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5 hour layover at PHL

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Toronto, Canada
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5 hour layover at PHL

Hi! I am flying in from Toronto on a Thurs afternoon at 1.30pm and my flight to Madrid is not until 6.30pm that day. I won't have any luggage with me as I imagine the airline transfers it directly from one flight to the next. The trip is not until March, but I wanted to research any touristy things I can see and do in advance (but not going to waste my time if 5 hours is too little to get to and from airport). Would it be too rushed if I only have 5 hours?

If it's too little time to leave the airport, could you suggest a place to get a good philly cheesesteak sandwich at the airport? Thanks a lot!!

Philadelphia...
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for Philadelphia
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1. Re: 5 hour layover at PHL

Downtown Philly (aka Center CIty) is a short cab ride from the airport. If your plane arrives on time, you could cab it to the historic district in 10 or 15 minutes and explore for a couple of hours before heading back to the airport. Presumably, you'll need to be at the airport two hours before your flight, thus requiring you to get back in a cab at 4 p.m.

Lynn

Baltimore, Maryland
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for North Conway
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2. Re: 5 hour layover at PHL

Getting downtown should be fine and even if the rush hour is starting when you are returning, it is a very short distance.

Walking around the historic district should not be a problem for a couple of hours.

Cherry Hill, NJ
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3. Re: 5 hour layover at PHL

It's doable, but do remember your outbound leg will close doors a little earlier than a domestic leg, so if you hit any delays inbound, stay at the airport. I would plan to be back at the airport by no later than 4:30 PM (which will also avoid rush hour potential issues).

Since you clear US customs in canada, your bags should check through.

If you do want a cheesesteak in the airport, hit up Chickie and Petes in A terminal (or C terminal). Although personally I'd go with the pork and an order of crab fries.

Philadelphia
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4. Re: 5 hour layover at PHL

If you decide to stay at the airport, I would also recommend Chickie's and Pete's. They're known for their crab fries.

Edited: 16 January 2013, 05:20
Toronto, Canada
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5. Re: 5 hour layover at PHL

Hi! thanks so much for your responses.

Will def check out Chickie and Petes for crab fries if I stay at the airport.

However, if I do end up leaving the airport, I was wondering if taxi is preferable to the train? I noticed that there is a $7 each way train to city center. Are you suggesting taxi, bcs the train is not very reliable? It seems rather convenient and there is a stop at Market East which is close to all the attractions... I think taxi would be pricier (since it'll just be me) and I'd rather spend the $ on food!

Are there any cafe/restaurant recommendations in the city center area? I'd like to try a local specialty! Thanks :)

Philadelphia
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6. Re: 5 hour layover at PHL

The train is very easy, reliable and inexpensive. It would be my first choice!

Dearborn, Michigan
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for Mont Tremblant
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7. Re: 5 hour layover at PHL

I have done it both ways and--given your limited time--recommend a taxi over the train.

Taxi is more expensive, but taxis are available when you are and the ride to the historic district is only about 15 minutes.

The SEPTA train from the airport has a twice an hour schedule (www.septa.org), travels a less direct route to the historical district and takes twice as long vs. taxi.

Though I really often prefer trains, I think that taxi is the best option for you to accomplish what you want in the time that you have. An alternative, if the train schedule meshes with yours and you have adequate time, would be to consider train from the airport and return by taxi.

Edited: 16 January 2013, 19:31
Philadelphia
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8. Re: 5 hour layover at PHL

Exactly. If your plane lands and the train is scheduled to leave soon, them take the train. It runs twice per hour. Otherwise just take a taxi to save time and see more.

Have fun!

Edited: 16 January 2013, 19:49
Bucks County...
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for Philadelphia, Train Travel, Bucks County
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9. Re: 5 hour layover at PHL

I agree with tylerarb. FYI, Taxi fare is $28 each way ( plus tip).

Philadelphia
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10. Re: 5 hour layover at PHL

It's also a good 10 minute walk (at least), from the train station to where the toursity sites are, whereas a cab can drop off/pick up exactly where you want to go. It's really a tradeoff between how much time you want to have vs. how much money you want to spend.