Philadelphia travel guide

Move over Liberty Bell; there’s more to Philly than its history, starting with its thriving art scene, writes Lindsey Tramuta.

Barnes Foundation, Philadelphia

Tom Crane & Neal Santos


Hotel Monaco

Old meets new at this boutique Kimpton hotel in the historic Lafayette Building opposite the Liberty Bell. The original, early-1900s architecture complements the décor of its 268 rooms, each embellished with vibrant bold patterns, illustrated wallpaper and colourful throw pillows. Don’t miss complimentary wine hour from 5pm-6pm in the lobby. 433 Chestnut St

Sonesta Philadelphia

The location of newly renovated Sonesta Philadelphia, close to Rittenhouse Square and the Avenue of the Arts, drives its artistic focus. The in-house art gallery exhibits local artists, while the Art Bar offers local fare and art-inspired cocktails. 1800 Market St


Standard Tap

Get a taste of the city’s best local microbrews at this neighbourhood favourite that also scores high marks for its pub fare (don’t miss the fried oysters). 901 North 2nd St

Menagerie Coffee

This café, in an airy former art gallery, sources beans from Dogwood Coffee Co. (Minneapolis) and Ceremony Coffee Roasters (Annapolis), plus has rotating guest roasters. Equally worth the visit are pastries and breads fresh daily from local artisans. 18 South 3rd St


Shane Confectionery

The legacy of the city’s sugar trade lives on at this 152-old confectioner in Old City, recently refreshed by two brothers with a love for vintage Americana. Their heritage confections include buttercreams – a Philly specialty – peanut butter cups, caramels and candies from around the world. 110 Market St


Schuylkill Banks

Take a stroll across the 600-metre-long Schuylkill Banks Boardwalk, an extension of the Schuylkill River Trail from Locust Street to connect to the South Street Bridge. It’s a go-to for cycling, running or a stroll, and catching the best sunset vistas.

Barnes Foundation

After 90 years in the suburbs, the Barnes Foundation has a new urban home on Benjamin Franklin Parkway – the cultural heart of Philadelphia. It also boasts the world’s largest private collection of Impressionist, Post-Impressionist and early Modern paintings. Don’t miss The Order of Things (May-Aug), three large installations by Mark Dion, Judy Pfaff and Fred Wilson. 2025 Benjamin Franklin Pwy


High Street on Market

Formerly the takeout outpost of sister restaurant Fork, this bakery-cum-restaurant is chef Eli Kulp’s creative spin on farm-to-table dining, which hinges on an inventive bread program (locally grown rye milled to order, for example). 308 Market St

Talula’s Daily

This farmers’-market-meets-family-style supper club comes from restaurateur Aimee Olexy, best known for her garden-to-table ethos and singular cheese plates at her suburban restaurant Talula’s Table and her Washington Square marketplace, Talula’s Garden. At Daily, expect freshly roasted coffee, local farmstead cheeses, feels-like-home seasonal cooking and a community vibe. 208 West Washington Sq


The husband-wife owners of Capogiro, the award-winning gelato institution, have expanded their talents to Neapolitan-style pizze. These bafflingly good pies are fired in a wood-burning oven built by Neapolitan craftsmen and should be followed by the house-made gelato. 233 Chestnut St

BYO by Design

Many of the city’s top tables are BYO due to cost and accessibility of state liquor licences. Pick up your own bottle from Garces Trading Company, chef Jose Garces’s gourmet market and wine boutique. 1111 Locust St

High Street on Market, Philadelphia

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