Your Travel Guide To Philadelphia, Pennsylvania: The Ultimate 3-Day Itinerary For Art and Food Lovers

Your Travel Guide To Philadelphia, Pennsylvania: The Ultimate 3-Day Itinerary For Art and Food Lovers
Photo: Elevated Angles for PHLCVB

“Philly”, “The City of Brotherly Love”, could easily be a living museum. Philadelphia’s cityscape is adorned with over 4,000 murals that captivate pedestrians like nowhere else in the world. A grand boulevard, reminiscent of Paris’ Champs-Élysées and lined with majestic oaks, guides visitors along its mile-long path. This scenic route leads to renowned artworks by Modigliani and Matisse at The Barnes Foundation, Rodin sculptures at his dedicated gallery, and Renoir paintings at the Philadelphia Museum of Art. Downtown, many historic red-brick buildings are marked with plaques revealing their significant pasts. These plaques highlight the residences of Benjamin Franklin, the site where Thomas Jefferson drafted the Declaration of Independence and the original location of the US Supreme Court, Just a few blocks away, Independence Hall stands as a symbol of the nation’s founding, where both the Declaration of Independence and the US Constitution were signed. As one of America’s oldest cities, Philadelphia offers a unique blend of historic landmarks and vibrant neighborhoods, each with its own story to tell and flavors to savor.

Getting There

There are numerous daily flights from India to Philadelphia, operated by airlines including American Airlines, Qatar Airways, British Airways, Swiss, and Lufthansa. These flights typically involve layovers and connecting flights, as there are no direct flights to Philadelphia from India. Common layover cities on this route include Doha, London, Dubai, Hong Kong, Abu Dhabi, and Frankfurt. Additionally, some itineraries may involve multiple stops, with connecting flights often found in U.S. cities such as Chicago or Boston.


8am: Breakfast at Reading Terminal Market

Reading Terminal
Reading Terminal Market. Photos by K. Huff for PHLCVB

Kick off your morning at Reading Terminal Market, a beloved Philadelphia institution that’s been welcoming locals and visitors since 1893. This historic marketplace offers a vibrant glimpse into the city’s diverse culinary landscape. While it’s often bustling during lunchtime, the early morning hours provide a serene experience. With fewer crowds, you can take your time exploring the various stalls and easily find a cozy spot to savor your breakfast. Some notable vendors include:

  • Bassetts Ice Cream: America’s oldest ice cream company, established in 1861.
  • Miller’s Twist: Renowned for their buttery, delicious pretzels.
  • DiNic’s: Famous for their succulent roast-pork sandwiches.
  • Hershel’s East Side Deli: Offers Jewish soul-food favorites such as corned-beef sandwiches and kosher apple cake.
  • Sweet T’s Bakery: The first Black-owned bakery in the market, celebrated for their sweet potato desserts.

With a wide array of choices, Reading Terminal Market is the perfect spot to start your day and immerse yourself in Philadelphia’s rich food culture.

9am: Murals Tour

After breakfast, embark on a journey with Mural Arts Philadelphia, a non-profit organization that offers public and private tours showcasing the city’s diverse neighborhoods adorned with thousands of stunning murals. Philadelphia didn’t become home to the world’s largest collection of public art by chance; it was the result of dedicated effort and local talent.

Dubbed the ‘mural capital of the world’, Philadelphia is home to over 4,000 public works of art. Photo: Ritika Basu for Travel and Food Network

In the early 1980s, those caught doing graffiti in the city faced a fine, jail time, or community service, which typically involved painting over unauthorized street art with grey paint. In 1984, Jane Golden, now the Founder and Executive Director of Mural Arts Philadelphia, was hired by the Philadelphia Anti-Graffiti Network to lead the creation of its first mural. A team of nearly 100 youths from West Philadelphia painted the 600-foot Spring Garden Street Bridge with a mural titled “Life in the City” over the course of four weeks. Rather than erasing graffiti, the program began commissioning the very artists and taggers it once targeted, while also engaging community volunteers and established muralists. Today, Mural Arts Philadelphia boasts hundreds of members and thousands of artworks, offering programs for students, recovering substance abusers, and ex-convicts.

After the Mural Arts tour, head to the Independence Visitor Center to obtain a timed ticket for a visit to Independence Hall and Museum of American Revolution. Discover the founding principles of the United States at the National Constitution Center and the Liberty Bell Center.

11am: Race through Historical Landmarks

Independence Hall. Photo: Ritika Basu for Travel and Food Network

Visit the Birthplace of the US at Independence Hall

The Second Continental Congress convened in this elegantly proportioned Georgian structure to draft the Declaration of Independence in 1776, along with other pivotal documents like the Constitution. Originally constructed in 1756 as the Pennsylvania State House, this World Heritage Site can only be visited through guided tours. Obtain your tickets on

Liberty Bell

A glass-walled building shelters this Philadelphia icon. You can view it from outside or join the line, which can be long in summer, to learn about its history. Originally called the State House Bell and cast in 1751 for Pennsylvania’s 50th anniversary, it tolled during the first public reading of the Declaration of Independence. The bell cracked in the 19th century and was retired in 1846.

Clockwise from left to right: Liberty Bell, Assembly Room at Independence Hall. Photos: Ritika Basu for Travel and Food Network

Museum of the American Revolution

This multimedia museum offers an immersive experience of the American Revolution, featuring interactive dioramas and 3D exhibits that take you from life under British rule to the revolution. Discover the events, people, cultures, and religions that played a role in this significant historical period. With numerous hands-on displays and video stories, it’s engaging for both kids and adults. Don’t miss, Witness to Revolution: The Unlikely Travels of Washington’s Tent at the Museum of the American Revolution, showcasing over 100 artifacts including Washington’s military gear, historical artwork, and letters. This exhibit tells the complete story of George Washington’s headquarters tent, serving as his command center, office, and living quarters during pivotal battles. Witness to Revolution, will be on display until January 5, 2025.

Photo: Museum of American Revolution, and Ritika Basu for Travel and Food Network

2pm: Lunch with City Food Tours

After you’ve worked up an appetite, embark on a food tour with City Food Tours to snack your way through historic old city. The tour docent is especially useful when navigating the history of Amish community. After exploring Philadelphia’s historic landmarks, you can dine where celebrities once ate and savor Creole cuisine at one of the city’s oldest pub.

4.30 pm: Hop on Hop Off Bus Tour

Clockwise from left to right: Elfreth’s Alley, City Hall, and China Town. Photos: Ritika Basu for Travel and Food Network and S. Spitzer for PHLCVB

Enjoy stunning views of Philadelphia from a double-decker, open-top bus! Big Bus’s live guides share fascinating facts and stories about the city’s history and notable figures. This narrated tour covers neighborhoods like Old City, Society Hill, Penn’s Landing, Center City, Independence National Historical Park, Parkway Museum District, and Fairmount Park. Explore Elfreth’s Alley (one of the oldest continuously inhabited residential streets in the United States), Betsy Ross House (believed to be the house where Betsy Ross sewed the first American flag, United States Mint (the nation’s sole manufacturer of legal tender coinage to conduct its trade and commerce), Chinatown and other iconic sights. You can hop off to explore and hop back on to continue the route. Tours depart from the southwest corner of 6th and Market Street.

6.30pm: Explore Delaware River Front

Benjamin Franklin Bridge
Benjamin Franklin Bridge. Photo: Ritika Basu for Travel and Food Network

I would have suggested getting off at Penn’s Landing, the second-to-last stop on the Big Bus loop. However, due to ongoing construction at The Park at Penn’s Landing the bus route has been temporarily diverted. This new park will span I-95 between Walnut and Chestnut Streets, connecting the Old City neighborhood to the Delaware River, and will include green spaces, a playground, an ice skating rink, an amphitheater, and an arch bridge. Instead, get off at the Museum of American Jewish History, the third-to-last stop, and walk 15 minutes to reach Penn’s Landing. The waterfront spans areas like Fishtown, Northern Liberties, Old City, Society Hill, Queen Village, and Pennsport, featuring some of the city’s best parks (Spruce Street Harbor Park, Race Street Pier), fantastic outdoor venues for concerts and festivals (Great Plaza), major attractions (Rivers Casino, Independence Seaport Museum), and stunning views of the Benjamin Franklin Bridge.

8pm: Dinner at Moshulu

End your day with dinner at Moshulu, a must-visit restaurant docked at Penn’s Landing on the Delaware River Waterfront. As the world’s oldest and largest four-masted tall ship, it offers contemporary American cuisine in a unique setting with stunning views of the city skyline and waterfront.


8am: Walk around City Centre

Love Park. Photo: Ritika Basu for Travel and Food Network
Love Park. Photo: Ritika Basu for Travel and Food Network

Take a leisurely stroll to the Masonic Temple to admire its stunning interiors. Next, join a guided tour of City Hall, where you can stand directly beneath the giant statue of William Penn. Don’t forget to snap a selfie in front of the iconic LOVE sculpture in JFK Plaza before heading to K’Far, an Israeli pastry shop, for breakfast. First-timers should try the smoked salmon Jerusalem bagel and pistachio sticky buns. Take your food to-go and head to nearby Rittenhouse Square. Find a park bench or a spot on the lawn to relax, listen to live jazz, and enjoy the bustling summertime farmer’s market. Get your caffeine fix at La Colombe, a Philadelphia-based coffee company. While there are plenty of fresh baked goods and other café staples, the real draw is the coffee. Enjoy expertly prepared pour-overs, nitro lattes, and all the espresso classics.

11am: Barnes Foundation

The Barnes Foundation. Photo by M. Moran
The Barnes Foundation. Photo by M. Moran for PHLCVB

After a relaxing morning, visit the permanent collection at The Barnes Foundation. It showcases an impressive array of European Impressionist and early modern paintings. Each gallery, curated by Barnes himself and referred to as ensembles, pairs works by renowned masters like Cézanne, Matisse, Picasso, Modigliani, Renoir, and Soutine with African metal sculptures and Pennsylvania German woodwork.

Lunch: The Garden Restaurant at Barnes Foundation is more than a typical museum café; it offers a refined menu with international flavors. It’s a great place to visit even if you’re not exploring the galleries, as no tickets are needed to dine. If you need a quick bite, stop by Reflections Cafe for a faster option.

1pm: Rodin Museum

Rodin Museum
Photo by J. Fusco for Visit Philadelphia

Further down the Avenue of the Arts is the Rodin Museum, the only such facility outside of France. You’ll pass a massive open-air sculpture of The Thinker before entering the museum, which houses nearly 150 works in bronze, marble, and plaster by Rodin. The museum’s garden and architecture were also designed by French artists, making it a true artistic embassy of France, a country with deep historical ties to Philadelphia.

2pm: Philadelphia Museum of Art

Art enthusiasts can indulge in a rich collection of Impressionist and Post-Impressionist masterpieces at the Philadelphia Museum of Art’s European Galleries, featuring works by Renoir, Monet, Manet, Degas, and Cézanne. Spanning over 600,000 square feet and housing more than 200,000 artworks spanning 2,000 years, the museum underwent a major redesign in 2021 by Frank Gehry, unveiling 90,000 square feet including repurposed New American galleries that critically address the historical narrative and inclusivity of American art from 1650 to 1850. With Rabindranath Tagore’s works, Diego Rivera’s murals, a reassembled 16th-century Madurai mandapam (festival hall), and a ceremonial Japanese tea house from early 20th-century Tokyo, a visit here offers a lifetime of artistic exploration.

Photo by J. Fusco for VISIT PHILADELPHIA®
Photo by J. Fusco for Visit Philadelphia

A visit to the Philadelphia Museum of Art is incomplete without stopping at the Rocky Statue and the “Rocky Steps, two of the city’s most iconic attractions. Daily, crowds gather at the bottom of the museum’s stairs to take photos with the Rocky statue, originally created for Rocky III and now a beloved symbol of Philadelphia’s cinematic hero. Many visitors then run up the museum’s grand stairway to recreate Rocky’s famous two-arms-raised salute, enjoying picturesque views of the Philadelphia skyline along the way.

4pm: Eastern State Penitentiary

Photo by R. Kennedy for VISIT PHILADELPHIA®
Photo by R. Kennedy for Visit Philadelphia

Next, visit Eastern State Penitentiary, America’s first prison, which opened in 1829 and closed in 1971. Explore the eerie halls with a self-guided audio tour, including a visit to Al Capone’s famously luxurious cell. The prison offers insights into America’s current prison system and features art installations throughout. It’s a popular attraction, so expect crowds during peak times. Additionally, from mid-September through Halloween, the prison hosts a highly acclaimed haunted house experience.

6pm: Drinks at Yards Brewing

At sunset, enjoy a pint at Yards Brewing, a local favorite that has contributed to Philadelphia’s reputation as a beer-loving city since 1994. Known for their commitment to taste and tradition, Yards Brewing offers a range of beers that exemplify this ethos. Be sure to also try their classics like the Signature IPA, English Mild (Brawler), and Loyal Lager.

Photo by J. Fusco for Visit Philadelphia
Photo by J. Fusco for Visit Philadelphia

8pm: Dinner at Laser Wolf

Take your dinner at Laser Wolf, an Israeli grill house by Michael Solomonov and Steve Cook, renowned for their innovative approach to grilling. Their restaurant has earned multiple James Beard Awards, reflecting their culinary excellence and dedication to Israeli-inspired cuisine. At Laser Wolf, (named after a character from “The Fiddler on the Roof), each meal centers around the salatim, a stainless-steel platter with award-winning hummus surrounded by 10 bowls of vegetable dishes. From smoky kale baba ganoush to flavorful ajvar, these dishes invite you to indulge with pita. Don’t miss the lamb merguez and Iraqi short ribs, braised in amba and charred to perfection, offering a brisket-like bark and tender meat. Be sure to pair your meal with their in-house arak and book your reservations early.

Photo by Daniel Knoll for Visit Philadelphia

Must Read: The Countryside of Philadelphia: A Guide to Road Tripping through Brandywine Valley and Valley Forge


9am: Breakfast at Vernick Coffee Bar

For breakfast, visit Vernick Coffee Bar on the second floor of the Comcast Technology Center. Chef Greg Vernick, in partnership with Four Seasons Hotel Philadelphia, brings a modern coffee bar and café to the city. Offering a takeaway bakery, barista counter, and a 40-seat full-service cafe, Vernick Coffee Bar serves a menu of expertly prepared dishes including their signature quiche and in-house baked goods, highlighting global flavors and high-impact combinations.

11am: Magic Gardens

Magic Garden
Photo: Ritika Basu for Travel and Food Network

After breakfast, visit the South Street neighborhood to explore the artistic world of Isaiah Zagar. During the late 1960s, the mosaic artist transformed the area with his mosaic murals, using materials like broken ceramics, discarded mirrors, bottles, and bicycle wheels. His prolific work, adorned with iconic caricatures and self-quotes, played a pivotal role in the South Street Renaissance, a movement that thwarted a proposed highway project threatening the community.

The highlight of Zagar’s work is the Magic Gardens, considered his magnum opus. Starting with vacant lots near his studio, Zagar began adding mosaics to adjacent buildings in 1991 and sculpting walls from scavenged objects. Despite initial challenges from property owners in 2004, community support led to the preservation of the site by a non-profit organization. Zagar continued to expand his creation, which was fully unveiled in 2008 as a vibrant testament to his artistic vision and community resilience.

1pm: Visit the Oldest Confectionery in the United States

Clockwise from left to right: Shane Confectionery (Photo by G. Widman); The Franklin Fountain (Photo by J. Fusco); and Campo’s (Photo by C. Smyth)

For lunch, satisfy your appetite with a cheesesteak at Campos before indulging your sweet tooth at Shane Confectionery – one of America’s oldest candy stores that evokes the spirit of Willy Wonka’s Chocolate Factory. You’ll first pass its close-cousins on the corner of Market Street, Franklin Ice Cream Bar offering standout scoops like vanilla with beans from Madagascar and Mexico, while Franklin Fountain tempts with hot fudge sundaes and signature root beer floats. Next door, Shane Confectionery beckons with its nostalgic storefront. Antique apothecary jars filled with candies line the curved bay windows, showcasing finely-crafted chocolate bars and traditional Pennsylvania Dutch clear toys—sugar candies shaped into intricate designs like schooners and cats. Take a historic tour of the sweetshop or join one of their popular chocolate tasting workshops for a memorable experience.

3pm: Walking Tour of 9th Street Italian Market

Italian Market
Clockwise from left to right: 9th Street Italian Market; Chef Jacquie from StrEATS of Philly Food Tour holding up a plate of Cannoli at Isgro Pastries; and South Philly Barbacoa (a Mexican gem featured on Netflix’s ‘Chef’s Table’): Photos: Kyle Huff for PHLCVB and Ritika Basu for Travel and Food Network

Next, explore 9th Street Italian Market, a neighborhood that gains its unique character from three major waves of immigration: Southern Italians arriving at the end of the 19th century, followed by Vietnamese in the 1970s, and Mexicans in the 1990s. Join a tour with StrEATS of Philly Food Tours, led by Chef Jacquie, a native of South Philadelphia and a recognized expert in Philly’s food scene. The two-hour tour explores Philadelphia’s South 9th Street Italian Market, featuring Italian and Mexican vendors and specialties. From tasting fresh homemade tortillas to sampling cheese, olive oils, and vinegars, and enjoying an art walk, the tour culminates in savoring the best cannoli at a legendary bakery. Chef Jacquie expertly curates a selection of eateries, showcasing the best of Philadelphia’s cuisine, from hidden gems to well-known establishments.

7pm: Dinner at SkyHigh Lounge


Save the best for the last because ending your day of gastronomic exploration with a visit to SkyHigh Lounge at the Four Seasons is an unparalleled experience. Perched atop the 60th floor of the Comcast centre, SkyHigh offers Philadelphia’s highest bar and lounge experience, featuring a glamorous setting where you can enjoy artful cocktails and light bites from Michelin-starred chef Jean-Georges Vongerichten amidst live music and breathtaking views. Indulge in Philadelphia specials like cheesesteak egg rolls and pretzel-crusted calamari, along with JG classics such as pizza with black truffle and fontina.

Philadelphia isn’t just a city marked by historical landmarks and bronze statues; it’s also a place where creativity bursts forth from its streets. Splashes of paint and pastels adorn its concrete landscape, stretching up toward the sparkling skyline, transforming it into a vibrant open-air museum.

For more information, visit Philadelphia Convention & Visitors Bureau

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