Looking for a thrilling adventure in the City of Brotherly Love? Philadelphia may be known for its historic landmarks and cheesesteaks, but it also offers a plethora of opportunities for solo travelers. Whether you're looking for a relaxing escape, outdoor adventure, or entertainment, Philly has got you covered. In this article, we'll introduce you to 10 must-do solo activities in Philly, guaranteed to make your trip unforgettable. Don't hesitate to pack your bags and hit the road for a solo adventure of a lifetime!
What You'll Learn
- Visit the Philadelphia Museum of Art
- Take a stroll around Rittenhouse Square
- Tour Independence Hall and the Liberty Bell
- Explore the Reading Terminal Market
- Walk along the Schuylkill River Trail
- Attend a performance at the Kimmel Center
- Take a ghost tour of Philadelphia's historic district
- Visit the Eastern State Penitentiary
- See a movie at the Ritz East or the Bryn Mawr Film Institute
- Take a bike ride through Fairmount Park
Visit the Philadelphia Museum of Art
As a solo traveler in Philadelphia, visiting the Philadelphia Museum of Art is a must-do experience to add to your itinerary. This museum is renowned for its extensive collection of artworks from all over the world, ranging from ancient to contemporary pieces, and covering a wide range of art styles and mediums. Here are some reasons why you should visit the Philadelphia Museum of Art during your solo trip to Philly:
Discover World-Class Art
The Philadelphia Museum of Art is home to some of the world's most renowned pieces of art, holding over 240,000 art objects across its collection. You will find everything from classic paintings, sculptures, and decorative arts to oriental rugs, fashion items, and photography. The museum's renowned galleries include the Rodin Museum, the Perelman Building, and the PMA Library, among others.
Enjoy Stunning Architecture
Even if you're not a big fan of art, the museum's architecture is worth a visit. The building itself is a work of art, featuring a neoclassical Beaux-Arts façade, a grand entrance staircase, and a romantic terrace with a view of the city's skyline. It is also an iconic spot in the city: remember running up those famous steps in Rocky?
Take Part In Engaging Programs
The Philadelphia Museum of Art offers an array of programs and events for visitors of all ages, interests, and abilities, including lectures, tours, workshops, and social events. These programs are designed to engage visitors with the collection, offering a deeper understanding of the artworks, their history, and meaning.
Enjoy the Museum's Outdoor Spaces
If you're looking for a place to relax and take a breath of fresh air during your solo adventure, the museum's outdoor spaces offer a perfect escape from the city bustle. The Museum's sculpture garden, located behind the main building, has an extensive collection of modern sculptures and tranquil fountains. It is also a great spot for a picnic or a photography session.
Visiting the Philadelphia Museum of Art is an affordable option, especially for solo travelers. Admission is $25 for adults, $14 for seniors, $14 for students with valid ID, and free for children under 12. And if you're an art enthusiast, a Philadelphia Museum of Art membership offers discounted admission, free entry to special exhibitions, and many other perks.
In summary, visiting the Philadelphia Museum of Art is a great experience for solo travelers, offering world-class art, stunning architecture, engaging programs, peaceful outdoor spaces, and affordable admission. It is undoubtedly an iconic institution that everyone, art-lovers or not, should add to their Philly itinerary.
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Take a stroll around Rittenhouse Square
If you find yourself in Philadelphia alone and looking for a peaceful stroll, Rittenhouse Square should be at the top of your list of places to visit. This beautiful park is located in the heart of Center City and offers the perfect ambiance for a leisurely walk.
The park is surrounded by a variety of shops, cafes, and restaurants, making it an ideal destination for anyone looking to explore the city. As you walk around Rittenhouse Square, you'll notice the stunning trees and manicured lawns that make up the landscape. The park is also home to many sculptures and fountains, including the iconic LOVE statue that is a must-see for any Philly visitor.
Aside from the beautiful scenery, Rittenhouse Square is the perfect place to people-watch. The park is a popular spot for locals and visitors alike to relax and take in the city. You'll see families having picnics, couples enjoying a romantic moment, and solo travelers like yourself taking in the sights and sounds.
If you're looking for a little more activity, you can take advantage of the park's amenities. There are basketball and tennis courts, as well as a playground for children. The park also hosts various events throughout the year, including outdoor concerts and festivals.
One of the best times to visit Rittenhouse Square is during the fall when the leaves change colors and create a picturesque scene. Winter also has its charms, with the park decorated for the holidays and an ice-skating rink.
Overall, Rittenhouse Square is a must-visit destination for anyone in Philadelphia. Whether you're alone or with friends, the park offers a peaceful escape from the hustle and bustle of the city. So grab a coffee from a nearby cafe and take a stroll around this lovely spot - you won't regret it.
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Tour Independence Hall and the Liberty Bell
Philadelphia is a city steeped in history, and one of the best ways to immerse yourself in that history is to visit Independence Hall and the Liberty Bell.
Independence Hall is one of the most important buildings in American history. It was here that both the Declaration of Independence and the US Constitution were drafted and signed, and it served as the meeting place for the Continental Congress. Today, visitors can take a guided tour of the hall to learn more about the important events that took place within its walls.
One of the highlights of any visit to Independence Hall is seeing the Assembly Room, where both the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution were signed. The room has been restored to look as it did in the late 1700s, and it's a powerful experience to stand in the same space where our Founding Fathers made history.
Another must-see attraction in Philadelphia is the Liberty Bell. This iconic symbol of American freedom is housed in a glass pavilion on Independence Mall, just a short walk from Independence Hall. Visitors can learn about the history of the bell and its significance, as well as take a close look at this famous artifact.
One of the interesting things about the Liberty Bell is that it has a crack in it, and no one knows for sure how that happened. Some believe it was a result of a flaw in the casting process, while others think that it was damaged when it was rung to announce the first public reading of the Declaration of Independence in 1776.
Both Independence Hall and the Liberty Bell are must-see sights for anyone visiting Philadelphia, and they offer a fascinating glimpse into our nation's history. Whether you're a history buff or just looking to learn more about our country's founding, these two landmarks are not to be missed.
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Explore the Reading Terminal Market
Philly Alone: Explore the Reading Terminal Market
If you find yourself alone in Philadelphia with a day to explore, make sure to head to the Reading Terminal Market. This indoor market, located in the heart of the city, is a staple of Philadelphia culture and is a must-visit for any foodie or traveler.
First opened in 1893, the Reading Terminal Market has been a hub of activity for over one hundred years. The market is home to more than 80 vendors selling everything from fresh produce to artisanal cheeses to hand-crafted chocolates. With so much to see and taste, it can be overwhelming for first-time visitors. To help navigate, here are some highlights.
Start your morning with a coffee from La Colombe, the beloved Philadelphia-based coffee roaster. The branch at Reading Terminal Market has a cozy interior perfect for grabbing a quick cup or sitting down to read a book. Pair your coffee with a cinnamon bun from Beiler's Bakery, which has been in operation since 1988 and is known for their fresh baked goods.
As you make your way through the aisles, you'll encounter a wide array of international cuisine. From the tangy flavors of the Middle East at Kamal's Middle Eastern Specialities to the spicy and savory dishes of the Caribbean at Molly's Jamaican Kitchen, there's something for everyone. For a dose of old-school Italian-American cooking, make sure to stop at DiNic's Roast Pork and Beef, where the luscious sandwiches are legendary.
No visit to Reading Terminal Market would be complete without trying the famous Pennsylvania Dutch fare. Head to the Pennsylvania Dutch Eating Place for plate-sized pancakes, savory sausage, and homemade apple butter. Or, check out the Dutch Eating Place, where the locals swear by the fried chicken and waffles.
Don't forget to pick up some souvenirs before you leave. Rittenhouse Farmers' Market sells local jams, honey, and other artisanal goods, while the Philadelphia Convention and Visitors Bureau has a gift shop with Philadelphia-branded merchandise.
Overall, the Reading Terminal Market is an essential Philadelphia experience that cannot be missed. Whether it's your first time in Philly or you've lived here for years, this market offers a taste of everything that makes the city great. So grab your appetite and wander through the aisles - you won't be disappointed.
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Walk along the Schuylkill River Trail
If you find yourself alone in Philadelphia, don't fret. There is plenty to do in this bustling city, even if you don't have a companion to share it with. One of the best activities for solo explorers is to take a leisurely walk along the Schuylkill River Trail. Here's why:
The Schuylkill River Trail is a 30-mile multi-use pathway that stretches from Philadelphia to Phoenixville. It hugs the banks of the Schuylkill River, which is one of the city's most recognizable landmarks. The trail is perfect for anyone who loves nature, exercise, or just a relaxing stroll.
The trail is accessible from several points throughout the city, so you can start your walk from wherever is most convenient for you. If you're in Center City, head to the Schuylkill River Park at 25th and Spruce streets. There, you can pick up the trail and start your journey.
As you walk along the trail, you'll be treated to spectacular views of the river and the city skyline. You'll pass by historic buildings, like the Philadelphia Museum of Art and the Boathouse Row, as well as more modern structures, like the Cira Centre and FMC Tower.
Along the trail, there are several spots where you can take a break and rest your feet. The Schuylkill River Park has plenty of benches and green spaces where you can sit and soak up the scenery. There are also water fountains and restrooms, so you don't have to worry about being caught without facilities.
If you're feeling hungry, there are several food options along the trail. The Boardwalk at Schuylkill Banks has food trucks and cafes where you can grab a bite to eat. You can also pack a picnic and eat it on one of the many green spaces along the trail.
One of the best things about the Schuylkill River Trail is that it's safe and well-lit, even at night. So if you're feeling adventurous, you can take a nighttime stroll and enjoy the city lights.
Overall, walking along the Schuylkill River Trail is a great activity for solo travelers in Philadelphia. It's easy to access, offers stunning views, and is a peaceful retreat from the busy city streets. Whether you're in town for a day or a week, don't miss the opportunity to explore this gem of a trail.
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Attend a performance at the Kimmel Center
Are you feeling lonely and looking for something to do in Philly alone? Look no further than the Kimmel Center, which offers a diverse selection of performances that are sure to lift your spirits and provide a memorable experience.
Located in the heart of Center City, the Kimmel Center is one of Philadelphia's premier performing arts venues. Whether you're a fan of classical music, jazz, theater, or dance, there's something for everyone at this magnificent theater.
For classical music lovers, the Kimmel Center is home to the legendary Philadelphia Orchestra, which offers a wide range of concerts throughout the year, including its highly acclaimed BeethovenNOW: Symphonies 1, 3, and 7 series. If you prefer jazz, you can catch performances by world-renowned jazz artists at the Kimmel Center's Perelman Theater and enjoy the sounds of this quintessentially American art form.
The Kimmel Center is also renowned for its Broadway shows and touring productions of popular musicals. Some of the recent shows that have graced its stage include "The Book of Mormon," "Hamilton," "The Lion King" and "Dear Evan Hansen." You can expect nothing but first-class performances, as the Kimmel Center has state-of-the-art technology and an expansive stage to accommodate the Broadway productions.
For dance lovers, the Kimmel Center offers performances by various dance companies, including its resident company, the Pennsylvania Ballet. And those who love contemporary works can head to the Merriam Theater and see extraordinary performances by avant-garde artists.
Overall, attending a performance at the Kimmel Center is a fantastic way to spend an evening in Philly alone. The staff is friendly, the venue is spectacular, and the performances are truly spectacular. So, whether you're looking for a night of classical music, jazz, theater, or dance, the Kimmel Center is the place to be.
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Take a ghost tour of Philadelphia's historic district
If you're spending some time alone in Philadelphia, there's no better way to get a sense of the city's history and haunted past than by taking a ghost tour of the historic district. Philadelphia, founded in the late 17th century, has a long and rich history that includes the signing of the Declaration of Independence and the creation of the US Constitution, but it also has a darker side that most tourists don't know about.
On a ghost tour, you'll get to explore the historic sites of the city after dark and hear stories of murder, tragedy, and revenge that are said to have left their mark on the city. Some of the most famous haunted sites in Philadelphia include the Eastern State Penitentiary, the Fort Mifflin military fort, and the Edgar Allan Poe National Historic Site.
One popular tour is the Ghosts of Independence tour, which takes visitors through the historic district to learn about the spirits that still roam the streets and buildings. You'll hear tales of ghosts that haunt Independence Hall, including the ghost of a revolutionary soldier who was hanged for treason and now wanders the halls at night.
Another great option is the Haunted Philadelphia tour, which covers some of the lesser-known haunted sites in the city. You'll visit cemeteries, abandoned buildings, and even an old reform school where ghosts are said to have been seen.
One tip for taking a ghost tour in Philadelphia is to dress warmly and wear comfortable shoes. Many of the tours last several hours and take place outdoors, so you'll want to be prepared for any weather conditions. Also, be sure to bring a camera or a recorder to capture any evidence of paranormal activity.
In conclusion, a ghost tour of Philadelphia's historic district is a unique and entertaining way to explore the city's darker past. Whether you're a believer in the paranormal or not, you're sure to enjoy hearing the spooky stories and exploring the haunted sites of this historic city. So, if you're looking for something to do alone in Philly, grab a ticket to a ghost tour and prepare to be spooked!
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Visit the Eastern State Penitentiary
If you're planning a solo trip to the City of Brotherly Love, you won't run out of things to do. Philadelphia has a rich history and culture that will satisfy any curious traveler. However, if you're looking for a unique and eerie experience, you should visit the Eastern State Penitentiary.
Located in the Fairmount neighborhood, the Eastern State Penitentiary is a former prison that operated from 1829 until 1971. It was one of the most expensive and innovative prisons in the world when it opened, as it was built on the principles of "penitence," or the idea that solitude and reflection could lead to moral rehabilitation.
However, the reality of life inside the Eastern State Penitentiary was far from ideal. Inmates were confined to their cells for 23 hours a day, with one hour for exercise in a small yard. They were not allowed to interact with other prisoners, and communication with guards was limited and minimal. This strict and isolating system led to mental breakdowns and suicides among prisoners.
Today, the Eastern State Penitentiary is open to the public as a museum, and it offers guided and self-guided tours. As you wander through the empty cell blocks, you can imagine the claustrophobia and despair that the prisoners felt. You can also see remnants of the prison's past, such as Al Capone's cell and the prison's synagogue.
One of the highlights of the Eastern State Penitentiary is the famous art installation called "The Lost Voices," which features recordings of former prisoners sharing their experiences. These haunting recordings provide a glimpse into the harsh reality of life behind bars.
If you're a fan of haunted houses and ghost stories, you'll also enjoy the prison's Terror Behind the Walls event, which takes place every fall. Visitors can explore the prison after dark and encounter actors dressed as zombies, mad scientists, and other terrifying characters.
Overall, a visit to the Eastern State Penitentiary is a unique and thought-provoking experience that will stay with you long after you leave. Whether you're traveling alone or with a group, it's an excellent way to explore Philadelphia's dark and fascinating history.
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See a movie at the Ritz East or the Bryn Mawr Film Institute
Philadelphia, also known as "Philly," is a bustling city that is full of things to see and do, even if you're exploring it alone. One of the best ways to spend a solo day or evening in Philly is to catch a movie at one of the city's top theaters, such as the Ritz East or the Bryn Mawr Film Institute.
The Ritz East is a great choice for film lovers who want to catch the latest independent or foreign films. Located in the heart of Old City, the Ritz East has five screens that show a diverse selection of movies that are often not available at larger chain theaters. On top of the eclectic selection of films, the Ritz East also offers a free membership program that includes perks like $5 off your first ticket purchase and discounted concession items.
Another fantastic option for solo movie-goers is the Bryn Mawr Film Institute, located just outside the city in the Main Line suburbs. This historic theater is known for its selection of classic films, art house movies, and documentaries. With four screens, the Bryn Mawr Film Institute offers something for everyone, and their intimate theaters make it a great place to watch a movie alone without feeling uncomfortable. Plus, the theater hosts regular special events, such as Q&A sessions with filmmakers and discussions around important topics.
No matter which theater you choose, seeing a movie in Philly is always a great way to spend a day or evening alone. So grab some popcorn, kick back, and let the cinematic magic transport you to another world.
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Take a bike ride through Fairmount Park
If you're feeling lonely in Philadelphia, don't worry, because there are plenty of ways to lift your spirits and get in touch with the city. One great option is to take a bike ride through Fairmount Park – one of the largest urban parks in the world. Not only will you get some exercise and fresh air, but you'll also be able to explore some beautiful natural scenery and iconic Philadelphia landmarks.
To get started, rent a bike from one of the many bike rental locations in the city, such as Wheel Fun Rentals or Indego. Once you have your bike, head over to Fairmount Park, which covers over 2,000 acres and includes dozens of trails, paths, and roads to explore. You can choose to follow a specific route or simply see where the park takes you – either way, you're sure to enjoy the journey.
Some notable highlights of Fairmount Park include the Schuylkill River Trail, a scenic path that winds along the river and offers stunning views of the Philadelphia skyline; the Horticultural Center, a beautiful garden and event space that features seasonal displays and exhibitions; and the Please Touch Museum, a family-friendly attraction that features interactive exhibits and activities.
As you bike through the park, you'll also come across plenty of other cyclists, joggers, and walkers – so if you're looking to make some new friends, strike up a conversation with someone you meet along the way. Who knows – you may end up with a new workout buddy or even a ride to your next destination.
Overall, taking a bike ride through Fairmount Park can be a great way to lift your spirits and enjoy the natural beauty of Philadelphia. So if you're feeling lonely and looking for something to do, grab a bike and hit the road – you won't regret it.
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Frequently asked questions
Philly has numerous places to explore when traveling alone. Some great options for solo travelers include Reading Terminal Market, the Liberty Bell, Independence Hall, the Philadelphia Museum of Art, and the Schuylkill River Trail.
Philly can be a relatively safe city, but like any city, it's essential to take precautions when traveling solo. This includes avoiding sketchy areas, staying in well-lit areas, and keeping a close eye on your belongings. Walking around the city during the day is generally safe, but it's always advisable to stay aware and vigilant.
There are plenty of things to do in Philly that won't break the bank. Some of the top budget-friendly activities include visiting Philly's numerous parks, exploring the city's many murals, visiting the Franklin Institute Science Museum, touring the Eastern State Penitentiary, and taking a stroll through Old City. Many of these activities are either low-cost or free, making them ideal for solo travelers on a budget.