What is the interesting travelling in Philadelphia

The great thing about Philadelphia is that downtown is less than 30 minutes from the airport. Add that it’s only around seven hours from the UK on a direct flight with Delta Air Lines, then the city definitely becomes viable for a long weekend.

It has all the buzz of New York, but is obviously smaller and that means you can walk everywhere. There’s lots to see including the birthplace of US independence, some great art museums and a unique submarine experience.

Independence National Historical Park

Start with the Constitutional Walking Tour. It has nothing to do with your health, but takes you around the Independence National Park area, the heart of historic Philadelphia. Independence Hall, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, built in 1753, where the Declaration of Independence and the United States Constitution were debated and adopted in the late 18th century is the star attraction.

Philadelphia Independence Hall (c) Rupert Parker

Across the street is the Liberty Bell, originally in the steeple of Independence Hall, and paraded around the US for 25 years as a symbol of American independence. The park also contains the first US bank buildings and the 1775 Carpenters’ Hall, the venue for the First Continental Congress of the United Colonies of North America. At the opposite end is the modern interactive museum, the National Constitution Centre.

National Museum of American Jewish History

Just off Independence Mall is the only US museum dedicated exclusively to exploring and interpreting the American Jewish experience.

Philadelphia National Museum of American Jewish History (c) Rupert Parker

Four floors tell the story, starting with the first Jews who came from Brazil, escaping persecution by the Portuguese in 1654, through the migration of millions of immigrants from Europe in the late 19th century, to post WW2 stories of refugees from war-torn Europe, the Middle East, the Caribbean, and the Soviet Union.

The ground floor has stories of real people and their artefacts – including Steven Spielberg’s first camera, Irving Berlin’s piano and Even Einstein’s pipe.

Independence Seaport Museum

A short walk from here is the waterfront area along the Delaware River, Penn’s Landing, home to the Independence Seaport Museum. It tells the history of seafaring in Philadelphia, but moored outside are two vessels well worth a visit.