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Philadelphia is the sixth largest city in the United States by population. It is a city that is older than the United States of America and a very historic city. The American Declaration of Independence and the Constitution of the United States were debated and approved in Philadelphia. Philadelphia is only about an hour away from New York City and three hours away from Washington DC. Philadelphia is a city located in the Northeastern part of the United States. It can get very warm during the summer months and extremely cold during winter.
Best time to visit Philadelphia.
The best time to visit Philadelphia really depends on what you want to do and your preference weather wise. Philadelphia is one of the most visited cities in the United States and you should expect crowds everywhere you go. The population of the city is only 1.6 million but about 40 million visit the city every year.
Things to do in Philadelphia during Summer.
- Normally you can expect warmer weather from mid-May to the end of August. This is the best time to visit the city if you are interested in visiting the historic places like the Independence Hall, Liberty Bell, National Constitution Center and the Museum of the American Revolution. It is easier to stand in line or walk around the Independence Mall area in summer than in winter. But you should expect larger crowds compared to Spring, Fall or Winter year.
- The city can feel slightly empty during summer months (particularly the Center City neighborhood). Many residents of Philadelphia go to the New Jersey Shore or the Pocono Mountains during the summer. Most of the university students leave town (Philadelphia is also a university town: Colleges like the University of Pennsylvania, Drexel University, Temple University, Saint Joseph’s University and Jefferson University are either in Center City or very close to Center City). This is the best time to explore Rittenhouse Square and Washington Square neighborhoods.
- Summer is also a great time to visit the Philadelphia Museum of Art and also see the Rocky Statue and the Rocky Steps.
- Lots of people visit Philadelphia during the summer months to watch a Phillies baseball game at the Citizens Bank Park. The setting is beautiful and you can have a few drinks or snacks before or after the game at Xfinity Live, which is right next to the stadium.
- Beer Garden: Summer time is beer garden time! Philadelphia has some great beer gardens that pop up all over the city during summer. My favorite ones are PHS Pop Up Garden, Frankford Hall (a very popular spot that is open throughout the year), Morgan’s Pier and Independence Beer Garden.
Things to do in Philadelphia during Fall.
- The city will feel a little bit more crowded during fall because the residents and students are back. This is the best time to visit the various parks in the city like Fairmount Park, Rittenhouse Square and Washington Square . The fall colors are beautiful.
- During fall you still catch a Phillies game or go to a beer garden. The beer gardens typically close in October.
- Fall is also a good time to visit the Independence Mall, the Philadelphia Museum of Art and the Eastern State Penitentiary. The Eastern State Penitentiary is known for its Halloween attractions.
- On Sunday afternoon’s during Fall, the streets of Philadelphia will be deserted. The City of Philadelphia is a football town and we are crazy about our Philadelphia Eagles. Get together with your friends and watch a game at one of the many popular sports bars in the City. Xfinity Live is the best spot but it can be crowded. One of my favorite places is the Misconduct Tavern on Locust Street.
Things to do during in Philadelphia during Winter.
- Winter weather is typically from mid-November to end of April. It can snow in November and the winter can be extremely cold. I have lived in Montana and know what a real winter is. But Montana does not have 1.6 million people living on top of each other and trying to get from one place to the other. Snow in cities like Philadelphia and New York is a sight to see.
- Once the Thanksgiving holiday ends, the Christmas season begins in Philadelphia. Most of the Squares in the city will have holiday lighting and the Christmas/Holiday/Peace tree!! The Christmas Village will pop up at the Love Park and also in front of the City Hall (Dilworth Park). Drinking hot wine while sitting outside in the bitter cold is an interesting experience.
- Winter is also a very good time to catch a Philadelphia Flyers game. The Flyers have some of the most loyal fans in all of sports. Dilworth Park and Columbus Boulevard will also have ice skating rinks where you can test out your skating skills.
Things to do during in Philadelphia during Spring.
- Once the football season is over, there is only one thing that is on the minds of Philadelphians, when is Spring going to begin? Spring is the beginning of the baseball season and there is nothing like watching the home opener at the Citizens Bank Park. Remember, Spring can be very chilly in Philly!
- Saint Patrick’s’ Day celebrations is a major event in Philadelphia. There is a parade (City Hall to Penns Landing), pub crawls and music and parties. There are several pub crawls to choose from. Buses will take you to different bars and pubs in the city and you do not have to worry about driving or parking.
- Spring is also the time for the Philadelphia Flower Show. This takes place inside the Pennsylvania Convention Center (near Reading Terminal Market). It is a very big flower show and is organized by the Philadelphia Horticultural Society (PHS). One of the best beer gardens is also organized by them (PHS Pop Up Garden).
How many days do you need to visit Philadelphia?
In my view three full days is good enough to see all the major places. Keep in mind that all of the major tourist attractions in Philadelphia are either in or close to the Center City (downtown) neighborhood of Philadelphia. Center City is a small part of Philadelphia and there are plenty of things to see and do in other parts of Philadelphia.
Is Philadelphia safe for tourists?
Your safety depends on the neighborhood you are in and the time of the day. Center City is a very safe neighborhood. Center City is also the most expensive part of the City.
Where should you stay in Philadelphia?
You should stay in Center City. I may consider staying in University City also. You should pick a hotel that is between City Hall Philadelphia and Rittenhouse Square. This is the best location to stay and you can walk to all the tourist spots. This is also the area where some of the best restaurants and bars are located. Checkout these hotels: Warwick Rittenhouse Square, Kimpton Hotel Palomar, ROOST Rittenhouse, Sofitel Hotel, ROOST Midtown, The Ritz-Carlton, Cambria Hotel, DoubleTree by Hilton, Residence Inn, The Notary Hotel, The Westin, Pod Philly and AKA Rittenhouse Square.
These hotels are not cheap but you are paying for the location. If money was no concern, I would stay at the Rittenhouse Hotel.
The City of Philadelphia is not friendly to AirBnb. So it will be difficult to find a decent AirBnb near the happening places.
Is Philadelphia a walkable city?
Center City neighborhood of Philadelphia is very walkable. I do not own a car and I walk everywhere. Bicyclists present a growing problem in many cities in the United States including Philadelphia. You should always pay attention to bicyclists when you are walking.
Is Philadelphia expensive to visit?
One of the things I like about Philadelphia is how affordable the city is particularly compared to cities that are very close like New York and Washington DC. Prices for food and lodging are much cheaper than both New York and DC.
Things to do in Philadelphia.
Please read my article about the things you can do when you are visiting Philadelphia. A visit to Philadelphia should include visiting the Independence Mall (Independence Hall, Liberty Bell, Independence Visitor Center), The Philadelphia Museum of Art, The Reading Terminal Market and Rittenhouse Square. City Hall and Love Park are also interesting places to visit. Check out my article for areas in the city from where you can take some beautiful photos of the city.
Have you visited Philadelphia? How was the visit?