Philadelphia, PA

PHILADELPHIA - Every year, tourists to Philadelphia learn about the city's culture, history and customs, food, language, and scenery while they are there. Visitors who are first-timers and residents discover and re-discover the city's diverse and neighborhood-based character with a central area that is easy to navigate on their own or with public transportation.

Philly is frequently praised in The New York Times, Bon Appetit, Esquire, Travel + Leisure, USA TODAY, Conde Nast Traveler, and many more (in actuality, USA TODAY just named Philly the city with the highest walkability! ). However, Philly doesn't care in any way for the pretense of. Here are some essentials that every visiting Philadelphia must know:

 Well-Planned City:  

Layout Seventeenth-century urban planner William Penn envisioned the grid of streets that form the downtown area of Philadelphia, known as Center City. Perpendicular streets are located north-south (they're numerated) along with east and west (many named after trees: Walnut and Locust Spruce). What is 1st Street is named Front Street. What is 14th Street is Broad Street. Two rivers The Schuylkill as well as the Delaware (dividing Pennsylvania from New Jersey) are the eastern and western boundaries that comprise Center City; Vine Street and South Street form north-south boundaries. In the present, Penn continues to give direction to the city. The statue of Penn on top of City Hall points northeast.

Layout ExceptionsThe 101-year-old mile Benjamin Franklin Parkway cuts diagonally through the center city grid and extends from close to City Hall past the famous LOVE Park and ending at the Philadelphia Museum of Art. The parkway is modelled on Paris Champs-Elysees, this parkway is the home of the Barnes Foundation, The Franklin Institute, The Academy of Natural Sciences of Drexel University as well as The Rodin Museum and the Philadelphia Museum of Art. East Passyunk Avenue runs diagonally through South Philly, passing through an array of eateries and shops, passing Cheesesteak competitors Geno Steaks and Pat's King of Steaks and ending at lively South Street. Frankford Avenue begins near Delaware Avenue and then heads northeast to Fishtown and Kensington in which Penn's grid turns into more than an internet.

Greene County TownePenn also conceived the city's five major squares as part of his plan for the city to become a "greene countrie town." These parks, which are city-blocks, are known as Rittenhouse Square, in one of the most sought-after neighborhoods in Philly; Washington Square, home to the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier; Franklin Square, with the fountain, playground and carousel Logan Square, now an area that is a circle on known as the Benjamin Franklin Parkway with the Swann Memorial Fountain; and Center Square, where City Hall and Dilworth Park now reside.

 How to Get Around:  

 by foot or wheelchair  By Foot or Wheelchair Locals prefer to self-propel. It's the most efficient method of getting around. WalkScore rates Philadelphia as the fifth-highest level of pedestrian-friendly cities.

IndiegoCyclists are able to navigate the city's many bike paths by taking advantage of this well-known bike-sharing program. Over 140 docking stations are equipped with simple machine for credit cards which require less than a minute to operate. A day pass costs $15 for unlimited rides on any blue classic bike. Any ride that goes over the first hour will cost added 20 cents each minute.

Philly PHLASH Downtown Loop(tm) (tm)Fast efficient, affordable and convenient This is that violet PHLASH bus. It costs $2 per ride and $5 for a one-day pass or $9 for two-day pass (good for consecutive days) to make 20 stops on its tourist-rich route. The PHLASH operates daily during the summer, spring and during the festive season. It also operates on Saturdays, Fridays and Sundays in autumn and winter.

 SEPTA (Southeastern Public Transit Authority)  SEPTA (Southeastern Public Transit Authority) The region's public transportation system comprises buses, subways trolleys, and trains that connect suburban lines. Broad Street Line subway Broad Street Line subway runs both north and south on Broad Street and connects to the stadiums that host sports events in South Philadelphia, with express services during games. The Market-Frankford Line (called "the El" because of its above-ground sections) is a line that runs east and west under Market Street connecting with northeastern neighborhoods Northern Liberties and Fishtown and to West Philly/University City in the reverse direction. Numerous bus lines are found in nearly every block in the city. Buses and subways passengers are able to be charged $2.50 for dollars (exact change) or purchase a SEPTA Key Card that can be reloaded that offers a variety of different fares.,

 Taxis HTML0 Taxis They're simple to find especially within Center City. Find the light at the top.

Uber, Lyft, 215-Get-A-CabNeed an Uber or Lyft taxi? There are apps to help you with that.,,

 Essentials of the Past:  

Independence National Historical Park Independence National Historical ParkAmerica's most historical square mile is an essential part of America's founding. Visitors can get tickets for free and timed to explore the highly regarded Independence Hall, the UNESCO World Heritage Site in which there was the Declaration of Independence was signed as well as it was also where the U.S. Constitution was created and the annual Reminders which was the nation's first regular and regularly held LGBTQ rights demonstrations were held. Nearby, the ticket-free Liberty Bell Center displays the iconic symbol of freedom that is a constant inspiration for those who believe who believe in the civil rights. The same block houses you can visit the air-conditioned President's House Site, where the permanent exhibition Freedom and Slavery in the Making of a New Nation is a story of nine Africans U.S. President George Washington enslaved there. (215) 965-2305,

Valley Forge National Historical Park Valley Forge National Historical ParkIn the winter of 1777-1778, Washington's Continental Army encamped here. The park is now a symbol of the strength and sacrifice of those who fought to secure liberty for the United States. Valley Forge National Historical Park has a wide range of activities throughout the year, which includes guided tours, ranger programs and live demonstrations. 1500 N. Outer Line Drive, King of Prussia, (610) 783-1099,

 Art & Architecture:  

Barnes Foundation -This famous collection includes Impressionist, Post-Impressionist and early Modern paintings, as well as Old Master works, Native American jewelry, and African sculpture. 2025 Benjamin Franklin Parkway, (215) 278-7000,

Boathouse Row -Ten charming, 19th century crew clubhouses are part of the National Historical Landmark along the Schuylkill River. In use today, the boathouses provide services to local universities and colleges. At night, lights frame the buildings, providing one of Philadelphia's most recognizable--and Instagram-worthy--landmarks. NOTE: Beginning March 20 in 2023, the famous Boathouse Row went dark for a period of eight months as the lighting system is given an extensive illumination. Fairmount Park Conservancy is partnering with Philadelphia Parks & Recreation to improve and replace the current lighting system. 1 Boathouse Row

Mural Arts PhiladelphiaFounded by the city of Philadelphia in 1984, as an anti-graffiti project the world-renowned mural program employs art to create transformation in communities, and transform the public realm and our lives. Since its inception, the program has created more than 4000 murals that are available to take a look at on your on their own or by taking a number of tours. 1727-29 Mt. Vernon St., (215) 925-3633,

Philadelphia City Hall City Hall of PhiladelphiaThe Second Empire building at the intersection of Broad and Market streets has served as the home of Philadelphia city officials since 1889. The extravagant, 14.5-acre masonry structure, at one time the tallest structure of its kind in the U.S., remains the biggest municipal building in the country. The observation deck that is located beneath the statue that is 37 feet tall William Penn atop the clock tower is open for tours on weekdays and certain Saturdays. The building also hosts two-hour tour tours every day on the weekdays. Broad & Market Streets, (267) 514-4757,

 Philadelphia Museum of Art  Philadelphia Museum of Art The most important jewel in the Benjamin Franklin Parkway offers an impressive art collection that spans more than 2,000 years. It includes paintings, sculpture as well as textiles, arms, armor, photographs prints, and drawings. The museum was immortalized in the iconic Rocky film series. Even today visitors are encouraged to jog along the steps to recreate the iconic scene of Stallone. 2600 Benjamin Franklin Parkway, (215) 763-8100,

African American Museum in Philadelphia (AAMP) The AAMP isThe first museum that was supported by an important city to exhibit and preserve the African-American past and culture was established in 1976. It continues to house an extensive collection of artifacts and many cutting-edge art and cultural activities. 701 Arch Street, (215) 574-0380,

 Weitzman The National Museum of American Jewish History Weitzman National Museum of American Jewish History Also created in 1976 It is also the first U.S. museum dedicated exclusively to the American Jewish experience. More than 30,000 objects comprise the largest collection in the world of Jewish Americana; the venue offers educational and public lectures, programs and events. 5th & Market Streets, (215) 923-3811,

 Everything About The Food:  

CheesesteaksBorn from South Philly, this meat-and-cheese (onion optional) sandwich is usually bought at 24-hour operation Pat's King of Steaks (where it was first invented) and close to Geno's Steaks. Some other popular places include the neon-lit restaurant in Pennsport, Tony & Nick's, North Philly's famous Max's Steaks in Roxborough, and Dalessandro's Steaks. Geno's, 1219 S. 9th Street, (215) 389-0659,; Pat's, 1237 E. Passyunk Avenue,; Tony & Nick's, 39 E. Oregon Avenue, (215) 551-5725,; Max's, 3653 Germantown Avenue, (215) 229-9048; Dalessandro's Steaks, (215) 482-5407,

HoagiesOutside from the 215/267/484/445/610 region codes, these meals are often referred to as "subs" or "heroes." Philly's hoagie-making game is serious. The bread needs to be perfect, slightly crisp on the outside but soft enough to let bites of cheese, deli meat and other toppings. South Philly spots such as Cosmi's Deli are well-known; and locations such as Primo Hoagies have been around for a long time. Cosmi's, 1501 S. 8th Street, (215) 468-6093,, Primo, various locations,

 Roast Pork  Roast Pork The Philly sandwich that locals believe is the best local favorite is comprised of a high-quality length Italian roll, tasty slices of pork provolone cheese, and broccoli rabe or garlicky greens. There are some who include lengthy hots (peppers) to add more flavor. Two of the most popular spots to get roast pork are The Reading Terminal Market's DiNic's as well as John's Roast Pork situated at the southern edge of South Philly's Pennsport neighborhood. DiNic's 12th & Arch Streets, (215) 923-6175,; John's 14 Snyder Avenue, (215) 463-1951

Soft Pretzels Soft PretzelsEarly German colonists introduced this delicious doughy treat. On a Saturday morning, residents can dip pretzels in cream cheese, and typically mustard is the preferred condiment. Soft pretzels, which are a staple in food carts, and are available at Reading Terminal Market at Miller's Twist and can be found across the entire area at Philly Pretzel Factory franchises. Pretzel Factory,; Miller's Twist,

Ice Ice -Erstwhile known as Italian ice, this more smooth than a snow cone that is more delicious than a shaved one is flavor-infused and not added on top. In South Philadelphia's around 1945 John's Water Ice, lemon and cherry are the most sought-after flavors. At multiple Rita's Italian Ice locations, mango reigns supreme as does West Philly's seasonally-changing Siddiq's Real Fruit Water Ice stand provides coolness with kiwi, coconut mango berry, and other authentic fruit-flavored water ices. John's, 701 Christian Street, (215) 925-6955,; Rita's,; Siddiq's, 264 S. 60th Street, (215) 410-6513,

 Food Hubs Food Hubs For this and many other Philly flavor The Reading Terminal Market and S. 9th Street Italian Market are a great place to find a culinary nexus. The former has around 80 vendors offering local specialties as well as international cuisine within a former train terminal. The latter is located along multiple South Philly blocks with merchants selling cheeses, produce tacos and pasta, as well as spices, meats and much many more. Reading Terminal, 12th & Arch Streets, (215) 922-2317,, South 9th Street Italian Market, S. 9th Street, between Christian & Federal Streets, (215) 278-2903,

 The Dialect  

PronunciationsMany Philadelphia residents have their own unique pronunciation of local names. Schuylkill as in the river or on the I-76 expressway is skool-kil. Passyunk is which is the South Philadelphia avenue and neighborhood is called pash-shunk.

Philly AccentWater is wood. The Eagles are also known as the Iggles. A lot of words that begin with st- are likely to receive a more sht-treatment, creating a street sounds similar to the schtreet. Pronouns like "our" sounds like are"our" while "orange" gets the same sound as its name suggests--are-ange. "Bagel" goes by beg-el (but soft pretzels are preferred (see above). And jeet? This is the way that caring Philadelphians inquire if someone has eaten.

 The Dictionary:  

gravy/grey-vee/ noun:a South Philadelphia term for red Italian sauce. Villa Di Roma makes gravy like my grandmom's.

hoagie/hoh-gee/noun:a hero or sub sandwich. Block party attendees are bound to feature cheesesteaks, hoagies as well as soft pretzels.

jawn"jawn" nouna object, person or location; multi-purpose fill-in-the blank word. Smile when the parade passes through.

the Linc/th@ lingk/ nounshort to mean Lincoln Financial Field. "E-A-G-L-E-S: Eagles!" echoes, well, really, everywhere.

Mummers/muhm-erNoun:costumed musicians and irreverent revelers who parade down Broad Street on New Year's Day. You've met Uncle Jimmie. The man is a mummer.

Yo/Yoh/interjection: greeting; used to draw attention of someone. Yo! Who's da at the top of the stairs? City Hall

water ice/wood-er AHYS/ noun:Italian Ice treat. If it's the month of August the lemon water ice hits the perfect spot.

Wawa/wah-wah/ Noun:convenience store native to the Philadelphia region. Yo. Let's go to Wawa to grab a hot dog and Tastykakes prior to taking part in the Birds game.

 More About Philadelphia: Philadelphia:  

Visit PHILADELPHIA(r) refers to our brand name as well as mission. As the tourist marketing authority, we help build the image of Greater Philadelphia, increase visitors to the city and help boost its economy. The official Greater Philadelphia visitor site,, visitors can find events and activities coming up, as well as forthcoming events along with themed itineraries, hotel packages.

Video and photography that are engaging as well as interactive maps and comprehensive information for visitors make this site an effective tool to plan your trip. Visitors can also find a wealth of ideas via Visit Philly's social channels.