Arts and culture thrive in Philadelphia. Leave room on the itinerary for a trip through the Parkway’s museums, a stroll down Avenue of the Arts, and at least one live performance in a city full of creative attractions. Music venues span the spectrum from grand orchestral halls to intimate jazz cafés, and public artworks turn the city into a free open-air gallery.

    The city draws dancers from around the world to its vibrant performing arts scene. In the city that gave rise to many of jazz’s greatest legends, you’d expect a full line-up of concerts – and you’d be right. If you enjoy original theatre, Philadelphia is also the place for you. Follow us through a selection of Philadelphia’s arts and culture venues.


    Philadelphia Museum of Art

    Admire art collections in the city's cultural heart

    • History

    The Philadelphia Museum of Art’s renowned collection covers everything from Rubens to Warhol. You’ll find works by newer notables in the intimate Institute of Contemporary Art in University City. 

    Whatever art period or style you're into, you're sure to find it well represented in one of the U.S.'s largest art museums. Along with the permanent galleries and exhibitions, there are fun dining and shopping options dotted around the imposing building.

    Location: 2600 Benjamin Franklin Parkway, Philadelphia, PA 19130, USA

    Open: Daily from 10 am to 5 pm, Wednesday and Friday open until 8.45 pm

    Phone: +1 215-763-8100


    Institute of Contemporary Art

    A place to celebrate innovative art

    • Budget

    You’ll find works by newer notables in the intimate Institute of Contemporary Art in University City. Old City’s galleries tend to focus on established artists, while artist-run collectives in farther-flung neighbourhoods promote up-and-coming talents. 

    This free, open and light-filled museum hosts a handful of daring art installations every year.

    Location: 118 South 36th Street, Philadelphia, PA 19104, USA

    Open: Thursday–Sunday from 11 am to 6 pm, Wednesday from 11 am to 8 pm (closed on Mondays and Tuesdays)

    Phone: +1 215-898-7108


    photo by Jeffrey M. Vinocur (CC BY-SA 3.0) modified


    Academy of Music

    One of the oldest opera houses in the US

    • Nightlife

    Opera Philadelphia typically appears at the Academy of Music. The ongoing Ars Nova series is also staged here as well as at various venues in Philadelphia.

    Halfway between an opera house and a concert hall, the American Academy of Music is a National Historic Landmark and a grandiose setting for big-name musicals and shows.

    Location: 240 South Broad Street, Philadelphia, PA 19102, USA

    Phone: +1 215-893-1999


    photo by Difference engine (CC BY-SA 4.0) modified


    Annenberg Centre for the Performing Arts

    Where world-renowned and emerging artists perform

    • Nightlife

    Boutique companies showcasing hip-hop, salsa, and postmodern dance appear at University City’s Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts.

    Located within the University of Pennsylvania, this is a popular venue for contemporary dance shows and live music from all over the world.

    Location: 3680 Walnut Street, Philadelphia, PA 19104, USA

    Phone: +1 215-898-3900


    photo by chrisinphilly5448 (CC BY-SA 2.0) modified


    Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts

    A stronghold on the Avenue of the Arts

    • Nightlife

    The Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts hosts the Philadelphia Orchestra, as well as jazz, pop, and chamber music groups. A 150-foot glass arch rises atop this gorgeous brick building, which hosts the Philadelphia Orchestra, Opera Philadelphia, and other groups. 

    The 2,500-seat Verizon Hall is the main stage, while the 650-seat Perelman Theatre hosts more intimate productions.

    Location: 300 South Broad Street, Philadelphia, PA 19102, USA

    Phone: +1 215-893-1999


    photo by Beyond My Ken (CC BY-SA 4.0) modified


    Walnut Street Theatre

    Over 2 centuries of top stage acts

    • Nightlife

    One of America's oldest continuously operating theatres, Walnut Street Theatre offers a busy program of musicals and concerts. As well as a large main stage, it has an intimate 80-seat studio and a theatre especially for kids.

    Touring Broadway musicals appear at the Walnut Street Theatre, while the edgy Fringe Festival occurs every September. 

    Location: 825 Walnut Street, Philadelphia, PA 19107, USA

    Phone: +1 215-574-3550


    photo by Smallbones (CC0 1.0) modified


    The Wilma Theater

    For contemporary takes on classics

    • Families
    • Nightlife

    Local companies abound in Philadelphia, ranging from the intimate Pig Iron Theatre Company to the mid-sized Wilma Theater. 

    The iconic 300-seat Wilma Theater features productions ranging from contemporary takes on Shakespeare plays to family-friendly comedies.

    Location: 265 South Broad Street, Philadelphia, PA 19107, USA

    Phone: +1 215-893-9456


    photo by Ed and Eddie (CC BY-SA 2.0) modified


    Bristol Riverside Theatre

    Enjoy from classic plays to concerts

    • Nightlife

    Worth the short drive, Bristol Riverside Theatre is known for developing original works in addition to presenting more classic plays and concerts. 

    Originally a movie house, this 300-seat regional professional theatre wins kudos for attracting renowned performers, including Gregory Peck and Susan Powell. The theatre is in Bucks County, just northeast of Philadelphia along the Delaware River.

    Location: 120 Radcliffe Street, Bristol, PA 19007, USA

    Phone: +1 215-785-0100


    1812 Productions

    A good place for a laugh in Philly

    • Nightlife

    Philadelphia’s only purely comedic theatre, 1812 Productions, is a good place to check out talented local comedians. Operating mainly out of the Christ Church Neighbourhood House Theater, the company combines its own original works with comedies by other playwrights and artists. 

    Its annual political satire piece, This is The Week That is, takes comedic aim at current events.

    Location: 2329 South 3rd Street, Philadelphia, PA 19148, USA

    Phone: +1 215-592-9560


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