Things to do in Old City, Philadelphia

Our most recommended things to do in Old City, Philadelphia

Philadelphia: Museum of Illusions Timed Entrance Ticket

1. Philadelphia: Museum of Illusions Timed Entrance Ticket

Experience the impossible with an entry ticket to the Museum of Illusions Philadelphia. Immerse yourself in a world where your eyes will be in a constant battle with your brain. Located in the heart of Philadelphia, this brain-boggling museum is a one-of-a-kind destination for optical illusions.  Challenge yourself in more than 60 visual and educational exhibits featuring holograms, stereograms, optical illusions, and immersive rooms designed to tease the senses and trick the mind. Defy gravity, grow and shrink, walk on the ceiling, experience infinite space, and much more. Spend some time in the Smart Playroom with games that will stimulate and challenge your mind. Enjoy some friendly competition with friends and family while simultaneously improving your cognition, problem-solving skills, and memory.  Have fun while learning the mechanics behind each and every illusion you experience. And don't forget your camera or smartphone when you visit as there are eye-fooling photo-ops around every corner.

Philadelphia: Horse-Drawn Carriage Tour of Historic Old City

2. Philadelphia: Horse-Drawn Carriage Tour of Historic Old City

Enjoy this private carriage ride through the tree-lined streets of Philadelphia’s Independence National Historic Park, Society Hill, and Old City. Your personal guide will whisk you away on a leisurely ride through historic Philadelphia giving you entertaining insights on the City of Brotherly Love's past and present. Choose the daytime option for picture-perfect views of all the sights or the night option to take in the illuminations when the crowds are gone.

Philadelphia: Double-Decker Hop-on Hop-off Sightseeing Tour

3. Philadelphia: Double-Decker Hop-on Hop-off Sightseeing Tour

Explore the origins of America on a hop-on hop-off bus tour of Philadelphia. Discover the city where America’s Founding Fathers first declared independence, and ratified the US Constitution and Bill of Rights. Along the way, enjoy stunning views of historic landmarks including the Christ Church Burial Grounds, Elfreth’s Alley, the Betsy Ross House, and Independence Hall.   Begin your tour at the Bourse Building, across from Independence Hall and the Liberty Bell. Listen to the multilingual audio commentary as you enjoy the views from the open-top deck. See the Friendship Gate in Chinatown and be amazed by the architecture of Philadelphia’s City Hall.   Hop off to explore the various museums along Benjamin Franklin Parkway, including the world's largest collection of post-impressionist art at the Barnes Foundation. Marvel at Philadelphia’s skyline and stop to enjoy a bird’s-eye view from the One Liberty Observation Deck. Pass through the charming neighborhood of Society Hill and end your tour with a drive along the banks of the Delaware River. Stops:  • The Bourse Building  • Betsy Ross House  • National Constitution Center  • Chinatown  • Reading Terminal Market  • Love Park  • Cathedral Basilica  • Logan Circle  • Rodin Museum  • Eastern State Penitentiary  • Special Events - The Perelman Building  • The Rocky Steps and Statue  • West Entrance of the Philadelphia Museum of Art and Boat House Row  • Civil War Memorial  • Please Touch Museum  • Philadelphia Zoo  • Franklin Institute  • Mutter Museum  • One Liberty Observation Deck  • Avenue of the Arts  • Society Hill, Antique Row  • Mother Bethel A.M.E Church  • Headhouse Square  • Vietnam & Korean War Memorials  • Penns Landing  • Museum of the American Revolution  • Christ Church  • The Liberty Bell

Philadelphia: Founding Fathers Historical Walking Tour

4. Philadelphia: Founding Fathers Historical Walking Tour

Explore the oldest districts in Philadelphia on a guided historical walking tour focusing on the Founding Fathers of the United States. Stop outside historic sites such as the Betsy Ross House, the former home of Benjamin Franklin, and Independence Hall. Start your tour with your local guide with a stop outside the Betsy Ross House. Learn more about how the first American flag was sewn at this location. Stroll to the Old District of Philadelphia and see some of the homes of the oldest continuously inhabited residential street in the USA. Learn more about the famous historical figures who once lived in the area, including where William Penn and the Quakers first settled. Then, visit Christ Church where many of the Founding Fathers worshipped. Then, see the previous home of Benjamin Franklin in the Historic District. Next, explore Independence Mall, a three-block section of the Independence National Historic Park. Follow your guide across the mall and visit the President’s House, once home to George Washington and John Adams when Philadelphia served as the nation's capital city.  Discover more about William Penn, the founder of Pennsylvania during your visit to Washington Square. Take a moment outside the monument Tomb of the Unknown Soldier of the American Revolution dedicated to those who perished during the fight for independence, but remains have never been identified. Don’t forget to snap a picture of Independence Hall, where the deceleration of Independence and the US Constitution was signed. The tour will end in the Old City, where you’ll get to rest your legs and enjoy a refreshing cold beverage in a local brewpub. 

Philadelphia: Museum of the American Revolution Entry

5. Philadelphia: Museum of the American Revolution Entry

Discover the dramatic story of the American Revolution at one of Philadelphia’s lead attractions. Step into the Museum of the American Revolution, then watch an introductory movie before making your own way through the exhibitions. Marvel at the museum’s vast collection of Revolutionary-era weapons, personal items, documents, and works of art that bring history back to life. Learn about this fascinating period of time as you explore immersive galleries, engage in powerful theater experiences, and take part in interactive features. Located just steps from the famous Independence Hall, the museum serves as a portal to the region’s Revolutionary history, which sparks interest, provides context, and encourages exploration. Printed museum guides are available in English, Spanish, French, German, Mandarin and Japanese, to elevate your learning experience.

From New York City: 4-Day Tour w/Niagara Falls & US Capitol

6. From New York City: 4-Day Tour w/Niagara Falls & US Capitol

Visit the American and Canadian sides of Niagara Falls. Stop at an outlet mall for shopping, continue to the historic city of Brotherly love in Philadelphia and see the famous Liberty Bell and Independence Hall Square. You will also visit Washington DC, the US Capitol and visit the US Mint. Continue to Lancaster to learn about the Amish community. Day 1: New York - Finger Lakes - Niagara Falls Your morning departure from the Big Apple takes you north where you will pass the beautiful Delaware Gap to Watkins Glen State Park in the heart of the Finger Lakes region. Walk through Watkins Glen Canyon to visit the beautiful waterfalls and then continue to Niagara Falls passing Seneca Lake, arriving in the late afternoon (Winter itinerary goes to Montour Falls instead of Watkins Glen State Park). Tour the American and Canadian sides of the Falls including the American Falls, Horseshoe Falls, Goat Island, and Sister Island. At night tour Niagara Falls where you will marvel at the colorful lighting of the waters. Overnight: Niagara Falls - Wyndham Super 8 Day 2: Niagara Falls - New Jersey As you depart the hotel, hear the thundering water of Niagara Falls. See the falls up close from Horseshoe Falls and experience the power of the current aboard the Maid of the Mist (May-October). From November through April you will tour the Power Vista Hydro-electric Station, and the Cave of the Winds. At noon depart south to New York State. On the way to New York, enjoy a shopping excursion at one of the large outlet malls along the way, where you can hunt for bargains at their brand name stores. Overnight New Jersey - La Quinta Inns & Suites  Day 3: New Jersey - Philadelphia - Washington DC Depart New Jersey to Pennsylvania and to the city of brotherly love Philadelphia. Arriving in the Historic area of Philadelphia you will visit the famous Liberty Bell, and Constitution square and Constitution Hall, one of the symbols of freedom in America. Stroll Elfreth’s Alley (the oldest inhabited street in America) then continue on a panoramic tour of Philadelphia that includes the financial district, Benjamin Franklin Parkway, Historic Philadelphia and more. Departing Philadelphia, see the famous “Rocky Steps” and then continue north to Lancaster county home of the Amish people. Ride on an authentic Amish Buggy, visit an Amish market place of handmade arts and crafts and learn what it's like to live without the benefit of modern technology, electricity, running water or telephone service. Overnight at: Wyndham Garden, Washington DC. Day 4: Washington DC - New York  Start the day with a visit to Thomas Jefferson Memorial, by the Tidal Basin, surrounded with famous Japanese cherry blossom trees. Visit the Arlington National Cemetery, the changing of the guards and the Kennedy family gravesite.  Next stop is Capitol Hill. See the US Capitol and the White House to understand the core of the US government. Continue to the Air and Space Museum before visiting the Lincoln, Martin Luther King, Korea and Vietnam Memorials.  In the late afternoon, depart north for an evening arrival in New York.

Philadelphia: Segway Adventure Tour

7. Philadelphia: Segway Adventure Tour

Take a Segway tour of Philadelphia to see the main city sights and get an informative commentary on the history of the city at the forefront of the American Revolution and Declaration of Independence. Your guide will give you a 30-minute training session before you set off on the self-balancing vehicles. Then, traveling in groups of up to 6 people, head down to Penn's Landing for views across to New Jersey and the Benjamin Franklin Bridge. Glide through the Historic District, passing Elfreth's Alley and the Betsy Ross House. Admire Independence Hall en route to Society Hill, where you can marvel at the stately homes while catching the aroma of fresh coffee at quaint cafés. Pass over Avenue of the Arts to Rittenhouse Square, before winding through the Fitler Square neighborhood to Schuylkill River. The scenery changes here, as you work your way along the paths of the Schuylkill Banks, joined by runners and bikers en route to the Philadelphia Museum of Art. Admire the statue of Rocky Balboa at the bottom of the famous steps he ran up in the 1976 blockbuster movie, before moving on to Benjamin Franklin Parkway to see Rodin’s “Thinker” statue in the outdoor sculpture garden.  Take back streets that will lead you to the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts, from where you can loop through Chinatown and the end of your tour.

Philadelphia: Go City All-Inclusive Pass w/ 30+ Attractions

8. Philadelphia: Go City All-Inclusive Pass w/ 30+ Attractions

Enjoy an all-inclusive pass that gets you into 30 Philadelphia attractions and tours. Just select the number of days you want to sightsee for (1, 2, 3 or 5 days), then enjoy admission to as many included attractions as you want to. Simply show your Philadelphia pass at included attractions or tour for admission and pay nothing at the gate. Activate the pass by visiting your first attraction, then, use it on consecutive calendar days. The Philadelphia All-Inclusive Pass includes the following activities: • Hop-on, Hop-off Big Bus Philadelphia Tour • Eastern State Penitentiary • Franklin Institute Science Museum • Philadelphia Museum of Art • National Constitution Center • Betsy Ross House • Adventure Aquarium • Philadelphia Zoo • LEGOLAND Discovery Center Philadelphia • Barnes Foundation • Academy of Natural Science • Battleship New Jersey Museum & Memorial • Ghost Tour of Philadelphia • Independence Seaport Museum • Christ Church Burial Ground Tour • City Hall Tower and Observation Deck • National Museum of American Jewish History • Dark Philly Adult Night Tour • National Liberty Museum/We the People • Longwood Gardens • African American Museum • Rodin Museum • Revolution and Founding Father's Tour • Penn Museum • RiverLink Ferry • Brandywine River Museum of Art • The Simeone Foundation Automotive Museum • Independence Walking Tour • Murder by Gaslight - A Walking Tour Mystery Attractions and tours are subject to change. Check your included digital guide for an up-to-date attraction line-up including opening times and instructions on how to access each attraction with your pass before you go.

Philadelphia Ghost Tour by Candlelight

9. Philadelphia Ghost Tour by Candlelight

Join an entertaining evening tour of Philadelphia on a ghostly walking tour by candlelight. You will see Philadelphia's historic districts, including Independence National Park, Old City, and Society Hill in a completely new light! A costumed tour guide will lead you off the beaten path and spin tales of the rich and famous, and of heroes and villains from America's colonial era. You will hear tales of the well-known, like William Penn, Ben Franklin, Benedict Arnold and Mad Anthony Wayne, and tales of the unknown, such as the spectral Quakeress of Washington Square and the ghost of Old Pine Street Cemetery. The tour departs from Signers Garden at 5th and Chestnut Streets, lasts approximately 90 minutes, is appropriate for all ages, and is ideal for anyone with the inclination to hear Philadelphia's dead brought back to life! The Ghost Tour of Philadelphia has offered tours since 1995 and continues to be one of the city's most popular night-time attractions. It was recently named one of the top 15 "must see" attractions in the country by Budget Travel Magazine.

From NYC: Philadelphia and Washington DC 2-Day Tour

10. From NYC: Philadelphia and Washington DC 2-Day Tour

Day 1: NEW YORK – PHILADELPHIA – WASHINGTON DC Depart New York through New Jersey and Pennsylvania and to the city of brotherly love Philadelphia. Arriving in the historic area of Philadelphia, visit the famous Liberty Bell, one of the symbols of freedom in America, Constitution square, and Congress Hall. Stroll Elfreth’s alley, the oldest continuously inhabited street in America. Continue on a panoramic tour of Philadelphia that includes the financial district, Benjamin Franklin Parkway, Historic Philadelphia, and more. Depart Philadelphia and see the famous “Rocky Steps” and then continue east to Lancaster county home of the Amish people. Enjoy an authentic Amish Buggy ride through the Amish farm country. Learn how Amish culture survived centuries without the benefits of technology, to this day their towns survive without the central power and sewage systems, that modern civilization take for granted. Learn how the Amish adapted, incorporating technology to create farms that are self-sufficient and make use of renewable sources of energy. After the ride, visit the marketplace where you can shop for handmade arts crafts and products. In the late afternoon, depart east for an evening arrival in Washington DC. Day 2: WASHINGTON DC – NEW YORK Start the day with a visit of Thomas Jefferson Memorial, by the Tidal Basin, surrounded by famous Japanese cherry blossom trees. Visit the Arlington National Cemetery, the Changing of the Guard, and the Kennedy family gravesite. The next stop is Capitol Hill. See the US Capitol and the White House to understand the core of the US government. Continue to the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History (while Air and Space Museum is closed due to renovations) before visiting the Lincoln, Korea, and Vietnam Memorials. In the late afternoon, depart north for an evening arrival in New York.

Frequently asked questions about Old City, Philadelphia

Other Sightseeing Options in Old City, Philadelphia

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What people are saying about Old City, Philadelphia

Overall rating

4.5 / 5

based on 1,123 reviews

Our buggy driver (Mike) did an excellent job of providing lots of very interesting historical information on old Philadelphia. I suggest you take the buggy tour first to get an overall view of colonial Philadelphia, then go back and visit some of the places you saw during the buggy ride to get a deeper understanding of the role the place had in our early history.

D (SP?) did an outstanding job of ensuring we had a great 1hr tour of down town Philly. I really liked this companies' communication radios that were provided to each person so they could hear the guide during the tour. It really kept me engaged. I also appreciate D taking pictures throughout the tour, it kept Safety as the priority while on the busy streets.

We had a blast! "Sarge" was super supportive and patient throughout the learning phase and kept supporting when we went out to the street. He is full of Philadelphia's stories and fun facts and you can feel his passion to his city and job. If it is your first time in the city, Sarge is your man and if its your second third or whatever he still is.

Definite must-do in any city! I had been to Philly a few times before, but the guide took us to some great hidden gems, was super friendly and informative, and had great beer recommendations.

Our guide was excellent and informative enjoyed the walk