Philadelphia Cultural Attractions & Historic Sites

Despite Philadelphia’s absence in this year’s Super Bowl Championship, there’s still plenty of reason to be excited about the City of Brotherly Love.  Philadelphia is a stand-out for lovers of American history, with attractions and historic cultural sites like Independence Hall and the Liberty Bell. It also hosts a number of interesting museums worth visiting. Undoubtedly, these Philadelphia cultural attractions cover a wide variety of interests that’ll make your stay in the city not only memorable but also enjoyable.

Historic Sites for American history buffs

Independence Hall, Philadelphia with clock tower
Independence Hall

It was in Philadelphia where the Continental Congress gathered; and it was at Independence Hall where the United States of America was born.  Take a tour of the historic site, where America’s founding fathers discussed and argued the perils of separating from the British. 

Not far from Independence Hall is the Liberty Bell Center, home to the Liberty Bell. Said to be one of the original bells that rang shortly after the 13 colonies became the United States of America, the 2,000-pound bell later became a symbol of American independence.

Note: Admission to Independence Hall and the Liberty Bell Center are free, though at publication time both attractions are closed due to the government shutdown,.

The National Constitution Center, on the other hand, is an interactive museum dedicated to the United States (US) Constitution. In addition to various civic learning programs, the museum also features traveling exhibits and a vast collection of historical archives related to the US Constitution.

Cultural attractions for science geeks

Benjamin Franklin was one of Philadelphia’s adopted sons, a founding father, and a polymath. He was an accomplished scientist and was credited with a number of American inventions. It’s therefore fitting that one of the Philadelphia cultural attractions bears his name. 

Benjamin Franklin Memorial, Philadelphia
Benjamin Franklin Memorial

The Franklin Institute is one of the country’s premier science museums. Its exhibits include a wide range of scientific study from geology to astrophysics. Visitors can dissect an animal, learn about the cosmos, or simply take part in live science shows. General admission starts at $19.

Another scientific museum of interest resides inside the College of Physicians of Philadelphia. The Mütter Museum is a medical museum that features an extensive collection of anatomical specimens, medical artifacts, and models. Learn about the history of diseases and gaze at over 1,000 wet specimens that include human brains. Admission starts at $13.

For braver souls

All Capone's cell in historic Eastern State Penitentiary, Philadelphia
Al Capone’s cell at Eastern State Penitentiary, Philadelphia

It takes a very curious mind (and brave soul) to want to visit a prison, particularly one with a sinister history. Eastern State Penitentiary might be one of the Philadelphia cultural attractions, but it’s certainly not everyone’s cup of tea. The now abandoned facility once held the likes of “Slick Willie” Sutton and Al Capone, and is rumored to be haunted by souls that perished within its Gothic walls. Guided tours are available daily with ticket prices starting at $10 per person.

Whether it’s history, science or the curiosity of the paranormal, these Philadelphia cultural attractions are just some of the reasons to visit and stay in Philadelphia.

About Iris A


Born in the Philippines, but grew up in Texas, Iris has been traveling and writing about her experiences for well over a decade. Her work has been published on well-known travel sites like Hipmunk (#hipmunkcitylove) and D Magazine Online Travel Club. She has been all over Europe, the US, and has recently started exploring Latin America. She loves trying local cuisine and visiting UNESCO deemed World Heritage sites. Her favourite city is New York, with London, following a close 2nd. You can follow her on Twitter @sundeeiris or through her travel blog, Traveling With Iris.

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