Often times when you think of Philadelphia, one of the first things you think about other than probably cheesesteaks, The Liberty Bell, The Philadelphia Eagles, and Rocky, is probably Independence Hall. It’s one of those iconic historical sites that you see on every blog and travel guide as a must-see when you’re visiting Philly; honestly, I agree. Whether you’re a history buff or someone who is just looking for something to do in a new city, Independence Hall is not just a colonial historical site, but it’s essentially where our nation began. Do you know what picture of the signers all signing the Declaration of Independence (although historians debate whether or not all of them signed at the same time in one room)? Yeah, that happened here. It’s also where the Constitution was adopted.
However, maybe you’re visiting from Boston or another state that was one of the original 13 colonies and you kind of feel a little meh about whether you should add to your list of things to see and do while here. I mean, it’s just a building – right?
In today’s post, I thought it would be helpful to share why we think you absolutely should make it a point to visit Independence Hall during your visit to Philadelphia and some of them for reasons you may not have previously considered.
Let’s start off with the obvious choice of how important this site is. Even if you aren’t a big history person, being in the same rooms where they debated and wrote some of the documents that have literally formed the United States and our laws, is definitely an eye-opening experience. I remember being in one of the rooms where they frequently debated and discussed things like the U.S Constitution and it’s incredible thinking about how many, many years ago, a number of individuals gathered into a room and made decisions that have shaped our country as we know it today. It’s very interesting.
To visit you have to pre-register online and pay $1 a ticket. I know – you might be thinking if it’s a historical site, within walking distance of The Liberty Bell and Carpenter’s Hall, which are free, why do you have to pay to visit Independence Hall? Independence Hall is located, believe it or not, in a National Park. While the park itself is free, where Independence Hall is located is not as it’s a part of the National Park Service. If you’ve ever been to a National Park, you know that most – if not all – entry to national parks cost money. That money goes to keeping these sites updated and clean.
That being said $1 is not bad at all when you consider what you’re getting. We got access to Independence Hall and the exhibits within the National Park Service (NPS) space and I feel like it was worth the money.
You Get to Step into the Room Where Both The Declaration of Independence AND The Constitution Were Signed:
You wanna be in the “Room Where it Happened?” *wink* Sorry, I had to throw in a Hamilton reference somewhere, but how cool is it that you can walk into the room where history was literally made? As someone who taught US History, it was so cool getting to walking into those spaces that I had referenced so many times while teaching.
It’s Very Close to Other Historical Sites:
As I mentioned above, Independence Hall is walking distance from The Liberty Bell and Carpenter’s Hall. It’s also very close to The Benjamin Franklin Museum, George Washington’s House (well the frame and basement of it), The National Constitution Center, The Betsy Ross House, The African American History Museum, The National Museum of American Jewish History, and The Museum of American Revolution. That’s not even counting all of the other places nearby that you can visit, but those are some of the most notable and they are walking distance from each other. You can spend an entire day browsing the museums (or likely you’d need an entire weekend) without having to worry about moving your car often.
While there’s certainly more things I can say about why I’d recommend adding this to your itinerary when visiting Philadelphia, I think the reasons above capture some of the main reasons why we think you wouldn’t regret it. However, we’d love to hear from you!
Have you visited Independence Hall before? If so, what was your experience like?