Although Philadelphia is often overlooked, there is a lot more to Philly than just cheesesteaks and hoagies. From outdoor food markets to wall murals, Philadelphia is a historic and eccentric city. If you can only spend a day and you’re wondering what to do in Philadelphia, start off with these attractions for a fun day of sightseeing.
The Rocky Statue
Perfect photo pop with this 10-foot-tall bronze statue.
What to do in Philadelphia? Visit the iconic Rocky Statue! Donated to the City of Philadelphia by Sylvester Stallone, meet the legionary fictional boxer, Rocky Balboa. Take plenty of obligatory photos!
Helpful Tip: Don’t feel discouraged by the long line, it goes by fast. Ask the person behind you to take your photo. Everyone is really friendly and wants to help each other.
The Rocky Steps
Don’t wear heels and try to run up the Rocky Steps like me!
The Rocky Steps are a symbol of perseverance and rising to the occasion. Climb the 72 steps leading to the Philadelphia Museum of Art while singing the iconic “Gonna Fly Now” song by Bill Conti. At the top, recreate the Rocky movie scene and throw your hands in the air in triumph.
Honey’s Sit ‘n Eat
Hollandaise soaked challah, poached egg, jack cheese and truffle oil.
Satisfy your inner foodie with brunch at Honey’s Sit ‘n Eat. Honey’s offers hearty Jewish cuisine with a southern comfort twist. I ordered “Toad in a Whole” and shared “Three Giant Pancakes”. Can you say finger licking good!
The customer service at Honey’s was great and our waiter was so nice. He was visiting from Montreal and wanted to spend the holidays back home in Philadelphia. He even taught me a few words in French.
The bill came to about $17 USD per person.
Board Game Art Park
Life-size game pieces.
After visiting the LOVE Park, I ran into giant board game pieces at the Municipal Services Building Plaza. I couldn’t resist taking photos with a few Monopoly pieces. There were also giant Dominoes, Bingo chips and Chess pieces scattered around. I wonder if the artist was trying to poke fun at our messy and childlike government?
“If you’re into people watching, the Board Game Art Park is an interesting place to people watch in Philadelphia. Grab your camera and take action shots of the skaters as they skate by.”
One of my favorite action shot photos. Who knew skaters were so graceful!
The Philadelphia City Hall
What to do in Philadelphia? Visit the beautiful Philadelphia City Hall built in the 1860s and marvel at one of the largest municipal buildings in the USA. It was once the tallest building in the world and it has over 700 rooms.
Other must-see historical sites in Philadelphia include the Independence Hall and the Liberty Bell.
The Philadelphia City Hall Tower and Observation Deck
For spectacular views of the city and neighboring states, head over to the observation deck. Above the observation deck stands the statue of William Penn, the founder of Philadelphia. In 1682 William Penn named Philadelphia, The City of Brotherly Love in Greek. He envisioned Philadelphia being a place where anyone could worship freely.
The elevator ride to the top took 2 minutes and during the ride, you can also see inside the City Hall’s four-faced digital clock.
“You’ll only have 15 minutes in the observation deck so snap as many pictures as you can before you have to head back down.”
Views of the Philadelphia Museum of Art.
Helpful Tip: Arrive early to secure your observation deck reservation. Tickets sell out fast because only four passengers can ride the elevator at a time.
What would YOU recommend doing in Philly?
Philadelphia City Hall Tower and Observation Deck: Adult admission $6 USD; students $4 USD.
Danielle is a travel finance strategist, author, speaker and podcaster. She paid off $63,000 of student loan debt in 4 years, bought a house at 27 and has traveled to 26 countries. She refuses to let her financial responsibilities hold her back from living life on her own terms.