Knowing just how to spend a layover can be overwhelming, especially in the case of Philadelphia Airport, which is spread over 7 different terminals. The good news? We’ve got you covered with these 9 things to do on a layover at Philadelphia Airport.
1. Check out the food scene
Whatever you’re craving, you’ll probably find it in one of over 50 eateries! Ranging from cafes and to-go kiosks to casual and fancier restaurants, you could turn your layover into a food and bar crawl. Standouts include local favorite Chickie & Pete’s for crab fries, Geno’s Steaks for the requisite cheesesteak, Noobar for made-to-order sushi, and Aldo Lamberti Trattoria for (obviously) pizza and pasta. You can also choose from Mediterranean, Mexican, seafood, and more. At least one or two eateries stay open 24-hours.
2. Relax in a lounge
If you’re flying with American or United, you can pay to enter those airlines’ lounges, even if you’re not flying Business or First Class. Airport lounges offer several amenities, like unlimited food and drinks and comfier digs, all in one place and for a single fee. Use your lounge membership program or pay at the door to gain access. Our Philadelphia Airport Guide provides details.
3. Go shopping
The airport refers to its eating and shopping experience as the Philadelphia Marketplace, so you can definitely expect a lot of shops to browse – though none of them are particularly unique or local. You’ll find the usual airport spots, like Duty Free areas, convenience stores, bookshops, and travel and technology boutiques. Stop by skincare shops like Kiehl’s, L’Occitane, and the Body Shop to hydrate your skin with free lotion and samples, or browse well-known shops like the Gap, Victoria’s Secret, and Brookstone.
4. Visit the library
If you need a new book for your eReader, head over to the virtual library. This comfortable seating area is the perfect place to download a classic title. Or, sign up for a free library card to borrow more current books.
5. Pamper yourself
Spend some of your precious layover time in pure relaxation! XpresSpa has a few locations that offer manicures and pedicures, facials, and a variety of massages for a little self-indulgence.
6. Browse the art
For some visual stimulation, see how many of the rotating art exhibitions you can find on your own. The airport regularly exhibits works from more than a dozen artists. A list of art currently on display is available on the airport’s website.
Want to experience Philadelphia beyond just its airport? If you’ve got a layover of at least 7 hours, you can head out and explore this bustling, historic city.
The easiest way to get downtown is to hop on the SEPTA Airline Line to Center City. Taxis are available too, but traffic can be problematic.
From Center City, many sites are within walking distance, like the Liberty Bell and the Museum of the American Revolution, which document the formation of the United States. Visit world-class museums like the Philadelphia Museum of Art (you won’t be the only one running like Rocky to the top of those steps) and the Franklin Institute, known for its kid-friendly, interactive science exhibits. Grab a bite to eat with the locals at the Reading Terminal Market. For something a bit weirder, head to the Eastern State Penitentiary, a former prison that is rumored to be haunted.
Do leave plenty of time to get back to the airport – travellers report that clearing Security sometimes takes much longer than it should.
While away your layover online thanks to free WiFi.
Catching up on sleep? Terminal C reportedly offers the most comfortable spots inside Security. If you’re pre-Security, head to Terminal A’s walkways or the International Arrivals Hall. The airport is noisy and cold, but we’ve heard rumors that the information desks in Terminals C and F hand out free sleep kits that include a blanket and pillow! If a proper hotel is more your style, you can rent a room by the hour at Minute Suites, located between Terminals A and B. On airport premises, a Marriott hotel is located across a sky bridge from Terminal B. Otherwise, a few airports are located within a short drive, and they offer free shuttle service. Locations and details are available in our Philadelphia Airport Guide.
These are just a few things to do on a layover at Philadelphia Airport. Visit our Philadelphia Airport Guide for more information about more services and facilities available, such as food, WiFi, mobile charging, luggage storage, nearby airport hotels, and much more.