Explore Philadelphia, Free and Frugal

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Enjoy the sights and flavors of Philadelphia on a budget. Be sure to get your picture in front of the Liberty Bell, an enduring symbol of freedom. It’s free to visit and no tickets are required, although there may be a line. Snag a free timed ticket (with a $1 administration fee) to the Liberty Bell’s dramatic backdrop, Independence Hall, where the Declaration of Independence and U.S. Constitution were signed.  

Near the Convention Center, grab a bite at Reading Terminal Market. Set below a former railroad terminal, this famous indoor farmer’s market offers an array of eateries serving everything from Thai food to Caribbean cuisine, deli food to sushi and, of course, cheesesteaks. Try Pennsylvania Dutch fare including scrapple and shoo-fly pie at Dutch Eating Place. Retailers at the market also sell housewares, jewelry and linens. 

Appreciate iconic public art including the Rocky Statue and LOVE sculpture. The Rocky statue and the 72 steps in front of the Philadelphia Museum of Art are unmistakable — just look for people raising their arms victoriously like the scene in Rocky III. Another landmark is Robert Indiana’s LOVE sculpture in John F. Kennedy Plaza, which is known as LOVE Park. The park offers green areas and a high-tech water feature. A short walk away, you’ll see the AMOR sculpture at Sister Cities Park.

Stroll Elfreth’s Alley, where colonial architecture with its Flemish bond brickwork has been preserved. Travel back to the 18th century along a cobblestone street where artisans and tradespeople converged. Two adjacent houses built in 1755 are now a museum that is open to the public for $3.

Explore the Mütter Museum of medical history, which displays preserved collections of anatomical specimens, models and medical instruments. The museum helps visitors appreciate the mysteries and beauty of the human body and learn about the history of diagnosis and treatment of disease. Timed tickets ($20 each) must be purchased online in advance of visiting. 

From May 18-23, frolic through fields of peonies at the 5th Annual Festival of the Peony. Over 30 species in colors such as deep maroon, white and pastel pink are available to walk along or drive by. Tickets are $15 per person or $30 per car with up to four passengers.   

Visit the Benjamin Franklin Parkway, known as Philadelphia’s most artistic mile. Modeled after the Champs-Élysées in Paris, this road is lined with important institutions including the Barnes Foundation (tickets are $25), the Philadelphia Museum of Art (tickets are $25) and the Franklin Institute, the site of Nurses’ Night Out. Nearby you’ll find another famous site, Eastern State Penitentiary, (tickets are $21 when purchased online; $23 at the door).

There’s plenty to do in the City of Brotherly Love that won’t break the bank. Soak up all that Philly has to offer while you’re at NTI!