Philadelphia is an extremely accessible city on the East Coast. You can easily get here by air, car and public transportation. It is conveniently located within just a three hours drive from Washington, D.C. and two hours drive from New York City.
Traveling to Philadelphia By Car
Philadelphia is easily accessible by car. It is connected to several major highways including the PA Turnpike (I-276), I-76, I-476, I-95, U.S. 1, and the New Jersey Turnpike.
I-676 is the section of I-76 that runs through Center City and continues across the Ben Franklin Bridge into New Jersey. The Walt Whitman Bridge and the Tacony-Palmyra Bridge also connect Philadelphia to New Jersey. The usual car rental agencies can be found at the airport or in Center City, including Avis, Hertz, and Enterprise.
Traveling to Philadelphia by Train
Philadelphia has long been a hub for the Pennsylvania Railroad and the Reading Railroad. Today, Philadelphia is a hub of Amtrak. The station is a primary stop on the Washington-Boston Northeast Corridor route and the Keystone Corridor, which connects with Harrisburg and Pittsburgh. It also offers direct or connecting service to Atlantic City, Chicago, and many other cities in the United States and Canada. All trains traveling outside the city depart and arrive at Amtrak's 30th Street Station at 30th St. and JFK Boulevard. The train is the most pleasant, and also most expensive, method of public transportation to nearby cities like New York and D.C., although the website often offers fare specials and there are discounts for seniors or people with disabilities.
Traveling to Philadelphia by Regional Rail
The Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority, or SEPTA, has regional lines serving the suburbs of Philadelphia. It also connects to New Jersey Transit in Trenton, which continues to Newark, New Jersey, and New York City. Regional Rail also extends south of the city to Wilmington, Delaware.
Traveling to Philadelphia by Bus
The Greyhound Bus Terminal offers direct and connecting service all over the country.
NJ Transit buses travel between Philadelphia and South Jersey, including the Jersey shore as far as Cape May at the southernmost tip.
SEPTA, in addition to providing extensive local service, also offers service to some parts of southeastern Pennsylvania.
Traveling to Philadelphia by Air
The Philadelphia International Airport is approximately seven miles from Center City. It offers frequent service for more than 25 major airlines and several discount airlines. It is a major hub for Southwest Airlines who offers daily nonstop flights from Philadelphia to numerous cities including Chicago, Las Vegas, Orlando, Phoenix, Providence, and Tampa. There have been millions of dollars in renovation projects in the past decade that have resulted in a much better airport experience, including the Marketplace with more than 150 national and local shops offering food, beverages, and merchandise.
These airports include Newark International (Newark, NJ, 85 miles), Baltimore-Washington International (Baltimore, MD, 109 miles), JFK International (Jamaica, NY, 105 miles), La Guardia (Flushing, NY, 105 miles), and Atlantic City International Airport (Atlantic City, NJ, 55 miles).
You'll often find the best fares by coming directly to Philadelphia, especially once you factor in time and money spent traveling from the other airports, but it may be worth investigating airfares from nearby cities to certain destinations.
Getting to and from the Airport
Getting to the airport on public transportation is easy on SEPTA's Airport regional rail line. It directly links the airport to Center City. It runs every 30 minutes daily from around 5 a.m. until midnight and connects with other rail lines that can get you practically anywhere within the city and nearby suburbs. Taxis charge a flat rate of around $30 for travel to and from Center City from the airport and are always waiting just outside the baggage claim area.