FIPS 55-3 Code
US National Archive Codes
Coordinates Latitude: 39.9525839 Longitude: -75.1652215
Demographics & Economic Data
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Before Europeans arrived, the Philadelphia area was home to the Lenape (Delaware) Indians in the village of Shackamaxon. The Lenape are a Native American tribe and First Nations band government. They are also called Delaware Indians, and their historical territory was along the Delaware River watershed, western Long Island, and the Lower Hudson Valley. Most Lenape were pushed out of their Delaware homeland during the 18th century by expanding European colonies, exacerbated by losses from intertribal conflicts. Lenape communities were weakened by newly introduced diseases, mainly smallpox, and violent conflict with Europeans. Iroquois people occasionally fought the Lenape. Surviving Lenape moved west into the upper Ohio River basin. The American Revolutionary War and United States' independence pushed them further west. In the 1860s, the United States government sent most Lenape remaining in the eastern United States to the Indian Territory (present-day Oklahoma and surrounding territory) under the Indian removal policy. In the 21st century, most Lenape reside in Oklahoma, with some communities living also in Wisconsin, Ontario (Canada), and in their traditional homelands.
Europeans came to the Delaware Valley in the early 17th century, with the first settlements founded by the Dutch, who in 1623 built Fort Nassau on the Delaware River opposite the Schuylkill River in what is now Brooklawn, New Jersey. The Dutch considered the entire Delaware River valley to be part of their New Netherland colony. In 1638, Swedish settlers led by renegade Dutch established the colony of New Sweden at Fort Christina (present-day Wilmington, Delaware) and quickly spread out in the valley. In 1644, New Sweden supported the Susquehannocks in their military defeat of the English colony of Maryland. In 1648, the Dutch built Fort Beversreede on the west bank of the Delaware, south of the Schuylkill near the present-day Eastwick neighborhood, to reassert their dominion over the area. The Swedes responded by building Fort Nya Korsholm, or New Korsholm, named after a town in Finland with a Swedish majority. In 1655, a Dutch military campaign led by New Netherland Director-General Peter Stuyvesant took control of the Swedish colony, ending its claim to independence. The Swedish and Finnish settlers continued to have their own militia, religion, and court, and to enjoy substantial autonomy under the Dutch. The English conquered the New Netherland colony in 1664, though the situation did not change substantially until 1682 when the area was included in William Penn's charter for Pennsylvania.
In 1681, in partial repayment of a debt, Charles II of England granted Penn a charter for what would become the Pennsylvania colony. Despite the royal charter, Penn bought the land from the local Lenape to be on good terms with the Native Americans and ensure peace for his colony. Penn made a treaty of friendship with Lenape chief Tammany under an elm tree at Shackamaxon, in what is now the city's Fishtown neighborhood.
Penn named the city Philadelphia, which is Greek for "brotherly love," derived from the Ancient Greek terms φίλος phílos (beloved, dear) and ἀδελφός adelphós (brother, brotherly). As a Quaker, Penn had experienced religious persecution and wanted his colony to be a place where anyone could worship freely. This tolerance, far more than afforded by most other colonies, led to better relations with the local native tribes and fostered Philadelphia's rapid growth into America's most important city.
Penn planned a city on the Delaware River to serve as a port and place for government. Hoping that Philadelphia would become more like an English rural town instead of a city, Penn laid out roads on a grid plan to keep houses and businesses spread far apart, with areas for gardens and orchards. The city's inhabitants did not follow Penn's plans, however, as they crowded by the Delaware River port, and subdivided and resold their lots. Before Penn left Philadelphia for the last time, he issued the Charter of 1701 establishing it as a city. Though poor at first, the city became an important trading center with tolerable living conditions by the 1750s. Benjamin Franklin, a leading citizen, helped improve city services and founded new ones, such as fire protection, a library, and one of the American colonies' first hospitals.
A number of philosophical societies were formed, which were centers of the city's intellectual life: the Philadelphia Society for Promoting Agriculture (1785), the Pennsylvania Society for the Encouragement of Manufactures and the Useful Arts (1787), the Academy of Natural Sciences (1812), and the Franklin Institute (1824). These societies developed and financed new industries, attracting skilled and knowledgeable immigrants from Europe.
Philadelphia's importance and central location in the colonies made it a natural center for America's revolutionaries. By the 1750s, Philadelphia had surpassed Boston to become the largest city and busiest port in British America, and second in the British Empire after London. The city hosted the First Continental Congress (1774) before the Revolutionary War; the Second Continental Congress (1775–76), which signed the United States Declaration of Independence, during the war; and the Constitutional Convention (1787) after the war. Several battles were fought in and near Philadelphia as well.
Philadelphia served as the temporary capital of the United States while the new capital was under construction in the District of Columbia from 1790 to 1800. In 1793, the largest yellow fever epidemic in U.S. history killed approximately 4,000 to 5,000 people in Philadelphia, or about 10% of the city's population.The state capital was moved to Lancaster in 1799, then Harrisburg in 1812, while the federal government was moved to Washington, D.C. in 1800 upon completion of the White House and U.S. Capitol building. The city remained the young nation's largest until the late 18th century, being both a financial and a cultural center for America. In 1816, the city's free black community founded the African Methodist Episcopal Church (AME), the first independent black denomination in the country, and the first black Episcopal Church. The free black community also established many schools for its children, with the help of Quakers. New York City surpassed Philadelphia in population by 1790. Large-scale construction projects for new roads, canals, and railroads made Philadelphia the first major industrial city in the United States.
Throughout the 19th century, Philadelphia hosted a variety of industries and businesses, the largest being textiles. Major corporations in the 19th and early 20th centuries included the Baldwin Locomotive Works, William Cramp & Sons Shipbuilding Company, and the Pennsylvania Railroad. Industry, along with the U.S. Centennial, was celebrated in 1876 with the Centennial Exposition, the first official World's Fair in the United States.
Immigrants, mostly from Ireland and Germany, settled in Philadelphia and the surrounding districts. These immigrants were largely responsible for the first general strike in North America in 1835, in which workers in the city won the ten-hour workday. The city was a destination for thousands of Irish immigrants fleeing the Great Famine in the 1840s; housing for them was developed south of South Street and later occupied by succeeding immigrants. They established a network of Catholic churches and schools and dominated the Catholic clergy for decades. Anti-Irish, anti-Catholic nativist riots erupted in Philadelphia in 1844. The rise in population of the surrounding districts helped lead to the Act of Consolidation of 1854, which extended the city limits from the 2 square miles (5.2 km2) of Center City to the roughly 134 square miles (350 km2) of Philadelphia County.
In the latter half of the century, immigrants from Russia, Eastern Europe and Italy, and African Americans from the southern U.S. settled in the city.Philadelphia was represented by the Washington Grays in the American Civil War. The African-American population of Philadelphia increased from 31,699 to 219,559 between 1880 and 1930. Twentieth-century black newcomers were part of the Great Migration out of the rural south to northern and midwestern industrial cities.
By the 20th century, Philadelphia had an entrenched Republican political machine and a complacent population. The first major reform came in 1917 when outrage over the election-year murder of a police officer led to the shrinking of the City Council from two houses to just one. In July 1919, Philadelphia was one of more than 36 industrial cities nationally to suffer a race riot of ethnic whites against blacks during Red Summer, in post-World War I unrest, as recent immigrants competed with blacks for jobs. In the 1920s, the public flouting of Prohibition laws, organized crime, mob violence, and police involvement in illegal activities led to the appointment of Brig. Gen. Smedley Butler of the U.S. Marine Corps as director of public safety, but political pressure prevented any long-term success in fighting crime and corruption.In 1940, non-Hispanic whites constituted 86.8% of the city's population. The population peaked at more than two million residents in 1950, then began to decline with the restructuring of industry, which led to the loss of many middle-class union jobs. In addition, suburbanization had enticed many of the more affluent residents to outlying railroad commuting towns and newer housing. The resulting reduction in Philadelphia's tax base and the resources of local government caused the city to struggle through a long period of adjustment, with it approaching bankruptcy by the late 1980s.Revitalization and gentrification of neighborhoods began in the late 1970s and continues into the 21st century, with much of the development occurring in the Center City and University City neighborhoods. After many of the old manufacturers and businesses left Philadelphia or shut down, the city started attracting service businesses and began to market itself more aggressively as a tourist destination. Contemporary glass-and-granite skyscrapers were built in Center City beginning in the 1980s. Historic areas such as Old City and Society Hill were renovated during the reformist mayoral era of the 1950s through the 1980s, making those areas among the most desirable neighborhoods in Center City. These developments have begun a reversal of the city's population decline between 1950 and 2000 during which it lost about one-quarter of its residents. The city eventually began experiencing a growth in its population in 2007, which has continued with gradual yearly increases to the present.
The geographic center of Philadelphia is located approximately at 40° 0′ 34″ north latitude and 75° 8′ 0″ west longitude. The 40th parallel north passes through neighborhoods in Northeast Philadelphia, North Philadelphia, and West Philadelphia including Fairmount Park. The city encompasses 142.71 square miles (369.62 km2), of which 134.18 square miles (347.52 km2) is land and 8.53 square miles (22.09 km2), or 6%, is water. Natural bodies of water include the Delaware and Schuylkill rivers, the lakes in Franklin Delano Roosevelt Park, and Cobbs, Wissahickon, and Pennypack creeks. The largest artificial body of water is the East Park Reservoir in Fairmount Park.
The lowest point is sea level, while the highest point is in Chestnut Hill, about 446 feet (136 m) above sea level on Summit Street near the intersection of Germantown Avenue and Bethlehem Pike (example coordinates near high point: 40.07815 N, 75.20747 W).Philadelphia is situated on the Fall Line that separates the Atlantic coastal plain from the Piedmont. The rapids on the Schuylkill River at East Falls were inundated by the completion of the dam at the Fairmount Water Works.The city is the seat of its own county. The adjacent counties are Montgomery to the northwest; Bucks to the north and northeast; Burlington County, New Jersey, to the east; Camden County, New Jersey, to the southeast; Gloucester County, New Jersey, to the south; and Delaware County to the southwest.
Philadelphia's central city was created in the 17th century following the plan by William Penn's surveyor Thomas Holme. Center City is structured with long straight streets running nearly due east-west and north-south, forming a grid pattern between the Delaware and Schuylkill rivers that is aligned with their courses. The original city plan was designed to allow for easy travel and to keep residences separated by open space that would help prevent the spread of fire. Penn planned the creation of five public parks in the city which were renamed in 1824 (new names in parentheses): Centre Square (Penn Square), Northeast Square (Franklin Square), Southeast Square (Washington Square), Southwest Square (Rittenhouse Square), and Northwest Square (Logan Circle/Square). Center City had an estimated 183,240 residents as of 2015, making it the second-most populated downtown area in the United States, after Midtown Manhattan in New York City.Philadelphia's neighborhoods are divided into large sections—North, Northeast, South, Southwest Philadelphia, West, and Northwest—surrounding Center City, which corresponds closely with the city's limits before consolidation in 1854. Each of these large areas contains numerous neighborhoods, some of whose boundaries derive from the boroughs, townships, and other communities that constituted Philadelphia County before their inclusion within the city.The City Planning Commission, tasked with guiding growth and development of the city, has divided the city into 18 planning districts as part of the Philadelphia2035 physical development plan. Much of the city's 1980 zoning code was overhauled from 2007 to 2012 as part of a joint effort between former mayors John F. Street and Michael Nutter. The zoning changes were intended to rectify incorrect zoning maps in order to facilitate future community development, as the city forecasts an additional 100,000 residents and 40,000 jobs will be added by 2035.
The Philadelphia Housing Authority is the largest landlord in Pennsylvania. Established in 1937, it is the nation's fourth-largest housing authority, housing about 84,000 people and employing 1,250. In 2013, its budget was $371 million. The Philadelphia Parking Authority works to ensure adequate parking for city residents, businesses and visitors.
Philadelphia's architectural history dates back to colonial times and includes a wide range of styles. The earliest structures were constructed with logs, but brick structures were common by 1700. During the 18th century, the cityscape was dominated by Georgian architecture, including Independence Hall and Christ Church.
In the first decades of the 19th century, Federal and Greek Revival architecture were the dominant styles produced by Philadelphia architects such as Benjamin Latrobe, William Strickland, John Haviland, John Notman, Thomas Walter, and Samuel Sloan. Frank Furness is considered Philadelphia's greatest architect of the second half of the 19th century. His contemporaries included John McArthur Jr., Addison Hutton, Wilson Eyre, the Wilson Brothers, and Horace Trumbauer. In 1871, construction began on the Second Empire-style Philadelphia City Hall. The Philadelphia Historical Commission was created in 1955 to preserve the cultural and architectural history of the city. The commission maintains the Philadelphia Register of Historic Places, adding historic buildings, structures, sites, objects and districts as it sees fit.In 1932, Philadelphia became home to the first modern International Style skyscraper in the United States, the PSFS Building, designed by George Howe and William Lescaze. The 548 ft (167 m) City Hall remained the tallest building in the city until 1987 when One Liberty Place was completed. Numerous glass and granite skyscrapers were built in Center City beginning in the late 1980s. In 2007, the Comcast Center surpassed One Liberty Place to become the city's tallest building. The Comcast Technology Center was completed in 2018, reaching a height of 1,121 ft (342 m), as the tallest building in the United States outside of Manhattan and Chicago.For much of Philadelphia's history, the typical home has been the row house. The row house was introduced to the United States via Philadelphia in the early 19th century and, for a time, row houses built elsewhere in the United States were known as "Philadelphia rows". A variety of row houses are found throughout the city, from Federal-style continuous blocks in Old City and Society Hill to Victorian-style homes in North Philadelphia to twin row houses in West Philadelphia. While newer homes have been built recently, much of the housing dates to the 18th, 19th and early 20th centuries, which has created problems such as urban decay and vacant lots. Some neighborhoods, including Northern Liberties and Society Hill, have been rehabilitated through gentrification.
According to the Köppen climate classification, Philadelphia falls under the northern periphery of the humid subtropical climate zone (Köppen Cfa), whereas according to the Trewartha climate classification, the city has a temperate maritime climate (Do) limited to the north by the continental climate (Dc). Summers are typically hot and muggy, fall and spring are generally mild, and winter is moderately cold. The plant life hardiness zones are 7a and 7b, representing an average annual extreme minimum temperature between 0 °F (−18 °C) and 10 °F (−12 °C).Snowfall is highly variable with some winters having only light snow while others include major snowstorms. The normal seasonal snowfall averages 22.4 in (57 cm), with rare snowfalls in November or April, and rarely any sustained snow cover. Seasonal snowfall accumulation has ranged from trace amounts in 1972–73 to 78.7 inches (200 cm) in the winter of 2009–10. The city's heaviest single-storm snowfall was 30.7 in (78 cm) which occurred in January 1996.Precipitation is generally spread throughout the year, with eight to eleven wet days per month, at an average annual rate of 41.5 inches (1,050 mm), but historically ranging from 29.31 in (744 mm) in 1922 to 64.33 in (1,634 mm) in 2011. The most rain recorded in one day occurred on July 28, 2013 when 8.02 in (204 mm) fell at Philadelphia International Airport. Philadelphia has a moderately sunny climate with an average of 2,500 hours of sunshine annually, and a percentage of sunshine ranging from 47% in December to 61% in June, July, and August.The January daily average temperature is 33.0 °F (0.6 °C), though the temperature frequently rises to 50 °F (10 °C) during thaws and dips to 10 °F (−12 °C) for 2 or 3 nights in a normal winter. July averages 78.1 °F (25.6 °C), although heat waves accompanied by high humidity and heat indices are frequent, with highs reaching or exceeding 90 °F (32 °C) on 27 days of the year. The average window for freezing temperatures is November 6 thru April 2, allowing a growing season of 217 days. Early fall and late winter are generally dry with February having the lowest average precipitation at 2.64 inches (67 mm). The dewpoint in the summer averages between 59.1 °F (15 °C) and 64.5 °F (18 °C).The highest recorded temperature was 106 °F (41 °C) on August 7, 1918, but temperatures at or above 100 °F (38 °C) are not common. The lowest officially recorded temperature was −11 °F (−24 °C) on February 9, 1934. Temperatures at or below 0 °F (−18 °C) are rare with the last such occurrence being January 19, 1994. The record low maximum is 5 °F (−15 °C) on February 10, 1899, and December 30, 1880, while the record high minimum is 83 °F (28 °C) on July 23, 2011, and July 24, 2010.
Philadelphia County received an ozone grade of F and a 24-hour particle pollution rating of D in the American Lung Association's 2017 State of the Air report, which analyzed data from 2013–15. The city was ranked 22nd for ozone, 20th for short-term particle pollution, and 11th for year-round particle pollution. According to the same report, the city experienced a significant reduction in high ozone days since 2001—from nearly 50 days per year to fewer than 10—along with fewer days of high particle pollution since 2000—from about 19 days per year to about 3—and an approximate 30% reduction in annual levels of particle pollution since 2000. Five of the ten largest combined statistical areas (CSAs) were ranked higher for ozone: Los Angeles (1st), New York City (9th), Houston (12th), Dallas (13th), and San Jose (18th). Many smaller CSAs were also ranked higher for ozone including Sacramento (8th), Las Vegas (10th), Denver (11th), El Paso (16th), and Salt Lake City (20th); however, only two of those same ten CSAs—San Jose and Los Angeles—were ranked higher than Philadelphia for both year-round and short-term particle pollution.
According to the 2017 United States Census Bureau estimate, there were 1,580,863 people residing in Philadelphia, representing a 3.6% increase from the 2010 census. After the 1950 Census, when a record high of 2,071,605 was recorded, the city's population began a long decline. The population dropped to a low of 1,488,710 residents in 2006 before beginning to rise again. Between 2006 and 2017, Philadelphia added 92,153 residents. In 2017, the Census Bureau estimated that the racial composition of the city was 41.3% Black (non-Hispanic), 34.9% White (non-Hispanic), 14.1% Hispanic or Latino, 7.1% Asian, 0.4% Native Americans, 0.05% Pacific Islanders, and 2.8% multiracial.
* 2017 figures are estimates
The 2010 Census redistricting data indicated that the racial makeup of the city was 644,287 (42.2%) Black (non-Hispanic), 562,585 (36.9%) White (non-Hispanic), 96,405 (6.3%) Asian (2.0% Chinese, 1.2% Indian, 0.9% Vietnamese, 0.4% Korean, 0.3% Filipino, 0.1% Japanese, and 1.4% other), 6,996 (0.5%) Native Americans, 744 (0.05%) Pacific Islanders, and 43,070 (2.8%) from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 187,611 persons (12.3%); 8.0% Puerto Rican, 1.0% Mexican, 0.3% Cuban, and 3.0% other. The racial breakdown of Philadelphia's Hispanic/Latino population was 63,636 (33.9%) White, 17,552 (9.4%) Black, 3,498 (1.9%) Native American, 884 (0.47%) Asian, 287 (0.15%) Pacific Islander, 86,626 (46.2%) from other races, and 15,128 (8.1%) from two or more races. The five largest European ancestries reported in the 2010 Census included Irish (13.0%), Italian (8.3%), German (8.2%), Polish (3.9%), and English (3.1%).The estimated average population density was 11,782 people per square mile (4,549/km²) in 2017. In 2010, the Census Bureau reported that 1,468,623 people (96.2% of the population) lived in households, 38,007 (2.5%) lived in non-institutionalized group quarters, and 19,376 (1.3%) were institutionalized. In 2013, the city reported having 668,247 total housing units, down slightly from 670,171 housing units in 2010. As of 2013, 87 percent of housing units were occupied, while 13 percent were vacant, a slight change from 2010 where 89.5 percent of units were occupied, or 599,736 and 10.5 percent were vacant, or 70,435. Of the city's residents, 32 percent reported having no vehicles available while 23 percent had two or more vehicles available, as of 2013.In 2010, 24.9 percent of households reported having children under the age of 18 living with them, 28.3 percent were married couples living together and 22.5 percent had a female householder with no husband present, 6.0 percent had a male householder with no wife present, and 43.2 percent were non-families. The city reported 34.1 percent of all households were individuals living alone, while 10.5 percent had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.45 and the average family size was 3.20. In 2013, the percentage of women who gave birth in the previous 12 months who were unmarried was 56 percent. Of Philadelphia's adults, 31 percent were married or lived as a couple, 55 percent were not married, 11 percent were divorced or separated, and 3 percent were widowed.According to the Census Bureau, the median household income in 2013 was $36,836, down 7.9 percent from 2008 when the inflation-adjusted median household income was $40,008 (in 2013 dollars). For comparison, on an inflation-adjusted basis, the median household income among metropolitan areas was $60,482, down 8.2 percent in the same period, and the national median household income was $55,250, down 7.0 percent from 2008. The city's wealth disparity is evident when neighborhoods are compared. Residents in Society Hill had a 2013 median household income of $93,720, while residents in one of North Philadelphia's districts reported the lowest median household income, $14,185.During the last decade, Philadelphia experienced a large shift in its age profile. In 2000, the city's population pyramid had a largely stationary shape. In 2013, the city took on an expansive pyramid shape, with an increase in the three millennial age groups, 20 to 24, 25 to 29, and 30 to 34. The city's 25- to 29-year-old age group was the city's largest age cohort. According to the 2010 Census, 343,837 (22.5%) were under the age of 18; 203,697 (13.3%) from 18 to 24; 434,385 (28.5%) from 25 to 44; 358,778 (23.5%) from 45 to 64; and 185,309 (12.1%) who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 33.5 years. For every 100 females, there were 89.4 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 85.7 males. The city had 22,018 births in 2013, down from a peak 23,689 births in 2008. Philadelphia's death rate was at its lowest in at least a half-century, 13,691 deaths in 2013. Another factor attributing to the population increase is Philadelphia's rising immigration rate. Like the millennial population, Philadelphia's immigrant population is also growing rapidly; according to a study by the Pew Charitable Trusts, the city's foreign-born population had increased by 69% between 2000 and 2016 to constitute nearly 20% of Philadelphia's work force.
Irish, Italian, German, Polish, English, Russian, Ukrainian and French are the largest ethnic European groups in the city. Philadelphia has the second-largest Irish and Italian populations in the United States, after New York City. South Philadelphia remains one of the largest Italian neighborhoods in the country and is home to the Italian Market. The Pennsport neighborhood and Gray's Ferry section of South Philadelphia, home to many Mummer clubs, are well known as Irish neighborhoods. The Kensington, Port Richmond, and Fishtown neighborhoods have historically been heavily Irish and Polish. Port Richmond is well known in particular as the center of the Polish immigrant and Polish-American community in Philadelphia, and it remains a common destination for Polish immigrants. Northeast Philadelphia, although known for its Irish and Irish-American population, is also home to a large Jewish and Russian population. Mount Airy in Northwest Philadelphia also contains a large Jewish community, while nearby Chestnut Hill is historically known as an Anglo-Saxon Protestant community.
Philadelphia has a significant gay and lesbian population. Philadelphia's Gayborhood, which is located near Washington Square, is home to a large concentration of gay and lesbian friendly businesses, restaurants, and bars.The Black American population in Philadelphia is the third-largest in the country, after New York City and Chicago. Historically, West Philadelphia and North Philadelphia were largely black neighborhoods, but many are leaving those areas in favor of the Northeast and Southwest sections of Philadelphia. There is a higher proportion of Muslims in the Black American population than most cities in America. West Philadelphia also has significant Caribbean and African immigrant populations.The Puerto Rican population in Philadelphia is the second-largest after New York City, and the second-fastest growing after Orlando. There are large Puerto Rican and Dominican populations in North Philadelphia and the Northeast, as well as a significant Mexican population in South Philadelphia.Philadelphia's Asian American population originates mainly from China, India, Vietnam, South Korea, and the Philippines. Over 35,000 Chinese Americans lived in the city in 2015, including a large Fuzhounese population. Center City hosts a growing Chinatown accommodating heavily traveled Chinese-owned bus lines to and from Chinatown, Manhattan in New York City. A large Korean community initially settled in the North Philadelphia neighborhood of Olney; however, the primary Koreatown has subsequently shifted northward, straddling the border with the adjacent suburb of Cheltenham in Montgomery County, while also growing in nearby Cherry Hill, New Jersey. South Philadelphia is also home to large Cambodian, Vietnamese, and Chinese communities. Philadelphia has the fifth largest Muslim population among American cities.
According to a 2014 study by the Pew Research Center, 68% of the population of the city identified themselves as Christian, with 41% professing attendance at a variety of churches that could be considered Protestant, 26% professing Catholic beliefs, and less than 1% are Mormons, while the remaining 24% claim no religious affiliation. The same study says that other religions collectively compose about 8% of the population, including Judaism, Buddhism, Islam, and Hinduism.The Philadelphia metropolitan area's Jewish population was estimated at 206,000 in 2001, which was the sixth largest in the United States at that time.Other religious groups in Philadelphia include Buddhism in Chinatown, and Caribbean and traditional African religions in North and West Philadelphia. Historically, the city has strong connections to the Quakers, Unitarian Universalism, and the Ethical Culture movement, all of which continue to be represented in the city. The Quaker Friends General Conference is based in Philadelphia.
African diasporic religions are practiced in some Hispanic and Caribbean communities in North and West Philadelphia.
As of 2010, 79.12% (1,112,441) of Philadelphia residents age 5 and older spoke English at home as a primary language, while 9.72% (136,688) spoke Spanish, 1.64% (23,075) Chinese, 0.89% (12,499) Vietnamese, 0.77% (10,885) Russian, 0.66% (9,240) French, 0.61% (8,639) other Asian languages, 0.58% (8,217) African languages, 0.56% (7,933) Cambodian (Mon-Khmer), and Italian was spoken as a main language by 0.55% (7,773) of the population over the age of five. In total, 20.88% (293,544) of Philadelphia's population age 5 and older spoke a mother language other than English.
The traditional Philadelphia accent is considered by some linguists to be the most distinctive accent in North America. The Philadelphia dialect, which is spread throughout the Delaware Valley and South Jersey, is part of a larger Mid-Atlantic American English family, a designation that also includes the Baltimore dialect. Additionally, it shares many similarities with the New York accent.
Thanks to over a century of linguistic data collected by researchers at the University of Pennsylvania under sociolinguist William Labov, the Philadelphia dialect has been one of the best-studied forms of American English. The accent is especially found within the Irish American and Italian American working-class neighborhoods. Philadelphia also has its own unique collection of neologisms and slang terms.
Philadelphia is the center of economic activity in Pennsylvania with the headquarters of five Fortune 1000 companies located within city limits. According to the Bureau of Economic Analysis, the Philadelphia area had a total gross domestic product of $445 billion in 2017, the eighth-largest metropolitan economy in the United States. Philadelphia was rated by the GaWC as a 'Beta' city in its 2016 ranking of world cities. Philadelphia International Airport is undergoing a $900 million infrastructural expansion to increase passenger capacity and augment passenger experience; while the Port of Philadelphia, having experienced the highest percentage growth by tonnage loaded in 2017 among major U.S. seaports, was in the process of doubling its capacity in order to accommodate super-sized post-Panamax shipping vessels in 2018.Philadelphia's economic sectors include financial services, health care, biotechnology, information technology, manufacturing, oil refining, food processing, and tourism. Financial activities account for the largest economic sector of the metropolitan area, which is also one of the largest health education and research centers in the United States.
The city is home to the Philadelphia Stock Exchange and some of the area's largest companies including cable television and internet provider Comcast, insurance companies Cigna, Colonial Penn, and Independence Blue Cross, energy company Sunoco, food services company Aramark, packaging company Crown Holdings, chemical makers FMC and Rohm and Haas, pharmaceutical company GlaxoSmithKline, Boeing Rotorcraft Systems, apparel retailer Urban Outfitters, and automotive parts retailer Pep Boys.
Philadelphia's annualized unemployment rate was 7.8% in 2014, down from 10% the previous year. This is higher than the national average of 6.2%. Similarly, the rate of new jobs added to the city's economy lagged behind the national job growth. In 2014, about 8,800 jobs were added to the city's economy. Sectors with the largest number of jobs added were in education and health care, leisure and hospitality, and professional and business services. Declines were seen in the city's manufacturing and government sectors.About 31.9% of the city's population was not in the labor force in 2015, the second highest percentage after Detroit. The city's two largest employers are the federal and city governments. Philadelphia's largest private employer is the University of Pennsylvania followed by the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia. A study commissioned by the city's government in 2011 projected 40,000 jobs would be added to the city within 25 years, raising the number of jobs from 675,000 in 2010 to an estimated 715,000 by 2035.Philadelphia's history attracts many tourists, with the Independence National Historical Park (which includes the Liberty Bell, Independence Hall, and other historic sites) receiving over 5 million visitors in 2016. The city welcomed 42 million domestic tourists in 2016 who spent $6.8 billion, generating an estimated $11 billion in total economic impact in the city and surrounding four counties of Pennsylvania.
Primary and secondary education
Education in Philadelphia is provided by many private and public institutions. The School District of Philadelphia runs the city's public schools. The Philadelphia School District is the eighth largest school district in the United States with 142,266 students in 218 traditional public schools and 86 charter schools as of 2014.The city's K-12 enrollment in district run schools dropped from 156,211 students in 2010 to 130,104 students in 2015. During the same time period, the enrollment in charter schools increased from 33,995 students in 2010 to 62,358 students in 2015. This consistent drop in enrollment led the city to close 24 of its public schools in 2013. During the 2014 school year, the city spent an average of $12,570 per pupil, below the average among comparable urban school districts.Graduation rates among district-run schools, meanwhile, steadily increased in the ten years from 2005. In 2005, Philadelphia had a district graduation rate of 52%. This number increased to 65% in 2014, still below the national and state averages. Scores on the state's standardized test, the Pennsylvania System of School Assessment (PSSA) trended upward from 2005 to 2011 but subsequently decreased. In 2005, the district-run schools scored an average of 37.4% on math and 35.5% on reading. The city's schools reached its peak scores in 2011 with 59.0% on math and 52.3% on reading. In 2014, the scores dropped significantly to 45.2% on math and 42.0% on reading.Of the city's public high schools, including charter schools, only four performed above the national average on the SAT (1497 out of 2400) in 2014: Masterman, Central, Girard, and MaST Community Charter School. All other district-run schools were below average.
Philadelphia has the third-largest student concentration on the East Coast, with over 120,000 college and university students enrolled within the city and nearly 300,000 in the metropolitan area. There are over 80 colleges, universities, trade, and specialty schools in the Philadelphia region. One of the founding members of the Association of American Universities is in the city, the University of Pennsylvania, an Ivy League institution with claims to being the oldest university in the country.The city's largest school by number of students is Temple University, followed by Drexel University. The University of Pennsylvania, Temple University and Drexel University comprise the city's major research universities. Philadelphia is also home to five schools of medicine: Drexel University College of Medicine, Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine, Temple University School of Medicine, and the Thomas Jefferson University. Hospitals, universities, and higher education research institutions in Philadelphia's four congressional districts received more than $252 million in National Institutes of Health grants in 2015.Other institutions of higher learning within the city's borders include:
Philadelphia is home to many national historical sites that relate to the founding of the United States. Independence National Historical Park is the center of these historical landmarks being one of the country's 22 UNESCO World Heritage Sites. Independence Hall, where the Declaration of Independence was signed, and the Liberty Bell are the city's most famous attractions. Other national historic sites include the homes of Edgar Allan Poe and Thaddeus Kosciuszko, early government buildings like the First and Second Banks of the United States, Fort Mifflin, and the Gloria Dei (Old Swedes') Church. Philadelphia alone has 67 National Historic Landmarks, the third most of any city in the country.Philadelphia's major science museums include the Franklin Institute, which contains the Benjamin Franklin National Memorial; the Academy of Natural Sciences; the Mütter Museum; and the University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology. History museums include the National Constitution Center, the Museum of the American Revolution, the Philadelphia History Museum, the National Museum of American Jewish History, the African American Museum in Philadelphia, the Historical Society of Pennsylvania, the Masonic Library and Museum of Pennsylvania in the Masonic Temple, and the Eastern State Penitentiary. Philadelphia is home to the United States' first zoo and hospital, as well as Fairmount Park, one of America's oldest and largest urban parks, founded in 1855.The city is home to important archival repositories, including the Library Company of Philadelphia, established in 1731 by Benjamin Franklin, and the Athenaeum of Philadelphia, founded in 1814. The Presbyterian Historical Society is the country's oldest denominational historical society, organized in 1852.
The city contains many art museums, such as the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts and the Rodin Museum, which holds the largest collection of work by Auguste Rodin outside France. The city's major art museum, the Philadelphia Museum of Art, is one of the largest art museums in the world. The long flight of steps to the Art Museum's main entrance became famous after the film Rocky (1976).The city is home to the Philadelphia Sketch Club, one of the country's oldest artists' clubs, and The Plastic Club, started by women excluded from the Sketch Club. Many Old City art galleries stay open late on the First Friday event of each month. Annual events include film festivals and parades, the most famous being the Thanksgiving Day Parade and the Mummers Parade on New Year's Day.
Areas such as South Street and Old City have a vibrant night life. The Avenue of the Arts in Center City contains many restaurants and theaters, such as the Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts, home of the Philadelphia Orchestra, and the Academy of Music, home of Opera Philadelphia and the Pennsylvania Ballet. The Wilma Theatre and the Philadelphia Theatre Company at the Suzanne Roberts Theatre produce a variety of new plays. Several blocks to the east are the Walnut Street Theatre, claimed to be America's oldest and most subscribed-to theater in the world, and the Lantern Theater Company at St. Stephens Episcopal Church.
Philadelphia has more public art than any other American city. In 1872, the Association for Public Art (formerly the Fairmount Park Art Association) was created as the first private association in the United States dedicated to integrating public art and urban planning. In 1959, lobbying by the Artists Equity Association helped create the Percent for Art ordinance, the first for a U.S. city. The program, which has funded more than 200 pieces of public art, is administered by the Philadelphia Office of Arts and Culture, the city's art agency.Philadelphia has more murals than any other U.S. city, thanks in part to the 1984 creation of the Department of Recreation's Mural Arts Program, which seeks to beautify neighborhoods and provide an outlet for graffiti artists. The program has funded more than 2,800 murals by professional, staff and volunteer artists and educated more than 20,000 youth in underserved neighborhoods throughout Philadelphia.
Philadelphia has played a prominent role in the music of the United States. The culture of American popular music has been influenced by significant contributions of Philadelphia area musicians and producers, in both the recording and broadcasting industries. In 1952, the teen dance party program called Bandstand premiered on local television, hosted by Bob Horn. The show was renamed American Bandstand in 1957 when it began national syndication on ABC, hosted by Dick Clark and produced in Philadelphia until 1964 when it moved to Los Angeles. Promoters marketed youthful musical artists known as teen idols to appeal to the young audience. Philadelphia-born singers such as Frankie Avalon, James Darren, Eddie Fisher, Fabian Forte, and Bobby Rydell, along with South Philly-raised Chubby Checker, topped the music charts, establishing a clean-cut rock and roll image.
Philly soul music of the late 1960s–1970s is a highly produced version of soul music which led to later forms of popular music such as disco and urban contemporary rhythm and blues. On July 13, 1985, John F. Kennedy Stadium was the American venue for the Live Aid concert. The city also hosted the Live 8 concert, which attracted about 700,000 people to the Benjamin Franklin Parkway on July 2, 2005. Famous rock and pop musicians from Philadelphia or its suburbs include Bill Haley & His Comets, Todd Rundgren and Nazz, Hall & Oates, The Hooters, Ween, Cinderella, and Pink. Local hip-hop artists include The Roots, DJ Jazzy Jeff & The Fresh Prince, The Goats, Schoolly D, Lisa "Left Eye" Lopes, and Meek Mill.
The Curtis Institute of Music is one of the world's premier conservatories. The Philadelphia Orchestra is generally considered one of the top five orchestras in the United States. The orchestra performs at the Kimmel Center and has a summer concert series at the Mann Center for the Performing Arts. Opera Philadelphia performs at the nation's oldest continually operating opera house—the Academy of Music. The world-renowned Philadelphia Boys Choir & Chorale has performed its music all over the world. The Philly Pops plays orchestral versions of popular jazz, swing, Broadway, and blues songs at the Kimmel Center and other venues within the mid-Atlantic region.
The city is known for its hoagies, stromboli, scrapple, soft pretzels, water ice, Irish potato candy, Tastykakes, and the cheesesteak sandwich which was developed by Italian immigrants. The Philadelphia area has many establishments that serve cheesesteaks, including restaurants, taverns, delicatessens and pizza parlors. The originator of the thinly-sliced steak sandwich in the 1930s, initially without cheese, is Pat's King of Steaks, which faces its rival Geno's Steaks, founded in 1966, across the intersection of 9th Street and Passyunk Avenue in the Italian Market of South Philadelphia.McGillin's Olde Ale House, opened in 1860 on Drury Street in Center City, is the oldest continuously operated tavern in the city. The City Tavern is a replica of a historic 18th-century building first opened in 1773, demolished in 1854 after a fire, and rebuilt in 1975 on the same site as part of Independence National Historical Park. The tavern offers authentic 18th-century recipes, served in seven period dining rooms, three wine cellar rooms and an outdoor garden.The Reading Terminal Market is a historic food market founded in 1893 in the Reading Terminal building, a designated National Historic Landmark. The enclosed market is one of the oldest and largest markets in the country, hosting over a hundred merchants offering Pennsylvania Dutch specialties, artisan cheese and meat, locally grown groceries, and specialty and ethnic foods.
Philadelphia's first professional sports team was baseball's Athletics, organized in 1860. The Athletics were initially an amateur league team that turned professional in 1871, and then became a founding team of the current National League in 1876. The city is one of 13 U.S. cities to have teams in all four major league sports: the Philadelphia Phillies in the National League of Major League Baseball, the Philadelphia Eagles of the National Football League, the Philadelphia Flyers of the National Hockey League, and the Philadelphia 76ers of the National Basketball Association. The Phillies, formed in 1883 as the Quakers and renamed in 1884, are the oldest team continuously playing under the same name in the same city in the history of American professional sports.The Philadelphia metro area is also home to the Philadelphia Union of Major League Soccer. The Union began playing their home games at Talen Energy Stadium in 2010, a soccer-specific stadium in Chester, Pennsylvania.
The city's professional teams and their fans endured 25 years without a championship, from the 76ers 1983 NBA Finals win until the Phillies 2008 World Series win. The lack of championships was sometimes attributed in jest to the Curse of Billy Penn after One Liberty Place became the first building to surpass the height of the William Penn statue on top of City Hall's tower in 1987. After nine years passed without another championship, the Eagles won their first Super Bowl following the 2017 season. In 2004, ESPN placed Philadelphia second on its list of The Fifteen Most Tortured Sports Cities. Fans of the Eagles and Phillies were singled out as the worst fans in the country by GQ magazine in 2011, which used the subtitle of "Meanest Fans in America" to summarize incidents of drunken behavior and a history of booing.Major professional sports teams that originated in Philadelphia but which later moved to other cities include the Golden State Warriors basketball team—in Philadelphia from 1946 to 1962—and the Oakland Athletics baseball team—originally the Philadelphia Athletics from 1901 to 1954 (a different Athletics team than the one mentioned above).Philadelphia is home to professional, semi-professional, and elite amateur teams in cricket, rugby league (Philadelphia Fight), and rugby union. Major running events in the city include the Penn Relays (track and field), the Philadelphia Marathon, and the Broad Street Run. The Philadelphia International Cycling Classic was held annually from 1985 to 2016, but not in 2017 due to insufficient sponsorship. The Collegiate Rugby Championship is played every June at Talen Energy Stadium in Chester, Pennsylvania.
Rowing has been popular in Philadelphia since the 18th century. Boathouse Row is a symbol of Philadelphia's rich rowing history, and each Big Five member has its own boathouse. Philadelphia hosts numerous local and collegiate rowing clubs and competitions, including the annual Dad Vail Regatta, which is the largest intercollegiate rowing event in North America with more than 100 U.S and Canadian colleges and universities participating; the annual Stotesbury Cup Regatta, which is billed as the world's oldest and largest rowing event for high school students; and the Head of the Schuylkill Regatta. The regattas are held on the Schuylkill River and organized by the Schuylkill Navy, an association of area rowing clubs that has produced numerous Olympic rowers.The Philadelphia Spinners were a professional ultimate team in Major League Ultimate (MLU) until 2016. The Spinners were one of the original eight teams of the American Ultimate Disc League (AUDL) that began in 2012. They played at Franklin Field and won the inaugural AUDL championship and the final MLU championship in 2016. The MLU was suspended indefinitely by its investors in December 2016. As of 2018, the Philadelphia Phoenix continue to play in the AUDL.Philadelphia is home to the Philadelphia Big 5, a group of five NCAA Division I college basketball programs. The Big 5 are La Salle, Penn, Saint Joseph's, Temple, and Villanova universities. The sixth NCAA Division I school in Philadelphia is Drexel University. Villanova won the 2016 and the 2018 championship of the NCAA Division I Men's Basketball Tournament.
As of 2014, the total city parkland, including municipal, state and federal parks within the city limits, amounts to 11,211 acres (17.5 sq mi). Philadelphia's largest park is Fairmount Park which includes the Philadelphia Zoo and encompasses 2,052 acres (3.2 sq mi) of the total parkland, while the adjacent Wissahickon Valley Park contains 2,042 acres (3.2 sq mi). Fairmount Park, when combined with Wissahickon Valley Park, is one of the largest contiguous urban park areas in the United States. The two parks, along with the Colonial Revival, Georgian and Federal-style mansions contained in them, have been listed as one entity on the National Register of Historic Places since 1972.
Law and government
From a governmental perspective, Philadelphia County is a legal nullity, as all county functions were assumed by the city in 1952. The city has been coterminous with the county since 1854.Philadelphia's 1952 Home Rule Charter was written by the City Charter Commission, which was created by the Pennsylvania General Assembly in an act of April 21, 1949, and a city ordinance of June 15, 1949. The existing city council received a proposed draft on February 14, 1951, and the electors approved it in an election held April 17, 1951. The first elections under the new Home Rule Charter were held in November 1951, and the newly elected officials took office in January 1952.The city uses the strong-mayor version of the mayor–council form of government, which is led by one mayor in whom executive authority is vested. The mayor has the authority to appoint and dismiss members of all boards and commissions without the approval of the city council. Elected at-large, the mayor is limited to two consecutive four-year terms, but can run for the position again after an intervening term.
The Philadelphia County Court of Common Pleas (the First Judicial District of Pennsylvania) is the trial court of general jurisdiction for the city, hearing felony-level criminal cases and civil suits above the minimum jurisdictional limit of $10,000. The court also has appellate jurisdiction over rulings from the Municipal and Traffic Courts, and some administrative agencies and boards. The trial division has 70 commissioned judges elected by the voters, along with about one thousand other employees. The court also has a family division with 25 judges and an orphans' court with three judges.As of 2018, the city's District Attorney is Larry Krasner, a Democrat. The last Republican to hold the office is Ronald D. Castille, who left in 1991 and later served as the Chief Justice of the Pennsylvania Supreme Court from 2008 to 2014.The Philadelphia Municipal Court handles misdemeanor and felony criminal cases with maximum incarceration of five years, and civil cases involving $12,000 or less ($15,000 in real estate and school tax cases), and all landlord-tenant disputes. The municipal court has 27 judges elected by the voters.Philadelphia Traffic Court is a court of special jurisdiction that hears violations of traffic laws. As with magisterial district judges, the judges need not be lawyers, but must complete the certifying course and pass the qualifying examination administered by the Minor Judiciary Education Board.Pennsylvania's three appellate courts also have sittings in Philadelphia. The Supreme Court of Pennsylvania, the court of last resort in the state, regularly hears arguments in Philadelphia City Hall. The Superior Court of Pennsylvania and the Commonwealth Court of Pennsylvania also sit in Philadelphia several times a year. Judges for these courts are elected at large. The state Supreme Court and Superior Court have deputy prothonotary offices in Philadelphia.Additionally, Philadelphia is home to the federal United States District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania and the Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit, both of which are housed in the James A. Byrne United States Courthouse.
The current mayor is Jim Kenney who won the election in November, 2015. Kenney's predecessor was Michael Nutter who had served two terms from 2009 to January 2016. Kenney is a member of the Democratic Party as all Philadelphia mayors have been since 1952. Philadelphia City Council is the legislative branch which consists of ten council members representing individual districts and seven members elected at-large, all of whom are elected to four-year terms. Democrats currently hold 14 seats including nine of the ten districts and five at-large seats, while Republicans hold two at-large seats and the Northeast-based Tenth District. The current council president is Darrell L. Clarke.As of December 31, 2016, there were 1,102,620 registered voters in Philadelphia. Registered voters constitute 70.3% of the total population.
Democratic: 853,140 (77.4%)
Republican: 125,530 (11.4%)
Other parties and unaffiliated: 123,950 (11.2%)Philadelphia was a bastion of the Republican Party from the American Civil War until the mid-1930s. The city hosted the first Republican National Convention in 1856. Democratic registrations increased after the Great Depression; however, the city was not carried by Democrat Franklin D. Roosevelt in his landslide victory of 1932 as Pennsylvania was one of only six states won by Republican Herbert Hoover. Voter turnout surged from 600,000 in 1932 to nearly 900,000 in 1936 and Roosevelt carried Philadelphia with over 60% of the vote. The city has voted Democratic in every presidential election since 1936. In 2008, Democrat Barack Obama drew 83% of the city's vote. Obama's win was even greater in 2012, capturing 85% of the vote. In 2016, Democrat Hillary Clinton won 82% of the vote.As a result of the declining population in the city and state, Philadelphia has only three congressional districts of the 18 districts in Pennsylvania, based on the 2010 Census apportionment: the 2nd district, represented by Brendan Boyle; the 3rd, represented by Dwight Evans; and the 5th, represented by Mary Gay Scanlon. All three representatives are Democrats though Republicans still have some support in the city, primarily in the Northeast. Sam Katz ran competitive mayoral races as the Republican nominee in 1999 and 2003, losing to Democrat John Street both times.Pennsylvania's longest-serving Senator, Arlen Specter, was an alumnus of the University of Pennsylvania who opened his first law practice in Philadelphia. Specter served as a Republican from 1981 and as a Democrat from 2009, losing that party's primary in 2010 and leaving office in January 2011. He had also been assistant counsel on the Warren Commission in 1964 and the city's district attorney from 1966 to 1974.Philadelphia has hosted various national conventions, including in 1848 (Whig), 1856 (Republican), 1872 (Republican), 1900 (Republican), 1936 (Democratic), 1940 (Republican), 1948 (Republican), 1948 (Progressive), 2000 (Republican), and 2016 (Democratic). Philadelphia has been home to one vice president, George M. Dallas, and one Civil War general, George B. McClellan, who won his party's nomination for president but lost in the general election to Abraham Lincoln in 1864.
The police districts with the highest rates of violent crime are Frankford (15th district) and Kensington (24th district) in the Near Northeast, and districts to the North (22nd, 25th, and 35th districts), West (19th district) and Southwest (12th district) of Center City. Philadelphia had 525 murders in 1990, a rate of 31.5 per 100,000. An average of about 600 murders occurred each year for most of the 1990s. The murder count dropped in 2002 to 288, then rose to 406 by 2006, before dropping slightly to 392 in 2007. A few years later, Philadelphia began to see a rapid decline in homicides and violent crime. In 2013, the city had 246 murders, which is a decrease of nearly 40% since 2006. In 2014, 248 homicides were committed. The homicide rate rose to 280 in 2015, then fell slightly to 277 in 2016, before rising again to 317 in 2017.In 2006, Philadelphia's homicide rate of 27.7 per 100,000 people was the highest of the country's 10 most populous cities. In 2012, Philadelphia had the fourth-highest homicide rate among the country's most populous cities. The rate dropped to 16 homicides per 100,000 residents by 2014 placing Philadelphia as the sixth-highest city in the country.
In 2004, there were 7,513.5 crimes per 200,000 people in Philadelphia. Among its neighboring mid-Atlantic cities in the same population group, Baltimore and Washington, D.C. were ranked second- and third-most dangerous cities in the United States, respectively. Camden, New Jersey, a city directly across the Delaware River from Center City, was ranked as the most dangerous city in the United States.The number of shootings in the city has declined significantly since the early years of the 21st century. Shooting incidents peaked at 1,857 in 2006 before declining nearly 44 percent to 1,047 shootings in 2014. Major crimes have decreased gradually since a peak in 2006 when 85,498 major crimes were reported. The number of reported major crimes fell 11 percent in three years to 68,815 occurrences in 2014. Violent crimes, which include homicide, rape, aggravated assault, and robbery, decreased 14 percent in three years to 15,771 occurrences in 2014.
Philadelphia was ranked as the 76th most dangerous city in a 2018 report based on FBI data from 2016 for the rate of violent crimes per 1,000 residents in American cities with 25,000 or more people. The latest four years of reports indicate a steady reduction in violent crime as the city placed 67th in the 2017 report, 65th in 2016, and 54th in 2015.In 2014, Philadelphia enacted in ordinance decriminalizing the possession of less than 30 grams of marijuana or 8 grams of hashish; the ordinance gave police officers the discretion to treat possession of these amounts as a civil infraction punishable by a $25 ticket, rather than a crime. Philadelphia was at the time the largest city to decriminalize marijuana. From 2013 to 2018, marijuana arrests in the city dropped by more than 85%. The purchase or sale of marijuana remains a criminal offense in Philadelphia.
Philadelphia's two major daily newspapers are The Philadelphia Inquirer, first published in 1829—the third-oldest surviving daily newspaper in the country—and the Philadelphia Daily News, first published in 1925. The Daily News has been published as an edition of the Inquirer since 2009. Recent owners of the Inquirer and Daily News have included Knight Ridder, The McClatchy Company, and Philadelphia Media Holdings, with the latter organization declaring bankruptcy in 2010. After two years of financial struggle, the newspapers were sold to Interstate General Media in 2012. The two newspapers had a combined daily circulation of 306,831 and a Sunday circulation of 477,313 in 2013—the eighteenth largest circulation in the country—while the website of the newspapers, Philly.com, was ranked thirteenth in popularity among online U.S. newspapers by Alexa Internet for the same year.Smaller publications include the Philadelphia Tribune published five days each week for the African-American community; Philadelphia magazine, a monthly regional magazine; Philadelphia Weekly, a weekly alternative newspaper; Philadelphia Gay News, a weekly newspaper for the LGBT community; The Jewish Exponent, a weekly newspaper for the Jewish community; Al Día, a weekly newspaper for the Latino community; and Philadelphia Metro, a free daily newspaper.Student-run newspapers include the University of Pennsylvania's The Daily Pennsylvanian, Temple University's The Temple News, and Drexel University's The Triangle.
The first experimental radio license was issued in Philadelphia in August 1912 to St. Joseph's College. The first commercial AM radio stations began broadcasting in 1922: first WIP, then owned by Gimbels department store, followed by WFIL, then owned by Strawbridge & Clothier department store, and WOO, a defunct station owned by Wanamaker's department store, as well as WCAU and WDAS.As of 2018, the FCC lists 28 FM and 11 AM stations for Philadelphia. As of December 2017, the ten highest-rated stations in Philadelphia were adult contemporary WBEB-FM (101.1), sports talk WIP-FM (94.1), classic rock WMGK-FM (102.9), urban adult contemporary WDAS-FM (105.3), classic hits WOGL-FM (98.1), album-oriented rock WMMR-FM (93.3), country music WXTU-FM (92.5), all-news KYW-AM (1060), talk radio WHYY-FM (90.9), and urban adult contemporary WRNB-FM (100.3). Philadelphia is served by three non-commercial public radio stations: WHYY-FM (NPR), WRTI-FM (classical and jazz), and WXPN-FM (adult alternative music).
In the 1930s, the experimental station W3XE, owned by Philco, became the first television station in Philadelphia. The station became NBC's first affiliate in 1939, and later became KYW-TV (currently a CBS affiliate). WCAU-TV, WFIL-TV, and WHYY-TV were all founded by the 1960s. In 1952, WFIL (renamed WPVI) premiered the television show Bandstand, which later became the nationally broadcast American Bandstand hosted by Dick Clark.Each commercial network has an affiliate, and call letters have been replaced by corporate branding for promotional purposes: CBS3, 6ABC, NBC10, PHL17, Fox29, The CW Philly 57, UniMás Philadelphia, Telemundo62, and Univision65. The region is served also by public broadcasting stations WPPT-TV (Philadelphia), WHYY-TV (Wilmington, Delaware and Philadelphia), WLVT-TV (Lehigh Valley), and NJTV (New Jersey).Philadelphia has owned-and-operated stations for all five major English-language broadcast networks: NBC – WCAU-TV, CBS – KYW-TV, ABC – WPVI-TV, Fox – WTXF-TV, and The CW – WPSG-TV. The major Spanish-language networks are Univision – WUVP-DT, UniMás – WFPA-CD, and Telemundo – WWSI-TV.As of 2018, the city is the nation's fourth-largest consumer in media market, as ranked by the Nielsen Media Research firm, with nearly 2.9 million TV households.
Philadelphia is served by the Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority (SEPTA) which operates buses, trains, rapid transit (subway and elevated trains), trolleys, and trackless trolleys (electric buses) throughout Philadelphia, the four Pennsylvania suburban counties of Bucks, Chester, Delaware, and Montgomery, in addition to service to Mercer County, New Jersey (Trenton) and New Castle County, Delaware (Wilmington and Newark, Delaware). The city's subway system consists of two routes: the subway section of the Market–Frankford Line running east–west under Market Street which opened in 1905 to the west and 1908 to the east of City Hall, and the Broad Street Line running north–south beneath Broad Street which opened in stages from 1928 to 1938.
Beginning in the 1980s, large sections of the SEPTA Regional Rail service to the far suburbs of Philadelphia were discontinued due to a lack of funding for equipment and infrastructure maintenance.Philadelphia's 30th Street Station is a major railroad station on Amtrak's Northeast Corridor with 4.4 million passengers in 2017 making it the third-busiest station in the country after New York City's Pennsylvania Station and Washington's Union Station. 30th Street Station offers access to Amtrak, SEPTA, and NJ Transit lines. Over 12 million SEPTA and NJ Transit rail commuters use the station each year, and more than 100,000 people on an average weekday.The PATCO Speedline provides rapid transit service to Camden, Collingswood, Westmont, Haddonfield, Woodcrest (Cherry Hill), Ashland (Voorhees), and Lindenwold, New Jersey, from stations on Locust Street between 16th and 15th, 13th and 12th, and 10th and 9th Streets, and on Market Street at 8th Street.
Two airports serve Philadelphia: the Philadelphia International Airport (PHL) is located 7 mi (11 km) south-southwest of Center City on the boundary with Delaware County, providing scheduled domestic and international air service, while Northeast Philadelphia Airport (PNE) is a general aviation relief airport in Northeast Philadelphia serving general and corporate aviation. Philadelphia International Airport is among the busiest airports in the world measured by traffic movements (i.e., takeoffs and landings). More than 30 million passengers pass through the airport annually on 25 airlines, including all major domestic carriers. The airport has nearly 500 daily departures to more than 120 destinations worldwide. SEPTA's Airport Regional Rail Line provides direct service between Center City railroad stations and Philadelphia International Airport.
William Penn planned Philadelphia with numbered streets traversing north and south, and streets named for trees, such as Chestnut, Walnut, and Mulberry, traversing east and west. The two main streets were named Broad Street (the north-south artery, since designated Pennsylvania Route 611) and High Street (the east-west artery, since renamed Market Street) converging at Centre Square which later became the site of City Hall.
Interstate 95 (the Delaware Expressway) traverses the southern and eastern edges of the city along the Delaware River as the main north-south controlled-access highway, connecting Philadelphia with Newark, New Jersey and New York City to the north and with Baltimore and Washington, D.C. southward. The city is also served by Interstate 76 (the Schuylkill Expressway), which runs along the Schuylkill River, intersecting the Pennsylvania Turnpike at King of Prussia and providing access to Harrisburg and points west. Interstate 676 (the Vine Street Expressway) links I-95 and I-76 through Center City by running below street level between the eastbound and westbound lanes of Vine Street. Entrance and exit ramps for the Benjamin Franklin Bridge are near the eastern end of the expressway, just west of the I-95 interchange.The Roosevelt Boulevard and Expressway (U.S. 1) connect Northeast Philadelphia with Center City via I-76 through Fairmount Park. Woodhaven Road (Route 63) and Cottman Avenue (Route 73) serve the neighborhoods of Northeast Philadelphia, running between I-95 and the Roosevelt Boulevard. The Fort Washington Expressway (Route 309) extends north from the city's northern border, serving Montgomery County and Bucks County. U.S. Route 30 (Lancaster Avenue) extends westward from West Philadelphia to Lancaster.Interstate 476 (locally referred to as the Blue Route) traverses Delaware County, bypassing the city to the west and serving the city's western suburbs, as well as providing a link to Allentown and points north. Interstate 276 (the Pennsylvania Turnpike's Delaware River extension) acts as a bypass and commuter route to the north of the city as well as a link to the New Jersey Turnpike and New York City.
The Delaware River Port Authority operates four bridges in the Philadelphia area across the Delaware River to New Jersey: the Walt Whitman Bridge (I-76), the Benjamin Franklin Bridge (I-676 and U.S. 30), the Betsy Ross Bridge (New Jersey Route 90), and the Commodore Barry Bridge (U.S. 322 in Delaware County, south of the city). The Burlington County Bridge Commission maintains two bridges across the Delaware River: the Tacony–Palmyra Bridge which connects PA Route 73 in the Tacony section of Northeast Philadelphia with New Jersey Route 73 in Palmyra, Camden County, and the Burlington–Bristol Bridge which connects NJ Route 413/U.S. Route 130 in Burlington, New Jersey with PA Route 413/U.S. 13 in Bristol Township, north of Philadelphia.
Philadelphia is a hub for Greyhound Lines. The Greyhound terminal is located at 1001 Filbert Street (at 10th Street) in Center City, southeast of the Pennsylvania Convention Center and south of Chinatown. Several other bus operators provide service at the Greyhound terminal including Fullington Trailways, Martz Trailways, Peter Pan Bus Lines, and NJ Transit buses.Other intercity bus services include Megabus with stops at 30th Street Station and the visitor center for Independence Hall, BoltBus (operated by Greyhound) at 30th Street Station, OurBus at various stops in the city. Clydesdale Bus Lines provides service from Philadelphia to Reading and the Lehigh Valley.
Since the early days of rail transportation in the United States, Philadelphia has served as a hub for several major rail companies, particularly the Pennsylvania Railroad and the Reading Railroad. The Pennsylvania Railroad first operated Broad Street Station, then 30th Street Station and Suburban Station, and the Reading Railroad operated Reading Terminal, now part of the Pennsylvania Convention Center. The two companies also operated competing commuter rail systems in the area. The two systems now operate as a single system under the control of SEPTA, the regional transit authority. Additionally, the PATCO Speedline subway system and NJ Transit's Atlantic City Line operate successor services to southern New Jersey.In 1911, Philadelphia had nearly 4,000 electric trolleys running on 86 lines. In 2005, SEPTA reintroduced trolley service to the Girard Avenue Line, Route 15. SEPTA operates six "subway-surface" trolleys that run on street-level tracks in West Philadelphia and subway tunnels in Center City, along with two surface trolleys in adjacent suburbs.Philadelphia is a regional hub of the federally owned Amtrak system, with 30th Street Station being a primary stop on the Washington-Boston Northeast Corridor and the Keystone Corridor to Harrisburg and Pittsburgh. 30th Street also serves as a major station for services via the Pennsylvania Railroad's former Pennsylvania Main Line to Chicago. As of 2017, 30th Street is Amtrak's third-busiest station in the country, after New York City and Washington.
Walk Score ranks
A 2017 study by Walk Score ranked Philadelphia the fifth most walkable major city in the United States with a score of 79 out of 100, in the middle of the "very walkable" range. The city was just edged out by fourth place Miami (79.2), with the top three cities being New York, San Francisco, and Boston. Philadelphia placed fifth in the public transit friendly category, behind Washington, D.C., with the same three cities for walkability topping this category. The city ranked tenth in the bike friendly cities category, with the top three cities being Minneapolis, San Francisco and Portland.The readers of USA Today newspaper voted the Schuylkill River Trail the best urban trail in the nation in 2015.
In 1815, Philadelphia began sourcing its water via the Fairmount Water Works located on the Schuylkill River, the nation's first major urban water supply system. In 1909, the Water Works was decommissioned as the city transitioned to modern sand filtration methods. Today, the Philadelphia Water Department (PWD) provides drinking water, wastewater collection, and stormwater services for Philadelphia, as well as surrounding counties. PWD draws about 57 percent of its drinking water from the Delaware River and the balance from the Schuylkill River. The city has two filtration plants on the Schuylkill River and one on the Delaware River. The three plants can treat up to 546 million gallons of water per day, while the total storage capacity of the combined plant and distribution system exceeds one billion gallons. The wastewater system consists of three water pollution control plants, 21 pumping stations, and about 3,657 miles (5,885 km) of sewers.Exelon subsidiary PECO Energy Company, founded as the Brush Electric Light Company of Philadelphia in 1881 and renamed Philadelphia Electric Company (PECO) in 1902, provides electricity to about 1.6 million customers and more than 500,000 natural gas customers in the southeastern Pennsylvania area including the city of Philadelphia and most of its suburbs. PECO is the largest electric and natural gas utility in the state with 472 power substations and nearly 23,000 miles (37,000 km) of electric transmission and distribution lines, along with 12,000 miles (19,000 km) of natural gas transmission, distribution & service lines.Philadelphia Gas Works (PGW), overseen by the Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission, is the nation's largest municipally-owned natural gas utility. PGW serves over 500,000 homes and businesses in the Philadelphia area. Founded in 1836, the company came under city ownership in 1987 and has been providing the majority of gas distributed within city limits. In 2014, the City Council refused to conduct hearings on a $1.86 billion sale of PGW, part of a two-year effort that was proposed by the mayor. The refusal led to the prospective buyer terminating its offer.Southeastern Pennsylvania was assigned the 215 area code in 1947 when the North American Numbering Plan of the Bell System went into effect. The geographic area covered by the code was split nearly in half in 1994 when area code 610 was created, with the city and its northern suburbs retaining 215. Overlay area code 267 was added to the 215 service area in 1997, and 484 was added to the 610 area in 1999. A plan in 2001 to introduce a third overlay code to both service areas (area code 445 to 215, area code 835 to 610) was delayed and later rescinded. Area code 445 was implemented as an overlay for area codes 215 and 267 starting on February 3, 2018.In 2005, a low-cost, citywide Wi-Fi service was approved for installation in the city. Wireless Philadelphia would have been the first municipal internet utility in a large U.S. city, but the plan was abandoned in 2008 as EarthLink pushed back the completion date several times. Mayor Nutter's administration closed the project in 2009 after an attempt to revitalize it failed.
Philadelphia has eight official sister cities designated by the Citizen Diplomacy International of Philadelphia:
Philadelphia also has three partnership cities or regions:
Philadelphia has dedicated landmarks to its sister cities. The Sister Cities Park, a site of 0.5 acres (2,400 sq yd) located at 18th and Benjamin Franklin Parkway within Logan Square, was dedicated in June 1976. The park was built to commemorate Philadelphia's first two sister city relationships, with Tel Aviv and Florence. The Toruń Triangle, honoring the sister city relationship with Toruń, Poland, was constructed in 1976, west of the United Way building at 18th Street and the Benjamin Franklin Parkway. Sister Cities Park was redesigned and reopened in 2012, featuring an interactive fountain honoring Philadelphia's sister and partnership cities, a café and visitor's center, children's play area, outdoor garden, and boat pond, as well as a pavilion built to environmentally friendly standards.The Chinatown Gate, erected in 1984 and crafted by artisans of Tianjin, stands astride 10th Street, on the north side of its intersection with Arch Street, as a symbol of the sister city relationship. The CDI of Philadelphia has participated in the U.S. Department of State's "Partners for Peace" project with Mosul, Iraq, as well as accepting visiting delegations from dozens of other countries.
For most visitors, the focal point will be Center City and Old City, which comprise the "downtown" section of Philadelphia. It is bounded by Vine St. to the north, the Delaware River to the east, South St. to the south, and the Schuylkill River to the west. The 2010 Center City residential population of 57,000 makes it the third most populated central business district in America, behind New York City and Chicago. Other popular districts to visit are West Philly and South Philly.
Philadelphia, often called the "Birthplace of America", is the birthplace of the country's modern democracy. Philly was founded by William Penn in 1681, and assumed its present-day shape and size in 1784 when Montgomery County was split off from Philadelphia. The city's name translates to "City of Brotherly Love" and it has been a seat of freedom since its inception; founded by Quakers, the colony promoted religious freedom among its residents in stark contrast to the England of the time.
The definition of "Philadelphia" changed in 1854. Prior to that time, the term "Philadelphia" referred to what is today called "Center City", and what we today call "Philadelphia" was referred to as "Philadelphia County" (that term is still used today in legal and administrative contexts). For clarity's sake we will use modern terminology, though many people will refer to Center City as "Philadelphia" when referring to pre-1854 periods.
Known for its role in the American Revolutionary War, Philadelphia saw the convening of the Continental Congress as well as the writing of the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution. Shortly after the nation's inception took place in Philadelphia, Center City was named the nation's capital, a role it filled from 1790 until 1800, when Washington, D.C. took over. Prior to 1854, the city of Philadelphia only consisted roughly of what we now call Center City, extending east to west between the Delaware and Schuylkill Rivers and north to south between Vine and South Streets. Everything else was Philadelphia County and contained thirteen townships, six boroughs, and nine districts. The Act of Consolidation in 1854 consolidated all these areas within the city of Philadelphia, creating the boundaries you see today.
Benjamin Franklin, probably Philadelphia's most famous resident, was responsible for the city's alternative title, the "new Athens." While Franklin's most famous experiment dealt with the conducting of electricity, he was also responsible for the country's first insurance company, the city's first public library and the first fire department; Franklin also played a great role in establishing the city's postal system and inventing new conveniences such as bifocal lenses and the Franklin Stove.
Philadelphia has seen its skyline and its name in lights throughout the years in such famous films as the "Rocky" series (the statue from Rocky III still stands prominently outside the Philadelphia Museum of Art), and films like namesake Philadelphia and many of Philadelphia native M. Night Shyamalan's thrillers.
The Liberty Bell is right in the center of Philadelphia inside of a pavilion near Independence Hall. The Liberty Bell is a major piece in Philly's history. It was rung to announce the news of the passage of the Catholic Emancipation Act of 1829 in Great Britain. John Sartain in his book, Reminiscences of a Very Old Man, claims the bell was cracked during this announcement:
"The final passage of the Emancipation Act by the British Parliament is linked to a bit of Philadelphia history. On receipt of the news in Philadelphia the Liberty Bell in the tower of the State House was rung, and cracked in the ringing. When I was up in the tower in 1830, two years after, viewing the cracked bell for the first time, Downing, who was then the custodian of Independence Hall, told me of it and remarked that the bell refused to ring for a British Act, even when the Act was a good one."
The Philadelphia area's 6.2 million inhabitants comprise a diverse group of almost every nationality. Philadelphia's primary cultural influences can be seen in its plethora of Irish pubs, the city's Italian Market, the Chinatown District, and the Reading Terminal which plays host to a diverse crowd of merchants — from first-generation European and Asian immigrants to the area's local Amish and Mennonite farmers.
Philadelphia's economy is as diverse as the population that inhabits the city. In Old City, the 'Third Street Corridor', from 3rd and Chestnut Streets to Vine Street, is home to many locally owned businesses contributing to art, design and fashion industries. The Philadelphia Stock Exchange, the oldest one in America, has been in operation since 1790. In addition, the city is host to several Fortune 500 companies, including Comcast (the nation's largest cable television and broadband Internet provider), CIGNA insurance, Aramark, and Lincoln Financial Group. The largest private employers in the city are the University of Pennsylvania, Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, Thomas Jefferson University Hospital, and Temple University. In the region there are approximately 50 higher educational institutions making Philadelphia a large 'college town'.
Dating back to the city's roots as the nation's first capital, the federal government's presence is also strong in Philadelphia. A U.S. Mint is near Philadelphia's historic district and the Philadelphia division of the Federal Reserve Bank is close to that. Thanks to this governmental presence the city plays host to a large number of prestigious law firms and is considered one of the nation's centers of law.
The Pennsylvania Railroad, once the largest railroad company in the world, continues to influence Philadelphia's economy under the Amtrak name. Amtrak's second-busiest station, 30th Street Station, is on the west bank of the Schuylkill River and employs many Philadelphians in customer service, engineering, accounting, and IT jobs at the station.
Many medical schools, pharmaceutical companies, and medical technology firms make their homes in and around Philadelphia, arguably making it the nation's healthcare capital. And numerous virtual commerce firms have made their home in the Philadelphia area, including QVC, Half.com (purchased by eBay), DuckDuckGo, and Monetate.
Philadelphia sits at the northernmost boundary of the humid subtropical climate zone; it has many features of a humid continental climate, and the climate has four seasons. Winters are cold and often snowy, with temperatures usually hovering around 32°F (0°C) during the colder months. Average annual snowfall is 24 inches (59 cm) which is spread out mainly from December to March, but the area is sometimes hit by devastating blizzards that can dump up to half that total or even more on the city in one day, such as in 1996 when a single storm dumped 30.7 inches (78 cm) of snow on the city in just a couple days.
Spring and fall are rather pleasant, with temperatures in the 60s and 70s °F (15°C-25°C). Summers are hot and humid, and conditions can get quite unpleasant when the air temperature is near 90°F (32°C) and humidity is high.
1 Philadelphia International Airport (PHL IATA). The largest airport in the Delaware Valley, minutes from the city. It is served by taxis and the SEPTA Regional Rail Airport Line. The predominant carrier at PHL is American Airlines, which offers flights to destinations throughout the U.S., Canada, and a handful of European cities, as well as a some Latin American destinations. Southwest has become American Airlines' main domestic competitor at PHL, and the two airlines constantly attempt to outbid each other's fares on many trunk routes. Air charter companies such as Monarch Air Group and Mercury Jets fly a variety of private charter aircraft and jets, from charter luxury Gulfstream's down to economical piston twins for small groups and individuals. Taxis offer a flat rate of $28.50 from the airport to Center City.
The Airport Line serves each terminal throughout the day until approximately midnight and takes about twenty minutes to travel between the airport and Center City Philadelphia, making stops at all major commuter tunnel stations: 30th Street Station (Amtrak), Suburban Station (Penn Center, City Hall) and Jefferson Station (formerly "Market East Station": East Market Street, The Gallery, Pennsylvania Convention Center, Reading Terminal). Tickets for the Airport Line can be purchased on board the train, cash-only, for $8. Tickets purchased at ticket windows at stations in Center City cost $6.75. You can also buy a day pass for $13 valid on all regional rail trains after 9:30AM except into New Jersey either on board the train or at a ticket office. However, if you buy on board the train and want to use your pass on SEPTA services other than Regional Rail, you must trade in your pass for an Independence Pass at a ticket office in the city center. A family pass is available for $30; the same restrictions apply.
Or, the #37 SEPTA bus stops at all terminals (Directly outside baggage claim) and goes into South Philadelphia, terminating at the Broad Street Line subway station "Snyder." The trip costs $2.50 cash, payable to the driver.
Alternatively, you can fly to Newark Liberty International Airport (EWR IATA) or Baltimore-Washington International Airport (BWI IATA), each of which is connected by Amtrak to 30th Street Station (1 hr from EWR; 80 min from BWI). Other New York and Washington-area airports are less convenient.
Northeast Philadelphia Airport (PNE IATA). Philadelphia proper also has a general aviation airport which does not have scheduled commercial airline service.
Philadelphia's 2 30th Street Station (ZFV IATA) is a major hub along Amtrak's Northeast Corridor and Keystone lines. Inbound trains from Washington, D.C. and New York City arrive at least once an hour during the day; some of them are high-speed Acela trains. Trains from Harrisburg arrive between 10-14 times daily, and trains from Pittsburgh arrive once each day. Amtrak also provides service to Vermont, Virginia, Charlotte, and overnight service to Florida and New Orleans. Tickets on Amtrak with 30th Street Station as the origin or destination are also valid on SEPTA regional rail to/from Suburban and Jefferson (Market East) stations in Philadelphia Center City. For ongoing 30th Street Station is also a stop on the Market-Frankford subway line, and has a taxi rank, as well as cars from several rental agencies.
It's also possible to get to Philadelphia from NYC via commuter rail. Using this method, one would take New Jersey Transit from New York Penn Station to Trenton and then transfer to the SEPTA Regional Rail Trenton Line. While this is about a third the price of Amtrak service from NYC, it is more than an hour slower; on the other hand, this is comparable to both the speed and price of an average bus trip from New York, with much more frequent journeys and a more comfortable trip. If you have a long layover in Trenton, stay put and just wait for the next train, as walking in the surrounding neighborhood is not advisable.
SEPTA Regional Rail lines (commuter rail) connect Philadelphia to its many suburbs. All regional rail lines stop at 30th St Station (at the upper level/SEPTA concourse), and at two stops in Center City (Suburban and Jefferson stations).
The New Jersey Transit Atlantic City Line connects 30th Street Station to Atlantic City.
Philadelphia is connected to neighboring cities by freeways:
The New Jersey Turnpike, running just outside Philadelphia in New Jersey, is the main route to New York City. Strangely, there is no direct freeway connection between the cities - you will have to get off the Turnpike and go through a few traffic lights before getting on a Philadelphia freeway.
Interstate 95 continues south from Philadelphia to Baltimore, Washington D.C., and the remainder of the East Coast, ending in Miami.
The Pennsylvania Turnpike traverses the state of Pennsylvania from east to west. The Northeast Extension of the Turnpike connects Philadelphia to the Poconos and Wilkes-Barre-Scranton.
Within the city, the main freeways are I-95 (north-south), I-76 (north-south within the city), and I-676 (east-west). Route 1 (also called the Roosevelt Expressway) connects Northeast Philadelphia to Center City.Several bridges across the Delaware River link Philadelphia to New Jersey. Of these bridges are Tacony Palmyra Bridge (Route 73), Betsy Ross Bridge (Route 90), Benjamin Franklin Bridge (US 30) and Walt Whitman Bridge (I-76).
Philadelphia is served by the Greyhound, Trailways, Bieber, and Peter Pan bus routes to cities across the U.S. The city is also served by a Chinatown Bus service, which began as a way to shuttle Chinese immigrant workers between various Chinatowns, but are now low-cost bus options for anyone looking to get in to Philadelphia from New York City or Washington, D.C. Although the buses are a bargain compared to corporate competitors like Greyhound, they are far from luxurious; they also use small terminals in both Chinatown districts, and have a poor reputation for safety, which can be daunting for less adventurous visitors.
To compete against the Chinatown buses in the low-cost, low-frills bus market, corporate bus companies have started Megabus and BoltBus services. There are two main bus terminals. Greyhound operates the City's main bus terminal at 1001 Filbert Street in Center City. Megabus and BoltBus make curbside stops near 30th Street Station.
Apex Bus. The NYC stop is at 88 E Broadway. The stop for Philadelphia is on 121 N 11th St. The ride is about 1½ hr. $20 one way, $35 round-trip (from NYC).
Today's Bus. The NYC stop is at 28 Allen St. The stop for Philadelphia is on 121 N 11th St. No advance purchase is required. $12 each way (from NYC).
Megabus. Provides service from NYC, Washington, D.C., Baltimore, Pittsburgh, State College, Harrisburg, Toronto, Buffalo, Boston, Richmond, and Hampton; fares start at $1 when ordered far enough in advance. Buses arrive and depart from the north side of John F. Kennedy Blvd., just west of 30th St. near 30th St. Station.
BoltBus. Provides service from NYC, Newark, and Boston; fares start at $1 when ordered far enough in advance. Free Wi-Fi. Buses arrive and depart from 30th and Market Sts., near 30th St. Station.
Bieber Tours. Provides roundtrip service from Philadelphia Bus Terminal to Allentown and other eastern Pennsylvania locations.If you buy tickets online, be sure to get on the right bus. Some companies trick you into taking the wrong bus and then charge you again.
The RiverLink and Freedom Ferry services provide travel from Philadelphia to neighboring Camden, New Jersey, between April and September. The service provides direct service to Camden's Susquehanna Bank Center on the Waterfront, a popular concert venue for the Philadelphia area. Access to the other waterfront attractions, including an aquarium, is also provided by the ferry service.
There are plenty of public transportation options to get around the downtown core of Philadelphia. Buses, trains, and trolleys gather at 30th St. Station and the 69th St. Transportation Center.
Philadelphia is one of America's most walkable cities. This has been taken advantage of and the city is marked extremely well by "Walk! Philadelphia" signs that are placed on each block, sometimes only several feet apart, that guide visitors toward shopping, dining, gallery perusing, cultural enjoyment, local must-sees and public transportation should it need to be taken. The city has two very walkable shopping districts as well as the walkable Benjamin Franklin Parkway, which is home to many museums, including the Franklin Institute and the Museum of Art that was made famous in the "Rocky" movies.
SEPTA Bus. SEPTA runs an extensive bus network in Philadelphia. Buses are a convenient (if slow) method of getting almost anywhere within the city. On-time performance is relatively lacking especially in the suburbs, and it's bound to happen to you at least once in a weekend if you take the bus heavily. Frequencies are spotty in the outer suburbs so plan ahead. In Center City, bus routes will be fairly well documented on bus shelters, but in all other locations around Philadelphia, route maps and schedules will generally not be posted; in fact the stops or route markers may only be posted on a tree branch, so do your bus route research early. Seniors ride free with a Medicare Card or a Senior Citizen Transit ID Card.
Fares can be paid with cash at $2.50 but passengers must have the exact amount as change will not be given. Tokens (to be discontinued on 30 April) will effectively reduce the cost of a single ride to $2.00 but must be bought in groups of 2 ($4), 5 ($10), or 10 ($20). Because tokens are discounted, you might want to buy tokens in bulk when given a chance; token purchases are most easily done at machines located in the busiest subway stations in Center City and at some convenience stores, but unfortunately, not all stations have token machines. SEPTA also has a reloadable chip Key Card which works like most other contactless SMART cards and the fares are the same as when a token is used ($2). SEPTA Key Cards are also available in selected locations. Passengers who require a transfer need to pay $1 on the first mode of transport they take (either through a deduction of their Key Card balance or payment of exact cash amount).
Phlash Bus. Philadelphia has a seasonal (May-October) trolley bus for tourists called the Phlash. It runs in a 20-stop east-west circuit of major tourist locations, from the Museum of Art in the west to Penn's Landing in the east. It is $2 per ride or $5 for a one day pass. SEPTA pass and key card holders ride free, as do children ages 4 and under and seniors 65 and older. Look for the purple trolley bus or the winged purple & blue logo.
The 69th St. Transportation Center and 30th St. Station are the main hubs of major commuter (regional) rail, subway rail and trolley lines.
SEPTA Regional Rail regional commuter rail trains stop in Center City at underground commuter rail tunnels. The three major Center City stops, 30th Street Station, Suburban Station and Market East Station, serve most of the city's major attractions. Suburban Station is adjacent to near City Hall, the shopping district, the financial district, and many cultural attractions; Market East Station connects to the Pennsylvania Convention Center, shopping at The Gallery, and the Reading Terminal Market, a famous local marketplace. Traveling within Center City is considered a "Zone 1" fare and will cost $4.75 if purchased in advance and $6 if purchased on board the train. Seniors ride for $1. Fares to other destinations are up to $10. Between Temple University, the city center stations and University City, service is generally frequent enough that you won't need a schedule. Service in other areas tends to be about every half-hour, with more frequent service during peak hours. The Airport Line comes every 30 minutes daily from about 4:30AM to midnight, and Paoli/Thorndale Line (between Center City and Malvern) and Lansdale/Doylestown Line (between Center City and Lansdale) also have half-hourly service during the day on weekdays. The lightly used Cynwyd Line only comes Monday through Friday on an erratic, rush hour centered schedule.
New Jersey Transit Atlantic City Line provides service to suburbs in New Jersey and to Atlantic City. Service patterns are somewhat uneven; be sure to check the schedule online in advance. These trains pick up passengers from the Amtrak concourse at 30th Street Station.
SEPTA operates two metro (subway/elevated) lines, and a "Subway-Surface" trolley line which crosses Center City in a tunnel but runs in the street elsewhere. Just like SEPTA buses, the cash fare is $2.50, but one can buy tokens ($2 per ride) in packets of two ($4), five ($10) or 10 ($20). A subway ride also costs $2 if a SEPTA contactless Key Card is used. Seniors ride free with ID.
Broad Street (Orange) Line (BSL) — referred to by locals as the "subway" — runs North-South underneath Broad Street, the main north-south arterial. It serves Temple University, City Hall, the Sports Stadium Complex and everywhere in between. The BSL also has a "spur" called the Broad-Ridge Spur that serves Chinatown and 8th & Market Sts. in Center City. At City Hall station, there are free transfers to the Market-Frankford Line and Subway-Surface Lines. Transfers from a subway to a bus or from a bus to a subway cost $1 and must be purchased when you pay for the first leg of your trip. This transfer is also required if transferring from the 8th St Ridge Avenue spur to the 8th St MFL station.
Market-Frankford (Blue) Line (MFL) — referred to by locals as the "el" — follows Market St from 69th St east to 2nd St, then turns northeast to Frankford Transportation Center in Northeast Philadelphia. The line runs underground beneath Market Street from 2nd to 45th Streets, and is elevated elsewhere. An free interchange with the BSL is available at 15th St, and a paid interchange with the Broad-Ridge Spur at 8th St station. Paid interchanges with SEPTA's Regional Rail are available at 11th St, 15th St, and 30th St stations. At 30th St you can also board Amtrak intercity trains.
Subway-Surface (Green/Trolley) Lines — referred to by locals as the "trolleys" — are a set of five streetcar lines: 10 (Lancaster), 11 (Woodland), 13 (Chester), 34 (Baltimore), and 36 (Elmwood). The other routes run along a different avenue in West Philadelphia, but all meet at a subway portal at 40 St. and Woodland Ave. (except the #10, which joins the subway at a portal at 36th St.) to run in a streetcar subway under the University of Pennsylvania and Drexel University to 30 St., then under Market St. from 30 to Juniper St, near 13 St. The trolley shares 30th, 15th, and Juniper/13th St stations with the MFL, but is the only subway stopping at 19th and 22nd Sts along Market St. There is a free interchange between the lines at all three shared stations. A sixth trolley line, #15-Girard Avenue, runs through North Philly and uses refurbished vintage PCC streetcars.
Norristown High Speed Line (Route 100) — this above-ground electric train service departs from the MFL's 69th Street terminal, and travels through suburbs in the main line to Norristown. Service comes about every 20 minutes, with more frequent service including express trains during peak hours. Stops are made on request only - to request a train to stop when standing on a platform (except at 69th Street, Ardmore Junction, and Norristown), you must press a button to activate a signal to stop the train. Otherwise, trains can blast through at up to 65 miles per hour, leaving you stranded.
PATCO Hi-Speed Line operated by the Delaware River Port Authority, travels between 16th and Locust Sts. past 8th and Market Sts. in Center City Philadelphia and Lindenwold Station in Southern New Jersey. PATCO runs underground in the city and rises above ground to cross over the Delaware River on the Benjamin Franklin Bridge. It then runs underground in the center of Camden, then is above ground through the rest of its trip in New Jersey. There is no free interchange between SEPTA's subways or regional rail and the PATCO service, and SEPTA passes are not valid on PATCO; a discounted round-trip transfer to SEPTA can be purchased for $3.10 extra when buying a round trip from a New Jersey station to Philadelphia. The PATCO line is the easiest way to access Camden, NJ's waterfront attractions, including the Adventure Aquarium and the BB&T Pavilion at the Waterfront concert venue. Fares are based on the distance of travel. Those rates are as follows:
Lindenwold, Ashland & Woodcrest Stations and Philadelphia: $3.00
Haddonfield, Westmont & Collingswood Stations and Philadelphia: $2.60
Ferry Avenue (Camden) Station and Philadelphia: $2.25
Travel within Pennsylvania, between Broadway and City Hall (Camden), and between PA and those two stations: $1.40
Any other trip within New Jersey: $1.60
SEPTA one-day passes
Passengers who wish to use a combination of SEPTA trolley, bus and subway around downtown Philadelphia may purchase a One-Day Convenience Pass. It costs $9 and may be purchased from the ticket booth at a SEPTA subway station. It can be purchased either as a paper pass or loaded into a SEPTA chip Key Card. Unlike other metropolitan transit systems, the one-day pass does not entitle the passenger to unlimited rides on the entire system and is limited to eight rides on the day it was first used. That said, it still effectively brings down the cost of each ride to $1.13 (compared to the standard fares of $2.00 to $2.50).
To use the paper pass, just present it to the driver or station attendant at the fare gate who will punch in the current date and ride number (from 1 to 8) you have taken to indicate how many rides were already used. If the pass is loaded on a SEPTA Key Card, just tap the card against the reader you normally would. Transfers that require you to exit the station fare gates (including subway-to-bus transfers) will be counted against your ride allowance.
The Convenience Pass is not valid on regional/commuter rail lines. However, SEPTA also offers the Independence Pass, which is a one day pass that is valid on all modes of transit, including the regional rail lines (except to Trenton and West Trenton, which are $5 extra each way). The Independence Pass cannot be used on Regional Rail trains arriving in Center City prior to 9:30AM on weekdays, with the exception of the Airport Line where it is valid at all times. The Independence Pass costs $13 for an individual and $30 for a family. The Independence Pass does not have the 8-ride limit of the Convenience Pass.
Taxis are regulated by the Philadelphia Parking Authority and display a medallion license on their hood. As a result, Go2Go does not serve Philadelphia and the surrounding area. All taxis are metered. Rates are $2.70 at flagfall and $2.30 per mile (1.6 km). There is also a variable gas surcharge. In July 2012 it was $1.15. For trips from the airport, a flat rate, including fuel surcharge, of $28.50 applies. An additional $1 per passenger ($3 maximum) after the first passenger will be charged on flat rate trips between the airport and Center City for those passengers over the age of 12. Tipping for good service is common.
By ride-hailing services
Ride-hailing services Uber and Lyft can be used to get around Philadelphia.
Philadelphia is also home to Enterprise Car Share and Zipcar, where, after registering, you can book vehicles by the hour or day for significantly less than a rental car. Enterprise Car Share has vehicles including Toyota Prius, Volkswagen Beetle and Mini Cooper stationed at various locations called 'pods' around Philadelphia. You first book online, and then use your personal key to unlock the vehicle and away you go. Rental is $5.90-7.90 per hour, or approximately $50 for a full day, plus a few dollars booking fee and $0.09 per mile (1.6 km) traveled.
You can park at the ends of the subway lines for very little. Remember that Philadelphia is the center of a metro area of 6 million, so the roads are congested from early morning until the mid-evening, and parking is not cheap. Should you choose to bring a car, check with your hotel about parking in the city. Legal street parking is available but is very difficult to find close to Center City attractions or hotels. Secured parking garages can cost $10-35 per day or higher in some cases. In the historic district, there were several parking options under $20. Visitors should also be aware that the Philadelphia Parking Authority is renowned (even notorious) for its efficiency, and PPA parking enforcement personnel are as quick to write tickets as they are unlikely to yield to a violator's plea for leniency. Tickets that are not paid promptly quickly accumulate additional penalty fees. It is also worth mentioning that the only coins that the meters accept are dollar coins and quarters. Putting other coins in the meter will not give you extra time. Fortunately, depending on where you are in the city, a quarter can give you up to a half hour of parking. However, in such busy places such as Chinatown and Center City, a quarter can get you only eight minutes of parking. A new parking method has been brought about in the city -- although there are still parking meters throughout the city, some areas have a kiosk at which patrons can use bills or credit cards (not just quarters) to print a ticket which they leave on the dashboard. You can park and ride for $1 at AT&T Station (the southernmost stop on the Orange subway line) on Mondays through Fridays until 7PM, but you must get there before noon.
In terms of congestion Center City Philadelphia compares favorably to most large U.S. cities. Gridlock does occur, however, particularly during rush hour. Traffic generally moves at the slowest pace in the Chinatown neighborhood, on the numbered streets west of Broad and in the South St. and Old City areas on weekend evenings. Broad St. is typically only moderately congested. The most heavily-traveled roads in the area are I-95, I-676/I-76 (the Schuylkill Expressway), which connects Center City to the various suburbs west of the city, and I-476 (the "Blue Route") which curves from the south to the northwest of Philadelphia, connecting I-95 with I-76 and, beyond that, the PA Turnpike. Rush-hour delays are common on all these roadways: During the morning rush-hour I-95 south-bound typically backs up between the Bridge St. and Girard Ave. exits; and eastbound I-76 typically jams from Gladwynne to 30th Street. During the evening rush-hour, I-95 usually slows from the Bridge Street to Academy Road exits. On I-676 and the west-bound Schuylkill, traffic can be stop-and-go from roughly Broad St. potentially all the way to the so-called "Conshohocken Curve," just east of the town of the same name, effectively doubling the time it normally takes to drive from Center City to the PA Turnpike entrance at King of Prussia. Anyone planning to drive through Philadelphia during either rush hours would do well to anticipate traffic conditions and plan accordingly.
SEPTA operates 8 trolley lines including the 5 subway-surface branch lines and the two suburban trolley lines, numbered 101 and 102, that leave from the 69th Street terminal on the Market Frankford Line. In addition, the 15 line (running along Girard Ave.) has been renovated and vintage trolley cars are now in use on this route. Connections to this line can be made at either the Broad Street Line or Market-Frankford Line Girard Stations; a transfer should be purchased upon boarding the trolley or entering your origin subway station for $1 to avoid paying an additional fare when making the connection. Among its other uses, the 15 line provides the only rail link to the Philadelphia Zoo. SEPTA has also been studying whether to restore trolley service on former lines, as many miles of rail are still in place.
Travelers planning to visit multiple attractions may benefit from Philadelphia CityPASS, which grants admission to 6 Philadelphia attractions within 9 days of first use for a much reduced rate and includes expedited entry in some cases. The included attractions are: THE Franklin Institute; Adventure Aquarium; Phila Trolley & the Big Bus Company, 24 hours of on-off privileges; Philadelphia Zoo; Option Ticket One with choice of either the Academy of Natural Sciences or the National Constitution Center and Option Ticket Two with choice of Please Touch Museum or Eastern State Penitentiary. A Weekend in Philly offers a detailed itinerary that includes several of these attractions.
Thanks to Philadelphia's innovative Mural Arts Program, the city has a truly massive amount of art that can be seen without paying a dime or entering a single building. Originally designed to help stop graffiti and enliven the city's buildings, the Mural Arts Program has led to Philadelphia now having the largest collection of public art in the world, with over 3500 murals completed since its inception. There are tours offered as well, from trolley or train tours to the mural-mile walking tour. Other public art of note includes the many glass mosaics found throughout the city; a sampling of this great public art can be seen on South St. east of Broad.
Center city Philadelphia offers many public statue displays. "The Clothespin" is a sculpture by Claes Oldenburg that resembles a clothespin located just across from City Hall on West Market St. LOVE Park, serving as a terminus between City Hall and the museum-laden Benjamin Franklin Pkwy., features a famous LOVE statue that has come to represent the brotherly love that Philadelphia was founded on. The site once was the city's (and perhaps the nation's) most popular skating attraction until new legislation and remodeling efforts outlawed skating in the park. Just across the JFK Blvd. from City Hall at the Municipal Services Building, visitors can find many larger than life game pieces from popular board games as well as a statue of former mayor Frank Rizzo.
More statues can be found throughout Fairmount Park along Kelly Dr. on east side of the Schuykill River. Sculptures by Remmington can be found on the path, while several sculptures by Alexander Milne Calder can be found in Laurel Hill Cemetery, which is just off the paved walking path.
Philadelphia is known for two world-famous art museums, the Philadelphia Museum of Art and the Barnes Foundation, both located in Center City West.
Center City West also hosts the Academy of Natural Sciences, Franklin Institute Science Museum, Mutter Museum, Rosenbach Museum & Library and Rodin Museum. The Rare Book department of the Free Library of Philadelphia is also worth a visit.
Center City East is home to the African American Museum, and Atwater Kent Museum of Philadelphia History.
Old City is home to the National Museum of American Jewish History and Independence Seaport Museum.
West Philly is home to the Penn Museum (for archaeology) and the Please Touch Museum.
Independence National Historic Park is Philadelphia's signature historic site in the Old City. It features the Liberty Bell, Independence Hall, Constitution Hall (home of the Declaration of Independence and Constitution), and other historic buildings.
Eastern State Penitentiary is billed as "America's Most Historic Prison." It is also the site of an annual Bastille Day recreation. In October, the notoriously haunted penitentiary is home to one of the city's most popular Halloween attractions: the "Terror Behind the Walls" haunted house.
The Edgar Allan Poe National Historic Site contains the former home of the famous American author of mystery and the macabre.
The Fairmount Water Works features information on local watersheds as well as interpretive art.
Fairmount Park is a large park on both sides of the Schuykill River northwest of Center City. East Fairmount Park is home to the Smith Memorial Playground, Dell East Concerts, and a driving range. West Fairmount Park, much of which has been renamed the Centennial District, includes the Mann Music Center (where the Philadelphia Orchestra plays in summer), the Japanese TeaHouse, Please Touch Museum for kids in a restored Memorial Hall (from the nation's centennial celebration).
LOVE Park is square near City Hall, known for its Robert Indiana "LOVE" sculpture, and for attracting skateboarders from around the world (but since 2002, a ban on skateboarding has been rigorously enforced).
William Penn designed Philadelphia to have "five squares" of public, open space. Four of the five squares are now city parks, somewhat symmetrically located at the four corners of an imaginary square surrounding the very center of Center City. (The fifth square, at the very center of the city, is now occupied by City Hall.) Rittenhouse Square (the southwest park) sits among classic and classy Rittenhouse hotels and residences and attracts people from around the world. It is named after David Rittenhouse, a clockmaker and astronomer. Logan Square (northwest, better known as Logan Circle), named after William Penn's secretary James Logan, is the gateway to Fairmount Park and the Art Museum area. Until 1823, Logan Circle was an execution site as well as burial ground. In Logan Circle there is the Swann Memorial Fountain. Washington Square (southeast) is near Independence Hall. It was also used as a burial ground and a potter's field. Franklin Square (northeast) is located on the outskirts of Chinatown at 6th and Race Streets. It is home to the Philadelphia Park Liberty Carousel, has a Philadelphia-themed miniature golf course, two playgrounds, a fountain (new technology causes the water to shoot lower on rainy or windy days so bystanders do not become wet), and a gift shop. The center of City Hall's Square is a large compass in the ground. There are four archways leading into it.
Penn Treaty Park, in North Philly, is a small riverfront park. On this site William Penn famously entered into a treaty of peace with Tamanend, the Lenape Indian chief.
The Philadelphia Zoo, the first zoo in the United States, is located in West Philly.
Every year, Philadelphia is host to the Philadelphia International Championship, which is a 144-mi (232-km) bike race from Benjamin Franklin Parkway to the hillside community of Manayunk, which is the site of the Manayunk Wall. The event has been run since 1984. The event usually takes place in early June.
The Philadelphia Marathon is also another annual event. This marathon race is held every 3rd Sunday in November. There are three races: the full marathon, half marathon and the "Rothman Institute 8k".
Every year in the beginning of July, an All-You-Can-Eat Ice Cream Festival is held down Penns Landing. $5, children under 2 free.
AIDS Walk Philly occurs every October. It is an 8.2-mi (13-km) walk that begins and ends at Eakins Oval (in front of the stairs of the Philadelphia Art Museum). The first walk started in 1987 and raised $33,000 that year. Since then, the event became annual.
The Mummers Parade is held each New Years Day. The first official parade took place on January 1, 1901. Local clubs (usually called New Years Associations) compete in one of four categories (Comics, Fancies, String Bands, and Fancy Brigades). They prepare elaborate costumes and moveable scenery, which take months to complete. The parade of over 10,000 marchers travels approximately 3 miles northward on Broad Street, beginning in South Philadelphia and concluding near City Hall in Center City.
Theater and music
Philadelphia prides itself on its wide variety of live performances, particularly for music. Venues can be found throughout Center City East and West, Old City, South Philly and the Northern Liberties/Fishtown districts of North Philly. R5 Productions promotes smaller bands and affordable shows at several local venues.
Whenever the topic of sports comes up in the USA, one will soon notice that Philadelphia is seen with disgust and derision. This is the result of two preconceived notions: 1) Philadelphia sports teams have had very little luck winning championships, 2) Philadelphians have a reputation for being hard-nosed and passionate fans. While these are based in certain amounts of truth, that should not deter you from enjoying yourself, far from it. In fact, Philadelphians are often praised and respected for their in-depth knowledge of sports, and few cities can boast crowds as electrifying as Philly.
Philadelphia Phillies. The city's hometown baseball team. Founded in 1883, they are the oldest one name, one city franchise in all of professional sports. Since 2004 the team has played at Citizens Bank Park, a $350-million baseball-only facility in South Philadelphia that is among the best in the big leagues. The park is easily accessible on the subway and tickets start at $18. The food at the park was named as Best Ballpark Food in a survey of Food Network viewers in 2007. Keep your eye out for Dollar Dog Nights, where hot dogs are only $1.
Philadelphia Eagles. Philadelphia's divisive NFL team, and without a doubt the most beloved by locals. The Eagles have played at Lincoln Financial Field, next door to Citizens Bank Park, since 2003. Known for their rabid fans, Eagles games routinely sell out, often before the season even starts.
Philadelphia 76ers. The city's NBA team, playing at Wells Fargo Center, in the immediate vicinity of the two major stadiums.
Philadelphia Flyers. Hockey fans can also enjoy the city's NHL team, which shares Wells Fargo Center with the Sixers.
Philadelphia Union. The 16th team in Major League Soccer, Union are now playing their fourth season in the league. Unlike Philly's other teams in the four biggest sports in North America, however, they are not located in South Philly; home games are played at Talen Energy Stadium, their soccer-specific stadium on the waterfront in the nearby suburb of Chester.
Philadelphia Passion. Philadelphia has played in the Legends Football League, originally the Lingerie Football League, since the league's formation in 2009. The rules of the NFL and the LFL are slightly different; the LFL plays 7 on 7 rather than 11.
College sports – The Philadelphia area is also a mecca for college sports, especially men's basketball. One term you will often see or hear in the sports pages, talk shows, and general sports conversation is "Big 5". This refers to the heated men's basketball rivalry between five of the major universities in the area—Temple, Villanova, Saint Joseph's, Penn, and La Salle.
Temple Owls. The sports teams of Temple University are in the American Athletic Conference. The football team, the city's only top-level NCAA Division I FBS program, shares Lincoln Financial Field with the Eagles. Temple men's basketball is a regular contender for conference honors. The school's best-known venue is the on-campus Liacouras Center, home to basketball.
Villanova Wildcats. Villanova University (often called "Nova"), a Catholic school located in the Main Line suburb of Villanova, has the city's highest-profile college basketball program, a member of the rugged Big East Conference with national titles in 2016 and 2018. Since the current Big East does not sponsor football, Nova plays that sport in the second-level Division I FCS as a member of the Colonial Athletic Association (CAA). Most of Villanova's venues are on campus, most notably the basketball arena, reopening for the 2018–19 season as Finneran Pavilion, and Villanova Stadium (football). However, high-profile basketball games are often played at the Wells Fargo Center.
Saint Joseph's Hawks. Saint Joseph's University, like Villanova a Catholic institution, plays in the Atlantic 10 Conference (A10). Basketball is the hot-button sport on campus—"Saint Joe's" has no football team. Basketball games are played on campus at Hagan Arena. While a part of the Big 5, it has an especially strong rivalry with Villanova, with their matchup locally called the "Holy War".
Penn Quakers. The Ivy League's Philadelphia outpost, the University of Pennsylvania, also enjoys a rich athletic tradition, especially in men's basketball. Historically, Penn and Princeton have dominated the league in that sport, though other schools have emerged as contenders. Penn boasts two of the most historic venues in American sports—the Palestra (basketball) and Franklin Field (football and track). The latter is also home to the historic Penn Relays track meet.
La Salle Explorers. La Salle University is another Catholic institution in the A10. Like Saint Joe's, it also has no football team. Basketball games are played on-campus at Tom Gola Arena.
Drexel Dragons. Drexel University, a private secular institution, is something of an "odd man out" in the Philly sports landscape. Despite being literally next door to Penn, it is not part of the Big 5. Nonetheless, the Dragons enjoy a strong basketball rivalry with Penn, known as the Battle of 33rd Street—the teams' arenas are a mere three blocks apart along said street. The Dragons are members of the CAA, and like Villanova and Saint Joe's have no football team. Basketball games are played on campus at the Daskalaskis Athletic Center, often called "The DAC".
In addition to the above, Philadelphia is the most common site of the Army–Navy Game, one of the most iconic events in college football. The game involves the teams of the country's two oldest service academies—the Army Black Knights of the United States Military Academy, and the Navy Midshipmen of the United States Naval Academy. The game is steeped in decades-old military traditions, and combines bitter competitiveness and mutual respect. Its date is now fixed as the second Saturday of December, the week after FBS conference championship games, making it the last game of the FBS regular season. When in Philly, the game is played at Lincoln Financial Field; it is scheduled for "The Linc" in 2019, 2020, and 2022 (the 2021 game will be held at MetLife Stadium near New York City).
Philadelphia is rich with educational opportunities. Universities include Temple University, Philadelphia University, Drexel University with the only co-op program in the area, the Ivy League University of Pennsylvania, La Salle University a major Catholic university, Saint Joseph's University a Jesuit university, and United Lutheran Seminary a divinity school; as well as "Westminster Theological Seminary" in Glenside.
The Community College of Philadelphia is Philadelphia's premier community college.
Art schools include the University of the Arts, one of the most prestigious art schools in America, Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts, Moore College of Art and Design an all-women college, Hussian College, and the Art Institute of Philadelphia.
Trade schools include The Wine School of Philadelphia which offers professional sommelier & winemaking diplomas, along with wine tasting classes.
Philadelphia's job market is ever-expanding both in the city and in its suburbs. The 975 ft (297 m) Comcast Center is a constant reminder of the economic revitalization of Philadelphia and of Comcast's presence in the city. Additionally, a Keystone Opportunity Zone over the Powelton Rail Yards adjacent to 30th St. Station promises a bright future for jobs and new office buildings in the city.
For someone who isn't familiar with either the Mid-Atlantic and Northeast or even just Philadelphia, local lingo in the area can seem rather daunting. Older white working-class locals often speak with a distinctive accent, though younger people generally speak with a general American accent. Here is a breakdown of Philadelphia's most popular local terms:
Youse (guys) You guys, you all. Second-person plural. (Can sound like /juːs/ (yooce) or /juːz/ (yooze.)
Water Ice A dessert served by local restaurants that features flavored slushy ice. Sometimes called Italian Ice. Pop's, near the corners of Oregon Avenue and Broad Street, is arguably the most popular.
Gravy This is tomato sauce, and is for the most part only used by those who are of Italian heritage. "Gravy" is usually prepared with meat including meatballs, sausage, and sometimes pork in order to give it flavor.
Coffee Regular Coffee with cream and sugar.
Jimmies Chocolate or rainbow colored candy sprinkled onto ice cream or cookies.
Steak Any sandwich in the cheesesteak family. An entire menu category at neighborhood pizza joints.
Hoagie Submarine sandwich.
Grinder A toasted hoagie.
Tomato pie Pizza crust with tomato sauce but no cheese (besides, perhaps, a little Parmesan).
Stromboli A sauceless pizza rolled up: like a calzone, but with mozzarella and without ricotta.
Philadelphia's Old City has always been a center of commerce, and as Philadelphia grew to be a bigger city many shops and department stores were found on Market Street between Old City and City Hall. Two such landmark department stores on Market Street were Gimbels and Strawbridge & Clothiers, which faced increasing difficulty in competing against suburban department chains in the 20th century. In the 1970s, the Gallery at Market East, an urban mall with Gimbels and Strawbridge & Clothiers as major anchors, opened to stem the tide of retailers fleeing the urban core to the regional shopping malls. Despite success in the first decade or so of operation, the Gallery remained unable to compete; Gimbels closed in 1986 and is now a Kmart, while Strawbridge's closed in 2006 and now stands vacant. The rest of the mall offers mid-range stores catering to the city's working class population, and has a busy food court on the basement level, convenient for the 12,000 or so daily commuters who take the regional rail into the city.
Just northwest of the Gallery is the Reading Terminal Market, a very successful indoor public market that opened in 1893 at the site of the Reading Railroad's headhouse terminal, now part of the Philadelphia Convention Center, after open-air sidewalk markets were closed down in the 1850s due to health and safety concerns. Some of the vendors have been in business for over a century, and sell produce, meats, chocolates, and a variety of other usually handmade foodstuffs and items. There are a lot of small restaurants and a section for Pennsylvania Dutch (or Amish) vendors.
The high-end shopping district of Center City did eventually regain its footing in downtown Philadelphia starting in the 1980s and 1990s, and is along Chestnut Streets and Walnut Streets west of Broad Street to Rittenhouse Square, featuring national brands and boutiques, from the high-end Burberry, Tiffany and Diesel to locally-managed corporate Anthropologie and Urban Outfitters. Chestnut Street also has a larger range of mid-range shops as well, with many ma-and-pa outfits in addition to bargain big-leaguers H&M and Daffy's, and extends from as far east as 11th Street to 22nd Streets. The Shoppes at Liberty Place is in Philadelphia's second-tallest building, and The Shops at the Bellevue is in a historic building on Broad Street.
For a more unique flavor, there are shopping districts with its own distinct character. 3rd Street Corridor in Old City has the city's best in high-end, independent retailers for fashion, art and design. Landmark Sugarcube should not be missed for the fashion savvy. Beauty-goers will enjoy Moko, an organic beauty studio along the corridor. Antique Row, on Pine Street between 9th and 13th (Center City), is home to a mix of antique stores and local gift and craft boutiques. The Italian Market in South Philly is an open-air street market with fresh produce and food; although it has been a predominantly Italian district, there is now a large infusion of Mexicans. Chinatown (Center City) is similar to many other similar Chinatowns in various U.S. cities, as an ethnic enclave of Asian American immigrants and residents.
See the Districts articles for specific listings.
No trip to Philadelphia is complete without trying the cheesesteak, Philly's most famous homegrown food, a sandwich made of a fresh roll filled with grilled shaved beef and cheese (as well as onions, mushrooms, and other optional sides). The spiritual homes of the cheesesteak are Pat's King of Steaks, where the cheesesteak was invented, and Geno's Steaks, where they claim to have improved on Pat's version. They are across from each other in South Philly at the intersection of 9th Street and Passyunk Avenue.
There are many ways to order a cheesesteak. Some cheesesteaks are made with chopped steak (Pat's and Geno's), while others are made with sliced top-round (Steve's). While Cheez-Wiz is a local favorite, many people also enjoy American or Provolone cheese on their cheesesteaks. The way the cheese is served makes a huge difference. Some cheesesteak joints simply place the cheese on top to melt (Pat's and Geno's), while others, such as Steve's, ladle hot melted cheese on top, adding to the delicious grease from the meat. Any local will tell you as well that the most important part of the cheesesteak (or hoagie, for that matter) is the roll, which is why many have found it difficult to replicate the cheesesteak outside of the Philadelphia region. Many displaced Philadelphians who have started their own restaurants elsewhere have encountered trouble making authentic cheesesteaks, and import their rolls from the Philly area.
Although Pat's and Geno's are the most famous cheesesteak joints, they are far from the best. There are many others to choose from, particularly in South Philadelphia—John's Roast Pork at Snyder and alley-street Weccacoe is considered by many locals to offer a standout. John's offers what sports radio 610 WIP's Cheesesteak Challenge called the best cheesesteak in the city, and an outstanding roast pork sandwich. It is common for people visiting John's to bring a friend and split a cheesesteak and a roast pork sandwich. Placing at #2 on the 610 cheesesteak list is Steve's Prince of Steaks in Northeast Philadelphia, which has 2 great locations. They also serve a delicious side of cheese fries, which can be had with wiz, American, or provolone. Many enjoy Jim's Steaks or Tony Luke's. 'The Great Northeast' is also home to Chink's Steaks, a delightful drug-store throwback on Torresdale Avenue near the Delaware River. No cheesesteak aficionado can call himself such without a visit to Dalessandro's Steaks or Chubby's on Henry Avenue in the Roxborough section of Northwest Philadelphia (north of Manayunk and East Falls). One of this region's better steaks is found at takeout-only Sorrentino's on Cresson in Manayunk. Sonny's in Old City, on Market St between 3rd and 4th, also serves an excellent cheesesteak in a location close to Independence Hall. Philadelphia's other notable sandwich is roast pork which can be found at Dinic's in the Reading Terminal Market, Tony Luke's, John's, or a Latin version at Porky's Point. Lastly, the city's best roast beef sandwich served on a locally baked Sarcone's roll is at caffe chicco.
A caveat before ordering a cheesesteak, particularly at the often crowded Pat's and Geno's—know how to order. There is somewhat of a 'no soup for you' attitude at these busy and fast-service oriented establishments which can really make a tourist stand out. The way to order is as follows: It is assumed that you are going to order a cheesesteak, so unless you are not, don't specify this. First, say the type of cheese—only American, provolone, and whiz are generally available. Ask for Swiss at your own risk. The only condiment that is not available in a jar outside the stand will be fried onions; with (or "wit" in Philly parlance) or without ("witout") will specify your preference on the matter. So 'Whiz "Wit", Provolone "Witout",' etc. Not too complicated, and a straightforward way to have a nice local moment on your travels.
Local and street food
You can also find cheesesteaks at Reading Terminal Market at 12th and Arch Sts. Here visitors will find many stands selling produce, meats, flowers, and baked goods. Reading Terminal Market is a good place to get lunch if you are in the area. The multitude of vendors and low prices provide plenty of options for a quick meal. It's also home to one of the city's best pretzels (Miller's).
Philadelphia's most famous snack is the salted soft pretzel, which, while shaped with the three holes like soft pretzels everywhere else, are distinctive in that they are flattened into a wide rectangle and are made in long chains in which the wide sides of the pretzels are attached. A person may typically buy two, three, or more attached pretzels at a convenience store or from a street vendor. The price is low, especially compared to national vendor brands sold in other cities and in malls. Unlike pretzels served in many other cities, Philly pretzels are not served hot, but at room temperature and often eaten with mustard.
The most famous sweet snack is from the Tastykake brand. Their main factory is in the Navy Yard in far south Philly, so every flavor and type of TastyKake is sold in Philadelphia, and they are usually extra fresh, since they do not have to travel far to the retail outlet.
Also unique to the area are Goldenberg's Peanut Chews, a bit-sized chocolate bar with a chewy peanut center. Originally developed as a high-energy ration bar during World War I, but still popular today!
Scrapple is a favorite comfort food of native Philadelphians. Best described as a seasoned breakfast pork product, scrapple is of Pennsylvania Dutch origin and is made from pork by-products (you're better off not knowing exactly what's in it) and cornmeal, cooked into a thick pudding, formed into a loaf, sliced, and fried. You'll find it on the breakfast menu of many neighborhood diners in Philly. Ask for it very crispy.
Some other Philly foods include Philadelphia Cream Cheese, water ice, and hoagies.
The Kraft/Nabisco factory is in the far Northeast of Philadelphia at Byberry and Roosevelt Blvd. Drive by with your windows down and take a whiff!
Wawa is a chain of local convenience stores similar to, but better than, 7-Eleven. They are most famous for their deli ordering terminals, which allow you to specify via a touch-screen monitor exactly what you want on a sandwich. Although locals refuse to consider Wawa's cheesesteaks as authentic, due to its use of ground beef rather than sliced or diced beef, the Wawa option is still delicious and you get to customize it with a wide range of options. Many stores also carry a respectably thick and doughy fresh soft pretzel at their counter.
Philadelphia has an extremely vibrant culinary scene, with many young and enterprising new chefs coming to the City of Brotherly Love for its food-obsessed culture. Local restauranteurs such as Stephen Starr, Marc Vetri, Iron Chefs Masaharu Morimoto and Jose Garces, and others have become household names and food celebrities in their own right, transforming Philadelphia's food scene and exporting its concepts to other parts of the country. In part, the scene is bolstered by a culture of organic and sustainable foodstuffs coming from local farmers.
Pennsylvania's draconian liquor laws make it very expensive and inconvenient for restaurants to obtain liquor licenses. As a result, many restaurants—including some of the best—are BYOB, that is, "Bring Your Own Bottle". These restaurants will advertise their BYOB-status, and will usually help you out by supplying corkscrews, glasses, or club soda, so long as you supply the beer, wine, or spirits. You'll have to pick wine or spirits up at a state-sponsored liquor store, or six-packs or individual beers from a neighborhood bar or bottle shop, which are good locations for finding a variety of craft beers. Convenience stores do not sell alcoholic beverages. Even if you don't drink, or don't want a drink, dining at a BYOB can pay off as the restaurant doesn't need to pay off a license and can charge a little less for the food.
Because of the state of Pennsylvania's complicated liquor laws (which date from immediately after Prohibition and were designed, in the words of the governor at the time, to "discourage the purchase of alcoholic beverages by making it as inconvenient and expensive as possible"), supermarkets won't sell beer or spirits, although some small neighborhood convenience stores might. State-sponsored liquor stores are all over the place but don't sell beer, and beer distributors sell beer only in bulk and are scattered in inconvenient locations, and neither will be open late or on Sundays. Thus, even for locals, the most convenient way to get a drink is to find a local bar or restaurant with a liquor license. In part because of this complicated setup, Philadelphia has a visibly strong, public beer culture, celebrated in events such as the annual summertime Philly Beer Week or the Philly Craft Beer Festival in March.
Local beers include Yuengling, Yards, or Troegs. Many bars will have a varied selection of beers you already know and love alongside ones you've never heard of. If you're ever stuck on a choice but don't want to look out of place, just ask for a "lager", which in Philly specifically means the Yuengling Traditional Lager, a pre-Prohibition style amber lager rather different from the mass-market pale lager you find elsewhere. You can also order a "Citywide Special", which is a shot of house whiskey with a can or bottle of light lager usually Pabst Blue Ribbon or Miller Lite.
Primarily, most of the nightlife scene takes place in Center City (West and East) and in Old City. The areas around Rittenhouse Square in Center City, and Headhouse Square and Penn's Landing in Old City, are popular destinations that have a large concentration of bars and clubs, many of them attracting the hip, young, pretty people of the suburbs or the universities. Slightly further out, the rapidly-gentrifying Northern Liberties district is another solid nightlife destination with more of a "yuppie" or "hipster" vibe. Yet another area that has a vibrant nightlife is the Manayunk neighborhood.
However, bars can be found in just about every corner of Philadelphia, and nothing is more characteristic of Philly than the local bar as a default place for social gathering; every neighborhood's got one or two just around the corner, even if it's a dark, run-down dive without proper signage and a crowd of blue-collar regulars, or a new-but-looks-old pub attracting the yuppies with outdoor seating and live music. Any major street or well-known district is going to have its own selection of watering holes, and each of these establishments will cater to a crowd, whether it's students, sports fans, hipsters or clubbers. In particular, streets and neighborhoods with a notable collection of drinking locales, not including Center City, Old City or Northern Liberties, include University City and West Philly; South Street and Passyunk Ave in South Philly; and the Art Museum District.
In the summer, the Center City District sponsors Center City Sips, a downtown-wide Happy Hour every Wednesday from 5PM-7PM where many bars and restaurants all participate in drink specials: $2 beers, $3 wines and $4 cocktails, and usually some selection of food specials.
It's been said that Philadelphia invented, or at least popularized, the popular pub trivia event that is known here as Quizzo, which are called by other various names such as "quiz nights" by the time they expanded to other parts of the United States. Philadelphia native Patrick Hines first began running Quizzo games at the New Deck Tavern in University City in 1993 (though he spelled it with one 'z', as in "Quizo"), and began a second one at Fergie's Pub in Center City in 1995; there are now plenty of other bars running their own Quizzo nights throughout Philadelphia, and while Hines has moved to Ireland, he still writes the questions for several local bars. If you're able to find yourself in a game (you'll have to have a team and needlessly long and/or hilarious team name, or see if you can join one as a free agent) it's a fun way to spend a night, but be prepared to be completely left in the dust by trivia buffs who play regularly.
Philadelphia Brewing Company produces a variety of beers. If you can't make it to the brewery (or find it in a bar) you can pick up a sampler pack (24 bottles) for around $30 at a beer distributor.
Yard's Brewing. Produces a variety of beers, though notably Philadelphia Pale Ale, ESA (especially if you find this in cask format), and the ales of the revolution. Historically certified beers from recipes tied to Ben Franklin, Jefferson, and a porter named after Gen. Washington. Accessible via the Spring Garden Station on the Market Frankford el.
Nodding Head Brewery and Restaurant - One of the older brewpubs in the city; keep an eye out for all the bobble heads!
Earth Bread and Brewery - Known as much for their well made beer as they are for their bread and locally sourced food.
Dock Street Brewery - It's in West Philadelphia.
Manayunk Brewery and Restaurant - It's in the Manayunk neighborhood right on Main St.
Iron Hill Brewery - Local brewpub chain, this is their only location within the city limits. It's in the Chestnut Hill neighborhood.
Philadelphia is home to two hostels within the city limits, both are affiliated with Hostelling International USA:
Apple Hostels of Philadelphia, 32 S Bank St, (Old City), ☎ +1 215 922-0222, e-mail: [email protected] Less than 3 blocks from the Liberty Bell and Independence Hall, free wireless Internet (for travelers with laptops), free bed linens, no curfews, no lockouts. Affordable, clean hostel with loads of free activities, friendly & knowledgeable staff and plenty of outside tours you can book at the reception desk that's open 24 hours.
HI — Chamounix Mansion Hostel, 3250 Chamounix Dr (West Fairmount Park), ☎ +1 215 878-3676. On a scenic bluff above the Schuylkill River and 45 minutes to downtown Philadelphia's cultural and historic attractions. Associated with Hostelling International
There is a wide variety of hotels located in Philadelphia. Prices usually range from $100 to $200 a night, excluding weeks with major trade conventions. Center City is home to a wide variety of moderate and high end hotel chains that can be found in five main areas:
Convention Center: Loew's, Marriott, Courtyard by Marriott, Residences at the Marriott, Four Points, Hampton Inn, Le Meridien, Hilton Garden, Travelodge, Clarion Suites
Rittenhouse/West Market-Palomar, Latham, Rittenhouse hotel, Bellevue at Stratford, Ritz Carlton, Embassy Suites, Four Seasons, Crowne Plaza, Sofitel, Club Quarters, Windsor Suites, Westin
East of Broad/Washington Sq West-Doubletree, Alexander Inn, Independent Hotel, Holiday Inn, Rodeway Inn, Parker Spruce
Old City (near Independence Hall)-Sheraton Society hill, Penn's View, Comfort Inn, Hyatt, Omni, Holiday Inn, Best Western
Philadelphia International Airport in South Philadelphia
Philadelphia is thoroughly covered by all of the major American cellular telephone companies. AT&T, Verizon, Sprint, and T-Mobile phones will all receive full service in most parts of the city. As always, service indoors varies according to signal strength, phone brand, and the composition of the building itself. AT&T has contracted with SEPTA to provide wireless service in transit tunnels.
While Philadelphia still bears the brunt of a history riddled with violence and decay - resulting in the notorious moniker of Killadelphia -, the city's overall crime rate has declined markedly since the late 2000s, now boasting a lower crime rate than more tourist-friendly cities such as Chicago, Washington D.C, and New Orleans. This is the result of continued gentrification, community involvement, and a more efficient police force. As a rule of thumb, it's important to know that the places visitors are likely to spend time in are safe and well policed.
Center City and the surrounding neighborhoods have very low crime rates (some of the lowest in the country). Wealthier neighborhoods like Rittenhouse Square, Old City, and Society Hill, are safe, as are Northeast Philadelphia, Northwest Philadelphia, the Art Museum Area, Chinatown, the Parkway, and Bella Vista. Some petty crimes (mostly muggings) happen but much less often than the media suggest. South Philadelphia is generally safe, though certain parts should be avoided (especially those near I-95).
On the flipside, other parts of the city still struggle with rampant crime. The city's criminal activities are overwhelmingly concentrated in North Philadelphia (with the very notable exception of Temple University), West Philadelphia (though this area has seen improvements), and Southwest Philadelphia. These areas are of little interest to tourists, but do be careful if you do end up venturing there.
Pickpocketing and scams in Philadelphia are nowhere nearly as common as in other cities, but the threat of being mugged or approached by unwanted individuals remains real, so keep an eye on your belongings. One known scam is being "photographed" by homeless men near the Rocky statue at the Philadelphia Museum of Arts.
Be careful of traffic when crossing at major intersections—in Philadelphia, as in many major cities, one must always walk, cross, and drive defensively. The winding Schuylkill expressway provides some beautiful views, particularly around Boathouse Row, but do not try to enjoy them from your car; with the high speeds, the river on one side, and jagged rocks on the other, this is a sure way to cause an accident.
Although it is frequently blown out of proportion, Philadelphia sports fans have earned a reputation as a very passionate and notorious bunch. It is advised to be extra vigilant when attending a major sports match at the Sports Complex, particularly those who have the courage to wear the opposing team's gear in hostile territory. For these fans, it is best not to provoke the Philadelphia faithful and take their jabs in stride, as fans have been assaulted and even seriously injured in fights in and around the Sports Complex and around town.
Whereas Philadelphia has a history of crime, the same cannot be said about the Delaware Valley. Certain places like Camden, NJ and Chester must be avoided at all times, but most of Philadelphia's suburbs are safe.
Belgium, 1701 Market St, ☎ +1 215 963-5092, e-mail: [email protected]
Denmark (Honorary), 1650 Market Street, Suite 1800, ☎ +1 215 864-7059, fax: +1 215 864-7123, e-mail: [email protected]
France (Honorary), One Penn Center, 1617 JFK Blvd Suite 1500, ☎ +1 215 557-2975, fax: +1 215 557-2990, e-mail: [email protected]
Germany (Honorary), One Penn Center, 1617 John F. Kennedy Blvd Ste 340, ☎ +1 215 568-5573, fax: +1 215 665-0375, e-mail: [email protected]
Israel, 1880 John F Kennedy Boulevard #1818, ☎ +1 267 479-5800, fax: +1 267 479-5855, e-mail: [email protected]
Italy, 100 S 6th St, 1026 Public Ledger Bldg, ☎ +1 215 592-7329, fax: +1 215 592-9808, e-mail: [email protected]
Mexico, 111 S Independence Mall E, Bourse Bldg Ste 1010, ☎ +1 215 922-4262, fax: +1 215 923-7281.
Netherlands (Honorary), e-mail: [email protected]
Norway (Honorary), 1735 Market Street (BNY Mellon Center, Suite 3750), ☎ +1 215 564 5708, e-mail: [email protected]
Portugal (Honorary), 7950 Loreto Ave, ☎ +1 215 745-2889, fax: +1 215 745-2867.
Allentown, Pennsylvania's third largest city. Home of Dorney Park.
Doylestown, Browse world-class museums, including the renowned James A. Michener Art Museum, the Moravian Pottery & Tile Works, the Mercer Museum and Fonthill, a 44-room mansion featured on A&Es “America’s Castles.”
Harrisburg, Pennsylvania's state capital.
Hershey, home of Hershey Park.
Kennett Square, the site of Longwood Gardens
King of Prussia, edge city northwest of Philadelphia that is home to the King of Prussia Mall, which is the largest mall in the United States in terms of leaseable retail space offering more than 400 stores.
Lancaster, home of Pennsylvania Amish.
Langhorne, Home of Sesame Place. Approximately 30-45 minutes outside Philadelphia. Sesame Place is a one of a kind theme park aimed towards toddlers, pre-school, and grade school children. The theme of the park is based on all of the characters from the children's show Sesame Street. This park is as close to Disney World that the surrounding Philadelphia Area has to offer. The park includes wet and dry amusement rides, games, shopping, live shows, musical parades, restaurants, and meet and greet opportunities with Elmo, Oscar, Bert and Ernie, among other characters.
Lehigh Valley, region of eastern Pennsylvania north of Philadelphia.
New Castle, Delaware, quiet, charming town south of Philadelphia.
New Hope, major shopping center north of Philadelphia.
Poconos and Endless Mountains, home to some ski and other mountain resorts.
Princeton, home to Princeton University, in New Jersey.
The Jersey Shore, including Atlantic City, Cape May, Ocean City, and Wildwood. Visiting the Jersey shore is referred to locally as "going down the shore." Atlantic City is home to the Borgata, Caesar's, and several other casinos. Cape May offers historical tours (and haunted tours!) of the town. And hey, it's a great way to cool off and unwind—and perhaps work off that cheesesteak!
Valley Forge, historic site of American Revolutionary War.
Washington Crossing, historic site of American Revolutionary War.
Brandywine Creek, historic site of American Revolutionary War.
York, historic site of American Revolutionary War.
Gettysburg, historic site of American Civil War.