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Shopping in Philadelphia

Philly benefits from Pennsylvania's tax free status on clothes and shoes, and its rich pedigree of renowned retailers is the stuff of legend; John Wanamaker, Ralph Rucci, the Jones Apparel Group and popular designer Tory Burch all have Philadelphia roots. With over 2,000 stores, Philly takes retail very seriously; so much so you'll find boutiques, speciality-items, well-known brand stores and department stores.

Key areas

For a touch of luxury, head to The Shops at Bellevue, 200 South Broad Street at Walnut Street. The Shops at Liberty Place, 17th and Chestnut Streets, is a good choice, with gourmet foods and restaurants as well as shops. South Street is perhaps the hippiest street in Philly, particularly the stretch between Front Street and Tenth Street, offering over 300 shops and 60 eateries.

Rittenhouse Row is the city's upmarket shopping and dining district. Stretching from the Avenue of the Arts (Broad Street) to 21st Street, between Spruce and Market streets, Rittenhouse Row offers anything from designer clothes to a variety of art galleries. There's Urban Outfitters, Club Monaco, Intermix, Anthropologie, Barneys to name but a few. Jeweler's Row, on Sansom Street, and Antique Row, on Pine Street, run for several blocks in the Washington Square district. Fabric Row, on Fourth Street, between Bainbridge Street and Catherine Street, offers fabulous textile stores.

Markets

The Italian Market, South Ninth Street, offers a range of foodstuffs every Tuesday to Saturday between 0900 and 1700, and Sunday between 0900 and 1500. It is the oldest and largest working outdoor market in the United States and has changed little in over 100 years.

Head House Square offers an outdoor craft market during the summer months. Phila Flea Markets operate a number of flea markets throughout the city from May through to October.

Shopping centres

Center City has hundreds of clothing and jewellery stores. The most iconic is the John Wanamaker building, on 13th Street and Market Street, now occupied by Macy's. It was designed to resemble Paris' Les Halles, and the enormous Grand Court is crowned by a 30,000-pipe organ, on which concerts are given daily. The Gallery at Market East has 170 stores across four levels. Shoppers come from all over the East Coast to the enormous King of Prussia Mall, 24km (15 miles) west of the city, on North Gulph Road. The shopping complex encompasses The Plaza and The Court, with eight major department stores and 365 speciality stores, including designer brands such as Louis Vuitton, Hermes and Tiffany. Franklin Mills, 24km (15 miles) from Center City, at 1455 Franklin Mills Circle, is a huge factory outlet mall with more than 200 stores selling name brands at 20-70% discounts.

Opening hours

Major department stores are open Monday to Saturday 1000-1900 and Sunday 1000-1700. Most of the downtown shops close at 1800 or 1900, although those in the large malls may stay open later. Many shops and department stores also stay open until 2000 on Wednesday. The big malls outside the city centre are open Monday to Saturday 1000-2130 and Sunday 1100-1800.

Souvenirs

The Independence Visitor Center Gift Shop on 6th and Market Streets stock Philly branded souvenirs. Along South Street you'll find all kinds of souvenir shopping from t-shirts and mugs to delicious chocolates.

Tax information

There are no tax refund schemes currently available to visitors to Philadelphia.

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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.

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.

Thomas Bond House

The charming Thomas Bond House is a cosy alternative to high-rise hotels. This bed and breakfast is set in a converted Georgian style home that dates back to 1769, and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The 12 guest rooms are handsomely furnished with period antiques, and two of the rooms have fireplaces and Jacuzzis.