How to Spend 24 Hours in Philadelphia

Nina Starner

If you only have 24 hours to spend in Philadelphia, you’ll have to make the most of your time, so here’s how to see the City of Brotherly Love’s historic sites, experience its cuisine, and enjoy as much as possible in just a day. Forget the touristy spots – this is the real Philly experience.

8 p.m. – eat at a classic Philadelphia restaurant

Friday Saturday Sunday is one of the city’s oldest restaurants, and after a facelift and rejuvenation in late 2016, it’s better than ever. Try its inventive cocktails and delicious dishes such as chicken liver mousse and sous vide carrots.

10 p.m. – grab some after-dinner drinks

Rittenhouse Square, just a few blocks from Friday Saturday Sunday, is home to a few speakeasy-style bars, so check out Ranstead Room or The Franklin for a secretive, exclusive space and incredible cocktails ranging from classic to modern.


10 a.m. – get a traditional Pennsylvania breakfast

The Reading Terminal Market has no shortage of breakfast options, but if you want the classic Philly experience, you’ll grab a traditional breakfast from the Dutch Eating Place, a coffee from Old City Coffee, and an apple fritter from Beiler’s to start your morning.

12 p.m. – see some street art

As you wander through the city, you’ll see plenty of street art, like one of many of Philadelphia’s famous murals, or the outside walls of the Magic Gardens, which can be toured for a small fee. Map your way through the murals all the way from Center City to the Schuylkill.

Philadelphia murals

3 p.m. – walk along the river banks

The banks of the Schuylkill River weren’t always a desirable tourist destination, but thanks to the Schuylkill River Park and Boardwalk, tourists and locals alike flock to the river on nice days, where they can walk alongside this expansive river and take in the Philly skyline.

5 p.m. – eat your way through an entire neighborhood

Grab a cab to East Passyunk, nestled in the heart of South Philly, and snack your way through this bustling restaurant strip with some gelato at Capogiro, dumplings at Bing Bing Dim Sum, tacos at Cantina los Caballitos, a hand pie from Stargazy, or a coffee from Plenty Cafe.

Schuylkill River

8 p.m. – a farewell cocktail

Before you leave East Passyunk, stop in at Townsend for a perfectly crafted cocktail, and mingle with its friendly bar staff until it’s time to head home after a long, productive day in Philly.

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