This post covers how to get tickets for Independence Hall in Philadelphia, a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
We include information on taking a tour, and what you can expect to see while you’re at the landmark.
NOTE: While admission to Independence Hall is not included with any tourist pass, most major passes include tours that will make a stop outside of this landmark.
This is a great way to see one of the most historic locations in Philadelphia even if you can’t manage to get tickets for the NPS tour.
HOW TO GET TICKETS
Admission to Independence Hall is absolutely free to the public, and every visitor receives a 30-minute guided tour from a National Park Service Ranger.
Unfortunately, they only allow 80 people to take each tour, so tickets are typically limited and it’s not always easy to get them.
With that in mind, we recommend getting tickets ahead of time to avoid missing out.
Depending on when you choose to visit, you may not need a ticket to get inside.
Here are the ticket requirement dates at Independence Hall:
- Jan - Feb: No ticket required.
- Mar - Dec: Advance/Walk-up ticket required.
- Summer: Between 5 pm - 7 pm no tickets are required for the tour.
- Holidays: No tickets are required on Thanksgiving, Christmas Eve, or Independence Day. On Thanksgiving and Christmas Eve, Independence Hall is only open from 9 am - 3 pm. This location is closed on Christmas Day.
Check the official National Park Service Website for up-to-date information about how to get tickets.
Alternatively, you can also learn more about the various ways to get tickets below.
The National Park Service provides a limited number of same-day tickets without reservations which are available on a first-come, first-served basis.
If you want to get a same-day ticket, it will be necessary to arrive as early as possible.
Tickets can be obtained at the Independence Visitor Center starting at 9:00 am every day (except Thanksgiving and Christmas).
The line for tickets starts forming in front of the East entrance which faces 5th street.
One person is allowed to pick up a maximum of 10 tickets for families and small groups.
Advance Reservation Tickets
You can avoid waiting in line for tickets by visiting recreation.gov and signing up for tickets to Independence Hall. Tickets can be booked using the link here.
These tickets go very quickly, so you may want to consider getting them at least 1-2 weeks ahead of time.
Alternatively, you can also call 1-877-444-6777 from 10 am - 12 pm EST and request tickets over the phone instead.
If you choose to reserve tickets over the internet, there will be a $1 service fee for each ticket.
Visitors coming with a group will need to have tickets for each individual coming to Independence Hall, including infants.
Reserve tickets can be picked up on the day of your tour at the will-call desk of the Independence Visitor Center.
Even if you can’t reserve or get same-day tickets, you may still be able to take a tour of Independence Hall on the day of your visit.
There are times when visitors who have reserved tickets won’t show up for the tour, leaving an open spot for anyone to take – all you have to do is ask!
Head through the security line and find the National Park Service Ranger collecting tickets in the courtyard behind Independence Hall.
Let them know that tickets were sold out and ask if there is any extra room available.
The fewer people joining you for this activity, the better chance that you’ll be able to get stand-by access to Independence Hall.
If you’re planning to go alone or with one other person, this option has real potential.
TIP: If you want to avoid long waits in line or reserve tickets well ahead of time, there are also VIP Tours available which include admission to Independence Hall.
INDEPENDENCE HALL TOURS
This section covers both the general tours offered by the National Park Service and VIP tours that are available at Independence Hall, including information about what you’ll see and how long the tour will take.
National Park Service Tour
This is the main tour offered at Independence Hall, and it’s provided by National Park Rangers with an abundance of knowledge about the landmark.
The tour covers only one building, but it’s arguably the most important building, as it’s the location where the Declaration of Independence was signed.
Visitors will have an opportunity to stand in the same room as our founding fathers and truly experience the history of our country in person.
- Tickets: Check our ticket section for more details.
- Availability: Daily | Every 20-30 minutes
- Hours: 9 am - 5 pm
- Duration: 30-40 minutes
VIP Independence Hall Tours
In addition to the tours provided by the National Park Service, there are also some independent tour companies that offer VIP tours of Independence Hall.
These outings are led by personal tour guides and can last as long as you want, so if you’re looking for a more in-depth look at this landmark, a VIP tour is definitely in order.
If you’re looking for a tour that you can take at your own pace, this is a great option.
- Tickets: $350 - $1000+
- Availability: Daily
- Duration: 75 minutes - 8 hours
- Learn more about this opportunity.
Independence Hall After Hours
If you want to visit this historic location after the sun goes down, there is an independently led tour that includes an 18th-century-inspired dinner in a historic city tavern.
This outing includes actors portraying notable founding fathers like Thomas Jefferson, John Adams, and Benjamin Franklin, providing an interesting look into some of the historical events that took place at Independence Hall.
- Tickets: $85/Adults | $55/Children
- Students/Seniors/Military Tickets: $80
- Includes dinner, entertainment, and tour.
- Availability: May - October
- The tour is unavailable as of Jan 2023
PLAN YOUR VISIT
If you’re planning a trip to Independence Hall, there are a few details you may want to keep in mind and factor into your journey to the landmark.
Independence Hall is located at 520 Chestnut Street. You’ll find the building between 5th & 6th street. Visitors can enter through a security screening site on Chestnut St.
Check our tickets section for details about how to get admission.
- Fall/Winter/Spring: Daily from 9 am - 5 pm
- Summer: Daily from 9 am - 7 pm
- Thanksgiving/New Year’s Day: 11 am - 4 pm
- Christmas Eve: 9 am - 3 pm
- Closed on Christmas Day.
No matter what time your timed ticket is scheduled for, it will be necessary to arrive at least 30 minutes beforehand to get through the security screening.
It is recommended to bring only small bags, and only if necessary. The fewer items need to be checked, the more time you’ll have to enjoy the landmark.
Photography – including flash and video – is permitted in Independence Hall, with the small exception of the West Wing where flash photography is prohibited to protect light-sensitive documents. Tripod usage is also prohibited.
WHAT TO SEE
There are a lot of great things to see and experience at Independence Hall. This section will provide details about some of the best exhibits and attractions you will find at this landmark.
The Assembly Room
Independence Hall is the site where the Declaration of Independence and the US Constitution were signed hundreds of years ago, and visitors are given the chance to stand in the very room where this event took place.
In addition to seeing where the document was signed, you’ll also see original printed copies of the Declaration of Independence, the Articles of Confederation, and the United States Constitution.
Visitors will have an opportunity to see the silver inkstand which is believed to be the location where each of the signers dipped their pens to pledge their lives, fortunes and sacred honor in the cause of independence.
Courtroom of the Pennsylvania Supreme Court
This is the site where the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania once sat in the 1700s. In the hundreds of years since, the room became a museum with artifacts related to the founding of our nation.
Located on the second floor, this area isn’t always included on the tour, but if you get the chance to see it you’ll be in luck.
This gallery is the area where Pennsylvania’s governor once received guests, but it was also used as a makeshift hospital for wounded Americans during the war.