Something that will most likely always be important to me is exploring new cities in my free time! When I heard one of my best friends was going to be in the Philadelphia area for the night, I knew I had to make a day trip to go see her. Just about an hour away and packed with history, arts, charm, and food, Philadelphia is a great day trip from New York City. Read along to get a little more information about my quick 24 hours in Philly:

How to Get There

From New York City, you can easily get a ticket on an Amtrak train leaving from Moynihan Train Hall at Penn Station. I did this and was able to bring a rolling backpack and a carry on bag with me without having to check anything. The process for boarding was pretty straight forward and we arrived in Philadelphia in a little over an hour.

The train took me to 30th Street Train Station, where I was able to cross the street and take public transportation (SEPTA) straight to my hotel in Old City, where I got off at the 5th Street Independence Hall Station. When I arrived to my hotel, I met with a friend for dinner at Sampan.

I really recommend the food here! Everything we ate was delicious. Definitely more of a “treat yourself” kind of meal, but worth it in my opinion. Pictures below in the food category of this post! After that, I went straight to bed, but there are many options for bars if you want to keep it going and make use of that first night in town.

What to Do

Historic Landmarks

Philadelphia is one of the most historically significant cities in the United States, therefore it is totally packed with history. You could spend days exploring! But here are a few suggestions:

  • Independence National Historical Park
  • Independence Hall-Where the Declaration of Independence was signed. This requires a guided tour.
  • Congress Hall- When Washington D.C. was being built to what it is today in the late 1700s, Philadelphia was acting as the nations capital. During this time, the United States Congress would meet at Congress Hall. Tickets vary are required or not depending on the year.
  • Carpenters Hall-Held the First Continental Congress in 1774
  • The Liberty Bell-arguably the most famous and free to the public. There was a long line when I was visiting.
  • Elfreth’s Alley-the oldest residential street in America, with 32 houses that are mostly still occupied.
  • Franklin Court- where Benjamin Franklin used to live and built his legacy
  • Philadelphia City Hall

Check out the Art & Museum scene

Although historically significant, Philly is also a powerhouse in the Arts world. Here are a few museum and gallery suggestions:

  • Philadelphia Museum of Art-this is where the iconic steps are from the movie “Rocky” and there is a statue dedicated to him, as well.
  • The National Constitution Center
  • The African American Museum
  • The Museum of the American Revolution
  • The National Museum of American Jewish History
  • Mutter Museum
  • Rodin Museum
  • Independence Seaport Museum
  • Barnes Foundation
  • Mural Mile-outdoor gallery
  • Philly Magic Gardens-
    • You can’t really properly describe this place. It’s a little outdoor eclectic wonderland filled by tiny mosaics. I walked through a few times and would notice something new each time.  You have to buy tickets on your phone to enter.  Not too close to the other attractions, we walked (it was about 20 minutes) and I don’t regret that! In my opinion, half of the fun of Philly was admiring all the beautiful architecture and charm through the side streets. This attraction is located on South Street, which apparently used to be a great area to shop the retail stores, so maybe take a stroll if you want afterwards, as well.  

What to Eat

  • Reading Terminal Market-This is the largest indoor market in North America, and its been in operation since 1893. It really reminded me of something you’d see abroad, but was filled with charming stalls that really represent Pennsylvania and this unique region of the United States.
  • Sampan-obviously loved it, I already touched on that lol
  • Green Eggs Café-a few different locations and the portions are HUGE
we ordered the Red Velvet pancakes, Apple Pie french toast, and the Kitchen Sink (HIGHLY recommend!)
  • Federal Donuts
  • Tattooed Mom
  • The Bourse Food Hall- dates back to 1891
  • Lucha Cartel
  • El Vez
  • The Victor Cafe
  • Spruce Street Harbor Park-beer gardens and street food
  • Max Breener’s
  • Alpine Rose
  • Of course, head to Pat’s King of Steaks or Geno’s for an iconic Philly Cheesesteak

Where to Drink

  • The Continental
  • Independence Beer Garden
  • Stratus Rooftop
  • Standard Tap
  • Dirty Frank’s-cash only dive bar

Where to Stay

Okay, usually I give a few recommendations, but I am so in love with where I stayed.

It was definitely more of a “splurge” for me, but because I’m an IHG Platinum rewards member, (I exclusively stayed there when I was driving across the country!) I had a lot of points saved up. The Kimpton Hotel Monoco Philadelphia was an incredible experience. The décor was so funky and fun, the service was great and I couldn’t have picked a better location. If you’re only here for a little while, you cannot beat this location, as it was a two-minute walk from Independence National Park and the Liberty Bell. I also took public transportation all the way, as it’s just steps away from one of Philadelphia’s SEPTA stations. Alhtough I’ve previously partnered with them, this post is not at all sponsored by IHG.

And that’s all, if you have been to any of this or if you think I missed something, please leave a comment or let me know on social media.

Thanks for reading & Happy Traveling!

xoxo alex

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