Museums in Philadelphia

Museums in Philadelphia
Museums in Philadelphia

Museums in Philadelphia offer a range of subjects, experiences, and historical periods to both visitors and locals. While the architecture of the city is itself like a free museum in Philadelphia, there is also plenty to discover in the museums. Visitors have different opinions on which is the best Philadelphia museum, but they all agree that the consistently high quality of options is rare. From the Mutter Museum, which is a medical museum in Center City, to the Philadelphia Museum of Art, one of the largest art museums in the country, there are new topics and perspective to explore in museums in Philadelphia.

Please Touch Museum

For curious kids, there’s a museum designed just for them, and the Please Touch Museum is a must-see for families in Philadelphia. Most museums require an admission fee, but many also offer a certain time and day where visitors can pay what they wish to see the permanent collection. It is worth researching this special time as some of the best exhibitions become a free museum in Philadelphia.

Independence Seaport Museum

People interested in maritime history will likely think that the Independence Seaport Museum is the best Philadelphia museum. Including a World War II submarine and a Spanish-American War cruiser named Olympia, there are a variety of exhibitions and artifacts to explore. The museum is open daily from 10 am to 5 pm, and tickets are reasonably priced for adults and children. Beware that the historic ships can be closed during bad weather, so if you are hoping to visit them, plan accordingly. On Sunday from 10 am to noon the museum has a "pay as you wish" policy, allowing visitors who may not be able to afford the full ticket price to enjoy the museum anyway.

University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archaeology

Artifacts of archaeology and anthropology are on display at this magnificent Philadelphia museum. The museum is open Tuesday through Saturday with limited hours on Sunday, from 1 to 5 pm. If you’re looking for a free museum in Philadelphia, this museum also offers a "pay what you want" policy after 3:30 pm on Tuesday through Saturday. The range of exhibits includes Mayan pottery, Native American artifacts, an African Gallery, an exhibit on Ancient Egypt, and an exhibit highlighting the history of Buddhism.

Atwater Kent Museum

There are many museums in Philadelphia that focus on world history, art, and children's activities, but the Atwater Kent Museum focuses on local history. Formerly called the History Museum of the City of Philadelphia, this museum features art, artifacts, and photographs of Philadelphia history. Learn how people dressed in Philadelphia’s past and what types of dolls and toys kept children entertained. Travelers who arrive in the city to see the Liberty Bell and experience other pieces of American history will likely find that this is the best Philadelphia museum for them.

Rosenbach Museum

The Rosenbach Museum and Library is a must-visit for literature-lovers. Guided Tours are available on the hour on Tuesday through Friday from noon to 5 pm. Tours of the Rosenbach home are included in the price of admission and include a full tour of the many period rooms in the nineteenth-century townhome. Dr. Rosenbach’s rare book library, decorative art, and a recreation of poet Marianne Moore’s Greenwich Village living room are all part of the tour.


The Palestra is a historic gymnasium and the home location for the University of Pennsylvania basketball, wrestling, and volleyball teams. The gym opened in 1927, and it has hosted more games and NCAA tournament games than any other college venue in history. Tickets are available from the University of Pennsylvania box office, and sports fans should surely include this on the itinerary for any trip to Philadelphia.

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