Day trip to Philly

I’ve been to Philadelphia a couple of times but always by myself, so I was keen to visit there with Mark. We found that we only had time for a day trip but I figured we could fit it all in.

We took the train from New York and began our visit in Rittenhouse Square, where I forgot to take a photograph, but we both enjoyed the ambiance. Then on to City Hall, which is the most beautiful building


Beautiful from the front and the back


Philadelphia is full of amazing buildings and we happened upon one with a magnificent pipe organ and you would be excused for thinking we were in a church.

IMG_2116But this organ is in Macy’s! It has the most perfect backstory: the first time the organ was played coincided with the exact time of George V’s coronation in Westminster Abbey – how cool is that? I would kill to hear this organ played…

In the interests of brevity I’ve left out my gazillion photographs of amazing buildings, including the one that housed the Public Ledger which was the first penny newspaper.

No visit to Philadelphia is complete without seeing the Liberty Bell and the famous crack, which is now housed in a whole museum complex in the Independence National Historic Park. I am always impressed that all these attractions are free to visit.


In the same area as the Liberty Bell is the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier from the Revolutionary War. I found this rather moving, and especially liked the quote.


The tomb is located in Washington Square which has a huge number of graves of unknown soldiers in it. Apparently many of them died as prisoners of war in Philadelphia gaols. Seems so terrible that men were incarcerated as prisoners of war in their own country.

Scattered throughout the city are these signs and this one appealed to me a lot.


We called in at the Cathedral Basilica of Saints Peter and Paul, and it really is a stunning building. Once again I was blown away by the pipe organ.


The outside is pretty stunning too.


We did think that this Church wasn’t quite as awe inspiring as the Notre-Dame Basilica of Montreal, although you have to pay to go into that Church, whereas this one is free.

The Philadelphia Museum of Art is, sadly, more famous for its steps as these are the steps that feature in the Rocky movie, and all the signposts point to the “Rocky Steps”. I had to run up them of course and have to say that it wasn’t that hard. I can only conclude that Rocky was a wimp. I read somewhere that running up these stairs is a rite of passage. Righto, that’s ticked off then!


They are quite high. Mark took these photos of me from the bottom so you get the idea.IMG_2187

The “Go Eagles” sign refers to Sunday’s Superbowl, with the Philadelphia Eagles  being one of the teams playing. Of course, we Western Australians have our own Eagles team, strongly supported by all the men in my family.

The inside of the Museum is definitely worth a visit and I thought that the statue of Eros was particularly appropriate as Valentine’s Day looms.


The view from the top of the steps back over the town is pretty sensational.IMG_2191

One of the nicest surprises was the Rodin Museum. Here is The Thinker just hanging around outside, almost on the pavement.


The museum contains the largest collection of Rodin outside of Paris. I loved this little Beaux-Arts temple style building; so understated and elegant. IMG_2199

Although there is nothing understated about this magnificent door!IMG_2204

We pretty much did all the must-see things in Philadelphia in a day, but we had to keep moving. We did nearly 26kms of walking over the course of the day, so we were mildly weary as we made our way back through the throngs in Penn Stations, but we were so happy, having seen everything we wanted to and more.


18 thoughts on “Day trip to Philly

  1. You had to keep on moving, but you did well and saw “everything” in one day!
    Nice photos as usual, thanks for sharing!
    We did the same recently on a day trip in Verona, Italy – the home of Romeo & Juliet, among other things. A city worth visiting, I was pleasantly surprised.

  2. You ran up the iconic stairs, you champion! How beautiful and historically rich is this city. Funny that you compared the interior of the Saints Paul and Peter cathedral to the Notre-Dame basilica in Montréal because, while admiring your photos, I was thinking that these majestic grey stone buildings were very similar to those we have in the Old Port. Thanks for this fascinating tour d’horizon, Sue!

    1. Yes, Mark and I commented on the similarities with Montréal. Your Basilica is grander though. The stairs were surprisingly easy to run up even though there are a lot, so yes, I am a Rocky clone!!

  3. Again I have to thank you for sharing your day. I spent a (part of) a day in Philadelphia as part of an organised tour and felt it warranted greater exploration. Clearly it does. Well done on covering that distance – I imagine you slept well that night! 😴

    1. We did sleep pretty well! It’s a good city to explore on foot and you can see most of it in a day if you’re determined. I’m sure you saw the highlights, but it’s sometimes the hidden things that you fall across that are the most delightful. I was a bit sad that I couldn’t show every beautiful building we saw.

  4. Thank you once again for an informative and entertaining post! To me it looks Luke Philadelphia is worth a visit,I really like staring at magnificent buildings, hehe.

    1. There are some gorgeous buildings in Philadelphia and it’s definitely worth a visit. It was the capital of the US for 10 years so lots of historic stuff.

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