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Navigating the US: Getting Around in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

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getting around in Philadelphia

Nestled in the Southeastern corned of Pennsylvania, where the state meets with New Jersey and Delaware, is the city of Philadelphia. This city is known as the home of Benjamin Franklin, the Liberty Bell and Will Smith before he went to live with his auntie and uncle in Bel Air, making it a major destination choice for people of all ages. Considered to be a major player in the American Revolutionary War, Philadelphia is seen as the “Birthplace of America,” representing America’s break from British rule. Here are our tips for getting around in Philadelphia:

Recommended Modes of Transportation

  • Walking—As one of America’s most walkable cities, Philly is easy to navigate on foot. There are plenty of signs directing tourists and residents alike toward the best shopping, dining, and cultural experiences the city has to offer.
  • SEPTA Bus—This extensive bus network conveniently takes anyone throughout the city, though it can be a bit on the slow side. The cash fare is $2.25, exact change only or you can purchase tokens for $1.80, though these have to be bought in groups of 2, 5, or 10.
  • SEPTA Subway—There are two elevated/subway lines and a Subway-Surface line. Pricing is the same as the bus line, with cash fare $2.25 and tokens sold in bulk for $1.80.

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Major Highways and Roadways to Know

Philadelphia is surrounded by a few of the most important Interstates in the country. Interstate 95 travels east of Philly as it travels from Maine to Miami. The Pennsylvania Turnpike travels the state from the east to west, with the Northeast Extension connection Philadelphia to the Pconos and Wilkes-Barre-Scranton. I-76 and I-676 connect to the New Jersey Turnpike and Atlantic City Expressway respectively, while Route 1 (also known as the Roosevelt Expressway) connects Northeast Philly to the center of the city.

getting around in Philadelphia

Best Places to Park

Parking in Philadelphia is very expensive due to the congestion within the city, so we suggest you park at the end of the subway line for a cheap fair. It can be difficult to find parking options under $20, but if you want to give it a try, your best resource will be

Airports and Car Rentals

The main airport that services Philadelphia is the Philadelphia International Airport (PHL), located just minutes outside of the city. US Airways is the major airline carrier out of this airport, offering flights to destinations throughout the U.S. and Europe.

Because Philly is located so close to the boarder of New Jersey, Newark International Airport is also a great option to fly in and out of, located only a direct connection with Amtrak.

Hotels and Attractions

Hotels are available throughout the city, ranging from $100 to $200 a night, varying from moderate to high-end chains.

Many of these hotels are situated near some of the major attractions in the city. Some of these attractions include:

  • Philadelphia Museum of Art—one of the largest art museums in the United States, this museum has collections of more than 227,000 objects with world-class pieces from around the world.
  • Independence National Historic Park—This signature historic site is the home of the Liberty Bell, Independence Hall, and Constitution Hall, which is the home of the Declaration of Independence and Constitution.
  • The Philadelphia Zoo—As the first zoo in the U.S., this attraction is located across the Schuylkill River and is home to nearly fifteen hundred animals and wildlife.
  • Philadelphia’s Magic Gardens—a folk art museum, gallery space, and nonprofit organization that is the main location for mosaicist Isaiah Zagar. It features a fully mosaiced indoor gallery and an outdoor labyrinthine mosaic sculpture, much of which consists of found objects and contributions from the community.

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For more information, check out these websites:

Have any tips for getting around in Philadelphia? Leave them for us in the comments below!