Read about the city
Philadelphia is one of the historically important cities of the United States, and it was even the capital of the country in the years 1790-1800. In the town of the Delaware River, there are countless sights and lots of early American history that give intriguing impressions from the time around the American Revolution.
It was in Philadelphia that the American Declaration of Independence of Great Britain was adopted, and in that way the city has a special status in the history of the United States. This can be looked at in more detail in Independence Hall, which formed the setting for both the declaration and for the adoption of the US Constitution.
Philadelphia is also much more than early American history. In the modern city center there are some of the country's tallest buildings outside New York and Chicago, and here are several interesting museums with everything from French Impressionists to exciting natural history.
With the city's location on the east coast, there are many excursion options from Philadelphia. You can, for example, go to New York to the northeast and Washington DC to the southwest and reach both in a short time by train or car. The entertainment in Atlantic City is also close by and you can also experience parts of the British colonial history around Philadelphia.
- City Hall: This is Philadelphia City Hall and thus the seat of the city government and administration. The impressive building was erected in the years 1871-1901 in a stately Napoleon III style. The town hall tower is 167 meters/548 feet high, and at the top is a statue of the city's founder, William Penn. The building was the tallest in Pennsylvania until 1932.
- Philadelphia History Museum: This institution was founded in 1938 as the Philadelphia city history museum. However, the museum building was already built in 1824-1826 as the home of the Franklin Institute, which today is located at a different address. The collection depicts the history of the city and the region in an interesting way and with many exciting themes in the exhibition.
- Edgar Allan Poe National Historic Site: The famous author, Edgar Allan Poe, lived in several places in Philadelphia in the years 1837-1844. At this address a museum has been opened for the author; it is the only one of his residences in the city that is preserved to this day. At the museum you can learn about Poe's life, contemporaries and works.
- First Bank of the United States: In 1791, the US Congress decided to establish a US National Bank, and its headquarters opened in this classicist building, completed in 1797. In the years before, the Bank of North America had functioned as the National Bank, but formally the institution was not established until the decision in 1791.
- Second Bank of the United States: In 1816, President James Madison created the Second National Bank of the United States, and the building result was the construction of this bank building, which was completed in 1824. The architect was William Strickland, who designed several buildings inspired by classical Greece. The bank ceased its original function in 1841, and today it is used as a gallery of portraits of significant figures in the early United States.
- Benjamin Franklin Bridge: This large suspension bridge opened in 1926 and connects Philadelphia with Camden in the state of New Jersey. The bridge is a total of 2,917 meters/9,573 feet and crosses the Delaware River with a longest span of 533 meters/1,750 feet.
- Parkway Central Library: This beautiful library building, designed by Julian Abele in beaux-arts, opened in 1927. It is Philadelphia's main library, and there are many interesting and valuable books and manuscripts in the collection that contain the so-called Rare Book Department.
- The Bourse Food Hall: In Philadelphia's old center, the city's stock exchange was built in 1895. The beautiful building no longer functions as a stock exchange, but instead as a vibrant urban space with restaurants and bars.
- National Constitution Center: This is a center whose focus is the U.S. Constitution. The center was opened in the year 2000 and since then various themes and exhibitions have described the constitution and created dialogue around it.
- One Liberty Observation Deck: In the One Liberty Plaza building, you can ascend the heights to the 57th floor to enjoy stunning views of Philadelphia and the surrounding area. The entire city is at your feet, and you can follow the Delaware River and look to New Jersey.
- Gloria Dei Church: This church is also called Old Swedes, which comes from the fact that the church was built as a Swedish church in the years 1698-1700. It is thus the oldest church in the state of Pennsylvania. There is a cemetery around the church, and Sven Gunnarsson is one of the buried. Gunnarsson was one of the founders of New Sweden along the Delaware River in the mid-17th century.
- Elfreth’s Alley: This narrow cobbled street is arguably America's oldest residential street. The old urban environment is maintained in the middle of the modern city, and here are two houses from 1755, which today are open as a museum.
- Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts: The Philadelphia Academy of Fine Arts is the oldest of its kind in the United States, and its museum is the oldest art museum in the country. In the halls of the beautiful museum building you can enjoy many works by e.g. Edward Hopper, Winslow Homer and Kehinde Wiley. You can also see one of Gilbert Stuart's portraits of George Washington.
- Comcast Technology Center: This 342-foot/1,121-foot-tall office building opened in 2018 as the tallest building in the United States outside of New York and Chicago. There are 60 floors in the skyscraper that has a hotel and a restaurant located at the top with a beautiful view.
- Wells Fargo Building: This is one of Pennsylvania's classic skyscrapers from the first half of the 20th century. It was built in 1928 under the name Fidelity-Philadelphia Trust Company Building with a height of 29 floors and 123 meters/405 feet.
- 30th Street Station: This large railroad station opened in 1933 and serves as Philadelphia's main train station. There are many beautiful details in the architecture, such as the passenger hall in art deco and Walker Hancock's sculpture, Angel of the Resurrection, which was produced in 1952. You can also see the artwork Spirit of Transportation, which dates from 1895.
- The Franklin Institute: This is a scientific institution and a museum with exciting exhibitions in various sciences and technology. There are both permanent exhibits and changing themes, and you can also see the Benjamin Franklin National Memorial with a 6 meter/20 foot marble statue of Franklin.
- Penn Museum: This is an archeological and anthropological museum belonging to The University of Pennsylvania. The university has over time led several expeditions across large parts of the world, and today its collection has expanded significantly through various acquisitions. You can see finds from i.a. East Asia, America and the Near East.
- Boelson Cottage: This cottage was built around 1680, and it stands as Philadelphia's oldest surviving building. The cottage is located in Fairmont Park, and it was built in Swedish-Dutch style. The name comes from John Boelson, who got this plot of land in 1677.