Travel Guide: Philadelphia

Are you planning a trip to Philadelphia? If so, I hope my experience helps you make the most of your trip. Here is how I spent 72 hours exploring the city of brotherly love!

In November, my boyfriend Travis and I traveled to Philadelphia for a friend's wedding. I apologize for the extremely delayed post. Better late than never, right? It can be pretty expensive to travel for a wedding but I was determined to make it there and keep the trip under budget!

Getting There
As soon as I got the wedding invitation, I started checking Google Flights daily to snag the best deal. I found a roundtrip flight from Charlotte to Philadelphia for $103. BOOM! That was easy. I texted my friend, Fidal, who would also be going to the wedding so he could get a good deal too. I think it is so important to help your friends save money.

I know there are a few other travel websites that claim to be the best and offer the cheapest flights but Google Flights has never let me down. If you have any websites you recommend for finding cheap airline tickets, I would love to know!

Instead of renting a car, we decided we would use a ride sharing app to get around the city. This proved to be a great idea for us since the public transportation workers were on strike during our visit. Before the trip, I had only used Uber. But for this trip, I decided to try out Lyft. You will receive a "deal" when you sign up for either app but they are very different. Uber provides you with one free (up to $20) ride while Lyft gives you $25 off your first five rides. We used Lyft to travel around Philly during our time there and I spent about $40 total throughout the entire trip. This was thanks to both the awesome credit Lyft gives you when signing up and splitting rides with friends.

If you sign up with my Lyft code: "JPAYNE" you'll receive $50 in ride credit and get $5 off your first 10 rides! Sign up here!

I am so thankful that my boyfriend's mom works for a hotel chain because DISCOUNTS! We were able to get a friends and family rate in Philly. We stayed at the logan hotel and absolutely loved it. We were able to walk everywhere we wanted to go, except for the wedding which was at Appleford Estate.

If you are traveling and unable to find a nice hotel to stay at within your budget, check out airbnb! Some of my friends who were in Philly for the wedding chose this option and were able to split the cost for the airbnb between 6 people. It ended up being about $100 each total for 3 nights which is a hard price for a hotel to beat.

Philly is rich in history and you can explore most of it for free! Each of the places listed below are ones we visited for free. While you can opt to spend money and do extra activities at some of these places, it is not required.

Schuylkill Banks Boardwalk

City Hall

The Love Sign

Mural Mile
You can do a self-guided tour of the murals around the city or you can pay to have a guide show you around.

Independence Hall Area

The Liberty Bell
It is free to visit The Liberty Bell but you will have to go through security to get in.

Tomb of the Unknown Solider

Philadelphia Museum of Art
Run up the 72 steps like Rocky and take a picture at the top! We did not go inside the museum but had fun running up the steps and hanging out at sunset.

I did not do a lot of research on restaurants before venturing to Philly but have to say I was impressed by every place we ended up eating at.

Ants Pants Cafe
We arrived to Philly Friday morning around 11am and could not check in until around 3pm. At the airport, we looked up breakfast/brunch spots on yelp and decided to check out Ants Pants Cafe. We didn't want ants in our pants but we did want food in our belly. This was a small cafe with an Australian flare. The employees were super accommodating and were able to find a spot to keep our luggage while we ate. I had a cappuccino and french toast - delicious! This cafe is reasonably priced but it is cash only - make sure you are prepared to pay and tip in cash before going.

My friend Fidal kills the luggage game.

Cafe Ynez
We had a group of six for dinner on Friday and decided to check out Cafe Ynez which is a small Mexico City inspired restaurant in the graduate hospital area. This is a BYOB restaurant so we took our own beer. If you choose, you can take a bottle of tequila and purchase mixers there. We enjoyed chips and salsa and everyone happily devoured their entrees. The prices and portions were great!

Reading Terminal Market
We slept in a little on Saturday and decided to check out this famous indoor market and grab something for a late breakfast. I absolutely loved Reading Terminal Market, otherwise known as foodie paradise. It almost feels overwhelming when you walk in but we did a walk through to take it all in and then decided what to eat for breakfast. We picked up coffees at Old City Coffee (SO SO GOOD!) and a few egg and cheese breakfast sandwiches from Dutch Eating Place. There area seating areas throughout the market and something for every price range.

We didn't eat again until dinner when we had food at the wedding reception. Jess and Drew had stations featuring crab cakes, pasta, Philly Cheesesteaks and fries. Not only did they have cake for dessert, they also had milk and warm chocolate chip cookies. I mean, does it get much better than that?

Luna Cafe
We ended up at Luna Cafe for brunch on Sunday. I have so many wonderful things to say about this place. This is a small cafe that focuses on the community both by sourcing local ingredients and by supporting local creatives. While we were eating we were able to listen to Vessna Scheff sing and play her ukulele. I loved her music so much I went home with a CD and keep up with her adventures on instagram.

Logan Square Pizza & Grill
We took a walk to Logan Square Pizza & Grill for dinner on Sunday night. Fidal and I split a pizza and Travis had a calzone. The food was a great price but the service was sub-par as our waitress could not answer many of the questions we had without asking her manager. I would recommend this for a quick bite or maybe delivery.

Our last day, we ended back up at Reading Terminal Market for lunch. I grabbed a grilled cheese from Meltkraft. I have a slight obsession with grilled cheese sandwiches so this was perfect for me. We finished our trip up the best way possible, with a final stop at Big Gay Ice Cream. This was a splurge since the ice cream is a little expensive but it was definitely worth it. I ordered the Salty Pimp and had no regrets.

Have you ever been to Philadelphia? I really enjoyed my trip. The weather was perfect and there was always something to do or see. If you have your own favorite spots that aren't listed here, comment below. I would love to check them out the next time I visit!

1 comment:

  1. Jessica! Great post! I now want to go check out Philly! I'm glad you & Travis had a fun trip.