The best spots to take in the Philadelphia skyline

The best places to see the Philadelphia skyline. | Mike Fenn

The Philadelphia skyline is one of the most beautiful and recognizable skylines in the country. The “gentlemen’s agreement” that decreed that no building should rise above the brim of William Penn’s hat atop City Hall was broken in the late 1980s, thus paving the way for an array of unique skyscrapers. From the twin points of Liberty Place to the futuristic designs of the Comcast Center and the Cira Centre, the Philadelphia skyline gives everyone something to gaze at in wonder.

While the Camden waterfront provides the most recognizable view of the skyline, there are several other places in and around the city offering all sorts of interesting perspectives.

South Street Bridge

The South Street Bridge is set far enough back from downtown that all of the skyscrapers are in perfect view. This vantage point allows you to view the skyline towering over the Schuylkill River. You can also get excellent views of the University City neighborhood, including the Cira Centre and FMC Towers on the western shore of the river.

Spring Garden Station

Who would have thought that one of the best views of the city skyline could be seen from a stop on the Market-Frankford Line? With the platform positioned above the travel lanes of I-95, you can get a perfect view of the skyscrapers and even frame them with the Northern Liberties neighborhood in the foreground. The station also provides an excellent view of the Ben Franklin Bridge as it spans the vast Delaware River into New Jersey.

Spring Garden Street Bridge

Like the South Street Bridge, this vantage point also offers a view of the skyline as it towers over the Schuylkill River. However, from this perspective, you can also manage to include one of the city’s most picturesque buildings, the Philadelphia Museum of Art, in your shot.

Belmont Plateau

Wandering around Fairmount Park, it is easy to forget that you are in a major metropolitan city. The Belmont Plateau on the west side of the Schuylkill River provides a wonderful view of the entire skyline, framed perfectly by the calm grass and trees of the park.

Baltimore Pike

Delaware County’s proximity to Philadelphia means that there are several spots in its various suburban towns that afford views of center city. One of the best happens to be on Baltimore Pike in Springfield. As you move west toward Clifton Heights and, ultimately, West Philadelphia on the busy pike, pause for a moment near its intersection with West Avenue. Rising above the trees and buildings of western Delaware County is the skyline, visible due to the road’s hilly structure at this particular point.

Where are your favorite places to view the Philadelphia skyline? Tell us in the comments below.


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