Mini Itineraries for Things To Do Around the Pennsylvania Convention Center

The Pennsylvania Convention Center is in an ideal location to explore Philadelphia – even if you only have an hour or two.

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.


Independence Mall and Presidents House photo by K. Huff for PHLCVB.

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.


Claes Oldenburg's Paint Torch stands 51-feet high on Broad Street across from the Pennsylvania Convention Center.

Wander throughout the city to enjoy our unparalleled collection of public art – more than 4,000 murals and sculptures.

First, 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. Then, you’ll want to stop in to visit PAFA’s spectacular gift shop, which carries unique gifts and locally-made items. Read more on how to view art in museum shops: 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.


Reading Terminal Market photo by K. Huff for PHLCVB.

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.

Learn more about Philadelphia as a global dining destination. And for even more great Philadelphia dining experiences check out the guide on where to dine in Philadelphia which features the oldest operating tavern in Philadelphia to a James Beard Award-winning restaurant.


Macy's Center City photo by K. Huff for PHLCVB.

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 so try to time your visit with a free organ concert.

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.

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