Philadelphia Life and Visitor Travel Tips

(Philadelphia, Pennsylvania - PA, USA)

Located in the southeast of Pennsylvania, right on the border with New Jersey, Philadelphia is blessed with convenient travel services due to its strategic positioning between New York City and Washington D.C.

Philadelphia is more than just the historical heart of the United States, the city has reinvented itself and undergone pains to better its image in recent years, with an attractive facelift resulting in wide ranging shopping and entertainment options, as well as major renovations to its important historical attractions.

There are also extensive tourist information facilities available in Philadelphia to help you enjoy your Philly experience. Here are some handy travel tips about life in Philadelphia.

Tourism and Tourist Information

Philadelphia's big attractions can be explored on foot as they are mainly compacted in a small area of the city center, which follows a grid system.

Tourist information services in Philadelphia are excellent and you will find a number of helpful information bureaus and centers that can provide you with maps and other useful information on the city and its attractions.

The Independence Visitor Center
Address: One North Independence Mall West, 6th and Market Streets, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania PA, 19106, USA
Tel: +1 800 537 7676 or +1 215 965 7676
Open hours: daily - 08:30


There are literally hundreds of languages spoken all over the US and Philadelphia, owing to the large Hispanic, Chinese and Japanese communities and other ethnic minorities, while the most commonly spoken language in Philadelphia and Pennsylvania (PA) is English, as with other states in the country.


There are a number of different types of visa available, with tourists traveling to Philadelphia usually requiring a non-immigrant visa that permits temporary stay in Philadelphia. Citizens from Visa Waiver Program countries are allowed to enter Philadelphia, Pennsylvania (PA) and America without a visa if they can meet certain requirements. If you are applying for a visa before your arrival in Philadelphia, it is worth applying well in advance as there can be delays on processing applications.


Several categories of non-immigrant visas are available to those wishing to work in Philadelphia on a temporary basis. Working without a visa in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania and throughout America is against the law and there are harsh penalties for those who are caught breaking this law. People wishing to work in Philadelphia must apply for the relevant visa in their home country and usually need a letter from their prospective American employer, together with other documentation.


Tipping is common in Philadelphia and is only required should you consider service to have been satisfactory. When in Philadelphia restaurants, a 15 percent tip is standard, although it is worth noting whether there is a service charge already included in your bill. Bars in Philadelphia differ slightly, with a tips tray at the counter where customers are expected to leave a dollar or two upon as they leave.

Taxes and Refunds

Most states in the United States have a sales tax of between seven and eight percent on goods and services although some states have no tax at all. Tourists in Philadelphia are not usually able to reclaim sales tax when leaving the country, unless the necessary working visa is held.


Smoking in Philadelphia has changed dramatically in recent years and laws now restrict areas where people are permitted to smoke, including all public transport options. Philadelphia restaurants are required to have non-smoking areas and cigarette advertising is banned from the television and radio. Sensible advice would be to check with those nearby before smoking in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.