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Best free things to do in Philly?

I'm traveling to Philadelphia for a weekend and would love to explore the city on the lowest budget possible? What are the best free things to see and do in the city? I'm really adventurous and open to it all. Thanks! 

6 Answers

top answer by
Danyelle from Philadelphia

Check out It'll show you two different areas of the city, and it's really only the price of any food you buy. Or else The Liberty Bell and Independence Hall are both free.

You can spend some time at Spruce Street Harbor Park - Philly's finally doing a good job of using the waterfront. It's fun people watching, good food and drinks. You could also go up into Northern Liberties and check out Yards Brewing Company. I'm pretty sure they do a free tour every weekend day around 2. If you do spend time on South Street, definitely stop by Philadelphia's Magic Gardens for $10. Also before you come check out and you can see what neighborhood festivals are going on, or if any museums are free/discounted.

4 thankscomments (1)

answered by
John from Philadelphia

Philly is an extremely walkable city. I'd check out Boathouse Row in the Fairmount area - it's quite scenic with all the rowers, runners, and the water. Check out the Fairmount for nights when admission is free! You could also consider Sister Cities Park which is small, but is the perfect venue for kids especially with a small wading area, fountains, and a small (very small) park. On Thursday evenings, they have live music and BOYB! From there I would walk over to Rittenhouse Square which is the perfect area to have a picnic or people watch. You can window show your way down Walnut Street to head over to Spruce Street Harbor Park which is an urban oasis that has free admission, replete with oversized Jenga & Connect Four, beach chairs, and hammocks that are admist the trees as well as over the Delaware River! And if you do want to spend some dough, they've got drinks and food as well!

Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Boathouse Row (attraction)
  2. Fairmount (attraction)
  3. Sister Cities Park (attraction)
  4. Rittenhouse Square (attraction)
  5. Spruce Street Harbor Park (attraction)
3 thanks

answered by
Brian from Philadelphia

Yes to everythingDanyelle said, great answer. I'll add the free Kimmel Center tour that meets every weekday at 1pm in the lobby, awesome for music and architecture lovers. The most beautiful homes in the city IMO are in the Society Hill neighborhood, so walk around and enjoy the amazing brick.

Philly also just added a bike share program, IndeGO, which is a great way to explore the city for low cost. Definitely ride along the brand new Schuylkill River Trail (pronounced skoo-kul) that connects to Kelly Dr and Boathouse Row.

On the east side against the Delaware River, in addition to the Spruce Street Harbor Park already mentioned, check out Race Street Pier for cool art.

Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Kimmel Center (attraction)
  2. Society Hill (attraction)
  3. Schuylkill River Trail (attraction)
  4. Kelly Dr (attraction)
  5. Boathouse Row (attraction)
  6. Spruce Street Harbor Park (attraction)
  7. Race Street Pier (attraction)
2 thanks

answered by
Kenneth from Portland

Hey Tammy, like others have mentioned The Liberty Bell is free and same goes with Congress Hall, I loved walking through these places, it's filled with so much history. Chemical Heritage Foundation is free and pretty interesting, there's a lot of unique things to check out here. Franklin Square is free and a really nice place to walk through. If you're into art at all, the Institute of Contemporary Art is awesome. Andy Warhol and Laurie Anderson have pieces here. 

Mentioned in this answer:

  1. The Liberty Bell (attraction)
  2. Congress Hall (attraction)
  3. Chemical Heritage Foundation (attraction)
  4. Franklin Square (attraction)
  5. Institute of Contemporary Art (attraction)
2 thanks

answered by
Casey from Cambridge (Massachusetts)

The more obvious "touristy" things are The Liberty Bell and Independence Hall. My suggestion is to get their early, we waited until later in the day and there was a long wait. Walk through Old City, it's a great way to see some cool art museums and theres a lot of cool stores around. One of our favorite things was going to see John Heinz National Wildlife Refuge at Tinicum. It's close to the airport and it's a fun and interesting thing to do outside of the city and it's free! 

Mentioned in this answer:

  1. The Liberty Bell (attraction)
  2. Independence Hall (attraction)
  3. Old City (attraction)
  4. John Heinz National Wildlife Refuge at Tinicum (attraction)
2 thanks

answered by
Dhruv from Philadelphia

I second doing the walk around the historic sites, or the river, or go lounge at the pop up summer gardens. If you have kids, bring their swimsuits and let them run through the fountains at Dilworth Park near City Hall. 

A meal of pork soup dumplings at Dim Sum Garden isn't free but it comes so close. 

The museums also are free some Sunday's of the month. 

Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Dilworth Park (attraction)
  2. Dim Sum Garden (restaurant)
1 thanks

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