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Philadelphia: Gateway to the U.S.

December 22, 2020

A desirable destination, Philadelphia has never been easier to visit. With nonstop service from hubs across Europe on major international carriers, and a central location just 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.

Traveling to Philadelphia is Simple

Sunrise view from the Philadelphia International Airport tower. Photo courtesy of Philadelphia International Airport.

As American Airline’s transatlantic gateway, Philadelphia plays an important role connecting travelers between destinations throughout the United States, Europe, the Caribbean, Canada and Mexico.

Both year-round and seasonal service is available on American Airlines from major hubs across Europe, including Amsterdam, Athens, Paris-De Gaulle, Dublin, Rome, London-Heathrow, Barcelona, Prague, Venice and Manchester, among others. Additionally, foreign-flag carriers Qatar, Lufthansa and Aer Lingus offer service from Doha, Frankfurt and Dublin, respectively. Flights from London-Heathrow and Doha have returned for essential-travel only, and most flights expected to return in Spring/Summer 2021.

Photo by D. Rosenblum for Philadelphia International Airport.

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.

Easy to Get Around

The Philadelphia International Airport Line stops every 30 minutes at each terminal. Photo courtesy of SEPTA.

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.

Walkable City

Old City street photo by K. Huff for PHLCVB.

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.

Only in Philadelphia for a quick stopover? Use this handy 36-Hour itinerary as a guide for what to explore in Philadelphia’s walkable downtown.

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