About Philadelphia

Founded in 1682, Philadelphia is one of the oldest cities in the U.S. and currently the sixth most populous city in the country. Known colloquially as “Philly,” the city has a rich history at the center of the American Revolution, including serving as the location for the signing of the Declaration of Independence in 1776. Philly is home of the Liberty Bell, which is depicted in the logo of the ISTH 2021 Congress. It remains a prominent symbol of freedom and American independence. 


Today, Philadelphia’s many universities and colleges make it a top study destination, as the city has evolved into an educational and economic hub. It is home to five schools of medicine, including the Perelman School of Medicine of the University of Pennsylvania, the oldest medical school in the U.S.  


Respected widely for its museums, public art, and cuisine, Philly has a unique and exciting cultural scene. As many recognize it as the setting for the 1976 film, Rocky, Philadelphia and its cosmopolitan collection of citizens truly exemplify Rocky Balboa’s spirit of persistence and tenacity in the “City of Brotherly Love.” 


Visiting Philadelphia

Philadelphia offers everything you will find in a major metropolitan city, with the ease of a small town. Ranked as one of the most walkable cities in the nation, visitors can easily explore multiple neighborhoods, attractions and restaurants. It’s also easy to hop on a bike, bus, or train to navigate the city.


Explore the links below to find out all there is to see and do in Philadelphia:


View the ISTH Hotels page for special accommodation rates.


Main Airport: Philadelphia International Airport (PHL) – Located just 25 minutes from the Pennsylvania Convention Center and hotels in the ISTH block. Learn more about transportation to and from the airport:



Enjoy tax-free shopping on clothing and shoes in Philadelphia. Plus, you will find hip, independent boutiques in Philadelphia’s diverse neighborhoods—perfect for picking up souvenirs and one-of-a-kind gifts.



Philadelphia has a booming food scene. From nationally recognized restaurants with award-winning chefs to local favorites, there’s something to excite every palate. Home of the cheesesteak and hoagie, the city also boasts countless establishments dishing out comfort food favorites.


Reading Market

Located next to the Philadelphia Convention Center is Reading Market, a pubic market in the heart of Philadelphia since 1893. Available for a quick lunch or mid-congress snack, Reading Market has something for everyone.

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