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Philadelphia: Art, Culture, Food & History

The City of Brotherly Love, the former US capital, and home of Philly Cheesesteak, Benjamin Franklin, and Rocky Balboa: Philadelphia is all this and more. Popularly known as “Philly”, Philadelphia is the sixth-largest city in the United States. Located an hour and a half from New York City and two and a half hours from Washington, DC, it is known for its great shopping, dining, history, and art. It’s so easy to get around Philadelphia, consistently ranked as one of the most walkable cities in the United States.

Cradle of Democracy, Symbol of History

In Philadelphia, you can reach anything on foot. Begin your visit to the city by visiting the Independence National Historical Park. Here’s a summary of everything you’ve heard about American democracy, as it is home to many historical monuments, including Independence Hall, which is recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Known as one of the top attractions in Philadelphia, this is where the Declaration of Independence was signed in 1776.

Just steps away is the Liberty Bell, another top attraction in Philadelphia and a symbol of democracy throughout the city and country. More democratic still is the price of admission: Free.

Right Out of the Movies

Philadelphia has long been the subject of songs, and the focal point of Hollywood movies. When visiting the city, visit one of the city’s most iconic spots, The Rocky Steps. Put on your headphones, turn on the “Rocky” movie theme song and join the many other tourists who take the famous mad dash up the 72 steps that lead to the Philadelphia Museum of Art. Do not forget to perform the obligatory celebration at the top: throw your arms over your head and punch in the air. While you catch your breath, enjoy the wonderful view of the city skyline.

Vibrant Arts Scene

After taking in The Rocky Steps, step inside the Philadelphia Museum of Art and marvel at the more than 200 galleries containing more than 240,000 objects from around the world. From classical paintings to street art, Philadelphia is a mecca for those who love art and the artists themselves.

After the museum, take a 10-minute stroll along the Museum Mile to visit The Barnes Foundation, which houses one of the finest and largest private art collections of Early and Post-Impressionist painting in the world. See masterpieces by famous artists like Picasso, Matisse, Renoir, and many more.

Art in Philly isn’t limited to museums. More than 4,000 murals can be seen throughout the city. Street art is officially supported through Mural Arts Philadelphia. Anyone who wants to learn more about the history of the paintings should get a tour guide. They are happy to tailor tours to your interests.

Plan a Shopping Spree

Philly has been named the second-best shopping city in the world by Condé Nast Traveller. As a major metropolis, it has tons of fun items and loads of staples to choose from. Plus, shopping tax-free on clothing and shoes makes a big difference at the checkout line. While you’re still in town, take a walk to Century 21, which offers up to 65 percent off retail prices and is the perfect place to spend some time.

Check out Macy’s, the largest department store chain in the United States with the most sought-after brands; They offer a 10 percent discount to international customers. Macy’s Center City is in the beautiful historic Wanamaker Building, where you’ll also find the world’s largest working pipe organ so you can shop while listening to the music of Rare Treasures.

Dining Options Abound

When your tummy needs attention, head to Reading Terminal Market, which is only minutes from Macy’s. It is the oldest continuously operating indoor farmers market in the United States. There are so many classic dishes that it’s hard to choose one from over 80 vendors. Try Down Home Diner for delicious breakfast options.

Head to Rittenhouse Square and lay down a blanket to enjoy the picnic. The square is full of locals, tourists, street performers, and entertainers. From here, you can cross the street and take an outdoor seat at Stephen Starr’s Parc restaurant or head to Continental Midtown.

City of Brotherly Love

What stands out about Philadelphia is the people who clearly love their city. Wherever you go, you will always find friendly people. The Independence Beer Garden is a large meeting point, right next to Independence National Historical Park. Here, bring your friends and meet the locals.

There is so much to see and discover in Philadelphia. With luxurious accommodations including the Sonesta Philadelphia Downtown Hotel, in addition to pedestrian-friendly walkways, lovely street cafes, and renowned cultural attractions, the city of Philadelphia surprises and delights visitors at every turn.

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