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Secrets of the City: Philly

Revealing all the untold stories of Philly. From all the best local spots to our love for a good parade, check out the stories that make the City of Brotherly Love unique!

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Everyone’s Running to the Art Museum

Is a run up the “Rocky Steps” on your to-do list during your visit to Philly? Any time of day or night, you can run up the steps and reenact your favorite scenes from the Rocky franchise. Before you exert all that energy, don’t forget to jump in line to snap a photo with the iconic Rocky statue, just to the right of the steps.

a group of people walking in front of a building

Image: Philadelphia Art Museum, by Jenna (2023)

Another question for you: do you like art? If your answer is yes, you’re going to be one happy tourist. After your rendition of Mr. Balboa’s triumphant sprint, our advice is to continue running right through the doors at the top of the steps. “Why? What is this place?” you ask. It’s the Philadelphia Museum of Art!

Known to locals simply as “the Art Museum,” this beautiful art deco building boasts more than 200 galleries holding treasures spanning 2,000 years. And we’re not only talking about paintings. Sure, you can get your fill of Van Gogh, Matisse, Cezanne, Picasso, and the like, but the museum also features textiles, sculpture, furniture, decorative arts, photography, and more.

Want to see how suits of armor have changed through the years? Check! Curious about historical clothes and furniture? We got ‘em! Ever want to wander through an Indian or Asian temple, sans the long flight? You can do it here! And if you happen to be interested in Benjamin Franklin-themed art, we have it in spades.

Wander through the museum’s galleries on your own, or book any one of the museum’s guided tours. The Philadelphia Museum of Art also offers the opportunity to visit several historic, Revolution-era mansions as well as an authentic Japanese Tea House and Garden in nearby Fairmount Park. And if that’s not enough art for you, just a short stroll down the Benjamin Franklin Parkway, you’ll find the Rodin Museum and the Barnes Foundation. That’s over one million square feet of art and history ready and waiting for you in Philly, and your starting point is at the top of the Rocky Steps. Book your tickets in advance, or run right in!

The Philadelphia Museum of Art offers “Pay What You Wish” admission on the first Sunday of the month and every Friday night, from 5 to 8:45 p.m. That’s right, you can pay what you wish to enter. Got $0.01? You’re in! Sunday is best for families and children, and Friday evenings are better for adult visitors.

The Rodin Museum is always pay-what-you-wish, and its sculpture garden is free.

The Barnes Foundation offers free admission on the first Sunday of each month, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., but registration on the Barnes website is required.

Written by Jenna, a local expert guide for Philly Crawling. A recent escapee from the corporate world, she enjoys volunteering and spending time with family. She’s a pet lover, self-proclaimed beer geek, travel enthusiast, and aspiring foodie. Join Jenna for history and beer on Philly Crawling’s Liberty Pub Crawl.