Travel Destinations

Planning Your Philadelphia Trip

Planning Your Philadelphia Trip Photo by Kathryn Reichert via Trover.com
Written by Duke Stewart

Photo by Kathryn Reichert via Trover.com

Planning Your Philadelphia Trip

Philadelphia is a city that sneaks up on even the most experienced travelers, with New York City and Washington DC close by and fighting for attention. Philly does well against its loud neighbors, with a variety of things to do for every type of visitor. Stick to this guide when planning your Philadelphia trip and you’ll come away with a truly fulfilling experience.

When Should I Go?

For the best hotel rates and best weather, spring wins out. There are a lot of outside attractions and unless you feel like packing a couple of extra shirts and changes of clothes, summer is best for an indoor-based visit. The city gets very hot and crowded in the summer and the winter cold is unforgiving, though the city is still fun during these times of year. Stick to the time between March and May, and you’ll find that it’s the best time to visit Philadelphia.

Where to Stay? How Do I get Around?

You’ll find the best hotels in Philadelphia around Center City and a few others scattered around other parts of the city. The best deals are found in the spring but if you search around, great hostels and budget offerings will mysteriously pop up at any given time. If you’re driving in the city, remember that parking is expensive, so a pro tip would be to find a hotel that will house your car for free. Philadelphia does have public transportation options, and SEPTA is the one-stop shop for buses, trains, and trolleys throughout the city.

What Should I Do?

Now that you’ve settled down and are ready to enjoy Philadelphia, prepare for a wonderful variety of options. Even if the weather is nice outside, you must stop by the Franklin Institute and spend at least one afternoon in one of the world’s finest science museums. If you can’t bear being inside for too long, then walk around Philadelphia’s iconic, history-filled buildings, including Independence National Historic Park (home to the Liberty Bell) or the infamous Eastern State Penitentiary.

Where Should I Eat?

Philadelphia is the best answer to that question, and the best place to find a meal is at the Reading Terminal Market. There’s such a diverse array of cuisines found spanning the globe, but with enough local food to guarantee a true Philadelphia meal. The Italian Market is another stop for those in need of a bite. Keep an eye out for a festival and you might get lost in the excitement. For those who want to quench their thirst in style, join a Philly on Tap tour and witness one of the best craft beer cities in the country.

What Else Should I Know?

There’s so much more to know and so little time to describe it all. Before you run off to book your flight to Philadelphia, the most important thing you should know is if you’re driving in the city. Rush hour makes a Philadelphia commute nightmarish at best. You’re going to have a wonderful time because you made a perfect choice in visiting Philadelphia.

This article is part of Hipmunk’s City Love campaign. 

DISCLOSURE: I may be an affiliate for products that I recommend. If you purchase those items through my links I will earn a commission. You will not pay more when buying a product through my link. In fact, I oftentimes am able to negotiate a lower rate (or bonuses) not available elsewhere. Plus, when you order through my link, it helps me to continue to offer you lots of free stuff. Thank you, in advance for your support!     

About the author

Duke Stewart

I'm a writer and recovering American expat who shares my family's travels through life. Follow our adventures here and on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

4 Comments

  • Hey Duke! This is my photo from Trover and I just now came across it while looking up travel advice on google. That’s so cool! Anyway, I just wanted to tell you I’m glad to have found your page- its fantastic!

  • I’ve always enjoyed visiting Philly and do so fairly often since I only live a couple hours away. The city has tremendous museums. There is the Philadelphia Museum of Art which is probably best known for the steps which Rocky ran on. But in the same neighborhood is the Barnes and the Rodin Museum. And for more science there is the Museum of a Natural Sciences. All of these as well as the Franklin Institue are with a few blocks of each other.

    • Thanks for the comment, Ken! I was not the biggest fan of Philly when I first saw it but after a couple of more visits, I fell in love. Reading Terminal and the Franklin are probably my favorites. Will definitely give it more of a look the next time I’m in town. Thanks as well for the additions.