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Holidays to Philadelphia
from as little as £631
7 nights in Quality Inn & Suites Conference Center West Chester, Philadelphia, departing London Heathrow on 20 / Jul / 2021 with LufthansaSubject to availability, prices correct of the last 24 hours
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Welcome to Philadelphia
Featured holidays in Philadelphia
Philadelphia travel guidePhiladelphia holidays… what to expect
For a city break filled with interesting history, great scenery and tasty food; Philadelphia has it all.
As one of the most historically significant cities in the USA, there's plenty to see in Philadelphia. From the Liberty Bell and the Independence Hall to the antique churches set against modern skyscrapers, Philadelphia will certainly capture your attention. There's plenty of fantastic food on offer too; visit the fresh markets or treat yourself to a juicy cheesesteak. And you don't worry about the calories, a run up the famous Rocky steps will help to burn them off!
When is the best time to visit Philadelphia?
Philadelphia’s climate is humid and subtropical with hot, muggy summers and moderately cold winters. The best time to visit Philadelphia is during spring and autumn.
Take a look at our climate a chart below.
Liberty Bell and Independence Hall
Liberty Bell Pavilion and Independence Hall are the two most historic sites in the city, and no trip to Philly would be complete without a visit to both. The Liberty Bell, originally hung in the tower of Independence Hall just across the street, is now housed behind glass to protect it, and allow for increased numbers of visitors to see it.
Fairmount Park is one of the world’s largest municipal parks, covering an incredible 9,200 acres. The park includes thousands of trees, as well as America’s oldest zoo, several scenic jogging paths and a range of sport and play facilities.
Edgar Allen Poe National Historic Site
The Edgar Allen Poe National Historic Site was the famed author’s home from 1838 to 1844. Today you can visit for an outline of the author’s life, with educational films and presentations. The raven standing guard outside is a reminder of the most famous of this troubled author’s works.
For shopaholics, there’s no better place to stop than Macy’s. With all the retailers you could dream of (and more), this charming old-fashioned building has towering ceilings and centuries-old architecture. It’s also host to the St Louis World’s Fair Pipe Organ, an immense instrument still played during each of two daily concerts.
Benjamin Franklin National Memorial
Located in the rotunda of the Franklin Institute, the Benjamin Franklin National Memorial is a tribute to the early 20th century writer, inventor and American statesman. It features a 6-feet tall statue of Benjamin Franklin in white Seravezza marble. You can also take in an audio-visual presentation to learn more about Franklin’s life and achievements.
Reading Terminal Market
Reading Terminal Market is an enclosed public farmer’s market that offers everything from fresh produce, meats, flowers, baked goods, clothing and a diverse range of specialty and ethnic foods. Established in 1859, it’s one of the oldest farmer’s markets in the country.
Italian Market on South 9th Street
Philadelphia’s Italian Market on South 9th Street includes a delightful array of cafés, restaurants, cheese shops, butcheries and stalls selling fresh produce. It’s located between Christian Street and Washington Avenue, where the majority of Italian immigrants to the country initially settled.
Top 5 places to visit in Philadelphia
Just some of the attractions not to miss in Philadelphia:
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Philadelphia food and drink
You can’t discuss Philadelphian cuisine without talking about two things – the city’s famous cheesesteak, which consists of thinly sliced steak and soft cheese on a roll, and its emblematic soft pretzels.
Philadelphia also has excellent open-air markets. At the Reading Terminal Market at 12th and Arch streets, you can sample the best Philadelphia has to offer, from local eats to more international foods. You’ll also find stalls and shops selling fresh produce, flowers, books, clothing and crafts.
Within Reading Terminal Market, Beiler’s Bakery is one of the city’s best loved eateries. It’s especially popular for its donuts and apple and blueberry fritters.
Run by Gregory Vernick, the chic Vernick Food and Drink is a popular, five-star bistro/bar, where the menu ranges from traditional southern dishes like fried green tomatoes to more sophisticated dishes like braised rabbit leg.
Fiorino is famous for its Italian cuisine, with the gnocchi and the dry aged beef both firm favourites. Go for a meal and stick around for one of the restaurant’s famous cooking classes.
In Philadelphia, you’ll be spoilt for choice when it comes to nightlife, whether you’re hoping to enjoy a laid-back sundowner, a live music performance or a night-long party.
Northern Liberties is a good choice for live jazz. Ortliebs on 847 North 3rd Street has live music most nights of the week, with the focus on jazz, blues and soul music. Its Tex-Mex menu and diverse beer selection add to its appeal.
For the young and hip, South Philadelphia is the place to be. Pub on Passyunk East (or just POPE) has an awesome beer selection, with excellent service to match. It’s known for its unusual and fun jukebox selections, which keep the young and young at heart dancing the night away.
For sophisticated dining and dancing, you can’t do better than Morgan’s Pier, which overlooks the water. A world-class restaurant by day, it lights up gorgeously at night and is host to various party events, live DJs and performances.
Philadelphia - lifestyle and culture
Philadelphia is a metropolitan city with a diverse population that has been enriched by the cultures of immigrants from all over the world.
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. It has a vibrant music scene and is host to more public art – in the form of outdoor sculptures and murals – than any other American city.
Philadelphia is also a sports-loving city, with a team in all four major sports leagues in North America.
Philadelphia events - what’s on when?
There’s no bad time to go to Philadelphia – no matter when you visit, there’s always plenty to see, do and enjoy.
January - Mummers Parade
Held annually on New Year’s Day for over 100 years, the Mummers Day Parade is one of the oldest folk festivals in the United States. As many as 10,000 people dress up in lavish costumes and twirl, strut and pirouette their way up the city’s main streets. The wild parade and performances that follow are good fun for all ages.
February - African American History Month
Each February, Philadelphia celebrates African American History Month, with various events held around the city. Philadelphia includes a lot of African Americans who migrated there from the southern states, and this is a time to get more acquainted with their history and culture.
March - St Patrick’s Day Parade
Philadelphia St Patrick’s Day Parade is an institution – it has been held annually since 1771. The parade begins at 16th and JFK Boulevard and makes its way through to Ben Franklin Boulevard. Expect to see over 100 groups of marching bands, dance groups, Irish associations, flag wavers, floats and of course, spectators clad in green.
March - PHS Philadelphia Flower Show
Hosted by the Philadelphia Horticultural Society, the PHS Philadelphia Flower Show is the oldest and largest indoor flower show in the world. It attracts more than 250,000 visitors. Along with impressive displays and rare horticultural specimens, the show includes live entertainment, lectures, gardening workshops and more, alongside a different yearly theme.
April - Philadelphia Book Festival
Hosted by the Free Library of Philadelphia, this celebration of the written word takes place across the city, with appearances by famous authors, book launches and a range of special activities at libraries.
May - 9th Street Italian Market Festival
9th Street, which is in the heart of south Philadelphia, closes to traffic for a market festival every May. The festival celebrates everything Italian, with mouth-watering Italian food of every description, free concerts, crafts and the Annual Procession of Saints. The festival is hosted by the 9th Street Italian Market, which is the country’s oldest continuously operating open-air market, offering fresh produce and Italian food all year round.
June - West Oak Lane Night Market
Tens of thousands people are drawn to West Oak Lane for its night market in the height of summer. During the market, the street is crammed with food trucks representing more than 50 different restaurants, along with drinks stands, live music and more. Local favourites like soft pretzels and Philly cheesesteaks, as well as craft beers from local breweries, are among the highlights.
July - Camden Waterfront Freedom Festival
For the week surrounding America’s Independence Day, the Camden Waterfront hosts a family-friendly celebration with food, live music, special events and contests. The largest fireworks display in the region marks the 4th of July itself.
August - Made in America
This massive music festival takes place on Benjamin Franklin Parkway over Labor Day weekend. Dozens of top performers from around the world have graced the festival stages, with the likes of Jay Z, Kings of Leon and Pharrell Williams headlining in recent years. Performances run from midday to midnight on both Saturday and Sunday, keeping music-lovers satisfied for the whole weekend.
August - 2nd Street Festival
Every year, thousands cram into the seven-block stretch between Spring Garden and Germantown Avenue for the 2nd Street Festival, which is one of the city’s biggest and best street parties. There’s something for everyone, whether you’re keen on art workshops, beer gardens, food trucks, live music or crafts.
September - Fringe Festival
Fans of experimental theatre shouldn’t miss out on this celebration of thought-provoking performing arts. It runs for 17 days every September and features hundreds of theatre, music, dance and visual arts performances, not only in traditional venues but also on street corners, in restaurants and even sometimes from performers’ cars.
October - Terror Behind the Walls
What better time to visit Philadelphia’s eerie Eastern State Penitentiary than over the Halloween season? Terror Behind the Walls takes place in the massive, abandoned prison, which was once considered the most technologically sophisticated prison in the country. The event features over 200 performers and spans six distinct settings in the 11-acre building.
November - Thanksgiving Parade
Philadelphia’s Thanksgiving Parade is the oldest of its kind in the country. It has been held annually since 1920. The parade features enormous floats, massive balloons, performers, marching bands, dancing troupes and more. Santa even makes an early appearance to usher in the holiday season. For one of the best views of the parade, try heading to the Philadelphia Museum of Art – but get there early!
December - Christmas tree lighting in Rittenhouse Square
Rittenhouse Square, the park planned and built by William Penn himself in the 17th Century, is illuminated by a brilliant Christmas display over the holiday season. Santa flips the switch to light up a giant Christmas tree and there’s plenty of holiday entertainment, along with complimentary roasted chestnuts, carollers and all sorts of other holiday surprises. With over 5,000 multi-coloured globes and light displays spread throughout the park, it becomes a winter wonderland.
Philadelphia travel advice
Do you need a visa for Philadelphia?
Everyone travelling into America must have completed the Electronic System for Travel Authorisation, or ESTA for short, a US Customs & Passport Control entry requirement. US Immigration may well refuse you entry at border control if you do not complete the online form.
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Key facts about Philadelphia
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