Short History of Phoenix

Phoenix, Arizona, the fifth-largest city in the United States, has a history that dates back to ancient times. Initially inhabited by the Hohokam people over 2,000 years ago, they mysteriously disappeared around 1450 AD. The modern city, founded in the mid-19th century by a Confederate veteran Jack Swilling, was built on the remnants of the Hohokam civilization. Swilling saw the potential for farming in the area, using the old Hohokam irrigation system. The city was named Phoenix as it symbolizes a city born from the ruins of a former civilization. It rapidly grew due to its agricultural potential and became the state capital in 1889. Today, Phoenix is a vibrant, thriving city known for its art, culture, high-end spa resorts, high-tech industries, and desirable weather.

FAQ for Phoenix

What is the best way to get there?
The best way to get to Phoenix is by air. Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport is one of the busiest airports in the U.S., serving several domestic and international flights.

What is Phoenix famous for?
Phoenix is known for its warm temperatures, Sonoran-style cuisine, high-end spa resorts, golf courses, hiking trails, and professional sports teams, including the Phoenix Suns (NBA) and Arizona Cardinals (NFL).

What are five interesting facts about Phoenix?

  • Phoenix is the only state capital with a population of over a million residents.
  • Phoenix has more sunshine than any other major U.S. city.
  • It’s home to the largest municipal park in North America, South Mountain Park and Preserve.
  • Phoenix’s Sonoran Desert is the only place on earth where the saguaro cactus grows.
  • The “Greater Phoenix” area consists of 22 towns and cities including Scottsdale and Mesa.

How did Phoenix get its name?
The city was named Phoenix to symbolize a city born from the ruins of the Hohokam civilization.

What are some travel tips for Phoenix?
Always stay hydrated, apply sunblock regularly, and wear a hat or sunglasses when outdoors. Also, remember to respect the desert wildlife and stay on the marked trails when hiking.

Do I need a visa?
Visa requirements depend on your nationality. Visitors from countries part of the Visa Waiver Program can visit the United States for up to 90 days without a visa.

When is the best time to visit Phoenix?
The best time to visit Phoenix is from November to April, during the winter and spring when the weather is mild and enjoyable.

Are there local customs I should know for Phoenix?

In Arizona, the legal drinking age is 21. Also, it’s illegal to consume alcohol in public places outside of designated drinking areas.

Standard American greetings apply in Phoenix. A handshake or a simple ‘Hi’ is common for introductions.

Public transit
Phoenix has a comprehensive public transportation system, including buses, light rail, and shuttles. Remember to have exact change or purchase a transit pass in advance.

What is the time zone for Phoenix?
Phoenix operates on Mountain Standard Time (MST) year-round. It’s one of the few U.S. cities that does not observe daylight saving time.

What are the voltage/plug types?
The standard voltage is 120 V, and the frequency is 60 Hz. The power plugs and sockets are type A and B.

What is the currency?
The currency is the U.S. dollar (USD).

Are ATMs readily accessible?
Yes, ATMs are widely available throughout the city.

Are credit cards widely accepted?
Yes, credit cards are accepted in almost all businesses in Phoenix.

Can you use ApplePay and Google Pay?
Yes, most businesses in Phoenix support Apple Pay and Google Pay.

How much do I tip in Phoenix?

It’s customary to tip 15%-20% of the total bill for good service.

In restaurants and bars, the tipping range is generally 15%-20% of the total bill before tax.

For hotel staff, $1-$5 per bag for bellhops, and $2-$5 per day for housekeeping.

For taxi drivers, a 15%-20% tip of the fare is customary.

Tour guides
For tour guides, a tip of $5-$10 per person for a day tour is appreciated.

City Information

City Founding
Population (as of 2023)

1.64 million (source)
1,086 feet (331 m)


High (°C / °F)
Low (°C / °F)

Winter (December – February)
20°C / 68°F
7°C / 45°F

Spring (March – May)
29°C / 84°F
15°C / 59°F

Summer (June – August)
41°C / 106°F
27°C / 81°F

Fall (September – November)
31°C / 88°F
18°C / 64°F