Philadelphia is an increasingly contemporary city, rich with art, history and culture. The meeting place of America’s Founding Fathers, Philadelphia has born witness to celebrated moments in the country’s history, including the signing of the Constitution and the Declaration of Independence.
Following neighbourhood gentrification and a major tourist upgrade in conjunction with the 1976 Bicentennial celebration, the city has evolved into the economic and cultural centre of Pennsylvania.
Modern ‘Philly’ is scattered with art and history museums and attractions, including the Liberty Bell, Independence Hall, National Constitution Centre, and the Benjamin Franklin Museum, as well as country’s third-largest art museum.
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Philadelphia plates up a diverse range of gastronomic delights, offering everything from modern bars and fine dining to simple street food and the humble cheesesteak.
For a well-rounded food experience, the Italian Market in Bella Vista is a must-visit destination. One of the oldest and largest open-air markets in America, the hub showcases flavours from around the world, including Mexican, Vietnamese, Korean and of course Italian, through a number of gourmet shops restaurants and fresh produce vendors.
Ranked as one of the ‘10 best foodie streets in America’, East Passyunk Avenue is a haven for food lovers. Coffee shops, gastropubs, Mexican cantinas and Japanese eateries line the road, alongside celebrated authentic Italian cafes, which are symbolic of the area’s roots. Referred to as Philly’s contemporary Restaurant Row, East
Passyunk is also home to famous Philly Cheesesteak rivals Pat’s and Geno’s. Operating in the same location for the past 40 years, Pat’s and Geno’s keep their grills running hot 24 hours a day in competition to serve customers the best cheesesteaks in the city.
Overflowing with bars, pubs, cafes and restaurants, the chic and compact Graduate Hospital neighbourhood facilitates a swift transition from day to night. During the day, the area is perfect for a family outing, while at night its collection of watering holes provides endless opportunities to wine and dine, with venues ranging from age-old institutions to innovative gastropubs. Most spots offer great local craft brews and well-constructed cocktails.
The trendy Northern Liberties neighbourhood is set abuzz after-hours, with an eclectic mix of international restaurants – including Spanish, Indian-American, Thai, Portugese and Greek – and a string of late-night pubs and bars.
Tax-free clothing sales and a number of diverse retail neighbourhoods makes Philadelphia an ideal destination for a wardrobe makeover.
In the city centre, Chestnut and Walnut Streets are dotted with fashion chain stores and high-end brands, while nearby Sansom Street is home to smaller, locally-owned boutiques, perfect for finding unique items.
Just a short walk away, the streets of Old City are peppered with furniture shops, clothing boutiques and high-end galleries, while the trendy district of Graduate Hospital specialises in handmade artwork.
Uptown, the Northern Liberties neighbourhood boasts independent retailers, selling everything from retro furniture and local art to pet goods and handmade clothing.
At the opposite end of town, Queen Village is home to an assorted collection of crafty boutiques and shops. Take a wander along ‘Fabric Row’ and peruse the offerings of the area’s unique fabric vendors and boutiques.
Less ‘Project Runway’ and more ‘Masterchef’…? Fante’s Kitchen Shop in Bella Vista is a must-visit shopping destination. Located in the heart of the Italian Marketplace, Fante’s has been Philadelphia’s go-to for the latest and greatest and oldest and most trusted in cookware for more than 100 years.