An Art Lover’s Guide to Philadelphia in 24 Hours

Philadelphia Museum of Art | © satiecrackers / Pixabay
Philadelphia Museum of Art | © satiecrackers / Pixabay
Photo of Nina Starner
1 March 2018

If you love art and are visiting Philadelphia for just a short time, we have you covered. Here’s the art lover’s guide to visiting The City of Brotherly Love in 24 hours so that you can see everything in one day.

Must-see museums

The Philadelphia Museum of Art

One of Philadelphia’s most famous spots, the Philadelphia Museum of Art is home to some of the most famous pieces in the world, including Van Gogh’s Sunflowers, Cezanne’s Bathers, plenty of modern art, and experiential wings such as a full Japanese teahouse, an Indian temple, and a medieval armory. It’s modeled after the Louvre, so don’t miss the grand staircase topped with the statue of Diana the Huntress.

Insider’s tip: Avoid the crowds and go on Wednesday evenings when the museum is “pay what you wish” and is open until 8:45 p.m.

Philadelphia Museum of Art | © Sang-Min Yoon / Flickr

The Rodin Museum

With its gorgeous front courtyard, the Rodin Museum is easily visible from the Parkway and features one of Rodin’s copies of The Thinker alongside plenty of his other pieces. As the only Rodin Museum outside of France, it’s one of the only places in the country to see this artist’s work.

Insider’s tip: The museum is closed on Tuesdays, but it is “pay what you wish” all year, with suggested prices listed upon entry.

The Barnes Foundation

The Barnes Foundation is one of the world’s largest collections of Impressionist art, and it was recently moved from the Philadelphia suburbs to the Benjamin Franklin Parkway, home to several other museums. Started by Albert Barnes, this collection of Impressionist, post-Impressionist, and modern European art covers the entirety of the walls.

Insider’s tip: Visit for free on the first Sunday of every month, and don’t miss the regular kitchen items, like spatulas, tacked to the walls alongside works by Renoir and Cezanne.

Barnes Foundation | © angela.n / Flickr

Art-related cafés

Chapterhouse Café

Located just outside of Queen Village, Chapterhouse Café is a townhouse that has since been converted into a coffee shop, but it does much more than simply serve coffee. It offers everything from poetry readings to art shows and is a haven for local, budding artists to come and work during the day or perform by night.

A wonderfully delicious mocha in the warm morning light of Tofino.

Elixr Coffee

Since 2010, Elixr Coffee has been brewing their own small-batch coffees throughout their three Philadelphia cafés. They’re also a great place for local writers, actors and artists to work during the day, thanks to their cozy environments, excellent baked goods, and, of course, fantastic coffee.

Must-see galleries

Carré d’artistes

This Midtown Village gallery features affordable and original works by local artists, and their goal is to bring excellent art to the masses. With 30 galleries in 11 countries, Carré d’artistes wants to provide art at a reasonable price while supporting local artists, and in Philadelphia, they feature plenty of artists from the area.

Wexler Gallery

The Wexler Gallery opened in 2000 in Old City, and it features everything from paintings to ceramics. With works by both established and new artists, this gallery prides itself on being home to a variety of mediums, from glasswork to sculpture to traditional fine art.

Join a street art tour

Mural Arts Philadelphia

Philadelphia is home to incredible street art, and you won’t want to miss the plethora of amazing murals scattered throughout the city. To take full advantage of this, book a tour with Philadelphia Mural Arts and head throughout the city to see each and every unique mural.

Philadelphia murals | © hyeonjunkim / Pixabay

Artsy bar to end your day

Head to Rittenhouse and check out The Library Bar, a sleek, sexy bar stocked with old books that serves up everything from classic cocktails to imaginative, original drinks. If you’re hungry afterward, you can head right upstairs to Bar 210 & Lacroix, since all of these spots reside in the Rittenhouse Hotel.

Cookies Policy

We and our partners use cookies to better understand your needs, improve performance and provide you with personalised content and advertisements. To allow us to provide a better and more tailored experience please click "OK"