Philadelphia: Gateway to the U.S.
International Arrivals Hall. Photo courtesy of Philadelphia International Airport.
A desirable destination, Philadelphia has never been easier to visit. Ninety miles from New York City and 135 miles from Washington, D.C., the City of Brotherly Love’s location on the East Coast makes it a preferred entry point for travelers.
As American Airline’s transatlantic gateway, Philadelphia plays an important role connecting travelers between destinations throughout the United States and Europe.
In April 2019, American began seasonal service between Philadelphia International Airport and Edinburgh, Scotland. The daily service between the two World Heritage cities will continue through October 26. This service marks the first of four new transatlantic routes launching in 2019. American Airlines will begin seasonal service between Philadelphia International Airport and Berlin, Bologna and Dubrovnik. Berlin, Bologna and Dubrovnik will be served for the first time from Philadelphia and PHL will offer the only non-stop flights in North America to Bologna and Dubrovnik. Service to Berlin-Tegel Airport (TXL) will operate four times weekly from June 7 –September 28, and the flights to Bologna Guglielmo Marconi Airport (BLQ) will run four times weekly from June 6 – September 28. The flights to Dubrovnik Airport (DBV) will operate three times weekly from June 7 – September 27.
Once landing at Philadelphia International Airport, the Customs experience is quick and easy. The Office of U.S. Customs and Border Protection monitors average wait time (AWT) at American airports and Philadelphia International Airport works hard to reduce the AWT per passenger going through Passport Control. For the one-year period ending in December 2018, the wait in Philadelphia was 12 minutes. By comparison, the wait at JFK International Airport was 19 minutes and 16 minutes in Boston. PHL has two dozen automated passport kiosks.
After clearing Customs, grab an Official Philadelphia Visitors Guide and a Philadelphia International Visitors Guide (available in Spanish, German, Portuguese, Italian, French, Japanese and Chinese) for all you need to know about exploring Philadelphia.
Center City Philadelphia is only seven miles away. The airport line from Philadelphia’s public transportation system, SEPTA, provides service from every terminal of the airport to Center City. The ride is 25 minutes and leaves every 30 minutes with a one-way fare of $6.75. A taxi ride is a flat rate of $28.50. Philadelphia Sightseeing Tours provides airport shuttles to and from the airport for individuals and groups starting at $30. Ridesharing services such as Uber and Lyft are also available in Philadelphia.
Philadelphia is consistently ranked as one of the most walkable cities in the nation. Thanks to founder William Penn’s smart and simple grid street design, the heart of the city is easy to navigate. The Schuylkill and Delaware rivers border Center City’s 25 blocks on the west and east. South of Market Street, streets running east and west are named after trees while north and south streets are numbered.
Use this handy Historic District Itinerary as a guide to what to explore in Philadelphia’s Old City.
The Philadelphia Convention & Visitors Bureau (PHLCVB) is the official tourism promotion agency for the City of Philadelphia globally and the primary sales and marketing agency for the Pennsylvania Convention Center.