We had been trying to visit the city of brotherly love for many years and our recent attempts had been postponed due to COVID.
We finally booked our trip after hearing that the city will be able to celebrate July 4th again and showcase its top-rated fireworks.
We stayed at the Renaissance Downtown Hotel, which is perfectly located in the Old City, a couple of minutes from Independence Hall and the Liberty Bell.
For our first day we had booked our tickets online for the visit of the Independence Hall, which turned out to be a great idea as we directly went through the line and only had a few minutes of waiting for our guided tour. We really enjoyed the tour and the explanations given by our National Park Service Ranger.
The same day we also visited the Liberty Bell Center. It was early in the morning and there was no line. We went though the museum and ended by seeing the historic bell.
We walked through the Old City and visited additional sites of interest such as the museum of the American Revolution, which we highly recommend. Not too far is the historical Christ Church. Many of our Founding Fathers worshipped regularly there and fifteen signers of the Declaration of Independence were members, including Benjamin Franklin. Our next location was the Betsy Ross House, which showed how she created and sewed the first Stars & Stripes flag.
We stopped at the Bourse, which reopened in 2018 as a day-to-night food hall. Of course, no trip to Philly can be done without a stop at the Reading Terminal Market, which is a great destination with shops and restaurants.
The next day we took a Hop-on, Hop-off bus tour around the city. That was a great way to visit additional sites. The most interesting stops were the Cathedral Basilica of Saints Peter and Paul, the Eastern State Penitentiary, Philadelphia Museum of Art and of course the famous Rocky steps.
On the 4th of July we had dinner near the Museum of Arts and sat on the street nearby to watch the fireworks. The atmosphere was very festive and the fireworks were impressive. There are parts of the fireworks shown on every network TV channel that night. The only drawback was to find an Uber to go back to the hotel…all the roads are closed and it takes some time for the city to reopen.