yellowBOSS

Location
Business Name or Category
Search Engine

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Local Details

Learn more about Philadelphia, Pennsylvania using the City Guide below. Plan a trip, find local shopping centers, or just discover what makes Philadelphia, Pennsylvania so great!

Current Temperature

City Guide

Philadelphia, located in southeastern Pennsylvania, on the southern fringe of the mid-Atlantic region, is the fourth-largest metropolitan area in the United States and the country's fifth-largest city. Often referred to as "Philly," the city's metropolitan area encompasses twelve counties in Pennsylvania, New Jersey and Delaware.

Districts

  • 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
  • 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
  • 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
  • West Philly - Powelton Village, and the Philadelphia Zoo
  • 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
  • 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
  • East Falls - home to Philadelphia University and Drexel University College of Medicine
  • Far Northeast Philadelphia
  • Art Museum Area - contains three unique institutions: the Philadelphia Museum of Art, the infamous Eastern State Penitentiary, and the Wine School of Philadelphia
  • Mt. Airy - North By Northwest
  • Northern Liberties - the latest trendy neighborhood in Philadelphia among students, young professionals and artists is also home to many galleries and shops worth seeing
  • Society Hill-Queen Village - one of Philadelphia's oldest neighborhoods, site of Gloria Dei (Old Swede's) Church.
  • North Philadelphia - large area north of Center City.
  • Templetown - neighborhood of Temple University's main campus, one mile north of City Hall.
  • Northeast Philadelphia - for bargain shopping, Northeast Philadelphia is home to Franklin Mills Mall, with many popular brands having large outlet stores there

Understand

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.

History

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 of the United States of America. Shortly after the nation's inception took place in Philadelphia, the city was named the nation's capital between 1790 and 1800 before it was relocated to its present Washington (D.C.)

Benjamin Franklin, one of the city's most famous historical residents, if not the most famous, 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.

People

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.

Economy

Philadelphia's economy is as diverse as the population that inhabits the city. The Philadelphia Stock Exchange, the oldest such exchange in America, has been in operation since 1790. Relatedly, the city is host to several major Fortune 500 companies, including Comcast (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 city, 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 not too far from the Mint. It is thanks to this Federal government presence that Philadelphia plays host to a large number of prestigious law firms and can call itself a national center 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 west of the Schuylkill River and employs many Philadelphians in customer service and ticketing jobs.

Get in

By plane

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 $26.25 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 Convetion Center, Reading Terminal).

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.

By train

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 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 eight times each day and Pennsylvanian service between Pittsburgh and Philadelphia arriving twice each day.

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.

By car

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 you (up to $35 per day or higher in some cases).

Traffic - Compared to other US cities (i.e. New York, Boston, Los Angeles) there is much less traffic within the city. Most of the traffic is contained to Interstate 95, Interstate 676, and surrounding road. The most heavily trafficed area within the city is in the Chinatown and South Street area

By bus

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. 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.

By boat

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.

Get around

On foot

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.

By train

Commuter Rail

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 $1.25. There are reduced fare options for senior citizens, children and families. Monthly passes are available.

Subway

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 $2.60.

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

By Car

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 travelled.

See

Public Art

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.

Finally, center city Philadelphia offers two public statue displays. "The Kiss" is a sculpture that resembles a clothespin (and indeed is nicknamed "The Clothespin" by locals) 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.

Museums

  • Philadelphia Museum of Art, 26th Street and Benjamin Franklin Parkway, (215) 763-8100, Open Tuesdays-Sundays 10AM-5PM, with hours extended to 8:45PM on Fridays. 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. Sundays at the museum are pay what you wish.
  • Academy of Natural Sciences, 1900 Benjamin Franklin Parkway, (215) 299-1000, Open 10AM until 4:30PM on weekdays, 10AM until 5PM on weekends and holidays. 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. Past special exhibits have included exhibits on chocolate in the summer of 2004, and the Lewis and Clark National Bicentennial Exhibition starting in November 2004. Admission is $10 for adults, $8 for children, seniors, military and students with valid ID. Show your AAA card for $1 off admission per person.
  • The African-American Museum in Philadelphia, 701 Arch St., (215) 574-0380, Open 10AM until 5PM Tuesday through Saturday. Built to preserve, intrepret, and exhibit achievements of African Americans. The museum charges an admission fee of $8 per adult and $6 per child, senior citizen or physically challenged person.
  • Atwater Kent Museum of Philadelphia History, 15 S. 7th Street, (215) 685-4830, The museum is open between 1PM and 5PM Wednesday through Sunday. 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! Admission is $5 for adults, $3 for seniors and children 13 - 17 years old, and free for children under 12 years of age. Open 5-8 p.m. on the first Friday of the month, free to the public.
  • Independence Seaport Museum, Penn's Landing, (215) 925-5439, Open daily 10AM to 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. Admission $9, $6 children, $8 seniors and students.
  • The Franklin Institute Science Museum, 222 N. 20th Street, (215) 448-1200, Open daily 9:30AM. to 5PM, closed on 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 of course the 300th birthday celebration of Ben Franklin himself, which will be 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. Base admission $13.75 for adults, $11 for children 4-11 years old and senior citizens.
  • The Mutter Museum, 19 S. 22nd Street, (215) 563-3737, Open 10AM to 5PM everyday except Thanksgiving, Christmas Day, and New Year's Day. Originally open only to medical students, this collection of medial 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 formaldhyde, lots of skeletons, and one of the only men to ever decompose into soap. $12 General admission, $8 for children 6-18, senior citizens, and college students.
  • The Please Touch Museum, 210 N. 21st Street, (215) 963-0667, Open 9AM to 4:30PM daily, closed on New Year's Day, Thanksgiving, and Christmas Day. A fantastic place to take young children. As the name says, everyone is encouraged to touch the exhibits. Admission $9.95.
  • The National Museum of American Jewish History, 55 N. 5th Street, (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 11 a.m. Mon-Fri, 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's pet raven Grip, the raven who inspired "The Raven."
  • Rosenbach Museum and Library, 2008 DeLancey, (215) 732-1600. Hourly tours (Tues-Fri, 11-4) 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 Located on South Street between 32nd and 33rd Streets, this museum houses an impressive collection of Egyptian and Greco-Roman artifacts.

Theater and Music

  • 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 S. Broad Street, (215) 893-1999 box office. Showcases a variety of performing arts from chamber music, dance, drama, orchestral, jazz & pop.
  • The Mask and Wig Club, 310 S. Quince Street, 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.
  • The Khyber, 56 S. 2nd Street, A storied home of many Philadelphia indie acts, The Khyber is an Old City attraction that can't be missed by music enthusiasts
  • Tower Theatre Located on 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 Located at 1003 Arch Street. Typically features indie/alternative acts and local acts.
  • Theatre of the Living Arts (The TLA). Located between 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 (recently Yellowcard) and local musicians.
  • The Electric Factory Located at 421 North 7th Street.
  • Academy of Music Located 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 Located at 3025 Walnut Street. 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.

Interesting Historic Sites

  • Eastern State Penitentiary "America's Most Historic Prison." It is also the site of an annual Bastille Day recreation.
  • Fairmount Water Works Features information on local watersheds as well as interpretive art.
  • Independence National Historic Park Philadelphia's signature historic sight 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.

Parks

  • 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 Located at 43rd & Chester, Clark Park is an outdoor music and arts festival area in West Philadelphia.
  • LOVE Park (formally, JFK Plaza) is a square near City Hall, known for it's 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.

Do

Tours

  • 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 $1 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.
  • 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

Marketplaces

  • 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

Miscellaneous

  • 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.

Outside the Metro

  • The Jersey Shore Visiting the Jersey shore or "going down the shore" (as known to locals), southern New Jersey's beaches include, Ocean City, Atlantic City, and Cape May. Atlantic City is home to the Donald Trump casinos as well as the Borgata, Caesar's, and several other casinos. Cape May offers historical tours (and haunted tours!) of the town. And hey, it's a great way to cool off and unwind--and perhaps work off that cheesesteak!

Learn

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!

Four-Year Institutions

  • Temple University Philadelphia's largest four-year university, Temple University has excellent undergraduate programs in communications, business and education. Graduate programs in law and business have been ranked as some of the best nationally. The Temple Owls athletic teams are, for the most part, solid competitors in varying sports, though their football program is usually quite awful.
  • The University of Pennsylvania America's first university, founded by Benjamin Franklin, is a member of the Ivy League. It is also the only university in Philadelphia to predate the United States itself.
  • 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 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.

Two-Year Colleges

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 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 at the beginning of the Ben Franklin Parkway, it is fitting that this school specializes in the arts, offering a BFA and numerous graduate programs.
  • 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 Associate's 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.

Trade Schools

  • 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.

Work

Philadelphia's job market is ever-expanding both in the city and it it's suburbs. The 1,000' Comcast Center, currently under construction, 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.

Buy

  • 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 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 accomodate any budget.

Eat

Philly's most famous food is the cheesesteak, a sandwich made with grilled shaved beef and cheese. The spiritual homes of the cheesesteak are Geno's Steaks (9th & Passyunk in South Philadelphia) and Pat's King of Steaks (nearby, where 9th Street crosses Wharton & Passyunk Ave.), both of whom claim to have invented the cheesesteak. You can expect to pay around $9 for a cheesesteak, fries, and a soda at either place. Although Geno's and Pat's are the most famous cheesesteak joints, there are a ton of other places to choose from, particularly in South Philadelphia. Some swear by Jim's Steaks, 400 South St.

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.

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.

  • Abbraccio, 802 S. 47th St, (on trolley 34), 215 727-8247, M-F noon-1:30PM, 5PM-9PM, Sa 5PM-9PM, Su 4PM-9PM. Italian food. $25-30 (entrees $10-15).
  • Alma de Cuba, 1623 Walnut St, 215 988-1799, M-Th 5PM-11PM, F-Sa 5PM-midnight, Su 5PM-10PM. $50 (entrees $25; happy hour M-F 5PM-7PM).
  • Azteca
  • Barclay Prime
  • Buddakan, 325 Chestnut St, (at 4th), 215 574-9440, fax 215 574-8994 starr.info@starr-restaurant.com, M-Th 11:30AM-2PM, 5PM-11PM. F 11:30AM-2PM, 5PM-midnight, Sa 5PM-midnight, Su 5PM-11PM. $50 (entrees at $25).
  • Cafe Spice, 35 S 2nd St, 215 627-6273.
  • Capogiro, 13th and Spruce; 20th and Sansom. Artisanal gelato that reflects seasonal and local ingredients. Sample flavors: La Colombe cappuccino, Campari and grapefruit, muscat grape, hot pepper.
  • Continental, 138 Market St, 215 923-6069.
  • Dahlak, 47th and Baltimore Ave. Economical Ethiopian/Eritrean fare, one of the original and best east African restaurants in the neighborhood. Lovely traditional decor.
  • Franklin Fountain, 116 Market. an early 1900s-style ice cream saloon with tin ceilings, antique soda dispensers, belt-driven ceiling fans, and servers in period attire
  • La Famiglia Ristorante, Philadelphia's Best Italian Restaurant serving customers since 1976. Enormus wine cellar. 8 South Front Street. 215-922-7803
  • Ristorante La Locanda, 4989 West Chester Pike Edgemont, PA 19028. 610-353-7033. A little outside center city but worth the trip. Authentic Italian. Like eating at the owner's kitchen table in Teramo or Valle San Giovanni Italy. Don't miss.
  • Le Bec Fin, 1523 Walnut St, 5-star French restaurant. A fine dining experience to rival anything New York has to offer.
  • Le Castagne Ristorante, A sophisticated Northern Italian Restaurant owned by the Sena Family. 1920 Chestnut Street. 215-751-9913
  • Lemongrass, 3626-30 Lancaster Ave, 215 222-8042.
  • Los Catrines & Tequilas Restaurant, 1602 Locust St, 215 546-0181.
  • Mama Maria, 1637 E Passyunk Ave, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 19148-1121 Fantastico. Just like sitting down at a table in the owners town of Valle San Giovanni in Abruzzo, Italy.
  • Mama Palma's, NE corner of 23rd and Spruce, 215 735-7357. M 4pm-10pm; Tue-Thu 11am-10pm; F-Sat 11am-11pm; Sun 2pm-10pm. A cozy neighborhood gourmet pizzeria. This casual restaurant serves delicious pizza concoctions from the wood-fired brick oven.
  • Marigold Kitchen, 501 S 45th St in University City, 215 222-3699.
  • Marra's A cozy, family-owned Italian restaurant featuring award-winning pizza. 1734 E. Passyunk Ave. in the heart of South Philly's Italian district. 215 463-9249.
  • Matyson
  • Morimoto, 723 Chestnut St, 215 413-9070. Reservations are strongly recommended; dress is upscale casual, jackets are not required.
  • Pod
  • Ralph's, 760 S. Ninth St, 215 627-6011. Frequently voted "Best Italian" in Philadelphia, Ralphs has been owned and operated by the same family since 1900.
  • Rx, 4443 Spruce St Philadelphia, PA 19104, (215) 222-9590. Great food, with somewhat slow service.
  • Satellite Coffee, 50th & Baltimore Ave. Philadelphia, PA 19143. Local and organic coffee shop.
  • Tandoori
  • The Jamaican Jerk Hut, 1436 South St., 215 545-8644.
  • Vietnam Restaurant, 221 N. 11th St., 215 592-1163.
  • White Dog Cafe, 3420 Sansom St., 215 386-9224, M-Th 5:30PM-10PM F-Sa 5:30PM-11PM, Su 5PM-10PM. An elegant restaurant that is bound to the local community. They use products from local farmers, and serve beers from local breweries. The food is mostly American/Continental style, with pub grub served at the bar. $15-25.
  • Zocalo, 36th and Lancaster in University City, 215 895-0139. Upscale Mexican dining.

Sleep

Hotels

  • AmeriSuites Mt. Laurel/Philadelphia, 8000 Crawford Place, (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. Centred in the Nation's most historic square mile - Philadelphia Airport is only eight miles away.
  • 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 located near Rittenshouse Square. 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.

Hostels

  • 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 is convenient to Philadelphia's cultural and historic attractions. Associated with Hostelling International.
  • Bank Street Hostel, 32 South Bank St, (Old City), 215 922-0222, fax: 215 922-4082, email: thebankstreethostel@hotmail.com. Very convenient to public transportation, restaurants and other night spots. Associated with Hostelling International. $21/night, $18 AYHO members; $2 bed sheet charge.

Contact

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 will cover the entire city with wireless internet access, is well underway. While the entire city is not yet covered, Rittenhouse Park, as well as many Starbucks and ING Cafe locations, are hot spots.

Cope

Colloquialisms

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. "Youse" is prounounced with "S" (youss)
  • 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
  • Wooder, Warder Water
  • Warsh To wash
  • Whiz wit / witout When ordering a cheesesteak, a cheesesteak "wit" comes with onions, a cheesesteak "witout" does not. For choice of cheese, Whiz refers to Cheese Whiz. American and Provolone are also commonly available options.
  • Jawn Thing.

Stay safe

As in any other American city and most cities around the world, visitors to Philadelphia should keep their wits about themselves and take reasonable precautions. They should 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.

Travellers should also avoid walking alone in dark or seemingly deserted areas, especially at night, as some areas away from Center City have high levels of violent crime. Crime tends to be a problem in areas near Temple University (and in fact much of the north central portion of the city) and between Drexel University and the Philadelphia Zoo. Southwest Philadelphia (west of the refineries) and Grays Ferry/Point Breeze (bordered approximately by I-76, Broad Street, Washington Avenue, and Snyder Avenue) also have very poor reputations but are very distant from most destinations of interest.

Get out

  • Washington Crossing
  • Atlantic City
  • Baltimore
  • Harrisburg
  • Hershey
  • Lancaster County
  • Lancaster
  • New York
  • Pocono Mountains
  • Princeton
  • Washington (D.C.)
  • Valley Forge
  • New Hope

Travelling to or from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania?

Find flight to or from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania with an Online Travel Agency. Get lodging information or make reservations with a Local Online Hotel. Plan ahead and reserve a car with a Local Car Rental Agency.

Are you relocating to Philadelphia, Pennsylvania?

Get your transition in order by searching for an Apartment, House, or Job.

Goods & Services in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

Find out the little necessities in life like, Grocery Stores, Department Stores, Gas Stations, Dry Cleaners, Nail Salons, Fast Food, Auto Repair, Plumbers, Shopping Centers and Post Offices.