Philadelphia, or “Philly” for short, is the City of Brotherly Love in Pennsylvania. It’s a must-see city with tons to do year-round. But you’ll have the most memorable trip when you know the best time to visit Philadelphia!
Whether you’re a culture vulture, love the great outdoors, or have kids in tow, Philadelphia has something to make everyone’s trip amazing.
We’ll share the best, cheapest, least crowded, and worst times to visit Philly in this guide. Plus, we’ll highlight important travel tips and top recommendations for what to see and do to have the best time in Philly!
The Best Time to Visit Philadelphia
The overall best time to visit Philadelphia for most travelers is springtime from March to May. The weather during the spring months is very pleasant in Philadelphia, with temperatures ranging from the mid-50s to the mid-70s.
It’s mild, flowers are beginning to bloom, and the city is waking up after a low-key winter season. You’ll notice fewer crowds than in the warmer months and still have plenty of sunny days. It’s the perfect time to explore the city by foot.
If you come in spring, you’ll be in town to see the cherry blossoms bloom. Cherry blossoms are an attractive appeal for tourists and locals alike, making them one of the most Instagrammable experiences in Philadelphia.
If you visit during April or May, you can also catch one of Philadelphia’s beloved outdoor festivals and activities, like the Philadelphia Flower Show or Pride Celebration.
Hotel room rates are good in the spring with slight price dips if you visit before June. This is definitely the best time of year to come!
Cheapest Time to Visit Philadelphia
The cheapest time to visit Philadelphia is early fall (September to October) or winter (January to February).
In September and October, Philly’s summer crowds have died down quite a bit and the weather has also started to cool down. That makes it a great time to explore the city without breaking the bank.
Prices for hotels, flights, and some attractions will be much lower during these months. You’ll also get to experience the scenic beauty of fall foliage in the city – a great bonus for thrifty travelers!
January and February are also great months to visit Philadelphia if you’re looking for a budget-friendly trip.
January and February are the coldest times of year in the city, but there are still plenty of indoor things to do and explore. Consider checking out some of the nearby museums, educational sites, galleries, and indoor performances during the cheaper, cooler periods.
Least Busy Time to Visit Philadelphia
January to March is the least busy time to visit Philadelphia since fewer visitors arrive while it’s cold outside.
Since January and February are the coldest months for Philly, many people avoid visiting during this time. The temperatures range from the low 20s to the mid-40s, making it more difficult to explore the outdoors comfortably.
However, if you don’t mind the chillier temperatures and potentially blustery conditions, this time of year can be perfect for you. You won’t have to worry about large crowds and can explore the city at your own pace.
Since it’s less busy during the winter and early spring, you’ll get moderately low prices on flights and hotels. In March, the temperatures start to rise with an average high of 53 degrees Fahrenheit.
If you’re serious about avoiding crowds, it might be worth bundling up to explore the city with fewer people around and take advantage of discounts!
Worst Time to Visit Philadelphia
The worst time to visit Philadelphia is generally the summer months from June to August. The city’s summer temperatures can be very hot, sometimes reaching close to 90 degrees Fahrenheit.
It’s not a dry heat, but a humid heat that makes the air feel muggy and sticky. If you’re not cut out for all this humidity, city exploration and outdoor adventures can be almost unbearable in 90 degree heat!
Summer is also the peak season for tourists in Philadelphia, making it one of the busiest times to visit. Prices for flights and hotels will be much higher, and the competition to book them will be stiff.
Plus, you’ll have to deal with big crowds of people and lines everywhere you go. If you don’t mind the heat and crowds, then this could be a good time to visit.
Many festivals and events take place during the summer, such as The Roots Picnic and Made in America. If you can hang in the heat, you’ll be able to take advantage of the variety of restaurants and gardens that are open during this time.
Philadelphia by Month: Climate & Activities
Still unsure about the best time to visit Philadelphia? Take a look at our summary of the weather and climate by month below:
Winter temperatures in Philadelphia range from -1 to 6°C (30-43°F). January is an ideal time to explore indoor attractions such as the Philadelphia Museum of Art, visit historic sites like Independence Hall, and enjoy winter events like the Mummers Parade.
Similar to January, February maintains cool temperatures between -1 to 7°C (30-45°F). Visitors can explore the Philadelphia Magic Gardens, attend the Philadelphia Auto Show, and experience the city’s culinary scene during Center City District Restaurant Week.
As spring approaches, temperatures range from 2 to 12°C (36-54°F). March is perfect for exploring the Reading Terminal Market, visiting the Philadelphia Flower Show, and experiencing the St. Patrick’s Day Parade.
Spring temperatures in Philadelphia range from 7 to 17°C (45-63°F). It’s an ideal time for touring the Eastern State Penitentiary, attending Phillies baseball games, and enjoying outdoor events like the Philadelphia Science Festival.
In May, Philadelphia sees temperatures ranging from 12 to 22°C (54-72°F). It’s a great month for strolling through Old City and visiting the Liberty Bell, exploring the Philadelphia Zoo, and participating in the Broad Street Run.
Summer arrives with temperatures between 17 to 27°C (63-81°F). June offers opportunities for outdoor activities like hiking in Fairmount Park, attending the Odunde Festival, and enjoying the lively atmosphere at Spruce Street Harbor Park.
July maintains warm temperatures from 20 to 30°C (68-86°F). It’s a popular month for celebrating Independence Day with events like the Wawa Welcome America festival, exploring the Philadelphia Museum of Art, and attending outdoor concerts.
In August, Philadelphia’s temperatures range from 20 to 30°C (68-86°F). It’s an excellent time for enjoying the Philadelphia Folk Festival, exploring the Philadelphia Navy Yard, and attending events like the BlackStar Film Festival.
As fall begins, temperatures range from 16 to 26°C (61-79°F). September offers a pleasant transition, with opportunities for exploring the Philadelphia Museum of Natural History and enjoying the city’s parks.
October sees temperatures ranging from 10 to 20°C (50-68°F). It’s a great month for visiting the Philadelphia Zoo, attending the Philadelphia Film Festival, and exploring haunted attractions like Terror Behind the Walls at Eastern State Penitentiary.
Fall temperatures range from 5 to 13°C (41-55°F). November is perfect for exploring the Philadelphia Art Museum, attending the Philadelphia Marathon, and experiencing holiday festivities like the Thanksgiving Day Parade.
In December winter returns to Philadelphia, with temperatures ranging from 0 to 7°C (32-45°F). This time brings opportunities for festive events like the Christmas Light Show at Macy’s, exploring the Philadelphia Christmas Village, and celebrating New Year’s Eve in the city.
Frequently Asked Questions
Philadelphia is best when you know what to look for and the best time to go. Here are some of the most frequently asked questions to help you find the answers you need before your visit!
How many days do I need to see Philadelphia?
How many days you should spend in Philadelphia depends on your type of travel and how much time you have. Generally, we recommend spending at least 2-3 days in Philadelphia to get a well-rounded feel of the city.
What is the best month to visit Pennsylvania?
April and May are the best months to visit Pennsylvania for optimal springtime weather. Although it's spring, these months aren't as rainy as the summer months, especially July.
Is Philadelphia worth visiting?
Absolutely! Philadelphia has an incredible history, delicious food, and fun activities to explore. Plus, it's close enough for day trips if you live in the Northeast.
Is October a good time to visit Philadelphia?
October is a great time to visit Philadelphia. The city's foliage will be reaching its peak color and the temperatures will be mild and comfortable.
You may also get discounts on flights, hotels, and more since it's during the shoulder season.
What's the best part of Philadelphia to stay in?
Most visitors like to stay in Old City, Center City, or Rittenhouse. These areas offer the greatest number of attractions while also being safe for tourists.
So, What’s the Best Time to Visit Philadelphia?
The best time to visit Philadelphia overall is during the late spring to early summer months, from March to May. This period has mild weather, moderate prices, and tons to do for visitors.
If you’re planning a budget-friendly trip, try visiting during the early fall, from September to October, or in winter from January to February. These periods see fewer visitors and prices on hotels and flights dip in response.
January to March see the fewest visitors of the year, so it’s nice if you’re avoiding big crowds. Try to avoid visiting during the summer months – June through August – when it’s much hotter, more humid, and packed with crowds.
Overall, Philadelphia has a lot to offer visitors, and the best time to visit will depend on which aspect you want to prioritize – budget, weather, or crowds.
No matter when you choose to visit, Philadelphia is a vibrant city with a lot to explore. Choose the best time for you and start planning your dream trip to Philly!