Add dates

Philadelphia Culture & history

Our most recommended Philadelphia Culture & history

Philadelphia: Eastern State Penitentiary Admission

1. Philadelphia: Eastern State Penitentiary Admission

Discover the historic building of the Eastern State Penitentiary which stands today in ruin, a haunting world of crumbling cellblocks and empty guard towers. Learn about how when Eastern State opened more than 180 years ago, it changed the world of prisons and was copied throughout the world. Known for its grand architecture and strict discipline, this was the world's first true "penitentiary," a prison designed to inspire penitence, or true regret, in the hearts of prisoners. Discover how the building itself was an architectural wonder; it had running water and central heat before the White House. Marvel at the vaulted, sky-lit cells which once held many of America's most notorious criminals, including bank robber "Slick Willie" Sutton and Al Capone. As you explore the building, listen to 'The Voices of Eastern State' audio tour which is included in your admission price. Narrated by actor Steve Buscemi (known for Boardwalk Empire, Fargo, Armageddon, and Ghost World), this rich, stereo soundscape mixes dozens of voices. Hear the stories of 3 former wardens and 25 guards and inmates which create an atmospheric tour as you stroll through Eastern State's cellblocks and yards. When you arrive, receive an MP3 player and headset that will guide you through the penitentiary complex and explain the prison's history. This audio guide contains a main audio route, plus additional stops for subjects like escapes, riots, sports, sexuality, and more. You are free to tour at your own pace and to listen to (or skip) stops based on your interests. Also discover interactive experiences, history exhibits, and a critically acclaimed series of artist installations.

From New York City: Washington and Philadelphia 1-Day Tour

2. From New York City: Washington and Philadelphia 1-Day Tour

Learn about American history on a tour of Washington DC and Philadelphia, both of which played important roles in the development of democracy in the USA. Visit the Lincoln Memorial, the National Mall, Independence Hall, and more on a guided day trip with roundtrip transfers from NYC. Your day will begin with an early morning departure from Times Square in Manhattan, where you’ll be greeted by your bilingual tour guide for the day. After 4-5 hours, your first destination will be the nation's current capital, Washington, DC. Once there, visit the Iwo Jima Memorial and the Lincoln Memorial. During the tour, stop for a classic outside view of the White House, home and office of the U.S. President, and the Capitol Building, home of the U.S. Congress. Your visit to Washington concludes with free time for lunch on your own. Your next destination, after a 3-hour journey, will be the first-ever U.S. capital, Philadelphia, PA. Visit its historic Old City neighborhood and the Independence National Historical Park where your guide will lead you on a brief walking tour. Then, ascend to the top of the Rocky Steps before returning to Times Square in Manhattan.

Philadelphia: Museum of Illusions Timed Entrance Ticket

3. Philadelphia: Museum of Illusions Timed Entrance Ticket

Experience the impossible with an entry ticket to the Museum of Illusions Philadelphia. Immerse yourself in a world where your eyes will be in a constant battle with your brain. Located in the heart of Philadelphia, this brain-boggling museum is a one-of-a-kind destination for optical illusions.  Challenge yourself in more than 60 visual and educational exhibits featuring holograms, stereograms, optical illusions, and immersive rooms designed to tease the senses and trick the mind. Defy gravity, grow and shrink, walk on the ceiling, experience infinite space, and much more. Spend some time in the Smart Playroom with games that will stimulate and challenge your mind. Enjoy some friendly competition with friends and family while simultaneously improving your cognition, problem-solving skills, and memory.  Have fun while learning the mechanics behind each and every illusion you experience. And don't forget your camera or smartphone when you visit as there are eye-fooling photo-ops around every corner.

Philadelphia: Segway Adventure Tour

4. Philadelphia: Segway Adventure Tour

Take a Segway tour of Philadelphia to see the main city sights and get an informative commentary on the history of the city at the forefront of the American Revolution and Declaration of Independence. Your guide will give you a 30-minute training session before you set off on the self-balancing vehicles. Then, traveling in groups of up to 6 people, head down to Penn's Landing for views across to New Jersey and the Benjamin Franklin Bridge. Glide through the Historic District, passing Elfreth's Alley and the Betsy Ross House. Admire Independence Hall en route to Society Hill, where you can marvel at the stately homes while catching the aroma of fresh coffee at quaint cafés. Pass over Avenue of the Arts to Rittenhouse Square, before winding through the Fitler Square neighborhood to Schuylkill River. The scenery changes here, as you work your way along the paths of the Schuylkill Banks, joined by runners and bikers en route to the Philadelphia Museum of Art. Admire the statue of Rocky Balboa at the bottom of the famous steps he ran up in the 1976 blockbuster movie, before moving on to Benjamin Franklin Parkway to see Rodin’s “Thinker” statue in the outdoor sculpture garden.  Take back streets that will lead you to the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts, from where you can loop through Chinatown and the end of your tour.

Philadelphia: Grim, Dark, and Twisted History Tour

5. Philadelphia: Grim, Dark, and Twisted History Tour

Experience the grim history of Philadelphia on this urban adventure beginning at the sites where the seeds of political change were sown. Descend into the sites of former brothels, mass burial grounds, and polluted prisons, stepping on salvaged streets where pirates roamed freely with the founding fathers. Historian and professor Joe Wojie or one of his expert guides will lead you on a tour that explores the grim realities of colonial America and the legends and traditions they inspired. From the home of Dolly Madison to the sights of Helltown - murder, mayhem, and madness are in the roots of this city. This tour was researched and designed by university professor Joe Wojie to stand apart from every other day or night tour offered in Philadelphia with its originality and dark flavor. The 8 PM tour is geared more towards an adult audience, while families and children can enjoy a fun way to learn about Philly's secret past during the earlier tour departures.

Philadelphia: Museum of the American Revolution Entry

6. Philadelphia: Museum of the American Revolution Entry

Discover the dramatic story of the American Revolution at one of Philadelphia’s lead attractions. Step into the Museum of the American Revolution, then watch an introductory movie before making your own way through the exhibitions. Marvel at the museum’s vast collection of Revolutionary-era weapons, personal items, documents, and works of art that bring history back to life. Learn about this fascinating period of time as you explore immersive galleries, engage in powerful theater experiences, and take part in interactive features. Located just steps from the famous Independence Hall, the museum serves as a portal to the region’s Revolutionary history, which sparks interest, provides context, and encourages exploration. Printed museum guides are available in English, Spanish, French, German, Mandarin and Japanese, to elevate your learning experience.

From NYC: Philadelphia and Washington DC 2-Day Tour

7. From NYC: Philadelphia and Washington DC 2-Day Tour

Day 1: NEW YORK – PHILADELPHIA – WASHINGTON DC Depart New York through New Jersey and Pennsylvania and to the city of brotherly love Philadelphia. Arriving in the historic area of Philadelphia, visit the famous Liberty Bell, one of the symbols of freedom in America, Constitution square, and Congress Hall. Stroll Elfreth’s alley, the oldest continuously inhabited street in America. Continue on a panoramic tour of Philadelphia that includes the financial district, Benjamin Franklin Parkway, Historic Philadelphia, and more. Depart Philadelphia and see the famous “Rocky Steps” and then continue east to Lancaster county home of the Amish people. Enjoy an authentic Amish Buggy ride through the Amish farm country. Learn how Amish culture survived centuries without the benefits of technology, to this day their towns survive without the central power and sewage systems, that modern civilization take for granted. Learn how the Amish adapted, incorporating technology to create farms that are self-sufficient and make use of renewable sources of energy. After the ride, visit the marketplace where you can shop for handmade arts crafts and products. In the late afternoon, depart east for an evening arrival in Washington DC. Day 2: WASHINGTON DC – NEW YORK Start the day with a visit of Thomas Jefferson Memorial, by the Tidal Basin, surrounded by famous Japanese cherry blossom trees. Visit the Arlington National Cemetery, the Changing of the Guard, and the Kennedy family gravesite. The next stop is Capitol Hill. See the US Capitol and the White House to understand the core of the US government. Continue to the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History (while Air and Space Museum is closed due to renovations) before visiting the Lincoln, Korea, and Vietnam Memorials. In the late afternoon, depart north for an evening arrival in New York.

From New York City: 4-Day Tour w/Niagara Falls & US Capitol

8. From New York City: 4-Day Tour w/Niagara Falls & US Capitol

Visit the American and Canadian sides of Niagara Falls. Stop at an outlet mall for shopping, continue to the historic city of Brotherly love in Philadelphia and see the famous Liberty Bell and Independence Hall Square. You will also visit Washington DC, the US Capitol and visit the US Mint. Continue to Lancaster to learn about the Amish community. Day 1: New York - Finger Lakes - Niagara Falls Your morning departure from the Big Apple takes you north where you will pass the beautiful Delaware Gap to Watkins Glen State Park in the heart of the Finger Lakes region. Walk through Watkins Glen Canyon to visit the beautiful waterfalls and then continue to Niagara Falls passing Seneca Lake, arriving in the late afternoon (Winter itinerary goes to Montour Falls instead of Watkins Glen State Park). Tour the American and Canadian sides of the Falls including the American Falls, Horseshoe Falls, Goat Island, and Sister Island. At night tour Niagara Falls where you will marvel at the colorful lighting of the waters. Overnight: Niagara Falls - Wyndham Super 8 Day 2: Niagara Falls - New Jersey As you depart the hotel, hear the thundering water of Niagara Falls. See the falls up close from Horseshoe Falls and experience the power of the current aboard the Maid of the Mist (May-October). From November through April you will tour the Power Vista Hydro-electric Station, and the Cave of the Winds. At noon depart south to New York State. On the way to New York, enjoy a shopping excursion at one of the large outlet malls along the way, where you can hunt for bargains at their brand name stores. Overnight New Jersey - La Quinta Inns & Suites  Day 3: New Jersey - Philadelphia - Washington DC Depart New Jersey to Pennsylvania and to the city of brotherly love Philadelphia. Arriving in the Historic area of Philadelphia you will visit the famous Liberty Bell, and Constitution square and Constitution Hall, one of the symbols of freedom in America. Stroll Elfreth’s Alley (the oldest inhabited street in America) then continue on a panoramic tour of Philadelphia that includes the financial district, Benjamin Franklin Parkway, Historic Philadelphia and more. Departing Philadelphia, see the famous “Rocky Steps” and then continue north to Lancaster county home of the Amish people. Ride on an authentic Amish Buggy, visit an Amish market place of handmade arts and crafts and learn what it's like to live without the benefit of modern technology, electricity, running water or telephone service. Overnight at: Wyndham Garden, Washington DC. Day 4: Washington DC - New York  Start the day with a visit to Thomas Jefferson Memorial, by the Tidal Basin, surrounded with famous Japanese cherry blossom trees. Visit the Arlington National Cemetery, the changing of the guards and the Kennedy family gravesite.  Next stop is Capitol Hill. See the US Capitol and the White House to understand the core of the US government. Continue to the Air and Space Museum before visiting the Lincoln, Martin Luther King, Korea and Vietnam Memorials.  In the late afternoon, depart north for an evening arrival in New York.

Philadelphia: History, Highlights & Revolution Walking Tour

9. Philadelphia: History, Highlights & Revolution Walking Tour

Immerse yourself in the vibrant and varied past of Philadelphia, one of the US' most historically significant cities, on this walking tour. Learn more about America's former capital and how it helped to shape the United States of America. Take a guided stroll through Independence National Park, along the cobblestone streets of Old City, past buildings, statues, and monuments, and through the history you think you know. Be amazed by Philadelphia’s remarkable past as your local guide separates the fact from the fiction. Get the chance to give back with a donation to a local non-profit included in the cost of your tour. You will also visit the Museum of the American Revolution and enjoy a live demonstration about George Washington’s war tent and the important role it played during the Revolution.

From NYC: Niagara Falls, Washington, and Philadelphia Tour

10. From NYC: Niagara Falls, Washington, and Philadelphia Tour

During your visit to New York, don’t miss the allure of visiting one of the most amazing natural wonders of the world, Niagara Falls, and two of the nation’s capitals, Washington D.C. and Philadelphia. On your first day of this combo tour, you will travel by comfortable bus to Niagara Falls, enjoying the scenic landscape of upstate New York (travel time is approximately 7-8 hours, each way. Upon arrival at your destination, you will begin experiencing the adventure, beauty, and natural wonder of Niagara Falls on board the historic Maid of the Mist boat cruise or from other observation points such as the Gorge Walk or other available observation points (when the Maid of the Mist is not running). During your visit, you will learn about the interesting history of these mighty waters and enjoy spectacular views of the falls from different vantage points. After an unforgettable experience and wonderful memories, you will return to Times Square in Manhattan arriving back between 11:00 PM and midnight. Two days later you will depart again from Times Square now heading south to two of the nation’s capitals. Your first destination visit will be Washington D.C. the current capital, where your tour will begin with a visit to the Iwo Jima Memorial, dedicated to honoring the US Marines. You will continue with a visit to the impressive Lincoln Memorial honoring the president who promoted the abolition of slavery in the United States. Washington D.C. is the center for all three branches of the U.S. government. During this tour, you will stop for a classic outside view of the seat of two of them, the White House, home and office of the U.S. President and the Capitol Building, home of the U.S. Congress and where the laws of this country are made. Your visit to Washington concludes with free time for lunch on your own. Your next destination is the first-ever U.S. capital, chosen during the Revolutionary War, Philadelphia, PA. After an approximately 3-hour journey, you'll arrive directly to Philadelphia's historic Old City neighborhood. Your first stop will be at the Independence National Historical Park where your guide will lead you on a brief walking tour. You will have the opportunity to see some of the main historical sites such as the Liberty Bell, the famous symbol of America's independence, and Independence Hall, the birthplace of the United States. It was within its walls that America's founding documents, the Declaration of Independence (July 4, 1776) and Constitution, were debated and adopted. Your visit to Philadelphia concludes with a stop at the Rocky Steps, in front of the Philadelphia Museum of Art, where you'll have an opportunity to re-enact the famous scene from the 1976 movie by ascending to the top of the steps.

  • Entry tickets
  • Guided tours
  • Multi-day trips
  • Other experiences
  • Day trips
  • Private tours
40 activities found
Sort by:
Page 1 of 3

Frequently asked questions about Philadelphia

What top attractions are a must-see in Philadelphia?

Other Sightseeing Options in Philadelphia

Want to discover all there is to do in Philadelphia? Click here for a full list.

What people are saying about Philadelphia

Overall rating

4.7 / 5

based on 386 reviews

This is definitely an experience that is worth the cost. If time is limited but your trying to fit in as much as possible this is a great adventure. You will pass through multiple states which is interesting and nothing felt rushed. We had plenty of time to site see at the monuments. You do have to pack your own food. At a couple of stops you can find food from food trucks but they do not make a stop for food other than the morning coffee. I do recommend taking your own snacks especially if you are not ok with just grabbing food from a food truck or food from a fast food market

Nina did a superb job introducing the history of Ben Franklin and the Founding Fathers. It was miserable weather, but her happy and very kind attitude kept me warm. Mixing in some modern information about Philly was very interesting as well, since I could learn what this historically city has developed into. I’d recommend during the tour together with a half-day visit at the Museum of the American Revolution (which I did) to complete your deep insights of this historically so important era.

This place was so much fun. The pictures alone are worth it. Since I got back I've shared those pictures with others so many times. I went by myself and the staff were so helpful in taking my picture and helping me to get the best shots!

Steve was awesome! Very knowledgeable and friendly. Would have been cool to see more sights up close in person, but I suppose that would require waiting in long lines for the major attractions. All in all, a great time

We did the walk on Dec 11th with Kate and she was excellent. We highly recommend this as it was very well done. Kate was very knowledgable. We learned things we never knew and it was fascinating