International Essentials

INTERNATIONAL ESSENTIALS
Philadelphia’s rich history and modern energy make it the perfect place for travelers from all over the globe. Make the most of your visit with these helpful resources. 

MULTICULTURAL COMMUNITIES
Philadelphia is proud of our diverse cultural communities and their unique histories. Many of the world’s ethnicities are represented across our neighborhoods. Nearly one million people of African descent and Native American, Asian, Hispanic, Latin American and Caribbean ancestry call our city home. With more than 1,000 restaurants in the region, you can sample cuisines of many cultures, including Asian, Italian, French and Jamaican. 

TRANSLATED VISITORS GUIDES
Pick up a PHILADELPHIA INTERNATIONAL VISITORS GUIDE™, available in five languages, at the Independence Visitors Center at 6th and Market streets or at the City Hall Visitor Center at Broad and Market streets. 

LANGUAGE ACCESS 
The Language Access Card is a multi-lingual customer-service tool for interactions between limited English-proficient (LEP) residents and visitors and city agencies. The card provides instruction on how to obtain interpreter services over the phone or at a city agency. To view all Language Access Card languages, visit phila.gov/globalphiladelphia.

LANGUAGE TRANSLATION
SERVICES FOR BUSINESS TRAVELERS

American Language Services Cetra Language Solutions
267-773-9273
215-635-7090

Global Arena MTM LinguaSoft
215-735-1055
215-729-6765

International Visitors Council
The International Visitors Council (IVC) of Philadelphia arranges counterpart meetings, “shadow days,” technical study tours and American cultural experiences for visitors from around the world. IVC programs broaden networking and provide visitors with a better understanding of the United States and of local, national and international industries in a variety of professions. Visits to classrooms, courtrooms, offices and industrial sites can be arranged to address a variety of current topics. For more information, contact IVC: 1515 Arch Street, 12th floor, call 215-683-0999, fax 215-683-0998, ivc@ivc.org ivc.org

CURRENCY EXCHANGE
Currency may be exchanged at the following locations, as well as in multiple locations at Philadelphia International Airport. Several hotels and restaurants also redeem currency. Look for signs at participating establishments.

Citizens Bank
1234 Market Street 
215-561-5800 
20th and Market streets 
215-977-8495

PNC Bank
1600 Market Street 
215-585-1166

APPROXIMATE INTERNATIONAL FLIGHT TIMES TO PHL*

  • Amsterdam 7.5 hours
  • Barcelona 8 hours
  • Brussels 8.5 hours
  • Buenos Aires 11.5 hours
  • Dublin 8 hours
  • Frankfurt 8 hours
  • Glasgow 7 hours
  • Hong Kong 17 hours
  • Lisbon 7.5 hours
  • London 7.5 hours
  • Madrid 7.5 hours
  • Manchester 7.5 hours
  • Mexico City 7 hours
  • Montreal 1 hour
  • Moscow 10 hours
  • Munich 8.5 hours
  • New Delhi 17 hours
  • Oslo 8 hours
  • Paris 8 hours
  • Rome 9 hours
  • Sao Paulo 10 hours
  • Seoul 18.5 hours
  • Tel Aviv 11 hours
  • Tokyo 16.5 hours
  • Toronto 1.5 hours
  • Vancouver 6 hours
  • Venice 9 hours
  • Zurich 8.5 hours

*DIRECT FLIGHT TO PHILADELPHIA


ELECTRICITY 
The current used in Philadelphia is standard, which is 110 volts. Electronics brought from Europe will require a voltage transformer or an adapter.


PHILADELPHIA INTERNATIONAL MEDICINE
Philadelphia International Medicine links the greater Philadelphia region’s nationally recognized hospitals with leading physicians and medical technology to make comprehensive, quality health care available to the international community. Through partnerships with respected international clinical centers and providers, Philadelphia International Medicine is a top choice for treatment among international physicians and patients. With one call, Philadelphia International Medicine can coordinate the diverse health care needs of patients from around the world, providing care for a variety of illnesses, as well as associated services for family members.

For more information, contact Philadelphia International Medicine: 1835 Market Street, 10th floor, call 215-563-4733, fax 215-563-2777 www.philadelphiamedicine.com

ESTA PROGRAM
There are a few key things that international visitors from Visa Waiver Program countries need to know before they arrive in the United States:

  • Visitors need to apply for permission to enter the U.S. at least 72 hours in advance.
  • A fee of $14 USD will be collected by the Department of Homeland Security through the Electronic System for Travel Authorization (ESTA).
  • Travelers are expected to complete the ESTA every two years.

For more information, visit cbp.gov/esta

TIPPING TIPS
In Philadelphia, gratuities are not usually included in the bill except for large parties. Here’s a handy chart of customary tips:

  • Bartenders: 10% to 15% (before taxes)
  • Coffee-shop counter service: Your discretion
  • Wait staff: 15% to 20% (before taxes)
  • Concierge: $10 for special service
  • Housekeeping: $2 to $5/night (leave a tip each night of your stay)
  • Bellhop: $1 to $2/bag
  • Doorman: $1 to $2 for hailing a cab, $2 to $5 for unloading luggage
  • Taxis: 20% to 25% of fare (minimum $1)
  • Sports-arena ushers: $1 to $2 per party

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