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Old City

Where America began

Photo by A. Ricketts for Visit Philadelphia

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Next to Independence Mall, where the country’s Founding Fathers declared liberty, Old City still boasts charming cobblestone streets and plenty of 18th-century charm — along with an independent streak evident in everything from its owner-operated shops to its edgy art scene.

Its proximity to the Liberty Bell , Penn’s Landing and Benjamin Franklin Bridge makes Old City a favorite for out-of-towners and its residents who call it home. People love the neighborhood for its fashionable boutiques, great restaurants, eclectic galleries and theaters, and vibrant nightlife. Especially popular on first Fridays of each month, art lovers fill the streets for year-round art walks and hop from gallery to gallery.


Essential Info

Old City is part of Philadelphia’s Historic District , and it spans from Vine Street to Walnut Street, north to south, and from 7th Street to the Delaware River, west to east.

Historic Philadelphia is the birthplace of the nation and the first World Heritage City in the U.S., as designated by the Organization of World Heritage Cities (OWHC). It’s also home to buzzed-about restaurants and beer gardens, owner-operated boutiques, boundary-pushing art galleries and more.

Visitors and residents alike flock to Old City for its historical and waterfront attractions.

Getting Here

SEPTA’s Market-Frankford subway line makes Old City easily accessible, with stops at 5th and 2nd streets along Market. Many bus routes also include stops in Penn’s Landing, and the seasonal PHLASH bus offers convenient access from the Independence Visitor Center to Philadelphia’s top attractions.

In The Neighborhood

The historic heart of Philadelphia resides along Independence Mall. Home to Independence Hall and the Liberty Bell Center, the Mall also boasts a number of cultural institutions including the National Museum of American Jewish History and National Constitution Center . Be sure to stop by the Independence Visitor Center for tickets to city attractions and helpful information.

Shoppers can find lots to love along Second Street and Third Street , while galleries and more attractions — including Franklin Square, the Betsy Ross House , The Center for Art in Wood and more — are peppered throughout the district.

The Delaware River waterfront hosts family-friendly events year-round. Penn’s Landing provides scenic views of the Benjamin Franklin Bridge and makes a popular seasonal destination with attractions like Spruce Street Harbor Park and the Blue Cross RiverRink .

Spruce Street Harbor Park Spruce Street Harbor Park

Spruce Street Harbor Park in Old City — Photo by M. Edlow for Visit Philadelphia


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Philadelphia is a city of vibrant neighborhoods bordered by a region of charming towns, with each area owning a distinctive personality. Explore the neighborhoods and towns in and around Philadelphia — their storied streets, interesting attractions, buzzed-about restaurants and year-round happenings.

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