The Top of Philadelphia



I’ve said this before, but Philadelphia’s City Hall is my favorite building in the city. And it’s probably my favorite building in the United States (other than buildings in my hometown Washington, D.C.!), so I was really excited when I found out you could actually go to the top of City Hall! I actually only heard about it from a friend, so it doesn’t seem like it’s a big tourist stop, which means fewer crowds and shorter wait times.

But it’s really worth it because there’s an observation deck right below the William Penn statue, and you can take an elevator right up to the top for only $6.00! You get a really awesome bird’s eye view of Philadelphia from right in the middle of the city. The only downside is that it’s only open during weekdays, so I had to wait until my family came to visit to have a good excuse to take off work in the middle of the week. It’s definitely worth the visit if you have the time though!

Full disclosure for photographers, the observation deck is encased in glass so on sunny days, you might get a glare on your photos. So be prepared to do a little editing!


Isn’t the building beautiful?



The observation deck is right below the William Penn statue


The two Liberty Place buildings and the BNY Mellon Center


Broad Street


Billy Penn! (The statue is WAY bigger than you would think!)


I think that’s the Delaware River with the Benjamin Franklin Bridge (I’m still learning the names of everything)


The art museum and the Schuylkill River



One Liberty Place


This is the inside of the observation deck (with my usual model, Matt), and it’s just a small, round room encased in glass


Sorry about this being blurry (we were going pretty fast and it was a small elevator), but this was taken on the way down in the elevator, so you can see everything holding City Hall up!

Has anyone else gone to the observation deck in City Hall? If you have other spots to see Philadelphia from the top, I would love to hear your recommendations! 

Shameless plug: I have a new article on Acculturated about education! 

Blog, North America, Philadelphia, Photography

  1. Emelyn says:

    Love this! How did you get tickets?

  2. Emily says:

    Looking down those roads is so fascinating! These photos are beautiful and so captivating. xo

  3. Ray says:

    Wow! What gorgeous views of Philadelphia from the top of City Hall! And talk about an “off the beaten” path attraction. Only open on weekdays? I can’t imagine many tourists even know about this. Thanks for posting this so I can keep it in mind for a future trip to Philly! The best view I have in my hometown of Toronto is the CN Tower, but talk about touristy. 😉

  4. Joyce says:

    Two Liberty Place and the City Hall are two of my favorite buildings in Philly, you captured them well! I didn’t know that you could venture to the top, that’s now on my list of to-do’s!

    Characters & Carry-ons

  5. The views are amazing! This is the prettiest I’ve seen Philadelphia look. City Hall looks far more appealing in your photographs than when I saw it in Philly. Love the shot of the art museum!

    Alyse (J.X.L.) | Lumière & Lens

    • Julia says:

      Thank you! 🙂 I think the main reason I love City Hall so much is because it’s one of the few old fashioned buildings in the middle of all the new, flashy ones haha.

  6. Stephanie says:

    Oh my goodness – beautiful photos. What a gorgeous building. That’s so awesome that you can go up to the top. I love these!

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