About Nick E
Lives in London, United Kingdom
Since Oct 2013
50-64 year old male
I am a professional travel writer and have always preferred independent budget travel, making use of public transport and discovering the local way of life wherever I go. I have been to nearly fifty countries but my "holy triangle" is my native London, Greece and India. I lived in Athens for almost a decade and still visit Greece regularly. I was also based in Pittsburgh for nine years and return to that most underrated city when I get a chance. My total time spent in ever-fascinating India is now over four years and it is always a joy to return. I still cover large parts of Greece, India and the USA for the Rough Guides and occasionally get to go on a busman's holiday to somewhere new.
Historic Sites, Historic Walking Areas, National Parks
Architectural Buildings, Government Buildings, Historic Sites
History Museums, Speciality Museums
Points of Interest & Landmarks
Jogging Paths & Tracks, Parks
Philadelphia's number one unmissable attraction is Independence National Historic Park, which is an entire four-block history lesson. Among its fascinating features are Independence Hall, Congress Hall, the First Bank of the United States, Franklin Court, and, of course, the new multimedia Liberty Bell Center. Simply walking around the area is like breathing in the past.
Architecturally ornate from its limestone base to its marble corridors, and crowned by the iconic statue of William Penn, after whom the state of Pennsylvania is named, City Hall is most worth visiting for the panoramic vista that unfolds from its 30th-floor observation deck. The lavish rooms within, also featuring numerous fine statues, should not be missed.
The southern end of Philadelphia's old port on the Delaware River has been renovated as the Penn's Landing development, to commemorate the spot where William Penn stepped ashore in 1682. Apart from the fine riverside views, the most interesting feature is Independence Seaport Museum, which includes an old flagship and a WWII submarine.
One of Philadelphia's oldest and classiest neighborhoods, occupying several blocks adjacent to the Delaware River, Society Hill is a pleasure to walk around. There is a wealth of delightful colonial architecture, as well as a great selection of restaurants to suit all budgets.
Anything you could possibly want to know about that noble document, the US Constitution, is explained here in this fascinating museum. There are plenty of interactive displays to keep people of all ages happy, and you can even sign your name to it electronically.
One of the city's original squares laid out by William Penn, Rittenhouse Square is the hub of one of Philly's classiest areas. Bordered by trendy Walnut Street on one side and an area of attractive brownstones with ornate doors and windows on the other, the square is also blessed with some fine dining options.
The Philadelphia Museum of Art boasts one of the richest art collections in the entire country. Apart from priceless paintings from the Renaissance and Impressionist eras, there are other treasures such as a 12th-century French cloister, Rubens tapestries, and Pennsylvania Dutch crafts.
One of the biggest landscaped urban parks in the world, verdant Fairmount Park occupies no less than 900 acres on both sides of the winding Schuylkill River, making it a superb place to get away from the crowds and relax or take a picnic. Criss-crossed by a maze of paths and trails, the park also encompasses some venerable properties and the odd memorial.
Named after one of Philadelphia's most famous residents, himself an enthusiastic scientist, the Franklin Institute is crammed full of scientific gadgets from various eras, and traces the development of technology with a variety of interesting interactive displays, especially in the Mandell Futures Center. There is also a planetarium and IMAX theater.
Occupying the western edge of Fairmount Park, across the Schuylkill River from downtown, Philadelphia Zoo is notable for having been the country's first. There is a huge selection of mammals, birds, reptiles, and other creatures, some of them on the endangered list. The compounds are spacious and clean, and there is a list of feeding times that can be attended.