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March 1, 2013

Skyline Spotting: Philadelphia City Hall Tower Observation Deck

Head 500 feet up to the top of City Hall Tower to get a breathtaking bird's eye view of the city from City Hall's Observation deck.
(Photo by J. Zale)

[Philadelphia has a pretty great-looking skyline. There are countless places around the city that offer awesome vantage points. With Skyline Spotting, we'll highlight some of our favorites.]

Did you know that City Hall has an observation deck? It does. While the city’s tallest building — the Comcast Center — unfortunately does not have a publicly accessible one, the city’s oldest tall building — City Hall — thankfully does.

Located at the top of City Hall, some 500 feet above the ground, and at the base of the giant bronze statue of Billy Penn, the City Hall Tower Observation Deck is open Monday through Friday from 9:30 a.m. to 4:15 p.m. and admission is just $6.

The observation deck offers some pretty amazing, 360-degree views of Philadelphia. You can look east past the Convention Center, over the Benjamin Franklin Bridge and into New Jersey. You can look north and south all the way up and down Broad Street, at 12 miles one of the longest straight streets in country. You can look northwest out over the Benjamin Franklin Parkway and Fairmount Park. And you can look west into the heart of the Philadelphia skyline.

Visit the tower at the end of the day during the winter and you just might catch the beginning of spectacular sunset over the city.

But regardless of the season, the City Hall Tower Observation Deck is pretty much a must-visit, even for locals who have been here for a while. After all, how often do you get the chance to enjoy a view like this?

Timed tower tour tickets are available at the Tour Information Center located in the East Portal of City Hall in Room 121. For more information or to arrange a group tour, call (215) 686-2840.

City Hall Tower Observation Deck
Where: City Hall
When: Monday-Friday, 9:30 a.m. – 4:15 p.m.
Cost: $6
More info: (215) 686-2840; phila.gov

Visit the tower at the end of the day during the winter months and you just might catch the beginning of spectacular sunset over the city.
(Photos by J. Zale)

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Vic Volpe says:

Let’s get a cam up there. Link it to the web. And let’s be able to navigate it around.

Madelyn Minehart says:

Gee, do you think that tourists only come on the week-end? And how about all those working people in the area who have week days off instead of week-ends. I think there are plenty of folks who can enjoy good ole Willy Penn’s observation deck.
Philadelphia is one of the best tourist cities in the United States, maybe the world!

Ayala Cyn says:

Thanks Hometown!

henry says:

I was on the observation deck in the early 80′s. It was really cool. This was before the taller buildings went up. I don’t remember it costing anything back then. I will make an effort to revisit this attraction.