24 hours in Philadelphia
With so much history and plenty to see in the city of brotherly love, it's hard to narrow down some of the top spots. ELLE gives you a guide of must-sees in the funky and hip city.
Where to stay:
The Ritz-Carlton Philadelphia For an absolute posh stay in Philadelphia check out the Ritz-Carlton. You will get the best in service and spectacular views of Central Philly. Not to mention, being a stone’s throw away from just about anything you would want to visit — all the historical sites, high-end dinging, festivals and shopping.
The Ritz-Carlton Philadelphia, Ten Avenue of the Arts
What to see:
The Philadelphia Museum of Art Not only is the museum a spectacular site to see with it’s massive size, but once you take a run up those prolific stairs to the entrance (just like Sly Stallone in Rocky) turn around to catch a breathtaking view of the city before heading inside. Or stand next to the Rocky statue at the top and do a little victory dance, if you must. But a trip inside the building will take you to different worlds through its many world-class exhibitions. Check out everything from Tibetan Ritual Arts to Japanese Literati Culture all in one stop. The art museum is an absolute must-see on a trip to Philadelphia. philamuseum.org.
Historic downtown A trip to central Philly will let you stand where the Declaration of Independence was signed, see where Betsey Ross (the woman who made the first American flag) lived, the iconic Liberty Bell and the remains of Benjamin Franklin’s home. Once you have your American history fix, stick around in the core of Philly to take in some more of the amazing cultural events the city has to offer, such as the Philadelphia Live Arts Festival and the Philadelphia Fringe Festival where you will hear amazing live performances and take in some incredible art. For more cultural happenings in Philadelphia check out phillyfunguide.com.
Tria Cafe The newest It spot in Philly is a place to tempt your taste buds with bite-sized appetizers and some fab drinks. The ever changing wine, cheese and beer list keep the locals coming back for more. Stop in for a cafe-style bite to eat for lunch (at incredibly low prices) or hit up one of its two locations at night to really get the feel of the bar in full swing. It’s where the younger crowd goes for tappas and beer before heading out for a night on the town, so plan on making it your first stop of the night. triacafe.com, Rittenhouse Square: 123 S. 18th Street, or Washington Square West: 1137 Spruce Street.
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Morimoto’s The Iron Chef has his claim to fame in one of the best restaurants in the city. If you want to have fine cuisine inspired by a great and famous chef than this spot is for you. The upscale casual restaurant is a great way to get exquisite food in a relaxed atmosphere. Check out the chef’s choice — Omakase — a tasting menu of the Asian-inspired dishes. Book in advance because the wait will be long — it’s that good! morimotorestaurant.com, 723 Chestnut Street.
Pat’s or Geno’s A trip to Philadelphia is never complete until you chow down on a greasy, but oh-so-delicious cheese steak sandwich. Take your pick of the two rival steakhouses in South Philly (which are also within walking distance of each other) and fill up your calorie and fat intake for the day with one sandwich — but trust us, it is so worth it. Who would have thought that steak, cheese sauce and onions on a bun could be so good? Make sure to practice your ordering technique before you’re at the head of the line (say “wit,” or “wit-out” for if you do/don’t want onions and the proper team for cheese sauce is “wiz.”). Here’s the proper lingo for a basic steak sandwich: “One wiz wit.” They can spot a new comer a mile away, so if you want to feel like a local get the phrase down pat, or you may be asked to get to the back of the line! Pat’s King of Steaks: , 1237 E Passyunk Ave; Geno’s Steak genosteaks.com, 1219 S 9th St.
Where to shop:
Chestnut Hill Dreaming of picking up some designer duds while in Philly? Chestnut Hill has all you need for designer shopping. Carrying high-end names is what sets this shopping locale apart from others in Philadelphia. Plus the Chestnut Hill area has over 200 shops, boutiques, galleries and cozy cafes — so make it an afternoon trip and enjoy shopping, art and lattes. chestnuthillpa.com.
South Street South Street is probably best known for it’s great food and hip nightclubs, but locals know that if you want a one-of-a-kind, artsy shopping experience you need to hit this street. You’re not going to find a brand name here and don’t expect to see a store like Banana Republic in the vicinity, instead poke your head into the likes of tattoo parlours, locally owned clothing stores and art galleries. We guarantee that you will leave with something you never thought you’d pick up.