Whether you’re searching for the perfect vantage point for sunrise or sunset, or if you just want to survey the Philadelphia landscape from high above the city, consider these attractions, restaurants, and public spaces, each of which offers their own memorable view of the City of Brotherly Love. TIP: Share your views on social media by tagging #discoverPHL for a chance to be featured on our Instagram!
Discover Philadelphia’s Best Views
- City Hall Observation Deck – Found at the base of the 53,348-pound William Penn statue — 548 feet above street level — this 360-degree observation deck presents brilliant views of the surrounding skyline and the Benjamin Franklin Parkway. Currently closed due to COVID-19.
- Fairmount Water Works – Learn about environmental protection and the importance of urban water planning with interactive exhibits and enjoy the beautiful views of the Schuylkill River, Boathouse Row, and the beginnings of Fairmount Park.
- Belmont Plateau in Fairmount Park – After a walk through the park, spread your picnic blanket at Belmont Plateau. At over 200 feet above river level, this lush park ground gives picnickers a stunning view of the city’s skyline, Fairmount Park, and the Schuylkill River. TIP: Visit early in the morning to watch the sun rise over the Philadelphia skyline in the distance.
- Moshulu – Take your next meal to the water and dine on the world’s oldest and largest square rigged sailing vessel still afloat. The ship, at Penn’s Landing along the Delaware River, has won a number of awards for their delicious food, wonderful service and superb dining experience, with partial thanks going to the ambient city skyline view from the water.
- Philadelphia Museum of Art – Follow in Rocky’s footsteps and climb up the grand staircase to the museum. You’ll be rewarded with a breathtaking view of the city, day or night. When you get to the top, be sure to take a picture of all that’s around you: the old world architecture of the city, a straight on view of City Hall and the bustling Benjamin Franklin Parkway.
- South Street Bridge – Connecting Center City neighborhoods such as Rittenhouse Square and Fitler Square with the beginnings of West Philadelphia and University City, this bridge offers beautiful views of the Schuylkill River and boardwalk west of downtown Philadelphia. Cutouts for pedestrians provide easy opportunities to snap pictures.
- XIX (Nineteen) – One of the city’s highest restaurants — capping the Hyatt at the Bellevue Hotel along Broad Street — is open for breakfast, lunch, dinner or late night. Enter the dining room and you’ll not only be impressed by the 36-foot dome rotunda, but thanks to the floor to ceiling picture windows, you’ll experience a stunning panoramic view of the city. The menu here is New American done brasserie-style, with a focus on seasonality and seafood. Temporarily closed due to COVID-19.
- Bok Bar – Stationed on the eighth floor of a former-school-turned-co-working-space in South Philadelphia, Bok Bar is a sought after destination in the summer thanks in part to its sweeping river-to-river views of the Philadelphia skyline. As a bonus, the rooftop bar also offers impressive food and drink menus, and is often collaborating with other local chefs.
- Assembly Rooftop Lounge at the Logan Hotel – Perfect for happy hours (and private events), this rooftop bar looks down on Logan Square and Swann Memorial Fountain with vast views of the Benjamin Franklin Parkway all the way to the Philadelphia Museum of Art.
- Benjamin Franklin Bridge – The suspension bridge across the Delaware River connects Philadelphia with Camden, New Jersey. A pedestrian walkway can be accessed at the corner of 5th and Race Streets in the historic district, and a short walk along the bridge will reveal breathtaking views of the Delaware River below and the Philadelphia skyline to the west. TIP: Visit at sundown for one of the best sunset views in the city!
- Morgan’s Pier – This seasonal waterfront bar and restaurant offers open-air seating on a deck just beneath the Benjamin Franklin Bridge.
- Race Street Pier – Also found just below the Ben Franklin Bridge, this recreational pier looks out onto the Delaware River and serves as a great stop during morning runs, especially if you’re up early enough to catch the sunrise.
- Cherry Street Pier – Situated next to Race Street Pier, the partially enclosed, partially open-air Cherry Street Pier — home to food and drink vendors and local artists year-round — also presents impressive views of the Benjamin Franklin Bridge and Delaware River.
- Battleship New Jersey – The U.S. Navy’s most decorated warship sits on the Camden waterfront and looks out at the Philadelphia skyline to the west.
- Adventure Aquarium – After learning about the over 400 animals inside the aquarium, catch striking views of the Philadelphia skyline from the promenade outside.
- Penn Treaty Park – Just north of Rivers Casino and a short walk from the Fishtown neighborhood, this park is reportedly the site of William Penn’s treaty with the Leni Lenape. The walking paths and rocky shores of the park present unobstructed views of the Delaware River and Benjamin Franklin Bridge in the distance.
- Citizens Bank Park – Cheer on the Philadelphia Phillies while enjoying spectacular views of Philadelphia (and maybe a few hot dogs). The ballpark is closed to fans during the 2020 season.
- The Mann Center for the Performing Arts – Set atop a lush hill in West Fairmount Park, this outdoor venue presents a very green glimpse of the city skyline and is often home to national touring acts and hosts the Philadelphia Orchestra during the summer months. TIP: When there isn’t a concert, the Mann Center is one of the city’s most impressive outdoor venues for offsite events.
- Spirit of Philadelphia – Set sail on the Delaware River aboard this multi-level yacht (available for private event rentals) while enjoying breathtaking views of the Philadelphia skyline.
- Cira Green – This urban park is set on the 12th floor of a parking garage in University City and presents those who visit with unobstructed views of the Center City skyline just across the Schuylkill River. The green space is also home to a food vendor and regularly hosts public community events such as yoga or movie nights.
- Four Seasons Philadelphia Hotel at Comcast Center – The newest addition to the Philadelphia skyline, the 60-story Comcast Technology Center, hosts this luxury hotel on its top floors. The 60th floor lobby, bar, and restaurant space — and glass elevator ride that precedes it — offers unrivaled 360-degree views of city. TIP: To literally float in the Philadelphia skyline, don’t miss the hotel’s 57th floor infinity pool.
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Cover photo: Benjamin Franklin Bridge pedestrian walkway. Photo by K. Huff for PHLCVB.