Watch CBS News

Guide To Downtown Philadelphia

Downtown Philadelphia offers a diverse array of exciting venues for dining, learning history and science as well as catching world class entertainment. Its museums and colorful locales are known around the country and around the world. An adventure through Philadelphia will provide you with an unforgettable international cultural experience without ever leaving downtown.

the Franklin Institute
(credit: KYW's Suzanne Monaghan)

The Franklin Institute
222 N. 20th St
Philadelphia, PA 19103
(215) 448-1200

Price: Click here for prices
Hours: Daily 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Events: Click here for the events calendar

The Franklin Institute, like its namesake Ben Franklin, pushes the boundaries of mind and knowledge. Established to honor Franklin in 1824, the Franklin Institute awards are presented each April and are among the most prestigious in the world. One of its most notable exhibits, the famous giant walk through the beating heart, has educated and entertained kids for generations. The Franklin Institute is currently featuring exhibits such as Giant Mysterious Dinosaurs and the Dead Sea Scrolls.

Related: Philadelphia Museums That Even Guys Will Like

Finnegan's Wake
Photo Credit:

Finnegan's Wake
3rd & Spring Garden St.
Philadelphia, PA 19123
(215) 574-9317

Hours: Daily 11 a.m. to 2 a.m.
Events: Click here for the events calendar

This vibrant Irish pub appears from the outside to have had a whole city block transported from the streets of Dublin and then strategically placed along Spring Garden Street in downtown Philadelphia. The draughts and fare are authentic. The 2nd floor of the Irish Pub is dedicated to Abraham Lincoln and the Irish volunteers who fought in the Civil War. For a complete tour of Philly, be sure to add Finnegan's Wake to your itinerary.

City Tavern
138 South 2nd St
Philadelphia, PA 19106
(215) 413-1443

Hours: Hours vary - Click here for details
Events: Click here for the events calendar

Not only was City Tavern a key meeting place for Washington, Adams and Jefferson during the Revolutionary War, but remarkably it's still there at the same spot on 2nd Street. It was the first place John Adams was taken to when he arrived in Philadelphia and what he had to say about this historic landmark is still used in its advertisements today.  City Tavern offers an "authentic colonial feast" exactly as it was served in the 18th century.

Independence Tours
Photo Credit:

Independence After Hours
600 Chestnut St
Philadelphia, PA 19106
(215) 629-4026

Price: Click here for prices
Hours: Click here for hours

Who says history is no fun? This rare nighttime tour gives visitors a unique perspective of Philadelphia's historical significance. Dinner is included in the price of the ticket and served at the aforementioned restaurant, City Tavern. Jump back in time and dine with some of our American ancestors as you are joined by Colonial townspeople for the meal. After filling those stomachs, get ready for one of the most discreet history lessons ever heard of. You will round out the evening with a trip over to Independence Hall, where your host will weasel his way past the watchman and "sneak" you into the hall for a private look. Keep a close eye and ear out, because you may just catch our Founding Fathers discussing some very important information.

World Café Live
3205 Walnut Street
Philadelphia, PA 19104
(215) 222-1400

Price: Click here for events calendar and prices

If you're looking for an evening of live musical entertainment from some of the best original, singer songwriters in the world then the World Cafe Live is your place. The "three-tiered music hall" was built in a 40,000 square-foot Art Deco factory building complete with a bistro and inspiring music presented seven nights a week. The main "Downstairs Live" holds up to 650 people and its stage features the best in the business. World Café Live also features a restaurant and an intimate upstairs live music setting. A trip to the cafe is a nice way to end a tour around Philly.

Related: Top Philly Singles Bars

Darren Hunter is an author, lecturer, and freelancer covering travel and outdoors around Philadelphia. His third book, The Exile Project, was set in Philadelphia's Fairmount Park at Valley Green. His work can be found at

View CBS News In
CBS News App Open
Chrome Safari Continue
Be the first to know
Get browser notifications for breaking news, live events, and exclusive reporting.