1876 for the Centennial Exposition in Philadelphia, the museum's collection now contains over 240,000 works of art. Visitors can see famous works by Picasso and Van Gogh, as well as sculptures, photographs, armor, and prints.
Enjoy The Reading Terminal Market
Reading Terminal Market is the city's 127-year-old space formerly used as a railroad terminal. Now, visitors can enjoy shopping for fresh produce, meats, and cheeses and eat in one of the dozens of restaurants inside.
Retail shopping is also a highlight, including vendors selling housewares, jewelry, linens, and more.
Learn About Culture at The Barnes Foundation
A smaller but no less important museum, the Barnes Foundation features an art collection promoting horticulture. The foundation owns more than 4,000 objects, including around 900 paintings.
Many of the pieces featured are Impressionist and Post-Impressionist paintings. They also have antiquities from China, Egypt, Greece, and Native American art.
See The Liberty Bell
Once ringing in Philadelphia's Independence Hall, you can visit the Liberty Bell in the Liberty Bell Center across the street.
No tickets are required to visit the Liberty Bell, but there may be long lines depending on the time of year. Philadelphia travelers and locals alike enjoy visiting this symbol of freedom year-round.
Brush Up on History at Museum of The American Revolution
Visitors to Philadelphia will find no shortage of American history at their fingertips. The Museum of the American Revolution shares the story of the United States' fight for freedom in the late 1700s.
Featuring interactive tours and thousands of historical artifacts, the museum includes an incredible amount of material about the war that shaped America as we know it today.
Run up The “Rocky” Steps
In 1972, Rocky Balboa, a character made famous by actor Sylvester Stallone, ran up the Philadelphia Museum of Art steps and pumped his fists in the air. Visitors can also have their “Rocky” moment at the top of these steps.
You can also take advantage of the statue of Rocky himself at the bottom of the steps. Both make excellent backdrops for photos.
Get Hands-on at The Franklin Institute
The Franklin Institute is family-friendly and is one of the oldest science and education centers in America. It was founded in 1824 and named after American scientist and statesman Benjamin Franklin.
An IMAX theater and several permanent exhibits like The Giant Heart and Electricity allow visitors to get hands-on with science. The institute also houses many relevant traveling exhibits.
Explore The Whimsical Philadelphia's Magic Gardens
Philadelphia's Magic Gardens is located on South Street and covers over three city lots. It features mosaics made of everything from bike wheels to kitchen tiles.
Visitors to the area can enjoy wandering the mosaics from 11 am-6 pm, Wednesday through Monday. It is closed to the public on Tuesdays.
Feel Patriotic at The National Constitution Center
As a private, non-profit organization, the National Constitution Center aims to serve as a debate platform and educate visitors about the Constitution. The Center offers programming for adults and children to encourage all Americans to learn about the United States Constitution.
Touch Everything in The Please Touch Museum
Yes, you really can touch everything in the Please Touch Museum. Their goal is to “change a child's life as they discover the power of learning through play.”
It is open Mondays and Wednesday-Saturday from 9 am to 4:30 pm. On Sundays, it is open from 11 am to 4:30 pm. Admission is $19-$22, depending on the date of your visit.
Get Wild at The Philadelphia Zoo
Philadelphia has a lot of “firsts,” including its zoo, which was chartered in 1859. The Civil War delayed its initial opening, but it finally opened in July 1874.
The Philadelphia Zoo is home to nearly 1,300 animals. The zoo has a carousel, ropes course, petting zoo, and various educational and interactive exhibits for families visiting Philadelphia.
Tour The Betsy Ross House
While the house may be a Philadelphia landmark, historians do not consider the home, nor the tale of Betsy sewing the first American flag, to be completely accurate. However, history is alive and well and presented with enthusiasm by the actors working at the Betsy Ross House.
Admission is $8 for self-guided and $10 for audio tours. Children three and under are free, and there are discounts for children, seniors, students, and military members.
Learn About Founding Father Benjamin Franklin at His Museum
The museum contains artifacts and videos that explain who Benjamin Franklin was and why he was important to the United States. Admission to the Benjamin Franklin Museum is $5 per adult and $2 per child, ages 4-16.
The Benjamin Franklin Museum explores his life and legacy with engaging exhibits and learning opportunities.
Philadelphia offers its visitors many opportunities to engage their senses. You can do as much or as little as your Philadelphia travels allow. If you run out of time to see it all, feel free to plan another trip to the city of Brotherly Love!
This article was produced and syndicated by Wealth of Geeks.
Sarah Gilliland is a travel journalist and travel editor for Wealth of Geeks with over ten years of experience writing, editing, and producing content related to family travel. She freelances for several online outlets, including Yahoo, Insider, Conde Nast Traveler, and Attractions Magazine. Sarah's beats include theme parks, family travel, cruises, and road trips. When she isn't traveling or writing freelance columns, Sarah can be found on her website, On the Road with Sarah, or binging the latest geeky thing on Netflix or Disney+.