Steeped in history, rich in art and architecture, and the birthplace of the Revolution, Philadelphia (Philly) is an exciting destination to explore. The city also boasts a vibrant nightlife, premier league sports teams, and a delectable culinary experience. Philly’s historic sites and heritage monuments attract domestic and international tourists as well as many school field trips, particularly in the summer months from June – August. Flights and hotels tend to be expensive at this time of the year. To experience shorter lines and reasonable rates for travel and accommodation, visit Philly in the spring months from March – May. Average temperatures range around 40 degrees Fahrenheit in March and rise up to 60 degrees Fahrenheit by May. September is another good month to visit and cash in on attractive airfares and hotel rates. However, the cheapest time to visit the city is in the low season from November – February. The average temperatures hover around 30 degrees Fahrenheit during this time.
All major U.S. carriers offer direct domestic flights to Philadelphia. You can choose from American Airlines, United Airlines, Spirit Airlines, Alaska Airlines, jetBlue Airways, Delta Air Lines, Frontier Airlines, Southwest Airlines, and Virgin America.
PHL is located approximately 13 miles south of Philadelphia’s downtown area (locally known as Center City). The airport connects to all areas of Philly through various modes of transportation.
Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority (SEPTA) operates trains from the airport to Center City as part of the Airport Regional Rail Line. Trains run every 30 minutes from approximately 5:00 a.m. – 12:00 a.m. The one-way fare is $6.75 USD up to Center City, and $9.25 USD to any other station beyond Center City. The ride to Center City takes approximately 25 minutes.
SEPTA operates bus routes #37, #108, and #115 from Zone 1 on Arrivals Road, outside of baggage claim. These routes travel to other parts of Philadelphia and do not pass through Center City. The single-ride transit fare is $2.50 USD and transfers are available on-board the buses for an additional $1.00 USD.
Taxicabs are readily available at Zone 5 on the Commercial Transportation Roadway. Several taxi companies offer services from the airport to all areas of Philly. There is a $28.50 USD flat rate charge (including one-way fare and airport access fee) to travel to Center City Philadelphia. Every additional passenger is charged $1.00 USD on flat rate trips. For all other parts of the city, metered fares are applicable. Flag down is $2.70 USD and each additional mile is $2.30 USD. Minimum fare for any ride originating from the airport is $10.00 USD.
Sedan, limousine services and shared-ride vans
You can find sedan and limousine services from Zone 6 and shared-ride van services from Zone 7 on the Commercial Transportation Roadway. To reserve a ride to your destination, visit the Ground Transportation Information desk located in each baggage claim area.
You can reach the rental car companies through the Ground Transportation Information desks located in Baggage Claims A-East, B/C and D/E. It is also worth checking for deals on car rentals with momondo.
Philly’s downtown area is quite compact, and several colorful “Walk! Philadelphia” signs encourage you to explore the city on foot. In the Center City area, streets are laid out in a simple grid-based pattern, and you are sure to find shops, cafés, museums and parks at every turn. If your feet get weary or if you have to cover longer distances, there are several other modes of transportation within the city.
SEPTA operate buses, the subway and a trolley system, connecting the downtown area with other parts of Philly. Single ride fares start at $2.50 USD. The purple PHLASH buses that operate seasonally stop at most of the popular attractions. The fare is $2.00 USD per ride or $5.00 USD for an all-day pass.
Biking is a popular way to get around in Philly. There are plenty of bike rental shops located all over the city. You can also explore the city’s official bike-share program called Indego. With a 1-day pass that costs $10.00 USD, you can enjoy unlimited 30-minute trips and access to bikes at any bike station within the city.
Taxis are available throughout Philadelphia and you can hail one directly from the street. Ride-share options such as Uber also operate in the city.
If you don’t mind spending time looking for parking spaces, paying expensive parking charges, and navigating through busy traffic while dealing with several one-way streets, driving is another option to get around in Philadelphia.
Apart from being home to the “most historic square mile” in the U.S., Philadelphia offers world-class museums, historic farmers’ markets, trend-setting music, and elegant architecture. There is so much to see and do in this city that you may have to pick and choose what to explore each time you visit Philly.
Explore the city’s culinary offerings
Wander around the sprawling Italian Market and take in the aromas of a wide variety of cheeses, handmade pastas, and gourmet pastries. Sample delicious Amish donuts, and gorge on several Philly specialties at Reading Terminal Market. Enjoy mouth-watering Japanese fare served in the spaceship-shaped Morimoto. Try Cuban and Caribbean specialties at Alma de Cuba, a Havana-inspired restaurant. The traditional Philly cheese steak at Dalessandro’s or Pat’s King of Steaks is an absolute must-try.
Discover the world’s largest outdoor art gallery
Philly encourages local artists to use the city’s architecture for street art and boasts two Mural Mile routes, filled with vibrant murals and graffiti walls, north and south of Market Street. Opt for a guided Mural Mile Walking Tour to get interesting insights into the people, places, and themes of each mural.