Philadelphia is easily one of the best cities in America to go on a weekend trip. It’s filled with history, culture, beautiful parks, and incredible food. Philadelphia is also one of the most walkable cities in America, so you’ll have no problem getting around between neighborhoods.
I’ve put together the ultimate weekend trip schedule so you get the most out of the lovely city of Philadelphia and won’t miss a thing! Get ready for an incredible, jam-packed 36 hours in Philadelphia.
Welcome to Philadelphia! To start off your weekend trip and fuel up on food, grab a hearty breakfast at Sabrina’s Café. Come hungry because the portions are huge! I recommend the stuffed challah French toast with berries, but every item on the menu is scrumptious. You’ll love admiring the different and unique coffee mugs they serve your coffee in too.
There are multiple locations throughout the city, but we suggest starting at the South Philadelphia location for this trip.
After enjoying a hearty breakfast, walk it off in the historic Italian Market on 9th Street. Here you’ll find fresh fruit and vegetable vendors lined along the street along with century old butcher shops and open fish markets. Philadelphia residents who are looking for cheap produce will come to the market during the weekends.
Stop in the famous Di Bruno Bros. cheese and meat shop. This small store’s location is the original shop. It can get pretty cramped in there, but it’s all part of the fun. Don’t forget to ask to sample their meats and cheeses!
You can’t visit Philadelphia without eating a Philly Cheesesteak. Head on down 9th Street passed the market and visit where the cheesesteak began, Pat’s King of Steaks. It was here that Pat Olivieri created the cheesesteak in the 1930’s.
This corner in South Philly is known as the Cheesesteak Corner because facing each other are Pat’s King of Steaks and Geno’s Steaks. It’s the most famous rivalry in Philly history. Try them both so you can finally answer the question, “Pat’s or Geno’s?”
It’s time to head over to Old City and get a history lesson. If you didn’t know, our country was founded right here in Philadelphia! You can visit Independence Hall and see where the Declaration of Independence was adopted. What’s even better is that it’s free to tour!
While you’re strolling through Independence Mall, you’ll want to stop and check out the Liberty Bell and admire the significant and symbolic crack. Next, walk over to the oldest preserved street in Philadelphia, Elfreth’s Alley. Walk down the cobblestone street and admire centuries old homes. Believe it or not, people actually live in these houses!
Closing out your history lesson, we have the Betsy Ross House. You can walk through the house where the creator of the American flag lived right here in Philadelphia. Opt for a guided tour so you can come home with fun facts for your friends and family.
Rest your tired feet for a while and grab a cocktail at R2L Restaurant and Lounge. Located on the 37th floor of Liberty Two Place, you can watch the sunset over the city through its floor to ceiling panoramic windows. Sit on the comfortable couches and enjoy one of their handcrafted cocktails to start off the night.
For dinner, stop by one of Philly’s favorite restaurant owners, Steven Starr’s, restaurant El Vez. The restaurant offers a contemporary twist on traditional Mexican food. It’s known for its homemade guacamole and tasty margaritas.
You’ll want to make a reservation before your trip to ensure you get a table. As one of Philly’s favorite restaurants, you can count on a long wait.
After dinner, it’s time to immerse yourself in Philly’s raging nightlife. Center City has some of the best bars and nightclubs the city has to offer. Walking down Sansom Street, you’ll see a number of bars.
There is something for everyone here. If you’re looking for an elite nightclub experience, stop by Rumor. Is live music more your thing? Go to Howl at the Moon, a dueling piano bar, and order a 30 oz. cocktail bucket to share. Maybe you want to hang with the locals and sit in a dive bar. Stop by Locust Rendezvous or Bob and Barbara’s for a City Wide special.
Step away from the crowds and loud music to wind your night down at the Rittenhouse Hotel Library Bar. Reflect on your first day in Philadelphia over a handcrafted Old Fashion or one of their delicious craft cocktails. If you’re lucky, a live jazz band will be playing.
The bars in Philadelphia may close at 2 a.m., but that doesn’t mean you have to end your night there! If you’re experiencing a second wind, head over to Sugarhouse Casino in Fishtown and test your luck at the tables.
Maybe you’re feeling hungry for a late night snack, then head on over to South Philly to grab a hot meal at the Melrose Diner. The diner is open 24 hours and is always ready to serve you a delicious burger or slice of pie.
Grab a few winks of sleep. You’ll need your energy for tomorrow!
Start off your Sunday with a refreshing brunch at Garces Trading Company. I recommend ordering the brunch special, where you get two courses plus a freshly made pastry basket and a mimosa to start your day off.
Is a trip to Philadelphia really complete without running up the Art Museum steps and imitating Rocky? I don’t think so! Make your way over to the enormous Art Museum on the Benjamin Franklin Parkway and take in the view of Center City. Stop inside examine paintings, antique furniture, medieval weapons, and the Japanese Tea House.
Grab a bite to eat from the hectic and delicious Reading Terminal Market! Started in 1893, the market is one of the oldest running food markets in the country. You can get anything you could possibly imagine here. There are sweets, meat-lover options, vegan options, and so much more. It’ll be difficult to choose!
Take advantage of Philadelphia’s shopping options along Walnut and Chestnut Street. Buy yourself a new pair of shoes, a handbag, or clothes to remember your weekend trip to Philadelphia.
Afterwards, sit in Rittenhouse Square to relax and do some people watching. Sit in the grass or on one of the many benches and listen to any live performances that are taking place in the park.
Feeling adventurous for dinner? Walk over to Chinatown and enjoy a unique dinner at Little Sheep Hot Pot. This interactive experience has you make your food right at your table in a boiling pot of soup. Choose from vegetables, noodles, dumplings, fish, and meat to cook in your broth. Pick up a bottle of wine before you go, it’s BYOB.
Pro-Tip: Try something adventurous! I recommend the octopus.
If you’re still hungry after a day of eating, grab an authentic Italian dessert at Gran Caffe L’Aquila on Chestnut Street. Enjoy homemade, creamy gelato in a variety of flavors or tiramisu. You’ll feel like you just walked into Italy when you eat here!
36 Hours in Philadelphia
I know it’s a lot to do in just 36 hours in Philadelphia, but you’ll enjoy every part of it. Spending a weekend in Philadelphia means learning about America’s history, deciding whether you prefer Pat’s or Geno’s, doing some city shopping, sitting in a beautiful park, and running up the Rocky steps. What more could you ask for in a weekend?