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Essence of South Philly tour in Philadelphia

Essence of South Philly

General Info | Photo Gallery | Traveller Feedback
Review rating: from 5 reviews

The spirit of Rocky lives on in South Philly! Join this Philidelphia tour to see just how diverse this gritty city is. From Jewish delis to Italian markets, churches, cemeterys, and public art, South Philly is a slice of the real Philly.

  • Explore South Philadelphia with a local guide
  • Get to know the real South Philly as you learn about the neighbourhood from a local perspective
  • Discover the state's oldest church and the nation's first shot factory
  • Wander among the colourful stalls and enjoy the tastes of the shops, cafes, and restaurants at the world-famous Italian Market
  • Admire unique mosaic art and finish on Philly's eclectic South Street

Tour style:Walking & Orientation, Food & Market Visits, Local Life & Culture, Heritage & History

Local English-speaking guide, food samples, admission to the mosaic gallery and store tours.


Personal shopping, tips and gratuities for your guide.

Group size:Maximum 12
Schedule details:
  • Duration: 4 hours
  • Meeting point:

    4th Street Deli at the corner of 4th and Bainbridge Streets.

  • Starting time: 9.30 AM
  • Ending point:

    Jim's Cheesesteaks at the corner of 4th and South Streets.

Additional information :
  • Voucher exchange details:

    Please present your voucher to the local guide at the beginning of the trip.

  • Confirmation of booking:

    If you have your voucher, your booking is confirmed. We'll see you at the start point. 

    Get in touch if you have any concerns or require more information via the email address or phone number (business hours only) on your voucher.

  • Dress standard:

    A good pair of comfortable walking shoes is advisable. Make sure to check the weather report for rain!

  • Child policy:

    This is a child-friendly tour. Children between the ages of 6 and 11 inclusively are permitted on this tour. Children younger than 6 are permitted at no extra cost, but please make sure you inform our guides of this before you take the tour.

  • Language: English


Take on South Philly in the best way possible - local style! Begin your tour of South Philadelphia at one of the oldest Jewish delicatessens in the city, where you can either enjoy breakfast before the tour or buy some of the wonderful treats from the bakery to take with you (or both - no judgement!).


Once you've had your fix of baked goods, we'll walk through some of the quaint streets and past local homes of Philly’s Queen Village neighbourhood. As we tour Philly, there will be a chance to see some of the 3,000 murals that decorate the city, before we reach Gloria Dei (Old Swede’s) Church, Pennsylvania’s oldest. At this National Historic Site, learn about both Revolutionary War soldiers and ordinary citizens from colonial times buried in its cemetery, and walk into 300 years of history at this beautiful church.


Next, walk on to the Sparks Shot Tower, America’s first shot factory. After a short break at one of the area’s charming local coffee shops, continue on through the Bella Vista neighborhood. Here, experience Philly’s strong Italian heritage, and, if you’re lucky, watch a game at a park designated for local bocce leagues. A short stroll from here brings us to the bakeries, spice stores, cafes, Italian food stores, and market stalls of the 9th Street Market.


Take the time to mix with business owners and residents, taste some samples, and hear stories of early immigrants to the city. It was also here that Rocky ran through the streets on one of his famous training runs - feel free to recreate this scene yourself! 


After lunch at the market, we'll continue this Philadelphia city tour and walk on to Philadelphia’s Magic Gardens, which showcases the mosaic art of Isaiah Zagar. This amazing place includes a fully mosaiced indoor gallery and a massive outdoor labyrinthine mosaic structure. Here your guide will fill you in on the local tales of this area, giving you the opportunity to ask them any questions you may have about this classic Philly spot. 


Finally end the tour on South Street, famous for its bohemian mix of clothes, jewelry, gift and music stores. Stay on after the tour finishes to shop, eat and drink on Philadelphia’s most eclectic street - there's plenty to keep you entertained in this area! 

Photo Gallery:

Essence of South Philly tour in PhiladelphiaEssence of South Philly tour in PhiladelphiaEssence of South Philly tour in PhiladelphiaEssence of South Philly tour in Philadelphia

Traveller Feedback:

Want to check out what other travellers think of their Urban Adventure experience? See below for our traveller feedback. 

Essence of South Philly has an average customer care rating of 4.76 (out of a possible 5). The scores for each parameter are:
  • Your overall experience ...................................................................................... 4.80
  • Your guide’s enthusiasm, local knowledge and communication skills........................................................................................................................ 4.80
  • The level of opportunity to learn more about the culture, interact
    with locals, and experience their way of life......................................................4.80
  • The Responsible Travel philosophy implemented on your
    Urban Adventure................................................................................................... 4.60
  • Did the trip match your expectations?.............................................................. 4.80

Ms. mary m.
USA ~ 03 Dec 2013
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actually, the trip EXCEEDED our expectations. I don't think we could have had a friendly, more knowledgeable guide.


Mrs. Debra D.
USA ~ 01 Aug 2013
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Our tour guide, Arielle, was fantastic!! She was extremely knowledgeable and shared a wealth of information with us. Although a native Philadelphian, I was reluctant to go but learned a great deal about the history of the buildings. Arielle integrated a wide range of information about the culture, heritage and history in her tour. She engaged us in conversation throughout the tour. I will definitely recommend this tour to my friends.


Ms. Barbara G.
USA ~ 26 Sep 2010
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It was a wonderful tour with my friends. Though the tour took 5 hours, the walking was moderate with breaks. We learned a tremendous amount of information about south philadelphia. One of the best walking tours I have taken. highly recommend.


Mrs. Janet W.
USA ~ 13 Sep 2010
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My friend and I had a wonderful time on the South Philly tour even though we are from "around here" and even took our own visit a few years ago. Your guide was knowledgeable and added so much history and fun that it made me almost want to be one of your guides! We had a beautiful day and learned more than the basic history books. Keep up the good work as I continue to pass on your business and consider my next adventure! Thanks


Your trip:

This trip is offered on a "join-in" basis. Maximum group size is 12


If you are happy with the services provided by your local guides a tip - though not compulsory - is appropriate. While it may not be customary to you, it is of great significance to the people who will take care of you during your travels, inspires excellent service, and is an entrenched feature of the tourism industry across many Intrepid Urban Adventures destinations. Please consider this when budgeting for your extra expenses on this tour

  • Cancellations made more than 2 days prior to travel receive a full refund
  • Cancellations made 2 days or less prior to travel attract a 100% cancellation fee.

Philadelphia's Urban Adventures

The Philadelphia Urban Adventures team is a knowledgeable and energetic group, dedicated to making sure that our urban travelers get the most out of their Philly experience.  We come from a variety of backgrounds and parts of the world, with shared passions for travel, local culture, history, food, music, art and architecture.  And above all we want you to leave Philadelphia with a love for the City that you will share with others when you get home!  

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Responsible Travel with Urban Adventures


Wherever we go in the world, we take a responsible attitude with us. That means travelling in a way which both respects and benefits local people, their culture, their economy, and their environment. Please read on for more information on our Responsible Travel policy and how you can be a responsible traveller for your entire journey.