Philadelphia: the charming arts and music city close to New York

Philadelphia is the biggest city in the state of Pennsylvania with around 1.5 million inhabitants. Two rivers cross the city, one marking the border to the state of New Jersey. The city is located about halfway between Washington (225 kilometers) and New York City (150 kilometers). Bus cities can be easily accessed via train and bus.

Philadelphia’s city center

Philadelphia itself has a nice city center that is easily walkable. The heart of the city is surely the City Hall, an ornate municipal building with a clock tower capped by an 11-meter statue of the city founder William Penn. It is also possible to go up to an observation deck inside the City Hall (priced at $35 per adult).

City Hall
City Hall

Parks in Philadelphia

Next to the City Hall is the Dilworth Park, which has a lovely fountain. Not far from there is Love Park, a small park surrounded by some of the city’s skyscrapers, offering chairs and tables under umbrellas. Love Park is not just a name; several couples come there to have a shooting under the “LOVE” sign.

Love Sign
Fountain in Dilworth Parc in front of City Hall

Sightseeing in Philly

From Love Park, a street leads to Logan Square, a big roundabout with a lovely fountain called Swann Memorial Fountain. On the way, there is the Cathedral Basilica of Saints Peter and Paul.

Swann Memorial Fountain
Cathedral Basilica of Saints Peter and Paul

Food & Arts in Philadelphia

Many restaurants and stores are located on Walnut Street, while Broad Street is the artistic street of Philadelphia, housing an art school and several theaters. Another unique attraction of Philadelphia is the Magic Gardens, which is like one big art museum. It is a complete house where everything is art – the walls, the stairs, and the ceilings. From daily use items like bottles to toilets, statues, and wheels – everything is bedded in mosaic stones there. The entry fee is $15 for adults.

Philadelphia Magic Garden
Figures in the Magic Garden
Art in the Magic Garden
The Magic Garden
Terminal Market and China Town

Another noteworthy place in Philadelphia is the Reading Terminal Market, which offers a variety of restaurants, some for dining in and many for take-away. There is definitely something to be found for every taste. From there, one can have a quick look at Chinatown. Once you pass the beautiful Chinatown Friendship Arch, it feels like you’ve entered another world!

Chinatown Friendship Arch
Scrumbled eggs with potatoes and abisquit with jam

Other attractions in Philadelphia include Independence Hall, where the Declaration of Independence and the U.S. Constitution were debated and signed, along with its Liberty Bell. Additionally, there are numerous museums such as the Museum of Art, The Franklin Institute (Science Museum), Eastern State Penitentiary (History Museum), Museum of the American Revolution, and the National Museum of American Jewish History.

In conclusion,

Philadelphia might  not be the first choice for most people to visit in the USA, it still has some attractions that can easily fill your days. Due to its closeness to New York City, it can also serve as a calm retreat in contrast to the bustling life of NYC.

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