Answers from Our Experts (2)
There’s a lot of really cool, beautiful things to see in Center City. At the Philadelphia Museum of Art, you can look like an idiot, run up the steps and do the Rocky thing and jump around. The museum is fabulous.
You have to see the Liberty Bell and Independence Hall. It’s amazing how many important things happened in that very small area. As an American, you’re proud to be down there. We don’t go there unless we’re taking somebody there, but we’re always happy when we do take people there.
At Christmas, there’s always been a tradition at Wanamaker’s, an old department store in downtown, and now it’s a Macy’s. It has this light show inside and it’s very retro, traditional. The Comcast Center, which is only a couple years old, has this amazing light display inside. It’s like an entire wall that’s maybe 50 feet tall and 100 feet wide. It’s a series of flat-screen TV panels, but much more complicated than that.
I recommend seeing our sports teams, too. Philadelphians are very passionate about sports, so it would be kind of fun to go see the Phillies or the Eagles. The dining scene downtown is great as well. The Franklin Institute is great if you have kids — go for science and history and learning.
Touring Philadelphia's renowned museums and historic attractions is one thing, but to truly experience the city, you have to get a little interactive.
While its available in nearly every city around anymore, hoping on a city tour is a great way to understand the layout and distinct neighborhoods of Philadelphia. Philadelphia Trolley Works, The Big Bus, and Ride the Ducks all offer a quick and affordable way to make sure you at least see all of town, and with hop on/off tickets you can simply disembark when something catches your eye.
Historic Philadelphia's tours of Old City and its famous attractions are a wonderful way to not only see some important buildings, but get to know their interesting and sometimes surpising back stories. These aren't your classic social studies class lectures, either -- with themes like a Tippler's Tour to area pubs or an after-dark peak into a "live" debate in Independence Hall, you become a part of the history.
If you have a few days in Philadelphia, another great way to feel the pulse of town is to get out of the tourist core and into one of the local neighborhoods. The old time charm of the Italian Market, the trendy boutiques of Northern Liberties, and wave-making bars of East Passyunk all are worth exploring, shopping, and, of course, tasting.