Independence Hall, Philadelphia

Independence Hall, Philadelphia (must see)

World-famous for being the place where both the Declaration of Independence and the U.S. Constitution were discussed and adopted, this American landmark and World Heritage Site is now the centerpiece of Philadelphia's Independence National Historical Park. Completed in 1753, the simple colonial hall, designed in Georgian style, is a nice reminder of the nation's humble beginnings as rebellious colonialists wanting to make a change for the better ("We have it in our power to begin the World over again", as Thomas Paine fervently told his fellow citizens-to-be in his revolutionary pamphlet). Inside, you will get to see an original copy of the Constitution, and the inkwell used to sign the Declaration of Independence – both brilliantly constructed documents of declared and ratified Freedoms.

The complex which houses Independence Hall is a must to check out the historical sites; nearby are the museum of the Benjamin Franklin-founded American Philosophical Society, as well as the Second Bank of the U.S. You do have to go through security to get into the Independence Hall, and you must get your free tickets at the Visitor Center about a block north, at the corner of 6th and Market Streets (opens at 8:30am, but tickets are usually all gone by 10am in peak season, so plan ahead or reserve online!). The first ticketed tour begins at 9am and tours start every 30mins until 4:40pm, with rangers serving as guides. During extended hours (summertime only), no ticket is required from 5 to 7pm. Tickets also aren't required in the months of January and February and on July 4th, Thanksgiving Day, and Christmas Eve. 

Why You Should Visit:
To stand in the room where the nation was born almost 250 years ago – the same room where Thomas Jefferson, Benjamin Franklin, John Hancock, and later George Washington, Alexander Hamilton, James Madison and so many others stood, making incredibly courageous decisions.
Among the highlights is George Washington's original Rising Sun Armchair, known so because of Benjamin Franklin's hopeful observation about the symbol carved on the headrest: "I have often looked at that behind the president without being able to tell whether it was rising or setting. But now I... know that it is a rising...sun."

Tip:
Sitting in the back of the Hall, don't miss the statue of Commodore John Barry – one of the most underappreciated figures in colonial history. Barry was the first captain to be placed in command of a U.S. warship under the Continental flag and after the war he was the first commissioned U.S. naval officer at the rank of Commodore in 1797 by President Washington. Barry is often credited as "The Father of the American Navy", sharing that moniker with John Paul Jones and John Adams.

Want to visit this sight? Check out these Self-Guided Walking Tours in Philadelphia. Alternatively, you can download the mobile app "GPSmyCity: Walks in 1K+ Cities" from iTunes App Store or Google Play. The app turns your mobile device to a personal tour guide and it works offline, so no data plan is needed when traveling abroad.

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Independence Hall on Map

Sight Name: Independence Hall
Sight Location: Philadelphia, USA (See walking tours in Philadelphia)
Sight Type: Attraction/Landmark
Guide(s) Containing This Sight:

Walking Tours in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Create Your Own Walk in Philadelphia

Create Your Own Walk in Philadelphia

Creating your own self-guided walk in Philadelphia is easy and fun. Choose the city attractions that you want to see and a walk route map will be created just for you. You can even set your hotel as the start point of the walk.
Philadelphia Old City Walking Tour

Philadelphia Old City Walking Tour

Let Philadelphia tell you the great history of the United States through its many outstanding historic places – from the tale of the Liberty Bell to the legend of Betsy Ross. Take this self-guided tour to learn more about America's founding fathers, key events during the 18th century, the country's long-awaited independence and its glorious attainment of liberty. Standing in the same...  view more

Tour Duration: 2 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 2.4 Km or 1.5 Miles
Historical Religious Buildings Tour

Historical Religious Buildings Tour

Like every historic city, Philadelphia has a vast collection of old churches and historic places of worship. Many of its religious buildings are National Historic Landmarks. Take this self guided tour to see some of the most beautiful religious buildings in Philadelphia!

Tour Duration: 1 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 2.3 Km or 1.4 Miles
Philadelphia Introduction Walking Tour

Philadelphia Introduction Walking Tour

The sixth largest city in the U.S. and the birthplace of "life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness", Philadelphia is a dynamic city heaped with old-world charm and contemporary infrastructure. This historical city was born in 1701 when Charles II of England granted William Penn, a famous Quaker, a charter for the Pennsylvania Colony.

As soon as the area was settled, Penn made...  view more

Tour Duration: 2 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 3.5 Km or 2.2 Miles
Franklin Parkway Walking Tour

Franklin Parkway Walking Tour

Benjamin Franklin Parkway, is a scenic boulevard that runs through the cultural heart of Philadelphia. Named for Founding Father Benjamin Franklin, the mile-long tree-lined Parkway features many beautiful sculptures and fountains, and several world class museums. Follow this self guided walk to appreciate its beauty and explore the fine cultural institutions along the way.

Tour Duration: 1 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 1.5 Km or 0.9 Miles
Benjamin Franklin's Philadelphia

Benjamin Franklin's Philadelphia

Benjamin Franklin was arguably the most fascinating personality in Revolutionary America. He left his Puritan family in Boston as a teenager and came to Philadelphia for a new life. What a fascinating life it turned out to be. He was a writer, printer, philosopher, postmaster, scientist, inventor, statesman, and diplomat. His life was the absolute purist version of the American Dream. He...  view more

Tour Duration: 1 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 2.4 Km or 1.5 Miles

Useful Travel Guides for Planning Your Trip


Philadelphia Souvenirs: 13 Unique Gift Ideas from the City of Brotherly Love

Philadelphia Souvenirs: 13 Unique Gift Ideas from the City of Brotherly Love

Looking for a great gift while visiting Philadelphia? Famous for its history, arts and culture, championship sports teams, and award-winning food and drink, Philadelphia is a top-rated shopping destination. Here, you'll find an amazing selection of items to choose from - something uniquely...