Philadelphia Travel Guide

Philly Love Sign

Philadelphia is famous for the Liberty Bell, Rocky Balboa, and Cheesesteaks. The City of Brotherly Love is also the birthplace of Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness. Philadelphia is home to many national treasures, a thriving culinary scene, beautiful parks, hip shopping, and a bustling sports scene. Don’t forget to pack an extra bag for shopping. All clothing and shoe purchases are tax-free. My Philadelphia travel guide includes the top must-do things to plan your next visit.


If you only have one day the following are my top picks:

Reading Market is one of the top indoor markets in the country. My favorite shop in the market is Chocolate By Meuller.

Zahav is a modern Israeli restaurant bringing the flavors of Israel to the table. It is my favorite restaurant in Philadelphia. Reservations should be booked in advance. Named the best restaurant in the country by the James Beard Foundation.

Suraya is a Lebanese restaurant in Fish town. It’s fantastic.

Suraya is a Lebanese restaurant in Fish town. It’s fantastic.

PS & Co. is Philly’s only gluten-free and vegan cafe. The pastries are the best!

Goldie’s is modeled after Israeli-style falafel shops. Don’t miss the Tehina shakes (Turkish coffee, chocolate, and coconut) There’s also falafel in a pita sandwich or a salad and french fries with various spice options on the menu. Goldie is entirely vegan.

Pizzeria Beddia was named the Best Pizza in America in 2015.

Royal Sushi & Izakaya is a moodily lit Japanese pub with drink-friendly fare & a chefs’ sushi counter in the back.

Dizengoff is home to the best hummus ever!

More recommendations:

Vedge  is one of the best vegetarian restaurants in the country. If you can’t make it to Philly, pick up the Vedge cookbook copy.

Federal Donuts is famous for the donuts and fried chicken.

Green Eggs Cafe is a top pick for brunch. The mouth-watering menu features crème brûlée French toast, red velvet pancakes, and chicken and waffles.

Vegan Commissary offers a gluten-free menu. The food is fresh and not boring. I recommend the beet lemonade. *V *GF

Osteria is a highly acclaimed Italian restaurant.

Vetri is an upscale Italian restaurant.

Sam’s Morning Glory Diner offers traditional breakfast fare. Diners love the homemade ketchup.

Vernick is a fancy little restaurant in an old brownstone. The chef has earned accolades from Food & Wine, Bon Appetite, James Beard Foundation, StarChefs, and more.

Nomad Pizza is an artisanal wood-fired pizza parlor using locally sourced ingredients.

Sabrina’s Cafe is a cozy café for brunch. *GF

White Dog Cafe is a quirky restaurant with a large farm-to-table menu to please any appetite.

Pizza Brain is a unique little spot to grab a whole pie or huge slices.

The Corner Foolery is a rustic sandwich shop and a popular spot for viewing sporting events on television.

Loco Pez serves LA-style Mexican street food.

Tacconelli’s Pizza is a famous pizza parlor featured in many travel magazines and television shows.

Parc is a great spot to dine on the patio.

Giuseppe & Sons bring a fresh twist to Italian American classics

Friday Saturday Sunday is a charming gem in an old brownstone.

Rye Bread is a sandwich shop specializing in fresh ingredients.

Cafe La Maude is a hidden gem serving a French-Lebanese-inspired menu. Great for brunch.

Bitar’s serves Middle Eastern cuisine.

Le Viet is a modern Vietnamese restaurant in South Philly. Try the green tea ice cream for dessert.

Kanela is the best authentic Greek food in the city.

Little Nonna’s serves traditional Italian dishes delivered in a homey trattoria setting with an open kitchen and a garden.

Pho 75 is a no-frills spot for Vietnamese soup. The coffee with condensed milk is excellent.

Gino’s and Pat’s King of Steaks are the iconic cheesesteak joints.



Head House Farmer’s Market is every Sunday morning near the Italian District.

Rittenhouse Farmer’s Market is every Saturday morning at the picturesque Rittenhouse Square Park.

DiBruno Brothers is an Italian market with locations in Center City, Old City, and the Italian District.  Great option for take out food.

Night Market is a great way to sample the city’s best street food. Check the schedule for the dates.

9th Street Italian Market is home to gourmet grocery stores, restaurants, bakeries, and cheese shops.



Gran Caffe L’ Aquila is one of my favorite cafes in the city for authentic Italian gelato and coffee.

Whipped Bakeshop is the best cupcake shop in Philadelphia. Martha Steward listed the bakery as one of her favorites.

Sweet Box Cupcakes are also good cupcakes. I recommend the Pink Champagne.

The Franklin Fountain is an adorably themed old-time ice cream shop. *V *GF

Bassett’s Ice Cream serves old fashion style ice cream.

Federal Donuts is gourmet style donuts. Popular menu items include the Sea Salt Chocolate, Blueberry Mascarpone, and Cherry Pie.

Four World’s Bakery is an artisan bread bakery.

Manakeesh is a Lebanese bakery.

Lore’s Chocolate is an old fashion candy shop.

Lil Pop Shop is a nationally recognized gourmet popsicle shop. Popular flavors include goat cheese with cherries and honey and Vietnamese ice coffee. *V *GF

Shane Confectionary is a vintage style chocolate shop.



Vesta Coffee is my favorite coffee shop in Philadelphia.

The Rook is a great dive bar with amazing wings.

Goldie’s Tehina shakes (Turkish coffee, Chocolate, and coconut) are so good!

Siddiq’s Water & Ice is known for vivid ices steeped in natural fruits for flavors like the strawberry daiquiri and mango-berry.

Rouge is a fancy cocktail bar.

Menagerie is another good coffee shop.



Walnut Theater is America’s oldest theater. Check the schedule for Broadway shows.

Independent Films can be viewed at one of the Landmark Theaters.



Fante’s Kitchen Shop sells every gadget imaginable for your kitchen.

Anthropologie is headquartered in Philadelphia. The flagship store is located in a beautiful mansion.

H-mart is an Asian market.

Third Street Habitat is an upscale women’s boutique in Old City.

Nice Things Handmade is an Etsy style boutique.

Hob Nob Design is a home decor store.

Verde is an adorable boutique with pretty jewelry and gifts.

Open House is a great gift store.

Mode Modern is a modern home decor store.

Smak Parlour is an adorable women’s cutting edge boutique.

Moon and Arrow is a darling handmade and vintage boutique.

Vix Emporium is a local artisan boutique.

Joseph Fox Bookshop is an independent bookstore. The staff is very knowledgeable.

Omoi Zakka Shop is a quirky gift store.

Avril 50 is a stationery and gift shop.

AIA Bookstore and Design Center not only stocks books but great gifts for souvenirs.

Wardrobe Boutique is a women’s designer consignment shop.STAY

The Gables is a turn of the century Victorian mansion turned bed and breakfast.

Cornerstone Bed and Breakfast is a cozy Victorian style bed and breakfast.

Le Meridien is a swanky boutique hotel.

Sofitel is a luxury hotel in the Rittenhouse Square neighborhood.



The Gables is a turn of the century Victorian mansion turned bed and breakfast.

Cornerstone Bed and Breakfast is a cozy Victorian style bed and breakfast.

Le Meridien is a swanky boutique hotel.

Sofitel is a luxury hotel in the Rittenhouse Square neighborhood.



City Hall Observation Deck is the best view of the city open to the public.

Liberty Bell is a great photo-op. Arrive early to avoid long lines in the summer.

Independence Hall is my favorite historical tour. I recommend booking a reservation online to avoid long lines.

Museum of the American Revolution tells the story of the American Revolution and its legacy.

Faith and Liberty Discovery Center: Designed to guide the visitor in a personal exploration of the relationship between faith and liberty in the American experience by illuminating the influence of the Bible on individuals in key historical and personal moments.

The Mutter Museum (pronounced “mooter”) features weird body parts in jars.

Philadelphia Museum of Art is one of the best art museums in the country.

Barnes Foundation is home to a stunning collection of paintings. A limited number of tickets are available each day. Stop by on Friday evenings for live music and special events, or visit the first Sunday of every month for free.

Philadelphia Magic Garden is a great photo-op.

Barren’s Gardens is one of Philly’s best-kept secrets.

Please Touch Museum is for the little ones.

Eastern State Penitentiary features grand architecture and colorful history.

Philadelphia Zoo is a 42-acre Victorian garden home to more than 1300 animals.

Sports Center is home to the Phillies, Eagles, 76ers, concerts, and spectacular city views.

Mural Arts are all over the city. Great photo-op.



Mia Cumbia is my favorite nail salon. All of the products are organic.

Advanced Skin Care is an excellent spa with very affordable prices.

Laurentis Salon nail tech Robin Campbell is highly acclaimed. If you prefer gel polish, I recommend this nail salon.



The Rocky Steps are a must-do activity. Don’t forget to take a photo at the Rocky statue.

Schuylkill River Trail is a great place for a run.

Race Street Pier is an ideal place to exercise or just sit and relax with a good book. Ice skating starts in late November.

Schuylkill Banks boardwalk recently opened. This is my favorite place to run, walk, or bike in the city. You can also enjoy a picnic, kayak, or a riverboat tour.

Fairmount Park is a 9,200 park with amazing views of the city.



Plash runs May-December and weekend service only September – December. The fare is $2, and the bus stops at 20 popular tourist spots.

30th Street Station is the main train station in Philadelphia.

What are some of your favorite hotspots in Philadelphia?

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