Must Do’s in Philadelphia

Events, Food, Things to Do, Travel Tips — By abbygordon on March 19, 2010 at 8:14 pm

If you’ve never been to Philadelphia before, you might feel overwhelmed by all of the exciting things to do here.  Do you visit the famous historic sites?  Catch a show or a concert by the Philadelphia Orchestra?  See the Eagles play at Lincoln Financial Field or the Phillies at Citizens Bank Park?  To help you make your choices, here’s a list of things nobody should leave Philadelphia without doing.

1)   Hear the Philadelphia Orchestra – or anyone else, for that matter – at the Kimmel Center.  If you can’t get tickets, just go to the Kimmel Center and stand in the atrium for a while to take in the sights and sounds.

2)   Wander around Independence National Historical Park.  Even if you don’t go in any historic buildings, the cobblestone streets and beautiful brick buildings will make you feel like you’re in a colonial town.

3)   Eat a cheesesteak at Pat’s or Geno’s, just so you can say you did.  Don’t get me wrong – the cheesesteaks are delicious – but these places give you much more than just a culinary experience.

4)   Visit the Philadelphia Museum of Art and stand atop the front steps (or run up them, if you want to feel like Rocky for a moment) to take in the view of the Ben Franklin Parkway…and, of course, go inside to see a world-class collection of artwork.

5)   Go on a Mural Tour of the city’s more than 2,500 public murals.  You can tour the murals by trolley with a guide from the Mural Arts Program, or ask about self-guided walking tours.

6)   Visit Elfreth’s Alley and see how colonial Philadelphians lived.  Never again will you lament the lack of space in your tiny apartment!

7)   If you have young children, you can’t miss the Please Touch Museum (and if you don’t have young children, consider meeting up with some friends who do!).  The museum’s activities and architecture, in the restored Memorial Hall, is awe-inspiring for people of any age.

Memorial Hall

Memorial Hall, home of the Please Touch Museum

8)   Check out the medical oddities housed at the Mutter Museum.  You’ll learn a lot and see things – like the enormous human colon – that you probably never imagined seeing.  If you want a preview of the Mutter experience, check out lunchtime at the Mutter.

9)   Shop on Walnut Street.  It’s Philadelphia’s most fashionable shopping street, as well as a great place to feel the rhythm of Center City.

10)  Get a taste of the Italian Market, Philadelphia’s longest-lived open-air market.  If you’re a cheese lover, be sure to stop in DiBruno Brothers and get some advice (and some tastings) from a fromagier.

The original DiBruno's in the Italian Market