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Top Things To See In Philadelphia's Center City

Philadelphia is a city that has a little bit of everything. From parks and restaurants to theaters, historic buildings and shopping, both residents and tourists alike will find a lot to do when visiting the City of Brotherly Love.  -- Melissa Watts

Rittenhouse Square
Rittenhouse Square (credit:

Rittenhouse Square

18th and Walnut Streets
Philadelphia, PA 19103
(215) 988-9334

William Penn designed Philadelphia to be a city filled with parks where residents could relax and find inspiration. Rittenhouse Square in Philadelphia offers just that. Surrounded by boutique shops and restaurants, five-star hotels and beautiful Victorian homes, Rittenhouse Square is one of the most popular places in the city, especially during the warm summer months. During the week, its many benches and green grass are inviting to workers and residents at lunch. It's also a popular spot for dogs and kids. The park is cared for by The Friends of Rittenhouse – a non-profit organization created to preserve and beautify the park. Their hard work is evident as you take that lunchtime or evening stroll through the park.

Photo: Rittenhouse Square is very popular during the summer where visitors can relax, read, eat lunch, or play with their dog. Image from

Parc Restaurant

227 South 18th Street
Philadelphia, PA 19103
(215) 545-2262

If you're looking for delicious French cuisine in Philadelphia, Parc is a great choice. Located right off of Rittenhouse Square, this French bistro makes you feel like you've stepped right into France. In fact, parts of the restaurant, like the wooden doors, are actually from France. Menu highlights include some of the best-tasting baguettes in the city, fish and chicken dishes and delectable desserts that will have you saying "s'il vous plait" when the waiter asks if you want more.

Photo: Stephen Starr's Parc brings lovely French cuisine to Philadelphia. Image from

City Hall (credit: Carol Highsmith)

City Hall

1 Penn Square
Philadelphia, PA 19107
Dial 3-1-1 if you're in Philadelphia or (215) 686-8686 if you're outside of the City

William Penn sits atop this famous building in Center City, Philadelphia. In fact, the statue of Penn is often referred to in connection to the "Curse of Billy Penn." When City Hall was built, it was agreed that no building in the city should surpass the height of City Hall. When the much taller One Liberty Place was built in 1987, many believed that William Penn put a hex on all Philadelphia major-league sports teams so they would not win a championship. And it's true that no championships were won by a major-league team between 1983 and 2007. But it's worth checking out this building to see the French-style architecture and statue of "Billy" Penn, regardless of the curse.

The Comcast Center

1701 John F. Kennedy Boulevard
Philadelphia, PA 19103

Today, the Comcast Center is the tallest building in Philadelphia, standing at 975 feet. Besides its height, perhaps the most attractive part about the building is the 2,000-square foot LED screen in the main lobby. Everyday for 18 hours, the screen shows scenes from Philadelphia, along with images of dancers, actors and even outer space. And each holiday season, the lobby is packed with visitors who want to get a glimpse at the holiday show and music displayed on the screen. Additionally, the bottom floor of the Comcast Center is a big lunchtime attraction for Center City workers during the week. Known as The Market at Comcast Center, visitors can find everything from Mexican and cheesesteaks to sushi and hearty soups.

The Kimmel Center (credit: Wiki Commons)

Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts

260 South Broad Street on the Avenue of the Arts
Philadelphia, PA 19102
(215) 790-5800

The Kimmel Center is located on the Avenue of Arts in Center City, Philadelphia. The most distinctive part of the building is the 150-foot glass roof that gives an awesome view of the city. Make a reservation at Cadence Restaurant--the Kimmel Center's French restaurant located in the Center's upper level--and take in a view of the city, but don't forget about the music and arts. The Kimmel Center is the place to go to see music from The Philadelphia Orchestra, dance shows, and plays.

Academy Of Music-DL
Academy Of Music (credit:

The Academy of Music

1420 Locust Street
Philadelphia, PA 19102
(215) 893-1999

Known for its annual Nutcracker performances each holiday season and breathtaking operas, the Academy of Music building is also one of Philadelphia's most historic. Built in 1857, the most distinguishable part of the Academy of Music is its huge chandelier. This beautiful chandelier was actually removed from the building for a 13-month renovation in June of 2007 and sent to France for restoration. The chandelier was returned to the Academy of Music in September 2008, where it still gives off a magnificent light today.

Melissa Watts is a health care copy writer by day and a self-proclaimed foodie and fashionista by night. She's a contributing writer for local blog, Phillyist, and a bookworm and social media nerd at heart.

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