Whilst in Philadelphia, we made it a priority to visit the Eastern State Penitentiary - one of the oldest standing penitentiaries in the United States. We are both interested in historical [...]
This urban city represents the East Coast living, offering amazing food, music and history. Just a short journey from NYC, Philadelphia is often over looked but is worth a detour for those who want to experience a different type of city life.
Philadelphia is a hub of history, with some great architecture, the famous Liberty Bell, the incredible Museum of Art and walking tours of Benjamin Franklins home. Make sure you check out the Eastern State Penitentiary; America’s first state prison to use solitude punishment – refining the prison system and also the prison Al Capone spent his first prison sentence at.
Hostel/Budget rates – Dorm beds start around $22, with privates nearer $60.
Midrange Hotel rates – Budget motels and chains start around $90 – $120 whilst hotels nearer the centre of Philly will cost between $130 – $160.
Luxury Hotel rates – Top chains and fancy hotels can be found upwards of $200.
Transport – As a compact city, Philly is known as one of the great walking cities of the country whilst the city wide bike sharing service costs $4 per ride. The PHLASH bus takes you to all of Philly’s top attractions and costs $2 per ride or $5 for an all day pass.
Average cost of food – There are some great deli and pizza places around Philly, offering lunches for $5-$8 per person or whole pizzas for $15- $22. There are a small selection of cheap sit-down restaurants that will cost around $20-$30 a head whilst many chain and mid-range restaurants will cost you upwards of $40 per head with 2 or so alcoholic drinks.
Where to stay
Hostel/Budget – The Philadelphia House is a close walk to all major attractions, with dorms costing $32 a night and private rooms starting at $70 for two. Another popular spot is the Apple Hostels of Philadelphia, in a quieter area of old city just a short walk from the Liberty Bell, with dorm beds starting at $32 or twin rooms with shared bathroom starting at $90.
Midrange – The Morris House Hotel is a historic landmark, transformed into a luxury boutique hotel, just a short walk from all major attractions, rooms start at $136. Looking for a spectacular stay, check out The Windsor Suites Philadelphia, with rooms starting at $122.
Top End – High end hotel Loews Philadelphia Hotel is a great choice for those looking to splurge, with rooms starting at $259. Or the Hotel Palomar Philadelphia offers a great location, spacious rooms and a nationally celebrated onsite chef, with rooms starting at $224.
How to get there
Fly – Philadelphia International Airport is just 7 miles from the city centre and serves countries across the world as well as domestic flights. From here you can catch the Airport line train, costing $8.75 for a 25 minute trip into the city centre. Flat rate taxis cost $28.50.
Bus – Greyhound and NJ transit offer buses to and from Philadelphia from other major eastern cities. MegaBus also offer similar journeys and also serves Toronto.
Train – Amtrak provides trains from the elegant and Grand 30th St Station, with trains connecting you to NYC (1-1.5 hours), Washington DC (2 hours), Boston (6 hours) and Pittsburg (7.5 hours). Book in advanced and you can find some cheap fares.
Most things to see and do in Philadelphia are in walking distance to each other. Septa buses and subway lines can connect you to attractions further afield or try out the bike-share system; Indego, costing $4 for 30 minutes or a 30 day membership costing $15. Taxis are easy to hail, and with a fairly small city, most journeys don’t cost more than $15.