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Historic sites abound throughout Greater Philadelphia, but there are few more iconic than Independence Hall, a UNESCO World Heritage site, and the Liberty Bell.
These two Philadelphia stalwarts — some of the most popular attractions in the city, and some of the most famous historic sites in the country — make for must-visits whether it’s your first or 50th time in the city. (Bonus: They’re both free to visit.)
Getting to see the Bell and the Hall does require some planning:
Masks are optional inside all buildings in Independence National Historical Park. As health and safety guidelines continue to evolve, be sure to look for the latest information about visitor safety on the National Park Service website.
The Bell and the Hall are just the beginning of an exploration of Greater Philadelphia’s deep roster of must-see museums and attractions, verdant parks and green spaces, acclaimed food and drink scene and more. Make it an overnight stay to complete the perfect discovery or rediscovery of one of the best destinations in the world.
Read on for our guide on how to experience Independence Hall and the Liberty Bell in Philadelphia.
Note: This page was last updated on March 10, 2022.
During the blistering summer of 1776, 56 delegates gathered at the Pennsylvania State House and pledged their “lives, their fortune and their sacred honor” in the pursuit of independence.
Now known as Independence Hall, the UNESCO World Heritage Site is where the Declaration of Independence was signed, finalizing the colonies’ break with England.
Independence Hall as viewed from Independence Square
— Photo by J. Fusco for Visit Philadelphia
Eleven years later, representatives from 12 states gathered once again at the State House to shape the U.S. Constitution, finally creating one unified nation.
A national treasure, Independence Hall is one of only 24 World Heritage sites in the nation, placing it in the company of the Statue of Liberty and Yellowstone National Park.
Read more about Independence Hall by clicking the button below.
How to Experience Independence Hall
As of March 2022, Independence Hall is open to the public via ticketed tours only. Masks are optional, and capacity is limited to 35 people per tour.
Visitors must reserve tickets online in advance for all tours of Independence Hall.
Visitors can reserve tickets online at www.recreation.gov or by calling (877) 444-6777 between 10 a.m. to midnight EST. Tours run from 9 a.m. to 4:40 p.m., and guests can reserve up to nine tickets. Tickets are free with a $1 per ticket administrative fee.
Tickets are currently available for all tours through the end of October 2022. Fifteen next-day tickets are also released each day at 5 p.m. Tickets must be presented in printed form or on your mobile device. Visitors are encouraged to arrive 30 minutes before their tour time to go through security.
Note that tickets are NOT required to tour Independence Hall on most days in January and February, as well as on select winter holidays.
Visit the National Park Service’s official site for more info on visiting Independence Hall.
Residents and visitors can also snag spectacular views of the exterior of the iconic Georgian building from multiple Historic District locations, including:
— Photo courtesy The Bourse Food Hall
It doesn’t make a sound, but the Liberty Bell’s message rings loud and clear: “Proclaim liberty throughout all the land unto all the inhabitants thereof.”
This inscription on the cracked but mighty bell is one reason it has been adopted by abolitionists, suffragists and other freedom-seekers.
The Liberty Bell
— Photo by J. Fusco for Visit Philadelphia
Originally adorning the Pennsylvania State House (now known as Independence Hall), the Liberty Bell is an iconic symbol, not just of Philadelphia but of freedom around the world.
Read more about the Liberty Bell by clicking on the button below.
How to Experience the Liberty Bell Center
As of March 2022, the Liberty Bell Center is open to the public. Masks are optional inside the Liberty Bell Center.
No tickets are required to visit the Bell. During the busiest times, guests should plan for a potentially long wait to enter. Pro tip: Increase your odds of avoiding a long line by visiting early in the day.
Note: Guests must pass through a security-screening area to enter.
Visit the National Park Service’s official site for more info on visiting the Liberty Bell.
The experience of getting close to the bell can’t be beat, but if you’re in a hurry, you can catch a glimpse of it through an open-to-the-public westward-facing window on the Liberty Bell Center.
— Photo by Visit Philadelphia
Independence Hall and the Liberty Bell are inarguably two of the most iconic attractions in Philadelphia. But they’re far from the only things to do in Philadelphia’s Historic District.
Before or after a visit to the Bell and the Hall, make time to explore some (or all!) of the following attractions within walking distance:
— Photo by R. Kennedy for Visit Philadelphia
The President's House
— Photo by M. Kennedy for Visit Philadelphia
For even more things to do, check out our guides to awesome things to do in the Historic District as well as our guide to the best museums and attractions in Greater Philadelphia.
Book the Visit Philly Overnight Hotel Package for a rewarding getaway in one of 2021’s top destinations, per Condé Nast Traveler, Fodor’s, Frommer’s, Esquire and more.
The exclusive deal — booked more than 175,000 times since 2001 — includes buy-one-get-one-free attraction tickets purchased at the Independence Visitor Center to 33 of Philly’s iconic museums and attractions and free hotel parking (worth up to $100 in Center City Philadelphia).
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