Barnes & Noble on Walnut Street 19103

Free WiFi With A View In Philadelphia, Pa Book Store

There’s nothing quite like Center City Philadelphia in winter when snow covered rooftops gleam and city dwellers shuffle past, sporting high end pea coats and newly purchased boots, leaving perfect footprints in the streets. The only way this could get better is by adding to the scene a window seat, a hot cup of tea and the smile of a genuine friend as you glance out of a frost covered window and onto the street below. This is where Walnut Street’s Barnes and Noble comes into play, carving out a special spot on our list of…

Free WiFi With A View In Philadelphia, Pa

Rittenhouse Square’s bi-level Barnes & Noble bookstore is one of just a handful of its kind. In our futuristic, digital world, coming across a massive, commercial collection of literary works is almost like finding a typewriter that sits at the portal of a parallel universe. Why? The answer is simple–the not so distant past seems light years away due mainly to a surplus of technological advancements that have put our present in the future somehow. Think of it this way, less than ten years ago, going to a bookstore or a music store or even a mall for that matter, would have been the equivalent to stopping for a cup of coffee— sweet but definitely ordinary. Today, these things simply don’t just happen. The shopping malls are shutting down one by one. Music stores are virtually non-existent. Everything that used to be tangible is virtual or at least almost everything. This last man standing Barnes and Noble is the exception and that’s only part of what makes it so exceptional.

Why We Love It

Take away the fact that it’s a tried and true staple of our not so long ago history, eliminate the oh so convenient on-site Starbucks and shelves full of handmade leather bound journals (Yes, journals. Remember them?) and what you have left is the ultimate window seat. We’re talking floor to ceiling glass, bay style windows and some serious people watching potential.

What’s The Atmosphere?

In a few words, comforting, intellectual and vintage but no so vintage that it feels antique, just vintage enough to feel like home. Have you ever felt distraught while in the moment and caught yourself longing for 2006?  If so, this is the perfect setting for you. The exterior is fresh, traditional and neutral. The inside a cross between a library and shopping mall. This is an awesome place to stop in when it’s raining 

What’s The View?

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Ant size people hailing cabs beneath you. Green flags wave triumphantly in the breeze. A wide assortment of uniformed workers hurriedly making their way around the corner to nearby sites like City Hall, Top of the Tower, Urban Outfitters, BCBG and Armani Exchange. In winter, snowflakes land on string lights, in summer be on the lookout for parades. Inside, the coffee runneth over and the excitement of turning a new page is contagious. See the video below for a glimpse into the captivating neighborhood of Rittenhouse Square.

Where To Cop A Thinking Spot

If you have the stamina for crouching you’ll definitely want to take the escalator to the second floor and climb inside one of the floor to ceiling windows situated against the far back wall.  

About The Poem At The Top Of This Page

Composed by world renowned Dr. Maya Angelou, this piece of prose, much like the PA attraction it’s been paired with, is a classic from the not so distant past. This particular book of poetry is available on amazon under the title ” The Complete Poetry “.

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The Details

Your Creative Journey Starts Here

The Barnes & Noble Bookstore’s Walnut Street location is a sixteen minute walk and a seven minute drive from Philadelphia’s centrally located City Hall making it a convenient stop on your travel to just about anywhere in the city. Children of all ages are welcome and encouraged to partake in storytime and other child oriented events during their visit. In addition to the many programs geared at tiny tots, the Barnes & Noble also hosts an ever changing lineup of exciting events like author readings, educator discussions and tabletop gaming expositions. Keep an eye on our Southeast PA event calendar for a more in-depth look at program specific happenings you might enjoy. In the meantime, the Walnut St. branch is open Mon through Fri from 8 am until 10 pm, Saturdays from 9 until 10 and Sundays from  10 am until 9 pm. Onsite features include but are not limited to:

  • Piping hot coffee
  • Games
  • Toys
  • A wide assortment of reading material and more

Insider Tip— Rittenhouse is a thriving section of the city where parking can be incredibly sparse and also pretty costly. We suggest you try bargain parking before you arrive.

More Like This— Writing places in Pennsylvania that are comparable to this location include:

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