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Destination guides > North America > USA > Mid-Atlantic > Pennsylvania > Philadelphia > Sightseeing, museums & tourist attractions

Philadelphia

Sightseeing, museums & tourist attractions

African American Museum in Philadelphia

This museum has exhibits about the history, life and culture of African Americans with displays on the Civil Rights movement and prominent African Americans in arts and entertainment, medicine, politics and other fields.

701 Arch Street, Philadelphia PA 19106
Tel (215) 574 0380
Website www.aampmuseum.org
Admission $8 ($6 students) FREE WITH PHILADELPHIA PASS
Open Tue-Sat 10am-5pm, Sun noon-5pm

Academy of Natural Sciences

The oldest natural science museum in the United States has an extensive collection of over 17 million biological specimens including items collected on the expeditions of Captain James Cook and Meriwether Lewis. The museum's public exhibits feature the world's first mounted dinosaur skeleton (a Hadrosaurus) plus other dinosaur-related displays plus dioramas and some hands-on exhibits that are more focused on kids.

1900 Benjamin Franklin Parkway, Philadelphia PA 19019
Tel (215) 299 1040
Website www.ansp.org
Admission $10 FREE WITH PHILADELPHIA PASS
Open Mon-Fri 10am-4.30pm, Sat-Sun 10am-5pm

American Helicopter Museum

This 1860m2 museum chronicles 70 years of aviation history with vintage helicopters (including some that you can sit inside) as well as exhibits explaining how helicopters work.
1220 American Boulevard, West Goshen Township PA 19300
Tel (610) 436 9600
Website www.helicoptermuseum.org
Admission $6
Open Wed-Sat 10am-5pm, Sun noon-5pm

Atwater Kent Museum

The Atwater Kent Museum tells the story of Philadelphia’s history with exhibits on the development of the city.

15 South 7th Street, Philadelphia PA 19106
Tel (215) 685 4830
Website www.philadelphiahistory.org
Admission $5 FREE WITH PHILADELPHIA PASS
Open Mon-Fri 9am-5pm

The Barnes Foundation

This art gallery in suburban Philadelphia is home to one of the world’s biggest collections of French impressionist and post-impressionist paintings. The collection includes 69 Cézannes and 181 Renoirs plus paintings by Degas, Manet, Picasso, Seurat and Titian. Only a limited number of visitors are permitted each day and it is recommended that you make a reservation around one month in advance.

300 North Latches Lane, Merion PA 19066
Tel (610) 667 0290
Website www.barnesfoundation.org
Admission $12
Open Mon-Fri 9.30am-4.30pm

Chemical Heritage Foundation

The Chemical Heritage Foundation is a science museum that focuses on chemical and molecular science and its commercial applications.

315 Chestnut Street, Philadelphia PA 19106
Bus 5, 9, 17, 21, 33, 38, 42, 44, 48, 57, 121 Subway 2nd Street
Tel (215) 925 2222
Website www.chemheritage.org
Admission free
Open Mon-Fri 10am-4pm

Edgar Allan Poe National Historical Site

Edgar Allan Poe’s former home now houses a museum with exhibits on his life. Even if you’re not a fan of the author’s work, a visit to this site is a fascinating insight into life in Philadelphia in the early 19th century.

530 North 7th Street, Philadelphia PA 19123
Tel (213) 597 8780
Website www.nps.gov/edal
Admission free
Open Wed-Sun 9am-5pm

Elfreth’s Alley

Elfreth’s Alley is the oldest continuously inhabited street in the United States. Two houses here have been converted into a museum with displays on life in early Philadelphia.

126 Elfreth’s Alley, Philadelphia PA 19106
Tel (215) 574 0560
Website www.elfrethsalley.org
Admission $5 FREE WITH PHILADELPHIA PASS
Open Apr-Oct Tue noon-5pm, Wed-Sat 10am-5pm, Sun noon-5pm

Fairmount Water Works Interpretive Center

The United States’ first water treatment centre features a visitor centre with interactive exhibits about the treatment of the city's water resources.

640 Waterworks Drive, Philadelphia PA 19130
Tel (215) 685 0723
Website www.fairmountwaterworks.org
Open Tue-Sat 10am-5pm, Sun 1pm-5pm

Franklin Institute

The Franklin is a leading science museum with lots of interactive exhibits. It features exhibits on Benjamin Franklin’s scientific experiments, a giant heart, a moving train and a space exhibit. The centre also includes a planetarium and an IMAX cinema.

222 North 20th Street, Philadelphia PA 19103
Tel (215) 448 1200
Website www.fi.edu
Admission $14.25 ($13.25 students) FREE WITH PHILADELPHIA PASS
Open 9.30am-5pm daily

Independence Hall

The Articles of Confederation, the Declaration of Independence and United States Constitution were all signed in this red brick building, which was built between 1732 and 1753. Independence Hall’s bell tower was the original home of the Liberty Bell, although today it holds the Centennial Bell while the Liberty Bell is now kept at the Liberty Bell Center. Free tickets are available at the Independence Visitor Center.

Chestnut Street, Philadelphia, PA
Subway 5th Street
Tel (215) 865 2305
Website www.nps.gov/inde/
Admission free (reserved tickets $1.50)
Open 9am-5pm

Independence Seaport Museum

Philadelphia's maritime museum has displays on commercial and naval shipping history and also features several historic vessels including the Spanish-American cruiser USS Olympia and World War II submarine USS Becuna.

211 South Columbus Boulevard, Philadelphia PA 19106
Tel (215) 925 5439
Website www.phillyseaport.org
Admission $10 ($7 students) FREE WITH PHILADELPHIA PASS
Open 10am-5pm daily

Institute of Contemporary Art

This art museum hosts a programme of contemporary art exhibits.

118 South 36th Street, Philadelphia
Tel (215) 898 5911
Website www.icaphila.org
Admission free
Open Wed-Fri noon-8pm, Sat-Sun 11am-5pm

James A Michener Art Museum - Doylestown

This art museum in Doylestown in suburban Bucks County houses a collection of Pennsylvania Impressionist paintings.

138 South Pine Street, Doylestown PA 18901
Tel (215) 340 9800
Website www.michenermuseum.org
Admission $6 ($4 students)
Open Tue-Fri 10am-4.30pm, Sat 10am-5pm, Sun noon-5pm

James A Michener Art Museum - New Hope

The museum also has a campus in New Hope with exhibits on local artists from Bucks County.

Union Square, New Hope PA
Tel (215) 862 7633
Website www.michenermuseum.org
Admission $5
Open Jan-Mar Wed-Sun 11am-5pm; Apr-Dec Tue-Fri 11am-5pm, Sat 11am-6pm, Sun 11am-5pm

Liberty Bell Center

The Liberty Bell Center in the Independence National Historical Park is one of Philadelphia's most popular attractions. The centre is filled with exhibits about Philadelphia’s famous cracked bell, which has tolled for many historic occasions including to summon citizens to the first public reading of the Declaration of Independence.

6th Street & Chestnut Street, Philadelphia, PA 19106
Tel (215) 965 2305
Website www.nps.gov/inde/liberty-bell-center.htm
Admission free
Open 9am-5pm

Mütter Museum

The Mütter Museum focuses on exhibits relating to anatomy including preserved abnormal body parts, diseased and enlarged organs and lots of bones including the skeleton of a 229cm man. It also includes medical artefacts including Marie Curie’s electrometer and the death cast of Chang and Eng, the original Siamese Twins who underwent their autopsy in the museum.

19 South 22nd Street, Philadelphia PA 19103
Tel (215) 563 3737
Website www.collphyphil.org
Admission $12 ($8 students)
Open Mon-Thu 10am-5pm, Fri 10am-9pm, Sat-Sun 10am-5pm

Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts

This leading art museum in the city centre was the United States’ first art museum. It features an extensive collection of mostly American paintings. A portrait of George Washington by Gilbert Stuart is regarded as one of the gallery’s highlights.

118 North Broad Street, Philadelphia PA 19102
Tel (215) 972 7600
Website www.pafa.org
Admission $10 ($8 students) FREE WITH PHILADELPHIA PASS
Open Tue-Sat 10am-5pm, Sun 11am-5pm

Philadelphia Museum of Art

The United States’ third-largest museum features an extensive collection American Impressionist, Renaissance and contemporary art. The museum's front steps are a well known location from the Rocky films.

2600 Benjamin Franklin Parkway, Philadelphia PA 19130
Tel (215) 763 8100
Website www.philamuseum.org
Admission $14 ($10 students)
Open Tue-Thu 10am-5pm, Fri 10am-8.45pm, Sat-Sun 10am-5pm

Philadelphia Zoo

The first zoo in the United States is home to over 1600 animals from around the world including gibbons, gorillas and orang-utans.
3400 West Girard Avenue, Philadelphia PA 19104
Tel (215) 243 1100
Website www2.philadelphiazoo.org
Admission $17.95 FREE WITH PHILADELPHIA PASS
Open Jan 9.30am-4pm daily; Feb-Nov 9.30am-5pm daily; Dec 9.30am-4pm daily

QVC Studio Tour

What’s more American than infomercials? How about a TV station that shows infomercials 24 hours a day. A tour of the QVC studio offers a unique opportunity to see behind the scenes of the most commercial TV station in America and learn about how products are selected and tested. Get your credit card ready because operators are waiting for your call.

1200 Wilson Drive, West Chester PA 19380
Tel 1800 600 9900
Website www.qvc.com/cp/st_tour.html
Admission $7.50 FREE WITH PHILADELPHIA PASS
Tours 10.30am, noon, 1pm, 2.30pm, 4pm

Reading Terminal Market

America’s oldest continuously operating farmers’ market was established in 1892. It features over 80 merchants including many local specialities like cheese steak and the north-eastern corner of the market is set aside for Amish merchants from Lancaster County.

12th and Arch Streets, Philadelphia, PA 19107
Subway 13th Street Train Market East
Tel (215) 922 2317
Website www.readingterminalmarket.org

Rodin Museum

Philadelphia’s Rodin Museum is home to the largest collection of Auguste Rodin sculptures outside France. The collection includes more than 120 sculptures including bronze casts of the Burghers of Calais, Eternal Springtime, the Gates of Hell and the Thinker.

Corner Benjamin Franklin Parkway and 22nd Street, Philadelphia
Tel (215) 763 8100
Website www.rodinmuseum.org
Admission $3
Open Tue-Sun 10am-5pm

South Street

South Street between Front and 8th Streets is one of Philadelphia’s most diverse shopping streets with variety of shops, restaurants, bars and cafés.

South Street, Philadelphia, PA 19147
Website www.southstreet.com

University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archaeology & Anthropology

This impressive museum has an extensive collection of archaeological and anthropological exhibits with displays from ancient Egyptian, Etruscan, Greek, Roman and Sumerian civilisations including an Egyptian sphinx plus mummies, Sumerian clay tablets and 4500-year-old jewellery.

3260 South Street, Philadelphia PA 19104
Tel (215) 898 4001
Website www.museum.upenn.edu
Admission $10 ($6 students) FREE WITH PHILADELPHIA PASS
Open Tue-Sat 10am-4.30pm, Sun 1pm-5pm

Wagner Free Institute of Science

This prominent science museum has an extensive collection of displays with thousands of small stuffed animals and several complete skeletons of larger animals.

1700 West Montgomery Avenue, Philadelphia PA 19121
Tel (215) 763 6529
Website www.wagnerfreeinstitute.org
Admission $8
Open Tue-Fri 9am-4pm

 


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