Penn Walking Program: Sample Routes

University City and West Philadelphia have much to offer the interested walker, but deciding where to walk is difficult if you're not familiar with the area. The Penn Walking Program can help.



Sample Routes

These walking tours, based on specific themes and areas of the city, will help you learn about Philadelphia as you enjoy a pleasant, healthful walk. All but the first tour in this list are courtesy of PennTracks and Poor Richard's Walking Tours.

  • Cultural Walking Tour (courtesy of University City District) This roughly two-mile walking tour takes you to some of the many interesting cultural sites on and around Penn's campus, including art galleries, churches, and museums.
  • West Philadelphia Walking Tour West Philadelphia is home to some of the most beautiful neighborhoods in the city, thanks to the abundance of greenery and Italianate, Victorian, and Queen Anne-style architecture. This tour takes you through some of those neighborhoods while pointing out some of the restaurants and cultural attractions that are well worth checking out.
  • Art Museum Walking Tour Sometimes the fact that Penn lies across the river from the world-renowned Philadelphia Museum of Art makes it easy to forget that the Art Museum District is well within walking distance! This tour will take you from the Penn bookstore, through Powelton Village and Drexel University, down the Benjamin Franklin Parkway, and finally into the heart of Center City next to City Hall.
  • Avenue of the Arts Walking Tour The aptly-named Avenue of the Arts is home to numerous playhouses, dance companies, music halls, and other artistic attractions. This tour starts at City Hall and showcases several major venues before bringing you to historic Reading Terminal Market.
  • Chinatown Walking Tour Although it is commonly referred to as Chinatown, this district in the north of Center City is actually home to restaurants featuring the cuisine of nearly every country in Asia. Churches, temples, works of art, and a concert hall round out the list of reasons to make an on-foot visit.
  • Historic Philadelphia Walking Tour It's no secret that Philadelphia is one of the country's oldest and most historically significant cities. But when was the last time you explored some of our less well-known historical neighborhoods and sites? This tour goes beyond Independence Hall and the Liberty Bell and shows you sites such as the city's oldest tavern and residential street, former factory buildings that have become hip art galleries, and more.
  • Rittenhouse Square Walking Tour Stroll through the Victorian neighborhoods that surround Rittenhouse Square and into some of the finest shopping and dining spots in the city. Along the way, you'll see parks, sites from movies, countless restaurants, churches, and many of the features that make Philadelphia one of the most beautiful cities in the country.
  • South Philadelphia Walking Tour No one can claim to "know" Philadelphia without also knowing South Philly. This tour will take you into the heart of this vibrant, distinctive section of the city. South Philly is home to attractions including the famous Italian Market, the city's oldest neighborhood, and the exciting and eclectic South Street.

Plan Your Own Routes

Creating your own walking route can be as simple as putting on your walking shoes, stepping outside, and just going where your feet take you. Of course, that's not always the best plan of action—especially if you're trying to see a specific site, or want figure out exactly how far you'll be walking. To plan a walking route ahead of time, visit WalkJogRun, an easy-to-use website that lets you create routes to walk, jog, or run. It uses a version of the Google Maps interface that you're probably familiar with, but adds tools that tell you the distance, the length of time it will take based on your estimated speed, and the number of calories you're likely to burn.

Try some of these pre-planned walking routes for beginning and intermediate walkers. They'll not only provide you with a great walk, but will familiarize you with the WalkJogRun site so that you can create your own routes:

Beginner Routes

  • Map #1 This roughly half-mile route is a simple circle starting on the corner of Walnut and 34th Streets and extending two blocks north and two blocks west.
  • Map #2 This mile-long walking route starts at the intersection of Chestnut and 36th Streets, heads south and east to historic Franklin Field, and then loops back.
  • Map #3 Heading West down Locust Walk and then back East on Spruce Street, this trip is almost exactly a mile long.

Beginner/Intermediate Route

  • Map #4 Clocking in at just over a mile and a quarter, this route will take you west from the heart of Penn's campus into the commercial district located near Locust and 40th Streets, then back along beautiful Locust Walk.

Intermediate Route

  • Map #5 Slightly more challenging than the other routes, this walk is more than a mile and a half, and consists of a slightly winding route from the intersection of Walnut and 33rd Streets to the intersection of Spruce and 40th Streets and back.