11 Top-Rated Museums and Galleries In Philadelphia That One Must Explore (2023)
Philadelphia is a Pennsylvanian city that holds much more of America than you might have thought off. Known as the City of Brotherly Love, Philadelphia has gone through a lot that transformed it into a vibrant and wealthy region. The city boundaries here pack history and culture, thanks to the array of past events, present transformation, and diverse populations. Presently, Philadelphia is home to nearly 100 excellent museums ranging from historic mansions to art-centric, architectural wonders, and science stop.
Despite the diverse interests there’s something for every museum enthusiast in the city of Philadelphia.
Many of the museums in Philadelphia are located near the downtown; it is pretty easy for travelers to explore a handful within a day. You can begin with admiring the art, then head to learn some science, and then eventually end your day relaxing in the vibes of open-air Botanical museums. Even though Washington D.C. and New York are known for housing the best museums in Nation, Philadelphia isn’t left far behind in the race.
11 Top-Rated Museums And Galleries To Explore When In Philadelphia
To learn more about that, have a quick look at our top picks below:
1. ACES Museum
ACES is a Veteran Museum known to preserve and honor the history of Black and Minority Veterans of WWII. Its unique name is derived from Blacks “Spades” of the 1940s. The Museum is standing for two decades, and since then, it has been providing an undisputed moral to war veterans and their families. When race, color, and the cast play discrimination for equality of all citizens, ACES museum is doing its best to honor those who are usually cornered. You can attend their weekly and monthly events any day of the year at Historic Germantown.
Address: 5801 Germantown Ave, Philadelphia
2. University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology
Also known as the Penn Museum, the University of Pennsylvania M.A and A is a must-visit when in Philadelphia. It is known for its Archaeological and Anthropological collection, which is notedly one of the best in the United States. The Museum features 30 galleries exhibiting collections from all around the world. It includes musical instruments from Native America and Africa like mummies and Greek coins from Egypt, sculptures from China, the Royal Tombs of Ur from Iraq, and endless astonishing things. All of the Iranian and Egyptian collection is notedly the best in the world and one of the musts to explore while you are in the Penn Museum. If you got some extra time, do visit their extensive library nearby.
Address: 3260 South St, Philadelphia
3. The African American Museum in Philadelphia
The African American Museum is one of the top-rated museums in Philadelphia and a must-visit while you are here in the city. It has been standing on the historic Philadelphia on Arch Street since 1976 in order to preserve, interpret and exhibit the African American heritage. Currently, the Museum is home to an auditorium and four galleries featuring over 750,000 objects, images, and documents. The collection is so worthy that several other museums loan it for rotational exhibitions. Apart from the permanent collection, the temporary exhibitions here cover the Civil Rights Movement, art, family life, education, politics, and several other issues related to African-American culture.
Address: 701 Arch St, Philadelphia
4. Philadelphia Museum of Art
For all the art lovers in Pennsylvania, the Philadelphia Museum of Art offers an extraordinary experience. The Museum has been welcoming guests for decades, and till now, it has hosted nearly a million art lovers and guests. It houses one of the most remarkable art collections in the United States, comprising artwork from almost all of the continents and the most significant number of countries from all around the world. Here you can explore 100s of galleries and come across several thousands of unique artworks. Not only the contemporary artwork, but here you will find things dating back to 2000 years ago. With an admission ticket to the Philadelphia Museum of Art, the best part is that you can also explore the Rodin Museum.
Address: 2600 Benjamin Franklin Pkwy
5. Benjamin Franklin Museum
Located in Franklin Court, the Benjamin Franklin Museum revolves around the founding father of the United States. The Museum exhibits Franklin’s life and legacy via his character trials. There are five rooms inside the museum building. Each of them articulated as ardent and dutiful, ambitious and rebellious, curious and full of wonder, motivated to improve, and strategic and persuasive. Apart from that, there’s the sixth room, also known as a library where you would not find any book but will earn a unique experience for a lifetime. All you will find here will be the shadow and woodworking, which will make you feel as if you are in the real-time Franklin’s library. To enhance your experience, consider the option for a guided tour and ask the guide to share his fascinating stories.
Address: 317 Chestnut St, Philadelphia
6. National Museum of American Jewish History
The National Museum of American Jewish history is the only museum dedicated to the history of American Jewish in the Nation. It focuses upon the 360-year history of Jews in America through state-of-the-art interactive technologies, telling moments, and evocative objects. Here you can learn how the Jewish migrants became American Jewish and wrote stories of their own. The Museum, when founded in 1976, had only 40 objects in the display, which today increased to over 20,000 artifacts. Apart from noticing the artifacts, visitors can see the short films (30 original films) and visit the Hall of Fame on the ground floor.
Address: 101 S Independence Mall E
7. President’s House Sight
The President’s house sight was once a presidential suite and has served global names, including George Washington and John Adams. It now serves as a historical museum and is known for its commemorative exhibition. Visitors who are interested in U.S. history can explore the site for free and learn about the lives of George Washington and John Adams during their Presidentship. This Museum is more of an open-air pavilion showcasing the original buildings, artifacts, and remaining foundations. It is a part of Philadelphia’s National Park service that educated about the structure’s history via architecture, signage, and video exhibit.
Address: 6th St &, Market St, Philadelphia
8. National Constitution Centre
Located in America’s most historic square mile, the National Constitution Centre is a must-visit interactive Museum. It is hands-down the most historical Museum in America and one of the must-visit when in Philadelphia. While you will walk inside the Museum, you will come across 42 life-size bronze statues. They are dedicated to all the delegates who were part of the Constitutional Convention in 1787. While exploring the site, you can also learn how slavery ended, how black men and women got their rights, and even view the original Bill of Rights. All the exhibits and artifacts here pleasantly speak volumes about U.S. history.
Address: Independence Mall, Philadelphia
9. Science History Museum
A Must visit museum complex in Philadelphia; the Science History Museum is home to an archive research center, a conference center, a museum, and a library. It operates with the motive of preserving and promoting the understanding of the history of science. It focuses upon the history of science, chemistry, technology, research, and development. Here you can explore science archives, photographs, fine arts, and several notable artifacts. The highlight here includes several known accomplishments to unpublished materials that speak about the past 200 years of scientific history. Despite its small size, it will never disappoint you and will unfold a new mystery through every exhibition.
Address: 315 Chestnut St, Philadelphia
10. Mutter Museum
Mutter Museum is one of the most unusual museums you will ever visit in your life. It is one of the two museums in the entire world housing Albert Einstein’s brain pieces. While walking through the main gallery here, you will encounter several of his brain preserves in glass slides. Walking further, you will come across cast and livers of conjoined twins Chang and Eng Bunker. The Museum is also popularly known for its collection of 139 human skulls imported here from the collection of anatomist Joseph Hyrtl. Some of the highlights here include a jar of skin, a giant, desiccated colon, and a Civil War-era set of amputation instruments. Between the two floors here, there are over 25000 items displayed, from medical devices to bones, wet specimens, anatomical, and wax models.
Address: 19 S 22nd St, Philadelphia
11. The Rosenbach
If you are a bookworm, you should visit the Rosenbach in Philadelphia at least once in your life. It is home to a collection of British and American literature, some of the rarest books in the world. Before becoming a literature museum, it was once home to the Rosenbach brothers’ rare book dealers. They were known for curating several notable American libraries, both private and public. Today the Museum is home to nearly 400,000 items from a piece of art, manuscripts, furnishing, decorative, and the finest American books of all time. Here, the highlight includes the only surviving copy of Poor Richard’s Almanac (Benjamin Franklin’s) and handwritten notes for Dracula by Bram Stroker.
Address: 2008-2010 Delancey Pl, Philadelphia