Chopper 6 HD was over Center City as the marchers, carrying banners, made their way through the streets.
Traffic was gridlocked as protesters gathered at a Wells Fargo bank branch. They eventually marched for several blocks before sitting in the middle of a busy street and blocking traffic.
The Philadelphia Police Department said Walnut Street at 17th was blocked. Drivers were encouraged to find alternate routes.
A number of the occupiers then made their way to Rittenhouse Square before dispersing by 6:00 p.m.
Across the U.S., hundreds of activists joined the worldwide May Day protests, with Occupy Wall Street members in several cities leading demonstrations against major financial institutions.
In New York, police in riot gear lined the front of a Bank of America, facing several dozen Occupy activists marching behind barricades. "Bank of America. Bad for America!" they chanted.
About 50 demonstrators in Chicago rallied outside another of the bank's branches. They allowed patrons to go inside, but the doorway was eventually blocked by police who placed their bicycles end to end.