Itinerary: Cultural Masterpieces

Philadelphia is home to numerous outstanding museums with some of the most famous works of art in the world, including the Rodin Museum, above.


Discover Philadelphia’s Museum Mile

Philadelphia’s collection of art museums is located along the Benjamin Franklin Parkway, dubbed “Museum Mile” and modeled after the Champs-Élysées. In 2018, the Parkway is celebrating 100 years with activities each month to showcase this district. Museum Mile institutions include:


The Philadelphia Museum of Art

The striking, neoclassical structure that sits at the top of the Parkway holds more than 2,000 years of paintings, sculpture, decorative arts and architectural settings from Europe, Asia and the Americas. Highlights include the world’s largest and most important collection of works outside Europe by Marcel Duchamp and an impressive collection of sculpture by Constantin Brancusi.


The Rodin Museum

Dedicated to the art of French sculptor Auguste Rodin, the museum houses one of the largest collection of Rodin sculptures outside of Paris. “The Thinker” sits in front of the museum contemplating two of the many masterpieces within the intimate museum’s gates, “The Burghers of Calais” and “The Gates of Hell.”


The Barnes Foundation

The world’s largest private collection of Impressionist and post-Impressionist masterpieces. This extraordinary collection features works by Renoir, Cézanne and Matisse, providing a depth of work by these artists unavailable elsewhere. Works by Picasso, Seurat, Rousseau, Modigliani, Soutine, Monet, Manet and Degas complement Native American pottery, Pennsylvania German decorative furniture and various ceramics and metalwork, as well as sculpture and art from Mexico, China, Africa, early Greece and Rome. The Barnes Foundation invites visitors to explore connections between masterpieces by way of “wall installations” inspired by its founder, Dr. Albert C. Barnes.


Academy of Natural Sciences of Drexel University

Explore the oldest natural history museum in the Americas when you dig for dinosaur fossils, stroll among live butterflies, touch live animals and take behind-the-scenes tours. The Academy’s working scientists spend their days focusing on critical global issues in biodiversity, evolution, and environmental science and their research efforts provide accurate, real-time scientific information to the public on environmental and sustainability matters.


Franklin Institute

One of the oldest and premier centers of science education and development in the United States, the Franklin Institute was founded in 1824 and was designed to inspire a passion for science in the spirit and honor of American scientist, Benjamin Franklin. Featuring 12 permanent exhibits (including Your Brain), a giant heart, the Fels Planetarium, an IMAX Theater, and much more, the popular museum provides hands-on learning experiences that introduce and reinforce key science concepts in creative and engaging ways.


Moore College of Art and Design

Founded in 1848 as the first and only women’s visual arts college in the nation, the school was established to prepare women to work in the new industries created during the Industrial Revolution. The Galleries at Moore introduce the work of significant regional, national and international artists to the community through distinctive exhibitions and educational programs and is open to the public, free of charge.


Free Library of Philadelphia

In 1891, William Pepper Jr., a physician and longtime Provost of the University of Pennsylvania, chartered “a general library which shall be free to all.” Following several locations throughout Philadelphia, the grand Beaux-Arts building on Logan Square, designed by Julian Abele, opened in 1927. Special collections include a rare book department (with one of the world’s most renowned Charles Dickens collections), the largest lending library of orchestral performance sets in the world, and an extensive research collection of children’s literature published after 1836.


Cathedral Basilica of Saints Peter and Paul

Located at 18th Street and the Benjamin Franklin Parkway, the largest Catholic church in Pennsylvania and head church of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Philadelphia was built from 1846-1864. Listed on the U.S. National Register of Historic Places, the cathedral is modeled after the Lombard Church of St. Charles (San Carlo al Corso) in Rome and was designed by Napoleon LeBrun, who also designed Philadelphia’s Academy of Music. The cathedral has been the site of two papal Masses, one celebrated by Pope John Paul II in 1979, and the other by Pope Francis in 2015.




  • The Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts

    The first and oldest art museum and art school in the U.S., PAFA was founded in 1805 by Charles Wilson Peale and houses a renowned collection of American paintings from the 1760s to the present. The Victorian Gothic building was designed by architect Frank Furness and is a National Historic Landmark.
  • Institute for Contemporary Art (ICA)

    University of Pennsylvania’s art museum has developed an international reputation as a preeminent venue for contemporary art and culture and has been at the forefront of cutting-edge exhibitions since it organized Andy Warhol’s first solo museum show in 1965. The free museum presents the innovative work of established and emerging artists through exhibitions, educational programs and publications.
  • Fabric Workshop and Museum

    Founded in 1977, the museum encourages groundbreaking work in new and traditional materials including sculpture, installations, video, painting, ceramics and architecture and holds more than 5,600 objects from contemporary artists in its permanent collection.
  • Esther Klein Gallery

    Since 1976, EKG, located at the University City Science Center, has been a strong and vital force in the community with programming that explores the relationships between art, science and technology.  The gallery hosts exhibitions, artist talks, panel discussion, performances and special events and is free and open to the public. 
  • Rosenwald-Wolf Gallery

    The award-winning gallery of the University of the Arts – the nation’s first comprehensive arts university – has attracted national and international artists for exhibition. 



The Philadelphia Convention & Visitors Bureau (PHLCVB) is the official tourism promotion agency for the City of Philadelphia globally and the primary sales and marketing agency for the Pennsylvania Convention Center.


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