In between sessions or with a free afternoon, check out these quick things to do in and around the Pennsylvania Convention Center district in Philadelphia.
Philadelphia is rich in attractions that tell America’s story, all within walking distance of each other and the Pennsylvania Convention Center. Independence National Historic Park is just six short blocks away and encompasses almost two dozen sites.
America’s most historic square mile includes the Liberty Bell, Independence Hall, the National Constitution Center, the President’s House and Christ Church Burial Ground — where Ben Franklin is buried.
Just five blocks east of the Convention Center, the African American Museum in Philadelphia is the first institution funded and built by a major municipality to preserve, interpret and exhibit the heritage of African Americans. Only a short walk away, head to see the first coining press used to strike our nation’s first coins at the United States Mint. With audio/visual stations throughout, all tours are self-guided and do not require a reservation. And even better – admission is free! Looking for even more history? Check out our Historic Mile.
Wander throughout the city to enjoy our unparalleled collection of public art – more than 4,000 murals and sculptures. Head across the street from the Broad Street entrance of the Convention Center and you’ll be right in charming Lenfest Plaza, part of the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts and home to Claes Oldenburg’s “Paint Torch” sculpture. Stop in to visit PAFA’s spectacular gift shop, which carries unique gifts and locally-made items. Read more: Tour and Score in Philadelphia’s Museum Shops. If you have a free afternoon, experience the city’s dynamic outdoor art scene on a Mural Arts Tour, by foot, bike, trolley or train. Find a comfy bench and an outdoor seat (combined with jaw-dropping architecture and famous art), in Dilworth Park, adjacent to Philadelphia’s City Hall. City Hall is an example of stunning French Second Empire architecture. And, don’t miss Robert Indiana’s iconic LOVE statue in LOVE Park.
With more than 80 merchants, head right next to the Convention Center for a quick lunch at the Reading Terminal Market, with an array of fresh and prepared foods from Amish merchants, fresh meats, seafood, produce and cheese to the traditional Philadelphia cheesesteak and classic Dinic’s Roast Pork sandwich. Just steps away from the Convention Center, Philadelphia’s bustling Chinatown neighborhood features more than 50 restaurants serving authentic Asian cuisine. Stop and take a photo in front of Chinatown’s Friendship Gate, a four-story symbol of the friendship and cultural exchange between Philadelphia and its sister city Tianjin, China. Philadelphia is a global dining destination. Learn more about our Essential Eats.
Housed in the historic Wanamaker Building, Macy’s Center City is a National Historic Landmark with marble arches, three fashion-filled levels and one of the world’s largest organs. Time your visit with a free organ concerts. Step into Century 21, also on Market Street, for designer clothing at steep discounts and check out the new Fashion District Philadelphia. BONUS: all clothing and shoe purchases are tax-free in Philadelphia. If you have some extra time, walk a few blocks further down to Rittenhouse Row along Walnut Street to splurge on trendy home décor, indulgent cosmetics and luxury accessories. You’ll find top designers and brands as well as an array of decadent dining options. Check out our Local Shopping Guide.