I used to travel to Philly occasionally to watch Kendrick’s band perform, and I always thought it was a really underrated day-trip-from-NYC spot. Thanks so much to Philly native (and new blogger) Lauren for offering to show us around!
I am so honored to be guest blogging for Jordan! I adore her blog and it’s part of the inspiration behind mine. I am a native Philadelphian turned New Yorker, so there is nothing I love more than going back to my second home in Philly.
Here are my ideas for a day or weekend trip there. Enjoy!
There are several options for getting from NYC to Philly, depending on the time of day you want to go and the amount of money you want to spend. Here’s a list from cheapest to most expensive:
New Jersey Transit is my personal favorite way to get to Philly, unless I’m in a huge rush or have tons of luggage. You’ll have to transfer at Trenton from NJ Transit to SEPTA in order to get to 30th St. Station in Philadelphia. The trains are right across the platform form each other so it’s super easy – you won’t have to wait more than 10 minutes at the most. The cost is about $24 total and the total time is about 3 hrs.
Another option is Amtrak. This is the most reliable form of transportation but also the most expensive. I’ll only take it Amtrak I can score one of their $48 tickets; otherwise you might end up paying anywhere from $60 to $218! Amtrak takes anywhere from 1 hour and 10 min to 1½ hours.
You can always rent a car, especially if you’re travelling with a group. The drive takes about 2 hours, depending on traffic.
Once you get there . . .
You’ll need to get from 30th Street Station into Center City, Philadelphia. There are a couple of options for getting around the city:
You can hop on Septa and take it into Center City Philadelphia, to either Suburban Station or Market East. Suburban Station lets you off at 16th and JFK Boulevard, while Suburban Station brings you to 12th and Market. Get off at Suburban Station if you want to head to Old City for the historic sites.
A cab will cost anywhere from $5 to $15 depending on traffic and where you want to go. Not a bad option, especially if you’re with a group.
Site-Seeing and Tours
6th Street and Chestnut Street
Hours: 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
See the actual Liberty Bell, as well as video presentations and exhibits focusing on its origins and modern day role as an international icon of freedom.
3rd and Chestnut Street
Hours: 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
This is the site of the First Continental Congress in 1774, as well as home to Franklin’s Library Company and the first and second books of the United States.
8th and Market Street
Cost: $17.50 for Adults, $12.50 children
A 75-minute outdoor walking tour that takes you to more than 20 sites. Tours depart frequently from the Independence Visitor Center.
318 Market Street
Hours: 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.
A ghost structure outlines the spot where Ben Franklin’s house stood and features an underground museum with a film and displays, an 18th century printing office, an archeological exhibit, and a postal museum.
535 Arch Street
Hours: Monday through Friday 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Saturday 9:30 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Sunday Noon to 5 p.m.
Cost: Adults $12, students $11, children $8.
This museum takes you through important events in American history and demonstrates how the U.S. Constitution is as important today as it was when it was written.
26th Street and Ben Franklin Parkway
Hours: Tuesday through Sunday 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Cost: Adults $16, students $12, children $12, First Sunday of each month is pay what you wish all day.
One of the world’s leading art museums.
222 N. 20th Street
Hours: 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily
Cost: Adults $15.50, Child $12.00
Great science museum, especially for kids. Check out the Tuttleman IMAX theater while you’re there.
Other Tours and Sites
5th and Market Street
Cost: Adults $27, Children $10
Enjoy the view as local guides entertain you with humorous stories and fascinating facts about Philadelphia.
3400 West Girard Ave, 215-243-1100
Hours: March 1 through October 31, 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Cost: Adult $18, Children $15, under 2 is free
Leaves from the Reading Terminal Market at 12th Street & Filbert.
Saturday Only: 215-545-8007 (call for times).
Costs: Prices range depending on the tour, but they’re about $39 for adults and $29 for children ages 10-14.
Learn the story behind cheesesteaks, hoagies, pretzels, and other Philly food favorites during this 75-minute walking tour led by a food writer. There are several options for tours.
One of the best things about going to Philly is THERE IS NO TAX ON CLOTHES, or at least clothes that are considered “necessities.” It can sometimes be a little fuzzy what’s taxable and what isn’t, but I never pay tax on designer jeans or shoes.
Old City and Northern Liberties
The once-scruffy blue-collar neighborhood along the Second and Third Street corridors is filling up with all kinds of boutiques. Check out Vagabond Boutique, Sugarcube, Third Street Habit, and Charlie’s Jeans .
Rittenhouse Row goes from the Avenue of the Arts (Broad Street) to 21st Street, between Spruce and Market Streets. The stores around here are a little more upscale and chic. Check out Club Monaco, Juicy Couture, Barney’s New York, the Shops at Liberty Place, Second Time Around, and BCBG.
South Street stretches about 10 blocks between Front Street and 10th Street. It’s a great place to people-watch and it has a wonderfully eclectic lineup of tons shops, eateries, cafes, and bars. Most stores are independently owned.
There are tons of great restaurants in Philly, so I’m not even sure where to start. My personal favorites are the BYOBs. You will be amazed at how much money you’ll save on a night out compared to a night in NYC.
Here are just a few suggestions:
Hope that helps you plan your trip! Please leave comments if you have other recommendations. This is far from an exhaustive list!