Top 10 Worthwhile Tourist Attractions in Philadelphia

Though it may seem like I dropped off the face of the planet, I’m still here! I started a new (bucket-list level!) job and I’ve been falling asleep at 7:30pm everyday while I adjust. But I’m coming back! And as it turns out, the break from obsessing about page views and content creation was much needed. I’ve got TONS of stuff to share with you all, but today I’m going to start by getting back to some roots.

I fell in love with travel blogs when I stumbled upon this post and this post while planning for my trip to San Francisco. I obsessed over these posts and had such an incredible time while I was there. I don’t talk about Philadelphia too terribly much on here, so it’s about time for that to change. I’ve been here for seven years now, so I’m confident that I know what I’m talking about.

Welcome to my Top 10 Worthwhile Tourist Attractions in Philadelphia. Traveling like a local more your thing? Hang tight - a post just for you is coming next week!

Top 10 Worthwhile Tourist Attractions in Philadelphia

1. Relax in the most artfully decorated place in the city. I think the Philadelphia Art Museum might be more recognizable than anywhere in the city. Go check it out on a Wednesday night. It’s pay what you wish and you can enjoy a yoga class while you’re there. Don’t forget to run up the stairs like Rocky on your way in.

2. Catch a regatta at Boathouse Row. Even if there isn’t a regatta in town, Boathouse Row (and Kelly Drive) is probably the most popular spot for a run in the city for tourists and locals alike. Hit the pavement and get your miles in! Note: if you want to get iconic looking pictures of Boathouse Row, you’re going to have to run up MLK drive. Still a popular route - and closed to cars from May to October on weekends!

3. Become a history buff in Old City. I can’t ignore the INSANE amount of history there is to be found in Philadelphia. There is a ton and you’d be crazy to miss at least a little piece of it. My favorite way to see the highlights is through a tour (you can see my faves here), so you actually know what you’re seeing and can learn at least a fun fact or two.

4. Yes, go on and get a cheesesteak. My favorite thing to do is split one with a bunch of people and try MULTIPLE cheesesteaks. A cheesesteak tour, if you will. Sure, you can go to Pat’s and Geno’s. But also be sure to try Jim’s, Ishkabibble’s, and Campo’s too. Heck, if you have a car I’d like you to add John’s Roast Pork and Delassandro’s to your list. Plenty to try so bring your friends!

5. Hunt for ghosts at Eastern State Penitentiary. Eastern State Penitentiary might be one of my favorite things on this list. Pop on up to the Fairmount neighborhood and go on a tour of the place. If you’re in town around Halloween, you’ve got to try one of the best haunted “houses” around - just get your tickets in advance!

6. Go eat everything at Reading Terminal Market. Don’t even try on the weekends if you want to get something like Beiler’s Donuts. Herschel’s is my favorite for a pastrami sandwich. If you go after 4pm and stumble upon Hope’s Cookies you’ll get the most delicious cookies at Reading Terminal Market (don’t argue!) for a discount. Cheap lunch traveler like me? Snag some produce, cheese, and bread for a quick snack.

7. Embrace your inner science nerd at The Franklin Institute. The Franklin Institute is amazing and if you love science, you’ll enjoy it no matter what age you are. Totally interactive and totally awesome. I’ll volunteer to be your guide of the walk-through heart. Want a little more than a museum? Make sure to check out their special exhibits or maybe try a Science After Hours event if your whole crew is part of the 21+ crowd.

8. See how we don’t all throw snowballs at Santa. Philadelphians have a seriously bad reputation when it comes to our sports fans. But we’re not all bad! Check out a baseball (Phillies), basketball (76ers), hockey (Flyers), or football (Eagles) game down at the stadiums. They’re just a quick subway ride away. And if crowded bars make you terribly anxious are not your thing...don't go to Xfinity Live. If you want soccer (Union) it’s just a bit more of a hike.

9. Practice your putt on a mini golf tour of Philadelphia. Head to Franklin Square to get some mini golf on in the middle of the city. I’m not going to tell you it’s the most technically advanced mini golf course in the whole world, but it’s fun to take pictures with the iconic obstacles. If you’ve worked up an appetite, you’re in luck, because here you can get a Tastykake Milk Shake. Um, yes please.

10. Get your hummus fix. Zahav tops all of the “best restaurants in Philadelphia” lists and there’s a good reason why. If you can get a reservation, get your butt in there - bonus points if you just so happen to visit during Philadelphia Restaurant Week! If you can’t get in (or don’t want to spend the cash), try Dizengoff. Same delicious hummus, much more casual and cheaper.

Let’s Chat!

  • Have you visited Philadelphia before? What would make your list if you take a visit?
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