While Saint Joseph’s University has a number of notable features, one of the most exciting aspects is the close proximity to a major metropolitan area. On campus you can enjoy green areas, gyms, and multiple food options, and after about a 10-minute train ride, you have a world of possibilities for food and fun! Whether you are enjoying a meal at the famous Reading Terminal Market or exploring the rich history that Philadelphia houses, you will definitely not be bored.

With all of the amazing activities in Philadelphia, it is easy to get overwhelmed with the options so I thought it would be helpful to compile a list of some of the best things to do on the extension of our campus that is the city of Philadelphia. 


Northwest Philadelphia 

One might not initially think to visit Northwest Philadelphia but this area is home to tons of features that would amaze and excite! In the mood to spend some time outside? Head to Fairmount Park and enjoy an expansive green area or riverside picnic! When you finish, take a walk down the river or, if you are feeling whimsical, rent a trolley to cycle down the path! 

Northwest Philly is also home to a number of historic attractions! In Historic Germantown you can take a tour of the Johnson House Historic Site, which was once a stop on the Underground Railroad and the site of a battle in the Revolutionary War. 


“Insta-Worthy” Philadelphia 

Philadelphia is a hub for up-and-coming art and music! Diverse in styles and backgrounds, many artists choose to channel this melting pot in their creations! Take for example the “Start from Here” Mural whose start can be found at 1315 Race Street. Tin Wei Lin created an expansive mural which shows hundreds of flags, reflecting Philadelphia’s diverse population. In fact, murals are a big part of Philadelphia’s art! For example, Eric Okdeh’s work “Legacy,” located near Independence Hall. It is a collaboration by five local public schools to pay homage to Abraham Lincoln and Frederick Douglass’s work to end slavery. 

Interested in something to reflect the historic charm of Philadelphia? Take a trip to Quincy Street, located in the Washington Square West area. It is a narrow, cobblestone street that leads you into the area of Philadelphia with the most charming “insta-worthy” backdrops you can find!


Philadelphia: A History 

Do you have a fascination with true crime? Take a trip to the Eastern State Penitentiary Historic Site to see the former home of a number of the country’s most notorious criminals. The huge building is a popular attraction for tourists and locals! It was once the most famous and expensive prison in the world, partially due to the fact that it was once the home to mobster Al Capone. If you are in the area of the “Pen” around Halloween, turn your visit into a scary ghost adventure with “Terror Behind the Walls.” 

Philadelphia is rich in history relating to independence, diversity, and women’s rights. Take a look at the Betsy Ross House located at 239 Arch Street. This house is a Philadelphia landmark and former home to Betsy Ross at the time she sewed the first American flag!


No matter what you decide to do, Philadelphia will definitely not disappoint. Saint Joseph’s University gives students access to the wealth of fun and history in Philadelphia! As a Hawk, the city is your campus. You have the opportunity to learn, whether you are on the formal campus or out exploring the city! Come take a look and see how all of Philadelphia is truly our campus.

– Jordan Robbins, Admissions Counselor