6 Fun things to do in Philadelphia (Philly Tour)

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Philly’s Airport

What’d you do if you find yourself helpless for 10 hours in a transit in Philadelphia’s airport? Well, I’ll burst through the airline’s office asking them to refund my money I can’t cope with the long boring hours, for what!!! Nah, just joking! So, I went downtown to round-up some few fun things to keep you engaged in the cultural city of Philly.

Philadelphia, affectionately known as Philly is a place where the Northeast Corridor’s cultures cross and clash. The original and once home to the Capital of the United States of America, Philly is a city bursting with history and culture references from the Liberty Bell to the famous steps where Rocky ran up.

We’ll begin with the grub because one does not simply go to Philadelphia without trying some staple cuisines from the area such as the infamous Philadelphia Cheesesteak, the sourdough pretzels or some wooda (water) ice!

# 1. Philly Cheesesteaks

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John’s Roast Pork, Philly
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Philly Cheesesteak

When it comes to the mouth-watering succulent Cheesesteak, I look no further than John’s Roast Pork on 14 Snyder Ave in South Philly. Not only is it superior in size, taste and quality of ingredients to Geno’s and Pat’s but you have a slew of sandwiches and sides you can order from Hoagies to Club sandwiches to wings to fish cakes. They hold it down! Here is Zagat’s take on the joint: Fans “forget upscale” and head to this cash-only South Philly “lunch counter” for its “amazing” “triumvirate of hot sandwiches: cheesesteak, roast pork and roast beef” made the “way it should be”; the “extra-napkin experience” is enjoyed at “picnic tables” throughout the seasons.

 

 

 

 

#2. Mural Art Tour

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Philly Mural Graffiti Art

Only locals would be hip to the amount of stunning graffiti in Philadelphia. There are anywhere between 2800-3100 mural style wall pieces in and around Philly. Back in the 1980’s it started out as an anti-graffiti movement which took the youth of the city (extremely talented artists) taggers and graffiti artists to do what they love for a good cause.

Without the Mural Arts Program none of this would have ever existed, whole neighborhoods came together to commission their very own walls within their communities  (several murals were at least 9 stories high while others gave a positive feel to schools hallways). While beautiful to see these murals have meant so much more to the city alone, the program has meant significant change for thousands upon thousands of young kids (who are now adults) lives and continues to recruit many students who would otherwise be found with idle hands (if you get my drift). Due to the positive impact the request for murals has been very high in demand causing a wait-list for works.

Tours are given to show a beautiful route of quality work done by amateurs. Love Letters takes you on a subway themed tour or you could go on a one and a half hour walking tour that comes equipped with a guide.

 

#3. Run up the “Rocky steps” in Italian Stallion Fashion

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Philadelphia’s Museum
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Rocky Statue

From a tourist standpoint It doesn’t get more Philadelphia than screaming “Adrienne!!” at the top of the steps to the Philadelphia Museum, while shadow boxing in a circle . Immediately to the right of the base of the steps you’ll find the infamous Rocky statue and like I, many others, and hopefully you as well you’ll take a photo with the local movie hero.

A perk with reaching the top of the stairs is one of the best panoramic views of the city. A famed spot for brides and grooms taking their wedding pic but beware of the exited tourist doing their best Rocky pose for a heart-wrenching photobomb. Once in the museum you’ll find Medieval cloisters (they’re the real thing) and other sections highlighting Asian Art and an authentic Japanese Tea house. Constantine tapestries, presidential china, horse and rider armory and European and American art.

 

#4. The soft pretzels will change your mind about street food

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Philly’s soft Pretzel

It’s been said that soft pretzels are to Philadelphia as crepes are to Paris. You can get them for cheap, eat them on the go, buy them almost anywhere… and they will convince you that no other city’s version is as good. Or score pretzels from an actual establishment on the midnight Pretzels Ride. Every Tuesday night right before midnight, carb-loving bike riders meet at the Art Museum and take off down to Center City Pretzel Co, where you can score several pretzels for just $1. Oh, and there’s plenty of mustard and Cheese Whiz to top ’em off.

 

#5. Visit the Liberty Bell

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Independence Hall

Ok, so number 5 should probably be Visit the Liberty Bell. Or maybe take a tour through Independence Hall where the founding documents of the United States were signed. But I say no. Happy Hour at Palomar Hotel is my number 5. You’ll do those touristy things anyway, let’s face it. And AFTER you’re culturally aware you will need a drink. Palomar Hotel is in yet another historic building, this time a 1929 architects building in the posh Rittenhouse Square neighborhood. It was a stunning evening so I sat outside under umbrellas and ordered “small plates” from Square 1682 – their restaurant. I tasted tons (yes I did) but my pick for this Top 5 list has to be the goat cheese-stuffed dates wrapped in bacon. They come hot on sticks and go perfectly with a cheeky pinot gris. 

 

#6. Reading Street Terminal

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Street Terminal, Philadelphia

Since it’s founding in the late 1800’s, the indoor market has been stocked with food from hundreds of farmers and distributors. Standing close to its original location, the market now serves up Chinese food, cheesesteaks, hoagies, fresh seafood, crepes, BBQ chicken, Cajun cuisine and the Dutch Eating Place, an eatery featuring true Pennsylvania Dutch cooking. 

 

Note: For all types of outdoor equipment please do visit

 

We’d love to hear from you. Comment box below!

 

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36 thoughts on “6 Fun things to do in Philadelphia (Philly Tour)

  1. Those murals are so interesting. They definitely make for great photography subjects. And yeah, I knew you would mention the Philly cheesesteaks. I would love to try an authentic Philly cheesesteak myself!

    1. Thank you Abigail for the feedback. Get that camera battery bars up to the top because you don’t want a flat battery when surrounded with the most beautiful and stunning mural arts like those in Philly. How can you be in Philly and not try the one and only John’s Roast Pork, they are just what you need.

  2. I kind of like having a long layover (if I am not too tired) and the chance to explore a new place. The mural is gorgeous — I love street art. And I would definitely need to run up the stair Rocky Balboa-style! And eat a pretzel. We were just in Germany so it would be interesting to compare the two pretzel styles.

    1. Thank you Mel for the feedback. We can accomplish a lot with long layover like with the Philly post because I could also decide just to relax in the airport. If you love street art then you’d not hesitate taking a tour to Philadelphia to experience the Mural art for real.

      Happy Flying!

  3. Philly is such an iconic place and even though I have never been there I am aware of certain facts about it. Your post really highlights the city in its true colour and I love how you capture all aspects of it from the food to film affiliations to history and monuments.

    I love the fact that you can do so much and see so much of the city in 10 hours and it’s great that you took the initiative to do that and to write about it too.

    1. Thank you Ticker Eats The world for your feedback. Philly has a lot to cover but I’m glad you can be able to feel Philly a bit from my post with only 10 hours of my experience, imagine if you spend days around!

      Happy Flying!

    1. Thank you Amanda for the feedback. I recommend you try the pretzels from Philly and tell for yourself because to me it rates the best. That cheesesteak will make you ask for a takeaway!

      Happy Flying!

    1. Thank you Natasha for the feedback. Mural arts are part of Philly as you get to see them most places you go. Make sure to try out some pretzels whenever you come around and judge for yourself.

      Happy Flying!

  4. You had me at philly cheesesteaks and pretzels! $1 for a pretzel that size? That is ridiculously cheap. How much are the philly cheesestakes at John’s Roast Pork?

    1. Thank you Ivy for your response. Yes, indeed true that you can score pretzels for a $1, how amazing! You can have a nice cheesesteak at John’s from around $8-$10 no more.

      Happy Flying!

  5. I love that the residents took it upon themselves to beautify their city by commissioning street artists. Murals are becoming more and more popular in big cities but I had no idea Philly started this trend back in the 1980’s!

    1. Thank you Lydia for your response. Philly has a lot mural arts exhibition and well organized programs from way back and it continues to get popular!

      Happy Flying!

  6. I have been to Philly about 2 years back. I did visit the Liberty Bell and it was good. I guess it is time now to get back. Especially for the cheese steaks and the pretzel 🙂

    1. Thanks Revathi for the feedback. Make sure you try them cheesesteaks and pretzels anytime in Philly, and never forget to hit the right spot (John Roast Pork) for the best taste!

      Happy Flying!

  7. Aside from the murals, I want to go there for the cheese steaks. I’ve had a Philly cheese steak in my country before and it tasted delicious. But I think the authentic one from Philly itself would taste different so I want to give it a try.

    1. Thank you Marge for the feedback. I truly recommend you head straight up to John’s Roast Pork to get that succulent throat craving cheesesteaks you’ve been waiting for!

      Happy Flying!

  8. Ah Philly – a city that I long to visit! The cheesesteaks do look appetizing and good enough to travel there to try. You are spot on with the Liberty Bell. That is one landmark that I would love to see in person. Murals in cities are always so interesting and have messages behind them. Such great art to see while travelling 🙂

    1. Thank you Janine for the feedback. I guess you have no more reason to wait especially when you find out how tasty the cheesesteaks from John’s Roast Pork are, that only will most def get you running back and don’t forget the pretzels from Philly (Phil-zels) the best, just made that up!

    1. Thank you Mohit for the feedback. You’ll be amazed to find out how big, real and beautiful they all are. John’s Roast Pork is the spot to head up to to get the best cheesesteaks ever of your life!

      Happy Flying!

  9. Great insights. Your suggestion is really going to help. Each and every place mentioned here looks very interesting. Being an art lover myself, I will definitely like to take Mural Art Tour. Reading Street Terminal also sounds quite interesting

    1. Thanks for the response Neha. I’m glad you can find them useful anytime you play around Philly. As an art lover I bet you’ll go crazy with them murals.

      Happy Flying!

  10. Wow so much to do for so little time. Who knew! And man, those food sure looks great! Philly cheese steaks and pretzels! Yum. Good ideas! I also love street art!

    1. Thank you Darlene for the feedback. It felt good using my layover time to explore Philly a bit, and the cheesesteaks is what you want to taste.

      Happy Flying!

  11. I usually take long layovers because they allow me to discover some extra places. How far is the airport from the city center? And just for curiosity, phily pretzels come from german brezels?

    1. Thank you Elisa for the feedback. To get to downtown from the airport with the bus is like 20, 30 minutes. All I know is that the pretzels in Philly is one of a kind and you should go for it!

  12. These are a list of some pretty interesting and unique things to do in Philadelphia. The mural arts appeal to me and I would love to spend some time chilling in Reading Street Terminal.

  13. Phillyyyyy!!! Haha. I hear that a lot in movies/tv shows 😛 looks like a lovely place. I’m planning a US tour sooon, might pass by here for maybe a day tour! 😀

    1. Thank you Johna for the feedback. In movies you hear Philly a lot with iconic places like The Liberty Bell. You’ll be glad you passed through Philadelphia on your US tour, have fun!

      Happy Flying!

    1. Thank you Agness for the feedback. Take a tour in Philly it has everything beautiful to offer mural arts, street terminals and for sure Philly’s soft pretzels. Thanks.

      Happy Flying!

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