The largest city in the state of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia is also one of the biggest urban areas in the whole of the United States. Its size means that the city spreads into New Jersey and Delaware, although much of its centre hints at its pivotal role in helping to establish the country’s independence. Its foundation by Quakers in the 17th century is respected throughout the city. Today, the city is seen as a major cultural and commercial destination. Globally-renowned brands have their headquarters in ‘Philly’ while in the Center City district; you’re never too far away from a gallery, theatre, museum or live music venue. Sport is pretty big here too, as most of the major sports have at least one top-flight team based in the city.
Just for getting around the city centre and suburbs, a smaller car will make it easier for you to cope in traffic. It would also be handier for street parking, if you can find a space.
Driving in Philadelphia
Road Driving Side
Urban Speed Limit
Rural Speed Limit
Motorway Speed Limit
Important things to note
Parking in the centre of Philadelphia is difficult, although there are park and ride facilities further out near the highways such as by the AT&T station.
Although traffic in the city centre is a little lighter than in other major cities, gridlock is still an issue during rush hours.
The three most traffic-prone roads in the city are the I-95, 1-676 and I-76 interstates. The I-476 is also known to be troublesome during peak times.
Highlights & Hotspots
At the heart of the Old City, the Independence National Historic Park is the most historic sight in the whole of Philadelphia. Within its confines are the Liberty Bell, Independence Hall and Constitution Hall, where the Declaration of Independence was made.
Documenting history from further afield, the University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology has artefacts from Ancient Egypt, Ancient Greece and the Roman Empire, as well as some slightly newer exhibits.
The best place to see a wide variety of artworks is at the Philadelphia Magic Gardens. Here, you can expect to see plenty of great examples of folk art, mosaics from Isaiah Zagar and sculptures from Latin America and Asia.
The Philadelphia Eagles, the city’s only NFL team, play their games at Lincoln Financial Field. Other teams worth watching include baseball’s Philadelphia Phillies and the Philadelphia 76ers, the local NBA basketball franchise. All three are among the best teams in their respective sports.
Philadelphia International Airport is three miles southeast of the city centre and is one of the busiest airports in the US. It has seven terminal buildings, divided into seven concourses and serves destinations the world over.
The airport is alongside the I-95, which goes straight to the centre of Philadelphia. To get further inside, take the left to the I-676 Vine Street Expressway.