Philly’s Magic Gardens could not be more perfectly named. They certainly are an extremely magical place. In my opinion the best hidden gem of Philly, no trip is complete without stopping by to see the beauty.
Visiting the Magic Gardens
A small wonderland of beauty and art, a maze of endless bright and colorful mosaics, I’ve visited the Magic Gardens twice. This amazing place is constructed out of bicycle pieces, glass bottles, ceramic shards, and other recycled materials.
In the 1960s artist Isaiah Zagar (South Philly native) began tiling South Street in Philly and he hasn’t stopped since! You can see some of his artwork just walking down and around South Street itself, but the museum is stunning beyond compare with its almost overwhelming compilation of colors, textures, and designs.
The museum itself consists of an indoor and an outdoor area. Although it is quite small, there are endless little nooks to explore and interesting tidbits to discover. Since most of the artwork is mosaic style, it’s so fun to look at the pieces in detail, read what is written, and try to interpret it.
The cost per person per visit is $15. Advance tickets are required due to corona and can be purchased on the museum’s website here.
When to Go
Although it is not extremely popular and many people have not heard of it, the museum is rather small, so there will probably be a decent amount of people there when you visit. If you’re looking to take nice photos, consider going in the morning. There will be less people and also the lighting is softer (the mirrors in the artwork reflect the sunlight a lot)
Philly’s Magic Gardens are open every day from 11am-6pm except for Tuesday on which they are completely closed!
Tips for Visiting Philly’s Magic Gardens
- Parking-Parking is usually pretty simple in Philly (we’re not New York) and street parking is usually easy to find. Of course there are parking garages as well, but street parking is usually safe and simple. On normal occasions, South Street in particular has plenty street parking options right near the museum
- Safety– Philly overall is a pretty safe city, especially for tourists that won’t be traveling to the more dangerous neighborhoods. As in all cities, always be careful of theft, lock your car doors, keep an eye on your belongings, and be extra cautious at night. South Street, where this museum is located is a generally safe area as well, specifically during the day.
- Traditional Philadelphia– Philly has some pretty famous landmarks- The Liberty Bell, the Philadelphia Art Museum, the Rocky Steps, and more! If you’re looking for travel tips for visiting the typical places check out this site!
- Food– If you’ve never been to Philly before, you should definitely try some traditional Philadelphia foods. The most famous are Philly Cheesesteak and Soft Pretzels. I promise you won’t be disappointed!
Things to Do in the Area
Located on South Street, Philly’s Magic Gardens are in a great place with many fun things to do right nearby. The street itself is one of Philly’s most famous streets. Music lovers, artists, hipsters, lawyers, and ruffians combine to make this incredibly unique place with an unmatched vibe.
Spend some time exploring this famous street! Whether you’re looking for the perfect Philly cheesesteak or a hipster café, there are countless options of fun places to eat. Vinyl stores and eccentric music shops line the roads. Street artists offer their goods. Eclectic styles and risque fashion shops are endless. There is certainly no end of interesting places to explore in the area.
And stay on the lookout for bits of the Magic Gardens that linger beyond just the museum!
One of my favorite places in all of Philly is located on South Street, just a few minutes’ walk from the Magic Gardens. Retrospect vintage is a storehouse of adorable and one of a kind vintage pieces. Specializing in the 1940s to the 1980s there are so many goodies to be found here. Shoes, hats, jackets, sweaters, dresses, accessories, and so much more.
Looking for more fun things to do in Philadelphia? Check out our post HIDDEN GEMS OF PHILADELPHIA – DAY TRIP TO THE CITY OF BROTHERLY LOVE for more fun ideas and places to see.
If you have extra time traveling in Pennsylvania, we certainly have a list of amazing places to visit. Check out our USA-Pennsylvania page here!
Lots of Love and Safe Travels,
Danielle and Brooke, Colorful Sisters