The city of brotherly love is by far one of the most underrated cities in the US and I’m going to tell you exactly why! Having lived here, I can vouch for how incredible this city is and how 3 days are too less to make the most of it. But, here goes.
- Start your day right with some delicious breakfast the green eggs cafe
- Grab a to-go coffee from one of the many local coffee shops, old city cafe and cafe Ole are my personal favourites but you pick yours from this fabulous list!
- Explore Independence Hall and know there is a lot more there than just the cracked Liberty Bell.
- Stroll through old city and it’s many landmarks like the Betsy Ross House, Elfreth’s Alley and maybe take a guided walking tour or try this self guided tour
- Walk over the Ben Franklin bridge and get gorgeous views of the city
- Take a carousel ride at Franklin Square
- Head for lunch at the City Tavern and eat a hearty meals like the forefathers did along with some delicious ale. Call ahead to reserve a table if you’re headed there on a weekend.
- Head over to Washington Square for a post meal stroll
- Spend your afternoon at the Museum of American revolution
- Stop by National Mechanics for some drinks and eccentric decor. It’s a stone throw from the country’s first ever bank!
- It’s time to head to one of the many speakeasys’ in Philly. Hop Sing Laundromat, in Chinatown, is one to write home about! Look for an iron door between 11th and 10th on Race St and ring the bell. If you head here late in the evening, the long line outside will help you spot it! Be sure you’re wearing dress shoes, carrying ID ( Passport for non citizens) and be ready to be guided into a no photos, no phone speakeasy with by far the BEST cocktails I’ve ever had!
- Get dinner at Butcher & Singer where they’ll even tell you a little history about the baby cow you’re about to eat! The food, is good.
- For some late night drinks head to Philly’s very own dive bar turned (almost) go-go bar with a side of class – Trestle Inn has everything from a wide whiskey range, a DJ, Go Go Dancers and Vegan Popcorn. Go Figure!
- If you want something quieter, have a drink at La Peg and walk through Race St Pier overlooking a lit up Benjamin Franklin Bridge.
- Another great option for some cocktails is The Original Bookbinders or a good old dive bar famous for It’s always Sunny in Philadelphia – Paddy’s Old City Pub! This, being my personal favourite.
- Start off your day with some much needed breakfast with a side of chaos! Head to Reading Terminal Market to shock your senses and explore the many of the dining options here. Make sure you grab some delicious chocolates from Muller Chocolate Co before you head out.
- Head to City Hall from here to explore the area & Dilworth Park. Maybe even go up to William Penn’s statue and get some city views
- While you’re in the area, head over to the Macy’s across from City Hall to see the Wanamaker Organ and hear it play every hour. It’s the oldest playing organ in the world.
- Take a walk down to South Philly and explore Magic Gardens along the way to South Street
- Grab a Philly taco (if you dare) – basically a Jim’s Cheesestake wrapped up in Lorenzo’s Pizza slice! If that’s a bit much for you, definitely do grab just the chessestake- Jim’s is one of the best ones in Philly
- Head further down the street to grab drinks at one of the may bars on South St or head to one of my favourites- Tattooed Mom, it’s as hipster as they come
- Grab a beer at one of the many beer gardens in Philly all of summer! My favourites include Independence Beer Garden, Frankford Hall and Morgan’s Pier
- Spend an evening at Spruce Street Harbour and it’s summer garden filled with gorgeous hammocks, games, drinks and food. It’s everything you need to make for a great evening
- Eat dinner at Village Whiskey for some delicious burgers and well, Whiskey!
- For a nightcap head to The Franklin Bar, another speakeasy famous for their cocktails or head to old Philly
- Start your day right with an early breakfast at The Urban Farmer at Logan Square, you’ll need a heavy nice breakfast to get you through the art filled day! Other options are Sabrina’s Cafe and Le Pain Quotidien, both of which are around the corner.
- Post breakfast it’s time to run up those rocky steps to the Philidelphia Museum of Art. Make sure you get some pictures on the steps and with the Rocky statue at the foot of the steps before you make your way in. Plan to spend about 3 hours at the museum.
- Take a short break at Cosmic Cafe to the back of the Museum on Kelly Drive or just grab a to-go coffee and walk through the Fairmont park down to the boathouse row. If you have the time, Drive by the Schuylkill River on the I 76 at night to catch the gorgeous view of the boathouse all lit up!
- Head back towards Barnes Foundation to be overwhelmed by their collection of Renoir, Cézanne and more
- There are tonne of other museums in the area including the Rodin sculpture museum, Franklin Institute (great for science enthusiasts and kids!), Please Touch Me Museum (For Kids) and the very Gory Mütter Museum for all biology enthusiasts, take your pick if you have more time.
- For lunch, head to Sampan for some pan Asian Tapas or maybe some Mexican at El Vez. Of course there is always the option to grab a cheesestake when in Philly, pick between Sonny’s or Cleavers.
- If you have the time, head over to the Eastern State Penitentiary, it’s really something.
- Spend your early evening walking about Ritten House Square (they sometimes have exhibits and activities in the summer) and grab a coffee or an early aperitif at one of the al fresco restaurants
- For dinner, it’s time for some Italian. Head to Gran Caffe L’Aquila for a delicious meal and some of the best gelatos if you wanna be close by Rittenhouse. If you don’t mind heading to South Philly, head to Victors Cafe for some food, Opera singers as servers and good old Rocky nostalgia.
- From here, it may be a little far but head to Franklin fountain for some old school delicious ice cream and a walk by the water
- Wrap your night off with some lovely views of the city from Sky Garten (seasonal beer garden) or Assembly roof top overlooking Logan Square.
This itinerary can easily be spread over 5 (more doable) days but if you only have 3, you better put your walking shoes on, carry a spare liver and bring those holiday stomachs!
Swap the beer gardens for ice rinks and holiday markets and you’re all set for a winter trip to this gorgeous city.
Or maybe even a day trip out to Hamilton for the Sculpture Garden. Read more about that here
PS: Special mention to Tony Luke’s and Wawa! You can’t Philly without these two 🙂