Philadelphia City Hall, in the middle of Center City at the intersection of Broad and Market streets, is visible from all over town. For nearly 100 years, it remained the tallest structure in the city. Though it no longer bears the accolade, City Hall remains one of the city’s most recognizable historic buildings.
Officially the largest municipal building in the US, City Hall is a highlight on a number of Philadelphia walking, minivan, and bus tours. City Hall is also a stop on a hop-on hop-off sightseeing double-decker bus.
Casual passersby can admire the building, especially its Second Empire edifice bearing impressive sculptures by Alexander Milne Calder, creator of the William Penn statue on its spire. Dilworth Park, located at the building’s base and added during a 2014 renovation, is a pleasant place to pause and catch your breath. Tours of the building’s interior are also available; tickets are based on 15-minute timed intervals and can be purchased online or at the venue. It’s also possible to book a guided tower tour and ascend to the observation deck located just below the William Penn statue.
Things to Know Before You Go
- City Hall’s viewing platform, the highest open-air observation deck in Philadelphia, offers panoramic views of the city at 548 feet (167 meters).
- Follow in the footsteps of your favorite actors: Philadelphia City Hall served as a filming location in classic movies ranging from Rocky to Philadelphia.
- While you can book tickets on the day, it’s wise to purchase them online and secure your admission slot in advance.
- One of the best perspectives of City Hall comes from the Philadelphia Museum of Art steps—it's visible directly down the Benjamin Franklin Parkway.
How to Get There
Philadelphia City Hall stands at what was once Center Square, a landmark still very accessible on foot. There are also a number of public transportation options for visiting City Hall, including SEPTA Regional Rail (use either Suburban and Jefferson stations), SEPTA Market-Frankford and Broad Street lines, SEPTA trolleys, SEPTA buses, and NJ Transit buses.
When to Get There
Philadelphia City Hall is open Monday–Friday and on select Saturdays year-round; it’s closed during public holidays. December is an exciting time to visit: That’s when Dilworth Park hosts the lively Rothman Ice Rink and companion Christmas market.
What's Inside Philadelphia City Hall?
While the tower tour is often considered the highlight of a City Hall visit, don't discount the interior splendors of this architectural treasure. The enormous building contains more than 600 rooms, including the opulent City Council Chamber, the wood-paneled Supreme Court Room, and the chandelier-lit Conversation Hall.