Independence National Historic Park is the site of many landmarks and exhibits regarding the founding of the United States of America. The park consists of many historic buildings, mainly between Walnut Street and Chestnut street in downtown Philadelphia.
It's best to begin your tour at the Visitor's Center. There you can get information to plan your visit, as well as tickets to tour Independence Hall. The Hall is the only building where tickets are required. They can be obtained for free at the visitor's center, but get them early because they're often gone by 1pm. Be sure to pick up a copy of the brochure titled "Independence." It contains a good map of the park with descriptions of the buildings and exhibits, and a guide to using your time at the park. The guide suggests these itineraries:
For a half-day tour
For a one to two-day visit
In the post-9/11 world, you'll have to go through a metal detector and your bags will go through an Xray scanner in order to gain access to Independence Hall and the Liberty Bell Center. Some highlights of the park are:
Independence Hall was the home of the Continental Congress and location of the signing of the Declaration of Independence in July of 1776.
Congress Hall is the building that housed the Congress of the United States between the end of the Revolutionary War and the year 1800, when the government was moved to its newly built home in Washington D.C.
The Liberty Bell Center The Liberty Bell was installed in Independence Hall steeple and rang to mark many of the significant events during our country's formation. It is now housed in the Liberty Bell Center, just across Chestnut Street from Independence Hall.
Franklin Square is the site of Benjamin Franklin's house. It is located just off the main park, on the 300 block between Chestnut Street and Market Street. There's a great underground museum here, dedicated to Franklin's life.
U.S. Post Office Museum is located in Franklin Square. The Post Office Museum is a working post office on the ground floor, with a museum on the history of the post office upstairs.
With the exception of the National Constitution Center, all exhibits and museums that are part of the National Historic Park are free to the public.Hours
The park and exhibits are open from 9 AM to 5 PM. Hours may be extended during the summer months.