Philadelphia tourism, Philadelphia tourist attractions

Philadelphia at a glance

Many of Philadelphia's most popular sights are to be found in Old City, within what's called "America's most historic square mile." They include Independence Hall and the iconic Liberty Bell. Outstanding museums, including the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts and the Philadelphia Museum of Art, are in the city center, while the Barnes Foundation is just beyond city limits.

Philadelphia's Top Ten Sights

1. Independence Hall
2. Liberty Bell Center
3. Barnes Foundation
4. Fair mount Park
5. Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts
6. National Constitution Center
7. Philadelphia Museum of Art
8. Reading Terminal Market
9. Penn's Landing
10. Liberty Place

History Of Philadelphia

William Penn first landed in the New World in 1682. Armed with a land charter, he founded a colony based on religious freedom that just a century later, would give birth to a new nation. Penn named the new city Philadelphia, derived from Greek words meaning "City of Brotherly Love."

Before William Penn's arrival, the Delaware River basin and the Schuylkill River watershed were inhabited by Algonquian speaking Native Americans known as Lenni-Lenape.

They were mostly peaceful hunters and gatherers, and many lived along the Delaware River and its tributaries. They were named "Delawares" for that reason by the first European settlers.


After World War II, the city lost jobs and population to the suburbs, and then underwent political restructuring in 1951, with a new city charter that called for a stronger mayor and new city departments. It was also a time of urban preservation efforts downtown, but some neighborhoods in the city's north and west deteriorated.

Racial tensions mounted in the 1960s and through the mayoral terms of Frank Rizzo and W. Wilson Goode, the city's first African-American mayor, before eventually stabilizing in the late 1980s. In 1985, during Goode's term as mayor, the controversial bombing of the headquarters of the black radical group MOVE took place, resulting in the deaths of 11 persons and the destruction of over 60 homes. Today, Philadelphia's economy is diversified. While some manufacturing units remain, corporate business has recently gained ground. Philadelphia is home to companies specializing in technology, banking, pharmaceuticals, and insurance. Tourism is also key to the local economy. The city has several universities, colleges, medical schools, and world-class hospitals. In 2000, it hosted the Republican National Convention, which nominated George W. Bush for president.