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Convention Center District & Chinatown

November 7, 2023

Anchored by the Pennsylvania Convention Center, this bustling district also offers great shopping, dining and cultural institutions.

What to Do

Witness historic City Hall, home to over 250 sculptures by Alexander Milne Calder, including one of Philadelphia founder William Penn — the largest statue atop any building in the world. Below, Dilworth Park hosts fitness classes, musical performances, and movie screenings during the summer. Tour the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, the oldest art museum and school in the nation, showcasing a vast collection of 19th- and 20th-century artworks. Visit the Fabric Workshop and Museum, a modern art exhibition space, that supports one-of-a-kind collaborations with internationally renowned artists.

Walk under the Friendship Gate, a gift from Philadelphia’s sister city of Tianjin, which welcomes visitors to Chinatown. Stop by Macy’s located in the storied Wanamaker Building and hear the largest pipe organ in the world play. Representing the City of Brotherly Love, Robert Indiana’s iconic LOVE sculpture anchors LOVE Park. The park was originally designed by Edmund Bacon (father of famous actor Kevin Bacon) as a friendly final point to the Benjamin Franklin Parkway. Snap a selfie in front of the statue and enjoy seasonal events as you relax in the square.

A colorful archway called the Friendship Gate leads to Philadelphia's Chinatown. Cars are shown in the street, as people walk along the sidewalk across colorful storefronts.

Friendship Gate

Retreat from the city streets into the Masonic Library and Museum of Pennsylvania. This National Historic Landmark is an architectural wonder and headquarters of the Grand Lodge of Pennsylvania, Free and Accepted Masons. Considered one of the great “wonders” of the Masonic world, this hidden treasure leaves an impression on everyone who walks through its gate. Schedule a tour to see its grand art and architecture for yourself.

Where to Dine

Satisfy just about any craving at the historic Reading Terminal Market, home to over 80 independent vendors and 30 eateries. On tiny Drury Street, you’ll find McGillin’s Olde Ale House. As the city’s oldest continuously operating tavern, McGillin’s has been pouring drinks and serving classic pub fare since 1860. Tour one of America’s largest Chinatown districts and savor some of the best duck in Philadelphia at Sang Kee Peking Duck House. With seasonally changing menus, Bank and Bourbon serves only the freshest — and unexpected — flavors.

Redding Terminal Market. People eating at tables in the foreground and a fish counter in the background.

Reading Terminal Market

Where to Stay

Thanks to its centralized location, there are no shortage of hotels in the Convention Center District and surrounding areas. Over 14,000 hotel rooms are within a short walk of the Pennsylvania Convention Center.

Attached to the Pennsylvania Convention Center is the Aloft Philadelphia Downtown. The hotel features 179 loft-inspired guest rooms in the historic Liberty Title Building. The Le Meridien Philadelphia is just one block away and offers sweeping views of Center City.

Exterior of a hotel in a city setting.

The Aloft Philadelphia Downtown occupies the historic Liberty Title Building. Photo courtesy of Aloft Philadelphia Downtown.

Nearby, you’ll find Philadelphia’s largest hotel, the Marriott Downtown, which boasts 1,408 rooms and is connected to the Pennsylvania Convention Center’s Grand Hall via a sky bridge. Just across Market Street from the Marriott is the Loews Philadelphia Hotel. It occupies the former home of the 33-story PSFS Building – the nation’s first internationally-designed skyscraper.

The Canopy by Hilton Philadelphia Center City, is located inside the historic and completely renovated Stephen Girard Building. The Notary Hotel, Autograph Collection, can be found near Philadelphia’s iconic City Hall, presenting state-of-the-art systems with unique architectural details. The neighboring Residence Inn Philadelphia Center City offers apartment-like suites. Additional hotels include the Home2Suites Center City — located across from the historic Reading Terminal Market — as well as those found in and around Chinatown, such as the Hampton Inn Convention CenterFour Points by Sheraton, and Hilton Garden Inn

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