On the east coast of the Atlantic Ocean between Washington, D.C., and New York City is the 5th largest city in the United States. Philadelphia is known for its sights, sunny weather, dynamic development and amazing sense of tranquility. This city was one of the first to be built according to a unified plan, with the vertical streets numbered and the horizontal ones named after trees.
Founded in 1682 on the site of a Swedish settlement, Philadelphia became the largest city of the North American colonies. One of the founders was William Penn, who preached the idealistic aspirations of Quakers who called themselves brothers. From King Charles II of England, Penn secured title to the territory of Pennsylvania as a debt of the Crown to his family. Arriving in the New World, he founded the “city of brotherly love,” still a bastion of freedom today.
The inhabitants were in opposition to colonial policies, taking an active part in the War of Independence. Until the 19th century the city was the center of culture, industry and commerce, later giving way to New York City. Historic Downtown Philadelphia gives a glimpse of what colonial cities looked like with its clear layout, wide streets, and spacious plazas.
Philadelphia is known as the cradle of the nation, for it was there that the first president was elected, and 10 years later the Declaration of Independence was signed and the Constitution adopted. For a decade it was the capital of the young nation, until Washington was built.
After World War II there was a mass transfer of enterprises to the south of the country, but gradually the situation stabilized. The city is still considered the most populous in Pennsylvania and full of interesting places. The first things to see in Philadelphia can be found in guidebooks or on a city tour. Further itinerary can be made by yourself.
Nature and weather
The city lies between two rivers, the Schuylkill and the Delaware, and they have a noticeable effect on the city’s microclimate, bringing humidity and softening the heat. Proper planning of the central part of Philadelphia allowed the creation of five public gardens, which have become true islands of nature in the densely populated areas.
No one is surprised by the frequent changes in weather, heavy rains in summer and snowfalls in winter, because the city is located in a humid subtropical zone. The temperature ranges from -15 to +26°C.
There are no particular preferences on the time of the city, as well as a pronounced tourist season.
Those who can not stand the heat, it is worth to postpone the trip to the off-season. During the summer months, the temperature is low by our standards, combined with high humidity feels like +35 to 40. It’s hard to breathe in these conditions, especially on sightseeing trips.
Top 6 Sightseeing in the City of Philadelphia
Thanks to the clear layout of the city is not difficult to navigate in the city, most of the historical sites can be easily reached on foot or by public transport.
If you don’t want to get caught in traffic, it’s worth taking the subway. It consists of two high-speed lines and five ground – underground, the fare is paid with an electronic card at the entrance through the turnstile.
For the convenience of tourists description, photos and addresses of the main attractions of Philadelphia are placed in special booklets. You can get them by ordering a sightseeing tour or buy them yourself. The city is famous for its historic buildings, art galleries, and colorful colorful festivals.
The building is part of a UNESCO-listed historic park. It was under its arches that the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution of the country were adopted. The Gregorian style was replaced by the classical style after the restoration, but after 130 years the historical appearance was restored.
The tour includes a visit to the courtroom and Essembley Hall, where the historic documents were signed. A separate pavilion is set aside for the Liberty Bell, which summoned residents to make a fateful decision.
It was supposed to be the tallest building in the world, but gave way to the Eiffel Tower. The project MacArthur – Jr. made in the style of the Second Empire, the height of the building was 167 m. The walls were built of granite and brick, lined with marble, limestone and granite. The facade is decorated with double columns, visually increasing the height. The building is crowned by a sculpture of the city’s founder, William Penn.
On South Street is an amazing house covered in pieces of pottery, glass, and tile. The unusual interior created by avant-garde artist I. Zagar leaves an ambiguous impression. Tangled labyrinths of staircases and passages are woven into unimaginable chaos, in which logic is completely absent and one can only rely on feelings.
Academy of Fine Arts
The main building opened in 1876 and over time has become one of the main architectural landmarks of the city. The façade is decorated with terracotta sculptures and a Gothic window. Later another building was added to house exhibitions of paintings by 19th- and 20th-century artists, with portraits by Eakins occupying a special place.
The academy regularly hosts exhibitions of contemporary artists and sculptors, creative meetings, and themed excursions. The academy is active because it still has art classes for students.
The city’s famous national museums hold unique exhibits. Visiting these exhibitions will help you feel the atmosphere of the city and the degree of pride residents take in its glorious past.
- The Museum of Art ranks third in terms of richness and diversity of exhibits. Among the 300 thousand exhibits, paintings by Van Gogh, Surrealist and Impressionist paintings, samples of arts and crafts are considered particularly valuable.
- The African American Museum offers insights into the life and work, culture, traditions, and religion of the African diaspora. Lectures, guided tours, and films are shown here. The original solution was the launch of the Lance Legacy program, in which politicians, singers, artists, and writers perform in the halls.
- The Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology has unique exhibits from ancient Egypt, Rome, Greece and Mesopotamia. In the exhibition halls you can see musical instruments of different countries, jewelry, coins, artifacts from Africa and Asia. Management organizes and sponsors excavations and research.
- The Franklin Institute of Science demonstrates not only the inventions and scientific advances themselves, but also their practical benefits. The observatory, planetarium, and dinosaur hall are of special interest to children.
- The Rodin Museum came into being thanks to a famous businessman and philanthropist. Over 3 years, Jules Mastbaum assembled a vast personal collection of sculptures, plaster blanks, sketches, and engravings of the great sculptor with the goal of donating this treasure to the city. Unfortunately, he did not see the opening of the museum. It’s hard to walk past the building, with a copy of The Thinker placed in front of the entrance, inviting you to join in the work of the brilliant Frenchman.
Oceanarium of Adventures
It is home to over 8,000 thousand fish and marine animals. In addition to the usual walk in front of the aquariums, visitors are invited to visit the 4D movie theater, where the action is accompanied by smells and even a splash of water. For children works contact pool, from the edge you can examine in detail and stroke the inhabitants.
What else to see and visit in Philadelphia
In addition to the recognized attractions in the city a lot of interesting places and corners, which on – its own beautiful and wonderful.
- Rittenhouse Square;
- Fairmount Park;
- The old neighborhood of Sosaiti Hill;
- Betsy Rose’s house;
- Elfret’s Alley;
- Citizens Bank – Park;
- Morris Arboretum;
- Masonic Temple.
And also to visit the mummery parade, the Menyanka Festival of Arts. There are about 20 churches of different denominations, many of them are considered architectural monuments.
Prices in restaurants and stores
Compared to global levels, the cost of rent and groceries is high. For example, lunch for 2 at a cheap restaurant will cost $60.60. It is cheaper to prepare a home-cooked meal by visiting a market or store, where bread costs $2.94, cheese $13.20, potatoes $1.73, and meat $13.52.
Clothing, shoes, jewelry and accessories are much cheaper compared to groceries.
There are regular sales, promotions, discounts on last year’s collections in the city’s malls. Especially large-scale events are timed to coincide with the time before Christmas, starting in mid-November.
To visit all the sights, you need to stay in the city for a week, or better, a month. Unforgettable impressions of the city, which began an entire country, are guaranteed.
How to get there?
There are no direct flights, so you have to make sure you have at least one connection. The most convenient route is to fly to New York City, where high-speed electric trains run regularly to Philadelphia. The average travel time by air will take about 10 – 11 hours, the train journey – 1.5 hours.
Direct flights are Delta Air Lines, Aeroflot. Czech Airlines or SWISS will take you with a connection.