Free Things to Do in Philadelphia
Free Things to Do in Philadelphia

Have you ever found yourself in Philadelphia with a limited budget? Don’t worry, there are plenty of free things to do in the City of Brotherly Love. From exploring historic landmarks to enjoying outdoor spaces, there’s something for everyone.

If you’re a history buff, you can visit Independence Hall, where the Declaration of Independence and the U.S. Constitution were both signed. You can also take a free tour of the U.S. Mint, where coins are made, and the Benjamin Franklin Museum, which celebrates the life and legacy of one of America’s founding fathers.

This article describes over 78 fun and free activities in Philly, from historical sites and museums to outdoor spaces and concerts. You’ll also learn how to save money and have fun in the City of Brotherly Love. So, keep reading to discover how to enjoy Philadelphia without breaking the bank.

Table of Contents

78 Best Free Things to Do in Philadelphia

1. Visit Independence Hall

Visit Independence Hall

You can’t visit Philadelphia without stopping by Independence Hall, where the Declaration of Independence and the U.S. Constitution were signed. This historic building is accessible to tour, but you must reserve your tickets in advance.

2. Explore Liberty Bell

The Liberty Bell is another must-see attraction in Philadelphia. This iconic symbol of American independence is on display in the Independence National Historical Park, and admission is free.

3. Stroll Fairmount Park

Fairmount Park is one of the largest urban parks in the country, and it’s home to various walking trails, gardens, and historical landmarks. Take a stroll through the park and enjoy the natural beauty of Philadelphia.

4. Go to Love Park

Love Park is a popular gathering spot in the heart of Philadelphia, and it’s home to the famous Love sculpture. This park is a great place to relax and people-watch, and it’s free to visit.

5. See Elfreth’s Alley

Elfreth’s Alley is the oldest continuously inhabited street in America, and it’s a must-see for history buffs. Take a stroll down this charming cobblestone street and admire the historic homes.

6. Tour the Philadelphia Museum of Art

The Philadelphia Museum of Art is one of the largest art museums in the country, and it’s home to an impressive collection of art from around the world. Admission is pay-what-you-wish on the first Sunday of every month.

7. Relax at Rittenhouse Square

Rittenhouse Square is a popular gathering spot in the heart of Philadelphia, and it’s a great place to relax and people-watch. Bring a blanket and a picnic lunch and enjoy the scenery.

8. Visit the Schuylkill Banks

Schuylkill Banks is a scenic trail that runs along the Schuylkill River, and it’s a great place to go for a walk, run, or bike ride. The trail offers stunning views of the city skyline.

9. Observe Boathouse Row

Boathouse Row

Boathouse Row is a collection of historic boathouses along the Schuylkill River, and it’s a fantastic place to take a stroll and admire the architecture. The boathouses are especially beautiful when they’re lit up at night.

10. Experience Franklin Square

Franklin Square is a public park in the heart of Philadelphia, and it’s home to various attractions, including a carousel, mini-golf course, and playground. Admission is free, but some attractions require a fee.

11. Walk Benjamin Franklin Parkway

Benjamin Franklin Parkway is a beautiful tree-lined boulevard home to many of Philadelphia’s museums and cultural institutions. Take a stroll down the parkway and enjoy the architecture and scenery.

12. Visit Germantown Avenue

Germantown Avenue is a historic street that is full of interesting architecture and shops. You can walk down the street and learn about the area’s history. Be sure to check out the Wissahickon Valley Park, which is located nearby.

13. Journey Through Chinatown

Philadelphia’s Chinatown is a vibrant neighborhood home to various shops, restaurants, and cultural attractions. Take a walk through the neighborhood and immerse yourself in the sights and sounds of this bustling community.

14. Walk Pennypack Park

Pennypack Park is a beautiful natural oasis in the heart of Philadelphia, and it’s a great place to go for a walk, run, or bike ride. The park offers stunning views of the Pennypack Creek.

15. See Eastern State Penitentiary

Eastern State Penitentiary is a historic prison abandoned for over 40 years. Take a self-guided tour of the prison and learn about its fascinating history.

16. Explore Wissahickon Valley

Wissahickon Valley is a beautiful park perfect for hiking, biking, and exploring. The park offers miles of trails that wind through the woods and the creek. You can also dip in the creek to cool off on a hot day.

17. Visit University City

University City is home to several universities, including the University of Pennsylvania and Drexel University. The area is full of interesting architecture and public art installations. You can also catch a free concert or event at one of the universities.

18. Walk Society Hill

Society Hill is a historic area that is full of beautiful homes and cobblestone streets. You can take a self-guided walking tour of the neighborhood and learn about the area’s history. Be sure to stop by the Powel House, a historic mansion open to the public.

19. Admire Philadelphia’s Murals

Philadelphia is home to more than 3,000 murals, and they’re a must-see for art lovers. Take a self-guided tour of the city’s murals and admire the vibrant colors and intricate designs.

20. Tour Rodin Museum

The Rodin Museum is home to one of the largest collections of Rodin sculptures outside of Paris. The museum is free to the public and is located on the Benjamin Franklin Parkway. You can also take a stroll through the museum’s beautiful garden.

21. Experience Franklin Institute

The Franklin Institute is a science museum full of interactive exhibits and hands-on activities. The museum is free on the first Wednesday of every month from 5 pm to 8 pm. You can also catch a free science demonstration or show.

22. Explore South Street

South Street is a vibrant neighborhood full of shops, restaurants, and street performers. You can stroll down the street and enjoy the sights and sounds of the city. Be sure to stop by Jim’s Steaks for a famous Philly cheesesteak.

23. Visit Edgar Allan Poe House

The Edgar Allan Poe House is the former home of the famous author. The house is open to the public and is free to visit. You can tour the house and learn about Poe’s life and work.

24. Tour the Masonic Temple

Masonic Temple

The Masonic Temple is a historic building full of interesting architecture and artifacts. You can take a free tour of the temple and learn about the history of the Freemasons. Be sure to check out the grand lodge room, a stunning example of Gothic Revival architecture.

25. See City Hall

City Hall is one of the most recognizable buildings in Philadelphia. You can take a free tour of the building and learn about its history and architecture. Check out the observation deck, which offers stunning city views.

26. Stroll Kelly Drive

Kelly Drive is a scenic road along the Schuylkill River. You can take a stroll or bike ride along the road and enjoy the beautiful river and city skyline views.

27. Go to Fishtown

Fishtown is a hip neighborhood that is full of street art, murals, and interesting shops. You can take a walk around the neighborhood and enjoy the vibrant atmosphere. Be sure to stop by La Colombe for a famous cup of coffee.

28. Visit Bartram’s Garden

Bartram’s Garden is a historic botanical garden that is free to the public. The garden is home to several rare and exotic plants, as well as a historic house and barn. You can take a stroll through the garden and learn about the history of the area.

29. Experience John Heinz Refuge

John Heinz Refuge is a nature preserve that is home to several species of birds and other wildlife. You can take a hike through the preserve and enjoy the beautiful scenery. Be sure to bring your binoculars to spot some of the local wildlife.

30. Visit Italian Market

The Italian Market is a historic outdoor market serving Philadelphia for over 100 years. Stroll through the market and sample some delicious food and drink offerings.

31. Explore Reading Terminal Market

Reading Terminal Market is a historic indoor market that has been serving Philadelphia for more than 125 years. Stroll through the market and sample some of the delicious food and drink offerings.

32. Walk Manayunk’s Main Street

Manayunk’s Main Street is a historic street full of interesting shops and restaurants. You can take a walk down the street and enjoy the vibrant atmosphere. Be sure to stop by the Manayunk Brewery for a famous craft beer.

33. Explore Historic Christ Church

Step back in time and explore the historic Christ Church, a beautiful 18th-century church that played a significant role in American history. You can take a free tour of the church and learn about its rich history and stunning architecture.

34. Visit Betsy Ross House

Visit the Betsy Ross House, the birthplace of the American flag. You can explore the house and learn about the life of Betsy Ross and her role in creating the iconic flag. Admission to the house is free.

35. See Wells Fargo Center

If you’re a sports fan, head over to the Wells Fargo Center and watch a free practice session with the Philadelphia Flyers or the Philadelphia 76ers. You can also take a free tour of the center and learn about its history and architecture.

36. Go to Northern Liberties

Explore the vibrant neighborhood of Northern Liberties, which is known for its lively street art, unique boutiques, and trendy restaurants. Stroll down North 2nd Street and enjoy the sights and sounds of this eclectic neighborhood.

37. Race Street Pier

Get a stunning view of the Delaware River and the Benjamin Franklin Bridge at the Race Street Pier. This beautiful park is perfect for a picnic or a relaxing afternoon in the sun.

38. See Washington Square

Washington Square is a historic park home to several monuments and memorials. You can stroll through the park and learn about the city’s history. Be sure to check out the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, which is located in the park.

39. Tour Philadelphia Zoo

Visit the Philadelphia Zoo and see over 1,300 animals from around the world. Admission to the zoo is free on the first Wednesday of every month.

40. Experience Walnut Street

Take a stroll down Walnut Street and explore the trendy shops, boutiques, and restaurants that line this bustling street. You can also enjoy the stunning architecture of the historic buildings in the area.

41. Stroll South Philadelphia

Explore the vibrant neighborhood of South Philadelphia, known for its delicious Italian cuisine and colorful murals. Take a stroll down East Passyunk Avenue and enjoy the sights and sounds of this lively neighborhood.

42. See Valley Forge

Visit the historic Valley Forge National Historical Park and learn about the Revolutionary War and the role that Valley Forge played in American history. Admission to the park is free.

43. Walk Chestnut Hill

Take a walk through the charming neighborhood of Chestnut Hill, which is known for its beautiful homes, quaint shops, and stunning gardens. You can also enjoy the beautiful architecture of the historic buildings in the area.

44. Visit The Navy Yard

Explore the historic Navy Yard, which was once a bustling shipyard and is now a vibrant business and residential community. You can take a free tour of the area and learn about its rich history and stunning architecture.

45. Explore Delaware Riverfront

Take a walk along the Delaware Riverfront and enjoy the stunning views of the river and the city skyline. You can also visit the Independence Seaport Museum and learn about the history of the Delaware River and its importance to Philadelphia.

46. Experience Morris Arboretum

Visit the Morris Arboretum and explore the stunning gardens and landscapes. Admission to the conservatory is free on the first Saturday of every month.

47. Tour Laurel Hill Cemetery

Take a tour of the historic Laurel Hill Cemetery and learn about the famous people buried there, including Civil War generals, inventors, and politicians. Admission to the cemetery is free.

48. Stroll Port Richmond

Explore the charming neighborhood of Port Richmond, which is known for its delicious Polish cuisine and colorful murals. Take a stroll down Richmond Street and enjoy the sights and sounds of this lively neighborhood.

49. See Old City

Explore the historic Old City neighborhood, home to some of the most iconic landmarks in Philadelphia, including Independence Hall and the Liberty Bell. Take a walk down Market Street and enjoy the stunning architecture of the historic buildings in the area.

50. Visit Magic Gardens

Visit the Magic Gardens, a stunning mosaic art installation created by Isaiah Zagar. Admission to the gardens is free on the first Sunday of every month.

51. Explore Smith Playground

Take your kids to the Smith Playground and Playhouse, a fun and interactive park with a giant wooden slide, a castle, and a maze. Admission to the playground is free.

52. Walk Benjamin Rush Park

Take a walk through the beautiful Benjamin Rush State Park, which features a variety of hiking trails, picnic areas, and stunning views of the city. Admission to the park is free.

53. Tour Graffiti Pier

Explore the colorful and vibrant Graffiti Pier, a former industrial site transformed into a stunning outdoor art gallery. Admission to the pier is free.

54. Visit Roosevelt Park

Visit Roosevelt Park

Roosevelt Park is a beautiful green space in South Philly. It’s a great place to take a walk, picnic, or relax. The park has plenty of open space, a playground, basketball courts, and a swimming pool.

55. Explore Belmont Plateau

Belmont Plateau is a scenic overlook in Fairmount Park. It offers stunning city skyline views and is popular for picnics and outdoor concerts. The plateau is also a great place to go for a hike or a bike ride.

56. See The Bourse

The Bourse is a historic building in Old City that has been converted into a food hall. It’s an excellent place to grab a bite, with plenty of options. The building is also worth checking out, as it has a beautiful interior with plenty of natural light.

57. Go to Passyunk Avenue

Passyunk Avenue is a lively commercial corridor in South Philly. It’s a great place to visit the local shops and restaurants. The avenue is also known for its colorful murals worth seeing.

58. Visit Shofuso House

Shofuso House is a traditional Japanese house and garden in West Fairmount Park. It’s a beautiful and peaceful place to visit, and the garden is incredibly stunning in the spring when the cherry blossoms are in bloom.

59. Tour Fort Mifflin

Fort Mifflin is a historic fort that played a vital role in the American Revolution. It’s a fascinating place to visit, with plenty of exhibits and artifacts. The fort also hosts many events throughout the year, including reenactments and ghost tours.

60. Experience The Athenaeum

The Athenaeum is a beautiful historic library in Center City. It’s a great place to go if you’re interested in architecture or history, and there are plenty of exhibits and events to check out.

61. Stroll Cobbs Creek

Cobbs Creek is a scenic park in West Philly. It’s a fantastic place to go for a walk or a bike ride, and there are plenty of spots to stop and relax. The park also has historic structures, including a stone bridge and a dam.

62. See The Divine Lorraine

The Divine Lorraine is a historic hotel in North Philly that has been converted into apartments. It’s a beautiful building with a fascinating history, and it’s worth checking out if you’re in the area.

63. Visit Wagner Free Institute

The Wagner Free Institute is a natural history museum in North Philly. It’s a great place to go if you’re interested in science or history, and there are plenty of exhibits and artifacts to see.

64. Explore Fairhill Cemetery

Fairhill Cemetery is a historic cemetery in North Philly. It’s a peaceful and beautiful place to visit, with plenty of interesting graves and monuments.

65. Walk The Schuylkill Center

The Schuylkill Center is a nature preserve in Roxborough. It’s a great place to go for a hike or a bike ride, and there are plenty of trails to explore. The center also hosts many events throughout the year, including nature walks and birdwatching tours.

66. Tour Woodford Mansion

Take a tour of the historic Woodford Mansion, located in East Fairmount Park. Built in 1756, this beautiful mansion has been restored and is open to the public for tours. Learn about the history of the mansion and the people who lived there, and enjoy the beautiful gardens and grounds.

67. See Lemon Hill Mansion

Lemon Hill Mansion was built in 1800 and is now open for tours. The mansion is named for the lemon trees that once grew on the property, and it offers a glimpse into life in early 19th-century Philadelphia.

68. Visit Mt. Moriah Cemetery

Mt. Moriah Cemetery is a beautiful and historic cemetery located in Southwest Philadelphia. It’s the final resting place of many notable Philadelphians, including Civil War soldiers veterans, and politicians. Take a walk through the cemetery and appreciate the beautiful architecture and history.

69. Explore Frankford Avenue

Frankford Avenue is a lively and eclectic neighborhood in Northeast Philadelphia. Walk down the street and explore the many shops, restaurants, and galleries. You’ll find something new and interesting around every corner.

70. See The Dream Garden

The Dream Garden is a stunning mosaic mural in the Curtis Center’s lobby in Center City. Created by artist Maxfield Parrish and made up of over 100,000 pieces of glass, the mural is a must-see for art lovers.

71. Walk Olde Kensington

Olde Kensington is a historic neighborhood in North Philadelphia with beautiful architecture and a vibrant community. Take a walk down the streets and admire the beautiful rowhouses and storefronts.

72. Experience Glen Foerd

Glen Foerd is a beautiful estate located on the banks of the Delaware River in Northeast Philadelphia. The estate offers beautiful gardens, a historic mansion, and stunning views of the river.

73. Visit The Cliffs

The Cliffs is a beautiful natural area located in the Wissahickon Valley Park. Take a hike through the woods and enjoy the stunning cliffs and creek views.

74. Explore Awbury Arboretum

Awbury Arboretum is a beautiful park located in Northwest Philadelphia. The park offers beautiful gardens, walking trails, and historic buildings. It’s a great place to relax and enjoy nature.

75. Stroll Juniata Park

Juniata Park is a beautiful park located in Northeast Philadelphia. The park offers walking trails, sports fields, and a beautiful lake. It’s a great place to spend a day with family and friends.

76. See The Please Touch Museum

The Please Touch Museum is a fun and interactive museum for children located in Fairmount Park. The museum offers hands-on exhibits and activities that encourage learning and exploration.

77. Visit Fairmount Water Works

Fairmount Water Works is a historic water filtration plant located in Center City. The plant has been restored and is now open to the public for tours. Learn about the history of the plant and the importance of clean water.

78. Go Strawberry Mansion

Strawberry Mansion is a historic neighborhood in North Philadelphia with beautiful architecture and a rich history. Take a walk through the streets and admire the beautiful rowhouses and storefronts.

How did you spend a day in Philly?

If you’re looking for free things to do in Philadelphia, you’re in luck. There are plenty of options for a fun-filled day that won’t break the bank. Here are some ideas to help you plan your day:

Start your day at the Liberty Bell Center. This historic site is home to the famous Liberty Bell and offers larger-than-life historical documents and images that explore the facts and myths surrounding our nation’s most famous Bell.

After visiting the Liberty Bell, head to the Reading Terminal Market. This bustling indoor market features over 80 merchants selling everything from fresh produce to handmade crafts. Grab a bite from one of the many food vendors and enjoy the lively atmosphere.

Next, take a stroll through Franklin Square. This park features a playground, a carousel, and a mini-golf course, all for free. It’s the perfect place to relax and enjoy the outdoors.

For a cultural experience, visit the Philadelphia Museum of Art. Admission is free on the first Sunday of every month and every Wednesday evening. The museum boasts a stunning collection of over 240,000 pieces of original art, ranging from sculpture to paintings.

End your day with a walk through Rittenhouse Square. This public park is a popular destination for locals and tourists alike. It’s a great place for people to watch, take in the scenery, and enjoy the city’s vibrant energy.

With so many free things to do in Philadelphia, you can easily fill your day with fun and adventure without spending a dime.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What are some popular free attractions to visit in Philadelphia?

Philadelphia offers a variety of free attractions, including Independence National Historical Park, Reading Terminal Market, and the Philadelphia Museum of Art. You can also explore the city’s many murals, stroll through Fairmount Park, or visit the Schuylkill River Trail.

Are there any cost-free events happening in Philadelphia this weekend?

To find cost-free events happening in Philadelphia this weekend, you can check out local event listings on websites like Visit Philadelphia or Uwishunu. 

Can you recommend any free activities for families with children in Philadelphia?

Philadelphia offers plenty of free activities for families with children. You can visit the Please Touch Museum, explore the Franklin Institute Science Museum, or stroll through the Philadelphia Zoo. You can also explore the city’s many parks and playgrounds, attend a free family-friendly event, or take a free art class at a local community center.

What unique, free experiences does Philadelphia offer to visitors?

Philadelphia offers a variety of unique, free experiences for visitors. You can explore the city’s many murals, take a free tour of the Masonic Temple, or visit the Philadelphia Magic Gardens. You can also attend a free outdoor concert or festival, explore the city’s many historic sites and landmarks, or take a free walking tour.

How can one enjoy Philadelphia’s culture without spending money?

To enjoy Philadelphia’s culture without spending money, you can explore the city’s many public art installations, attend a free museum day, or take a free walking tour. You can also attend a free concert or festival, explore the city’s many parks and public spaces, or stroll through the historic neighborhoods of Old City and Society Hill.

Conclusion

Congratulations! You have discovered the top free things to do in Philadelphia. From exploring Independence National Historical Park to visiting the Philadelphia Museum of Art, there is something for everyone to enjoy. Take a stroll around Rittenhouse Square or visit the iconic LOVE Park. You can even take a free self-guided city tour using an app.

Don’t forget to share your experience with your friends and family on social media. 

Thank you for reading the article. I hope you found it informative and helpful.