Opening the new convention centre
a few years ago caused a hotel building boom that nearly tripled the number of accommodation overnight. Everything is available, from five-star luxury suites to family bargains at inexpensive motels. Bed-and-breakfast establishments can put you in a quiet cosy room a few blocks from your destination. Cabs and public transportation make cars unnecessary for most places, though many hotels provide parking.
centre City - East
Downtown Philadelphia is the destination for most tourists and business travellers. By the Delaware River on the east end of town is Independence Hall at 6th and Chestnut, the Liberty Bell
at 6th and Market and most of the sites and museums of early American history are preserved in the Independence Hall National Historic Park. Along the river is Penn's Landing, home to the Seaport Museum, summer festivals and riverfront entertainment spots. Just across the river is the New Jersey State Aquarium, a short (and fun) ferry ride away.
In the other direction, the Pennsylvania Convention centre
is at 13th and Market, on the edge of Chinatown. Hotels here, such as the Omni Hotel at Independence Park or the more moderate Alexander Inn
, cater to families and travellers needing conference rooms or fully wired workspace facilities. The Market East train station at 11th Street links this part of town to anywhere, including a direct trip to Philadelphia International Airport for 5 dollars one way.
centre City - West
From City Hall, head west to Rittenhouse Square
or down Broad Street to the Avenue of the Arts. Hotels on this side of centre City tend to cater to more upscale travellers with luxurious rooms available in the moderate (Latham Hotel) to quite expensive (Ritz-Carlton) range. One thing to note is that since many of these hotels are for business travellers, they frequently have affordable weekend packages available, to fill their slow period.
Philadelphia International Airport is 10 to 20 minutes from most destinations. Ample parking, a convenient train stop and affordable rates make this a popular spot for tourists and business travellers alike.
There are many chain hotels here, such as Holiday Inn and Mariott. All airport hotels run shuttle buses to centre City. SEPTA runs a train from the airport to stations at 30th
and 11th Streets in centre City. It runs every 20 minutes at a flat rate of 5 dollars and connects with all other trains. Cab drivers are not permitted by law to charge more than 20 dollars for a ride from the airport to anywhere in the city limits.
West of centre City is filled with schools and hospitals. This area is popular with visiting relatives, staying in the Penn Tower Hotel or Sheraton. Hotels along Chestnut and Walnut Streets, between 34th and 38th, are in the moderate to expensive range.
The dividing line between the city and the surrounding suburbs has become grayer over the years, as more people have opted to work in town and live elsewhere. Many moderate-priced hotels and bed-and-breakfasts can be found either in the small towns along the way, or right off the two major highways that run through town: I-95 runs north toward New York City, through Northeast Philadelphia, New Hope and Washington's Crossing and south, passing the airport to Delaware and Maryland; Route 76 heads west out of town to popular local towns such as Narberth, Valley Forge and King of Prussia. For the perfect weekend getaway, don't miss Inn at Bowman's Hill
in New Hope. Voted in the Top 10 Most Romantic Inns in the United States, the warm welcome and cosy yet luxurious rooms and surroundings will make for an unforgettable retreat.