The American city Philadelphia was once the second largest city of the British Empire (after London) and the center of the original thirteen American colonies. The city played a central role in the struggle for independence of America. The old downtown with the Independence Hall is still evidence of this. Philadelphia also houses the largest collection of works by Rodin outside of France, in the Rodin Museum.
The city itself has over one and a half million inhabitants, but almost six million people live in the entire urban area of Philadelphia.
Philadelphia is located in the northeast of the United States on the Delaware River and over seventy kilometers southwest of New York. The city lies on the Fall Line of the Piedmont plateau and the lower coastal area. This is illustrated by the differences in height in the city: the highest point is 145 meters high while the lowest point is at sea level.
Philadelphia has a diverse economy. Several large companies are headquartered in the city, like for example the internet company Comcast, large insurance companies, electricity companies, and chemical and pharmaceutical concerns. Tourism plays a considerable role in local economy.
The airport of Philadelphia is situated just south of the city, right on the Delaware River. Philadelphia International Airport is easily reachable by rental car. From the center of Philadelphia you follow the Delaware Expressway (I-95) which leads straight to the airport. The route to the airport is clearly signposted.
Philadelphia has a good public bus transportation system, although it's not the quickest way to move around in town. Apart from the 'normal' bus lines, there are eight trolley bus lines. In addition there are three metro lines (two underground and one above ground). In summer months (May-October) a trolley bus runs for tourists past most attractions, between the Museum of Art in the west of town until Penn's landing in the east.
Philadelphia is a large and busy city and it can therefore be difficult to find your way around. Finding a parking space in the city center isn't always easy either and also quite expensive. There are two ways to pay for street parking: via parking meters (only coins) or by buying a ticket at a kiosk. In and around the city center there are several parking garages where you can park your rental car, but these are also quite expensive.
Philadelphia has a large supply of accommodation, although the supply of budget accommodation is limited compared with other American cities. Many conferences are organized in the city and it's also a popular tourist destination. It's therefore recommended to book your hotel room in Philadelphia well in advance.
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