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World Travel Guide > Guides > North America > United States of America > Pennsylvania > Philadelphia

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Local time Philadelphia

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Travel to Philadelphia

Flying to Philadelphia

American Airlines, British Airways and Delta offer direct flights to Philadelphia from the UK. Flights to Philadelphia tend to be cheapest between January and March. The busiest and therefore most expensive time is always the summer months, Christmas, New Year and around Thanksgiving from late November onwards.

If you're travelling from within the USA, Philadelphia is served by multiple domestic carriers, including Alaska Airlines, American Airlines, Delta, Frontier Airlines, JetBlue, Southwest Airlines, Spirit Airlines and United.

Flight times

From London -8 hours

From New York - 1 hour 30 minutes

From Los Angeles - 5 hours 20 minutes

From Toronto- 1 hour 30 minutes

From Sydney - 21 hours (including stopover)

Travel by road

Road travel in Pennsylvania is excellent, with good state roads connecting Philadelphia, Scranton, Harrisburg and Pittsburgh, as well destinations further afield, such as Niagara Falls and Washington, DC.

In general, US freeways and interstates use odd numbers for north-south routes and even numbers for east-west routes over their whole length, although be warned, there are exceptions to this standard. Just to make things a little more confusing, the odd route numbers increase from low in the west to high in the east, and even-numbered routes increase from low in the south to high in the north.

Driving in the USA is on the right. A valid national driving licence is required, although it's a good idea to bring an International Driving Permit if your licence isn't in English. You must also have third-party liability insurance at the very least; however, collision damage insurance is highly recommended, as costs can be very expensive.

The minimum driving age is 16 years. Speed limits are generally 40kph (25mph) in residential areas, 48kph (30mph) in urban districts, 88kph (55mph) on highways and up to 113kph (70mph) on the interstate highways, unless otherwise posted. Anyone sitting in the front seats must wear a seat belt, as must all children under 18 years of age. Children under four years of age must be protected in car seats while children age four to eight must use a booster seat.

The AAA (tel: +1 800 222 4357; midatlantic.aaa.com) provides emergency service and information and may offer reciprocal benefits to members of automobile clubs in other countries.

Emergency breakdown services

AAA (tel: +1 800 222 4357).

Routes

The Pennsylvania Turnpike (Interstate 76) is a toll road providing swift and efficient travel across the state, from New Jersey to Ohio. It leads into Philadelphia from the east and the west.

The interstate highway I-95, also known as the Delaware Expressway, connects Philadelphia to Baltimore, Maryland and Washington, DC in the south and to New York City and Boston in the north.

The I-95 connects with the I-87, which runs north to Montreal.

Coaches

Greyhound (tel: +1 800 231 2222; www.greyhound.com) provides bus services to and from Philadelphia. The main terminal, the Greyhound Terminal, is located at 1001 Filbert Street. There are buses to and from all parts of the country, including transcontinental services via Chicago, Illinois and St Louis, Missouri.

Megabus (tel: +1 877 462 6342; www.megabus.com) also operates coaches to numerous destinations in the eastern USA, including New York and Washington, DC.

Time to city

From New York City - 2 hours

From Baltimore - 1 hour 50 minutes

From Washington, DC - 2 hours 30 minutes

From Lancaster County, Atlantic City and the New Jersey shore - 1 hour

Travel by Rail

Services

National and local train services operate from Philadelphia's 30th Street Station located on the banks of the Schuylkill River. A huge art deco building opened in 1933 and now fully owned by Amtrak, it is reputed to be one of America's busiest commuter stations. It is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

Operators

Philadelphia is served by America's national rail operator Amtrak (tel: +1 800 872 7245; www.amtrak.com), which operates high-speed rail services all along the northeast corridor, taking in Boston, New York and Washington, DC, with connections to other major cities in the USA and Canada. In many cases, taking a train across the northeast corridor can be far more convenient than flying. It's far less hassle and you'll be dropped off right in the centre of town.

For local services, you need to turn to SEPTA (Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority) (tel: +1 215 580 7800; www.septa.com), which also connects to NJ Transit trains in Trenton, New Jersey before going on to New York.

Journey times

From Boston - 5 hours

From New York City - 1 hour 10 minutes

From Baltimore - 1 hour 10 minutes

From Washington, DC - 1 hour 40 minutes.

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