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The City of Brotherly Love has it all: history, culture and even heart-clogging cheesesteaks. It’s one of the gems of the East Coast and a city absolutely brimming with landmarks. That gives Instagrammers plenty of opportunities to share what they see — whether it be a centuries-old building or a special street corner dish. We searched the gram to find our favorite places and though it wasn’t easy, we narrowed it down to our 11 top spots. The next time you fly into PHL, carve out some time to stop by these can’t-miss locales.
1. Reading Terminal Market
Originally one of Philadelphia’s central transit hubs, this former train station has blossomed into a lively food market, with merchants selling everything from artisanal cheeses to fruity smoothies. Philly locals love this landmark just as much as the tourists do, so there’s no reason not to give it a visit. You’ll have more photo ops than you’ll know what to do with.
2. The Magic Gardens
Far afield from Center City, the Magic Gardens anchor South Philly’s street art scene with three building lots-worth of dazzling murals — their once barren walls have been transformed in a sea of knickknacks, glass bottles and sparkling tiles. It’s really something to see in the middle of a busy city. Adult ticket prices start at $10.
3. The Liberty Bell
The Liberty Bell ranks among America’s most iconic and recognizable symbols and its placement across the street from Philadelphia’s Independence Hall makes the famous bell a regular stop for every city history tour. Pose in front of it and let independence ring free.
4. Philadelphia Zoo
No matter where you find yourself in the Philadelphia Zoo, you’ll be sure to see something amazing. Convince your followers that you’re in an Amazonian snake den or an African safari. If you like heights, don’t miss the opportunity to take a ride up into the sky in the basket of the zoo’s hot air ballon — from hundreds of feet above, you’ll get unbeatable, unobstructed panoramas of the Philly skyline.
5. The Rocky Steps
Few movie scenes are more iconic than Rocky Balboa’s triumphant run up the steps of the Philadelphia Museum of Art. Stand where he stood, raise your arms up high and pose like you’re the heavyweight champion of the world, or snap a shot with the sculpture of the Italian Stallion, located just to the right of the museum steps.
6. Independence Hall
Whether you’re a history buff, an architecture nut or just like fooling with colonial reenactment actors, you’ll want to stop by the Old City’s Independence Hall, where there are ample photo ops across the landmark’s historic grounds. Who knows? You might even learn something along the way.
7. 30th Street Station
Philadelphia’s 30th Street Station is a daily stop for thousands of local commuters — and it should be one on your next city trip as well. The sprawling train station was built in classical revival style and its cavernous ceilings and imposing marble columns may just take your breath away. Share the love with your followers — they’ll be thankful to catch a glimpse of one of the city’s architectural masterpieces.
8. Elfreth’s Alley
Step back in time in cobblestoned Elfreth’s Alley, America’s oldest residential street. Families still live in the centuries-old houses that dot this tiny alleyway and very little has changed since they went up in the mid-1700’s. The narrow street — now protected as a National Historic Landmark — will transport you back to that simpler time, until you break the magic with an Instagram moment, that is.
9. Love Park
In big red letters with a lopsided “O,” the Love statue in John F. Kennedy Plaza, better known as Love Park, reminds visitors and locals alike of this brotherly city’s central motto. It’s a great place to spend a photo-centric afternoon, and an even better one to pose for the camera. Robert Indiana’s pop art creation is nothing less than iconic. The park is closed for renovations right now.
10. Pat’s and Geno’s
In the land of the cheesesteak, few debates get more heated than where to find the best. Decide for yourself on the corner of Passyunk and 9th Street, where cheesesteak vendors Pat’s and Geno’s face off in the eternal struggle. After you take your photos, buy one of the famous sandwiches — just make sure you order “wiz wit.”
11. City Hall
Once the tallest building the world and still the tallest with a statue at its top, Philadelphia’s City Hall is a great place to end your Instagram adventure. At night, the lights of Broad Street light up the area with a flourish of color, turning City Hall into a photographic gem perfect for social media. The statue of William Penn just got a long overdue restoration, so Pennsylvania’s namesake figure is more than camera-ready.
What are your favorite places to photograph in Philly? Let us know in the comments, below.
Featured image courtesy of thedailyantiquarian via Instagram.
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