We list the best hotels, hostels, B&Bs and guesthouses in Philadelphia as recommended by travel experts from CNN, Lonely Planet, Frommer’s, Fodor’s, New York Times and more. All hotel recommendations have been referenced with customer reviews and we only listed places with at least a 4 out of 5-star customer review rating.
“Located in a very central spot formerly occupied by the Four Seasons, The Logan Hotel opened in December 2015 after a thorough redesign. Note the massive chandelier constructed from portraits of famous Philadelphians in the foyer.”
Featured in New York Times’ 36 Hours in Philadelphia.
“This refurbished hotel inside a landmark building at the very center of a historic city is a great place from which to explore. The exterior of the hotel, a landmark that opened in 1926 as the Warwick Hotel, was mostly left intact during the recent $20 million renovation.”
“This is the place to stay if you wanna see what’s happening on buzzy Frankford Avenue and across the broader Fishtown neighborhood. Bonus: It’s one of the most thoughtfully designed and comfortable hotels in the city—if you can actually score a room.”
Featured in CN Traveler’s 2018 Hot List.
New York Times, Fodors, Telegraph
Lonely Planet, Frommers, Telegraph
New York Times, Telegraph
New York Times, Lonely Planet
New York Times, Telegraph
New York Times
Pennsylvania’s largest city is known as the site for the signing of the Declaration of Independence and Constitution, a landmark event of American history. Being a modern city, it is popular among tourists who visit on business or to entangle themselves in historic landmarks.
This area mimics Paris' Champs-Elysees and attracts a plethora of pedestrians. There are a number of Museums and zoos in this region. The area is filled with cafes and bistros which are famous for their continental menu. The night-life is lit up by the spectacular show from Boathouse Row. Several hotels and motels are located here.
It has a strong Polish heritage which is evident in every sphere like the traditional markets, delis, bakeries and restaurants. There are a number of hotels located in this area at a much affordable rate.
This area has a strong influence of Chinese, Thai, Vietnamese, and Korean on its ambience and especially on its food. The streets are lined with small homely eateries. The Chinese New Year is one of the biggest attractions of Philadelphia. Several affordable hotels are located here if you are on a tight budget.
The trendiest part of Philadelphia, it is a huge draw for the cool crowd, with a number of galleries and studios. The night-life is vivacious with casual bistros, brewery and retro restaurants. Johnny Brenda is a renowned gastropub across US. Several hotels conferring to various budgets are found here.
It is a cosmopolitan area with global cuisine along the Delaware River. The pier is famous with tourists and dinner cruise is a star attraction. Several renowned casinos spice up the night-life in this area.
Also check out our travel guide about the best areas to stay in Philadelphia.
If you're looking for a cheap hotel in Philadelphia, then book The Alexander Inn. It's an excellent budget hotel offering great value for money. It's in a good location, it's been recommended by travel experts and the hotel has excellent customer reviews. Also check out our list of the best cheap hotels in Philadelphia.
You like some luxury but don't like the famous chain hotels. If you're looking for the best boutique hotel in Philadelphia, you should check out Roost East Market. It's a very cool hotel that has been highly recommended by travelers and experts.
Also check out our list of the best boutique hotels in Philadelphia, it's a manually curated list of the most unique and romantic hotels in the city.
If money isn't a problem and you're looking for a luxury hotel in Philadelphia, then go for Four Seasons Hotel. The hotel offers excellent service, it's in a top location, it has been rated very highly by previous guests and renowned travel critics have recommended it.
Also check out our list of the best luxury hotels in Philadelphia, it's a manually curated list of the most exclusive 5-star hotels in the city.
For a 3-star hotel you have to pay around $210 per night and for a 4-star hotel you would be looking at $270 per night. If you're after a luxury 5-star Philadelphia hotel then you can expect to pay around $520 per night.
Try Alexander Inn Hotel if you're looking for a delicious breakfast at a hotel in Philadelphia. The hotel has excellent customer review ratings for breakfast.
If you're looking to stay in Philadelphia with your family, then try The Rittenhouse Hotel. The hotel has excellent review ratings by families.
The Constitutional Walking Tour of Philadelphia. Discover the birthplace of America on this guided walking tour through the country’s most historic area in Philadelphia. Price: $19.
Philadelphia: Hop-on Hop-off Bus Tour . Journey through the history of the United States of America aboard the hop-on hop-off sightseeing bus in Philadelphia. Jump off at any of the 27 stops to visit sights such as Independence Hall and Ben Franklin's Grave. Price: $35.
Philadelphia Segway Tour. Experience Philadelphia like never before on this educational and entertaining guided small-group Segway tour. Price: $59.
More things to do in Philadelphia
Looking for a new city to explore? Or perhaps your friends keep telling you that you need to visit Philadelphia but you aren’t sure what makes it so special. Well, read on to find out everything you need to know about this historic city! If there is one word that captures the essence of Philadelphia, it has to be ‘history’. From its earliest settlement as a fort and trading post right through to being the City of Brotherly Love and home of the first electronically operated traffic light, Philadelphia has more history packed into one small area than most other cities can boast across their entire metropolis. And with famous figures such as Betsy Ross, Ben Franklin and George Washington having all played a part in the early days of this historic city, it’s no wonder that visitors are continually coming back again and again…
Everything You Need to Know About Visiting Philadelphia
There are two things you should know before you visit Philadelphia: Firstly, the city has a long, proud tradition of being the home of the cheesesteak. It’s a meaty sandwich that has been an iconic part of the Philadelphia diet for decades, and even though many other cities are now claiming that their restaurants serve the best cheesesteaks in the country, the original home is still where it all began. This brings us to the second thing you need to know before visiting Philadelphia: You will be surrounded by cheesesteak vendors wherever you go. You’ll be walking down the street and see a sign advertising ‘The Best Steak on Earth’ and you’ll be tempted to try it. You may even try a few different places, but what happens if you don’t find one that you like?
A Brief History of Philadelphia
The settlement of Philadelphia began in 1682 when William Penn (who was responsible for founding the state of Pennsylvania) built a fort and a trading post on the banks of the Delaware River. It’s been said that the city was named after King Charles II’s coat of arms (the ‘philadelphia’ part) but it was also thought that the name came from the Greek word for love (phile) and the Greek word for brother (adelphos). It was Philadelphia that was first declared the capital of the United States of America in 1790, even though the country was still fighting for its independence at that time. The Declaration of Independence was signed in the city, but it was during the Battle of Germantown that the British Army deliberately fired their cannons at the houses in the city in an attempt to destroy the war effort.
What to See in Philadelphia
Check out these 3 places to understand the history of the city:
1) The Liberty Bell – The Liberty Bell is one of the most iconic symbols of the American Revolution and as such is one of the must-see attractions in Philadelphia. It is thought that the bell was originally created in London in 1751 to mark the 50th anniversary of the accession of King Charles II. The bell was then shipped to the colonies, arriving in Boston in August 1752. The bell was then moved to New York in 1753 before being taken to Philadelphian by the British army in 1756. It remained there until 1775 at which point it was rung to announce the first public reading of the Declaration of Independence. The bell became famous due to the crack that appeared in it, which many believe was caused by excessive ringing.
2) The Benjamin Franklin House – The Benjamin Franklin House is the house where Benjamin Franklin lived from 1732 until 1757. In the late 1750s, Franklin built a new home across the street from the original site, and the original house was used for a variety of purposes over the next few centuries. In 1932, the site was purchased by the American Philosophical Society (who hoped to restore the building), and restoration efforts began in the 1950s. The house was declared a National Historic Landmark in 1962 and is now open to the public as a museum.
3) The Betsy Ross House – The Betsy Ross House is the site where Betsy Ross is said to have sewn the first American flag. Ross was known to be a seamstress, and it was during a visit to George Washington’s house that he and others suggested that she design the first American flag. There is some debate as to whether or not Ross actually designed the American flag, but the house where she lived is still open to the public and has been preserved as it would have been in the late 1700s.
Where to eat in Philadelphia
Philadelphia is famous for cheesesteaks, and no visit to the city would be complete without trying one. There are countless cheesesteak vendors in the city and most will have a slightly different take on the classic sandwich. So, where should you go for the best cheesesteak in Philadelphia? Here are just a few suggestions:
1) Tony’s Steaks – This walk-up cheesesteak stand on South Street is one of the most popular places to grab a sandwich in Philadelphia. The no-frills environment is part of the charm, but it’s the steaks themselves that keep the crowds coming back again and again.
2) Jim’s Steaks – This South Street establishment has been serving cheesesteaks since 1939, with many of the staff having been working there since they were teenagers themselves. The menu at Jim’s Steaks is smaller than some other places, but the quality of the food is high.
3) Dalessandro’s Steaks and Hoagies – Dalessandro’s has been serving cheesesteaks since 1963, and the owners have even added a few extra menu items to keep up with the changing tastes of customers in recent years. This is a popular place to grab a sandwich after a night out on the town, so you’ll want to get there early if you want to avoid the crowds.
Activities in Philadelphia
Here are 3 things you can do in the City of Brotherly Love:
1) Centennial Boat Tour – One of the best ways to explore the city while learning about its fascinating history is to take a boat tour along the Delaware River. Boats depart from Penn’s Landing (near the Ben Franklin Bridge) almost every day of the year, and the 3-hour tour gives you a great overview of the city’s waterfront.
2) Mt. Airy Forest – The Wissahickon Valley is a beautiful area not far from the city, but unfortunately, it has become a bit of a dumping ground. However, the area has been cleaned up and the Mt. Airy Forest is now open to visitors once again. There are several hiking trails that lead you through the valley, and if you’re lucky, you may even spot some wildlife along the way. If you prefer to stay on the ground, Mt. Airy Forest also offers several other activities such as rock wall climbing and herb gardens.
3) Philadelphia Museum of Art – With more than 265,000 pieces of art in the collection, the Philadelphia Museum of Art has something for everyone. The building itself is an architectural masterpiece, and you can explore the galleries and exhibits free of charge.
We recommend that you read our guide about where to stay in Philadelphia. It provides an excellent overview of the most popular areas, highlighting the main attractions and hotel recommendations for each area.