Philadelphia has many, many, great neighborhoods that each offer a distinct cultural flavor, but if you don’t have time to explore each in-depth, you can at least stroll through a few while getting your steps in for the day.
Walking through neighborhoods provides a feel for a city that one may not be able to get through conventional sightseeing. This map was created to guide you through Center City from the Art Museum to the Delaware River on a route that offers nearby unique shops, delicious cuisine, and local favorite parks and sights.
Below is a brief overview of the sights, followed by walking directions to the next location. Let’s get started!
A – The Philadelphia Museum of Art: Besides containing numerous pieces of renowned artwork, the area outside the museum offers a lot of interesting attractions as well. Look for the Rocky Statue, the Washington Monument Fountain, the Fairmount Water Works, or the Anne d’Harnon court Sculpture Garden.
When you’re ready to start walking, look for the path alongside the river, and start walking south. The Schuylkill River Trail is a beautifully conserved path popular with for lounging and running. The University of Pennsylvania and University City are on the other side of the Schuylkill if would like to explore by climbing up and crossing the Walnut Street Bridge.
B – Schuylkill River Park: Past Walnut Street, the trail provides a bridge that takes you over the railroad tracks and into a secluded neighborhood park popular for dogs, gardening, and recreational sports. Leaving the park, walk east on Delancey and then north on 22nd to get a feel of the residential Fitler Square and Rittenhouse neighborhoods.
C – Rittenhouse Square: The shops and bars on Walnut Street will take you to this park, that is full of greenery and great for people-watching. Restaurants and coffee shops line the park, as well as Walnut Street. Shopping on Walnut extends to Broad Street, but for now, going North on 17th Street will take you the iconic Love Park.
D – Love Park: The iconic LOVE statue is a memorable photo-op and provides a great view of the the Art Museum at the other end of the Benjamin Franklin Parkway. It’s also a great view of City Hall, which is where you head to next.
E – Dilworth Plaza: On the west side of City Hall, Dilworth Plaza hosts several events throughout the summer and is in the heart of Center City. From here, you can walk south on Broad Street to look back an one of the best views of City Hall before continuing east on Walnut Street.
F – Washington Square: A beautiful park next to the historic Curtis Center building is also home for the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier. Leaving this park and walking north on 6th Street will take you the Liberty Bell.
G – Liberty Bell: While the entrance is on the north side of the building, you an also enjoy the exhibits and park on the east side, which provides a great view of the Constitution Center and Independence Hall.
H – Independence Hall: It’s where the Declaration of Independence was signed, and is home to a beautiful park behind it. Walking east then south on 4th gives you a feel for the Old City and Society Hill neighborhoods, where there are many green gardens to explore. This part of the walk also guides you through South Street, a neighborhood known being a melting pot of cultures, age groups, cuisines, and tastes.
I – Head House Square: Depending on the day, you may find a farmer’s market here and restaurants are generally open everyday. It’s a lively little square, and the path will take you to Spruce street to cross over the highway and cross Columbus Blvd.
J – Spruce Street Harbor Park: Sitting next to and on the Delaware River, this park provides food, drink, games, and even hammocks.
With no stops, that should take 2 hours, and we recommend you budget some time to stop and shop along the way.
Samantha Arabolu is a Philadelphia transplant that’s been here for over 10 years. She loves neighborhood bars and live music venues.