7 Quintessential Landmarks To See In Philadelphia

When it comes to the City of Brotherly Love, history is profoundly rich.

Philadelphia is a city unlike any other. The culture is unique and the history is incredible since it was once the capital of the United States and played a huge role during the Revolutionary War. Today, numerous elements and artifacts from that notable period still stand, including: the Liberty Bell, Independence Hall, as well as many new and intriguing attractions for travelers to explore.

Liberty Bell

526 Market St, Philadelphia, PA 19106, United States

The Liberty Bell
The Liberty Bell. Image by @hungryandfearless on Instagram

The Liberty Bell is one of the most famous things to see when in Philadelphia. It was originally ordered for William Penn to honor 50 years since his Charter of Privileges that developed a local government which could make its own laws while remaining under the rule of the King of Great Britain.

The Liberty Bell is a large copper artifact with a crack in it, though no one is too sure of how it got there. Some say it is due to overuse, some say it was too fragile. Before it was given its iconic name, the Liberty Bell was called the State House Bell and it was given its modern name by abolitionists as it became a symbol to them during the movement. In order to view the famous bell, you will need to visit the Liberty Bell Center where you will learn all about the era in which the iconic landmark rose to fame.

Independence Hall

520 Chestnut Street between 5th and 6th Streets, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Independence Hall
Image by @twistedphilly on Instagram

Independence Hall is another prominent location in the city of Philadelphia. The Declaration of Independence as well as the United States Constitution were both signed inside this hall where the Constitutional Convention also took place.

Tours inside the red brick building are offered to visitors, including inside the Assembly Room where the signings took place. Tickets must be ordered online or by phone in advance. They are free with a one dollar administrative fee. Independence Hall is conveniently near the Liberty Bell Center and the National Constitution Center – another must-see destination when visiting Philly.

The National Constitution Center

525 Arch St, Philadelphia, PA 19106, United States

The National Constitution Center
The National Constitution Center. Image by @constitutionctr on Instagram

The National Constitution Center lives up to its name, as it educates travelers on all things regarding the U.S. Constitution. It is a non-profit organization with a mission of educating citizens, as well as giving them a platform to speak their mind and voice opinions relating to the Constitution.

While the idea for a Constitution memorial developed in 1887, it was not until a century later that it actually came to life. President Ronald Reagan signed the Constitution Heritage Act of 1988, which stated that the United States needed a destination close to Independence National Historical Park in order to provide knowledge of the Constitution to its people. Thus, the NCC was born. The center finally opened on Independence Day in 2003.

In order to visit the National Constitution Center, tickets can be bought in advance online or at the door, but the NCC recommends purchasing them beforehand.

The Franklin Institute

222 N 20th St, Philadelphia, PA 19103, United States

The Franklin Institute
The Franklin Institute. Image by @franklininstitute on Instagram

This must-see destination in Philadelphia is one of the most renowned science centers in the nation. It finds a way to make research intriguing and fun. Although it is a science center, it is a fan-favorite for kids since it pays homage to Benjamin Franklin and his love for science.

The Franklin Institute opened in 1824, providing educational opportunities for those in Philadelphia and beyond. There are 12 exhibits permanently placed in The Franklin Institute, as well as many temporary and traveling exhibitions that increase interest in STEM subjects in an attention-grabbing approach, while providing knowledge about various scientific topics.

Tickets can be bought online or over the phone. General admission tickets are $23 for adults, and $19 for children ages 3 to 11. Tickets for special exhibits will have to be purchased separately from general admission tickets.

The Philadelphia Art Museum

2600 Benjamin Franklin Pkwy, Philadelphia, PA 19130, United States

The Philadelphia Art Museum
The Philadelphia Art Museum. Image by @philamuseum on Instagram

You cannot miss the Philadelphia Art Museum especially the famous “Rocky steps.” Not only is the building beautiful on the outside, but the art it holds on the inside is remarkable. If you are a fan of traditional walk-through art museums, this is your cup of tea. The Museum is filled with numerous types of art that are impossible to dislike.

The aforementioned “Rocky steps” is the grand staircase in front of the building where they filmed a scene in the movie, Rocky. A statue of actor Sylvester Stallone’s character in the movie, Rocky Balboa, stands at the bottom of the staircase today and is a famous photo location.

Admission into the Philadelphia Art Museum is $25 for adults, $23 for ages 65 and over, and free admission to those 18 and younger. Online ticket purchase is available to reserve tickets in advance.

Eastern State Penitentiary

2027 Fairmount Ave, Philadelphia, PA 19130, United States

Eastern State Penitentiary
Eastern State Penitentiary. Image by @easternstate on Instagram

Another must-visit location when in Philadelphia is the Eastern State Penitentiary. It has more of a spooky vibe than the rest, but it is still just as full of history. The Eastern State Penitentiary was one of the most famous prisons and housed criminals like Al Capone and Willie Sutton.

It was built in 1829, and held thousands of prisoners. This was bound to lead to multiple murders and many deaths among the inmates. For this reason, the Eastern State Penitentiary is believed to be haunted. Allegedly, there have been numerous sightings and encounters with supernatural forces among guests who have visited.

Halloween is the most popular time to visit, but the penitentiary is open all-year-round. Tickets are $17 per adult, $13 for children of ages 7-12, $15 for adults 62 and over, and children under 7 have free admission.

Philadelphia’s Magic Gardens

1020 South St, Philadelphia, PA 19147, United States

Philadelphia's Magic Gardens
Philadelphia’s Magic Gardens. Image by @phillymagicgardens on Instagram

Philadelphia’s Magic Gardens is an inspiring place to visit when exploring art and culture in Philly. The gardens are filled with the beauty of glass mosaics and sculptures, making it a magnificent place for photographic opportunities with a background unlike any other.

The Magic Gardens were built in the 1960s by artist Isaih Zagar after he and his wife moved to the South Side neighborhood in Philadelphia. He was inspired to upgrade the South Side into something more colorful and welcoming. The Gardens officially opened to the public in 2008.

The Gardens host guided tours as well as many public events. Tickets for general admission are $15 for adults, $12 for ages 65 and up, and $8 for children ages 6 to 12. Children 5 and under receive free admission into the Gardens. Due to COVID-19, tickets can only be bought online in advance.

Kennedy Kollar

Content Associate

Kennedy is an entertainment junkie hailing from Pennsylvania. When she is traveling, you can find her searching for the best gluten-free foods as well as matcha and chai teas. She loves immersing herself in new cultures and wishes to visit the less-traveled hidden gems.

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