Berlin, Germany, March 10, 2016 – The Pacific Area Travel Writers Association (PATWA) named Philadelphia the Best Destination – Heritage & Culture during its International Awards Ceremony at ITB, Berlin. PATWA chooses winners through a stringent process that includes a jury of members, officials and traveler judges, and previous winners include Vienna and Mumbai.

“Philadelphia is honored to be selected for this prestigious award, recognizing it as a world-class city full of historic and cultural attractions that will impress visitors from across the globe,” said Julie Coker Graham, President and CEO of the Philadelphia Convention & Visitors Bureau (PHLCVB). “In 2015, Philadelphia was named a World Heritage City by the Organization of World Heritage Cities, making it the first and only city in the United States with this esteemed designation. Both these accolades, in addition to many others we have received, will certainly attract more visitors to Philadelphia and we look forward to welcoming them.”

Known as the birthplace of America, Philadelphia offers a vast array of historic activities. Visitors can walk in the footsteps of history in Independence National Historical Park, “America’s most historic square mile,” and stroll along Philadelphia’s charming cobblestone streets lined with historical landmarks. Independence Hall, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, is where the Declaration of Independence was signed. Visitors can also get up close to the Liberty Bell, symbol of the nation’s freedom, or tour the Betsy Ross House, a historic house that commemorates the life and accomplishments of Betsy Ross, a Philadelphia patriot believed to have made the first American flag.

In addition, Philadelphia’s world-class museums showcase some of the world’s finest art collections. Philadelphia’s vast collection of art museums is located along the Benjamin Franklin Parkway, also dubbed “Museum Mile,” where visitors will find The Philadelphia Museum of Art, the third-largest art museum in the United States, the Rodin Museum, which houses the largest collection of Rodin sculptures outside of Paris and another not-to-miss museum, The Barnes Foundation, where visitors will find the world’s largest private collection of Impressionist and post-Impressionist masterpieces. This extraordinary collection is definitely worth a trip, featuring masterpieces by Renoir, Cézanne and Matisse, and provides a depth of work by these artists unavailable elsewhere. Those with an edgier bent will enjoy the work of the City of Philadelphia Mural Arts Program. Started as an anti-graffiti initiative, the program has morphed into an ambitious effort that’s beautified thousands of blank walls around the city. There are close to 4,000 murals around the city.

Travellers will also be thrilled with the city’s cultural scene, where they can take in world-renowned music performances by The Philadelphia Orchestra at the architecturally-stunning Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts; or opera, ballet or Broadway shows at the Academy of Music.

Perfectly situated on the East Coast of the United States, just two hours or less by train from New York City and Washington, DC, Philadelphia is a convenient hub for travels in the northeast region and a premier destination for leisure, conventions and business travellers.