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Philadelphia, historic cradle of the United States
- 8 days
- General public
- Culture / Heritage
A stay in Philadelphia brings to the heart of American history, including the visit of Independence Hall, but also the Philadelphia Museum of Art and the Barnes Foundation. You will also discover Lancaster City, located one hour from Philly, in the countryside. This is an opportunity to discover the very discreet Amish culture.
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Details of the stay: Philadelphia, historic cradle of the United States - 8 days
Day 1 : Trolley and historic district
Start by getting to know the city by taking a seat in a trolley. They regularly go next to Visitor's Center in the historic neighbourhood. On this old-fashioned bus, you will discover the different districts of Philly, the main buildings such as the City Hall and the various museums. A good start to have some landmarks in the city. If you make the complete tour (1 hour 30), you will return to the Visitor's Center level. Lunch at Continental Restaurant, 10 minutes walk. In the afternoon, go to Independence Visitor's Center, a huge tourist office, which offers an exhibition on the history of the city and pays tribute to the men who shaped it. It's also here that you can obtain brochures, maps and tickets for Independence Hall (where the United States Declaration of Independence was signed on 4 July 1776). Then, go to the adjacent Liberty Bell Center, where exhibitions and a short film continuously broadcasted are devoted to the history of this highly symbolic bell (900 kg).
Day 2 : Philadelphia Museum of Art and walk through the central area
The collections of Europe, Asia and the Americas of the third largest art museum in the United States, created in 1876, are wonderful. This museum is undoubtedly one of the most beautiful in the country with, at the bottom of the steps, a statue of Rocky Balboa, the famous boxer from Philadelphia that many fans take a picture. We recommend you to have lunch in the museum cafeteria because there are no restaurants in the area. To return to your hotel, you can either take one of the buses (Phlash, Trolley) or walk. It is a good way to get a little more familiar with the city, especially since it is very easy to find your way around Philadelphia, thanks to signposts indicating all the tourist spots. Dinner in the city and, for the partygoers, direction 3rd street and its adjoining bars.
Day 3 : Historic district, Italian Market and South Street
As the museums in the historic district are numerous, you are advised to select some of them and to devote your morning to one, two or three of them (for example, the Franklin Court, the Carpenter's Hall [fast] and the Second Bank of the United States). For lunch, take a taxi (you have about 10 minutes) to the popular restaurant of cheese steaks, Pat's King of Steaks, in South Philly. With some luck, you will find a table to swallow your sandwich. Otherwise, sit down on the sidewalk edge, this is also possible! Attention, often the sauce flows everywhere... Then, when returning to the city centre, you pass through the picturesque and lively Italian Market (fruit stands, vegetables, Italian product shops...). Admire the wall frescoes that adorn some walls. There is animation around the fruit and vegetable stands; You can also stop in shops of fresh Italian products. Walk to South Street, the off-beat street of the city, watch the mixture of looks (punk, R & B...), enter the trendy or design boutiques. Stay in the neighborhood for a drink and/or dinner.
Day 4 : Barnes Foundation and Reading Terminal Market
One of the most beautiful museums in the United States, with a collection of about 9 000 Impressionist paintings, including 181 Renoir, 69 Cézanne, 59 Matisse, 46 Picasso and works by Van Gogh, Degas, Gauguin, Manet, Monet and Seurat. This is the world's largest Impressionist and post-Impressionist collection of art. You can easily spend the morning or the whole afternoon. Take 1 hour to go there. Back in the city, around 5pm, you are advised to spend 1 hour at the Reading Terminal Market, a former covered market where the Amish sell their products (Wednesday to Saturday). Finally, in the evening, why not go for dinner in one of those restaurants where you can bring your bottle of wine?
Day 5 : Chinatown, Convention Center and Shopping
In the morning, after passing in front of the Convention Center and then under the arch of Chinatown, take a walk in this exotic area, do not hesitate to enter the grocery stores (there are everything from ginger candy to Chinese medicines). You can have lunch for almost nothing in a local restaurant. In the afternoon, shopping at Market East or Liberty Place... There is no tax on clothing or shoes in Pennsylvania. In the evening, order a "bourbon on the rocks" in the intriguing bar Franklin Mortgage and Investment Co.
Day 6 : University City
Philadelphia has prestigious universities, such as University of Pennsylvania and Drexel. A district is named after University City. Will you go for a walk: it's residential and pleasant. In the afternoon, head for Northern Liberties; the old fishing district. A symbol of the phenomenon of "gentrification" in Philadelphia, this other residential area is populated by artists, small cafés and pleasant corners.
Day 7 : Valley Forge National Historical Park and Shopping
From this day, it is better to rent a car to enjoy the surroundings. In the morning, discover this historic site where George Washington had built his camp during the war of Independence. In the afternoon, go shopping between the outlets and the King of Prussia (the largest shopping centre in the United States). Good to know, there is no tax on clothes or shoes in Pennsylvania.
Day 8 : Lancaster and the Amish country
Lancaster, the oldest inner city in the USA is 1 hour by train from Philadelphia (71 miles west of Philly). You go around the old town during the day. The easiest way is to rent a car for the day. When you arrive, have lunch at The Pressroom, undoubtedly the best restaurant in the city. In the afternoon, visit the downtown museums, an excellent introduction to Lancaster: you will discover the quilts, the amish in Lancaster County and Pennsylvania Dutch Country.
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