Central Philadelphia is great for traveling on foot. And, no, it is not just because public transit coverage is spotty. (Not the whole reason, anyhow.) In addition to being relatively flat, you can literally walk through time. From the Art Museum to the Liberty Bell. Across cobblestones and concrete sidewalks. Through streets where the likes of Benjamin Franklin, George Washington, Thomas Jefferson and countless other founding fathers walked during colonial times. I’ve put together a Philadelphia walking tour to explore the culture and the history — and get a bite to eat, too!
For me, the only way to see a city is on foot. Sure, there are, of course, times when you have to jump on the subway or call an Uber. But I just love walking! When you’re on the ground, you can look in the windows of shops or homes, listen to people talking, take in the smells (both good and bad!). It’s much better than whizzing by in a car or traveling underground where you don’t see nearly as much.
Below, I am sharing my Philadelphia walking tour. It is focused on central Philadelphia. I’ve started out at the Fairmount/Art Museum neighborhood and then you head east to Old City. The tour includes 11 different spots over 3.54 miles. The Philadelphia walking tour includes a stop at Reading Terminal Market, too. Just in case you get a little hungry!
I put my Philadelphia walking tour together using the GPSmyCity app for Android. GPSmyCity offers self-guided walking tours and guides for a wide range of international cities. You can select a walking tour based on any number of topics: food, nightlife, arts, architecture. The list goes on. Last year, I reviewed the app and tried it out in Philadelphia. I loved the ease of use and the variety of sights and landmarks that are included in the app. There is definitely something for everyone.
Another feature of the app that I really like is that it allows you to create your own walking tour! It’s really quick and easy. You can select the sights from their database or add your own. Ordering is drag and drop! If you want to try the app out, now is your chance. Keep reading to find out how to win a copy of GPSmyCity for the city of your choice!
GPSmyCity is currently running a great deal. Instead of buying the app for each individual city you are interested in you can get a lifetime access to ALL of the guides for just $60 (1% of the total original price). If you travel a lot, this is for you. Especially if you’ve got a summer road trip in the US or Europe coming up.
The folks at GPSmyCity have kindly offered to share their app with twenty readers! To enter, leave a comment below and share what city you’d do a walking tour of!
Philadelphia Walking Tour
This tour hits 11 spots, is 3.54 miles and takes, approximately, 3 hours to complete.
Fairmount Waterworks Drive
Although the Water Works closed in 1909, this historic attraction played an important part in the lives of ordinary Philadelphia citizens. Namely, getting them fresh water. Today it is an unmistakable and central part of the waterfront along the Schuykill River.
Philadelphia Museum of Art
Whether you’re an art buff or merely a fan of Rocky, the Philadelphia Museum of Art is perhaps one of the city’s most recognizable attractions. No visit to Philadelphia is complete without a stop at the Art Museum!
Philadelphia’s Rodin Museum is home to the largest collection of works by famed sculptor Auguste Rodin outside of Paris, France. With sculptures both inside and out, the small museum is a definite must-see.
The focal point of Logan Circle is the Swann Memorial Fountain. Designed by architect Wilson Eyre and created by Philadelphia-born Alexander Stirling Calder, the fountain is massive and artful. The three figures represent local waters: the Delaware River, the Schuykill River and the Wissahickon Creek.
Philadelphia City Hall
With the statue of William Penn perched atop the building’s highest peak, it’s hard to miss Philadelphia City Hall. From 1894 to 1908 it was the tallest habitable building in the world. Since it was completed in 1901 it has housed Philadelphia’s city hall.
Reading Terminal Market
By now you might be getting a little hungry! Reading Terminal Market is one of the country’s oldest farmers’ markets. Today, in addition to lots of fresh produce, meat and other groceries you can get grab a bite to eat. German food, seafood, and traditional Pennsylvania Dutch dishes are just some of the options available.
The Liberty Bell is as important to Philadelphia as the cheese steak (ok, maybe not exactly…). This important symbol of independence is known for its famous crack. Stop by the Liberty Bell Center to view the bell. Admission is free but there is a security screening.
Independence Hall served as the meeting place for the Second Continental Congress. It was here that the Declaration of Independence was debated and approved by representatives from the thirteen colonies (including Thomas Jefferson and Benjamin Franklin) and the US Constitution. The building has been preserved and allows visitors to get a peek at what it might have looked like in the 1770s.
Independence National Historical Park
While Independence Hall and the Liberty Bell are part of the Independence National Historical Park, there is more to explore. Among the important sites are Independence Mall, a large green space as well as the First Bank of the United Status and Carpenters’ Hall.
Betsy Ross House
Stop by the Betsy Ross house to see the home of the seamstress who sewed the first Stars & Stripes flag. The house was built around 1740 but has served as a museum since 1898.
The block known as Elfreth’s Alley is considered to be the country’s oldest residential street. It dates back to 1702 with houses from the 18th and 19th centuries.
Thank you to GPSmyCity for sponsoring this giveaway. All opinions expressed are my own. The contest is open worldwide. All comments must be posted before Friday, January 27, 2017, in order to be considered for the contest.