Once here, you'll have no trouble navigating around the region. The best ways to get around Center City (Philadelphia's downtown) are by foot, taxi or public transportation. If you plan on visiting the surrounding countryside, regional rail and cars are your best bets.
Year after year, Philadelphia is rated as one of the best walking cities in the country. And it's no wonder why - the city layout is simple to master and our neighborhood streets are filled with fun and diverse shops, restaurants, museums, parks and people.
The compact Center City boasts founder William Penn's easy-to-follow grid street design. It spans just 25 blocks between two rivers - the Schuylkill and the Delaware. In between, the north/south streets are numbered and the east/west streets have tree names (e.g., Walnut, Spruce, Pine).
In addition, Center City has five main parks or squares ( Franklin, Washington, Rittenhouse, Logan and Center), conveniently spread out so as to serve as perfect rest stops during your day out. Curb cut-outs make the city stroller and wheelchair accessible.
Colorful directional signs called "Walk! Philadelphia" have been added throughout Center City that will help you navigate even better. Center City District, the organization responsible for "Walk! Philadelphia," also populates the streets with uniformed goodwill ambassadors who act as strolling concierges. These ambassadors answer questions, give directions and stay in radio contact with Philadelphia police to promote public safety.
And when the feet get tired, there are plenty of options for getting around town - some practical, some just plain fun.
Phlash, the purple touring-bus-turned-trolley, whisks visitors around to major attractions in Center City from May through November. For only $ 1, the Phlash will take you through a 19-stop Center City loop, running daily from 10 a.m. - 6 p.m. There's no easier way to visit everything in town.
Aside from walking, Philadelphia's excellent transit system is the best way to get around town. The Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority (SEPTA), the nation's fifth-largest transit system, is the most comprehensive bus/subway/commuter-rail system in the United States. SEPTA's vast network of bus, subway, and trolley commuter services will get you anywhere you need to go — or at least very close.
And best of all, you can get an all day-pass for unlimited use on SEPTA buses, trolleys and subways (plus Zone 1 travel on SEPTA trains) for only $6.00.
The Orange Broad Street Line is great for going to a game or concert at the South Philadelphia Sports Complex, visiting one of South Philadelphia's famous Italian Restaurants, getting between hotels and cultural attractions on Center City's impressive Avenue of the Arts or getting to one of the many activities and cultural institutions in the burgeoning neighborhood surrounding Temple University in North Philadelphia.
The Blue Line Subway and Green Line Trolleys quickly connect several highly visited neighborhoods in Philadelphia and is great for traveling between Northern Liberties, Old City, the Historic District, Market East, the Convention Center and Chinatown, City Hall, Rittenhouse Square, University City, West Fairmount Park, Spruce Hill and many more.
And SEPTA Regional Rail connects you with all of the surrounding areas to conveniently take you to popular destinations like East Falls, Manayunk, Chestnut Hill, Mt. Airy, Ardmore's Suburban Square, Villanova, Swarthmore, Doylestown, Downingtown, etc. In addition, SEPTA's Airport Rail Line (R1) directly connects the airport with Philadelphia's Center City in under 25 minutes.
PATCO and NJ Transit also provide convenient service between New Jersey and Philadelphia. PATCO, the Port Authority Transit Corporation, also called PATCO Hi-Speedline, is a fast, easy and economical way to travel in Center City Philadelphia and to southern New Jersey. For PATCO travel information or for a New Rider Guide, call 215-922-4600 (in Philadelphia) or call 609-772-6900 (in New Jersey).
Taxis can be found all over town and are great ways to get to various destinations throughout the city if you're in a hurry.
Olde City Taxi: (215) 338-0838 or 215-AIR-PORT (215) 247-7678 for the Airport
Capital: (215) 235-2200
Quaker City Cab: (215) 728-8000
City Cab: (215) 492-6500
Liberty Cab: (215) 389-8000
All City Taxi: (215) 467-6666
Convention Cab: (215) 462-0200
Yellow Cab: (267) 672-7391
Car and Limo Service
Friendly Express Limousine: (215) 604-0861
*Mention Gophila.com when you call and receive a special discounted rate.
If you're renting, all major car rental companies have outlets at the airport or in Center City; New Yorkers in particular will find car rentals a bargain in Philadelphia.
If getting from point "A" to point "B" isn't the goal, but seeing all points from "A" to "Z" is, then a different mode of transportation is the order of the day. Wildly popular among families, Ride the Ducks, World War II-era, amphibious Army vehicles converted into fun sightseeing vessels, quack, disco and ride from land — through more than a dozen sites in Old City and South Street — to water — Delaware River at Penn's Landing. Boarding a Big Bus, the Double-Decker bus service made famous in London town, is one more way to see the most popular tourist attractions quickly. Passengers can hop on and off at more than 2 0 stops or sit back and enjoy the beauty of the city during the 90-minute tour. Yet another option is the Philadelphia Trolley Works, taking riders on tours led by clever guides capable of quoting fun historic and contemporary facts.