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10 best places to view the Philadelphia skyline

The top of the Art Museum steps, the South Street Bridge, and other lesser-known vantage points.

A view of the Philadelphia skyline can be seen from the top of the tower at City Hall on July 25, 2018.
A view of the Philadelphia skyline can be seen from the top of the tower at City Hall on July 25, 2018.Read moreHEATHER KHALIFA / Staff Photographer

Our skyline has grown up quite a bit since One Liberty Place became the first building to eclipse the top of City Hall in 1987. Here's where to go to see Philly's best angles.

One Liberty Observation Deck, 1650 Market St.

Getting to the top of Liberty Place costs $14.50 for adults and $9.50 for children, but the panoramic views of the city from 57 floors up are hard to beat.

City Hall Tower Observation Deck

Tours run Monday through Friday every 15 minutes until 4:15 p.m and on some Saturdays. Get ready to know your neighbors on the small elevator ride up and then see Philadelphia from one of its longest-standing perches for $8 a ticket.

Belmont Plateau, Fairmount Park

Bring a picnic, grab a kite or a soccer ball, and head about four miles west of Center City, where the park offers stunning glimpses of the skyline.

It's featured in Will Smith's music video "Summertime," and as Hidden City author Bradley Maule wrote, the plateau is Philly's Philly skyline:

The skyline from the South Street Bridge — that's our postcard view. The skyline from the steps of the Art Museum? That's the one our tourists Instagram, arms raised high like whatshisface. From the Sports Complex? That's the Philly skyline the rest of the country sees when the camera pans back slowly while the Chevy and Budweiser ads rotate as "NBC Sunday Night Football" comes back from commercial break. But the Plateau? That's Philly's Philly skyline. From a high hill four miles northwest of Center City.

Art Museum steps

From the top of the steps of the Philadelphia Museum of Art (run, don't walk), look out at the Benjamin Franklin Parkway to City Hall for one of Philadelphia's most iconic sight lines.

Cira Green Rooftop Park

The best view around from the top of a parking garage.

Benjamin Franklin Bridge

Great for runners or walkers looking for a three-mile jaunt over and back.

Lemon Hill

Once owned by Robert Morris, a merchant and signer of the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution, Lemon Hill house was the first property acquired by the city for the creation of Fairmount Park. 

South Street Bridge

One of the best-known (and impressive) views of the skyline.

Bok Bar

The roof of the former Edward W. Bok Technical High School at 800 Mifflin St. has become a popular summer spot to sip cocktails as the sun sets on the city's skyline. The bar is closed for the winter, but other rooftop bars open year-round include: R2L, atop Two Liberty Place, Assembly at the top of the Logan Hotel, and XIX at the top of the Bellevue. The Four Seasons at the Comcast Technology Center will open in mid-2019.

Wiggins Waterfront Park, Camden 

The best view of Philadelphia might not even be in the city but across the Delaware from Camden's waterfront park.