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Essence of South Philly tour in Philadelphia

Markets, Mosaics, & Magic

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

Art, culture, diversity and of course, the spirit of Rocky lives on in South Philly! Join this Philadelphia tour to see just how eclectic this gritty city is. From Jewish delis to Italian markets, churches, cemeteries, and public art, South Philly is a slice of the real Philly.

  • Discover the hidden gems of some of the most historic neighborhoods in the country
  • Admire Isaiah Zagar’s beautiful one-of-a-kind mosaics at Magic Gardens
  • Catch a ride with locals on a city bus and  get to know the real South Philly from a local perspective
  • Wander among the colourful stalls and enjoy the tastes of the shops, cafes, and restaurants at the world-famous Italian Market
  • Explore the nation’s largest concentration of fabric shops and finish on Philly's eclectic South Street

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

Local English-speaking guide, some food samples, admission to the mosaic gallery and a bus token.


Personal shopping, tips and gratuities for your guide.

Group size:Maximum 12
Schedule details:
  • Duration: 3.5 hours
  • Meeting point:

    Corner of 9th & South Streets, outside New Image Art & Framing601 South 9th StreetPhiladelphia, PA 19147

  • Starting time: 10.30 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 the diversity of Philly in the best way possible – local style!  Begin your Philadelphia neighbourhood tour on theever-colourful South Street.  Follow your local guide through the streets of the Bella Vista neighbourhood for your first glimpse of some beautiful mosaics. We’ll swing by a historic deli, duck into a tempting bakery, and marvel at the sights, smells, and sounds of the famous Italian Market.


The market is the oldest and largest everyday open-air market in America, and you’ll soon understand why it is one of Philly’s must-see attractions. Tempt your taste buds as we wander past the myriad of local stores carrying everything from cheese, chocolate, spices, and olive oils, to the best bakeries, butcher shops, and produce stalls. We’ll 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 with 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.


From the Magic Gardens, we catch a local bus for a ride down Philly’s eclectic and dynamic South Street (Tues – Thurs.), or to Philly’s iconic and historic Pine Street (Fri. – Sun.).  After your local public transit experience, we walk into one of the country’s most historic neighborhoods, Queen Village, to explore its tiny streets and soak in the character of this charming corner of Philadelphia.


Finally, we stroll past Fabric Row, America’s largest concentration of fabric shops, before finishing the tour back on South Street for a chance to ask your local guide where you should eat, drink, and shop after the tour.

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. 

Markets, Mosaics, & Magic 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.