Visitor Basics + Transportation

April 6, 2016
Visitors Guide
April 6, 2016

Visitor Basics + Transportation


Philadelphia: The Center Of It All

The only thing easier than getting to Philadelphia is getting around once you’re here. In Philadelphia, everything is just around the corner, but miles from ordinary.


Only 100 miles from New York City and 130 miles from Washington, D.C., we’re not kidding when we say we’re in the center of it all.

  • By plane: There are more than 1,200 daily nonstop flights to PHL. Once you’re here, it’s a 25-minute ride by SEPTA mass transit or a 10-minute ride in a taxi to cover the eight miles fromPhiladelphia International Airport to Center City. SEPTA’s Airport Line leaves at 30-minute intervals, and a one-way fare is $8. The taxi ride costs a flat rate of $28.50. Click here or call the Airport Ground Transportation Hotline at 215-937-6958 for information on other ground transportation options.
  • By train: Amtrak Acela and commuter trains arrive at historic 30th Street Station throughout the day, placing passengers within a short walk of Center City. Philadelphia is only 1 hour and 20 minutes from New York City and 1 hour and 45 minutes from Washington, D.C., via Acela Express.
  • By bus: Megabus offers low-cost express bus routes throughout the Northeast Corridor.
  • By car: Almost half of the U.S. population is within a day’s drive of Philadelphia. Interstates 95 and 76, and the Pennsylvania and New Jersey Turnpikes, provide access from all points on the compass. Once you arrive, there are more than 40 parking lots and garages in Center City. Pay with cash or credit or purchase a reloadable Smart Card. For a printable map of downtown parking, visit Drivers can also use SpotHero, a mobile app and website to search for and book discounted Philadelphia parking spots.


Philadelphia has been ranked as one of the most walkable cities in the nation, but it also has a top-notch mass transit system and more.

  • Get oriented: Thanks to founder William Penn’s smart and simple grid street design, the heart of the city is easy to navigate. The Schuylkill and Delaware rivers border Center City’s 25 blocks on the west and east. Keep in mind that, south of Market Street, streets running east and west are named after trees while north and south streets are numbered.
    Check out the printable Center City map (pdf) or view our interactive city map for more information.
  • Walking: World-class dining, arts and entertainment, famous historic sites and tax-free clothing and shoes shopping are within steps of Center City hotels, so you’ll save a bundle on transportation. As you walk, you’ll notice color-coded directional signs that let you know what district you’re in and point you toward area attractions. And look for Center City District’s goodwill ambassadors, dressed in teal uniforms and equipped with maps, who are happy to give directions and answer questions.
  • Public transportation: Base cash fare for the SEPTA bus, trolley and subway system is $2.25; transfers are $1.00. Tokens can be purchased for $3.60 for a two pack. For families on the go, the best travel value is the Individual Independence Pass for $12 or a Family Independence Pass (good for one family of up to 5 people traveling together) for $29. Both provide unlimited travel on all SEPTA modes of transportation for a full day.
  • Cab: There are more than 1,600 licensed and trained cabs in Philadelphia. Or download the Uber app to order a town car to your location.
  • Philly PHLASH is the city’s seasonal transportation loop that makes it easy and convenient to get around to Philadelphia’s most popular attractions. The bus costs $2 per ride and is free for seniors and children under 4.
  • By Bike/Segway: Check out Wheel Fun Rentals for more information, or participate in Philly’s bike share program, Indego. With more than 70 stations located throughout the city, go for a ride and explore Philadelphia, then return your rented bike to any station location.