While LOVE Park, the “Rocky Steps” and Liberty Bell all offer their own Instagram-worthy moments, there are dozens of other photo opportunities throughout Philadelphia. We’ve assembled a few of our favorite locations via this handy guide, each of which is free to access and offers unique perspectives of the city.
PSST: Don’t forget to tag your photos with #discoverPHL and follow @discover_PHL on Instagram for more photo inspiration.
START FROM HERE MURAL
Found behind the Pennsylvania Convention Center along Race Street, this Mural Arts mural by artist Isaac Tin Wei Lin features hundreds of colorful flags that represent Philadelphia’s diverse immigrant population. The rich colors and pleasing patterns make the mural a great spot for selfies or “Wall Crawl”-style photos.
Location: 1315 Race Street
Neighborhood: Convention Center District
RACE STREET PIER
Once a shipping pier, Race Street Pier is now a complete recreational space. The main focal point is a dramatic ramp which gradually elevates 12 feet into the air as it guides visitors east towards the Delaware River. The pier provides incredible views of the Benjamin Franklin Bridge and the boats that frequently pass up and down the river. It’s also a prime location for early morning sunrise photo shoots.
Location: Race Street and North Columbus Boulevard
Neighborhood: Waterfront/Historic District
Located in the Washington Square West neighborhood, Quince Street is a narrow, quiet, residential street complete with cobblestones and charming homes. Enter from Locust Street to capture an incredible vanishing-point photo, but don’t be afraid to navigate further down the street to uncover more of Philadelphia’s historical charm.
Location: from Walnut to Lombard street between 11th and 12th streets
Neighborhood: Washington Square West
SPRING GARDEN STREET BRIDGE
A short walk from the Philadelphia Museum of Art, the Spring Garden Street Bridge offers some of the best unobstructed views of the Philadelphia skyline via its southern sidewalk. If you wake up early enough, you can even catch the sunrise behind the city skyline from this position.
Location: adjacent to the Philadelphia Museum of Art crossing over the Schuylkill River
Neighborhood: Between Parkway Museums and University City Districts
What may appear to be an average parking garage from street level is actually home to an elevated greenspace on the roof. The 1.25-acre park regularly hosts public events and is the perfect place for a photoshoot with the skyline as the backdrop. Time it right and you can even capture incredible sunset photos while on the park.
Location: 80 South 30th Street
Neighborhood: University City District
Tucked away amongst the sports fields on the University of Pennsylvania campus, this pedestrian bridge offers a unique, futuristic design which presents varying angular shadows throughout the day—perfect for portrait sessions or creating minimalistic images. Head to the eastern opening for an uncompromised view of the Philadelphia skyline.
Location: Penn Park facilities on the University of Pennsylvania campus
Neighborhood: University City District
BENJAMIN FRANKLIN BRIDGE, SOUTH WALKWAY
The Benjamin Franklin Bridge—which connects Philadelphia with Camden, NJ—features a pedestrian walkway on its southern side that offers beautiful views of the Philadelphia skyline and Delaware River. Visit later in the day to watch the sun set behind the skyline.
Location: Entrance at 5th and Race streets
Neighborhood: Historic District/Delaware River Waterfront
THE NAVY YARD
Found at the southern end of Broad Street, The Navy Yard is a former military shipyard now home to a variety of corporate offices. Still docked throughout the campus are a series of naval warships dubbed the “mothball fleet,” offering visitors unique, up-close photo ops of cruisers, frigates, aircraft carriers and more.
Location: 4747 South Broad Street
Neighborhood: South Philadelphia
Perhaps one of the most iconic views in the city comes via South Broad Street’s median. Cross onto the median at Walnut Street and point your lens north for a stunning view of the historic City Hall, positioned perfectly in the center of the street.
Location: Avenue of the Arts/Broad Street at Walnut Street
Neighborhood: Rittenhouse Square District
FAIRMOUNT WATER WORKS GAZEBO
Tucked behind the Philadelphia Museum of Art, this quaint gazebo looks out onto the Schuylkill River, Boathouse Row and the beginnings of Fairmount Park, while also offering interesting perspectives of the city skyline rising behind the museum when facing east. Visit at sunset for a truly memorable experience, as the gazebos pillars create playful patterns of shadows.
Location: 640 Waterworks Drive
Neighborhood: Parkway Museums District
This quiet residential street can be found just a few blocks south from Rittenhouse Square. The 1700 block is lined with tall trees wrapped in twinkling lights, which coupled with no parking being allowed, makes it a perfect location for vanishing point photos, especially when covered in fall leaves or snow.
Location: 1700 Block
Neighborhood: Rittenhouse Square
JESSIE AND KATEY MURAL
Located in the Spring Arts district, just a short walk from The Rail Park and Union Transfer, this vibrant mural radiates among the brown brick buildings that surround it. Standing six storeys high, the mural features a tapestry of colors that serve as the perfect background for portraits or selfies.
Location: 1217 Spring Garden Street
Neighborhood: Northern Liberties/Fishtown/North Philadelphia