Information for Travellers
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Accessibility | International Airport (PHL) | Currency, Exchange and Banking Services | Childcare | Electricity | Getting To and Around Philadelphia | Directions to Westin via Train (SEPTA) | | Language | Postage | Restaurants | Smoking | Taxes | Telephone | Tips | Tours | Weather | If You Arrive Early
The Visitors Bureau provide information on tourism and culture for people with restricted physical ability. Information may be found here:
Distance from the Westin Philadelphia:
9 miles/15 kilometers (approximately 21 minutes).
The Westin Philadelphia does not provide shuttle service.
Taxi: Taxicabs are readily available. There is a $28.50 flat-rate charge (one-way fare, airport access fee already included) to travel to Center City Philadelphia.
Currency, Exchange and Banking Services
U.S. currency is the dollar, which is divided into 100 cents. There are $1, $5, $10, $20, $50 and $100 bills. Coins are the penny ($.01), the nickel ($.05), the dime ($.10) and the quarter ($.25). While 50 and 100 dollar bills are available, some stores are cautious about accepting bills larger than $20 because of counterfeits.
We suggest you convert funds into U.S. dollars before leaving home as you may obtain a better rate of exchange from your own banking institution.
Banking services, ATMs, and currency exchange offices are available near the Westin Philadelphia; please ask the hotel concierge for directions.
Major travellers' cheques are accepted in places that accept credit cards, but are not universally accepted as cash. Most stores and restaurants accept Visa and MasterCard and some accept American Express and Discover Card. You usually get the most favourable exchange rate by using your credit card. Most ATMs are networked to Cirrus and Interac and accept major credit cards.
– Guests must set up this service themselves
Electrical outlets in the United States are 120 volts (60 cycles). They are of two types: type A (2 pins) and type B (3 pins). If your appliances are designed for a different standard, you will need to use an adapter.
Getting To and Around Philadelphia
Directions to Westin via train (SEPTA)
Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority (SEPTA)
- The price is $6.75 each way.
- Trains depart the airport every 30 minutes between 4:52 am to 11:52 pm and return from Center City (ie. Westin) every 30 minutes from 5:07 am to 12:30 am.
- All airport trains take the same route so you cannot get on the wrong train. They go from the City to terminal E/F and back.
- At the airport Terminal A and Terminal B each have their own station and Terminal C/D and Terminal E/F share a station.
- Usually airport trains stay on schedule, but Google maps or @SEPTA_AIR are the best way to see if trains are delayed.
Once you leave the plane:
- Head towards baggage claim and look for signs that say "CENTER CITY TRAIN"
- As you leave the terminal to head to baggage claim you will walk through a covered a tunnel and pass over the airport train stop. If you do not need to go baggage claim take the stairs down to the train. If you do need to go to baggage claim, to take the train you will come back to this same staircase.
- At the bottom of the stairs is a kiosk to buy a train ticket. Purchase a "Quick trip ticket". Tickets are only good for 24 hours so do not buy your return ticket at the same time. Note: Currently only credit and debit card can be used to purchase tickets.
- After purchasing ticket walk outside and look for the sign across the tracks with an arrow pointing towards "Trains to Center City Philadelphia", and get on the next train heading that direction. If you happen to get on the train heading the other way it is not a problem, it will just go to Terminal E/F and then head back to Center City.
- After leaving the airport the stop for the Westin is the fourth stop at Suburban Station.
- After getting of the train at Suburban Station walk up the stairs and follow the signs to exit on 17th Street and head up the stairs to exit. Note: The signs to "1701" are different and lead to a food court and shopping center.
- When you exit you should be on 17th and JFK. Head south two blocks and the Westin will be on the left (on the corner of 17th and Chestnut).
Lyft or Uber
Typical cost is ~$20-25. If you have not used Lyft before you can use code "Cachexia2018" for $5 off your first ride or if you have not used Uber before you can enter code "kzwfu" for a free trip
Note: If using Lyft or Uber open the app when you land and it will give you directions on where to go. Sometimes it changes from the directions below.
For UberX, UberXL, and UberPool:
- Head to baggage claim and exit via Ground Transportation/Shuttles door (this is on the "Arrivals Level").
- Cross the first street to the median. On the median is the "Passenger Pickup" spot. For UberBlack or UberSUV
- Exit Baggage Claim via Limo Pickup Zone 6 door
Philly on foot
Year after year, Philadelphia is rated as one of the best walking cities in the country. And it's no wonder why – the city layout is simple to master and our neighborhood streets are filled with fun and diverse shops, restaurants, museums, parks and people.
Colorful directional signs called "Walk! Philadelphia" have been added throughout Center City that will help you navigate even better. Center City District, the organization responsible for "Walk! Philadelphia," also populates the streets with uniformed goodwill ambassadors who act as strolling concierges. These ambassadors answer questions, give directions and stay in radio contact with Philadelphia police to promote public safety.
Aside from walking, Philadelphia's excellent transit system is the best way to get around town. The Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority (SEPTA), the nation's fifth-largest transit system, is the most comprehensive bus/subway/commuter-rail system in the United States. SEPTA's vast network of bus, subway, and trolley commuter services will get you anywhere you need to go — or at least very close.
Philly by bike
Philadelphia is quickly becoming one of the most bike-friendly big cities in the country with dedicated bike lanes on city streets, hundreds of miles of trails and a growing number of bicycle commuters.
Taxis can be found all over town and are great ways to get to various destinations throughout the city if you're in a hurry. Cabs are easy to find at transportation hubs like the Philadelphia International Airport and 30th Street Station, but you can also hail one the old fashioned way on most busy city streets.
Road signs and speed limit:
The United States uses the English system of measurement, so speeds are indicated in miles and gas is sold in gallons. Road signs are in English. Please observe and obey all road signs and traffic signals throughout the metro area.
Cell phone and driving:
The use of a hand-held cell phone that does not have a "hands-free" function is prohibited by law while driving.
If you are renting or driving your own car into Philadelphia, you'll want to be familiar with the city's street parking. Access the link below to learn more about Parking in Philadelphia.
Read more: http://www.visitphilly.com/getting-around/
Getting To Philadelphia
An international destination, Philadelphia is easily accessed by land and air.
- New York City: 97 miles / 156 kilometers
- Baltimore, MD: 106 miles / 171 kilometers
- Washington, DC: 139 miles / 224 kilometers
- Richmond, VA: 249 miles / 401 kilometers
- Boston, MA: 310 miles / 499 kilometers
For complete tourist information, please visit: www.discoverphl.com
English is the official language of the United States.
You can send packages and buy stamps at any United States Post Office. To find post offices near the Westin Philadelphia, visit the USPS website: www.usps.com or ask the hotel concierge for directions.
Philadelphia restaurants bring together Iron Chefs (Garces and Morimoto), James Beard winners (Solomonov), Top Chefs (Elmi) and more (Vetri, Vernick and others) into a melting pot of global cuisines. Whether you want to treat yourself to a sure-to-be-unforgettable gourmet meal, chow down on the city's trademark cheesesteak or try something new and different, the Philadelphia dining scene is diverse enough to suit every taste.
Smoking is prohibited in most all public establishments, including bars and restaurants. Please make sure that you inquire at your location regarding their policy before smoking.
The Philadelphia, Pennsylvania Sales Tax Rate is 8%. This is the total of state, county and city sales tax rates. The Pennsylvania state sales tax rate is currently 6%.
You may purchase prepaid phone cards in different denominations at most convenience stores or pharmacies. If you are traveling to the U.S. from abroad, check with your cellular provider to see if your phone can be used in the U.S. and what the charges would be. You can also purchase prepaid cellular phones from the many cellular providers in the Philadelphia area.
- Directory assistance: 411
- Operator: 0
- Emergency: 911
- Police Non-Emergency number: 311
Service is generally not included in restaurants. It is customary to give restaurant waiters and waitresses a tip representing 15 to 20% of the total before taxes. In bars, the tip tends to be offered as you pay for each drink or round. Taxi drivers also normally get a tip of 15% as do those who render personal services such as haircuts. Hotel porters generally receive $2 per bag. Many counter service establishments have a tip jar: whether you drop in a bit of change is entirely up to you.
Liberty Bell tours are free.
Note: You do not need tickets for the Liberty Bell Center, however you do need tickets for Independence Hall. Please feel free to consult the sites below:
Average temperature mid-September in Philadelphia, PA can range from 60°F (16°C) as a low to 80°F (27°C) as a high. Be sure pack a variety of clothing for various temperatures. To check weather conditions for Philadelphia, visit: www.weather.com
If You Arrive Early
The Westin is connected to the Liberty Place towers that help define the city's skyline. Liberty Place has an observation deck from the top that is open 365 days per year (https://phillyfromthetop.com/) that is one of the best views of the city.
On the ground floor of the Liberty Place towers are numerous shops and including a local distillery that recently opened a tasting room (Bluebird Distilling).
After arriving at the hotel Uber/Lyft are the easiest way to get around the city. If you have not used Lyft before you can use code "Cachexia2018" for $5 off your first ride or if you have not used Uber before you can enter code "kzwfu" for a free trip.
Typical fares from Westin to:
- Art museum (aka Rocky stairs): $7
- Penn's Landing: $8
- Independence Mall (Liberty bell, National Constitution Center, Independence beer garden): $6
- Reading terminal marker (America's oldest farmers market) and China Town: $5 (or walking distance)
- Franklin Institute: $5 (or walking distance)
- Eastern State Penitentiary (First prison of the modern prison style designed at meeting at Ben Franklin's house. House Al Capone and Willie Sutton and once was the largest and most expensive structure in the country): $7
The subway/trains in the city are more affordable but not always on schedule and can be difficult to navigate. Link to subway/train map schedule and fares: http://www.septa.org/