Reading Terminal Market is an enclosed, bustling marketplace in downtown Philadelphia. Located at the intersection of 12th and Arch streets, the Reading Terminal Philadelphia brings together merchants of food, flowers, clothing, and books for a unique shopping experience. This market in Philadelphia is a bit different from the Italian Market in that it is enclosed versus outdoors, and it also offers a wider variety of goods. This market is historic as well, as it has been serving the population of Philadelphia and visitors to the city since 1893.
One section of the stalls is known as the Pennsylvania Dutch Market. A small but significant portion of the Reading Terminal Market, these merchants usually don’t operate Sunday through Tuesday. The rest of the market in Philadelphia is open seven days a week, with limited hours on Sunday of 9 am to 5 pm. All stalls in Reading Terminal Philadelphia are rented out by merchants, and many of them have been in the same family for more than 100 years. Sometimes called a farmer’s market, popular items include fresh produce, baked goods, ethnic food, ice cream, meat, and fish.
Visitors may be surprised that the center of the Reading Terminal Market has an open area in the center for seating and tables. An affordable, indoor picnic can be had at this market in Philadelphia. Families can explore the culinary options, baked goods, and ethnic foods for an affordable midday meal. The bustling marketplace doesn’t show signs of the struggles it has endured in the past, but at certain points in history, it did struggle to survive. The Great Depression of the 1930s was one such difficult time for the market, but as a result of the passion of the merchants, a tradition survives through to today.
Reading Terminal Philadelphia has been the backdrop of American films including National Treasure and Trading Places. Visitors to the market are always charmed by Philbert, a pig sculpture that has become the market’s mascot. In close proximity to a few popular Philadelphia chain hotels, the market has become a popular choice for quirky merchandise and sweet treats. History buffs and book-lovers will find something to browse through or buy, and if you’re looking for information about Philadelphia and the history of the city, you’re sure to find it in this market.
One attractive quality about the market is its diversity. From Amish specialties to handmade pottery and jewelry, there are few markets in the US that combines this range of goods in one place. Located in Center City, the market is easy to reach if you’re visiting other popular attractions such as the Liberty Bell, and it is also conveniently located within walking distance of many hotels. Whether you’re looking for cookware or an interesting restaurant to spend an hour people-watching, you’ll find a perfect fit at the Reading Terminal Market. From flowers to crafts, seafood to artisan cheese, you will be tempted to get out your wallet and take home some unique gifts and souvenirs.
Image: J. Smith for GPTMC