Philadelphia - Independence Hall & the Liberty Bell

When in Philadelphia, visits to Independence Hall & the Liberty Bell are a must.

Independence Hall

I'm just like my country - I'm young, scrappy, and hungry, and I am not throwing away my shot. ~Hamilton, "My Shot."

With the popularity of the Hamilton musical, people want to visit historic sites where icons like Alexander Hamilton and George Washington once frequented.

Before you arrive, determine what day you will visit Independence Hall (520 Chestnut Street, Philadelphia, PA) and look online to see if there is an available ticket slot.  The tickets are only $1.50 a piece online - this is a non-refundable online-only fee.  I was told that only 40% of the tickets are available online, the rest are picked up at the Visitor's Center. Book Independence Hall Tickets Online

If you have not purchased your online tickets in advance, don't worry, just go to the Independence Hall Visitor's Center (1 N. Independence Mall W., Philadelphia, PA) when it opens at 8:30 a.m. and see what tickets they have left for the day.  You can get your free tour tickets from the visitor's desk, not the gift shop.  One person may pick up a maximum of 10 tickets, all visitors need a ticket, even infants.

After you have your tickets in hand, use the restroom facilities at the Visitor's Center, then head across to Independence Hall and through the security area where you will proceed through an area with a metal detector.  Once through the secured area, head over to the tour group meet up area.  The tour is short and concise, no naps necessary during this time.  Once you have completed the tour of Independence Hall, you can head over to Congress Hall for an additional (optional) part of the tour.

If you want to see the Old City Hall building, you will need to ask what time the next tour will take place when you are at Independence Hall.  No additional ticket is necessary, but they only open the doors at certain times.  Not a must-see stop, but it's interesting to hear about the courthouse proceedings.  Make sure you save a little time to wander about the buildings outside.

Total time to visit: <2 hours.

Liberty Bell

The Freedom Bell in Berlin is, like the Liberty Bell in Philadelphia, a symbol which reminds us that freedom does not come about of itself. It must be struggled for and then defended anew every day of our lives. ~Angela Merkel.

The Liberty Bell is now located across the street from Independence Hall in the Liberty Bell Center (526 Market St., Philadelphia, PA).  No ticket is needed to enter the Liberty Bell Center.

Don't be taken aback by the line outside, it goes fast.  To enter this building, you do need to line up and wait to get through the security screening and metal detector.  Once inside the building, you can proceed through as fast as you'd like.  We headed right for the Bell, but you can take your time and peruse the exhibits if you'd like.  

If possible, go to the Liberty Bell first thing when it opens at 9 a.m., then go on your tour at Independence Hall.  The earlier you get to the Bell, the less time you will have to wait in line and you'll have a chance to actually get a picture of the Bell without a lot of people around.  Don't forget to get the side with the crack in the Bell in your picture!

Total time to visit: <1 hour, depending upon wait time outside.



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