Things to Do in Center City Philadelphia – for Tourists

Philadelphia is a city that can be easily explored, and it has numerous historical, artful and interesting sights that can cater to any tourist’s needs.

If you love history, you will love your vacation to Old City Philadelphia. After all, its nickname is “America’s most historic square mile.” From touring the home of Betsy Ross, the maker of the first American flag, to roaming one of Old City’s many art galleries, you can’t go wrong with this vacation destination.

Old City Philadelphia spreads from 6th Street to the west, Front Street to the east, Walnut Street and Dock Street to the South, and Florist Street to the north. Unofficially, it also includes the area located above the Ben Franklin Bridge and the waterfront area along Delaware Avenue.

Although Center City Philadelphia encompasses just one square mile, it packs plenty of fun and interesting tourist attractions in that space. These include:

Save on Admission to Top Things to Do in Philadelphia

Admission to many of these Philadelphia tourist attractions and are available on The Philadelphia Pass.

The Philadelphia Pass gives you the flexibility to choose as you go from dozens of top attractions to create a vacation tailored to your family’s interests.

See all available passes, attractions & prices – Learn more.

A few of the attractions include:

  • One Liberty Observation Deck
  • Philadelphia History Museum at Atwater Kent Museum
  • Academy of Fine Arts
  • Mural Walking Tours
  • And more!

Please note that not all attractions in this post are included on The Philadelphia Pass.

Big Bus Philadelphia Trolley Sightseeing Tour

Double Decker Bus Guided Tour in Philadelphia - Big Bus

These tours are offered daily by the Double Decker bus that will take you through routes that will help any tourist from any part of the world enjoy the country’s history, dining, shopping and cultural attractions. The tourists are allowed to hop on and off on any of the twenty-seven stops.

Some of the more memorable sights in Philadelphia include the steps that Rocky climbed, enjoying an authentic Philadelphian cheese steak, visiting the first zoo in America or shopping on South Street. The bus offers tours in several languages such as Portuguese, Spanish, German, Mandarin, Italian and French.

Getting In: Hop On Hop Off Philadelphia Tour tickets are available on The Philadelphia Pass.

One Liberty Observation Deck


This deck opened in November 2015 and on the 57th floor at the One Liberty Place is where the best bird’s eye view of the city scape with no obstructions can be found. Apart from a panoramic view of the city, the observation deck offers the visitors the chance to enjoy the Philly-centric art installations such as the Philadelphia-focused listening stations, and the visitors can also interact with the innovative technology like the six multi-lingual touch screens that enable the visitors to zoom on any point on their field of vision available from the deck. The Philly from the top tour provides a guided experience for the first time tourists.

Getting In: One Liberty Observation Deck tickets are available on The Philadelphia Pass.

Academy of Fine Arts

Academy of Fine Arts in Philadelphia

The Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts also known as PAFA is a jewel in the heart of Philadelphia city. The building is extravagantly detailed and colorful considering it was built in 1876.  This building provides a perfect setting for the historic art artfully showcased in the building and the recent contemporary urban art. One special pride of the school’s art collection is the Gilbert Stuart’s portraits of George Washington. PAFA is a place for the art lovers, and it guarantees to quench the thirst of all art lovers who visit the place.

Getting in: Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts tickets are included on The Philadelphia Pass.

Mural Walking Tours

Mural Arts Philadelphia Walking Tours

The Mural Arts Tour is the largest outdoor art gallery in the world. It has more than 3,500 murals by either walking, biking, the train, trolley or by foot. Fortunately, there are guides who are available throughout the year who will lead any visitor around the streets while learning the behind the scenes stories of the murals and the community that serves as the backdrop for such incredible art. Private or group tours can be offered on request.

Getting in: Mural Arts Philadelphia Walking Tours tickets are included on The Philadelphia Pass.

Spruce Street Harbor Park

This park is a hammock-filled haven that is right on the Delaware River. It is the ultimate hangout for tourists who feel like lounging, having a good meal from the many food vendors and enjoying a refreshing draft of beer from the beer garden.

Getting in: Spruce Street Harbor Park is free and open to the public.

Blue Cross RiverRink Summerfest

This beautiful place is an area where anyone can freely access to take a breather. There is a lodge styled like a boathouse, places to eat, a place for kids to play and the variety of events are some of what makes Blue Cross RiverRink quite charming.

Getting in: Blue Cross RiverRink Summerfest tickets are available for purchase upon arrival.


Let’s Recap on Visiting Philadelphia on a Budget

There you go – a few great recommendations for things to do in Center City Philadelphia.

Remember, many of these great budget-friendly attraction options and more are included on The Philadelphia Pass, where you can save up to 45% on combined admission vs paying at the gate.

So when you are planning your trip, consider including some of these options to your Philly vacation itinerary.

The information contained in this post, to the best of the author's knowledge, was accurate at time of publishing. We do our best to ensure and maintain the accuracy of this information.