Visiting Philadelphia for a weekend? Whether you’re here on business, visiting friends or family, or just for fun, Philly is full of fun activities on the weekends.
Make the most of your time in Philadelphia by visiting some of the city’s rich historical sites, museums, parks, nightlife, and more. Philadelphia is home to plenty of culture, great food, and fun, so you’re sure to have a good time.
Visit Philly’s Historic Sites and Landmarks
Philadelphia is a city that is rich in American history. The city attracts an endless stream of tourists because of its history, and it is home to many educational tours. An estimated 3.5 million visitors come to Independence National Historic Park each year, the center of a few historical sites and tours.
Independence National Historic Park is home to Independence Hall and the famous Liberty Bell. It was also where the Declaration of Independence was signed in 1776. Right down the road, you can find the Betsy Ross House, where the original American flag was created.
There are plenty of other historic museums, landmarks, and sites throughout Philly for any visiting history buffs, and these attractions are also great for kids.
Check Out Philadelphia Museums and More
If you’re not interested in American history, there are plenty of other interesting exhibits you can check out! Philadelphia is home to a wide variety of world class museums and galleries, so there is no shortage of activities.
The Philadelphia Museum of Art is the third largest art museum in the country and houses some of the world’s finest art exhibits. It is also home to the steps made famous in the movie Rocky, and a famous Rocky statue at the base of the steps.
Eastern State Penitentiary is another favorite Philly museum. This former prison once held Al Capone, and there are claims that it is haunted. Eastern State Penitentiary holds historical tours year-round, but if you come in the Fall you can catch a spooky haunted ghost tour.
If you’re bringing the kids for the weekend, there are plenty of kid-friendly museums to visit. The Franklin Institute is fun for children and adults, and is home to interactive science exhibits.
The Please Touch Museum in Fairmount is another great choice that encouraged hands-on learning for children. With or without the kids, you can also check out the Philadelphia Zoo or hop on a ferry and visit the Adventure Aquarium on the Camden Waterfront.
Enjoy Philadelphia’s Parks
Although Philadelphia is very urban, it is still home to beautiful parks and green spaces, so on a nice day you can spend some time outdoors. If you’re here on business, most corporate event venues in Center City are a short walk from Dilworth Park, LOVE Park, or Franklin Square.
All of these parks offer the opportunity to sit outside, soak in the sunshine, and enjoy the sights and sounds of Philadelphia. Depending on the season, these parks are often home to pop-up shops, beer gardens, or other seasonal events.
Outside of Center City, Philadelphia, there are even more green spaces to enjoy. Fairmount Park is huge, with museums, concerts, events, and historic sites to check out. Valley Forge National Historic Park is just outside of the city, but it is rich in Civil War history or great for a hike or a picnic.
In South Philly, Spruce Street Harbor Park on the waterfront is a fun choice, with hammocks and pop-up bars in the summer and an ice-skating rink and winter wonderland in the winter.
Try Philly’s Famous Food
Philadelphia is famous for some of its food, most notably the Philly cheesesteak. Try this local favorite at one of the best places – although Philadelphians have conflicting views on who makes the best cheesesteak. Some major contenders are Pat’s or Geno’s on Passyunk, Jim’s Steaks on South Street, or Dalessandro’s in Roxborough.
Aside from cheesesteaks, Philadelphia is home to a thriving food scene. You can find anything from upscale restaurants to hole-in-the-wall dives with amazing food. One popular location is Reading Terminal Market, which houses a variety of foods from Beiler’s Doughnuts to burgers, pork sandwiches, and much more.
Philly is also known for its food trucks. Many change locations while others stay stagnant, but regardless Philadelphia has a thriving food truck scene with interesting, tasty treats. Night Market Philadelphia is a roving food truck festival with new locations every month or so, so that’s a good place to start if you’re looking for food trucks this weekend.
Go Out for Philadelphia’s Nightlife
Philadelphia has a thriving nightlife scene, whatever your tastes may be. There are plenty of nightclubs for a night out on the town, as well as cool bars for a more relaxed night.
Whether you’re looking for a party or just a nightcap, Philadelphia’s nightlife is sure to have something for you. The city is even known for a few speakeasies – ask around to find the latest and greatest places near your hotel.
A Philly favorite is McGillin’s Olde Ale House, the oldest bar in the city. Established in 1860, McGillin’s still pulls a huge crowd every weekend. In the summer, there are plenty of beer gardens or rooftop bars to check out.
Enjoy the warm weather in one of Philadelphia’s many outdoor bars. Even in the cold, there are pop ups like Spruce Street Harbor Park with fire pits and spiked holiday drinks to enjoy.
South Street is another great destination for nightlife or during the day. This main drag just south of Center City is home to quirky shops, bars, thrift stores, and much more. South Street also offers late night food options. During the day, stop by to visit Magic Gardens, a walkable mosaic piece of artwork.
Enjoy Your Weekend in Philadelphia
No matter what you do, you’re sure to have a good time in Philly. From the great local food to parks, museums, historical landmarks, and the nightlife, Philadelphia has something for everyone.
Check out some of the places on our list or explore the city without a guide and you are certain to find a way to enjoy your weekend in Philly!