Getting Around Philadelphia

Unlike in many major cities in the United States, it is relatively easy to get around by car in Philadelphia. Rental cars are available from many locations in the city, and there is the option to rent a car for a few hours through car sharing programs. The major issue in Philadelphia is parking, so visitors should only consider renting a car if there is parking at their hotel or place of accommodation.

Taxis are ubiquitous throughout Philadelphia and are a great transit option. While taxi fares used to be quite expensive in the city, recent changes have brought prices down significantly. Only taxis displaying a seal from the Philadelphia Parking Authority should be used, however. There is a flat fare from the airport to any destination in the downtown area, so be sure to remind the taxi driver of this rather than having a metered ride, which can be significantly more expensive depending on the route.

The subway is the most popular way of getting around in Philadelphia. Numerous lines cross the city, including a few surface lines that are above ground rather than below. Subway fares can be purchased for each individual journey, or passengers can buy unlimited day, week or month passes for better savings.

The train is a popular way to get in and out of Philadelphia, but it has less use when trying to get around various destinations within the city. However, it can be invaluable for commuters who live in neighboring towns in Pennsylvania or New Jersey. For train transport within Philadelphia, stick to using the SEPTA line in and around Temple University.

There are eight major trolley lines throughout Philadelphia, making it a viable transit option for residents and visitors alike. Although the trolley is less popular than the subway, it serves as the only public transport link to some major destinations, such as the Philadelphia Zoo.

On Foot
Thanks to an easy to understand layout in the city and countless maps and signs on nearby every street intersection, walking around Philadelphia is safe and pleasant. Most of the major museums, galleries, historic landmarks, attractions, shopping complexes and fine dining restaurants are easily accessible by pedestrians, meaning that many visitors can walk from their accommodations right to the day's activities. Look for the Walk! Philadelphia signs throughout the city to lead visitors to the next destination on their itinerary.