How to Spend a Weekend in America’s East Coast World Heritage City

Plan a long weekend exploring the East Coast city of Philadelphia, which is rich in history, arts and culture, vibrant neighbourhoods, plus tax-free shopping hotspots

Discover America’s History in the ‘Birthplace of America’

Philadelphia is known as the ‘birthplace of America’ following its vital role in the American Revolution. Scottish tourists can begin their visit to the World Heritage City of Philadelphia with a guided tour of Independence National Historical Park. The park is America’s most historic square mile and is where the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution were drafted, debated and adopted at Independence Hall, which is now a UNESCO World Heritage Listed Site. Visitors can also snap a photo of the nearby Liberty Bell, a globally recognised symbol of freedom and visit Betsy Ross House, the historic house that commemorates the life and accomplishments of Betsy Ross, a Philadelphia patriot believed to have made the first American flag.

Marvel at Amazing Arts and Murals

After exploring Independence National Historical Park, holidaymakers can explore ‘Museum Mile’ on Benjamin Franklin Parkway, which is home to some of Philadelphia’s most prestigious museums and institutions. Art critics can marvel at over 200,000 examples of art spanning more than 2,000 years in history at the Philadelphia Museum of Art, which is also home to the “Rocky Steps” featured in the Academy Award-winning film Rocky. The Rodin Museum is home to one of the largest Rodin collections outside of Paris, with “The Thinker,” the iconic statue outside, and the impressive Barnes Foundation houses one of the finest collections of post-Impressionist and early Modern paintings with extensive works by Pierre-Auguste Renoir, Henri Matisse and Pablo Picasso. Philadelphia has been called the “Mural Capital of the World” and boasts over 4,000 murals as well as outdoor sculptures.

Feast on Cheesesteaks Washed Down with Craft Beers at Traditional Markets

With an offering of more than 2,500 restaurants and bars, Philadelphia has something to whet any appetite. Famous for the Philly cheesesteak, Philadelphia has also established a reputation as one of the most prominent craft beer cities in the world and is often referred to as the ‘Best Beer Drinking City in America’. Alongside historical brewpubs and renowned breweries, the city is also home to award-winning restaurants, foodie festivals plus traditional markets. These include Reading Terminal Market, which is one of America’s largest and oldest public markets and offers local food favourites including hoagies, pretzels and Pennsylvania Dutch goodies.

Enjoy Tax-Free Shopping at America’s Largest Shopping Mall by Retail Space

Dubbed as one of the best shopping cities in the world by Condé Nast Traveler U.S., Philadelphia is a shopping haven for fashionistas. From high-end boutiques in Rittenhouse Row to discount outlets at Philadelphia Premium Outlets and the new Fashion District Philadelphia opening in September 2019, shoppers can indulge in Philadelphia’s tax-free shopping on all clothes and shoes. Shoppers can also visit the nearby King of Prussia Mall, with is the largest shopping mall by retail space in the U.S. and reachable in just 45 minutes by car from Philadelphia’s Centre City.

Explore the City by Foot and Enjoy Philadelphia’s Outdoor Parks

Although Philadelphia is the sixth largest city in the U.S and the second largest on the East Coast, the city is known as one of the most walkable cities in America thanks to its relatively compact size and easy-to-navigate grid street plan. In addition, with the largest city-owned urban park system in the world, Philadelphia is one of the greenest cities in America. Fairmount Park alone offers a 10,000-acre park system with over 270 miles of recreation trails, and endless adventure trails, river-fronts, cycling trails and walking/running paths are also woven through the city.