Wondering what there is to see, or how to visit the park? Don't worry, we've got you covered! Let's start with the basics.*Tip: Follow along on a map as we explain the options. Open this map page in a new window so you can orient yourself spatially OR download the free NPS Independence mobile app and open the map there.
What are the main attractions?
While there are many buildings that comprise Independence National Historical Park, the two main attractions are Independence Hall and the Liberty Bell Center.
What are some other student-friendly sites?
Check out these three sites: the Franklin Court Printing Office where you can see a demonstration of 18th century style printing; the Great Essentials exhibit in the West Wing with original printed documents from the 1700s; and the President's House Site exhibit featuring the stories of the enslaved people in Washington's household. These sites can accommodate groups, have interesting content, do not require any tickets, and have no fee. Entrance to these sites is first come, first served.
Explore other options using this list of buildings with connections to your Social Studies curriculum. If you want to weave in some STEM stories, we have a list for that too.
How do I visit? Will I have a guide?
You have several options: lead your students yourself; contract with a tour company; or sign up for an Independence Park Institute program. If you opt to lead your students yourself, we recommend using the park's mobile app, NPS Independence, to help guide you. It's a free download. You can use the map in the app along with your smartphone's GPS to make sure you are heading in the right direction. The app and the resources on this website will help you decide which buildings to visit. It just takes a bit of planning.
A number of school groups opt to contract with a tour company. As a government entity, the park does not endorse commercial enterprises. For information on tour operators, check out the Visit Philadelphia web page.
Some school groups sign up for an Independence Park Institute program. That includes an hour-long classroom program and tickets for Independence Hall. You will still have to lead your students from site to site, but some of the planning is already taken care of. Read more about Independence Park Institute programs and fees here.
Do I need tickets to visit the Liberty Bell Center?
No tickets are required to visit the Liberty Bell Center. It's free, and entrance is first come, first served.
Do I need tickets for Independence Hall?
If you are visiting Independence Hall between March and December, you'll need to make decisions about obtaining tickets. You can reserve tickets as early as 12 months before your visit OR you can try to obtain them on the day of your visit.
Tickets are available from the ticket counter at the Independence Visitor Center on a first come, first served basis if you do not have reservations. It is recommended that you reserve tickets in advance if you are planning on coming with a large group. Reserve tickets online, or by phone at 1-877-444-6777 from 10 AM to 10 PM daily (EST). The tickets are free, but there is a $1.00 per ticket handling fee when reserved in advance.
Can we see Independence Hall without tickets? We just want to look around.
Entrance is by tour only. There is no option to just peek in.
How long does the tour of Independence Hall take?
The tour of Independence Hall is approximately 30 minutes. Please arrive at the Independence Square entrance 30 minutes prior to the time printed on your Independence Hall tour ticket to allow time for your group to pass through the security screening. NOTE: There are no restrooms on Independence Square. Plan ahead!
How long does it take to visit the Liberty Bell Center?
Entrance is first come, first served. The waiting time to enter varies throughout the day. Even a long line isn't usually more than a 20-25 minute wait. Once inside, the length of your visit depends on what you want to see. Some groups pass by the exhibits, opting just to see the Liberty Bell (about 5-7 minutes). Other groups spend some time in the exhibit area and view the film (15-20 minutes) before seeing the Liberty Bell (another 5 minutes or so).
Last updated: March 19, 2019