SEPTA in the city: a guide to getting around Philly

By hopping on SEPTA’s subway system, students can readily access the many museums, shops and parks in Philadelphia. The Broad Street Line, or the Orange Line, has a convenient station at the corner of Broad

By hopping on SEPTA’s subway system, students can readily access the many museums, shops and parks in Philadelphia. The Broad Street Line, or the Orange Line, has a convenient station at the corner of Broad Street and Cecil B. Moore Avenue.


Traveling one station south of Temple, students can get off at Girard and onto the Broad-Ridge Spur Line which goes to Chinatown. Philadelphia’s Chinatown has been inspired by Chinese, Thai, Japanese and Korean cultures to offer a variety of shops and restaurants.


The museum district is easy to get to from the Orange Line. Going southbound, you can get off at either the Race-Vine or the City Hall stop.

From the Race-Vine stop, travel west on Race Street for a few blocks until you hit the Benjamin Franklin Parkway. International flags and trees line the Parkway, and it will lead you to several places to exlore, like the Franklin Institute.

Logan Square is in the middle of the Ben Franklin Parkway, with City Hall on one end and The Philadelphia Museum of Art on the other. Logan Square is one of the prettiest sites in the city. It is situated in front of the Franklin Institute with the beautiful Swan Memorial Fountain in the center. You can overlook the fountain from the steps of the Franklin Institute, which sits at 20th Street and the Parkway. There are three huge interactive floors with educational exhibits that are open seven days a week from 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Admission costs $12.75.

“Titanic: The Artifact Exhibition” at the Franklin Institute will run until Jan. 2. The admission costs $22.75 for museum and Titanic admission. Students can also visit the Titanic exhibit Friday and Saturday evenings from 4 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. for $14. The IMAX theater is another main attraction at the Franklin Institute, which is showing three films: Titanica, Lewis & Clark and Forces of Nature. Tickets to see an IMAX show only are $8. Other ticket prices vary depending on what exhibits and shows students want to see.

The museum district can also be reached from the Spring Garden or Race-Vine stops. But from the City Hall stop, you will have to walk through JFK Plaza and onto the Ben Franklin Parkway. Aside from getting to the museums, City Hall has its own attractions.

Students can be on top of Philadelphia, by visiting the observation deck in City Hall. You can get tickets and touring information through the East City Hall Entrance at the City Hall Information Center in room 121. JFK Plaza, also know as Love Park, is right across from Temple’s Center City campus.

The plaza is open from 6 a.m. to 1 a.m. and houses the famous LOVE statue. From here you can look right down the Benjamin Franklin Parkway, which is one of the best views in the city.

The Shops at Liberty Place are easily accessible from the City Hall stop. The upscale shopping center offers a variety of shops from Aldo to J. Crew and Godiva Chocolatier to Franklin Covey. The shops are located under the tallest skyscrapers in the city at the main interchange of the Orange Line and Blue Line.

Shopping and More

Continuing south on the Orange Line, the next stop is Walnut-Locust. From here students enter the most upscale shopping district in the city. Shops like Tiffany & Co., Brooks Brothers, Burberry and Coach adorn Walnut Street.

Although many of the restaurants in the area are expensive, like the Striped Bass and Le Bec Fin, students can find cheaper choices at Cosí. Cosí offers a wide variety of fresh sandwiches for less than $10, and there are a variety of teas and coffee drinks. A group of four can roast own marshmallows and make s’mores for only $3 a person.

Four blocks from Broad Street, Rittenhouse Square is one of the busiest parks in Philadelphia. It’s a fabulous place to people-watch. Also found off the Walnut-Locust stop are several theaters along the Avenue of the Arts. Theaters such as the Academy of Music, Merriam Theater, Walnut Theater and the Kimmel Center offer students discounted tickets for select shows. Tickets can be purchased in the Student Activities Office.

South Street

Another hot spot off the Orange Line is South Street, which you can easily get to from the Lombard-South stop. The neighborhood has a ton of eclectic shops and restaurants. And if you’re looking to get anything pierced, South Street is the place to be.

You can find almost anything along this strip: art galleries, clothes, music and organic food from Whole Foods Market. There are plenty of eateries along South Street as well, ranging from pizza parlors to bars and pubs.

Old City

Students can catch the Market-Frankford Line, or the Blue Line, from the Orange Line’s free interchange at City Hall.

Students can learn American history outside the classroom at the 5th Street stop of the Blue Line, which enters Philadelphia’s Old City District. From here students can go north to the National Constitution Center, which is open seven days a week from 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. and admission is only $7.

For free attractions, you can visit the Liberty Bell or Independence Hall. In order to see Independence Hall students must go to the Visitor’s Center to pick up the free tickets. There are also various other historic sites within walking distance.

The 2nd Street stop highlights the many galleries and eclectic boutiques and shops in Old City. Temple student’s can see the work being done by Tyler students at the Temple Gallery, which is about two blocks north of the subway stop. It’s open Wednesday through Saturday from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. The First Friday of each month, the Gallery welcomes a new exhibit.

A simple hop onto SEPTA’s subway system gives you endless possibilities to discover the many sites in Philadelphia. To check out more spots in the city, visit or

Kaitlyn Dreyling can be reached at

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