Tips for Traveling to Philadelphia Right Now

January 21, 2022

Contactless solutions, new protocols, and a wide variety of transportation options make it convenient to get to (and get around) Philadelphia

Domestic and international air travel has returned to Philadelphia International Airport, train service continues to run into Amtrak’s 30th Street Station and buses are bringing groups back to Philadelphia, all with new guidelines in place to ensure a healthy, safe journey for travelers. Consider the below when planning your next trip to Philadelphia and click here for the latest updates on COVID-19 guidelines from the City of Philadelphia.

Review Guidelines for PHL Airport, Airlines, Amtrak, SEPTA, and Other Modes of Transit

When booking travel, be sure to consult the health and safety guidelines for your airline, passenger train, or bus company, including any mask requirements, in-transit meal availability, seating limitations and more. These are typically outlined on your preferred service’s website, such as these pages from local transportation organizations:

For travelers that need to produce a negative COVID-19 test prior to returning to their city, state, or country, a COVID-19 testing site is available at the Philadelphia International Airport through Jefferson Health and Rapid Available Testing. Located in the pre-security area of Terminal E, the site offers multiple types of tests intended for outbound travelers and ranging from $80 to $130, including an antigen test, a Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) test, and a Rapid PCR test.

Prepare for a Touch-Free Travel Experience

Airlines and other transportation services have begun to offer a contactless travel experience, allowing travelers to purchase tickets, acquire boarding passes, check bags, and more, all by using apps or websites accessible via a mobile device. For example, American Airlines offers contactless ticketing kiosks at Philadelphia International Airport, while Amtrak allows riders to book their trip, get gate and track notifications, and board with contact-free eTicket scanning via their mobile app.

Touch-free solutions are also being implemented within the terminals of Philadelphia International Airport, including contactless menus and payment solutions at many of the airport’s dining and shopping options. The airport has also begun testing a robotic delivery program, in which a small robot delivers meals ordered through their OrderAtPHL program directly to your gate.

Navigate Philadelphia by Foot or by Bike

Indego features over 1,400 bikes at over 140 self-service stations throughout Philadelphia. Photo courtesy of Indego.

Take advantage of Philadelphia’s ranking as the 4th most walkable large city in the nation and the city’s bike-friendly streets to navigate from neighborhood-to-neighborhood in the open air. Indego bike share stations can be found throughout most neighborhoods, or, if you prefer exploring the city by foot, most attractions and historic sites are just a short walk away from downtown hotels.

TIP: Indego’s mobile app allows users to check bike availability, purchase a pass and unlock a bike, all from the palm of your hand and without having to interact with kiosks.

Rent a Car to Reach the Countryside

Valley Forge National Historic Park is just one of the many countryside destinations just a short car ride away from downtown Philadelphia. Photo courtesy of the Valley Forge Tourism & Convention Board.

Consider renting a car for flexibility to traverse the city on your terms and easily reach nearby countryside destinations such as Valley Forge and Brandywine Valley. Multiple car rental agencies are stationed at the Philadelphia International Airport, including Enterprise, Dollar, Hertz, and Budget, with more hubs stationed around downtown Philadelphia.

Take Public Transportation

Market-Frankford Line. Photo courtesy of SEPTA.

Hop aboard a bus, train or trolley and get anywhere you want to go in Philadelphia. SEPTA offers a variety of transit services. From its Regional Rail, Market-Frankford Line, Broad Street Line and Norristown High Speed Line, trains wind their way to stations all throughout the city and its surrounding suburbs. You can even catch a train right at Philadelphia International Airport to take you into Center City via SEPTA’s Airport Line. SEPTA’s buses and trolleys are also accessible throughout the city. Another way to get around town is by taking advantage of popular rideshare options. Uber and Lyft are both available in Philadelphia.

For more information on how to get around Philadelphia, check out our transportation page.

Cover photo courtesy of Philadelphia International Airport.

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