"How to Save Money" Philadelphia Museum of Art Tip by PR-7

The Philadelphia Museum of Art is one of the finest collections of art in the U.S., if not the world. Even without a special exhibit, the admission price is worth every penny.

The first Sunday of every month is a "pay what you wish" day. It's perfectly acceptable to pay nothing on such days. I HOPE that, after you've seen what this place has to offer, you'll glady support its mission by dropping off some money after you leave. Note that, no matter what, you MUST pay an admission for any special exhibit.

This art museum has reciprocal privileges with other major U.S. art museums, such that if you give at "Supporter" level at one such institution, you may well get free admission here at Philadelphia. Check with the art museum in your nearby metropolis, and see if paying a yearly fee for admission to it, will save you enough when you visit other ones around the country.

A problem comes when it comes time to pay for parking. This is not a problem for those using the Philly Phlash or the Septa #38 bus -- either recommended for visitors here for a couple days.
If you're using your car, however, parking can be an added expense. You can park at the Art Museum Lot at these prices:
or the Eakins Oval parking area for $10, flat rate.

Or you can, if you plan wisely, pay nothing for parking. Here's some ways how:
1) If you do a map search for "Waterwork Drive" in Philadelphia (ZIP 19130) you'll see that this street is adjacent to the Art Museum. On most any day, OTHER than weekends with good weather, you can find a parking space here. There is no cost for the first two hours -- but, if it's not crowded (and, on weekdays with miserable weather, it's never crowded), you can USUALLY park here for a lot longer with no trouble (Note, if you get a ticket for doing so, don't complain that I PROMISED you wouldn't get one, as I'm only saying I've never gotten one). After that, it's a short UPHILL walk to the main entrance.
2) If the weather is nice, or you don't want to take a chance, park anywhere near the Perleman Building. Street parking, while not easy to find, is safe and free for up to four hours. You can pay for admission at the Perleman (make certain you pay for BOTH buildings) and then ride the free shuttle up to the Main Building. When done, take the shuttle back to the Perleman, see it if you like, and then return to your car. Note that city streets look a LOT alike after several hours looking at this much art, so make ABSOLUTELY certain you remember where you parked.
3) If all else fails, park along Sedgely Drive in Fairmount Park. Again, it's safe and free for several hours. The only problem is that it's longer to walk to either the main building or the Perleman.

In all three of the above, you can drive right to the main entrance, drop off passengers, park your car, and then meet everyone else at the main lobby.

If you have a coat, you must either wear it or check it (no charge) at the coat check. Tips there are not expected, but are always appreciated.

Directions: Northwest end of Ben Franklin Parkway, at 26th Street
Phone: 12157638100
Website: http://www.philamuseum.org/visit/

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  • Updated Mar 12, 2010
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