- Philadelphia is a huge city with several district articles containing sightseeing, restaurant, nightlife and accommodation listings — have a look at each of them.
Philadelphia , located in southeastern Pennsylvania, on the southern fringe of the mid-Atlantic region, is the fourth-largest urban area in the United States and the country's sixth-largest city. Often referred to as "Philly," the city's metropolitan area encompasses twelve counties in Pennsylvania, New Jersey and Delaware.
Rocky statue outside the Philadelphia Museum of Art
- Center City - home to LOVE Park, the Chestnut and Walnut shopping and dining districts, Rittenhouse Square, Philadelphia's beautiful city hall, and many museums and cultural attractions. Skyscrapers, designer shops, major restaurants such as Susanna Foo and Brasserie Perrier, and hotels such as the Ritz can all be found in Center City.
- Old City - features the Liberty Bell, Constitution Hall, Independence Hall, as well as a burgeoning young artist and student community; this part of Philadelphia was also the location for MTV's The Real World: Philadelphia. Old City hosts a lot of night life activity: expect to see a young, professional crowd here on weekends.
- Washington Square West - 7th to Broad Street, Chestnut to South Street, squished in between Rittenhouse Square and Old City/Society Hill. Home of Antique Row and Mid-Town Village, two great shopping districts. Historic cobbled streets, theaters, restaurants and more.
- South Philly - famous for its Italian heritage as well as being featured in Rocky, South Philly is also home to FDR Park and all of Philadelphia's major professional sports teams. You want a cheese steak? South Philly's where it's at: 9th and Passyunk Ave. That's all you need to know.
- South Street - arguably the center of night life and urban activity in Philadelphia, South Street encompasses almost every kind of urban attitude you'd expect in a major city. Tattoo parlors, cheese steak joints, local designer clothing stores, restaurants, music venues, and local cafes line South Street from Penn's Landing up to about 10th street. Every night it seems as if there is a street festival going on here.
- West Philly - From the Schuylkill River to Cobb's Creek. Includes University City, Powelton Village and the Philadelphia Zoo. West Philadelphia is also well known for its turn of the century architecture found in its unique, brick "twin" style homes. From UPenn to 47th Street along Spruce or Pine is a great place for a stroll. West Philly is also home to much of Philadelphia's Fairmount Park system. Fairmount Park, the largest municipal park in the country, is home to Mann Music Center, the Philadelphia Zoo, and soon the Please Touch children's museum. On Sundays MLK Drive is closed to traffic so bring your Rollerblades!
- University City - home to the University of Pennsylvania, Drexel University, and University of the Sciences in Philadelphia; not surprisingly, this area has a distinct college town feel and is the source of controversy over gentrification. However, before redevelopment this area of Philadelphia had crime enough to deter people from coming to school here. University City is also know as the "Left Bank" (an homage to Paris' Latin Quarter), as well as Philadelphia's "international" neighborhood because of the multitude of ethnicities living here. For a respite, check out Clark Park on Baltimore Ave at 43rd Street.
- Manayunk - known as the "city on a hill," Manayunk is home to many unique stores and shops as well as a thriving student and artist community. Manayunk also hosts an annual Arts Fest and the main climb for the Philadelphia International Cycling Championship in summer months.
- East Falls - home to Philadelphia University, Drexel University College of Medicine, and Women's Medical College (the first women's medical school in the world), which is currently being renovated into a mixed-used development by a team that includes Philadelphia's own Wulff Architects. The end of Kelly Drive culminates at East Falls; take the bridge over the Schuylkill River to MLK Drive to continue your 8 mile bike ride back down to the Art Museum.
- Far Northeast - The farthest north you can get in Philadelphia without leaving the city, this section is mostly residential with some light industrial parks. The Pennypack portions of Fairmount Park run through the Northeast and the Far Northeast.
- Art Museum Area - The Art Museum area is more than just that. Though it is the seat of one the finest art collections in the world (you must see the Impressionist gallery), it also encompasses the Philadelphia Free Library, the Franklin Institute, the Eastern State Penitentiary (where Al Capone sat idle for many years), and an up and coming residential neighborhood that includes galleries, restaurants, and bars just east of the Parkway off of Spring Garden Street and Fairmount Ave. Kelly Drive, the most popular recreational destination in the city with bike and running paths, as well as historic Boathouse Row, begins just behind the art museum.
- Mt. Airy - North By Northwest. Mr. Airy is a residential neighborhood that could be described as eclectic, with its main streets crossing at the site of a natural food co-op. Young families tend to live here on many tree-lined streets.
- Northern Liberties - the latest trendy neighborhood in Philadelphia among students, young professionals and artists is also home to many galleries and shops worth seeing. NoLib, as its residents call it, is fast becoming Philadelphia's version of SoHo with artist lofts, architecturally-conscious condo developments, and plenty of entertainment from bowling, to clubs, to restaurants.
- Society Hill-Queen Village - one of Philadelphia's oldest neighborhoods, site of Gloria Dei (Old Swede's) Church. Walking around Queen Village will give you a taste of what Ben Franklin might have experienced in Philly when he was alive, as well as give you a peek at Philly's old European roots.
- North - large area north of Center City.
- Templetown - neighborhood of Temple University's main campus, one mile north of City Hall.
- Northeast - for bargain shopping, Northeast Philadelphia is home to Franklin Mills Mall, with many popular brands having large outlet stores there
Philadelphia, often called the "Birthplace of America" and referred to as the "new Athens" early in its existence, is the birthplace of America's modern democracy. Founded by William Penn in the late 17th century, the city's name translates to "City of Brotherly Love" and has been a seat of freedom since its inception; originally founded by Quakers, the colony promoted religious freedom among its residents in stark contrast to the England of the time.
Perhaps best known for its role in the American Revolutionary War, Philadelphia saw the convening of the Continental Congress as well as the writing of the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution. Shortly after the nation's inception took place in Philadelphia, the city was named the nation's capital, a role it filled from 1790 until 1800, when Washington, D.C. took over.
Benjamin Franklin, probably the city's most famous resident, was responsible for the city's alternative title, the "new Athens." While Franklin's most famous experiment dealt with the conducting of electricity, he was also responsible for the country's first insurance company, the city's first public library and the first fire department; Franklin also played a great role in establishing the city's postal system as well as inventing new conveniences such as bifocal lenses and the Franklin Stove.
Philadelphia has seen its skyline and its name in lights throughout the years in such famous films as the "Rocky" series, as well as films like namesake "Philadelphia" and many of Philadelphia native M. Night Shyamalan's thrillers.
The Liberty Bell is located right in the center of Philadelphia inside of a pavilion near Independence Hall. The Liberty Bell is a major piece in Philly's history. The Liberty Bell was rung to announce the news of the passage of the Catholic Emancipation Act of 1828 in Great Britain. John Sartain in his book, Reminiscences of a Very Old Man, claims the Bell was cracked during this announcement:
"The final passage of the Emancipation Act by the British Parliament is linked to a bit of Philadelphia history. On receipt of the news in Philadelphia the Liberty Bell in the tower of the State House was rung, and cracked in the ringing. When I was up in the tower in 1830, two years after, viewing the cracked bell for the first time, Downing, who was then the custodian of Independence Hall, told me of it and remarked that the bell refused to ring for a British Act, even when the Act was a good one."
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The Philadelphia area's 6.2 million inhabitants comprise a diverse group of almost every nationality. Philadelphia's primary cultural influences can be seen in its plethora of Irish pubs, the city's Italian Market, the Chinatown District, and the Reading Terminal which plays host to a diverse crowd of merchants - from first-generation European and Asian immigrants to the area's local Amish and Mennonite farmers.
Philadelphia's economy is as diverse as the population that inhabits the city. The Philadelphia Stock Exchange, the oldest one in America, has been in operation since 1790. In addition the city is host to several Fortune 500 companies, including Comcast (one of the nation's largest cable television provider), CIGNA insurance, and Lincoln Financial Group.
Dating back to the city's roots as the nation's first capital, the federal's government presence is also strong in Philadelphia. The United States Mint is located near Philadelphia's historic district and the Philadelphia division of the Federal Reserve Bank is close to that. Thanks to this governmental presence Philadelphia plays host to a large number of prestigious law firms and is considered one of the nation's centers of law.
The Pennsylvania Railroad, once the largest railroad company in the world, continues to influence Philadelphia's economy under the Amtrak name. Amtrak's second-busiest station, 30th Street Station, is located on the west bank of the Schuylkill River and employs many Philadelphians in customer service and ticketing jobs.
Finally, many medical schools, pharmaceutical companies, and medical technology firms make their homes in and around Philadelphia, arguably making it the nation's healthcare capital.
Philadelphia International Airport (PHL) is minutes from the city and is served by taxis and the SEPTA R1 Regional Rail Line. Taxis offer a flat rate of $28.50 from the airport to Center City. The R1 railway line serves each terminal throughout the day until approximately midnight and takes about twenty minutes to travel between the airport and center city Philadelphia, making stops at all major commuter tunnel stations: 30th Street Station (Amtrak), Suburban Station (Penn Center, City Hall, Center City) and Market East Station (East Market Street, The Gallery, Pennsylvania Convention Center, Reading Terminal). Tickets for the R1 train can be purchased onboard the train, cash-only, for about $9. Alternately, the #37 SEPTA bus stops at all terminals (Directly outside baggage claim) and goes into South Philadelphia, terminating at the Broad Street Line subway station "Snyder." The trip costs $2 cash, payable to the driver.
The predominant carrier at PHL is US Airways, which offers flights to destinations throughout the US and Europe, as well as a handful to Latin America. Southwest has become US Airways' main domestic competitor at PHL since 2004, and the two airlines constantly attempt to outbid each other's fares on many trunk routes.
Alternatively, you can fly to Newark International Airport (EWR) or Baltimore-Washington International Airport (BWI), each of which has a more or less direct connection by Amtrak to 30th Street Station (1 hour from EWR; 80 minutes from BWI). Other New York and Washington-area airports are much less convenient.
The city is a major hub along Amtrak's  Northeast Corridor and Keystone lines, with frequent trains (at least once an hour during the day) from some of the nation's largest cities. Inbound trains from Washington and New York arrive at least once an hour during the day; 30th Street Station is also part of Amtrak's Acela High Speed Corridor which allows for faster travel times between the major Northeast Corridor cities. The Keystone and Pennsylvanian trains arrive in Philadelphia many times throughout the day, with Keystone service between Harrisburg and Philadelphia arriving between ten and fourteen times each day and Pennsylvanian service between Pittsburgh and Philadelphia arriving once each day. Additionally, Amtrak provides service to Vermont, Virginia, Charlotte, and overnight service to Florida and New Orleans.
It's also possible to get to Philadelphia from New York via commuter rail. Using this method, one would take New Jersey Transit from Penn Station to Trenton and then transfer to SEPTA's R7 regional rail. While this is about a third the price of Amtrak service from New York, it is more than an hour slower.
All SEPTA regional commuter lines stop at the SEPTA Platform at 30th Street Station. Commuter rail is an efficient way to see the scenic Philadelphia suburbs and enjoy the shopping that the city's 'burbs have to offer. New Jersey transit to and from Atlantic City makes stops around the clock at the station. SEPTA's Market-Frankford Elevated Line Subway stops just one block outside the station at a newly-renovated station and is efficient for travel between 30th Street, Old City, and West Philadelphia.
As a last resort, and most costly depending on destination, 30th Street Station has a taxi platform just outside the main entrance that is served by all major Philadelphia taxi companies.
Philadelphia is located at the crossroads of many of the region's and the nation's most vital Interstates. Interstate 95 runs along the Eastern edge of Philadelphia as it traverses the East coast from Maine to Miami. In addition, Philadelphia is linked to the Pennsylvania Turnpike which traverses the state from East to West. The Northeast Extension of the Turnpike connects Philadelphia to the Poconos and Wilkes-Barre-Scranton. Philadelphia is also served by Interstates 76 and 676, which connect directly to the New Jersey Turnpike and Atlantic City Expressway, and indirectly to the Garden State Parkway.
Parking - it is important to consider that Philadelphia is a city of 1.4 million and the center of a metro area of 6 million, and as such, the roads are congested round-the-clock and the parking is far from cheap. Should you choose to bring a car, check with your hotel about parking in the city. Legal street parking is available but is very difficult to find close to Center City attractions or hotels. Secured parking garages can cost up to $35 per day or higher in some cases. Visitors should also be aware that the Philadelphia Parking Authority is renowned (even notorious) for its efficiency and PPA parking enforcement personnel are as quick to write tickets as they are unlikely to yield to a violator's plea for leniency. Tickets that are not paid promptly quickly accumulate additional penalty fees.
Traffic - In terms of congestion Center City Philadelphia compares favorably to most large US cities. Gridlock does occur, however, particularly during rush hour. Traffic generally moves at the slowest pace in the Chinatown neighborhood, on the numbered streets west of Broad and in the South Street and Olde City areas on weekend evenings. The most heavily-travelled roads in the area are I-95, I-676/I-76 (The Schuylkill Expressway), which connects Center City to the various suburbs west of the city, and I-476, the "Blue Route," which curves from the south to the west of Philadelphia, connecting I-95 with I-76 and, beyond that, the PA Turnpike. Rush-hour delays are common on all these roadways: During the a.m. rush-hour I-95 south-bound typically backs up between the Bridge St. and Girard Ave. exits and eastbound Rt. 76 (The Schuylkill Expressway)typically jams from Gladwynne to 30th Street. During the evening rush-hour, I-95 usually slows from the Bridge St. to Academy Rd. exits. On 676 and the west-bound Schuylkill traffic can be stop-and-go from roughly Broad St. potentially all the way to the so-called "Conshohocken Curve," just east of the town of the same name, effectively doubling the time it normally takes to drive from Center City to the PA Turnpike entrance at King of Prussia. Anyone planning to drive through Philadelphia during either the am or pm rush hours would do well to anticpate the above-described traffic conditions and plan accordingly.
Philadelphia is served by the Greyhound, Trailways and Peter Pan bus routes to cities across the United States. The city is also served by an exclusive "Chinatown Bus" service, which connects Philadelphia's Chinatown district to the Chinatown section of New York City and Washington D.C. The buses, though amazingly cheap in comparison to their more corporate competitors, are far from luxurious; they also use small terminals in both Chinatown districts, which can be daunting and undesirable for a first trip or any trip. But if it's a bargain you're looking for, the Chinatown buses are by far the best one you'll find between the two cities.
- Apex Bus, . The New York City stop is at 88 East Broadway. The stop for Philadelphia is on 121 N 11th Street. The ride is only about 1 hour and 30 minutes. $20 one way, $35 round-trip (from NYC).
- Today's Bus, . The New York City stop is at 88 East Broadway. The stop for Philadelphia is on 121 N 11th Street. No advance purchase is required. $12 each way (from NYC).
- Goto Bus, . You can search several carriers through this site. Sometimes discounts are given from this site.
- New Century Travel, . Offers service from both New York and Washington D.C. The New York City stop is at 88 East Broadway. The stop for Philadelphia is at 55 N 11th Street. $20 round-trip (from NYC).
- Megabus, . Provides service from New York City; fares start at $1 when ordered far enough in advance. Buses arrive and depart from the south side of John F Kennedy Boulevard, just west of 30th Street near 30th Street Station.
- BoltBus, . Provides service from New York City; fares start at $1 when ordered far enough in advance. Buses arrive and depart from 30th Street and Market Street, near 30th Street Station.
Note: If you buy tickets online, be sure to get on the right bus. Some companies trick you into taking the wrong bus and then charge you again.
The RiverLink and Freedom Ferry services  provide travel from Philadelphia to neighboring Camden, NJ between April and September. The service provides direct service to Camden's Tweeter Center on the Waterfront, a popular concert venue for the Philadelphia area. Access to the other waterfront attractions, including an aquarium, is also provided by the ferry service.
Philadelphia is one of America's most walkable cities. This has been taken advantage of and Philadelphia is marked extremely well by "Walk! Philadelphia" signs that are placed on each block, sometimes only several feet apart, that guide visitors toward shopping, dining, gallery perusing, cultural enjoyment, local must-sees and public transportation should it need to be taken. The city has two very walkable shopping districts as well as the walkable Benjamin Franklin Parkway, which is home to many museums, including the Franklin Institute and the Philadelphia Museum of Art that was made famous in the Rocky series of movies.
Phlash Bus - Philadelphia has a seasonal (May-October) trolley bus for tourists called the Phlash. It runs in a 20-stop East-West circuit of major tourist locations, from the Museum of Art in the West to Penn's Landing in the East. Free for kids under 5 and for senior citizens 65 & up. It is $2 per ride or $5 for a one day pass. Look for the purple trolley bus or the winged purple & blue logo.
SEPTA Regional Rail  regional commuter rail trains stop in Center City at underground commuter rail tunnels. The two major center city stops, Suburban Station and Market East Station, will drop you off right in the middle of it all. Suburban Station is near City Hall, the shopping district, the financial district, and many cultural attractions; Market East Station connects to the Pennsylvania Convention Center, shopping at The Gallery ("Four blocks long, four stories high!") and the Reading Terminal Market, a famous local marketplace. Traveling within Center City is considered a "Zone 1" fare and will cost $3.00.
New Jersey Transit RiverLINE  is a lightrail line serving 20 stations between Trenton and Camden, NJ. The line connects with DRPA's PATCO Hi-Speed Line as well as SEPTA's R7 Regional Rail line between Philadelphia and Trenton. RiverLINE travels North-South along the Delaware River entirely in New Jersey. One-way fare between Trenton and Camden, NJ is $1.35. There are reduced fare options for senior citizens, children and families. Monthly passes are available.
SEPTA operates two subway lines and a Subway-Surface line that serve Center City Philadelphia as well as the smaller neighborhoods on the city's fringe. Cash fares are $2.00, but one can buy tokens at the rate of two for $2.90 (as of 6/1/08).
Broad Street (Orange) Line - sometimes called the Orange line - runs North-South underneath Broad Street, one of Philadelphia's two major streets. It serves Temple University, City Hall, the Sports Stadium Complex and everywhere in between. The BSL also has a "spur" called the Broad-Ridge Spur that serves Chinatown and 8th & Market Streets in Center City. Free transfers from the Broad Street Line to the Market-Frankford Line can be made at City Hall Station (BSS) to 15 St. (MFL); a free interchange with Subway-Surface Lines can be made at the City Hall station. Transfers from a subway to a bus or from a bus to a subway cost $0.60 and must be purchased before the bus or train leaves the station. This transfer is also required from the 8th St. Ridge Avenue spur to the 8th MFL station.
Market-Frankford (Blue) Line - sometimes called the Blue line or the "El" - runs North-South from the Frankford Transportation Center in Northeast Philadelphia to 2nd and Markets St., then East-West between 2nd and Markets St. and 69th Street Terminal in West Philadelphia. The line runs underground beneath Market Street from 2nd to 45 Streets within Center City, Old City, and University City, and is elevated elsewhere. An interchange with the Broad-Ridge Spur is available at 8th Street Station; an interchange with SEPTA's Regional Rail is available at 11th St. to Market East Station, 15 St. to Suburban Station, and at 30 St. to the 30th Street Amtrak Station; a free interchange with the Broad Street Line is available at 15th Street Station. A free interchange with the Subway-Surface Lines is at 13 St. Station.
Subway-Surface Lines - sometimes called the Green line is actually a set of five streetcar lines: 10 (Lancaster), 11 (Woodland), 13 (Chester), 34 (Baltimore), and 36 (Elmwood). Each runs along a different Avenue in West Philadelphia, but all meet at a subway portal at 40 St. and Woodland Avenue (except the #10, which joins the subway at a portal at 36th St.) to run in a streetcar subway under the University of Pennsylvania and Drexel University to 30 St., then under Market Street from 30 to Juniper St, near 13 St. It shares 30th, 15th, and Juniper/13th St. stations with the MFL, but is the only subway stopping at 19th and 22nd Streets along Market St. There is a free interchange between the lines at all three shared stations. There is no cross platform interchange because the MFL has high platforms, and the Subway-Surface has low platforms, and these have to be on the right side of the streetcar.
PATCO Hi-Speed Line  operated by the Port Authority of Pennsylvania and New Jersey, travels between 16th and Locust Streets past 8th and Market Streets in Center City Philadelphia and Lindenwold Station in Southern New Jersey. PATCO runs underground in the city and rises above ground to cross over the Delaware River on the Benjamin Franklin Bridge. It then runs underground in the center of Camden, then is above ground through the rest of its trip in New Jersey. There is no free interchange between SEPTA's subways or regional rail and the PATCO service. The PATCO line is the easiest way to access Camden, NJ's waterfront attractions, including the New Jersey State Aquarium and the Tweeter Center at the Waterfront concert venue. Fees for the service are based on the distance of travel. Those rates are as follows:
- Lindenwold, Ashland & Woodcrest Stations: $2.45
- Haddonfield, Westmont & Collingswood Stations: $2.15
- Ferry Avenue (Camden) Station: $1.85
- Broadway & City Hall (Camden) Stations: $1.15
- For travel between all Pennsylvania stations: $1.15
- For travel between all New Jersey stations: $1.30
Taxis are regulated by the Philadelphia Parking Authority and display a medallion license on their hood. All taxis are metered. Rates are $2.70 at flagfall and $2.30 per mile. There is also .50 cent gas surcharge. For trips from the airport, a flat rate, including fuel surcharge, of $28.50 applies. An additional $1.00 per passenger ($3.00 maximum) after the first passenger will be charged on flat rate trips between the Airport and Center City for those passengers over the age of 12. Tipping for good service is common.
Philadelphia is also home to PhillyCarShare , where, after registering, you can book vehicles by the hour or day for significantly less than a rental car. PhillyCarShare has vehicles including Toyota Pruises, Volkswagen Beetles and Mini Coopers stationed at various locations called 'pods' around Philadelphia. You first book online, and then use your personal key to unlock the vehicle and away you go. Rental is $5.90 to $7.90 per hour, or approximately $50 for a full day, plus a few dollars booking fee and $0.09 per mile traveled.
Much of Philadelphia's art requires not a dollar to see and not a building to enter. Philadelphia has the largest collection of public art in America, courtesy of the city's innovative Mural Arts Program , designed to stop graffiti and enliven the city's buildings. Other public art of note includes the many glass mosaics found throughout the city; a sampling of this great public art can be seen on South Street east of Broad.
Center city Philadelphia offers many public statue displays. "The Clothespin" is a sculpture by Claes Oldenburg that resembles a clothespin located just across from City Hall on West Market Street. LOVE Park, serving as a terminus between City Hall and the museum-laden Benjamin Franklin Parkway, features a famous LOVE statue that has come to represent the brotherly love that Philadelphia was founded on. The site once was the city's (and perhaps the nation's) most popular skating attraction until new legislation and remodeling efforts outlawed skating in the park. Just across the JFK Boulevard from City Hall at the Municipal Services Building, visitors can find many larger than life game pieces from popular board games as well as a statue of former mayor Frank Rizzo.
More statues can be found throughout Fairmount Park  along Kelly Drive on east side of the Schuykill River. Sculptures by Remmington can be found on the path, while several sculptures by Alexander Milne Calder can be found in Laurel Hill Cemetery , which is located just off the paved walking path.
- Philadelphia Museum of Art, 26th Street and Benjamin Franklin Parkway, ☎ (215) 763-8100, . Tu-Th, Su 10AM-5PM, F 10AM-8:45PM. Famous on the outside for the steps seen in the film "Rocky" and famous on the inside for one of the world's largest collections of art, the Philadelphia Museum of Art is home to many rotating collections as well as a standard selection of pieces always on display. In 2008 an exhibition of Frida Kahlo's work will be on display. In addition, the PMA is opening a new exhibition space in the Perelman Building on Pennsylvania Ave which will display sculpture, costumes, textiles, prints, photographs, and design. $14 adults, $12 seniors, $10 students, AAA discount $1. Sundays pay what you wish.
- Academy of Natural Sciences, 1900 Benjamin Franklin Parkway, ☎ (215) 299-1000, . M-F 10AM-4:30PM, Sa-Su 10AM-5PM. Not just a natural history museum, this institution also has an active research arm and library. Highlights of the museum include a 2-story dinosaur exhibit, a butterfly walk-through area, and a children's nature center with live animals. $10 adults, $8 children/seniors/ military/students, AAA discount $1.
- The African-American Museum in Philadelphia, 701 Arch St, ☎ (215) 574-0380, . Tu-Sa 10AM-5PM. Built to preserve, interpret, and exhibit achievements of African Americans. $8 adults, $6 children/seniors.
- Atwater Kent Museum of Philadelphia History, 15 South 7th St, ☎ (215) 685-4830, . W-Sa 1PM-5PM. This museum, "where history inspires the future," is located just around the corner from the Liberty Bell and Independence Hall, features a hands-on and comprehensive history of America's "birthplace" and founding city. Unique to the museum is a "walkable" map of the region on the floor of the museum. In minutes, you can walk between suburban Montgomery County and the heart of Philadelphia in center city! $5 adults, $3 seniors/children, free for children under 12.
- Independence Seaport Museum, Penn's Landing, ☎ (215) 925-5439, . Daily 10AM-5PM. This museum has lots of interesting displays regarding the maritime history of Philadelphia, from colonial times through the days of slave-trading to the Industrial Revolution. Highlights include a mockup of a navigation room and a place where you can view woodworkers handcrafting rowboats. The museum has some great views of the Delaware River and the Ben Franklin Bridge. $9 adults, $6 children, $8 seniors/students.
- The Franklin Institute Science Museum, 222 North 20th St, ☎ (215) 448-1200, . Daily 9:30AM-5PM, closed Thanksgiving, Christmas Eve & Day, and New Year's Day. This museum attracts some of the top scientific exhibits in the world, including the Titanic Artifacts exhibit, an upcoming exhibit of the Egyptian Treasures found in King Tut's tomb, and the 300th birthday celebration of Ben Franklin himself, which was in 2006. Be sure to walk through the giant-sized human heart, a favorite with kids. This museum is incredibly popular with as a field trip destination for local schools, so be advised that mornings and early afternoons on weekdays may be crowded with schoolchildren. $13.75 adults, $11 children 4-11 years old and senior citizens.
- The Mutter Museum, 19 South 22nd St, ☎ (215) 563-3737, . Daily 10AM-5PM, closed Thanksgiving, Christmas Day, and New Year's Day. Originally open only to medical students, this collection of medical oddities is quickly becoming one of the city's most popular attractions. Not for the faint of heart, this museum includes lots of items in formaldehyde, lots of skeletons, and one of the only men to ever decompose into soap. $12 adults, $8 children/seniors/students.
- The Please Touch Museum, 210 North 21st St, ☎ (215) 963-0667, . Daily 9AM-4:30PM, closed Thanksgiving, Christmas Day, and New Year's Day. A fantastic place to take young children. As the name says, everyone is encouraged to touch the exhibits. $9.95.
- The National Museum of American Jewish History, 55 North 5th St, ☎ (215) 923-3811, .
- Rare Book Department of the Free Library of Philadelphia. If you're into rare books at all, take the free tour, offered at 11AM M-F, of the Philadelphia Free Library's amazing rare book collection. Besides the Gutenberg Bible, highlights include medieval manuscripts, children's book illustrations, and the stuffed body of Dickens' pet raven Grip, the raven who inspired "The Raven."
- Rosenbach Museum and Library, 2008 DeLancey, ☎ (215) 732-1600, . Hourly tours (Tu-F, 11AM-4PM) take visitors through this fine old townhouse owned by a pair of rare-book dealers, which has grown into a museum and archive. The Maurice Sendak room, full of his sketches and pages, also contains Herman Melville's own bookcase, which holds the copy of Moby-Dick he inscribed to Hawthorne. A handsome double library on another floor holds Joyce's manuscript for Ulysses. On the top floor, poet Marianne Moore's Greenwich Village living room has been installed, to go along with the Rosenbach's trove of Moore papers.
- University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology, On South Street between 32nd and 33rd Streets, . This museum houses an impressive collection of Egyptian and Greco-Roman artifacts.
Theater and music
- Walnut Street Theatre, . America's oldest theatre, celebrating its 200th anniversary season in 2008. Shows regularly sell out, and travelers are advised to buy in advance.
- The Philadelphia Orchestra, . One of the most famous and widely traveled orchestras in the world. Performs in Verizon Hall at the Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts.
- Kimmel Center, 260 South Broad St, ☎ (215) 893-1999, . Showcases a variety of performing arts from chamber music, dance, drama, orchestral, jazz & pop.
- The Mask and Wig Club, 310 South Quince St, . Mask and Wig has presented comedy, music, and dancing to the University of Pennsylvania, to Philadelphia and to audiences across the country since 1889 and is a legend amongst Philadelphia theatre-goers. Each Spring, Mask and Wig performs a full-length musical comedy at it's historic Clubhouse.
- The Khyber, 56 South 2nd St, . A storied home of many Philadelphia indie acts, The Khyber is an Old City attraction that can't be missed by music enthusiasts.
- The Barbary, Frankford and Delaware Ave. Varied DJ nights all week. Hipster night spot.
- Tower Theatre, 69th Street in Upper Darby, . The Tower Theater is located just across from the last stop on the westbound Market-Frankford Line. Originally a Great Depression-era movie theater, the venue is now home to some of the biggest names in music and showbusiness each year.
- The Trocadero, 1003 Arch St, . Typically features indie/alternative acts and local acts.
- The Fillmore at the TLA (formally Theater of Living Arts), On South Street between 3rd and 4th Streets. The TLA is a smaller, more intimate venue that often features a good mix of national acts and local musicians.
- The Electric Factory, 421 North 7th St, .
- Academy of Music, At Broad and Locust Streets, . The Academy is the oldest grand opera house in the United States still being used for its original purpose. The Academy also provides the Philadelphia area with interesting and popular concerts, ballets, Broadway shows, and other events. Tours of the Academy, focusing on its inspiring history and current renovations, are available by contacting the manager's office.
- The World Cafe Live, 3025 Walnut St, . World Life Cafe offers an eclectic offering of concerts, from jazz to rock, from locally and nationally-renowned artists.
- R5 Productions, . Shows are at several venues.
- Wanamaker Organ, At the Macy's Center City store in downtown Philadelphia, . The largest operational musical instrument in the world is played twice a day in the store, six days each week.
- Eastern State Penitentiary, . "America's Most Historic Prison." It is also the site of an annual Bastille Day recreation.
- Edgar Allan Poe National Historic Site, . The former home of the famous American author of mystery and the macabre.
- Fairmount Water Works, . Features information on local watersheds as well as interpretive art.
- Independence National Historic Park, . Philadelphia's signature historic site features the Liberty Bell, Independence Hall, Constitution Hall (home of the Declaration of Independence and Constitution). It also features historic buildings from the city's revolutionary past, approximately 20 of which are open to the public.
- Fairmount Park, . Technically, Fairmount Park covers all of the city parks in Philadelphia, but the name also refers more specifically to the large park on both sides of the Schuykill River northwest of Center City, which is the largest urban park in the United States.
- Clark Park, 43rd & Chester, . Clark Park is an outdoor music and arts festival area in West Philadelphia.
- LOVE Park. A square near City Hall, known for its Robert Indiana "LOVE" sculpture (dating to the American Bicentennial) and for attracting skateboarders from around the world (despite a ban on skating in the park). Since 2002, this ban has been rigorously enforced (and the park renovated to discourage skateboarders). Free wireless access is now available in the park.
- Rittenhouse Square. One (southwest) of William Penn's original "five squares" of public, open space in the city, Rittenhouse Square sits among classic and classy Rittenhouse hotels and residences and attracts people from around the world. As part of the Wireless Philadelphia initiative, the park is now completely blanketed in Wireless internet access.
- Washington Square (southeast), Franklin Square (northeast), Logan Circle (northwest), and City Hall (center) make up the other four original "squares" created by William Penn. Four of the five squares (one now a circle) are somewhat symmetrically located at the four corners of an imaginary square surrounding the very center of Center City Philadelphia, now occupied by City Hall. The center of City Hall's Square is a large compass in the ground. There are four archways leading into it. Logan Circle is considered the gateway to Fairmount Park and the Art Museum area. Washington Square is near Independence Hall. Franklin Square is seen mainly from cars approaching the Ben Franklin Bridge to Camden, NJ and rarely by pedestrians.
- Philadelphia Phlash  The Philadelphia Phlash is a convenient trackless trolley ride between downtown hotels and 19 key Philadelphia locations, including the Philadelphia Museum of Art, Old City and Logan Square. Best of all, the Phlash costs just $2 each time you board and is free for children under 5 years old and senior citizens over 65.
- Big Bus Tours  See the city of Philadelphia from a London-style double-decker bus, complete with an open top! Commentary on all of Philadelphia's sights is offered. This tour will cost you a bit more though, at $27 for a 24-hour pass.
- Philadelphia Trolley Works  Take a scenic tour of Philadelphia in a Victorian-era trolley, hose and carriage, LandShark, or double-decker bus. Hosts offer commentary on all that you see throughout Philadelphia. Prices vary depending on length of tour and vehicle.
- Ride the Ducks  One of the most notorious tours in Philadelphia involves not colonial works, but ducks. Riding the ducks, complete with a "quacker," is a great way to see Philadelphia by land before seeing the skyline and scenic historic Philadelphia from the waters of the Delaware. And you're sure to draw looks from all the locals with each quack, who generally view the ducks as a nuisance.
- Once Upon A Nation  See Philadelphia's historic district with colonial-themed tour guides and bystanders. Once Upon A Nation showcases the Philadelphia of the 18th Century and pays close attention to the city' revolutionary heritage. In 2006, Once Upon A Nation will reopen Franklin Square, one of Penn's original five squares, as a tribute to Benjamin Franklin's 300th birthday. The square lies just across from the historic district and will feature the Liberty Carousel among other attractions.
- "Philadelphia in the Movies" Tour Discover a little Philadelphia history that's not in the textbooks. Visit the locations where all the action took place in such films as Rocky, Trading Places, The Sixth Sense, Philadelphia, In Her Shoes, and many more. Learn what happened, what didn’t and what did but never made it to the screen. Tours run every Saturday 10 am-12:30pm Boarding time is 9:45am at Market & 6th St. Walk Ups Welcome! Purchase ticket at www.toursignup.com/movie Sponsored by PNC
- Constitutional Guided Walking Tour of Philadelphia  Philadelphia is one of America's most walkable cities, so what better way to see it than on foot? Get up close and personal with history on this 75-minute, 1.25 mile walking tour of the historic district. The tour showcases over 15 of Philadelphia's most popular tourist attractions including Independence Hall, the Liberty Bell, Benjamin Franklin's grave site, and the house where Thomas Jefferson wrote much of the Declaration of Independece! Frequent departures throughout the day at the Independence Visitors Center at 6th & Market Streets! You can purchase tickets in person, online or at the Box Office: 215-525-1776.
- Spirits of '76 Ghost Tour  Philadelphia's got ghosts, come check them out! The Spirits of '76 Ghost Tour is One Part History, Two Parts Haunt! See more than 20 haunted sites on a 75-minute walking adventure through the cobblestone streets of Philadelphia. Hear stories about the ghosts of the founding fathers including Benjamin Franklin and John Adams, see historic cemeteries such as Old Pine Street and St. Peter's, and learn about Leo Callahan and Edgar Allen Poe. Tours depart from the Cosi Restaurant at 4th and Chestnut Street. Purchase tickets on-site each evening before the tour, from the Box Office: 215-525-1776, or visit the website for a detailed schedule. Tours run from April and beyond Halloween.
- The Philadelphia Zoo  America's first zoo is located just across the Schuylkill River and features just about every animal one could ever ask to see. From the new "pouncing pumas" to the traditional lions, tigers and bears, the zoo has it all. During the summer months, the Philadelphia Zoo offers "Zoo Balloon" tours, which offer a great perspective of Philadelphia and its surrounding areas at a high altitude.
- The Palestra Philadelphia is known for its rich college basketball history, and the Palestra, located on the campus of the University of Pennsylvania, is a museum of the Philadelphia Big 5 programs (La Salle, Penn, Saint Joseph's, Temple, and Villanova). The arena serves as the home court for the Penn Quakers basketball team and is the court for many basketball games between the city's colleges.
- Philly Nightlife Philly2night.com provides users with all of the information necessary to find where to go and what to do in Philadelphia. Listings of bars, restaurants, clubs and exclusive events make this a great tool for Philadelphia natives and visitors.
- www.philadelphiaweekly.com and www.citypaper.net are the city's two alternative weeklies and are excellent resources for finding what is happening in any given week.
Philadelphia is rich with educational opportunities. From Ivy League school Penn to the respected Temple University, from the many art schools to the many community colleges, Philadelphia is practically a stomping ground for the undergrads!
- Temple University  Philadelphia's largest four-year university, Temple University has very good undergraduate programs in communications, business and education. Graduate programs in law and business have been ranked as some of the best nationally. The Division 1 Temple Owls athletic teams range from generally good, such as the men's and women's basketball teams, to the football team, which is one of the worst teams in the nation
- The University of Pennsylvania  America's first university, founded by Benjamin Franklin, is a member of the Ivy League, and is consistently ranked at or near the top of the annual US News and World Report college rankings. It is also one of the few universities that predate the United States itself. The university is most famous for its business, medicine, law and social sciences programs, although its departments across the board are amongst the most renowned in the country.
- Drexel University  Situated next to the University of Pennsylvania in University City, Drexel boasts outstanding programs in math, engineering and education, as well as the only co-op program in the area. The university has recently expanded graduate offerings to include a co-op-enhanced School of Law.
- La Salle University  A medium-sized Catholic university run by the Christian Brothers, La Salle is home to 58 Fullbright scholars and one of the very few AACSB-accredited business programs, La Salle is a premier provider of education in the Philadelphia region.
- Philadelphia University  Offering programs in Fashion Merchandising, Digital Design, Biopsychology, and many others, Philadelphia University is a leader in science, design, and business education in Philadelphia.
- Saint Joseph's University  With strong programs in business and social sciences, Philadelphia's Jesuit university plays a major role in the city and suburban community. Half the campus lies within the city limits in West Philadelphia's Wynnefield neighborhood, and the other lies in Merion Station, Montgomery County. The University neighbors the famous Barnes Foundation.
- The Lutheran Theological Seminary at Philadelphia  A Seminary of the ELCA, this fine institution located in Mt. Airy focuses on Master of Divinity Degrees which lead to ordination, Master of Arts in Religion Degrees which lead to Deaconal ministry in specific fields, and Ph.D's in select theological fields.
- Community College of Philadelphia  Philadelphia's premier community college, CCP offers two-year programs in architecture, business, art and design, communication arts, education, liberal arts and music. The college has exclusive transfer credit agreements with several area colleges, should students wish to pursue the final two years of their undergraduate education in the area.
Art & trade schools
- University of the Arts  UArts is one of the most prestigious art schools in America. Programs include everything from printmaking to filmwriting.
- Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts  Affiliated with the University of Pennsylvania, PAFA offers a Bachelor's and a Master's in fine arts with an ivy league twist.
- Moore College of Art and Design  Located on the Ben Franklin Parkway, this all womans college offers a diverse collection of majors in the visual arts, ranging from Textiles and Fine Arts to Interior Design.
- Hussian School of Art  The Hussian School of Art offers undergraduate degrees in advertising, illustration, and the graphic arts.
- Art Institute Philadelphia  Offering Bachelor's and Associates of Science degrees, the Philadelphia location of the national Art Institutes provides an intriguing hybrid of traditional and non-traditional experiences and education in the arts.
- The Wine School of Philadelphia  Offering professional sommelier & winemaking diplomas, the school is one of the top in the country. It also offers classes and programs to the public at large.
Philadelphia's job market is ever-expanding both in the city and it its suburbs. The 1,000' Comcast Center, is a constant reminder of the economic revitalization of Philadelphia and of Comcast's presence in the city. Comcast, a Philadelphia-founded company, plans to add between 2,000 and 3,000 jobs after the completion of it's new signature tower in 2008. Additionally, a Keystone Opportunity Zone over the Powelton Rail Yards adjacent to 30th Street Station promises a bright future for jobs and new office buildings in the city.
- The Shops at the Bellevue Located in the historic Bellevue at Broad and Walnut Streets, the Shops at the Bellevue offer upscale shopping and a gourmet food court. Shops include Ralph Lauren, Tiffany & Co., Williams-Sonoma, Origins, and Teuscher Chocolates of Switzerland (Oprah loves the champagne truffles...). Aside from the gourmet foodcourt and upscale shopping, the Bellevue is also home to such upscale eateries as The Palm, Bliss, XIX and J.L. Sullivan's Speakeasy, as well as the Park Hyatt Philadelphia at the Bellevue.
- The Gallery at Market East Located at 8th and Market Streets, The Gallery at Market East offers mid-range stores. It also connects to the Market-Frankford Subway Line and regional commuter trains.
- The Shoppes at Liberty Place Located at the base of two of Philadelphia's tallest buildings, The Shoppes at Liberty Place offer upscale shopping and a mid-to-low-range food court.
- Chestnut Street Shopping Mid-range shopping awaits on Chestnut Street, with many ma-and-pa outfits in addition to bargain big-leaguers H&M and Daffy's.
- Walnut Street Shopping Walnut Street west of Broad is home to a range of national brands and boutiques, from the high-end Burberry, Tiffany and Diesel to locally managed Anthropologie and Urban Outfitters.
- South Street Shopping  South Street between 9th and Front Streets holds a plethora of bargain stores and unique boutiques with a distinct urban Philadelphia flair. Retro Vintage, Guacamole and Condom Kingdom are among the most popular stores amidst a large amount of restaurants and bars.
- Franklin Mills Mall If bargains are what you're looking for, Franklin Mills Mall's many outlet stores are where you need to be headed!
- King of Prussia Mall Located in the suburbs, King of Prussia Mall is the largest mall on the east coast and offers a variety of shopping, from high-class stores like Armani to the more affordable Abercrombie and American Eagle stores.
- The Reading Terminal Market A popular farmer's market with many vendors selling produce, meats, chocolates, and a variety of other usually handmade foodstuffs and items. Some vendors have been in business for over a century.
- Willow Grove Park Also located in the burbs, Willow Grove Park Mall sits on what was once an amusement park for suburbanites. The mall features many mid-range stores and a suspended carousel.
- Souvenirs Many places around Philadelphia carry souvenir items, most exclusively in the historical district (Old City) as well as the Reading Terminal Market. From the Liberty Bell to the cheesesteak, these places will help you remember the whole trip.
- Antique Row Pine street between 9th and 13th is home to a mix of antique stores and local gift and craft boutiques. Visit the Foodery at 10th and Pine for a selection of hundreds of by-the-bottle beers from around the world, or a few blocks down, ring the bell at Halloween (1329 Pine) for an incredible jewelry store experience that can accommodate any budget.
- The Italian Market, . Home to the freshest produce and goods in Philadelphia, the Italian Market is an absolute "must" for Philadelphia visitors. Combining the hustle and bustle of a market atmosphere with friendly merchants and high-quality products, the Italian Market is both a local and national attraction.
- Reading Terminal Market, . The Reading Terminal Market is home to many of Pennsylvania's Amish merchants who sell their goods. Here, you can find some of the best baked goods and the freshest organic produce in the region. Additionally, the market feature cheesesteaks and other non-Amish restaurants and shops.
- Chinatown, . East of Broad Street, East meets West. Philadelphia's Chinatown is an ethnic section of the city that can't be missed. Why settle for Chinese buffets when you can get the authentic stuff right here? There's no need to. Chinatown is located north of The Gallery at Market East and close to the Reading Terminal Market.
See the Districts articles for specific listings.
Cheesesteak at Jim's Steak with Provolone cheese and onions
Philly's most famous homegrown food is the cheesesteak, a sandwich made of a fresh roll filled with grilled shaved beef and cheese (as well as onions, mushrooms, and other optional sides). The spiritual homes of the cheesesteak are Pat's King of Steaks  (where 9th Street crosses Wharton & Passyunk Ave.), where the cheesesteak was invented, and Geno's Steaks (9th & Passyunk), where they claim to have improved on Pat's version. You can expect to pay around $9 for a cheesesteak, fries, and a soda at either one. Although Pat's and Geno's are the most famous cheesesteak joints, there are many others to choose from, particularly in South Philadelphia— John's Roast Pork at Snyder and Weccacoe is considered by many locals to make the best steak in the city, and many prefer Jim's Steaks  or Tony Luke's . Though South Philadelphia is the undisputed home of this sandwich, Steve's Prince of Steaks in Northeast Philadelphia, south of Cottman Avenue on Bustleton Avenue, has an excellent offering. Northeast Philadelphia is also home to Chink's Steaks, a delightful drug-store throwback on Torresdale Avenue between Benner and Comly Streets, near the Delaware River. No cheesesteak aficionado can call himself such without a visit to Dalessandro's Steaks on Henry Avenue in the Roxborough section of Northwest Philadelphia (north of Manayunk and East Falls).
A caveat before ordering a cheesesteak, particularly at the often crowded Pat's and Geno's - know how to order. There is somewhat of a 'no soup for you' attitude at these busy and fast-service oriented establishments which can really make a tourist stand out. The way to order is as follows: It is assumed that you are going to order a cheesesteak, so unless you are not, don't specify this. First, say the type of cheese - only american, provolone, and cheese whiz (preferred enough as to be referred to as 'cheese' by cashiers) are generally available. Ask for swiss at your own risk. The only condiment that is not available in a jar outside the stand will be fried onions; with (wit) or without will specify your preference on the matter. So, to order a cheesesteak with cheese whiz, with fried onions, the code is wiz with. Apply this formula according to your taste. Not too complicated, and a good way to fit in.
You can also find cheesesteaks at Reading Terminal Market, located at 12th and Arch Streets. Here visitors will find many stands selling produce, meats, flowers, and baked goods. Reading Terminal Market is a good place to get lunch if you are in the area. The multitude of vendors and low prices provide plenty of options for a quick meal. It's also home to one of the city's best pretzels (Fisher's).
Philadelphia's most famous snack is the salted soft pretzel, which, while shaped with the three holes like soft pretzels everywhere else, are distinctive in that they are flattened into a wide rectangle and are made in long chains in which the wide sides of the pretzels are attached. A person may typically buy two, three, or more attached pretzels at a convenience store or from a street vendor. The price is low, especially compared to national vendor brands sold in other cities and in malls. Unlike pretzels served in many other cities, Philly pretzels are not served hot, but at room temperature.
The most famous sweet snack is from the Tastykake brand. Their main factory is on Hunting Park Avenue east of Fairmount Park, so every flavor and type of TastyKake is sold in Philadelphia, and they are usually extra fresh, since they do not have to travel far to the retail outlet. Still, to out-of-towners, the appeal of these over other mass-produced confections may not be immediately apparent.
Also unique to the Philadelphia area are Goldenberg's Peanut Chews , a bit-sized chocolate bar with a chewy peanut center. Originally developed as a high-energy ration bar during WWI, but still popular today!
- The Rittenhouse Hotel, 210 West Rittenhouse Square, . A luxury 5-Diamond rated hotel in the heart of Philadelphia in Rittenhouse Square.
- Alexander Inn, 12th and Spruce Streets, ☎ 877.ALEX.INN, . In a bohemiam section of Washington Square West.
- Philadelphia Airport Marriott, 1 Arrivals Road, Phildelphia, PA 19153, 215 492-9000", . Connected to Terminal B of the Philadelphia International Airport via the skybridge. Has event space for meetings and weddings. Ten miles from downtown Philadelphia and the Pennsylvania Convention Center.
- Philadelphia Marriott Downtown, 1201 Market St, 215 625-2900, .Adjacent to the Pennsylvania Convention Center and 8 blocks from Independence Hall, this Center City Philadelphia hotel is located near dining, shopping, business, & cultural attractions.
- AmeriSuites Mt. Laurel/Philadelphia, 8000 Crawford Pl, 856 840-0770, . Convenient to Philadelphia, Atlantic City, and the Jersey Shore.
- Crowne Plaza - Center City, 1800 Market St, 215 561-7500, . In the heart of the Philadelphia downtown business district - within minutes of shopping and entertainment, and just seven miles from Philadelphia Airport.
- Holiday Inn - Historic District, 400 Arch St, 215 923-8660, . Centered in the Nation's most historic square mile - Philadelphia Airport is only eight miles away.
- Hyatt Regency Philadelphia at Penn's Landing, 201 South Columbus Blvd, ☎ +1 215-928-1234, .
- Park Hyatt Philadelphia, 200 Broad St, ☎ +1 215-893-1234, .
- Microtel - Airport, 8840 Tinicum Blvd, 215 492-0700, . Economy/budget hotel offering guests free local and free long distance calls in the continental United States, and free wireless high-speed Internet access in every room of their hotels, as well as advance online check-in and check-out with unlimited access to online folio information. Additional location available in West Chester .
- Rittenhouse 1715 - A Boutique Hotel, 1715 Rittenhouse Square, (Center City), 877-791-6500, fax: 215 546-8787, . Newly renovated boutique hotel. Seasonal and Couples Specials are available.
- Sheraton Society Hill, One Dock St, (2nd and Walnut Streets), 215 238-6000, . Established in 1986, it takes you back in time to the days of colonial Philadelphia. The hotel is located amidst lush landscaping and cobblestone streets in the most historic square mile in America and just four blocks away from Philadelphia's renowned Independence Hall.
- Sheraton Philadelphia City Center, 17th & Race Streets, . Just four blocks from the Pennsylvania Convention Center.
- Sheraton Philadelphia, 36th and Chestnut Streets Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 19104, . Sheraton Philadelphia University City hotel in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania features luxurious rooms, meeting space, and a restaurant near city center.
- Apple Hostels of Philadelphia, 32 S Bank St, (Old City), 877 275-1971, email: [email protected], . Located in downtown Philadelphia, less than 3 blocks from the Liberty Bell and Independence Hall, free wireless Internet (for travelers with laptops), free bed linens, no curfews, no lockouts. Affordable, clean hostel with loads of free activities, friendly & knowledgeable staff and plenty of outside tours you can book at the reception desk that's open 24 hours.
- HI - Chamounix Mansion Hostel, 3250 Chamounix Drive (West Fairmount Park), 215 878-3676, fax: 215 871-4313, . On a scenic bluff above the Schuylkill River and 45 minutes to downtown Philadelphia's cultural and historic attractions. Associated with Hostelling International.
Philadelphia is thoroughly covered by all of the major American cellular telephone companies. Cingular Wireless, Verizon Wireless, Sprint-Nextel Wireless, and T-Mobile Communications phones will all receive full service in most parts of the city. As always, service indoors varies according to signal strength, phone brand, and the composition of the building itself.
Wireless Philadelphia, a project that intended to cover the entire city with wireless internet access, is undergoing some management troubles. While the entire city is not yet covered, Rittenhouse Park, as well as many Starbucks and the ING Cafe at 17th and Walnut Streets, are hot spots.
For someone who isn't familiar with either the Mid-Atlantic / Northeast or even just Philadelphia, local lingo in the area can seem rather daunting. Here is a breakdown of Philadelphia's most popular local terms:
- Youse (guys) You guys, you all. Second-person plural. (Can sound like /juːs/ or /juːz/.)
- Water Ice A dessert served by local restaurants that features flavored slushy ice. Sometimes called Italian Ice. Pop's, near the corners of Oregon Avenue and Broad Street, is arguably the most popular.
- Gravy Simple marinara sauce served with Italian food.
- Coffee Regular Coffee with cream and sugar.
- Jimmies Chocolate candy sprinkled onto desserts or ice cream.
- Dis, Dat, Dey, Dees, Doze, Dem, Dough This, That, They, These, Those, Them, Though
- Youngbuk Older men refer to younger guys.
- Drawling You are in the way.
The city is struggling with violent crime, and has one of the worst murder rates in the US among major cities, earning the "City of Brotherly Love" a grim new nickname: "Killadelphia." Sadly, as is the case in most American cities, the vast majority of the ~400 annual murders occur mostly in poor neighborhoods often plagued by gang warfare. While tourists are unlikely targets for violence, innocent bystanders have been killed and wounded in shootings near popular destinations. The violence is generally concentrated in the north central portion of the city, and between Drexel University and the Philadelphia Zoo (though the latter location has seen some improvements.
Visitors to Philadelphia should keep their wits about themselves and take reasonable precautions against muggers and pickpockets. Avoid backstreets whenever possible, especially after dark. Panhandlers are rarely dangerous, but a significant nuisance all the same. 50 cents should satisfy most, if you feel like giving them anything. If you don't want to give them any money, just pay them no mind. They will leave you alone if you make it clear that is what you want.
Also, be careful of traffic when crossing at major intersections--in Philadelphia, as in many major cities, one must always walk, cross streets, and drive defensively. The winding Schyulkill expressway provides some beautiful views, particularly around Boathouse Row, but do not try to enjoy them from your car--with the high speeds, the river on one side, and jagged rocks on the other, this is a sure way to cause an accident.
|This is a usable article. It has information for getting in as well as some complete entries for restaurants and hotels. An adventurous person could use this article, but please plunge forward and help it grow!