How to get from Philadelphia Airport to Downtown (or Center City)

Philadelphia was love at first sight for us. Everybody in the city was always so welcoming, with a big smile, positive attitude and always ready to help. And apart from the amazing people, we fell in love with how easy it is to get around, especially from the airport to downtown (or Center City) and vice-versa.

Inside the airport you will find lots of signs showing you where the platforms for the SEPTA trains are…

Signs inside the terminals at the airport show where to go to catch the train
Signs inside the terminals at the airport show where to go to catch the train
Follow the signs and you can't miss the way to the platform
Follow the signs and you can’t miss the way to the platform

And once there, you will be pleasantly surprised that all information you need is posted on the wall…

I did research before going, but if I didn't this poster would have been very helpful
I did research before going, but if I didn’t this poster would have been very helpful

But even if you miss it, the conductor will walk you through the whole process:

1) You will buy the ticket from the conductor aboard the train.

We had already bought our ticket, so we kept it in the ticket holders for every time the conductor passed by checking it. This is also the receipt you will need to exchange for your Independence Pass.
We had already bought our ticket, so we kept it in the ticket holders for every time the conductor passed by checking it. This is also the receipt you will need to exchange for your Independence Pass.

2) If you are getting a one day Independence Pass (which can be purchased for an individual or a family and gives you unlimited travel on the public transportation network for the day), you should keep the receipt and exchange it for the plastic card at the ticket office of the station you’re headed to (for Center City, we always went to Suburban Station).

This is the plastic card for the Independence Pass. We bought the Family Independence Pass for the 3 of us and it was great.
This is the plastic card for the Independence Pass. We bought the Family Independence Pass for the 3 of us and it was great.

The journey from the airport to Suburban station takes about 25 minutes and it is very straightforward. Also, while Philadelphia is a very walkable city, the fact that it was quite chili outside motivated us to use the subway and the bus (both as efficient and friendly as the train). And if you are staying at a hotel in the airport area (which was our case), the Independence Pass is the best option.

I can’t wait for our next chance to visit Philadelphia again – but next time I want it to be in Spring or Summer so we can enjoy the river attractions it has to offer!

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