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The 7 Best Places to Instagram in Philly

March 30, 2016

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Visiting Philly for the first time and eager to explore? A lifelong Philadelphian (like me!) just looking for some photogenic spots around town to post up on Instagram? I’ve got you covered…

I recently put together this list of seven of my FAVORITE spots to Instagram in Philly for the DNC Host Committee’s blog, and I wanted to share it with y’all on here as well because I love it… Hope you enjoy!

#7 (Almost) Literally Any Street Without Parked Cars

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Center City, Philadelphia is a goldmine for photographers looking to capture beautiful photos of old(e) streets and historic architecture, especially the many variations of our Philly-style rowhomes! We even have a hashtag that we use, #PhillyHomePortrait (originated by @austinxc04 and @billycress), to document them all.

So forget Elfreth’s alley, and check out: S. Quince street, S. Camac street, Waverly street, Cypress street, St. Joseph’s way, S. American street… Seriously, you’ll probably find good stuff down most any alley in Center City that isn’t littered with parked cars, particularly in the Society Hill-area.

#6 The Schuylkill Banks Boardwalk

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You’ve probably heard of this one, but it’s a true masterpiece of modern urban design that’s helped Philly get a ton of national and international attention for how we’re transforming public spaces around the city. It is not to be missed.

No seriously, last year the New York Times called Philadelphia “an urban outdoor oasis”, highlighting this boardwalk in their write-up. Don’t’ miss it!

#5 The Franklin Institute’s Kinetic Shimmer Wall

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[Click the photo!]

A mesmerizing art structure designed by world-renowned environmental artist and sculptor Ned Kahn, I can’t get enough of this installation on the side of the Franklin Institute (at the intersection of Race and Woodstock streets), which reacts and changes with the wind… Instagram Video, anyone?   

#4 Cloud Billboard

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While the origins of this magnificent piece of anti-advertising at 2nd and Race streets are unknown (to me anyway), the simplicity of this piece, on the edge of Old City, next to the Ben Franklin Bridge, is just so refreshing. (Side note: Race Street Pier is a two-minute walk from this location, if you’re looking for added Instagram-worthy views!)

#3 MOMO’s Mural in Fishtown (And Isaac Tin Wei Lin’s in Chinatown!)

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Philly’s known as the City of Murals – it’s home to more public art than any other city in America. A fact you can’t help but to realize almost immediately upon walking around our city.  And that’s thanks to our 30-year-strong Mural Arts Program.

Two of my favorite murals in the city also happen to be two rather ideal ones for selfies. So, if you’re inclined to point the camera at yourself from time to time, you should definitely check out MOMO’s mural at Frankford avenue and Berks street in Fishtown, and Isaac Tin Wei Lin’s at Race and Juniper streets in Chinatown!  

#2 Cira Green Park

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Cira Green is 1.25 acres of green-roof amazingness, offering quite possibly one of the best views of the Center City skyline. Perched 11-stories above the Schuylkill river in University City atop a parking garage, Cira Green is free and open to all from 6am-10pm.

#1 Addison Street at Night

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Just, without a doubt, one of my favorite streets in Philly. Every night, all the trees lining the two blocks of Addison street between 17th and 19th light up in a wholly movie-magic kind of way! Be prepared to feel feelings. Feelings will be felt.

Bonus: One (or both!) of Philly’s Bernie Sanders’ Murals

While their are plenty of Hillary supporters in Philly no doubt, Bernie may just have an edge on the artist crowd as evidenced by the fact that Philadelphia is now home to not one – but two – Bernie Sanders murals. (Full disclosure: I helped produce the second one.)

Check them both out at: 4th and Bainbridge streets (by artist Brooks Bell), and 20th and Catherine streets (by artists Old Broads and Disto), respectively.

3 Comments leave one →
  1. Erica Nagurney permalink
    March 30, 2016 10:30 am

    Love love love love! I work in Center City and walk home a lot and try as much as possible to go down the narrowed allied streets just to admire the cuteness and like you said, feel things. haha :-) When something catches my eye I can’t help but to instagram it! This is a great post for people in the city living and especially traveling here to visit! Thanks Conrad!

  2. nagurns permalink
    March 30, 2016 10:32 am

    I also can’t wait to check out some of the places you recommended because I haven’t explored those corners or even seen some of those murals. I’ve lived in Philly for about 6 years and there’s still stuff to see and uncover!

  3. April 11, 2016 9:00 am

    I haven’t explored those corners or even seen some of those murals. I’ve lived in Philly for about 6 years and there’s still stuff to see and uncover!

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