At a Glance
When to Go
The Center City area is a 20-30 minute taxi ride from Philadelphia International Airport, depending on traffic. Taxis charge a required flat rate of $28.50 from the airport to central Philadelphia, which includes Center City and some outlying neighborhoods. The city’s public transportation system, SEPTA, operates a train line from the airport’s Terminal B with stops at several downtown stations.
While central Philadelphia is concentrated and easily walkable, those who plan to visit attractions in more remote neighborhoods can travel by SEPTA buses and regional rail lines. Bus fare is $2.50 and exact change is required. Tokens and day or weekly passes can be purchased at a discount. Taxis are easily available on downtown streets or at any hotel.
Food and Drink
The keystone of Philadelphia’s thriving arts scene is the stately Philadelphia Museum of Art, recently bolstered by an annexed building across the street that enabled it to expand its already impressive exhibit space. Visitors should not miss the world renowned Barnes collection of priceless Impressionist paintings, recently transferred from the suburbs to stunning new digs on the Benjamin Franklin Parkway. But the jewel in Philly’s cultural crown is the city’s Mural Arts program, which has earned it the title of “Mural Capital of the World.” Visitors can take a trolley tour into various Philly neighborhoods to view buildings transformed by all manner of imaginative murals. Those interested in the local gallery scene should spend a day roaming 2nd and 3rd streets in Old City for an impressive array of original arts and crafts—two highlights of which are The Clay Studio and The Center for Art in Wood. Old City hosts a popular “First Friday” event, when the openings of new gallery shows are celebrated with wine and cheese.
The spring through fall seasons in Philly offer unlimited neighborhood street events like the 2nd Street Festival in Northern Liberties, the biannual Rittenhouse Square Fine Art Show, and gatherings of food trucks in Fairmount and other areas. Summer music festival highlights include July’s XPoNential Music Festival hosted just over the Delaware River in Camden by revered local public radio station WXPN, and the relatively new Made in America Festival on Labor Day weekend. Penn's Landing on the Delaware River is host to frequent free events all summer long. And you won’t regret spending time strolling South 9th Street in mid-May, when the nation's oldest outdoor market throws its annual Italian Market Festival.
What the Locals Know
Sue is a self-taught artist and photography addict who is passionate about music, travel, and doughnuts. She is a regular visitor to New Orleans and her other favorite destinations include Hawaii, Latin America, Morocco, and New Zealand. When she is not exploring Philadelphia’s Fairmount Park by bike or with her dog Daisy, she is busy posting thousands of travel and Philly photos on various websites under the pseudonym lucymagoo. Sue is also working on her new website Lucymagoo.com.