Places and Neighborhoods
Philadelphia is a city of neighborhoods, each with its own personality and highlights. Neighborhoods are often associated with one ethnic group or another, but the lines have become increasingly blurred. Here are some places to visit:
Center City is a river-to-river rectangle laid out by William Penn in 1682. North-south streets are numbered from the Delaware River to the Schuylkill River. East-west streets are named, mostly after trees, with house numbers corresponding to the numbered cross streets.
The center of Philadelphia’s government is the largest and most elaborate City Hall in the country. Great views of the city can be had at the top of City Hall’s tower. Location: Broad & Market Streets. Call for tour information: 215-567-4476.
Reading Terminal Market
The nation’s only single-span train shed in existence now has an enormous farmers’ market selling everything from fresh sushi to fresh produce delivered from the Amish country. Location: 12th & Filbert to Arch Street.
The Benjamin Franklin Parkway
Home of the LOVE and Giant Clothespin sculptures, the Rodin Museum, the Academy of Natural Sciences, the fountain at Logan Circle, the Franklin Institute, the Free Library of Philadelphia, the Cathedral Basilica of St. Peter and St. Paul, and the Philadelphia Museum of Art.
A host of restaurants, grocery stores, native language bookstores, and more cover this area. Visit the “pai lou” Friendship Gate at 10th & Arch Streets or the Chinese Cultural Center at 125 North 10th Street. Location: 8th to 11th Streets on Race Street. Bring an appetite!
Old City/Society Hill
At Philadelphia’s historic heart are the center city neighborhoods of Old City and Society Hill, which are bordered east-west by the Delaware River and 6th Street, and north-south by Race Street and Lombard Street. It contains the nation’s oldest residential street as well as many of the city’s art galleries.
Independence National Historic Park
America’s most historic square mile is home to landmark buildings including the Liberty Bell Pavilion, Independence Hall, The Second Bank of the U.S., and Carpenters Hall. Come see the birthplace of the Declaration of Independence and the bell that rang for freedom!
The gem of South Philadelphia and the country’s largest outdoor market. Five blocks of the best vegetables, fruits, pasta, meats, and cheese Philly has to offer. Location: 9th Street between Wharton and Christian Streets.
Restaurants, bars, nightclubs, coffee houses and tattoo parlors? South Street is the place where the counterculture shops for black-leather catsuits, and where you can find popular chain stores such as The Gap, FootLocker, and BlockBuster Video. Location: South Street from 7th Street to Front Street.
Many Russian, Ukrainian, and Polish immigrants have moved into this section of the city over the last 100 years. This neighborhood offers a taste of Eastern Europe only minutes away from City Hall.
Home to many Italian families, restaurants, and markets, this is one of Philadelphia’s most famous neighborhoods. The restaurants and markets here are some of the city's best.
Large concentrations of students (thanks to Drexel and UPenn) and locals represent just about every part of the globe, from the Middle East and Africa to Europe and South America.
For more information on Philadelphia, call or visit:
Independence Visitors’ Center, 6th and Market St
Phone: 800-537-7676 or 215-965-7676
Or visit the Independence Visitor Center website
You can also find more information at these websites: