Getting Around Philadelphia

The main mode of transportation in Philadelphia is by subway or by elevated train, but tourists may want to make use of its ubiquitous and relatively inexpensive taxis also. There are subway stops at most major tourist and nightlife destinations, and trains run until shortly after midnight. After midnight, mass transit is limited to bus services.

By Metrodownload-6

Philadelphia has an efficient but limited subway and elevated train system, augmented by city buses, and trolleys. The Broad Street subway runs north to south, with the stadium complexes situated at the southernmost station. The Market-Frankford line, or El, runs underground and above the street from east to west, then stretches north along the Delaware River. The Market-Frankford El stops at Fifth Street/Independence Hall; one stop east of this stop is Old City. Both the lines stop at City Hall, which is near many hotels and the downtown shopping and dining area. In terms of prices, there is a base fare, while weekly unlimited passes are available as well as day passes. The public transit system is managed by the Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority and you will hear many people refer to public transport by its acronym, SEPTA.

By Train

Amtrak and SEPTA offer train services, with stations situated along Broad Street and the main terminal at 30th Street Station. Train travel is easy and particularly useful for trips to visit nearby cities such as New York City and Washington DC.

By Bus

SEPTA buses run throughout the city, although most points of interest will be covered by the subway and elevated trains. Intervals can be as quick as five minutes during rush hour, and up to an hour during the wee hours of the morning. Buses run 24 hours.


Taxis are plentiful around the city and easily flagged on the streets citywide, especially in major tourist and nightlife areas. Telephone numbers are also emblazoned on most cabs, although requesting a cab by phone may take longer than flagging one. Philadelphia’s taxicabs are licensed by the city under a medallion system and proper cabs prominently display driver and rate information inside.