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Philadelphia Travel Guide

About Philadelphia

Philadelphia is the home of significant moments in American history, but it’s also a leader in the arts and home to gorgeous green spaces, pop-up beer gardens and terrific dining.

Philadelphia is one of the USA’s most historical cities: it’s where the American War of Independence began and ended, with the creation and signing of the Constitution. You can delve into that history at Independence Hall and the Liberty Bell, but Philly is so much more than just a beacon of American liberty.

You can gaze at fine art in The Barnes Foundation’s ultra-modern gallery or feast your eyes on an extraordinary collection of street murals. You can stroll among Old City’s cobblestone streets or coast along a river-top boardwalk on two wheels. You can feast on Maine lobster at Lacroix or tuck into pale ale and pretzels at Frankford Hall.

Philadelphia is known as the only place in the USA where you could feed your brain and your belly at the same time. Between The Barnes Foundation, the Philadelphia Museum of Art and the refurbished Rodin Museum, the city is home to one of the world’s finest art collections.

Philadelphia’s eclectic mix of cuisine is visible in over 100 multi-ethnic neighbourhoods, encompassing everything from the bustling Italian market to African-American festivals and the traditional Amish community, who sell produce in Reading Terminal Market, a purveyor of fresh farm food since 1892.

Revitalised and expanded urban green spaces are popping up all over town too. Dilworth Park has undergone a radical transformation, with a 6,900-square-foot great lawn named the Albert M. Greenfield Lawn, public art, a café and Air Grille owned by the park and a programmable fountain added to the public recreational space.

Cyclists and joggers glide across the 610m (2,000ft) Schuylkill Banks Boardwalk to snatch sunrise views of the Philly skyline, while the enormously successful summer pop-up, Spruce Street Harbor Park (complete with hammock garden, urban beach and floating barges), seems to have become an annual fixture at Penn’s Landing.

Before you leave, snap a selfie with the Rocky statue, in front of the Philadelphia Spectrum, and fling your arms up in the air. Like the city itself, it’s hard to resist.

Key facts

Population:
1,580,863
Latitude:
39.952351
Longitude:
-75.159450

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City Highlight: Philadelphia

Philadelphia is more than just a beacon of American liberty, it's vibrant art scene, diverse population and world-class museums all add to its appeal

Featured Hotels

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Four Seasons Hotel Philadelphia at Comcast Center

Situated in the Philadelphia’s tallest tower, the Four Seasons Hotel Philadelphia offers a unique experience and magnificent views of Philadelphia. Facilities include an infinity pool and fitness centre (on the 57th floor), several restaurants and a spa.

Opens in August 2019

Penn’s View Hotel

Just a short walk from the historic sights of the old city, and with views over the Delaware River, Penn’s View is one of Philly’s most underrated overnight gems. The rooms are designed in a traditional style, with exposed brick walls and warming fireplaces. Stump up a little extra for a whirlpool bath, ideal for winding down before hitting the excellent Il Bar downstairs or the Panorama Wine Bar upstairs.

The Ritz-Carlton

Quite simply, one of the best addresses in town. Located beside Philadelphia's City Hall on the Avenue of the Arts, The Ritz-Carlton occupies a grandiose one-time bank - the old domed banking hall is now the reception, while the vault is a cigar and brandy bar (the marble steps on the way down are worn where ladies once descended to retrieve their gems from strong boxes). Guest rooms are huge and the bathrooms luxurious.

Hyatt at the Bellevue

Crowning the top seven floors of the landmark 1904 Bellevue Building, the Hyatt ranks among the most elegant hotels in Philadelphia. Opulent retailers (like Tiffany & Co) are set among the marble and mosaic-filled ground floor. From there an elevator whisks you to the glitzy, domed lobby on the 19th floor. Rooms are decorated in classic old-world style with all the modern luxuries, including goose-down duvets, Wi-Fi access and handsome marble bathrooms.

Rittenhouse 1715

Set on a leafy street near the Rittenhouse Square, this charming, painstakingly renovated 1911 carriage house is a paragon of unrivalled elegance. With just 23 guest rooms, the Rittenhouse 1715 has a boutique feel and aims for European-style luxury in its beautiful interior design. The rooms feature cream-coloured Berber carpets, with a mix of antiques and reproduction Chippendale or Louis XIV furniture. The breakfast room looks like a Parisian cafe and a European breakfast is served on china.

The Gables Bed and Breakfast

Built in 1889, The Gables is the former home of a prominent doctor from the turn of the century. Today, this large Victorian mansion is set in a leafy, tree-lined suburb with a bus stop conveniently located outside the front door. Restoration of the home in 1993 by innkeepers Don Caskey and Warren Cederholm, turned this Victorian home into one of Philadelphia’s best bed & breakfasts. This 10-room inn may be vintage but the amenities are modern including Wi-Fi, private phones, cable TV, bathrobes and a bounteous breakfast.