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Visiting the Rocky Steps in Philadelphia is one of my favorite things to do when I’m in the City of Brotherly Love.
Actor Sylvester Stallone first made the steps of the Philadelphia Museum of Art famous in his 1976 rags-to-riches drama Rocky — the tale of a scrappy boxer from South Philly named Rocky Balboa who rises to national fame when he’s selected to square off with a heavyweight champion Apollo Creed.
Many Philadelphia landmarks are featured in Rocky, including:
But the one that gets the most screen time is the Philadelphia Museum of Art — specifically, those 72 famous steps that take visitors from Kelly Drive and Martin Luther King Jr. Drive to the entrance of the Philadelphia Museum of Art.
In the movie, Rocky jogs up the steps during one of his early morning workout sessions just before his climactic fight against Creed. Here’s the unforgettable scene where Rocky climbs the museum steps:
So, how about visiting those famous Rocky Steps?
Tens of thousands of people jog up and down the Rocky steps every year.
Many also pay homage to the fictional character that help put those steps on the map by visiting the 9-foot-tall bronze statue near the entrance to the Museum of Art.
Did You Know?… Sylvester Stallone commissioned sculptor A. Thomas Schomberg to design the Rocky statue in 1981. It appears in Rocky III. After filming was finished, Stallone donated the statue to the city of Philadelphia.
My Tips For Visiting The Rocky Steps & Statue
The Philadelphia Museum of Art is located in Center City — which is the heart of Philly.
It’s easily accessible from the major streets of Philadelphia. It’s located just a few blocks from I-676 and right near Spring Garden Street. I’ve gotten to the art museum in less than 10 minutes from I-95!
The most convenient place to park is in Eakins Oval — a huge courtyard area with a fountains, including the famous Washington Monument Fountain. The parking area in Eakins Oval is usually pretty busy. It’ll cost you $12 to park there. But it’s so convenient, and is in my opinion one of the better parking deals in this part of Center City.
Once you’ve parked your car, you’ll see the Rocky Steps just off to the west. You’ll need to cross Kelly Drive or Martin Luther King, Jr. Drive. (These 2 roads criss-cross in front of the museum.) Off to your right is the Rocky statue, and front and center are the Rocky Steps.
Just a quick side note — the last time I visited the Rocky Steps, the statue area was closed for renovations. I hear the Rocky statue is open once again, so you should definitely take a moment to stop by the bronze landmark and get your photo taken in front of the larger-than-life statue.
When I’ve been to the Rocky statue in the past, I’ve never had any problem getting fellow tourists to take a photo of me in exchange for doing the same for them.
Climbing the steps is free — and it’s so much fun!
Get to the top of the Rocky Steps and raise a couple of ceremonial fists into the air (Rocky style, of course). You made it to the top of the most famous steps in Philadelphia and, perhaps, movie history.
Why Not Visit The Philadelphia Museum Of Art, Too?
While you’re at the Rocky Steps or the Rocky statue, you might as well visit the Philadelphia Museum of Art as well.
Built in 1876 for the Centennial Exposition, the Museum of Art boasts more than 240,000 pieces and has some of the most famous works in the world. From Pablo Picasso to Vincent van Gogh, some of the most renowned artists are represented there.
As I’m writing this, the museum offers a Pay What You Wish admission on certain days. Be sure to check out the museum’s website for more info on admission, hours, special discounts, and current exhibits.
More About The Rocky Statue & Steps
In addition to the links I’ve included above, here are some other great resources to help you find fun facts about the Rocky Steps and statue:
- A Guide to Rocky Filming Locations In Philadelphia
- The Yo, Philly! Rocky Film Tour
- Philly Tourists Run Up Rocky Steps And Run Into Rocky
- How Did Rocky Go In His Training Run?
- The Rocky Movies Still Get Philadelphia
I’m a Florida native, a roller coaster junkie, and a frequent traveler. (Long road trips are my favorite.) Born and raised in Tampa, I grew up visiting Busch Gardens Tampa Bay. I authored the book Busch Gardens Tampa Bay: Images of Modern America, which details the colorful history of the Busch Gardens theme park. As a local historian, I’ve also written about other popular landmarks and attractions for a variety of publications. Here, on this Travel Guide, I like sharing little-known facts and fun stuff about all the places I’ve been — so you will have a good idea of what those places are like and what you should know before you go. I especially enjoy helping others plan fun trips… on a budget!