viewing the skyline is a free thing to do in philadelphia
Location Spotlight

Inexpensive or Free Things to Do in Philadelphia

7 Minute Read


Do you find yourself missing out on the vibrant city life around you, whether it’s the place you currently call home or a potential future destination? It is understandable and easy to overlook the exciting atmosphere right in front of you. But no matter how demanding your schedule is, it is crucial to reserve time for self-care and enjoyment. This is your sign to take advantage of all the inexpensive or free things to do in Philadelphia. Look at this Philly itinerary and begin exploring!  

Top Inexpensive or Free Things to Do in Philadelphia

Unwind at the Race Street Pier  

Looking for a place to watch the beautiful Center City skyline? Check out the Race Street Pier, a newly renovated attraction, where the waterfront gates are open to all citizens. This serene environment is the perfect escape after a busy day. Depending on your day-to-day schedule, you can explore this hotspot seven days a week from 7 a.m. to 11 p.m. The Race Street Pier is an aesthetically pleasing space with spacious lawn features, shady areas from the white oak trees, and a variety of seating arrangements for your liking.  

The Race Street Pier is most popular during late afternoons. Its breathtaking view will leave sunset enthusiasts amazed! During dark hours, there are 200 solar LED lights embedded into the paving to enhance visibility and safety.  

While it is a great spot for gazing at the city’s views, people also utilize this space for picnicking, reading, dog walking, exercise, and more. Unfortunately, there are not food options close by so feel free to pack your favorite foods and beverages.  

The Race Street Pier is a staple spot to unwind and enjoy the city’s skyline, making it a fun and free thing to do in Philadelphia.  

Socialize at Dilworth Park  

Looking for a newly renovated and well-maintained place to socialize without spending money? Take time out of your busy schedule to visit Dilworth Park on the west side of City Hall. Regardless of if you prefer warm or chilly weather, this spot has the best of both worlds. 

During nicer days, Dilworth Park is filled with individuals who thrive when lounging by the blazing fountains of cool water. During wintertime, the fountains turn into the most attractive ice-skating rink in Philadelphia, offering limited free days and nights for ice skating.  

Dilworth Park constantly hosts other free events like festivals, live music, outdoor movies, happy hour specials, and more. This is the place to go if you are looking for human interaction.  

Transportation to and from Dilworth Park is convenient and inexpensive! The Broad Street and Market Street subway and trolley lines are located underground, just a couple of feet away from the main area.  

Do not miss the various social events happening in Dilworth Park. Take advantage of this vibrant atmosphere at your convenience! 

Tuesdays & Saturdays at Rittenhouse Park 

We have uncovered hotspots for relaxation and socializing but let us dive deeper into the inexpensive or free things to do in Philly. Beyond strolls and bike rides, the Rittenhouse Farmer’s Market, located at 18th and Walnut Street, stands out as one of the most cherished destinations in Philly.  

On Tuesdays from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. and Saturdays from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m., the Rittenhouse Farmer’s Market has an assortment of inexpensive and high-quality offerings, from organic produces, breads, cheeses, pastas, desserts, flowers, and more! One of the stands that gets the most attraction is “Hands on the Earth Orchard,” known for its crisp apples, delicious ciders, and yummy donuts.  

The Rittenhouse Farmer’s Market is not just a fun shopping experience but a way to treat yourself with goodies surrounded by community members who share similar interests.  

Walk the Schuylkill Trail

Escape the hustle and bustle of the city by taking a leisurely stroll on the Schuylkill Trail, which winds along the waters of the Schuylkill River in the heart of Philadelphia. Lace up your walking shoes or hop on a bike to explore the trail’s wide paths. Whether you’re seeking a moment of solitude, a romantic outing, or a family-friendly adventure, the Schuylkill Trail will allow you to unwind, recharge, and reconnect with the natural world without spending a penny.

Reading Terminal Market

Are you searching for a food destination that caters to a group with diverse tastes? The Reading Terminal Market is one of the nation’s oldest and largest markets that offers more than 80 diverse merchants, open every day 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. From fresh produce, dairy products, meats, soft pretzels, vegan sandwiches, sushi and more; it is perfect place to explore and satisfy everyone’s cravings. Whether you are ordering takeout, getting a quick bite, or looking for a day long adventure, there are many fun ways to experience the Reading Terminal Market.

History Lovers 

Philadelphia, the city that holds a piece of history around every street corner, just waiting to be explored. From historic sites to handed down family-owned restaurants to movie-famous landmarks, Philly is the place to indulge in those inexpensive or free experiences. Let us delve into some of the places that have shaped this remarkable city.  

First Come, First Serve at the Liberty Bell  

Why purchase tickets and wait in lines when you can skip the hassle? Explore the iconic Liberty Bell for free at your own time. The Liberty Bell center is open every day from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Market Street – no tickets required!  

This historic gem is a must-see for all history lovers. As one of the world’s most recognizable symbols of freedom, the Liberty Bell is known for inspiring believers of civil rights. Get the chance to view the exhibits and learn insightful facts about this landmark.  

Do not forget to snap a photo of the Liberty Bell with Independence Hall as the backdrop. Making it a perfect photo of our nation’s spirit of freedom and democracy.  

Kill Two Birds with One Stone  

The Liberty Bell and Independence Hall are the main attractions within the National Historic Park; therefore, you must go to Independence Hall after the Liberty Bell. It is less than a five-minute walk!  

Independence Hall tickets are free, while administrative tickets cost $1. Visitors get the option to take a 15–20-minute tour and face the famous Assembly Room, where the Declaration of Independence and the U.S. Constitution were signed.  

Although it can be difficult committing to activities outside of your busy schedule, these are quick and knowledgeable excursions that will make you feel more part of the Philly community.  

The “Rocky Steps”

Climb the same steps that the fictional boxer Rocky Balboa conquered in the movie “Rocky” as you ascend to the Philadelphia Museum of Art. At the top, pause to catch your breath and admire the stunning view of Philly before you. The Rocky Steps offer a unique and memorable way to connect with Philadelphia’s cinematic and cultural heritage, all without spending a dime.

McGillins – Oldest Bar in America!

If you enjoy a fresh, cold, draft beer at a comfortable local pub, head to the “Best Irish Bar” in the nation, McGillins’s Olde Ale House. McGillin’s is known for being the oldest operating tavern, dating back to 1860. Whether you are a local or new to the Philly area, this place feels like you’re stepping back in history. McGillin’s continues to impress individuals with their daily specials, various beer options on tap, karaoke, and its historical upbringing. Whether you’re grabbing a drink with friends, enjoying a meal with family, or simply soaking in the atmosphere, McGillin’s Old Ale House is a must-visit destination in Philadelphia.

Philly Cheesesteak Must-haves

Cheesesteaks continue to be the heart of Philly. Not only are they delicious, but they bring people together!

Old City Staple

If you are looking for a family-owned staple, head over to Campo’s in Old City and experience a wide variety menu of unbeatable cheesesteaks.  

Campo’s started in 1947 and continues using the same recipes for four generations. They are recognized for Best of Philly, TopRated by Zagat, and featured on the Food Network. A cheesesteak at Campo’s costs $12.50, but it is big enough to split amongst two individuals. They also offer alternative food, like gluten-free and vegan options.  

When you get the chance to experience a delicious meal that holds a significant place in Philly’s food industry, stop at Campo’s family-owned business.  


While it’s a pizzeria, the cheesesteaks at Angelo’s are a hidden gem that should not be missed. Sink your teeth into their signature cheesesteak sandwich, expertly crafted with tender slices of beef, gooey melted cheese, and perfectly caramelized onions, all nestled within a soft, freshly baked roll. It’s a taste of Philly tradition without breaking the bank.

As you navigate how to reserve time for activities that make you happy outside of work, consider this your invitation to explore all the inexpensive or free things to do in Philadelphia. Whether you find joy in relaxing alone, engaging in social events, going on an inexpensive shopping spree, exploring history in the area, or eating your favorite meals, this is the itinerary for you!  

Make living in Philly your opportunity to make unforgettable memories without the hassle of spending a ton of money!

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