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There are so many great things to do in Philly, it’s hard to put them all on one, or any, list. A quick Google search will return hundreds of pages of what to do (seriously, Google “things to do in Philly and be awed by the results!). We took some inspiration from a few of these lists and came up with our list of things to do in the first World Heritage City in the United States. Our most important criteria: a nice walk or a quick Uber ride from the Notary Hotel, our host for the weekend.
- Snap a photo in front of the Liberty Bell and visit Independence Hall. It doesn’t make a sound, but the Liberty Bell’s message rings loud and clear: “Proclaim liberty throughout all the land unto all the inhabitants thereof.” This inscription on the cracked but mighty Bell is one reason it became a symbol to freedom-seekers around the world. Take your photos in front of the Bell and be sure to capture its dramatic backdrop: Independence Hall. The Liberty Bell Center is free to visit year-round with no tickets required. Distance from the Notary Hotel: 15-minute walk or five minutes in an Uber.
- Visit the famous LOVE sculpture. The City of Brotherly Love is filled with, well, love! The Robert Indiana sculpture in John F. Kennedy Plaza (or LOVEPark, as it’s affectionately called by most) is a prized photo op. The sculpture was restored and repainted in 2018, and the park was entirely redesigned to add more green areas and a high-tech water feature. Need more love? Another LOVE statue sits just west of Center City on the University of Pennsylvania campus near 36th and Locust streets. And because love comes in all languages in Philadelphia, there’s an AMOR sculpture — a Spanish edition of the LOVE sculpture — on display at Sister Cities Park, a six-minute walk from LOVE Distance from the Notary Hotel: a lovely five-minute walk.
- Eat your heart out at Reading Terminal Market. Set below a former railroad terminal, Center City’s 127-year-old Reading Terminal Market serves up fresh produce, seafood, meats and cheese. The public space also provides open seating where you can enjoy a world of cuisines from dozens of restaurants, including Pennsylvania Dutch vendors and sandwich shops like the acclaimed DiNic’s, serving up hot roast pork sandwiches that rival the city’s much-lauded cheesesteaks. Oh, and there’s shopping, too! Retail merchants sell housewares, jewelry, linens and more. Distance from the Notary Hotel: a light four-minute walk to burn off all those calories.
- Post with the Rocky Statue and run up the ‘Rocky Steps.’ Cue the music and run your way to glory up 72 steps in front of the Philadelphia Museum of Art that were first made famous in 1976. Once you’ve pumped your fist in triumph at the top, head back down for a pic in front of the bronze statue of Rocky. Oh, and then we recommend you head inside a pretty spectacular art museum for a slightly different taste of culture. Distance from the Notary Hotel: save your energy for a run up those stairs with a seven-minute Uber trip.
- Visit the Benjamin Franklin Parkway. The Benjamin Franklin Parkway, modeled after the Avenue des Champs-Élysées in Paris, is called Philadelphia’s most artistic mile for good reason. Some of the city’s most important cultural institutions are housed here, including:
Distance from the Notary Hotel: we recommend a quick five-minute Uber ride to get you started – you can do a lot of walking in those museums!
- Eat! The culinary scene in Philadelphia is booming and diverse. From street food to James Beard Award-winning establishments, you’ll have no trouble finding great places to eat well and share quality time with your fellow Pi Kapps. Check out Eater’s Guide to Philadelphia for some inspiration. Distance from the Notary Hotel: let your stomach be your guide.
- Local recommendations: Our friends in Philly provided some hidden gems and fan-favorite recommendations. Pick a favorite or two and spend a day like the locals.