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Philadelphia Museums & exhibitions

Our most recommended Philadelphia Museums & exhibitions

Philadelphia: Eastern State Penitentiary Admission

1. Philadelphia: Eastern State Penitentiary Admission

Discover the historic building of the Eastern State Penitentiary which stands today in ruin, a haunting world of crumbling cellblocks and empty guard towers. Learn about how when Eastern State opened more than 180 years ago, it changed the world of prisons and was copied throughout the world. Known for its grand architecture and strict discipline, this was the world's first true "penitentiary," a prison designed to inspire penitence, or true regret, in the hearts of prisoners. Discover how the building itself was an architectural wonder; it had running water and central heat before the White House. Marvel at the vaulted, sky-lit cells which once held many of America's most notorious criminals, including bank robber "Slick Willie" Sutton and Al Capone. As you explore the building, listen to 'The Voices of Eastern State' audio tour which is included in your admission price. Narrated by actor Steve Buscemi (known for Boardwalk Empire, Fargo, Armageddon, and Ghost World), this rich, stereo soundscape mixes dozens of voices. Hear the stories of 3 former wardens and 25 guards and inmates which create an atmospheric tour as you stroll through Eastern State's cellblocks and yards. When you arrive, receive an MP3 player and headset that will guide you through the penitentiary complex and explain the prison's history. This audio guide contains a main audio route, plus additional stops for subjects like escapes, riots, sports, sexuality, and more. You are free to tour at your own pace and to listen to (or skip) stops based on your interests. Also discover interactive experiences, history exhibits, and a critically acclaimed series of artist installations.

Philadelphia: Museum of Illusions Timed Entrance Ticket

2. Philadelphia: Museum of Illusions Timed Entrance Ticket

Experience the impossible with an entry ticket to the Museum of Illusions Philadelphia. Immerse yourself in a world where your eyes will be in a constant battle with your brain. Located in the heart of Philadelphia, this brain-boggling museum is a one-of-a-kind destination for optical illusions.  Challenge yourself in more than 60 visual and educational exhibits featuring holograms, stereograms, optical illusions, and immersive rooms designed to tease the senses and trick the mind. Defy gravity, grow and shrink, walk on the ceiling, experience infinite space, and much more. Spend some time in the Smart Playroom with games that will stimulate and challenge your mind. Enjoy some friendly competition with friends and family while simultaneously improving your cognition, problem-solving skills, and memory.  Have fun while learning the mechanics behind each and every illusion you experience. And don't forget your camera or smartphone when you visit as there are eye-fooling photo-ops around every corner.

Philadelphia: Museum of the American Revolution Entry

3. Philadelphia: Museum of the American Revolution Entry

Discover the dramatic story of the American Revolution at one of Philadelphia’s lead attractions. Step into the Museum of the American Revolution, then watch an introductory movie before making your own way through the exhibitions. Marvel at the museum’s vast collection of Revolutionary-era weapons, personal items, documents, and works of art that bring history back to life. Learn about this fascinating period of time as you explore immersive galleries, engage in powerful theater experiences, and take part in interactive features. Located just steps from the famous Independence Hall, the museum serves as a portal to the region’s Revolutionary history, which sparks interest, provides context, and encourages exploration. Printed museum guides are available in English, Spanish, French, German, Mandarin and Japanese, to elevate your learning experience.

Philadelphia: History, Highlights & Revolution Walking Tour

4. Philadelphia: History, Highlights & Revolution Walking Tour

Immerse yourself in the vibrant and varied past of Philadelphia, one of the US' most historically significant cities, on this walking tour. Learn more about America's former capital and how it helped to shape the United States of America. Take a guided stroll through Independence National Park, along the cobblestone streets of Old City, past buildings, statues, and monuments, and through the history you think you know. Be amazed by Philadelphia’s remarkable past as your local guide separates the fact from the fiction. Get the chance to give back with a donation to a local non-profit included in the cost of your tour. You will also visit the Museum of the American Revolution and enjoy a live demonstration about George Washington’s war tent and the important role it played during the Revolution.

Philadelphia: History, Highlights & Revolution Walking Tour

5. Philadelphia: History, Highlights & Revolution Walking Tour

Visit several unmissable sites on this historical Old City Philadelphia tour. Learn about the fascinating history of the city from a local's perspective as you see a variety of buildings including Independence Hall, Congress Hall, and the Old City Hall. Meet your guide at the Signers Garden in the middle of the Independence National Historical Park. Go back to the time of the nation’s founding, weaving your way through this charming neighborhood. Your guide will share knowledge of the most significant sites of the park, such as Independence Hall, Congress Hall, and Old City Hall. See the Liberty Bell, where you'll hear about why this iconic symbol has become so famous all around the world. Just next door, you’ll enter the President’s House site, home to George Washington and John Adams during Philly’s tenure as the nation’s capital. Pay your respects to one of the United States' most influential citizens at the gravesite of Benjamin Franklin. Continue to be immersed in history as you venture past the Betsy Ross House and then down Elfreth’s Alley, the street famous for being the oldest continuously occupied residential street of the 13 British colonies. As this Philadelphia tour winds down, your guide will help you make the rest of your visit just as memorable, recommending restaurants, pubs, and more fun things to do during your stay in the city.

Philadelphia: Independence Seaport Museum and USS Olympia

6. Philadelphia: Independence Seaport Museum and USS Olympia

Dive into "River Alive!", a new exhibit that describes the wildlife, science, and wonder of the Delaware River, where 5% of Americans get their drinking water. Raise the sails and discover the history of the U.S. Navy aboard the National Historic Landmark Ship Cruiser USS Olympia. Discover Philadelphia’s connection to the founding of the United States Navy. The Patriots & Pirates exhibition features curated objects never, or rarely, seen by the public, highlighting the little-told story of America’s conflict with pirates. Uncover the past with one of the largest maritime art and artifact collections in North America. With so much to explore, Independence Seaport Museum is the premier, family-friendly destination on the Penn's Landing waterfront.

Philadelphia: South Philly Art Walking Tour

7. Philadelphia: South Philly Art Walking Tour

Explore the incredible public art in South Philadelphia on this group walking tour. Head into the heart of the Queen Village and the Bella Vista neighborhood to uncover beautiful and surprising murals and mind-bending mosaics. Meet your guide and begin your art finding adventure. Listen as your guide explains the history of each piece and how it blends together into a magical tapestry that drapes across the entire city. Appreciate the relationship between the art, artists, and the neighborhoods that they call home. Enjoy how accessible art is throughout a major city like Philadelphia. After exploring the street art and a gallery or two, your tour will conclude at the incredible Magic Gardens. Take your time wandering through the indoor mosaic displays and the outdoor labyrinth at the Philadelphia Magic Gardens. Impact the community in the tour as part of your ticket price includes a donation to a local organization which supports artists in the city.

Philadelphia: Penn Museum Admission Ticket

8. Philadelphia: Penn Museum Admission Ticket

Connect with the cultures of Africa, Asia, the Americas, and the Mediterranean with a visit to the Penn Museum. Learn about history from the very first cities of the Middle East to the pharaohs of ancient Egypt and from early Mexico to the lives of Native American communities today. Open to all, the Penn Museum is home to remarkable objects and powerful stories that emerge from its excavations and research across the world. Experience the richness of the ancient past, gain an understanding of humanity, and find your own place in the arc of human history.

Philadelphia Private Driving Tour - Half or Full-Day

9. Philadelphia Private Driving Tour - Half or Full-Day

Explore the city of Philadelphia on a private driving tour, customized to suit your preferences, and available as either a half-day or full-day option. The former capital of the Pennsylvania Colony, Philadelphia is intimately connected to the history of Amercia. You will see all the highlights, including Elfreth’s Alley and the Liberty Bell. Go to Independence Hall, where the Declaration of Independence was first debated. Pass Christ Church to see the birthplace of the American Episcopal Church, and Penn's Landing, where William Penn docked in 1682. Drive down the Avenue of the Arts and see Love Park (JFK Plaza), dominated by Robert Indiana's “Love” sculpture. Continue the arts theme at the Rodin Museum or Philadelphia Museum of Art, complete with Rocky’s statue and the steps used in the blockbuster movie. See where Al Capone was incarcerated at the Eastern State Penitentiary, admire the boat houses on the Schuylkill River, and visit Memorial Hall in Centennial Park. You’ll almost certainly get out to Belmont Plateau for a great view before coming back through Rittenhouse Square. There will be time to get out and take pictures or enjoy a short walk, perhaps down Elfreth’s Alley, or to the gazebo next to the boat houses on the Schuylkill. It’s your tour and your choice, but your guide will give some great suggestions. Take detours into Society Hill and out to the 9th Street Italian Market, home of the great Philly Cheese Steak. The full-day tour can be customized to include nearby neighborhoods or the beautifully situated Laurel Hill Cemetery and Historic Rittenhouse Town. Suggestions will also be given for lunch, whether you fancy a snack or full-blown meal.

Philadelphia: National Liberty Museum Entrance Ticket

10. Philadelphia: National Liberty Museum Entrance Ticket

Discover the stories of heroes who have contributed to the preservation of liberty around the world with this entry ticket to the National Liberty Museum in Philadelphia. Explore everything from art exhibitions to replicas of famous symbols of freedom throughout the museum. Your visit begins in the renovated Welcome to Liberty gallery, which greets you with a mural-size display of real-life heroes. Here you can also admire an exact replica of the Liberty Bell. Next, the Flame Gallery features the 21ft Flame of Liberty by renowned glass artist, Dale Chihuly. It provides a 360° experience of inspirational words, images, sounds, and voices using a glass flame. Look inside replicas of Nelson Mandela’s jail cell or Anne Frank's Secret Annex. Enjoy the Museum’s unique collection of glass and other contemporary art, including life-size Jellybean Children.

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What people are saying about Philadelphia

The tour was well-paced, with a real breadth of content, delivered in an engaging way. I learned so much (without feeling mentally drained), and the balance of exhibits mixed in with the walking made for a really enjoyable couple of hours. I’d highly recommend this tour to anybody looking to explore Philadelphia and learn some cool history at the same time!

Excellent guide, very friendly and engaging. extremely knowledgable but he still made everything completely accessible and understandable. The hours flew by, it was such a great way to spend an afternoon in this brilliant city. Would highly recommend to everyone - history buffs and everyday tourists alike.

It was self guided which allowed us to take time with some of the exhibits. Staff was super friendly, helped with photo opportunities and seemed to enjoy us enjoying the museum. It was a grate two+ hours.

Awesome tour hard to believe such a place existed for so many years got the chills on my walk around

The entire museum was fun and unbelievable we can’t wait to go back.