Walking in Philadelphia
Driving in Philadelphia
Public Transportation in Philadelphia
Additional Travel Options
Walking in Philadelphia
Like many East Coast cities, Philadelphia is best experienced without a car. In addition to avoiding traffic, you'll be able to get a greater sense of Center City and its residents, 40 percent of whom walk to work every day! Thanks to the easy-to-learn grid, you'll feel like a local in no time. If you get turned around, take a look at the Walk! Philadelphia map. These helpful maps are located, mid-block, on lightposts all over Center City.
PAFA is situated in the heart of Center City Philadelphia, one block from City Hall (which marks the center of our city). From our buildings, students and visitors are walking distance from:
Philadelphia Museum of Art
Old City (Philadelphia’s gallery district)
National Constitution Center
With so many accessible attractions, PAFA embraces the city as our “campus.” We encourage all of our visitors to take some time enjoying the city on foot. And if you have any questions, or need help navigating the city, we are happy to offer our “expert” opinions. Feel free to contact us at Admissions@pafa.edu or 215-972-7625.
Driving in Philadelphia
Driving in Center City Philadelphia is relatively straightforward; the city’s avenues follow a strict grid pattern and streets are clearly marked. Starting with Front street (adjacent to the Delaware River), North-South roads are numbered for convenient navigation (2nd Street, 3rd Street, etc.). Unfamiliar visitors will notice that, aside from main avenues, most streets are one-way.
Parking is plentiful in Center City, but can fill up in popular tourist areas, especially on nights and weekends. Use the online Parking Locator to find a garage or lot nearest to your destination. (To find parking near PAFA, enter our school address and you will see several parking lots appear. We suggest #1 and #3.) If you park on the street, pay close attention to posted time limits and restrictions. Typically, 2-hour parking is allowed in metered spaces. In many areas parking kiosks dispense tickets that should be displayed inside the front dash.
Parking at PAFA
Discounted visitor parking is available at several nearby parking lots. The Parkway Corporation offers discounted indoor parking on the southwest corner of Broad and Race Streets, and discounted outdoor parking on the northeast corner of Broad and Cherry Streets. Be sure to get your ticket validated before you leave PAFA.
Driving Directions to PAFA
Using a GPS? Key in our address: 128 North Broad Street, Philadelphia, PA 19102
From the North via I-95 South:
Traveling on I-95 southbound, follow signs to I-676. Take I-676 westbound to the Broad Street exit. You will exit on 15th street. Turn left onto Race Street, then right onto Broad Street. The Academy is one block down, on the corner of Broad and Cherry Streets.
From the South via I-95 North and I-76 (Schuylkill Expressway):
Traveling on I-95 northbound, follow signs to I-76 (Schuylkill Expressway). Take I-76 westbound, and exit at I-676/Central Philadelphia. Take I-676 eastbound to the Broad Street exit. Turn right onto Broad Street. The Academy is one block down, on the corner of Broad and Cherry Streets.
From New Jersey, via the Ben Franklin Bridge and Vine Street:
After crossing the bridge, exit onto Vine Street. Continue westbound on Vine Street until it intersects with Broad Street. Turn left onto Broad Street. The Academy is one block down, on the corner of Broad and Cherry Streets.
From New Jersey, via the Walt Whitman Bridge:
From the bridge follow I-76 West (Schuylkill Expressway). Merge onto I-676/Central Philadelphia. Take I-676 eastbound to the Broad Street exit. Turn right onto Broad Street. The Academy is one block down, on the corner of Broad and Cherry Streets.
From the Pennsylvania Turnpike:
Take exit #16A/Philadelphia from the Pennsylvania Turnpike. Follow the signs to Route I-76 East. Continue on I-76 (Schuylkill Expressway) following signs for I-676/Central Philadelphia (it will be the left-hand fork). Continue on I-676 eastbound to the Broad Street exit. Turn right onto Broad Street. The Academy is one block down, on the corner of Broad and Cherry Streets.
From the New Jersey Turnpike:
Take the New Jersey Turnpike to Exit 4. Follow Route 73 West/North, about one mile, to Route 38 West (follow signs to Camden). From Route 38, follow signs to Route 30/Philadelphia/Ben Franklin Bridge. After crossing the bridge, merge onto Vine Street. Follow Vine Street westbound. Turn left onto Broad Street. The Academy is approximately 2 blocks down, on the corner of Broad and Cherry Streets.
From New Jersey Beach area via the Atlantic City Expressway:
Take the Atlantic City Expressway, which becomes Route 42. Follow signs for Philadelphia and the Walt Whitman Bridge. From the bridge follow I-76 West (Schuylkill Expressway). Merge onto I-676/Central Philadelphia. Take I-676 eastbound to the Broad Street exit. Turn right onto Broad Street. The Academy is one block down, on the corner of Broad and Cherry Streets.
Public Transportation in Philadelphia
The Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority (SEPTA) serves the Philadelphia region with subway, bus, train and trolley services. Visitors traveling in Center City will rely primarily on bus and subway services, while those traveling outside of downtown and into the suburbs should travel using Regional Rail train services. For information regarding specific routes and times, we recommend visiting the SEPTA website at: www.SEPTA.org or contacting SEPTA by phone at 215-580-7800. Several of the most useful routes are described in further detail below.
Philadelphia’s Regional Rail service transports visitors between Center City and the surrounding suburbs. There are three major train stations in Center City: Amtrak 30th Street Station, Suburban Station, and Market East Station. Each Regional Rail train line passes through these hubs, and services a zone outside of the city. For visitors, several Regional Rail trains are particularly popular: the Airport Line, the Chestnut Hill West Line (servicing the quaint, cobblestoned streets of Chestunt Hill neighborhood), and the Manayunk/Norristown Line (which travels through Manayunk, a popular area for drinks and dining). You can find a map of the rail system here.
Airport Line: The Airport Line makes trips between Center City Philadelphia and the Philadelphia International Airport. Trains are available approximately every 30 minutes. The train makes a stop for each terminal in the airport, making it convenient and efficient. The Airport Line makes stops at each major station in Center City: Amtrak 30th street Station, Suburban Station and Market East Station.
Getting to PAFA using Regional Rail: All Regional Rail lines pass through Suburban Station, which is conveniently located 2½ blocks from PAFA. Exit the station on the eastern side, using the 16th street exit. On 16th Street, walk north to Cherry street. Turn right, and walk toward Broad Street. PAFA’s main entrance is located on Cherry Street, before the corner of Broad and Cherry Streets.
Market-Frankford Line (The Blue Line): The Market-Frankford Line is Philadelphia's most-used subway line. It travels East-West across Center City, taking riders from Northern Liberties and Old City, through downtown and into University City or West Philadelphia. Outside of Center City, the train elevates above ground. The Market-Frankford line is convenient for visiting Philadelphia’s historic landmarks in Old City, or the campus of the University of Pennsylvania. For a map of this line, click here.
Getting to PAFA using the Market-Frankford Line: Take the Blue Line (Market/Frankford) to 15th Street Station. On 15th Street, walk north to Cherry street (2 blocks). Turn right, and walk down Cherry Street toward Broad Street. PAFA’s main entrance is located on Cherry Street, before the corner of Broad and Cherry Streets.
Broad Street Line (The Orange Line): The Broad Street subway acts as the North-South axis of SEPTA’s subway system, crossing the Market-Frankford Line at City Hall. It is most often used for traveling to North Philadelphia, where Temple University is located, and South Philadelphia, which is home to Philadelphia’s Sports Complex. For a map of this line, click here
Getting to PAFA using the Broad Street Subway: Take the Broad Street Line to the Race/Vine stop. Exit the station on Broad and Race Streets. Walk one block south (toward City Hall) on Broad Street. PAFA is at the corner of Broad and Cherry Streets.
A number of SEPTA bus lines stop in close proximity to PAFA, and traverse Center City. We recommend visiting SEPTA’s website for more information: www.SEPTA.org.
Additional Travel Options
PHLASH Bus: This downtown visitors’ shuttle circulates through hotel, entertainment and historic districts in Center City on a seasonal basis. The PHLASH Bus provides direct service from PAFA throughout Center City, and is very reasonably priced. PAFA is closest to PHLASH stops #10 (Suburban Station) or #9 (16th and JFK). For more information, call 215-4PHLASH.
PATCO: PATCO services Center City Philadelphia and southern New Jersey. The PATCO station nearest PAFA is the 15th/16th and Locust station. For more information about PATCO, visit their website at www.ridepatco.org or 215-922-4600.
Amtrak: Philadelphia’s Amtrak 30th Street Station services many major nearby cities, including New York City, Baltimore, Washington, and Harrisburg. From 30th Street Station, PAFA is a convenient 10-minute cab ride. Additionally, visitors can use the Market-Frankford Line to travel between PAFA and 30th Street Station (see directions, above). For more information, including reservations and travel times, visit www.amtrak.com or call 800-USA-RAIL.
Greyhound Bus: PAFA is a short walk from Center City’s Greyhound Bus station, located on Filbert Street between 10th and 11th streets. To walk from PAFA to the Greyhound station, head south on Broad Street. Walk around City Hall, and turn left on Filbert Street. For information regarding reservations and travel times, visit www.greyhound.com or call (800) 231-2222.
Chinatown Bus/Bolt Bus: PAFA is located several blocks from Philadelphia’s Chinatown District, where affordable bus services are available for the cost-conscious traveler. Most Chinatown Bus Depots are located on 11th and Arch Streets, just three blocks from PAFA. These buses offer regular service to New York City and Washington, DC. With several companies available, we recommend a quick web search to find the service that is best for you. Additionally, the Bolt Bus is popular with students and staff alike. The Bolt Bus leaves from Market Street, just opposite the 30th Street Station and offers discounted trips to New York and Washington. Most trips are $12 or $13 one-way. Check out their website here.
Taxi: There are several taxi companies operating in Philadelphia, most 24 hours a day. They can be hailed from any location, but are easiest to find in front of hotels and in high-traffic areas. From PAFA, most attractions are 5 to 10 minutes by taxi. Additionally, taxi service between Center City and the Philadelphia International Airport is offered as a flat rate of $28.50.