Philadelphia is known as many things – the city of Brotherly Love, the home of one of the top Ivy-league schools in the world, the home to “Rocky,” and of course – the city of our founding fathers. While we know this city for a lot of great things, – to us, Philly is best known as home. Growing up in New Jersey, Philadelphia was always a quick Amtrak ride away from the house I grew up in. After graduating from high school, I headed to Philadelphia to attend the University of Pennsylvania where my love for the city grew even stronger. I’m a firm believer that anyone who is visiting the United States and/or east coast should visit Philadelphia.


Ten years later, we headed back to the city that shaped me as an adult woman – this time, with my handsome husband by my side. It has been amazing to watch Philadelphia transform from the city in the shadows of New York to a powerhouse that stands on its own. Philadelphia is no longer in the shadows of its sister cities; Philadelphia shines brightest on her own.

I have seen firsthand how Philadelphia has changed for the better while also retaining its unique and loveable qualities. In the past ten years, its gastronomy scene has grown to be one of the best in the country, its formerly “rough” neighborhoods have transformed into trendy communities, and its economy has seen an expanding transformation. While so many things have changed for the better, Philadelphia still preserves what makes it “Philly:” its history, its undying love for its sports teams, its heart, its character, and its soul. Here is everything you need to know to visit Philadelphia.

Best Times to Visit Philadelphia

Philly is a fantastic city to visit, but it truly shines in the spring, summer, and fall months. My favorite time to visit is during September and October when the leaves start to change colors and the energy for the Eagles (its NFL team) in the city is palpable. The weather is still warm enough to enjoy the outdoor cafes and sports games, but there’s crispness to the air that tells you that autumn is just around the corner.


Best Restaurants in Philadelphia

Philadelphia is a paradise for foodies. From the famous Philadelphia cheese steaks in South Philly to the upscale dining establishments in Center City, there are a wide variety of culinary choices for every type of foodie. Here are the best restaurants in Philadelphia:

  • Abe Fisher: Located on Sansom Street, this restaurant serves up the best Jewish food in all of Philadelphia. Chef Yehuda Sichel combines traditional Jewish cuisine with modern evolutions.
  • Scarpetta: Located at the Rittenhouse Hotel, Scarpetta is the place to dine for high-end Italian cuisine in Center City.
  • El Vez: Located on 13th street, El Vez is owned by Philadelphia’s favorite restaurateur, Stephen Starr. This high-end Mexican restaurant is a fabulous spot to visit for brunch, lunch, or dinner. Don’t forget to order one of their famous margaritas!
  • The Love: The latest and greatest restaurant to come from Starr, The Love serves up a wide variety of meals including corn soup, fried chicken and okra, and salmon tartar.
  • Angelina’s: While this local favorite may not make it into Philly Mag, it’s one of the best Italian restaurants in the entire city. Philadelphia is known for its multitude of BYOB’s an Angelina’s tops the list for us. This South Philly staple is a cash-only institution run by Angelina herself. This one-woman kitchen is low-key and it’s the type of cooking that you would expect from an Italian mother.

Best Hotels in Philadelphia

There are so many fantastic neighborhoods when you visit Philadelphia that it can be hard to choose. Luckily, Philadelphia is a very walk able city with great public transportation so it’s easy to move from one neighborhood to the next. From hotels in Center City Philadelphia to historic Old City Philadelphia hotels, here are the best hotels in Philadelphia by neighborhood:

  • Rittenhouse: The Rittenhouse neighborhood is in the heart of Center City, surrounded by the best shopping in Philadelphia, hip restaurants, and five-star hotels. The top hotels in the Rittenhouse neighborhood are the Rittenhouse Hotel, The Kimpton Hotel Palomar, and the Sofitel Philadelphia.
  • South Philly: South Philly used to be known as the gritty part of the city, but it has since transformed itself into a hip, up and coming neighborhood. South Philly is where the majority of Italian immigrants settled and thus, the neighborhood still possesses an Italian vibe with plenty of Italian restaurants and delicatessens.
  • Broad Street / Arts District: Broad Street, also known as the Avenue of the Arts, is a main artery that runs through Philadelphia with easy access to all of the city. If you want to stay in the Broad Street / Arts District, we recommend staying at the Ritz Carlton Philadelphia.
  • Old City: Old City is home to major historical sites like Independence Hall and The Liberty Bell. This is a great neighborhood for travelers looking for a mix of history, art, and culture. The best hotels in the Old City neighborhood are the Kimpton Hotel Monaco, Hilton Philadelphia at Penn’s Landing, and the Morris House Hotel.