Skip to content

Pass(e)port - Philadelphia

06 aug

City of Culture, Then and Now

City Hall, Philadelphie - Crédit photo : Leo Serrat
City Hall, Philadelphie - Credit photo : Leo Serrat

Philadelphia has become a full-blown character in classic movies, such as Rocky and Philadelphia, just to name a few. However, it’s important to remember that history, art and culture are also part of the city’s DNA. What was once the most populated city in North America is teeming with cultural spaces, historical buildings, and art galleries. Philadelphia for history. Philadelphia for art.

From June to October, two 120-minutes flights depart daily from Québec City to Philadelphia

Ben Franklin Bridge - Crédit photo : Devon Wellesley
Ben Franklin Bridge - Credit photo : Devon Wellesley

Many consider Philadelphia's Historic District to be the birthplace of the United States. In fact, it’s here, in Independence Hall, a building listed as a UNESCO World Heritage site, that the United States Declaration of Independence and Constitution were signed. Right across the street sits another significant symbol of American history: the Liberty Bell. According to legend, the bell rang out the country’s independence on the 4th of July, 1776.

It’s also in this neighbourhood that you can check out the tent that served as George Washington’s headquarters during the American revolution, on display at the Museum of the American Revolution. History buffs want to learn more about the origins of the American flag should pay a visit to the Betsy Ross House, the seamstress and upholsterer that certain historians credit for making the very first star-spangled banner.


This city in Pennsylvania holds a lot of history, and just as many museums, including two that may be of interest to families. If you're travelling to Philly with young children, plan a stop at the Please Touch Museum, a clever nod to the warnings usually found in museums, prohibiting visitors from touching anything. Here, kids come first, and since 1976, they can touch, make, climb, jump and dance while exploring the four main exhibition areas.

Sesame Place
Sesame Place ®

On the fringes of the city, in the Langhorne area, families get together at Sesame Place®, a theme park devoted to Sesame Street and the first park in the world to have received Certified Autism Center accreditation. Discover the colourful world of Cookie Monster, Big Bird and Elmo, and feel like a kid again as you enjoy the rides with your young ones.


Philadelphia has everything going for it—it can charm families, history buffs, foodies and art enthusiasts alike. The proof is in the pudding and since 1991, every first Friday of the month, the Old City neighbourhood’s galleries open their doors and celebrate art of all kinds. It’s a meeting of the creative minds on these First Friday evenings, and visitors are more than welcome.


Plan a guided tour of the Philly Murals. Stop for a drink and enjoy the temporary installations and food trucks in Eakins Oval. Let yourself be whisked away to a parallel universe at the Magic Gardens, where the immersive experience plunges you into a giant mosaic. Set off in search of the original "LOVE" sculpture, by Robert Indiana, that has since been duplicated a thousand times. Open your eyes, it’s a city of creation, ideation, design and exhibition. There’s no doubt that in every way, Philadelphia will cater to your love of art and history.

Plan your next trip:

Philly cheese steak :
Our favourites

Halfway between work of art and infamous part of Philadelphia’s culinary heritage lies the Philly cheese steak sandwich. The sliced beef and cheese combo has gone down in history. Here are three spots where you can get your fill of this mouthwatering classic.

Pat’s King of Steaks — This is where Pat Olivieri invented the sandwich in 1930.
1237 E. Passyunk Ave.

Sonny’s Cheese Steak — In the heart of the Old City and open until 3 a.m. on weekends.
228 Market St.

Ishkabibble’s — Recommended by none other than rapper Jay-Z!


Written by Charles-Edouard Carrier and published in Magazine Y No 4

To consult Magazine Y No 4 : Click here