These are THE must-do things in Philadelphia, right?! I mean, you can’t say you’ve been to Philadelphia AT ALL unless you’ve been to Independence Hall and gotten a selfie with the Liberty Bell. I mean, you literally came all this way to see them! So you want to do it right the first time, and who can blame you? Here is everything you need to know to help you do just that.
There are definitely some things you need to know to plan your trip to Independence Hall. Most notably, if you show up without a reservation, there’s a good chance you’ll get turned away! But not if you heed this insider advice:
- Opening Hours: The site opens at 9:00am and closes at 5:00pm, except during the summer when it stays open until 7:00pm.
- Tour Time: Tours are 15-20 minutes long, and they run every 20 minutes.
- Tour Guides: Your guide will be a very knowledgeable National Park Ranger. Feel free to ask questions and learn things you didn’t know you needed to know!
- Security: You will have to go through a metal detector and put your bag through a scanner before you can visit this site. Don’t worry–you can bring your water bottle through!
Tickets and Entry
For this particular site, you will need to get timed tickets, which are $1 per ticket (not per transaction). You can reserve your ticket(s) here on Recreation.gov. Just create an account first if you don’t have one already.
If you happen to be visiting in summer, however, you may visit without a timed ticket from 5:00pm-7:00pm. Entrance is first-come, first-served, and Park Rangers will only allow as many people in line as there are time slots available until 7:00pm. The National Park Service recommends being in line by 4:45pm to secure your spot.
Visiting in January of February? No timed tickets are required! This is understandably the low season, so you’ll be able to visit at your liesure. The only exceptions are Martin Luther King, Jr., weekend and President’s Day weekend.
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Highlights of the Tour
This site can only be visited on a guided tour, and you will be glad you have one! Here are the highlights.
Personally, I’m a sucker for architecture, and especially 18th century woodwork! So much of the building is original, and it’s been incredibly well-preserved and restored as needed over the years.
Park Ranger Tour Guides
Throughout my trip to Philadelphia, I was constantly surprised and delighted with how much information the Park Rangers here could rattle off on-demand! From the most basic information to the most complicated questions from fellow historians (actual and amateur), they will be able to help!
Also nearby: Visiting the Betsy Ross House
The Liberty Bell
The Liberty Bell is less complicated to visit than Independence Hall. You don’t even need an advance reservation! It’s located right across the street from Independence Hall, so you can easily visit both, one after the other.
The Liberty Bell is open every day from 9:00am-5:00pm. In the summer, the building stays open until 7:00pm. You’ll have the best chance to get photos of and with the Bell early (just after 9:00am until about 10:00am) or late (between 6:00pm and 7:00pm in summer). Be sure to ask the Park Rangers a ton of questions while you’re there! They know so much more than you think there is to know.
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Because there is no option for timed tickets, you will have to stand in line to see the Liberty Bell. As previously noted, the earlier you arrive, the better! Please note you will be subject to a security screening upon entering the building.
Take a day trip: What to Know Before You Visit Valley Forge National Historic Site
Need more? Find everything you need to plan your trip to Philadelphia on my dedicated United States Page!
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