Independence Hall

#2 in Best Things To Do in Philadelphia
Independence Hall picture1 of 3
Independence Hall2 of 3
Tim Hawk/Courtesy Philadelphia Convention & Visitors Bureau

Key Info

520 Chestnut St.

Price & Hours

Free
9 a.m.-5 p.m. daily

Details

Sightseeing, Free Type
1 to 2 hours Time to Spend
4.7

scorecard

  • 5.0Value
  • 3.5Facilities
  • 4.5Atmosphere

If you're interested in history, you must visit this red-brick Georgian-style building (located in Independence National Historical Park in the Old City), where the Second Continental Congress met off and on from 1775 to 1783. More importantly, it was here that the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution were debated, drafted and signed by our forefathers. While touring Independence Hall, you'll have the chance to see the Assembly Room where George Washington was appointed the commander in chief of the Continental Army. You can also see surviving copies of the declaration, the Constitution and the Articles of Confederation, all displayed in the West Wing's Great Essentials Exhibit.

From March through December, you must obtain a ticket for a tour to visit Independence Hall (tickets are free, but there is a $1.50 ticket-handling fee). Many recent visitors recommend reserving tickets in advance to avoid waiting. They also say the guides, who are national park rangers, are great. You don't need a ticket to visit in January and February, but you must join a guided tour. A limited quantity of free tickets are available every day at the ranger's desk in the Independence Visitor Center at 6th and Market streets. This is the only place to obtain free, timed entry tickets. Several of the city's top walking tours also make a stop here.

Independence Hall is open daily with tours beginning at 9 a.m., closing at 5 p.m. Check out the NPS website for more information.

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Type
Time to Spend
#1 Liberty Bell Center

Opposite Independence Hall, you'll find the Liberty Bell Center in Independence National Historical Park. Now residing in a huge glass gazebo, this 2,080-pound piece of history was once mounted in the belfry of Independence Hall. It was used to mark important historic events, most notably at the first public reading of the Declaration of Independence. Historians believe the first crack developed in the early 1840s. Metal workers were tasked with repairing the bell in anticipation of George Washington's birthday in 1846. The repair was unsuccessful and the bell ceased to chime ever again.

Despite the long lines, recent visitors called this attraction a must-see for all Americans. They also suggested planning your visit first thing in the morning during the week.

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