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  • Philadelphia
  • Philadelphia
  • Philadelphia

Holidays to Philadelphia

Philadelphia, a modern renaissance city where history meets innovation and culture. Here the old stands with the new. Soaring skyscrapers sit side-by-side with iconic sites from America's past. It's the 'Cradle of Democracy', where the Declaration of Independence and the American Constitution were signed, and where the Liberty Bell still rings true. But it's also America's fifth largest city, and comes complete with great tax-free shopping and restaurants, the biggest urban park in the US and some seriously good art.

If you like a good dose of history, Philadelphia holidays hit the mark. Independence National Historical Park is crammed full of  sites crucial to the birth of the nation, with the centrepiece being Independence Hall, where the Founding Fathers mapped out modern America. You can also get a good look at the Liberty Bell with its trademark crack; and at the National Constitution Centre a couple of blocks away, you get a chance to put the USA's creed to the test via interactive exhibits.

This is a city that loves its art, and there are some stand-out collections to view - like those at the Museum of Art, Rodin Museum and the Barnes Foundation. But it's everywhere you look too, with nearly 3500 murals bringing some colour to the streets thanks to a special scheme. At the Magic Gardens the murals come in the shape of glittering mosaics made out of just about everything,  and there's a huge sculpture garden to wander in too.

The city's shows it's quirkier side in other ways too - like at the Please Touch Museum, where the idea is to get involved with the exhibits rather than leave well alone. But there are many other things that are quintessentially Philly - like a cheesesteak sandwich and major league sports. Just pick which of Philly's faces you want to explore.

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Museum of Art

Museum of ArtA must on Philadelphia holidays, this is the third-largest art museum in the States, with 200 galleries packed full of masterpieces by Cézanne, Van Gogh, Picasso, Dali, Pollock - and the largest collection of works by Marcel Duchamp anywhere. Don't forget to run up the steps like Sylvester Stallone did in the Rocky films.

Old City

Philly's oldest district, where William Penn and his fellow Quakers first settled, has plenty of history - including America's oldest continually inhabited street, Elfreth's Alley, and the house where Betsy Ross is said to have sewn the very first Stars and Stripes flag. But Old City has another side, and its streets are also filled with galleries, boutiques and buzzing night-life.

Out of Town

Take a trip outside the city to the area around Lancaster, where Amish communities farm the rolling countryside. Dressed in the same style of clothes that they have worn for centuries and travelling by foot or horse and carriage, these people tend to keep themselves to themselves. You can also see Amish at Philly's Reading Terminal Market, where they come to sell their fresh produce.

Retail Therapy

Whether you’re browsing the food stalls at Reading Terminal Market or looking for tax free clothes at Simon Shopping Destinations’ gigantic King of Prussia or are hunting at Philadelphia Premium Outlets for designer bargains, it’s worth making time for some retail therapy on a visit to Philly. This city offers the best of both worlds, from chic and sophisticated to funky and fun.

Grab A Cheesesteak

An essential part of Philadelphia holidays is to sample the local speciality, the cheesesteak sandwich: sliced rib-eye beef topped with melted cheese, served in long white roll either with or without onions. You can get them pretty much everywhere, but Pat's and Geno's opposite one another in South Philadelphia both have great reputations and an ongoing rivalry.
 
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Our Top Hotels in Philadelphia

Wyndham Philadelphia Historic District

Wyndham Philadelphia Historic District

4

This hotel is situated in the heart of historic old city Philadelphia. Guests can meander down Market Street and come face to face with icons such as the Liberty Bell.

Find out more about this hotel >>


Omni Hotel at Independence Park

Omni Hotel at Independence Park

4

The Four Diamond Omni hotel at Independence Park provides European style luxury just one block from the Liberty Bell, Independence Hall, the US Mint and the Benjamin Franklin House.

Find out more about this hotel >>


Sheraton Philadelphia Downtown Hotel

Sheraton Philadelphia Downtown Hotel

3.5

Within walking distance of Love Park and the Franklin Institute, Sheraton Philadelphia Downtown Hotel is surrounded by the citys cultural and corporate headquarters.

Find out more about this hotel >>


Courtyard Philadelphia Downtown

Courtyard Philadelphia Downtown

3.0

The historic Courtyard Downtown Philadelphia, PA Hotel is located in the heart of the Business District across from City Hall and is one short block away from the Pennsylvania Convention Center.

Find out more about this hotel >>


Philadelphia Marriott Downtown

Philadelphia Marriott Downtown

4

Discover one of the premier hotels in the city when you stay at the Philadelphia Marriott Downtown. This hotel commands a towering presence in the heart of America's original capital.

Find out more about this hotel >>


Monaco Philadelphia a Kimpton Hotel

Monaco Philadelphia a Kimpton Hotel

4

Across the street from the iconic Liberty Bell is the Hotel Monaco. Built in 1906 the historic Lafayette building has been renovated and refurbished in the prestigious Old City.

Find out more about this hotel >>


 
 

Twin Centre Holiday: Philadelphia & Atlantic City

Philadelphia - Atlantic City

Combine two great East Coast destinations on a twin centre holiday with this suggested itinerary. Fly into Philadelphia and discover a city that seamlessly blends old and new, where gleaming skyscrapers sit side-by-side with iconic sites from America's past.
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Fly Drive Holiday: Philadelphia, Brandywine and Valley Forge

Philadelphia - Valley Forge - Brandywine Valley - Philadelphia

A lively city break to explore the fascinating and historic city of Philadelphia is followed by a leisurely tour of the beautiful surrounding region of Valley Forge and the Brandywine Valley to enjoy the fabulous countryside and historic sites of this wonderful part of the Eastern USA.
Click here for more details

 

Fly Drive Holiday: Colonial America

Washington DC - Gettysburg - Shenandoah National Park - Colonial Williamsburg - Virginia Beach - Baltimore - Philadelphia

Combine history, culture and natural wonders on a fly drive holiday that takes you from America’s capital city through Pennsylvania, Virginia and Maryland to Philadelphia, where the US Declaration of Independence was signed. Along the way, you’ll see historic battlefields from the Civil and Revolutionary Wars, drive through the majestic scenery of the Blue Ridge Mountains and even have the opportunity to relax on the longest pleasure beach in the world.
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Escorted Tour: Great Eastern Cities

New York - Niagara Falls - Amish Country - Washington DC - Philadelphia

Starting in New York, discover the bright lights and towering skyscrapers of this much loved city, before heading to the awe-inspiring natural wonders of Niagara Falls, located on the border with Canada. Head back inland and get a glimpse back in time with a visit to the Gettysburg battleground, a site which helped shape America’s history, before seeing the capital city itself, Washington DC. Your last stop is in Philadelphia, the original birthplace of this great nation and also home to the delicious Philly Cheesesteak.
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Rail Tour: North East Cities by Rail

Boston - New York - Philadelphia - Washington DC

Trace a path through some of the States' most outstanding and influential cities, including the capital and the Big Apple, as you explore America's north-eastern corner by train. This is a chance to see the cities that mattered most along the country's path to independence, as well as the ones that pack the biggest punch today. There's a slice of history round every corner on this tour, but you'll also be experiencing modern America in all her vibrancy. It makes for the perfect mix.
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Philadelphia CityPASS  
The Philadelphia CityPASS ensures you'll get the most out of your holiday - yet it is so compact it will fit into your back pocket. It's all you need to see the best of the USA’s first capitol city, with discounted admission to five premier attractions, including the Franklin Institute, Adventure Aquarium, the National Constitution Center and much more! From £32 per person.

Founding Fathers Tour of Philadelphia  
Experience the best of US history with a modern twist on this tour of Philadelphia. See where the Founding Fathers signed the Declaration of Independence, take a photo of the Liberty Bell and also see where past presidents like George Washington lived and learn about William Penn, Pennsylvania’s founder. This 2-hour tour will take you through lively neighbourhood cultures and finishes with a stop at a local pub for a refreshing drink. From £16 per person.

Benjamin Franklin Walking Tour of Philadelphia
Get an in-depth look at an important facet of American history on this Benjamin Franklin walking tour of Philadelphia. Known by most for the famous kite-flying incident, Franklin was in fact a notable 18th-century scientist, businessman and politician who contributed greatly to society. This unique small-group tour is limited to six people, ensuring a more personalized experience. From £34 per person.

American Fine Art Tour in Philadelphia
Gain a deeper insight into American art on this walking tour led by an expert art scholar. Browse paintings and sculptures at the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts and Second Bank of the United States Portrait Gallery, both US National Historic Landmarks. Your guide will share extensive knowledge of the 19th-century American art movement and will explain how it ties into the nation's history. From £34 per person.

You can add tickets for activities to your booking later.

Time Difference:
GMT- 5hours

Closest Airport:
Philadelphia International Airport (approx. 8 hours, direct flight).

Getting around:
With a compact downtown area and an efficient public transport network most of Philadelphia’s sights can be visited without a car. Hire a car and explore the surrounding areas. Check out the great selection of dining options, attractions and local excursions available. Car hire is available from £21 per day. Alternatively, why not book an Amtrak train into Philadelphia? The historic 30th Street Station is the third busiest Amtrak station in America and provides easy access to the Midwest and North East region.

Insider Tip:
Philadelphia has tax free shopping on clothes and shoes so enjoy a diverse shopping experience and pick up a bargain.

You’re going to need an ESTA:
For anyone travelling to the USA, the US authorities have imposed a requirement for passengers travelling under the Visa Waiver Programme (VWP), to register for Electronic Travel Authority. Just fill in the online application form which you can find at https://esta.cbp.dhs.gov. You will need to apply for entry via ESTA at least a minimum of 72 hours prior to travel.

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