Somewhat unassuming and overshadowed by its glamorous neighbour New York City, the city of Philadelphia should not be overlooked. Its history is packed with iconic moments: from the signing of the Declaration of Independence to the infamous scaling of steps by a fighting-fit Rocky (a movie scene that many visitors recreate). And today, the city is emerging from the industrial shadows into the bright lights of the modern America.
Located in Pennsylvania, on the east coast of America, Philadelphia - or Philly - is known as the city of “brotherly love”. Famous for the Liberty Bell, Independence Hall, Philly cheesesteak, pretzels and Fairmount Park, it is a city where American history and culture springs from the pages of books.
There is also a great mix of hotels in Philadelphia, with high-end luxury hotels dotted around the city and budget hotels and motels attracting guests with less cash to splash. Either way, Philadelphia hotels are mostly clean and spacious.
And as in any North American city, well-known chains vie with locally run hotels for business. Check out properties from the likes of Hilton, Hampton Inn, Courtyard, Hyatt, Marriott, Radisson, Renaissance, Westin, Staybridge, Sheraton, Sonesta, Ramada, Le Meridien, Crowne Plaza and Holiday Inn.
When it comes to where to stay, Center City - the downtown area - is close enough to be within walking distance of the historic part of Philly, also known as Old City, where most of the places worth seeing are situated.
The Philadelphia Museum of Art is one of the only attractions that you might struggle to walk to from central Philadelphia. However, the streets around Philadelphia's Convention Center are also handily located for tourism, as are those around the Avenue of the Arts.
Top five attractions
Independence National Historical Park
This park is home to two of the city's most iconic landmarks - the Liberty Bell and Independence Hall.
Philadelphia Museum of Art and “Rocky steps”
You may enjoy art, but most people really want to just run to the top of the steps and triumphantly acknowledge an imaginary crowd as they hum the 'Rocky' theme tune.
Here, you will find a park and a number of family attractions.
National Constitution Center
A surprisingly fun, hands-on museum dedicated to the American Constitution.
This huge expanse of parkland where you can get involved in a range of activities is one of Philadelphia's real gems.
Jam on the River; May: Crowds gather on the waterfront at Penn's Landing to enjoy the smooth sounds of this annual festival.
July 4th celebrations: Where better to celebrate Independence Day than the city where the Declaration of Independence was signed? Fireworks follow the festivities at this lively celebration.
Philadelphia Live Arts Festival and Philly Fringe; September: This is a family-friendly event that runs for a little over two weeks and includes performances of music, comedy, theatre, dance - and everything in between - at a variety of locations across the city.