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9 Museums to visit in Philadelphia

9 museums to visit in Philadelphia

Are you wondering which museums to visit in Philadelphia? Or do you live here but have not gotten around to visit the museum district of the city? In our research to develop a Tourist Scavenger Hunt in Philadelphia’s museum district, we’ve come across much information, some of which can only be gleaned when doing the actual scavenger hunt.

However, we also wanted to share some of that information with you for your visit planning. Here are 9 museums to visit in Philadelphia.

Article updated 2 August 2019

9 Museums to visit in Philadelphia

  1. City Hall

    Philadelphia City Hall

    • City Hall is the largest municipal building in the entire United States. It contains over 631 thousand square feet of floor space. Isn’t it breathtaking? Sculptures cover the exterior of City Hall, from top to bottom and all around. In fact, they represent the seasons, the continents, as well as allegorical figures. Alexander Milne Calder designed all the sculptures, including the 27-ton statue of William Penn atop the tower.
    • You will find City Hall where Market St. meets Broad St., on John F. Kennedy Blvd. Additionally, you can tour City Hall weekdays from 9:30 am to 4:30 pm.
  2. Philadelphia Museum Of ArtPhiladelphia Museum of Art

    • The Philadelphia Museum of Art is the largest museum in Philadelphia. Also, it showcases objects from many different periods from Europe, the Americas, and Asia. Over 800,000 people visit it each year. The PMA resides at the opposite end of Benjamin Franklin Parkway from City Hall, in direct alignment.
    • The museum opens Tuesday through Sunday from 10 am until 5 pm, 8:45 pm Wednesday through Friday. Admission is $14 for youth and $20 for adults.
  3. Eastern State Penitentiary

    Eastern State Penitentiary

    • Eastern State Penitentiary opened in 1829 and was operational until 1971. It was once the most famous and expensive prison in the world but stands today in ruin, a haunting structure of crumbling cellblocks and empty guard towers. Its vaulted, sky-lit cells once held many of America’s most notorious criminals.
    • Eastern State Penitentiary opens daily from 10 am to 5 pm, costs $10 for children / $14 for adults, and is located on Fairmont at Kelly Dr. Additionally, Terror Behind the Walls conveys you throughout October each year for evenings of fright between 7 pm and 12:30 am.
  4. The Franklin InstituteThe Franklin Institute

    • The Franklin Institute, opened in 1924, is as clever as its namesake. As a matter of fact, its eminently touchable attractions explore science in disciplines ranging from sports to space. Furthermore, the Tuttleman IMAX Theater can be found within.
    • The Franklin Institute opens daily from 9:30 am to 5 p, and costs $16 for children, $20 for adults.
  5. Academy of Natural Sciences

    • The Academy of Natural Sciences of Drexel University is a leading natural history museum that houses 200 years of discovery. ANSDU opened in 1812 and resides 1 block east of the Franklin Institute on Race St.
    • The discoveries that rocked the world then and now share four floors of exhibit space in this family-friendly museum. 3-D painted dioramas replicate the natural habitats of large game animals acquired in the 1920s and 1930s are also on display. For Philadelphians of that era, this was their first sighting of an Indian tiger or a wildebeest.
    • The Academy of Natural Sciences opens daily from 10 am to 4:30 pm and admission range from $13.95 and $17.95.
  6. Rodin Museum

    • The famed 19th-century sculptor’s greatest hits are all here at the Rodin Museum. They are bold, energetic and emotionally intense. Several pieces are on exhibit on the outside lawn, visible from the Benjamin Franklin Parkway, while most are within the museum.
    • Open daily from 10 am to 5 pm, admission is $7 for youth & students and $10 for adults.
  7. Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts

    • The Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts is a historic Victorian museum presenting 19th and 20th-century American works. By the same token, it opens daily from 10 am to 5 pm. Admission is free for children and $15 for adults.
  8. Masonic Library and Museum

    • The beautiful Masonic Temple in Philadelphia was constructed in 1873. Freemasons refer to the Philadelphia lodge as one of the great wonders of the Masonic World. Correspondingly, the museum presents thousands of texts and artifacts relating to the history of the Fraternity in the Commonwealth.
    • You can tour the Masonic Temple between 10 am and 3 pm for $5 (children) / $15 (adults).
  9. Barnes Foundation

    • Barns Foundation is an art museum on Benjamin Franklin Parkway, next to the Rodin Museum. Likewise, it presents paintings by artists including Picasso and Renoir, African sculptures, Native American textiles and more.
    • Barnes Foundation opens daily from 10 am to 5 pm.

We invite you to try our Philadelphia – Museum District Tourist Scavenger Hunt. It is a 3-hour guided walking tour around Philadelphia’s museum district you do on your mobile phone (how it works).  It only costs $35 for your group. Moreover, you will enjoy seeing these museums and much more while completing challenges and learning Philadelphia’s history.

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