Best Things To See In Philadelphia (One Day In Philadelphia Itinerary)

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Philadelphia, or “Philly”(mostly locals refers to this name), is America’s historical city with a significant role in the Independence of America.  History buffs would really enjoy this place and have a look at Best Things to See in Philadelphia (one day in Philadelphia) or things to do in Philadelphia this weekend. 

One day in Philadelphia itinerary - Best Things to See in Philadelphia
Independence National Historic Park

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On July 4, 1776, the Declaration of Independence was adopted by defying the King of England.  After 11 years of independence, 12 Heads of State of the US held a meeting to form U.S. Constitution at the same place.  So Philadelphia is also known as the Birthplace of American democracy. 

Best Things to See in Philadelphia
George Washington Statue

Best Things to See in Philadelphia 

The Liberty Bell Center  

Home of International Symbol – Liberty Bell in Philadelphia, symbolizing freedom, attracts many visitors all year round.  Liberty Bell is kept in Liberty Bell Center at Independence National Historical Park. 

Click here to book your hotel near Liberty Bell Center. 

Liberty Bell is well preserved underneath a vast glass gazebo and open for viewing from 9:00A.M. to 5:00P.M. from September to May and till 7:00P.M. from May till September.  No entrance fees for viewing, but general security screening is required.  

Best Things to See in Philadelphia
Iconic Liberty Bell

Liberty Bell was the first rung during the first public reading of the Declaration of Independence.  Last chimes were heard on George Washington’s birthday.  After that bell developed a crack, and then onwards, it is unusable, but a symbol of freedom and has witnessed the creation of a big nation.  


Independence National Historic Park 

This Park is America’s most historic park, surrounded by many famous and iconic monuments like Independence Hall, Congress Hall, The Liberty Bell Center, and other important historic buildings beside the cobbled-stoned streets in Old Philadelphia town

There is a small garden between all these historical monuments. 

Best Things to See in Philadelphia
Independence National Historic Park

Independence Hall 

Iconic red-bricked, Georgian-styled historic building in Independence National Historic Park in Old City is where the Declaration of Independence was adopted by Congress on July 4th, 1776

The peculiarity of this monument is Assembly Hall, where many famous meetings were held to discuss the desire for Independence from the British, the signing of the Declaration of Independence, and choosing George Washington as a Commander-in-Chief of the Continental Army.

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Best Things to See in Philadelphia
Independence Hall

In West Wing’s Great Essential exhibit, you can see well-preserved copies of the Confederation Constitution declaration articles. Also, see the room where the Declaration of Independence and U.S. Constitution papers were signed.

A guided tour can be availed to understand the minute details of America’s history.  Tickets are free but required for admission. During busy/peak seasons, tickets are gone till 1:00 P.M., so better to book in advance or visit in the early morning.  Independence day opens every day, and it is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. 

Philadelphia City Center 

Philadelphia’s City Center has a blend of old and new.  The main attractions of this area are the Gothic Tower, The Arts Museum, China Town, and other architectural wonders.  To the west of the city center lies Independence Historical National Park.  

Philadelphia City Hall 

Philadelphia is America’s birthplace, so it has one of the most significant municipal buildings in the USA, even bigger than the U.S. Capitol Building.  Located in the main City-center area. It is also one of the best things to do in Philadelphia.

Best Things to See in Philadelphia
Philadelphia City Hall

Gothic Styled Arch Street Methodist Church 

Located in City-center with a facade of white Italian marble was built in 1869-70.  This is created in the Gothic Revival style.

Best Things to See in Philadelphia
Methodist Church in City Center

Famous Museums of Philadelphia – Philadelphia tourist attractions

Philadelphia is known for famous museums like Franklin Institute Science Museum,  Rodin Museum(bronze sculptures from France), Philadelphia Museum of Art, Please Touch Museum, and Mutter Museum.  

Reading Terminal Market 

Satisfy your taste buds with 100 different cuisines from all over the world. 

Masonic Temple 

Just near Reading Terminal market,  it is a hidden gem of Philadelphia.  It is a sturdy stone temple and was once a meeting place for history’s legendary organizations.  There are 7 meeting rooms dedicated to Oriental, Iconic, Corinthian, Renaissance, Egyptian, and Gothic styles of architecture.  

Philadelphia Zoo – Best Things To See In Philadelphia

 It is one of the first and oldest zoos in America.  Almost 2000 animals reside here on 42 acres of the facility.  

Elfreth’s Alley – Best Things To See In Philadelphia

Oldest residential street in America, which was built in 1728 and 1836.  This place has been inhabited for 300 years. This alley is known for beautiful houses with lovely doors and windows.

Best Things to See in Philadelphia
Houses of Philadelphia

Where to Stay in Philadelphia | Best Things To See In Philadelphia

I stayed at Hampton Inn Philadelphia Center Convention City Center. Click here to book your stay in Philly. For hotel stays in Philadelphia, check the best deals below –

Facts regarding Philadelphia | Best Places To Visit In Philadelphia

  • Philadelphia lies on the East Coast of the U.S..
  • There are many picnic spots in Philadelphia, including many beautiful parks and vibrant squares.
  • It can be reached through road journeys from Washington, New Jersey, New York City.
  • Philadelphia is Pennsylvania’s largest city and the sixth most populous city in the USA.
  • Great place for history buffs and culture lovers.  If you love National Parks, there is a famous national park nearby – Valley Forge National Historical Park.  Click here to read more on it.
  • Visit during Spring and Fall is recommended to enjoy a temperate climate with blooming cherry blossoms. It can be visited during America’s Independence Week to witness special events.  
  • Many monuments and museums are free to enter. Check special dates and timings before planning.  
  • Enjoy lively streets, especially in the evenings. 
Best Things to See in Philadelphia
Lively streets of Philadelphia

There are many other attractions along East Coast like Niagara falls………………………………….

So keep Traveling……………………………..Keep exploring…………………………………………………….

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  1. We just visited Philadelphia last December. Only for a few hours though, but we managed to visit a couple of places that you mentioned above: the Liberty Bell and the Independence Hall. A beautiful historical city that we want to revisit again. I want to visit Elfreth’s Alley and Heard a lot about Reading Terminal. It will be a wonderful place for eating different food.

  2. Philadelphia is absolutely one of those cities that I can keep coming back to, as you have shown is has so much to offer. I’m a huge history buff and didn’t get to do so much of these on my last visit, but I’m hoping to next time I go. I’d LOVE to see the room where these very important documents were signed.

  3. Lots of great ideas for things to do in Philly. We visited for only about a day and a half, so weren’t able to get to everything. I’ll have to check back when we have plans to go again. Thanks!

  4. Philadelphia is such a great city! I live nearby in New York, so I have been many times. I agree with a lot of your suggestions. Independence Hall is always a favorite and so is Reading Terminal Market. I’ve never been to the zoo, though. What is it like?

  5. I am happy to see you have found your way to the liberty bell, I guess that would be #1 in historical things to see. Also the street with the old houses and windows looks super cool!

  6. Philadelphia has so much history. I had no clue that its is also known as Birthplace of American democracy. Elfreth’s Alley looks very interesting. Museums, churches, and 100 cuisines at Reading Terminal Market make it the kind of places that I love to explore and discover.


  7. Philadelphia is indeed a city which I find to be the most enigmatic of the US cities. I am fascinated by the rich history and heritage of Philadelphia. The historic monuments and the museums would be my favourite places to visit in the city..

  8. Frankly, I have always found Philly more interesting than a lot of cities in USA. I love the old world charm here and I definitely am in for those church and the Liberty bell – specially the latter after watching National Treasure and the great big hunt. 😀

  9. The national park and the gothic medieval church are my favorite. The street also looks so amazing at night. I will definitely visit all of these when I visit Philadelphia.

  10. I have visited quite a few US cities but not Philadelphia – I have only seen it in the distance from a bus! Lots to see and do there so I will have to add it into any itinerary next visit to the USA!

  11. I had no idea that Philadelphia is rich in culture and history! If I will be in Philadelphia by any chance, I will probably spend most of my time at the Reading Terminal Market! 100 different cuisines? Wow! I should consider going to Philadelphia now. 😉

  12. Philly was always in my list to visit , I have friends living nearby and they always told me to visit due to its historical importance . I heard about the famous museums there and glad to see the list in this post. Will check them out for sure.

  13. My husband used to study in Philadelphia so he took me there ones. It was a day trip but I really enjoyed. Like you said it’s full of history and full of beautiful buldings, something for architecture lovers. I personally really liked that city, much more that NY or Los Angeles. It was very clean ( at least the parts where I was 🙂 ) , pretty and full of atmosphere.

  14. I have always wanted to visit Philadelphia it looks and sounds like such a fun and interesting place to be. I didn’t realise that there was so much to do there and I love history, so I would definitely love it like you say. Independence Hall would be a must for me too.

  15. I still have to get to Philly to see all the US history there, plus eat a Philly cheesesteak in Philly. LOL. It looks like you had a wonderful time seeing all the historical places where the birth of US history more or less began. Not to mention many are free to enter which is a nice bonus!

  16. I really like all the facts that you added in the article. I also like to do that with my posts 🙂 I would definitely love to see the birthplace of US. I expect it to be such a place filled with a lot of good, positive vibe. And I would most likely get completely lost in Reading Terminal market – not that I wouldn’t like getting lost in there 🙂 🙂

  17. Its rare to read a post on Philly and thus quite interesting because I had no idea what is there to do and see. I quite like the look of the Gothic Styled Arch Street Methodist Church. Hey, what about trying the famous Philly steak 😉 ?

  18. Those are really gorgeous photos, and I didn’t realise (or expect, somehow) that the buildings would be so historical and lovely! I have driven “past” Philadelphia once (I’m from Australia – we were en route to friends in New York state …) and desperately wanted to explore it but had no time. One day, I will definitely get there.

  19. Philadelphia looks like to have a lot of interesting buildings to
    visit like the iconic Independance hall. But to be honest, while my husband is visiting all this historical buildings I think I rather spend my day at the Reading terminal market tasting perhaps not all but some of the 100 different cuisines from all over the world. And then I would take a walk at the Elfreth’s Alley…I must have a look at the oldest residential street in America! I hope to get to Philadelphia one day!

  20. Still haven’t been to Philadelphia and can’t wait to go! Actually would love to go and watch an NHL game there! Evenings seem so fun to walk around and find good little eateries! Can’t wait!

  21. I never knew about all these historical facts about Philadelphia! Especially it being the birthplace of the American constitution. It’s interesting to know it has so much relevance; I only know it for the philly cheese steak! If I ever visit, I’ll certainly follow this post and see the sights you suggest, they look fantastic!

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