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Old City

Old City and Society Hill: A Walk Through Philadelphia's Storied Past

For a great walking tour that shows off the most photogenic side of Philly, take to the curved cobblestone streets of the Society Hill neighborhood. It's located south of Independence National Historic Park, stretching from the Delaware River to 8th Street.

Lovingly maintained Colonial- and Federal-style brick row houses crowd the narrow streets, giving a sense of how society's finest lived during the 18th century. Amid the residences loom architecturally significant public spaces, like the Athenaeum, a research library housed in an Italianate brownstone; and Old St. Mary's Church, the city's second-oldest Catholic-church with stunning stained-glass windows and a ceiling mural.

Bordering on Society Hill is Old City, located between Front and 5th streets and Chestnut and Vine streets. Historically, it's less posh than Society Hill, yet not without important sights. The one-time industrial district is home to the Betsy Ross House, where the woman who crafted the American flag once lived; and the Edgar Allan Poe National Historic Site, where the writer resided when his short story "The Telltale Heart" was published.

Both neighborhoods are important portals to Philly's rich past. We hope you enjoy your up-close look.