Free Things to Do in Philadelphia PA

There are seemingly endless things to do in Philly, but many can cost a dime and a leg. Museums and historical sites charge for entry or tours, and the next thing you know, your relaxing day has cost you hundreds of dollars. We’ve put together 30 things you can do in Philadelphia for free in this article!

Keep reading if you’re planning to visit The City of Brotherly Love for a trip or even consider moving there (after all, the average cost of living in PA is not so bad). 

There’s an attraction for everyone on this list, so buckle up for an adventure as you explore historical sites, rich hubs of international culture, and lush nature sites. 

If you’re looking to find cash home buyers Aston sellers will love, you’ll want to check out the neighboring city of Philadelphia as an option for your next home base.

Free Things To Do in Philadelphia

Free Things To Do in Philadelphia

If you’re traveling in from Aston for a day trip to the City of Brotherly Love, there will always be things to do for free in Philadelphia that you haven’t tried yet! 

Independence Hall

You can get free tickets for a guided tour of Independence Hall at the visitors center (you may need to pay a small handling fee). Just north of the Independence Mall, this historic site is where the Declaration of Independence was debated, written by a team of five, including Benjamin Franklin and Thomas Jefferson, and signed in 1776, making America what it is today.

Check out “Once Upon a Nation” storytelling in the Independence Square behind Independence Hall, all a part of the national park!

Reading Terminal Market

Explore this lovely and exciting market beneath the Reading Railroad’s 1891 train station from 8 AM – 6 PM every day. Enjoy tasting numerous cuisines while you shop for fresh produce and admire the work of local craftspeople, and bring a little spending money to be safe!

The Ukrainian Catholic Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception

Whether you appreciate the fine architecture or identify as Catholic, this cathedral less than half a mile away from the Edgar Allan Poe Museum will take your breath away. Experience the beauty of its mosaics, windows depicting angels, and more!

Italian Market

You could hop on a food tour or make your own as you stroll through this bustling food market. Dabble in cuisine from Middle Eastern to Mexican, and shop imported goods in one of the oldest open-air markets America offers.

Fireman’s Hall Museum

You’ll find this museum in Old City Philadelphia, in a renovated firehouse from the late 1890s. The Fireman’s Hall Museum is dedicated to the city’s history of fire safety and educating on modern fire safety. Enjoy free admission and learn about the birthplace of the volunteer fire company (you can thank Benjamin Franklin for it!).

Benjamin Franklin Parkway

Exploring everything the Benjamin Franklin Parkway has to offer will take you days! Along with it, you’ll find the Philadelphia Museum of Art and the Rodin Museum if you enjoy art. If you’re visiting Philadelphia for history and science, take a look at The Franklin Institute or the Academy of Natural Sciences of Drexel University.

United States Mint

Not only can you get free admission at the United States Mint, but all tours of this facility are free! Tours are about 45 minutes long, and you might have a short wait to get into the attraction during busy seasons.

Rodin Museum

Fans of architecture will admire every inch of this unique art museum, but it’s worth a visit for the art. Explore Auguste Rodin’s artistic phases with one of the largest collections of his work outside of Paris, including The Thinker, which stands outdoors in the garden.

Institute of Contemporary Art

Visitors and residents alike can enjoy free admission to this art museum. The mission of the Institute of Contemporary Art is to provide a space for the public to connect with the art and artists of our time, making it a public art space. Explore and consider going to a lecture!

The President’s House

The President’s House is a free open-air exhibit that you can wander and view while getting a glimpse into the life of George Washington. The installation helps teach about the early days of freedom in America and slavery.

Free Excursions in Philadelphia

While searching for “companies to buy my house in Pennsylvania,” you might want to try checking out some of the free excursions in the area to keep you busy and have some fun. Consider popping into the City of Brotherly Love to enjoy one of these free things to explore!

If you’re feeling thirsty, check out one of the local breweries!

Chinatown

Whether you’re looking for something free to do at night or during the day, visit Chinatown! Cantonese immigrants established this neighborhood in the mid-1800s, and it’s still a beautiful cultural hub.

Franklin Square

You didn’t think we were going to forget it, did you? This beautiful park is lined with trees and has a carousel for children of all ages. Enjoy the Fountain Show一a fantastic experience with water dancing in sync with musical arrangements and colorful lights. There’s also a mini-golf course!

Fairmont Water Works

A short distance from the Philadelphia Museum of Art, you’ll find the Fairmont Water Works. This fascinating historic site is open to the public for free. It has low-cost tours so that you can explore the architecture and a small part of America’s history in this 19th-century municipal waterworks.

Elfreth’s Alley

Elfreth’s Alley is the oldest continuously inhabited neighborhood in America, and it has free admission during its open season (spring through autumn). You can join a guided tour for a fee, and even during the off-season, you can enjoy an audio tour for a few dollars!

Old City Philadelphia

Grab a brochure at the Independence Visitor Center and explore Old City! Many of the buildings at this historic site are older than America. Enjoy visiting a living example of our nation’s history!

Parks in Philadelphia

Philly has more to offer than historical sites. Enjoy the scenery at beautiful, lush parks.

Schuykill River Park

This park is a community favorite for a reason! You can find it conveniently located in the Filter Square neighborhood in Southwest Center City. Two fenced dog parks create space for dogs of different sizes, and the Markward Playground there is great for kids, making this park a perfect spot for families.

If you’re not looking for a family outing, don’t worry! Schuykill River Park has something for everyone. If you and the team need somewhere to practice, check the Park out for baseball and soccer fields or basketball and tennis courts. Take a breath in nature and explore the various green spaces hidden in the middle of the cityscape. 

John F. Kennedy Plaza (Love Park)

Take a picture of Robert Indiana’s famous LOVE statue at any time of the day or night, and explore John F. Kennedy Plaza while you’re there. The plaza has a water feature and is a beautiful spot to go for a walk, but it is gorgeous around Christmas when it’s hosting the local Christmas Village. 

Wissahickon Valley Park

If your idea of a park is greener and less paved, you’ll like Wissahickon Valley Park, #7 on U.S. News’ best things to do in Philly. This 1,800-acre park has over 50 miles of trails for horseback riding, hiking, and biking and is a great spot to go fishing or picnicking.

Fairmount Park

This park boasts 2,000 acres of woodland and waterfront with smooth trails perfect for long walks and a breath of fresh air when city life gets to be too much. The Schuylkill River splits this park in two, so there’s plenty of room for fishing and picnicking.

Ready to move out of state and sell your house? Perhaps you’ve fallen in love with the parks of Philly and want to get back as soon as possible. There’s always time for a new beginning!

Spruce Street Harbor Park

Spruce Street Harbor Park is one of America’s best urban beaches and gives visitors a chance to enjoy the Delaware River. 

The park is open from spring to autumn for free. You’ll love playing games up and down the boardwalk, experiencing Philly food favorites, and maybe even sampling some craft beer! This beautiful park also has colored hammocks if you’re looking to hang out (pun intended).

Monuments in Philadelphia

Okay, a lot of what Philadelphia has to offer is historical, but it’s the birthplace of America!

Liberty Bell Center

What list of free things to do in Philly would be complete without suggesting a visit to the Liberty Bell? Take a couple of hours to visit this national monument that rang to celebrate the signing of the Declaration of Independence; 

The park is open from 9 – 5 and free every day. You can find it just a short walk from Independence Hall in the historic district. 

City Hall

It probably doesn’t sound like an incredible monument, but according to Walt Whitman, it’s the eighth of the world’s wonders and the only one that’s American! This astonishing building blew people away before its construction was even completed.

Monument to Six Million Jewish Martyrs

Take a somber moment to remember those lost to the Holocaust at this monument, which Jewish sculptor and painter Nathan Rapoport designed. It has been standing at the end of Benjamin Franklin Parkway since the 1960s.

Christ Church Burial Ground 

You might find this one strange, but Benjamin Franklin and four other signers of the Constitution were buried at this cemetery. Take a moment to reflect on his life and toss a penny to his grave. 

The Rocky Statue and the “Rocky Steps”

If you’re looking for free things to take home with you, grab a photo posing with the iconic Rocky Statue on the steps leading to the Philadelphia Museum of Art. Copy the pose or make your own and enjoy the view (and if you have a little money for admission, peruse the exhibits of this incredible art museum).

Walks in Philadelphia

Walks in Philadelphia

If you’re ready for outdoor adventures, check out one of these lovely spots!

Schuylkill River Trail

Sound familiar? The Schuylkill River Trail plays host to the park we mentioned earlier, but it’s so much more. It’s 27 miles of paved walking path stretching from downtown Philly to Valley Forge National Historic Park. You can find a path for you, whether you’re looking for a short walk or a long meander.

Rittenhouse Square

Take one of the main paths into Rittenhouse Square to find the park’s center. You’ll be surrounded by lush greenery and have the chance to enjoy sculptures and classical urns. This park is perfect for a long walk or finding somewhere quiet to read. 

Bartram’s Garden

Enjoy free admission to Bartram’s Garden 50 acre grounds year-round. This spot is a little of everything as a National Historic Landmark and public park. If you or a friend are disabled, this site has decent wheelchair accessibility.

Wissahickon Valley Park Trail

This beautiful park boasts 1800 acres and over fifty miles of trails for walkers and hikers of all ability levels. Along the trails, you’ll find stables to rent horses and free things like picnic grounds for when you’re ready to eat.

Manayunk Bridge Trail

The shortest walking path and the only one that is entirely paved and urban, Manayunk takes you over the Schuylkill River and railroad tracks. It offers an incredible view and is a short distance from Schuylkill River Trail.

Honorable Mentions

Here are some of the attractions on our list that gained an honorable mention for the best free things to do in Philadelphia. 

Barnes Foundation

Enjoy a visit to this art museum for free on the first Sunday of the month.

Kimmel Center

Check out the website to find out what free events this culture and performing arts center offers.

Market Street

There are places on this list on Market Street, but it’s well worth a separate walk or drive to explore the potential and available shops. Window shopping is free, after all. 

Penn’s Landing

The Delaware River has a lot of great spots, but Penn’s Landing is uniquely historically significant. Read up on the area and find more about free events you can attend!

Final Thoughts

It doesn’t matter if you want to visit Philadelphia for a day, a month, or you live there. This beautiful city has something new for you to explore around every corner, and you don’t have to spend a dime! Where are you going on a free tour of first?

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