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The Absolute Best Time to Visit Philadelphia in 2024 (Our Take)

The Absolute Best Time to Visit Philadelphia in 2024 (Our Take)

What's the best time to visit Philadelphia?

The best time to visit Philadelphia is from September to December, offering ideal weather for outdoor sightseeing and fewer tourists post-Labor Day. This period features comfortable temperatures and iconic events like the Philadelphia Fringe Festival, enhancing the experience with festive holiday activities beginning at Thanksgiving.

Philadelphia is a must-visit destination for anyone who is interested in American history. The city is home to some of the most important sites in the founding of the United States, such as the Liberty Bell and Independence Hall.

Of course, the city has more to offer than just stuffy history. It has some of the best museums in the world, such as The Franklin Institute—although fans of the movie Rocky will be more interested in running up the steps of the Philadelphia Museum of Art than the museum itself.

Of course, you can’t visit Philadelphia without trying a Philly cheesesteak. Depending on the season, the charms of the city will be very different. We’ll show you the best, least busy, cheapest, and worst times to visit below; let us be your guide!

Overall Best Time to Visit Philadelphia

Skyline view of the City of Brotherly Love showing the best time to visit Philadelphia

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The best time to visit Philadelphia is in the fall and early winter (September-December), when the city has the best weather for sightseeing, and you can see its attractions in the best light.

Philadelphia’s climate type is classified as humid continental. This means that it has four distinct seasons with fairly extreme differences in weather.

You can also expect rain pretty much all year round, although heavy downpours are rare. Fall definitely has the best weather because it is nestled between two extremes. It’s not as hot or humid as summer, but not as chilly as winter.

Average temperatures in early September are around 78 degrees Fahrenheit, before going down to a cool 67 degrees in October. This is great weather for walking around, which is crucial since a lot of Philadelphia’s main attractions are located outdoors.

Another good thing about fall is that crowds start to decrease at popular tourist attractions since most people head back to work or school after Labor Day.

You can visit the Liberty Bell without waiting in long lines and run up the Rocky steps without having dozens of other people panting along with you. Fall also brings a lot of seasonal delights besides the changing leaves in city parks.

The Philadelphia Eagles kick off their season in mid-September, and you should try to catch a football game in this city that is so sports-mad that “go birds” is a common greeting in the streets.

Halloween is also a fun time to visit. The Eastern State Penitentiary, a massive former prison, is one of the spookiest sites in the United States. It hosts its “Halloween Nights” festival just for the spooky season.

Other great seasonal festivals include:

Late November and December see more tourists than the rest of the fall, but it’s worth a visit to catch the holiday atmosphere. Starting with the Thanksgiving Day parade, Philadelphia is in a festive mood.

December is full of holiday lights, public ice rinks, and other festivities, such as the Christmas Light Show and Wanamaker Organ Concert at Macy’s Center City.

Cheapest Time to Visit Philadelphia

View of historic Independence Hall to show the cheapest time to visit Philadelphia

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The overall cheapest time to visit Philadelphia is in the middle of winter (January-February). Most people avoid visiting Philadelphia in the winter because of the weather.

Pennsylvania and the rest of the mid-Atlantic states tend to have very cold winters, with lots of snow. Philadelphia’s weather is milder than the rest of the state, but average daily temperatures in January and February are still in the low 40s, and nighttime temperatures are usually below freezing.

What this means for you is lower hotel rates. Hotels tend to offer steep discounts once Christmas and New Year’s Day are over because there are few people visiting in this period of winter.

Most hotels offer 20-30% discounts on room rates, while some hotels offer rooms for as much as 75% lower than they are during the peak season. Winter is also the most affordable time to get to Philadelphia.

Flights to Philadelphia International Airport cost the least in January and February, similar to trends all over the United States, as airlines lower prices during the post-holiday lull.

Least Busy Time to Visit Philadelphia

View of city street downtown to show the least busy time to visit Philadelphia

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The middle of winter is when Philadelphia has the fewest visitors, but you can also avoid the crowds by visiting in the spring (March-early June).

Winter receives very few visitors, and this trend continues into spring. There are a few reasons for this. Spring doesn’t have as many major holidays that attract visitors. Plus, the weather in early spring is still very unpredictable.

Average high temperatures in March are about 53 degrees, and snowstorms are still common until early April. By mid-April, temperatures warm up a bit and the snow has melted (although April and May still get a lot of rain).

The weather is still a bit of a gamble, but you can get lucky and explore important historic sites with few people around and in the sunshine. Spring is the best season to explore Philadelphia’s many parks.

People may not know it, since they associate Philadelphia with the brick historic center, but the city actually has lots of green spaces that blossom come April.

Check out the Fairmount Park Cherry Blossom Festival for a dose of famous blossoms without having to visit Japan. Spring brings a lot of other fun events to the city, with mostly geared toward locals.

Check out the following:

Worst Time to Visit Philadelphia

View of Love Park and the fountain showing the worst time to visit Philadelphia

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The worst time to visit Philadelphia depends on what you consider travel deal breakers. If you hate crowds, summer is not the best time for you, while if you hate bad weather, definitely avoid winter.

Summer in Philadelphia is the most crowded time to visit. Since school is out, many families decide to travel during this time, and camps organize trips for children. Expect to wait in line for 30-45 minutes just to see the Liberty Bell or get into famous attractions.

Crowds are particularly unbearable around Independence Day, which makes sense since the city does have a lot of relevant sites. The weather is also not the greatest in the summer.

People know that Philadelphia winters are extremely cold, but few people are prepared for the extreme heat and humidity that characterizes the summer. Expect daily high temperatures that are nearly 90 degrees, plenty of humidity, and plenty of rain.

However, there is a benefit to coming in the summer, and that’s that the city is most fun during this time. Summer has the most outdoor festivals, especially music festivals.

Some highlights include:

On the other hand, if you really hate cold weather, winter is definitely the worst time to visit. It’s very cold, and snowstorms often paralyze the city. If you want to enjoy the benefits of winter, such as fewer crowds and more affordable hotel rooms, visit in early spring instead.

Philadelphia by Month: Climate & Activities

View of the historic Liberty Bell indicating why you should visit Philadelphia


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

View of fountain in front of the art museum for a frequently asked questions section on the best time to visit Philadelphia

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Here are a few additional questions people have asked about visiting Philadelphia:

How many days do you need to see Philadelphia?

You need at least two days to see Philadelphia. While the major attractions can be seen in just one day, you should spend a day exploring the diverse neighborhoods.

Is Philadelphia a city worth visiting?

Philadelphia is worth visiting, even though it may get overshadowed by its neighbors. It’s a great place to visit if you’re interested in American history or want to check out one of the nation’s best culture scenes.

Is it expensive to visit Philadelphia?

Philadelphia is not expensive at all when compared to other U.S. cities. You can find hotel rooms at reasonable rates, especially during the off-season.

What are the hottest months in Philadelphia?

July and August are the hottest months in Philadelphia. Daily high temperatures are often in the high 80s or the low 90s.

Is Philadelphia a walkable city?

Yes, Philadelphia is actually one of the most walkable cities in the United States. The city center is compact and pleasant to stroll in.

So, What’s the Best Time to Visit Philadelphia?

The best time to visit Philadelphia is the fall, which has decent weather, fewer crowds, and plenty of fun events. Spring is great for beating the crowds, while winter’s chill brings hotel room discounts.

Summer may be humid and crowded, but it’s worth visiting during this time to check out some music festivals. So, with so much to see and to and plenty of amazing times to visit, what are you waiting for — book your trip today and experience for yourself all that Philadelphia has to offer. Happy travels!