Philadelphia Fun: 21 Things to Do in the City of Brotherly Love

We recently spent two full days in Philly. While there is no way to experience all of the Philadelphia fun in this limited amount of time, we visited many unique and fascinating places.

Outside of Independence Hall at Night
The View from Our Hotel

Philadelphia is one of the most historically significant cities in America. Check out these 21 things to do in the City of Brotherly Love.

1. Weigh in on the great cheesesteak debate.

When it comes to Philly cheesesteaks, most of us think of Pat’s and Geno’s duking it out across the street from each other in South Philadelphia. Try both and cast your vote.

Three Pat's Cheesesteaks in wrappers and three Geno's cheesesteaks in wrappers.

2. Eat your way around the Reading Terminal.

This public market has been serving Philadelphians for over 100 years. Today, there are over 80 vendors with so many delightful options that no one should leave hungry.

Outside view of the Reading Terminal Market

3. Feel the love in the City of Brotherly Love.

John F Kennedy Plaza is affectionately known as Love Park. Here you can gaze down Benjamin Franklin Avenue and take a selfie with the famed Love Statue.

The Love Sign in Love Park in Philadelphia.

4. Pay respects to Benjamin Franklin.

The Christ Chruch burial ground is the final resting place of Benjamin Franklin. You can also see the graves of 4 other Declaration of Independence signatories.

The grave Benjamin Franklin in Philadelphia

5. Run up the Rocky steps.

You can’t visit Philadelphia without following in Rocky’s footsteps! The Philadelphia Museum of Fine Art is home to these famous stairs. See if you can make it to the top!

View of the Rocky stairs in Philadelphia

6. Ride a double-decker bus.

Hop-on hop-off buses are a great way to see the city. They stop at all the top sights making transportation effortless.

Picture of a street lined with yellow trees taken from the top deck of a hop on hop off bus in Philadelphia

7. Check out the mystery of the crack.

No one knows when the Liberty Bell first cracked. Fortunately, you can see this celebrated bell up close and learn about its history in the Liberty Bell Center.

Philadelphia fun #7: Picture of the Liberty Bell

8. Stand in the birthplace of the Declaration of Independence.

The heart of Independence National Historical Park is Independence Hall. Sign up for a guided tour to see where this groundbreaking document was born.

Room containing tables and chairs in Independence Hall where the Declaration of Independence was signed.

9. Catch a glimpse of a giant clothes pin.

If you’re into oversized art or just have a sense of humor, you won’t want to miss this unique Philadephia feature.

Philadelphia fun #9: The giant clothespin

10. Go to prison.

Eastern State Penitentiary opened in 1829. Tour America’s first true penitentiary and discover why solitary confinement was considered an innovative approach to reform.

Corridor in Eastern State Penitentiary with cells on both sides.

11. See the birthplace of the flag.

Legend has it that the first American flag was born in this home. Tour the Betsey Ross house and find out about her part in the American Revolution.

Philadelphia Fun #11: Photographic of the outside of Betsy Ross's house. A narrow 3 story home.

12. Wander down a 300 year old street.

If you’re curious about life in the 1700s, Elfreth’s Alley is the place to go. It is one of the oldest residential streets in the county. Thirty-two homes still stand on Elfreth’s Alley. One is now a museum.

Elfreth's Alley lined with 300 year old homes.

13. Check out the Philadelphia Mint.

Philadelphia is home to America’s oldest mint. Let’s hope after COVID that tours of them mint will resume.

Outside of the Philadelphia Mint building.

14. Hear the Centennial Bell.

The Centennial Bell was installed for the 100th anniversary of the Declaration of Independence in 1876. You can still enjoy it today as it rings on the hour.

Top of the bell tower at Independence Hall in Philadelphia

15. See the inauguration site of 2 presidents.

For a brief period between 1790 and 1800, Congress Hall was the meeting place of the US Congress. Today, you can see this historic space by participating in a tour. Presidents Washington and Adams took the oath of office in this building.

Outside of Congress Hall in Philadelphia. A 2 story red brick building.

16. Beef up on the American Revolution.

The Museum of the American Revolution is one incredible museum. Here, you can view George Washington’s War Tent among the many revolutionary war artifacts. WOW!!!

Outside of the Museum of the American Revolution. Red brick building with canons in front.

17. Visit City Hall.

Philadelphia’s City Hall is far from ordinary. This municipal building is the largest in the United States. Its stunning architect will leave you in awe.

Philadelphia's City Hall.

18. See the home of the Philadelphia Eagles.

Whether you attend a game or not, it’s still neat to see the stadium where the Philadelphia Eagles play.

Philadelphia's Lincoln Financial Field

19. Grab a donut.

A great way to start a day of Philadelphia fun is to head to one of the Federal Donuts locations. Take your pick from classic or fancy donut flavors or taste their fried chicken!

Federal Donuts sign with a red chicken

20. Visit the Philadelphia Bourse.

This historic structure was completed in 1895 and home to a commodities exchange. Today, it is home to food vendors where you can grab a cup of coffee or bite to eat.

Outside of the Philadelphia Bourse buiding.

21. See the nation’s first public hospital.

Benjamin Franklin and Dr. Thomas Bond founded this hospital in 1751 to care for the poor. It is still operating today.

Outside of the Philadelphia Hospital

You might notice many spectacular Philadelphia sights missing from this list. Unfortunately, we ran out of time. Hopefully, I can visit again soon. I love to eat more Philly cheesesteak and explore more Philadelphia fun.

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