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  • Last Updated: 29th March 2017

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Philadelphia

Known as the “City of Brotherly Love” (from the Greek philos – loving, and adelphos – brother), Philadelphia is one of the most historically significant cities in the United States. Two of its most famous landmarks are the Liberty Bell and Independence Hall, where both the US Constitution and the Declaration of Independence were signed.

Along with attractive old buildings and historically interesting sites, Philadelphia offers visitors some of the country’s best museums and art galleries. It includes several beautiful old churches and attractive riverside scenery and parks – including the largest, landscaped urban park in the world. When you’re in the city, you also shouldn’t miss the opportunity to try Philadelphia’s famous cheesesteak and soft pretzels.

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America’s foundations

Situated at the confluence of the Delaware and Schuylkill rivers, Philadelphia was founded to serve as the capital of Pennsylvania in 1682. By the 1750s, its population had surpassed that of Boston and its port was the busiest in the country.

In the 1770s, Philadelphia hosted the first and second meetings of the Continental Congress, where key figures like Benjamin Franklin, Thomas Jefferson and George Washington charted the course for America’s independence from Britain.

Rich in culture

Over the last 200 or more years, Philadelphia has continued to attract European and Asian immigrants, as well as a significant population of African-Americans who migrated there from the southern states. Thanks to its diverse population, Philadelphia has become a city of neighbourhoods, each with its own vibrant culture.

The city is also an important hub for industry and a centre for the arts, with many fine museums and collections. Today Philadelphia is said to feature more public art than any other US city.

Five things not to miss in Philadelphia

Just some of the attractions not to miss in Philadelphia include

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    The Independence National Historic Park, which includes Independence Hall – where the US Declaration of Independence and Constitution were adopted – and the iconic Liberty Bell, along with many other historic landmarks.
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    The Cathedral Basilica of Saints Peter and Paul, which was built between 1846 and 1864, is the largest Catholic Church in Pennsylvania; don’t miss out on a (free!) smartphone audio-guide.
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    The Morris Arboretum, which features an incredible display of plants, along with winding paths, streams, ponds and various landscaped gardens, including a rose garden, a railroad garden and a sculpture garden.
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    The impressive collection at the Philadelphia Museum of Art, along with the stairs leading up to it – which are the very same that Rocky climbed in the Rocky movies.
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    The extremely popular Reading Terminal Market, which is the country’s oldest farmers’ market and a paradise for food lovers; you’ll find the market on 12th and Arch Streets.
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