10 historical places to see in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

The United States has a great variety of landscapes and natural emblems throughout the continent. This country is characterized by its enormous geography and its modern cities with all kinds of attractions, theme parks, and shopping centers. It’s the dream of every amateur tourist.

However, the United States isn’t the only technology kingdom. In fact, there is a town that has an important part in the history books of the United States and all the American continent: Philadelphia. In this article, we show you 10 things to know about this city of Pennsylvania. And this way you can add another place to your travel bucket list in your next vacation.

1. The Hall of Independence

For those families who feel a great interest in travel and knowledge, Philadelphia is the perfect place to stay; it is full of history and entertainment. The Hall of Independence should be the first destination in this travel guide: American history began on this site.

If you love guided tours, in the Independence Hall, located on Chesnot Street, you will be able to meet people who will take you to every corner of this emblematic building. They will tell you about the history and the events that took place there. Georgian architecture is the charm of the Independence Hall, which was built in 1753. This is one of the most famous places in Philadelphia since the Declaration of Independence was signed there. It opens from the morning and the tickets are cheap, which makes it great to go with your classmates or family. In addition, around this monument, there are several gifts and souvenir shops in reference to the building.

2. Philadelphia Art Museum

A trip to Pennsylvania is the equivalent of getting to know Philadelphia. And when you get to Philly (Colloquial name of Philadelphia), it is a must to know the place where it is stored all the most important artistic features of the city and the United States: the Philadelphia.

The magnificent architecture of this building makes it easy to recognize even from afar. This museum was founded almost two centuries ago. It is the American artistic heritage, being one of the most important museums in the United States and the continent. It has a collection of more than 250,000 pieces, all to be appreciated by the public. The wonderful facade of this museum can be the background of a perfect postcard with its giant access staircase. This place is every photographer must see, and tourists in general really know how to appreciate it; the Art Museum receives around 800,000 visitors each year.

3. The Eastern State Penitentiary

In the Fairmount sector, in Philadelphia, there is a very popular place that keeps years of history and value for America. We are talking about Penitentiary of Pennsylvania, an old prison that is, at present, an incredibly crowded point in which you can make guided visits inside the facilities of a real jail of the XIX century, and that worked until 1971.

Philadelphia offers unique activities throughout the United States, in this case, it offers visitors the opportunity to meet a famous prison now converted into a museum. This place, in the shape of a medieval castle, may seem like a scary place but inside, there are many adventures and knowledge for people who want to go at any time of the year.

For those who are more interested in learning, this place offers several tours in which they explain the history of the prison and its most important spaces. The best part is that you’ll hear the stories from those who participated in the events: guards, politicians, and prisoners.

In the Penitentiary, children also have the opportunity to know and enjoy the historic prison because the organizers have children’s activities, tours and even, treasure hunt. Learn and have a fun time whenever you visit Philadelphia.


4. Reading Market Terminal

It is time to mention a place that is the meeting place between citizens of Philadelphia and tourists: the Reading Terminal Market, the heart of Pennsylvania’s commerce. This place could be the favorite for walks lovers. There are even some traditional meals that you’ll definitely won’t want to miss.

In the economic center of Philadelphia, we find the Reading Market, which is a beautiful place where you can see the maritime landscapes as well as the most popular buildings and skyscrapers throughout the city. This combination of nature and architecture are famous emblems of Philadelphia since 1890, when the terminal was inaugurated.

Great personalities of the history of the United States walked through this place, so this is an excellent point to grow in the commercialization of restaurants and places of gifts and souvenirs. In the Reading terminal, you will not only be able to enjoy the most exotic foods of Philadelphia, but also you will be able to know the great stone mansions located in the limits of this route. Hikes and walks to clear your mind and relax while you travel the places where the great characters of American history once passed.

5. Philadelphia City Hall

When you walk through the streets of Philadelphia, it means coming across all kinds of historical buildings and reference places for the history of the United States. That is why we must mention a beautiful and classic structure in the city: the Philadelphia City Hall, one of the most important government palaces tall and beautiful from all over the country.

The Philadelphia City Hall is an architectural delight for locals and tourists alike. Its construction can be seen from many points of the city due to its 167 meters of height. This building began in 1871 and, from 1901 to 1908, it was the tallest building in the world. The city hall has an imperial style and is a central and special point for the geography of Philadelphia. Visitors have the opportunity to enter this place regularly. Besides to get to know their main rooms, you can also enjoy the galleries of plastic arts and the more than 200 sculptures that adorn their spaces.

6. Liberty Bell

It’s time to talk about one of the most popular and significant monuments in Philadelphia. This next place is essential because of its tradition and the history that goes with it. It is perhaps the first object that comes to mind when we talk about Philly: The Liberty Bell is the hallmark of all of Pennsylvania.

This historical monument is located in a park dedicated exclusively to the American independence struggle. It is the most famous war symbol in the United States and it’s, for many reasons, the main attraction of all who visit the city. If you walk through the Independence Historical National Park means getting to know Liberty Bell. It is located in the middle of this park, in front of Independence Hall. It has access so that the public can go up to the top floor of the tower and be a few meters from the bell.

Like all the historical sites of Philly, this monument also has guided tours and with various reference and gift shops. This great bell that represented the final victory of America has also been the epicenter of many feature films, documentaries and news events due to its relevance in national history. Without a doubt, it is a place that we can not forget.

7. The Franklin Institute

The Philadelphia collection has numerous relics of value to the people of the United States; Places of collective interest and great appreciation, such is the case of the Franklin Institute, one of the most appreciated historical sites by American education due to the weight of the name it represents.

We speak of a building of neoclassical architecture, similar to the Greek temples and with a very elegant entrance worthy of admiration. In Philadelphia, this institute welcomes many students and tourists from all over the country due to the historical exhibitions presented here during the year. Inside the facilities is a Memorial dedicated to Benjamin Franklin, the indispensable man in for American independence. The best thing about this museum is its interaction with the public through many didactic activities, so both adults and children are welcome to enjoy a tour of this great building.

The magic that exists in Philadelphia to teach art, culture, and history is something that characterizes its inhabitants. This city welcomes hundreds of tourists annually only with its historical monuments and its museums. This is just a role model for every city in the world.

8. The Barnes Foundation

The museum of the Barnes Foundation is another of the most valued collections in Philadelphia. These art institutions are the treasure of the country. And this not only happens for the cultural schools, but these large buildings are the center of visits of many important personalities of the world and tourists who love historical travel.

The Barnes Foundation has two offices in Pennsylvania; one located on the outskirts of Philadelphia, the Lower Merion neighborhood; and the other, on the campus of Saint Joseph’s University. Both buildings offer visitors a huge exhibition of historical pieces for American art and the rest of the world. Unlike the other museums in Philadelphia, the Barnes Foundation collects elements of international stature: works by Van Gogh and contemporary artists are accessible for the enjoyment of each visitor.

These two huge buildings with classic structures and at the same time modern, work all year round, so you will not have problems if you were planning to travel in the low season. They close at 5 pm and their tickets are cheap, so these points are always considered among foreigners who want to appreciate works of art of quality.

9. Magic Gardens of Philadelphia

Visiting Philly is an experience full of all kinds of emotions. In a moment, we went from the magic of classic buildings and entered those natural spaces that have also witnessed the history of a country, such is the case of the Magic Gardens of Philadelphia; a space of special flora and peace to breathe peacefully.

The Philadelphia holidays are good for expanding knowledge, but it is always good to go with a relaxed mind to receive this learning in the best way. So we recommend visiting the Magic Gardens, where you can find a complete gallery of floral and mosaic works, which are the creation of the artist Isaiah Zagar. This exhibition is one of the many interactive museums in Philadelphia; it has recreational activities, outdoor works and a huge labyrinth, which is the main attraction of the place. The Magic Garden receives visitors throughout the year and is a popular spot in the city.

10. Old City

Did you know that in Philadelphia there is a neighborhood that got stuck in time? We speak of Old City, a town in the heart of Philadelphia that is the treasure of many of the historical monuments that we have exposed in this list. Talking about Old City is the same as talking about the United States and its most transcendental history.

Filled with colonial architecture, Old City is the heritage of Pennsylvania and its oldest traditions. When we walk through the streets of this sector, it is common to run into very old houses with the facades of the times when the United States was a British province. In this same place, architectural modifications have been made so that there is a perfect mix between modernism and old traditions. In this town, there are also many references to the history of America, including squares, theaters, gift shops and the famous bars and restaurants of South 2nd Street.

The best lodging option for those interested in traveling to Philadelphia is in Old City, since here you will find the most popular monuments and historical attractions in the entire state of Philadelphia. In addition, living and walking through these streets means taking a time trip in the city, since everything that surrounds this place shows an extract of the history of a whole country. From walking tours or dining outlets, Old City welcomes its guests with a traditional American hug.