Thanks to the power of cinema, some cities are indelibly etched into our minds. No better example of that is the great city of Philadelphia, which has been a backdrop for many classic films over the years, such as Rocky, Philadelphia, and Trading Places.

Today, people are visiting Philadelphia not just for its cheesesteaks or the Liberty Bell, but also to relive iconic moments in the great movies filmed there. And yes, to pose for fun selfies in some of the classic locations of our favorite films.

The Rocky Movies Take Center Stage in Philadelphia

Sylvester Stallone will forever be associated with his original 1976 Academy Award-winning movie Rocky and the fictional boxer of the same name that he portrayed. In the famed movie, the Rocky Balboa character ran every morning as part of his workout routine, which then culminated at the steps of the Philadelphia Museum of Art.

Today, both the statue and steps are popular attractions in the City of Brotherly Love. Tourists from all over climb the 72 “Rocky Steps” every year. And if you climb those steps, you can just about hear “Gonna Fly Now,” the theme song from the movie, if only in your own head.

famous rocky balboa steps

Then there’s the film Creed, which is part of the Rocky franchise. The film focuses on Adonis, son of Apollo Creed, Rocky’s opponent (in the early films). Adonis travels to Philly looking to train with Rocky. And again, Philadelphia becomes a central part of the film, like the character itself. Much of the movie was shot in the city, with iconic scenes that were in the original, featuring the famous Philadelphia Museum of Art’s Rocky Steps and the Italian Market. Other Philly locations of note include Laurel Hill Cemetery, Max’s Steaks, and the Front Street Gym.

While in Philadelphia, take advantage of all the movie locations that put the Rocky franchise front and center. Along with the famed steps and statue, visit Esposito’s Meats, another Rocky film location where the Rocky character shadow boxes with a side of meat. Then take a stroll through Rittenhouse Square Park and get all sentimental where characters Rocky and Adrian (his wife) talked about becoming parents.

movies in philadelphia

Iconic Buildings of Trading Places  

Trading Places was another classic film that featured Philadelphia as a backdrop. The 1983 comedy was a not-so-typical Christmas comedy starring Eddie Murphy as Billy Ray Valentine and Dan Ackroyd as Louis Winthorpe. It depicted the down-and-out Valentine character unknowingly trading places with the wealthy but dejected Winthorpe. If you visit Philly, you can check out 2014 Delancey Street, which in the movie was first home Winthorpe and then Valentine. You can visit other Trading Places locations such as the Duke and Duke Building, now a Wells Fargo bank, and the Union League, which was used for the movie’s upper-crust Heritage Club.

More Great Philly Movie Locations and Historic Sights

With all the movies filmed in Philadelphia, you’ll have your pick of locations to visit. Make a reservation at Butcher and Singer restaurant for an elegant meal. While you’re dining in this fancy spot, you’re likely to recall the scenes filmed here from The Sixth Sense, starring Bruce Willis.

While you’re checking out all the famous movie locales, you can spend one day on the Philadelphia: Big Bus – One Day Tour to soak up all the Philadelphia history. Hop on and off at Philly’s top sights at your own pace. You’ll have a guide to tell you all about the old and new Philadelphia while you visit sights including the Betsy Ross House, Independence Hall, and more. You’ll also get to savor an authentic cheesesteak or Philadelphia Soft pretzel.

philadelphia big bus tour

Speaking of more food, head over to the Famous 4th Street Delicatessen, a popular spot in Philadelphia and not just for the grub. “This well-established film location in PA was the place to see people and to be seen, ever since the 1920s,” says “However, this location may be more famous these days as the place where some movies have been filmed, such as Philadelphia in 1993, Jersey Girl in 2004 and In Her Shoes in 2005.”

Remember the story of Marley & Me about the cute dog who teaches his human family some important life lessons, which starred Jennifer Aniston and Owen Wilson? Visit the home where the movie family lived. “While the adorable puppy steals the show, the family’s idyllic country cottage in Chadds Ford (1175 Meetinghouse Road) also made quite an impression on the public; the 1830s home sold for more than $1 million in 2011,” says

Round out your Philadelphia jaunt with a Signature Dinner Cruise. You can dine, dance, and watch the views of the skyline in a three-hour cruise on the Delaware River. Enjoy a delicious dinner buffet and onboard entertainment while you think about all those movie locations you got to see.

cruising ship at sunset in philadelphia

Original Post Date: February 13, 2023