I am not going to lie, this whole quarantine season has been super good to me. No matter how many times I complain that I am bored, this whole time has been super great actually. I mean, not for my mental health because that still is on the mend. But work-wise, like I have been super productive in editing photographs that I have in my hard drive. Plus, I have started writing about the trips that I have taken in the past that I have never really written about…like this one!
In the winter of 2017, just a few weeks before Christmas, I went on a quick weekend trip to Philadelphia. I thought to myself that I have been stuck in New York for months without going out of the state, so I figured that taking the 2-hour trip to Pennsylvania would not be so bad. So I did it.
I took the 7a bus that departs from this very sketchy (not gonna lie) neighbourhood in Manhattan’s Chinatown. I paid about $16 USD for a one way ticket to Philadelphia. I think they have bus schedules and trips every hour so if you miss your bus, I think you can easily just hop onto the next one for the day.
Oh, and please do note that I took this trip about three years ago so prices might have changed since then.
Oh, and the buses the depart from Chinatown are really old buses and sometimes they smell funny so I would suggest that you just head over to Port Authority and ride a Peter Pan or Greyhound Bus. I think I got on the Chinatown buses because I wanted sort of an adventure, really. We all know I am not one to back out of an adventure, and I am quite glad that I have experienced this. Although do note that on my next out of state trips, I did head on to Port Authority and took proper buses, hahaha.
You can click HERE to be redirected to their website for the prices.
When I arrived in Philadelphia, I walked for about 20 minutes because the bus stop is basically just a secluded parking lot in the middle of the city. It was not a very good idea at that time because it was so windy and chilly and I had to carry my 45L backpack so, yikes!
As I was walking, I instantly just fell in love with this beautiful and historic city. I felt like it was more my style. It was old, yes, but also very cultural and modern, and it complements each other in a very unique way.
Even the trees in the parks of Philadelphia are very photogenic, heh! I was just casually walking around the streets and was just admiring the beauty of it all whilst looking for my hostel.
Then I finally arrived at my hostel, City House Hostel Philadelphia. This is such a vibrant, cosy and affordable hostel located conveniently in the center of Philadelphia. They actually have a bunch of locations around the city so do make sure to check out which ones are more convenient for you if you are planning on staying here.
The staff had been amazing. They make sure that you are comfortable and that you are having fun! They also provide one free beer every night for every guest, and there was also a theme for every night! It was so nice! Although one problem was the heating in the shower. Well, I had to sleep on the third floor on my second night and the shower in the third floor was freezing. So, I had to use the shower in the second floor. I mean, obviously, it was not much of a problem…more like #firstworldproblems. Aside from that, all was well.
I would, most definitely, come back to Philadelphia and stay in this hostel again. I had such a great time, and I do recommend this to everyone who is thinking of visiting this gorgeous city.
If you want to book here or anywhere around the world via booking.com, click HERE to get a 10% discount on your entire booking!
First order of business, trying out some authentic Philly Cheesesteak! I mean, you cannot go to Philadelphia and not try an authentic Philly Cheesesteak. It is just morally wrong, so I went on to Campo’s to get the classic dish and it was a great first experience for me.
I have not really had Philly Cheesesteak before so I did not have anything to compare it with, but it tasted really good actually. The bread was fresh, the meat was well-cooked, and it was really tasty. Although I think it would be nice if they put a bit more onion and cheese on it because it seemed a bit dry. But, I guess, just like everything else in America, you have to pay extra for it, lol.
Just look at this beautiful piece of glorious sandwich. Is it not a beauty?
If I am not mistaken, I think Campo’s is one of the oldest establishments in Philadelphia that sells the original Philly Cheesesteak. I was actually so happy and grateful to have been able to try this one out.
This was at the Franklin Court. Apparently, this was where the house of late President Benjamin Franklin once stood.
This was the building that holds the National Museum of the American Jewish History in the center of Philadelphia. I did not really get to go inside because it was getting a bit late, but I saw that there were some stuff in there that once belonged to Steven Spielberg and Albert Einstein.
This was the Independence Hall in Philadelphia. This was where they first signed the Declaration of Independence. You might recognise it from Nicholas Cage’s film, ‘National Treasure’. It was pretty apt timing since I had just seen the film a few weeks prior to visiting this place. Pretty serendipitous, if you ask me.
How beautiful is this building though? Oh, but do not be fooled because the original Liberty Bell is located in another building. It was not there, and that was a common mistake that most visitors tend to believe.
After my trip to the Independence Hall, I walked to another historical museum in Philadelphia; the Betsy Ross House. Apparently, Betsy Ross was the woman who made the first ever American Flag. I went inside the Museum Shop and got myself some postcards because if you do not already know, I collect postcards (and stamps) from my travels all over the world.
P.S. I would love to receive some postcards from wherever you are from! In return, if you would like a postcard from me, please comment below and I will contact you personally!
So from here, you can basically see the Philadelphia City Hall. I was quite sad that I did not get the chance to visit it because I was only in Philadelphia for two days and I did not have the time. But when I come back, I would most definitely make time to go there.
I spent my days in Philly mainly inside the Philadelphia Museum of Art. As a Liberal Arts student, museums were my haven and I was just in so much awe of the many beautiful art inside it.
Here are some of my favourite photographs from inside the Philadelphia Museum of Art.
Of course, I also had to take some photographs of the exterior of the Philadelphia Museum of Art. It is actually pretty popular because of the ‘Rocky’ films. In the film, you will see Rocky exercising up and down the stairs, and a lot of tourists actually try to recreate this scene. It was pretty hilarious!
Here are a bunch of random photographs of my wonderful new friends and the equally wonderful streets of Philadelphia:
All in all, I really enjoyed my stay in Philadelphia. I loved the food, the history, the architecture, and the lovely vibe of this wonderful city. I cannot wait for the day that I will get to return and experience all these wonders for myself all over again. But for now, quarantine in my house it is. Heh.
Massive thanks to the manager and the staff of City House Hostel Philadelphia for a very wonderful and welcoming stay in Philadelphia. I will definitely come back, that is for sure!
To everyone who has been wanting to go and visit this city, what are you waiting for? Just go do it! I mean, not now because there is the threat of COVID-19, but when this all ends. This I can assure you, it will not be a waste of time, energy and money. As a matter of fact, Philadelphia is probably one of the best cities in the United States! Fight me. Hahaha.
‘Til the next, Philly!
***This is a sponsored post by City House Hostel Philadelphia.
“For he guards the course of the just and protects the way of his faithful ones.”
Proverbs 2:8 NIV