From the popular Reading Terminal to the city’s many historical sites, tourists of all ages and interests will surely find at least one attraction that captures their heart in Philadelphia. It will take days to roam around the city and to experience each and every one. But for those travelers with tight schedules and/or a budget who still want to see the city, this guide is for you. Here are the top five can’t-miss attractions in Philadelphia.
1. Reading Terminal Market
Famous for its local produce, free-range meats, fresh-baked bread, clothing, handmade crafts, and jewelry, Reading Terminal Market is visited by a multitude of people and has been considered a Philadelphia National Historic Landmark since 1995. Locals and tourists alike come for a taste of international and local dishes. These range from delicious Asian and Middle Eastern foods to authentic Philly cheesesteaks and traditional Pennsylvania Dutch fare. There are more than 80 unique merchants here, three of whom are successors to the original farmer and butcher from when the market first opened in 1893.
2. Fairmount Park
If you like your fun under the sun, Fairmount Park is the place to be. You can watch live sports leagues like soccer, basketball, rugby, and baseball. You can also visit historic homes such as Mount Pleasant and Strawberry Mansion, to name a few. Music lovers, you should definitely check out Mann Center or Dell Music Center. The best part? Fairmount Park is very kid-friendly. Within the vicinity is The Philadelphia Zoo and the Philadelphia Museum of Art. Your kids will also love the Please Touch Museum and the Smith Memorial Playground and Playhouse.
3. Eastern State Penitentiary
Known as the world’s most expensive prison, with nearly 150 years of criminal history, Eastern State Penitentiary has now become one of the most captivating places in Philadelphia. This Gothic-styled fortress built in 1829 has walls that extend up to 30 feet high. And today, it is open to the public as a museum with exhibits on prisons. If you’re a fan of criminal justice or just good architecture, this is the place for you.
4. National Constitution Center
The National Constitution Center is the world’s only museum dedicated to exploring and explaining the US Constitution. With high-tech exhibits, artifacts and displays, museumgoers have the opportunity to view a 360-degree live theatrical production featuring Freedom Rising. There’s even the possibility of posing with the 42 life-size bronze statues of the Founding Fathers.
5. Independence National Historical Park
Of all the historical places mentioned, Independence National Historical Park is probably America’s most historically significant square mile, making it overly deserving of a spot on this list. This is said to be the birthplace of American democracy. The spot is where the symbol of freedom the Liberty Bell resides. Independence Hall is also here, and it has witnessed some of America’s most essential historical moments including the Declaration of Independence in 1776, the creation of the Constitution in 1787, and many others.