The 21 best free things to do in Philadelphia
The best free things to do in Philadelphia range in genre and scope: from a walk through some of the most beautiful parks in the area to completely-gratis visits to top Philly museums and attractions, the City of Brotherly Love promises to expand your horizons culturally, culinary and in just about any other way possible. You might want to spend the day at the Barnes Foundation (free entry on the first Sunday of each month) to gaze at one of the leading collections of works by Pablo Picasso or, instead, visit America's oldest living botanical garden (a 45-acre landmark!). Whatever you opt for, get ready to see a side of Philly you'll likely never have experienced before—without even having to take your wallet out. RECOMMENDED: Full guide to the best things to do in Philadelphia
The 25 best things to do in Philadelphia with kids
There are more things to do in Philadelphia with kids than simply noshing on cheesesteaks the size of your face—though that's definitely on our list. Whether the little ones are dying to see cool animals at the Adventure Aquarium or they're eager to run, jump and play at museums made just for them, there’s something for curious and creative kiddos of all ages in The City of Brotherly Love. We promise some of these are not even meant for tourists! From a special museum that encourages you to break the rules to the longest-standing zoo in America, we've got you covered. Ready to explore? RECOMMENDED: Full guide to the best things to do in Philadelphia
The best hotels in Philadelphia
Located in or very near Center City and Old City, the best hotels in Philadelphia offer an excellent homebase so you can get out and explore all the best things to do in Philadelphia with ease (or, if you’re local, kick it in the heart of the city on a staycation). We’ve put together a guide to all the top boarding options, which includes a mix of luxury rooms, hip boutique hotels in Philadelphia and, for the budget-conscious, some of the city’s most worthwhile cheap hotels. Find our list of the best hotels in Philadelphia below. Once you book your room start making dinner reservations at some of the best restaurants in Philadelphia, because no trip to this town is complete without a few delicious dinners under your belt.
The best rooftop bars in Philadelphia with incredible views
When it’s warm, happy drinkers in this city clamour to the best rooftop bars in Philadelphia to enjoy breathtaking views of our skyline, bridges and waterways—with a chilly adult beverage in hand, of course. To help you find all the right spots, we’ve compiled this list of the top rooftop bars Philadelphia has to offer, including classy cocktail joints situated in some of the best hotels in Philadelphia and more casual spots located on the roofs of some of the best restaurants in Philadelphia. Taking in a sunset over the City of Brotherly Love is hands down one of the best things to do in Philadelphia, so head out and take advantage of our sweeping city views. Take note that some of these venues—like Bok Bar and Cira Green—are only open during summer. Be sure to check the venues’ listings before heading out. RECOMMENDED: Full guide to the best bars in Philadelphia
The best brunch in Philadelphia right now
Finding the best brunch Philadelphia has to offer is a serious business. But while most of us head to the spots with the longest lines (hello, Sabrina‘s and Green Eggs!), savvy diners opt for more under-the-radar eateries that serve up all the things we look for in an ideal brunch experience: atmosphere, tons of coffee and mimosas, and, of course, delicious grub. Follow our guide to the best brunch in Philadelphia to find a mix of these low-key spots—including some of the best new restaurants in Philadelphia—and tried-and-true favorites. If you‘re looking for something lighter, consider ditching the crowds for one of the best bakeries Philadelphia has to offer, or plop down over a steamy cup of java in one of the best local coffee shops. RECOMMENDED: Full guide to the best restaurants in Philadelphia
The best luxury hotels in Philadelphia
This city may be known more for its scrappy sports fans and greasy, drippy cheesesteaks but the best luxury hotels in Philadelphia provide a different side to the City of Brotherly Love—one that can hold its own among the world’s fanciest, most cosmopolitan cities. Book a room in one of these world-class digs to lap up a little splendor while you set out to explore the best things to do in Philadelphia. They‘re all excellently located, so you know you’ll always be within walking distance to a handful of top Philadelphia attractions—whether it’s the historical stuff in Old City or Rittenhouse, which puts you in the epicenter of excellent museums, gorgeous parks and some of the best restaurants in Philadelphia. Check out our guide to the best luxury hotels in Philadelphia below for the most plush beds, top-of-the-line amenities and impeccable service. RECOMMENDED: Full guide to the best hotels in Philadelphia
The 14 best Italian restaurants in Philadelphia
When you’re craving the kind of hearty grub that can only be found in Italy, the best Italian restaurants in Philadelphia won’t disappoint. This city, which is steeped in Italian traditions, takes its Italian food seriously—whether its a simple bowl of red-sauce pasta or an elaborate Sicilian seafood stew. Follow this guide to find the very best Italian restaurants in Philadelphia—from the Italian Market to Fishtown—then follow up your meal with a strong cup of java at one of our Italian coffee shops. Philadelphia is also known for decadent Italian desserts (think: fresh biscotti and ricotta-cream-filled cannoli) which are baked fresh daily at some of the best bakeries Philadelphia has to offer. RECOMMENDED: Full guide to the best restaurants in Philadelphia
Listings and reviews (50)
Bob and Barbara’s Lounge
Bob and Barbara’s Lounge has been a South Philly institution since the late ’60s. Go on a Friday or Saturday night to listen to the Hammond B-3 organ combo playing "Liquor Drinking Music” or a Thursday night to sit in the front row for Philly’s longest running drag show. Be sure to grab a “Citywide Special” before the night is out. They say the legendary Philly drink—a can of Pabst Blue Ribbon and a shot of Jim Beam for $4—originated here.
The Franklin Hotel
When you think of Philadelphia, you think of Old City: historic, iconic and charming. The Franklin Hotel at Independence Park boasts all of that and more. Since the early 1990s, the venue has been offering deluxe, modern accommodations within steps of everything that Philadelphia is known for. The décor is best described as classic and clean and several of the 150 rooms and suites offer views of Independence Hall. The Franklin Hotel is just what you’d expect from one of the Marriot hotels: dependable service, comfortable rooms and fair prices.
The Rittenhouse Hotel
There’s something about Philadelphia that just makes you want to soak in the history. A stay at the 118-room Rittenhouse Hotel gives you just that opportunity. Originally a mansion owned by the Cassatt family, then the Episcopal Church of Pennsylvania’s headquarters and the Academy of Notre Dame, The Rittenhouse is a premium luxury hotel whose grandeur is unmatched. Opened in its current incarnation in 1989, it has a decades-long tradition of pampering guests with luxury Jaguar car service, plush bathrobes at turndown time, and a host of amenities for children including complimentary in-room movies, popcorn for pre-teens and teenagers and a gift of choice from The Rittenhouse Treasure Chest for children 10 and under. Like some others on our list, the Rittenhouse Hotel is pet-friendly one that offers homemade treats prepared by the pastry chef for your pooch to enjoy.
Hilton Philadelphia at Penn's Landing
The stunning panoramic waterfront views guarantee the Hilton Philadelphia at Penn’s Landing a spot on our list. Opened in 2016 in what was formerly the Hyatt, the 348-room high-rise lets you gaze out at the river while swimming in the naturally lit pool, working out in the fitness center, lounging on the balcony of your suite or dining on the outdoor porch of Keating’s Rope & Anchor. The Hilton also offers direct, easy access to the waterfront from the hotel and is just steps away from the Riverlink Ferry.
Chestnut Hill Hotel
Located in Chestnut Hill, a village of Philadelphia known for its hometown feel and quaint collection of galleries, shops, restaurants and a traditional farmers’ market, The Chestnut Hill Hotel is a historical landmark. The building was built in 1894 on the spot of a former hotel and was a "Summer Hausen" for colonial Philadelphians. During Prohibition, it became a speakeasy, among other things, and has been restored three times since then, most recently in 2010. Each of the 36 rooms is unique, including the four in the nearby Carriage House, which delights guests with reclaimed wooden doors and seasonal fireplaces. There are also five rooms in the Post Office building, three of which include kitchenettes and are decorated in a fun and campy Andy Warhol style. The Chestnut Hill Hotel gives guests a taste of “Old Philly” while still offering the most modern amenities.
Nothing says luxury like a stay at the Ritz-Carlton Philadelphia. Originally built in 1904 as The Girard Trust Company, the building transitioned from a bank to a hotel at the turn of the century and opened as the Ritz-Carlton in 2000. The 299 guest rooms and suites all boast views of either the city or historic City Hall and were all meticulously redesigned and renovated using a color and textile palette inspired by modern currency as a nod to the building’s banking history. Located on the Avenue of the Arts, the hotel also features an impressive collection of art, which is displayed throughout the premise.
Loews Philadelphia Hotel
The Loews Philadelphia Hotel, in operation since 1932, is housed inside the nation’s first skyscraper, the historic PSFS building on Market Street. Oozing Mad Men-era décor and classic sophistication in the lobby and restaurants, Loew’s combines history with modernity in its 581 guest rooms and suites. Rooms are stunningly outfitted in an art deco style with high ceilings and beautiful views of Center City. While it offers excellent amenities for business travelers (ergonomic desks and free wi-fi in every room), guests traveling with children are also guaranteed a wide array of special services. Make sure to ask about the complimentary child-proof kits to baby-proof your guest room and take a peek into the “Kids’ Closet,” storing everything from board games to DVD players with kid-appropriate DVDs.
Connie’s Ric Rac
Located in the Italian Market in South Philly, Connie’s Ric Rac offers an impressive lineup of performances—from live music from local bands to comedy. While it bills itself as a “performance venue that serves drinks, not a bar with a stage,” the spot’s beverage selection is still impressively loaded with 50 different craft beers.
About 40 minutes south of the city, this family-owned agritainment center offers everything from pick-your-own fruit (strawberries, peaches, blueberries and apples—depending on the season) sessions to hayrides, a playground, animal-feeding and even swimming at two swim clubs nestled into the bucolic surroundings. Don’t forget to save time for Farm Market, which sells homemade pies, local produce, farm-themed toys and games and more.
Mural Arts Philadelphia
Mural Arts Philadelphia has managed the creation of more than 4,000 gorgeous murals around the city. In 1984, in an effort to clean up Philadelphia and remove unwanted drawings from buildings, artist Jane Golden commissioned local graffiti artists to create public art. Since then, murals have been popping up everywhere, brightening city blocks and bringing more attention to otherwise overlooked neighborhoods. Take one of two self-guided walking tours—Mural Mile North and Mural Mile South—to learn about the history of this groundbreaking project.
The Independent Hotel
Part of Philadelphia’s charm rests in its varied and interesting neighborhoods and the Independent Hotel showcases just that. Ideal because of its Midtown Village location, the Independent boasts hardwood floors, exposed brick walls, in-room fireplaces and New Zealand wool rugs. Colorful artwork and soft, cozy lighting enhance each of the 24 rooms. Choose a spacious King Deluxe with dark wood furniture or a Double Queen Deluxe with an original tin ceiling. Or opt to bring along a bunch of friends and stay in the two-story loft suite, complete with a Murphy bed for extra sleep space and one-and-a-half bathrooms.
Located around the corner from picturesque Rittenhouse Square, the Sofitel proves that luxury can still be affordable. The lobby of this 306-room hotel is home to a carefully curated art gallery and is accented with local flair, such as colorful Shaker quilts and stone floors. Enjoy unique cocktails and a French-inspired meal at Liberte Lounge or revel in the atmosphere of the newly renovated Chez Colette. Pamper yourself with the hotel’s indulgent lotions and soaps before a night out on the town and lose yourself in the superior featherbed and duvet sleep system when you return.