The Rocky Statue and the Rocky Steps
Two of the most famous tourist attractions in Philadelphia
The Rocky Statue and the “Rocky Steps” — better known as the Art Museum Steps — are two of the most popular attractions in Philadelphia.
Visiting the statue, running up the steps and taking a picture at the top is pretty much a must on your first visit to Philadelphia. It’s a rite of passage.
The Rocky Statue
One of Philadelphia’s most famous pieces of public art is a bigger-than-life boxer… literally. Originally created for Rocky III, the sculpture is now a real-life monument to a celluloid hero. The fictional Rocky Balboa of Sylvester Stallone’s Rocky movies was immortalized in bronze in 1980. After filming for the movie completed, Stallone donated the statue to the City of Philadelphia.
The statue is located at the bottom of the stairs at the Philadelphia Museum of Art, so be sure to get a photo with Rocky Balboa himself.
Insider Tip for Photos: On nice weekend days, there can be a a short line of people waiting to take their photo with the statue. The good news is it’s become a welcome practice for the people behind you in line to take a photo of you with the statue if you want, and then they ask the same of the people behind them and so on. Once you get your favorite shot, be sure to tag it with the hashtag #visitphilly.
The Rocky Steps
As famous as the statue itself is, the stairs leading to the East Entrance of the Philadelphia Museum of Art, aka “The Rocky Steps,” may be even more famous. In fact, they’ve been declared the second most famous movie filming location in the entire world(!!).
Making the iconic trip up the steps is regarded as a symbol of perseverance and determination — and a must-do on your visit to Philadelphia.
Each year, tens of thousands of people, young and old, recreate the scene from the legendary movie and make the trek up the steps. So remember to pack running shoes before you make the trip!
Photo Op: Once you reach the top and mimic Rocky’s triumphant celebration, turn around for a breathtaking view of the scenic Benjamin Franklin Parkway and the Philadelphia skyline. And be sure to tag your photos with the hashtag #visitphilly.
Our Guide to Rocky’s Philadelphia – Itinerary & Interactive Map
Want to follow in Rocky’s actual footsteps? You can do just that with our new Rocky Tour of Philadelphia. Recreate his famous run up the Art Museum steps; grab an authentic cheesesteak at Pat’s, the very place he stopped at in the original Rocky; walk through the Italian Market and then stop by an old-school butcher shop, where — SPOILER — they’re probably not going to let you go in the back and use the meat as a punching bag.
Click below to check out our full guide to Rocky’s Philadelphia, complete with an interactive map of where to find the most famous locales.
The Philadelphia Museum of Art
Once you jog up the steps and snap a photo, keep going and you’ll hit the East Entrance of the Philadelphia Museum of Art, the third-largest art museum in the country and an absolute must-see on the city’s cultural circuit.
Among its impressive holdings in Renaissance, American, Impressionist and Modern art, some standouts include a great Rogier van der Weyden altarpiece, a large Bathers by Cezanne, a room devoted to Philadelphia’s own Thomas Eakins, and Marcel Duchamp’s notorious mixed-media Bride Stripped Bare by her Bachelors (The Large Glass), exactly as the dada master installed it.
Upstairs, breathe in other cultures and times through over 80 period rooms, from the medieval cloister to the Indian temple. The Museum has wowed visitors in recent years with shows it helped to organize, from Cezanne and Degas to Brancusi and Barnett Newman.
Bonus: On the first Sunday of the month and every Wednesday after 5 p.m., you can name your price of admission.
For more on the Philadelphia Museum of Art, click the button below.
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