5 Free or Cheap Things to Do in Philadelphia
By AAA Travel Editor Patricia Miller | June 01, 2023
Philadelphia is a great place to go on vacation if you're on a budget. Many historic sites are cheap or free, and there are lots of cheap places to eat.
Edgar Allan Poe National Historic Site
532 N. 7th St.
If you’re looking for fun and free things to do this weekend, head north of the historic district and check out this former home of Edgar Allan Poe. The author lived in several houses during his seven years in the city; this is the only one that still stands. The rooms are empty, although there are paintings of furniture on the walls, and the paint is peeling, creating a spooky vibe. The empty basement may seem especially creepy to those familiar with some of Poe’s stories. The site is open Fri.-Sun. 9-noon and 1-5. Admission is free.Read More
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Liberty Bell Center
526 Market St.
Try not to get a lump in your throat when you cast your eyes on this symbol of American independence. Inscribed "Proclaim Liberty Throughout All the Land, Unto All the Inhabitants Thereof," the iconic bell began life in the tower of the Pennsylvania State House ringing lawmakers to meetings. Today it is the centerpiece of a small, modern museum with exhibits that depict its far-reaching effects around the world. If you’re visiting Philadelphia on a budget, you’ll be happy to know that admission is free.Read More
Philadelphia Museum of Art
2600 Benjamin Franklin Pkwy.
For 20 bucks, you can visit this huge museum, PLUS the Rodin Museum, Ruth and Raymond G. Perelman Building and the Mount Pleasant and Cedar Grove historic houses, and your ticket covers two days. It’s an almost unbeatable deal to see such a comprehensive amount of art and history. You can also go to the Philadelphia Museum of Art on a Wednesday night, or all day on the first Sunday of each month, pay whatever you like, and spend the evening contemplating original works by Charles Eames, Claude Monet, Pablo Picasso and many more classic and modern artists. Don’t forget to run up the “Rocky” steps.Read More
President's House Site
600 Market St.This free outdoor museum was built on the site of the third presidential mansion, home to presidents George Washington and John Adams. Fragments of brick walls hold illustrated panels and videos that depict the life of Washington’s slaves, who worked in the house. Visitors can also see the actual kitchen’s foundations, archeological fragments and the outline of the mansion. This site is across the street from the Independence Visitor Center; browse in the amazing gift shop and get free maps and information about local attractions.Read More
Reading Terminal Market
51 N. 12th St.