Quintessential Philly: What Makes Our City Unique

Every city has its staples, its sites and scenes that define it on a national and global level. Philly is no different—there are definitive places that Philadelphia is known for. Locals and tourists know and love these Philly experiences, so be sure to check them out to discover what’s unique about the city.

READING TERMINAL MARKET

There’s a lot to like about the country’s oldest continuously operating farmers’ market. Local produce, hand-crafted sandwiches, artisanal cheeses, and sweets like fudge, candy, and donuts are just some of the foods located in the sprawling market. Check out our Independent Feature on our favorite spots in Reading Terminal.

Reading Terminal Market. 51 N 12th St, Philadelphia, PA. (215) 922-2317

INDEPENDENCE NATIONAL HISTORIC PARK

Philadelphia’s roots in American history are unparalleled compared to any other city, and the birthplace of American democracy is a destination for visitors from around the world. The Independence National Historical Park features a handful of national treasures, such as the Liberty Bell and Independence Hall, which is a World Heritage site. The National Constitution Center celebrates great moments in America’s past and is a truly hands-on history museum.

Independence National Historical Park. Philadelphia, PA

CHEESESTEAKS, CHEESESTEAKS, CHEESESTEAKS

Despite make progress as a food-forward city, Philly is still known for it’s greasy, gooey cheesesteaks. The travel guide will tell you to head to Pat’s and Geno’s for one “whiz with” (Cheez Whiz and fried onions), but avoid the tourist traps and bright lights if you’re looking for a real Philly cheesesteak experience. For more authentic cheesesteak favorites head to Jim’s, Dalessandro’s, or John’s.  

PHILADELPHIA MUSEUM OF ART

The Philadelphia Museum or Art is the third-largest art museum in the country. It’s impressive facade was made famous by Sylvester Stallone in the film Rocky, but its expansive art collection is what continues to make it a vital part of the city. Over 200 galleries feature photography, sculpture, paintings, and more. A full calendar of events also makes the museum an entertaining social spot as well.

Philadelphia Museum Of Art. 2600 Benjamin Franklin Pkwy. (215) 763-8100

AN ABUNDANCE OF MURALS

A lasting cultural and artistic legacy has been created around the city thanks the Philadelphia Mural Arts Program, which was founded to combat rising graffiti in Philly in the 1980s. Today, dozens of stunning, towering images still decorate exteriors across the city and have been visited by millions of tourists and dignitaries. Check out the Mural Arts Program website for information and maps.