is a city of firsts. It was the place where the American Constitution
and Bill of Rights were created over 200 years ago. It was
the first town in the New World to be planned.
History, industry, art and excellent restaurants meet in Old
City, one of the oldest sections of town.
Society Hill Colonial-style brick
pathways still weave through the serene neighborhood (along
with modern streets), winding through small parks and tucked-away
gardens and churchyards, several of which are open to the
South Street A mecca of cool shops,
galleries, restaurants, clubs and bookstores, South Street
keeps late hours, especially on weekends. Wildly painted facades
demand time for savoring — everything from tatoo parlors to
comic-book shops thrive here. You’ll also discover an eclectic
collection of reasonably priced, always hopping eateries offering
Middle Eastern, Greek, Italian, French, Spanish, Mexican and
good old-fashioned homestyle cooking. Even those Philadelphia
staples — cheesesteaks, soft pretzels and water ice — sometimes
work their way into the mix here.
Bella Vista Not far from South
Street lies the bustling Italian Market in this neighborhood.
On Saturday mornings, carts and vendors spill over into the
streets, hawking a colorful array of everything edible.
Rittenhouse Square This leafy urban oasis, centered
on the great park that gives it its name. Bordered by upscale
shops, fine hotels, elegant restaurants and brownstones, Rittenhouse
Square entices visitors with tree-lined sidewalks and shaded
The Fairmount Area and University City
These neighborhoods feature some of the city’s most important
cultural buildings: The Rodin Museum, the Academy of Natural
Sciences and the Franklin Institute, the Philadelphia Museum
of Art. Fairmount Park, more than 8,700 wooded acres along
the picturesque banks of the Schuylkill River.
And just across the Schuylkill on Philadelphia’s west side,
the city takes on the feel of a college town, thanks to the
University of Pennsylvania and Drexel University. This area
keeps getting better and better, and offers fine shopping
and dining possibilities.
Chinatown The ornate four-story
Chinese Friendship Gate at Tenth and Arch streets that marks
Chinatown symbolizes the bond between the “friendship cities”
of Tianjin, China’s third-largest city, and Philadelphia.
Chinatown buzzes with the sights, smells and sounds of dozens
of Chinese, Vietnamese, Thai and Southeast Asian restaurants
and markets. Also here is the historic Reading Terminal Market,
where the cultural offerings extend way beyond things Asian.
Chestnut Hill Stately homes and tree-lined streets
grace this 19th-century neighborhood on the northwest edge
of Philadelphia. Offers riches of silver, antiques, fine clothing,
jewelry, handicrafts, leather goods, cheeses and cookware.
Although several chain stores have moved into Germantown Avenue,
there are still enough owner-operated shops to give the street
its own personality.