Stretching from Market Street to South Street, and located between the Schuylkill River and Broad Street, ritzy Rittenhouse has long been considered one of Philadelphia’s most desirable, and high-end, neighborhoods. At its heart is the eponymous square, whose origins date to the 17th century, when William Penn planned the city’s layout. Today, Rittenhouse Square (named for local astronomer and clockmaker David Rittenhouse)—with its many benches, tree-lined walkways, sculptures, and water features—is a popular place to take a breather from sightseeing.
Rittenhouse Square is a popular destination on numerous Philadelphia tours, including hop-on hop-off bus rides, Segway tours, bike tours, and walking tours. The park is also a popular place to take a break from the city’s busy pace.
Things to Know Before You Go
- Many popular national brands and designer outlets are located along the Rittenhouse Square neighborhood’s Chestnut and Walnut Street shopping areas.
- Keep your eyes peeled: many architecturally notable buildings line the park, and it is ornamented with a reflecting pool, bronze lions, commemorative urns, and more.
- Rittenhouse Square is home to many top hotel brands, and is a popular place to stay among out-of-town visitors.
How to Get There
Rittenhouse Square, and its surrounding neighborhood, are conveniently located in Center City. To get there via public transportation, take regional rail services to Suburban Station or 30th Street Station, take the Broad Street line to City Hall, or use local buses. The area can also be reached by taxis and bikes, and is best explored on foot.
When to Get There
Rittenhouse Square is always accessible to visitors, though it’s best to explore the park and the surrounding area during typical daytime opening hours, when you can also visit the local shops, restaurants, and nearby cultural highlights. Be sure to drop by Rittenhouse for its popular events, including its Fine Art Show (held biannually in June and September), Rittenhouse Row Spring Festival (held in May), and the Holiday Park Lighting (in late November or early December).
Neighborhood Highlights In addition to its square, the Rittenhouse Square neighborhood features numerous must-see stops. Drop by cultural highlights like the Mütter Museum (a medical history museum) and the Kimmel Center (a performing arts space); visit top-notch restaurants like Vernick (considered one of the city’s best), Parc (a classic French bistro), and Friday Saturday Sunday (best for formal occasions); drop by classic Philadelphia stops like DiBruno Bros. (a gourmet grocery) and La Colombe (the local-born coffee roaster), and more.
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- One Liberty Observation Deck
- Penn's Landing
- Philadelphia Academy of Music
- Philadelphia Avenue of the Arts
- Love Park
- Mütter Museum
- Philadelphia Logan Circle
- Cathedral Basilica of Saints Peter and Paul
- Schuylkill River Trail
- Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts (PAFA)
- Benjamin Franklin National Memorial
- South Street
- The Franklin Institute Science Museum
- Hard Rock Cafe Philadelphia
- Reading Terminal Market