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.
Planning Your Philadelphia Trip
Featured Image by Kathryn Reichert via Trover.com. This post on Philadelphia is a part of our series on Pennsylvania travel and USA travel. It was originally created on May 24, 2015. It has been maintained and updated (as of December 14, 2018) to reflect current viewpoints and travel trends.
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.