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Philadelphia Named a UNESCO World Heritage City

Songquan Deng / Shutterstock
Written by Suzy Guese

This blog post was updated on July 8, 2021.

Last week, Philadelphia became the first city in the United States to receive the title of UNESCO World Heritage City. The historic city joins good company with the likes of Florence, Jerusalem, Paris and Prague also claiming the World Heritage City title.
Often referred to as the birthplace of America, Philadelphia hopes to capitalize on its new title. The UNESCO moniker is expected to bring positive implications to Philly including more business and millions of dollars in tourism revenue, specifically more foreign tourists. The city has already been in the spotlight recently with the Pope’s visit and also its naming as the host of the Democratic National Convention next summer.
In order to celebrate the city’s new title, here are some of Philadelphia’s historical places to see including its qualifying UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Independence Hall: Birthplace of America 
520 Chestnut St.
Since the 1970s, the city has claimed one UNESCO Heritage site, Independence Hall. The redbrick building with its ionic clock tower saw both the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution signed under its roof. Guided tours are offered of the building built between 1732 and 1756. Independence Hall reeks in American history, as it was also where George Washington was appointed commander and chief of the Continental Army.
The Liberty Bell: Philadelphia and America’s Freedom Chimes
6th St & Market St.
In addition to Independence Hall, Philadelphia is dripping in historic sites including the Liberty Bell. A symbol of freedom for both the city and the U.S., the bell rang out to call the citizens of Philadelphia to hear the first reading of the Declaration of Independence. Ordered in 1751, the 2,000-pound bell boasts an infamous crack. You can learn all about the Liberty Bell and its significance to American history on site through many interactive exhibits.
Elfreth’s Alley: America’s Oldest Street
Philadelphia also claims the oldest continuously occupied residential street in America, Elfreth’s Alley. The thoroughfare dates back to 1702. Visitors can stroll Elfreth’s Alley and gain an accurate picture of what colonial Philadelphia looked like. With its cobblestone and narrow brick houses, visitors can also tour two resorted homes on Elfreth’s Alley. Along the street, 32 buildings hail from the 1720s to the 1830s.

About the author

Suzy Guese

Suzy Guese is a travel writer from Denver, Colorado. She caught the travel bug after taking her very first flight at just three months old—she was headed for Disney World—and has been a total travel junkie ever since. From family car trips across North America to stints abroad in Europe, Suzy travels the globe with her redheaded temperament in search of sarcasm, stories, and travel tips to share with anyone willing to listen. She blogs about her travels at

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