Skip to main content

Curated City Guide

Explore this culturally rich and diverse neighborhood.

University City, located adjacent to Philadelphia’s Center City across the Schuylkill River, is home to the University of Pennsylvania and Drexel University campuses, and the hub of several medical institutions and independent scientific research centers.   

We partner with local non-profits and community organizations, theaters and cultural centers to celebrate their events. Complimentary tickets to most events are offered, so you can easily be engaged and feel an immediate connection to the University City community

Discover Our West Philadelphia Universities

The bustling heart of West Philadelphia and academic epicenter of the entire region, University City gets its name for having two of the largest and most influential institutions in town: University of Pennsylvania and Drexel University.  

University of Pennsylvania

From West Philadelphia to the comfort of your own home, Penn invites you to the University through a virtual tour of their historic campus. Get a glimpse inside their state-of-the-art classrooms, hear from current students and faculty, and catch live performances by members of the community as you stroll down Locust Walk.

Stroll Along Locust Walk opens in a new tab

Drexel University

At the core of Drexel University’s innovative community is the university’s 74-acre University City Campus, located just west of one of the nation’s most dynamic transportation hubs, 30th Street Station.  It's surrounded by iconic Philadelphia landmarks, including nationally recognized museums right in their backyard.

Tour their Campuses opens in a new tab

Visual Arts

Philadelphia's visual arts scene is a window into its culture and soul. Revel in historic and modern exhibits, paintings and sculptures, small and oversized artifacts - all important, visually stunning, and unforgettable.

Exterior of  Barnes Foundation art institute at night

Barnes Foundation

The Barnes Foundation is an art collection and educational institution promoting the appreciation of art and horticulture. Initially a private collection boasting the largest accumulation of Renoirs and Cézannes, the Barnes Foundation maintains and displays one of the finest collections of impressionist, post-impressionist, and modern paintings.

See What's On opens in a new tab

Esther Klein Gallery

A sector of the University City Science Center, the Esther Klein Gallery uses the creative arts as a platform to explore the relationships between art, science and technology. The gallery is home to exhibitions, artist talks, panel discussions, performances and special events.

The Gallery is open, admission by appointment only.  

View Current Exhibit opens in a new tab

Institute of Contemporary Art

The University of Pennsylvania’s Institute of Contemporary Art is preeminent venue for contemporary art and culture. A non-collecting art museum, ICA is free for all to engage and connect with art of our time.

ICA is open, admission by timed ticket only.

Explore Exhibitions opens in a new tab

Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts

Founded in 1805 as the first art museum and school in the United States, PAFA celebrates the transformative power of art and art-making. The institution offers undergraduate and graduate programs in the fine arts, innovative exhibitions of historic and contemporary American art, and a world-class collection of American art.

The museum is now open with revised operating hours.

Currently on View opens in a new tab

Philadelphia Museum of Art

One of the largest art museums in America and a Philadelphia landmark, the Philadelphia Museum of Art houses a world-renowned collection of works, encompassing over 240,000 objects that span 4,000 years. By connecting people with the arts in rich and varied ways, the Museum invites visitors to see both the world and themselves anew.

The PMA is now open, advanced reservations are strongly recommended.

Today's Events & Exhibits opens in a new tab

Rodin Museum

With nearly 150 bronzes, marbles, and plasters, the distinguished collection housed in the Rodin Museum represents every phase of Auguste Rodin’s career. As one of the most revered destinations on the Benjamin Franklin Parkway, the Rodin Museum offers a verdant, intimate setting in which to enjoy some of the world’s most renowned masterpieces of sculpture.

The museum is closed until further notice, view the collections online.

More on the Museum opens in a new tab

Science & History

The birthplace of America and American medicine? Not only was the Declaration of Independence adopted and signed in Philadelphia, but the city is home to the nation's first hospital and medical school. There's something for the historian and scientist in us all.

The Academy of Natural Sciences of Drexel University

Founded in 1812, the Academy of Natural Sciences of Drexel University is the oldest natural history museum in the Americas. The excitement and wonder of the natural world come to life for visitors of all ages through hands-on exhibits, live-animal shows, video presentations, dynamic speakers, special workshops and classes and evening programs with environmental themes.  

The Academy is open, offering timed ticket reservations.

Exhibits on View opens in a new tab

The Franklin Institute

Founded in honor of America’s first scientist, Benjamin Franklin, The Franklin Institute is one of the oldest and premier centers of science education and development in the country. TFI provides resources that help people to connect with science and technology in creative ways that resonate with learners of all ages and backgrounds.

The Institute requires timed tickets for all visitors.

Explore the Museum opens in a new tab

The Mütter Museum

America’s finest museum of medical history, the Mütter Museum of the College of Physicians of Philadelphia displays its beautifully preserved collections of anatomical specimens, models, and medical instruments. The museum helps the public understand the mysteries and beauty of the human body, and to appreciate the history of diagnosis and treatment of disease. 

The Museum requires all tickets to be purchased online and in advance.

Uncover Medical Oddities opens in a new tab

National Museum of American Jewish History

The National Museum of American Jewish History, on Independence Mall in Philadelphia, presents educational programs and experiences that preserve, explore, and celebrate the history of Jews in America. The Museum connects people of Jewish decent more closely to their heritage, and inspires in people of all backgrounds a greater appreciation for the diversity of the American Jewish experience and the freedoms to which Americans aspire.

The musem galleries remain closed with programming living online.

Now on View opens in a new tab

Penn Museum

Since 1887, the Penn Museum has transformed understanding of the human experience. Dedicated to building connections between cultures, the Museum welcomes everyone to uncover the ancient past, gain an understanding of our shared humanity, and find one’s own place in the arc of human history.

The Museum strongly recommends purchasing timed tickets in advance.

What's Happening Today opens in a new tab

University City Science Center

Located in the heart of uCity Square, the Science Center is mission-driven nonprofit that commercializes promising technology, cultivates talent and convenes people to inspire action. By providing resources and programming for any stage of a business’s lifecycle, the Science Center helps scientists, entrepreneurs and innovators take their concepts from idea to IPO – and beyond. 

All events have transitioned online - view their calendar through the link below.

Explore Current Events opens in a new tab

Outdoor Attractions

Discover Philadelphia's landscape by strolling along its riverbank, wandering through a national landmark garden, or exploring a "Museum without Walls". Traditional green spaces need not apply.  

Bartram's Garden

Bartram's Garden is a 45-acre National Historic Landmark operated by the John Bartram Association in cooperation with Philadelphia Parks and Recreation. It is a destination and an outdoor classroom, living laboratory, and membership organization for ever-expanding audiences.

Upcoming Activities opens in a new tab

Cira Green

Located in the University City District, Cira Green at Cira Centre South is the city’s first elevated park. Tucked between the Evo Tower and the FMC Towers, Cira Green is a 1.25-acre oasis perched 11-stories atop the parking garage, offering breezy lounge space, entertainment, food, and events year-round.

Discover the Park in the Sky opens in a new tab

Philadelphia Zoo

Like many other Philadelphia landmarks and institutions, the Philadelphia Zoo is an American first. The region’s leading family destination and one of the area’s foremost conservation organizations, Philadelphia Zoo is home to nearly 1,300 animals, many rare and endangered.

Explore the Naturehood opens in a new tab

Morris Arboretum

Connected to the nearby University of Pennsylvania, this 92-acre historic public garden and educational institution is the official Arboretum of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.  A repsite from city life, enjoy the Victorian and Asian inspired landscape architecture, magnificent gardens, and rare native trees.  Please note that advance tickets are required for all visitors.

What's in Bloom? opens in a new tab

Association for Public Art

The Association for Public Art (aPA) commissions, preserves, interprets, and promotes public art in Philadelphia. Dedicated to creating a “Museum Without Walls,” the aPA provides cultural content that is easy to experience online or in person.

Explore Public Art opens in a new tab

Schuylkill River Trail

Voted as the country's Best Urban Trail in 2015, the Schuylkill River Trail is a recreational path that runs 30-miles along the Schuykill River. The trail connects to the Schuylkill Banks Boardwalk, a 460-foot-long ramp off the South Street Bridge with scenic overlooks along its path.

Stroll Along the Trail opens in a new tab

The Woodlands

The Woodlands’ 54-acre undulating landscape is at once a one-of-a-kind 18th-century English pleasure garden, 19th-century rural cemetery, and a modern green oasis for its neighbors in bustling University City and West Philadelphia.

Plan Your Visit opens in a new tab

The Porch at 30th Street Station

The Porch, located on the south side of 30th Street Station, features lunch from rotating food trucks, pop-up performances, lush landscaping, outdoor drinks in warmer weather, and plenty of places to relax.

See What's Happening opens in a new tab