Anytime of the year in Philadelphia, you can wander the streets of the Old City, walk the Schuylkill River Trail, and reserve a table at one of the city’s many restaurants. Four definite seasons, however, mean you can experience special events in the City of Brotherly Love all year round. Whether you’re looking to take in Fairmount Park’s cherry blossoms in full bloom, drink sparkling wine at the German Christmas market in Center City, or simply add more of the city’s history and culture to the budget, there’s never a wrong time to visit. Philly.
I’m a freelance journalist from Philadelphia with over a decade of experience covering travel, food, and culture in media outlets including Philadelphia magazines and Food & Wine. Here’s what you need to know about the best times to visit Philadelphia, depending on the location.
- Peak Time: Summer is Philly’s peak tourist season, when school is out and the streets of Old City are filled with tourists looking for historic attractions like the Liberty Bell, Elfreth’s Alley, and Betsy Ross’ house. September and October are also the busiest months, as temperatures soar in warmer climates and wedding season is in full swing.
- Low Season: January and February see the coldest temperatures of the year – daytime highs are often in the 30s – making these months the least popular to visit.
- Shoulder Season: Spring and fall, from March to May and October to December, is when the city has warm weather but sees fewer people than winter.
Related: T + L’s Guide to Philadelphia
The Best Time to Visit Philadelphia in Good Weather
Like many cities in the Northeast, Philadelphia’s best seasons are fall and spring. September can be hot and humid, but by early October to November, temperatures range from moderate to cool and cool. While March and April can experience inconsistent weather, sometimes cold or rainy, May and June are usually sunny and warm, but not hot and rainy.
Best Time to Visit Philadelphia to Avoid the Crowds
For smaller crowds, plan your trip in mid-September, right after back-to-school, or early November, before the holidays. January and February are the coldest times of the year, but also less busy, making these months the best time to find a restaurant and explore the area at your leisure.
Best Time to Travel to Save Money
For cheaper hotel rooms, consider arriving on Sunday or Monday night instead of Thursday or Friday. Fall is also the height of wedding season, when hotels in Center City, in particular, have rooms for married guests, running rooms. Again, January and February are usually the cheapest months, which makes rooms cheaper.
Visit Philly runs an Overnight Package, which offers free parking and tickets to the Franklin Institute’s Disney100 exhibit, or for history buffs, to the National Constitution Center and the Museum of the American Revolution.
Related: The Best Time to Book a Hotel to Save Money
The Best Times to Travel for Fun
Philadelphia has many exciting events throughout the year, from annual festivals and sporting events to one-of-a-kind shows, art exhibits, and concerts.
Every March, before spring is in full swing, the Pennsylvania Horticultural Society hosts the annual Philadelphia Flower Show. (The nation’s largest and longest-running cherry blossom show dates back to 1829.) A little later in the spring, find cherry blossom festivals in Fairmount Park, both at Shofuso Japanese House and Garden and at the Horticultural Center. In May, the Italian Market Festival draws crowds for live music, cannolis and other delicious food at the historic market, and the Grease Pole competition, where contestants race to the top of phone poles made of grease in a fun, exclusive competition. in Philly. tradition.
Summer heats up with the Roots Picnic in early June, when The Roots, featuring Philly’s Questlove, brings a dazzling array of music from artists like Ms. Lauryn Hill and Usher, and June brings annual Pride celebrations such as parades and concerts. Through July 4, Wawa Welcome America features over two weeks of free concerts, museum admissions, and other family-friendly programs — including, Free Wawa Hoagie Day.
In the fall, the Eastern State Penitentiary – the notorious prison that once held Al Capone – hosts its Halloween nights, and in October, the Schuylkill Regatta brings many rowing clubs to the river for the weekend. colors.
Around the holidays, visitors will find the German Village market around Dilworth Park in Center City, along with an ice skating rink that runs all winter long. Winterfest overlooks the Delaware River, with plenty of ice skating and fire pits to roast s’mores.
Anytime of the year, check the calendar at museums such as the Barnes, the Philadelphia Museum of Art, or the Franklin Institute for current and upcoming exhibitions. It’s a collection of the world’s greatest masterpieces – from the classics of Cezanne and Jasper Johns to Harry Potter: Exhibition and Disney100 at the Franklin Institute – Philly’s cultural institutions provide a good reason to visit.
Worst Times to Visit Philadelphia
During the winter months, especially in January and February, the unpredictable weather can make it difficult to participate in some of the city’s outdoor activities such as relaxing in a hammock at Spruce Street Harbor Park on the Delaware River or attending a Phillies game at the Citizens. Bank Park. However, those who make the trip will be rewarded with cheaper hotel rooms and less crowds. In addition, the city comes alive with exciting new things to do and see, including the Winterfest water slide and Winter Wonder and the world-class Christmas lights at Longwood Gardens.