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Book a flight to Philadelphia with Qatar Airways and discover the lovely ‘Philly’, an American cultural and historical gem.Follow in the footsteps of Benjamin Franklin and Edgar Allan Poe. Discover Philadelphia, the birthplace of US democracy and the nation’s former capital. Visitors to the East Coast often bypass Pennsylvania’s largest city, in favour of New York City. But with its world-class museums, wide selection of eateries and colourful urban landscape, Philly has plenty to offer.
Philadelphia is a melting pot of music, art, culture and style, made even more famous in the late 1970s by the Rocky film series. It attracts visitors who come as much for the historic quarter as they do for South Philly's infamous cheesesteaks.
With a land area of 367 square kilometres, Philadelphia is one of the largest cities in the United States, boasting a daunting number of attractions. It will be worth your while to invest in a CityPass, which grants access to four of the city’s main tourist magnets. These are The Franklin Institute, One Liberty Observation Deck, Adventure Aquarium and Philadelphia Zoo. The pass also covers 24-hour on-off travel with the Philadelphia Trolley and Big Bus Company.
Visit America's most historic square mile at Independence National Historic Park, home to the Liberty Bell. Then stroll past City Hall, the largest municipal building in the US. It has an observation deck that offers spectacular views of the city.
No trip to Philadelphia is complete without a tour of Eastern State Penitentiary, the oldest prison in the US, which hosts special attractions for Halloween. Fans of the macabre can also visit the Edgar Allan Poe National Historic Site, a three-story brick building the author once called home.
If you have the energy, climb the Philadelphia Museum of Art’s legendary steps, made famous as one of the locations in the movie Rocky.
When you travel to Philadelphia, you'll find no shortage of leisure activities in Philadelphia. Book-lovers can enjoy a complimentary tour of the Rare Book Department at the Free Library of Philadelphia. Here you'll find medieval manuscripts alongside the stuffed body of Charles Dickens' pet raven, Grip.
On sunny days, head for Fairmount Park, a 9,200-acre green space. Relax in the Japanese Tea House, let the kids explore the Please Touch Museum, or enjoy horseback riding or biking on the Forbidden Drive Trail.
Philly is known for its live music and theatre. Festival Pier is the city's main outdoor venue, while the Theatre of Living Arts on South Street usually has a packed events schedule. The Ben Franklin Parkway has also hosted several large music festivals.
Sports are also a popular theme in the city, and all major professional sports teams play near one another. Teams include the Phillies of Major League Baseball, the Eagles of the National Football League, the 76ers of the National Basketball Association, and the Flyers of the National Hockey League.
Philadelphia is famous for its food – most notably its cheesesteaks and soft salted pretzels, available from stores and street vendors. Cheesesteaks, a roll filled with shaved grilled beef, cheese and onions, are the local speciality. You'll normally be able to choose from provolone, American or whiz cheese (“squirty” cheese in a can – a distinctly American invention). Ask a local what their favourite cheesesteak place is and they will steer you in the right direction. Hoagies, Philadelphia's official sandwich, are also delicious and widely available.
Reading Terminal Market is a good place to stop off for lunch and sample some street food. If it's fine dining you are looking for, the city has plenty of options, from Japanese, Italian and French cuisine, to inventive dishes made with seasonal local produce. Don't miss out on the opportunity to fill up on American comfort food at an authentic diner.
From farmer’s markets and designer boutiques, to department stores and independent retail districts, travel to Philadelphia and shopping can be whatever you want it to be. Spend a morning exploring Reading Terminal Market, an indoor market that is home to vendors selling local produce and handmade goods. It's also a great lunch spot.
For designer boutiques and branded fashion, head for Center City or Walnut Street, one of the city's biggest shopping districts. Here you'll find a wide selection of international and high-end brands.
Visit the Italian Market in South Philly for fresh Italian produce, while 3rd Street Corridor in Old City is home of independent fashion and design boutiques. For local arts, crafts and antiques, head for Antique Row in Center City.
Essential facts about Philadelphia
Enjoy a hassle-free journey with all the information you need to know before your trip