Philadelphia, the largest city in the commonwealth of Pennsylvania, has come a long way from a day trip metropolis to a destination city. Philadelphia or ‘Philly’ (as the locals refer to her) holds a clutch of cultural and historical sites that will tempt tourists to come back for more. With her vibrant neighborhoods, fashionable restaurants and pulsating nightlife there is something exciting to do for everyone in Philadelphia.
Philadelphia is a melting pot of different cultures, amplified by the influx of immigrants from all over the world. The large presence of pious Amish people in Philadelphia has made this city less flashy and more grounded than any other state in the United States of America. If you are planning to visit Philadelphia any time soon, read on to discover the top ten things to do in this wonderful city.
Ten Things to Do In Philadelphia
Catch Some Interesting Sights At Chinatown
Philadelphia’s Chinatown one of the many interesting Chinatowns in the United States of America is a predominantly Asian American neighborhood known for its unique culture, food and history. This microcosm of uniquely Asian influenced businesses is located between Vine Street and Race Street.
Smaller than its counterparts in San Francisco and New York, Philadelphia’s Chinatown nonetheless makes its unique presence felt in this city. Some of the fun things you can do as a family in Chinatown includes tasting authentic Chinese cuisine in the numerous restaurants that dot this area, admiring the breathtaking art and sculpture done by Chinese artisans and shopping for affordable Chinese knick knacks.
Shop For Fresh Produce At The Italian Market
The oldest and largest outdoor working market in the United States, the Italian market in Philadelphia is also referred to as the South 9th Street Curb Market. This large open air market with its predominantly Italian influence is considered to be the social and commercial heart of the sizeable Italian community in Philadelphia.
The Italian market which extends from Fitzwater Street in the north to Wharton Street in the south features numerous bakeries, cheese shops, butcher shops, cafes, specialty shops and mouth watering restaurants. A visit to the Italian market in Philadelphia is a must to discover the amazing array of products on display here.
Spend Some Quiet Time At The Fairmount Park
Philadelphia’s Fairmount Park consisting of a mindboggling 9200 acres of woodlands, wetlands and trails is not only the largest city park in the United States but it is the largest city owned park system in the entire world.
The Fairmount Park which actually consists of a network 63 parks is located along the banks of the Schuylkill River. Some interesting sights you can watch out for while visiting this park include the oldest zoo in the United States, the two dozen 18th and 19th century buildings, a Japanese tea house, an azalea garden and the Robin Hood Dell (to name a few). Recreational activities at this park include scenic horse trails, 34 miles of waterways for fishing and 368 outdoor courts and athletic fields.
Marvel At The Massive Bronze Bell At Liberty Bell Center
An iconic symbol of American independence, the 2080 pounds massive bronze bell in the Liberty Bell Center is a major tourist attraction in this city. Located between the 5th and 6th street, the Liberty Bell Center which is open throughout the year, was commissioned to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the Charter of Privileges. The Liberty bell which is housed in a beautiful glass chamber in Liberty Bell Center was built by the White chapel Bell Foundry in London’s East End in 1751. A closer inspection of the bell will reveal the inscription, ‘Proclaim liberty through all the land, to all the inhabitants thereof’. The Liberty bell which was badly cracked in the 19th century is still tolled on important occasions.
Purchase A Keepsake From Jeweler’s Row
Hundred’s of independent jewelry stores line the oldest and largest diamond district in America, the Jeweler’s Row in Philadelphia. Spanning nearly two blocks the Jeweler’s Row is home to jeweler’s from across the globe. Located in Wabash Avenue the famed Jeweler’s row is most famous for the exquisite diamond jewelry that is sold here. With virtually an unlimited selection of fine jewelry which is sold at highly discounted rates, the Jeweler’s row is the place to visit if you want to buy a priceless keepsake that you will treasure for the rest of your life.
Admire Beautiful Works Of Art At Philadelphia Museum Of Art
If you are interested in art then you should head to the Philadelphia Museum of Art. One of largest art museums in the United States, the Philadelphia Museum of Art, is home to nearly 2, 27,000 priceless objects d’art including priceless paintings, drawing, prints and decorative arts. Besides the main building which is visited by a whopping 8 lakh people annually, some other important museum sites within the Philadelphia Museum of Art are the Ruth and Raymond G Perelman building and the Rodin museum. The Philadelphia Museum of Art also hosts nearly 25 special exhibitions every single year.
Join The Benjamin Franklin Walking Tour Of Philadelphia
Retrace the footsteps of American patriot Benjamin Franklin by joining the Benjamin Franklin Walking Tour. Signing up of this wonderful historic walk along the many streets and lanes of Philadelphia is probably an in-depth and enlightening way to study the life of Benjamin Franklin. The walking tour which starts at the Independent Visitors Center weaves its way through sites which were central to Franklin’s life including Franklin Court, National Constitution Center, Elfreth’s Alley, Christ Church and American Philosophical Society.
Observe Rare Animals And Birds At Philadelphia Zoo
Located on the west bank of the Schuylkill River, the Philadelphia zoo which was officially opened on July 1st, 1874 is one of the premier zoos in the world. Situated on 42 acres of beautifully tended gardens, the Philadelphia zoo also has the unique distinction of being the very first zoo opened in the United States. The Philadelphia zoo which houses nearly 1,300 species of animals and birds is famous for its extremely successful captive animal breeding program. Nearly 1.2 million people visit the Philadelphia zoo every single year.
Watch A Performance At The Kimmel Center For Performing Arts
The Kimmel Center for Performing Arts is the dazzling regional performing arts center in Philadelphia. Located at 300 South Broad Street, the Kimmel Center with its discreet brick exteriors and spectacular glass vaulted rooftop is the leading venue for numerous jazz, pop, classical, dance and Broadway performances. The Kimmel Center is also home to the 2,500 seat Verizon Hall, 2,688 square feet Innovation studio and 650 seat Perelman Theater.
Tour The Eastern State Penitentiary
If you are looking for something different to do, then you should definitely take a tour of the Eastern State Penitentiary. Situated between Corinthian Avenue and North 22nd Street, the Eastern State Penitentiary is a former American Prison in Philadelphia, which housed famous criminals like Al Capone and Willie Sutton. Eastern State Penitentiary also has the dubious distinction of being one of the most haunted locations in America. A U. S. National Historic landmark, the Eastern State Penitentiary is open to the public all seven days of the week.