Whether you are a long-time resident of Philadelphia, or a traveling tourist, you won’t want to miss these top five historical sites that the city has to offer.
Independence National Historical Park
If you’re on a quest to revisit the past in the historical city of Philadelphia, your first stop should be Independence National Historical Park. Nicknamed “America’s most historic square mile,” the National Park resides in the Old City neighborhood of Philadelphia. Besides its beautiful grounds, other sites you’ll see while visiting the park include artifacts such as Independence Hall, the Liberty Bell Center, the First Bank of the United States, Franklin Court, a United States Postal Service Museum, Independence Visitor Center, and much more!
While you’re strolling through Independence National Historical Park, take a trip down history lane by stopping by Independence Hall. As the centerpiece of the Park, this spot was where both the U.S. Declaration of Independence and the U.S. Constitution were deliberated and adopted. Its Georgian style red brick construction, spire, and bell tower are reflective of the 1700’s themes and help set the scene for this historical site. During your guided tour led by National Park rangers, see the room that was used for President Lincoln’s private funeral viewing and George Washington’s “rising sun” chair, used during the Constitutional Convention.
The Liberty Bell
After you’ve completed your tour of Independence hall, walk across the street to the Liberty Bell Center to see the famous bell that hung in Independence hall during the 1700’s. Take a look at the historical documents and x-rays of the bell displayed on the walls of the center. Additional exhibits show graphic images that explore the myths and legends around the Liberty Bell, as well as examples of how the bell’s image has been used on products throughout history.
Philadelphia City Hall
The structure of Philadelphia City Hall is home to more than just government meetings. This National Landmark was voted #21 on the American Institute of Architect’s list of America’s 150 favorite U.S. structures, and boasts many ornate details as the world’s tallest masonry building. Topped off by a statue of Pennsylvania’s founder, William Penn, the city hall once held the record of tallest building (from 1894 to 1908) and remains the 16th tallest in the state. Whether you’re a fan of architecture, history, or both, you’ll have plenty to take note of when you visit Philadelphia City Hall.
Just two short blocks from City Hall is the notable PSFS Building. Known for being the first International style skyscraper in the country, this 33-story building was a true pioneering effort in modernism. Now known as the Loews Philadelphia Hotel, many aspects of this historical site are still accessible to the public. For example, the first floor vault in the lobby of the building is still intact, and the original banking room on the second floor is now an exhibition hall and ballroom.
Enchanted by the rich history of this city? Check out apartments in Philadelphia near some of these historical sites! Want to see even more of the city? Explore our Best of Philadelphia Guide for recommendations on restaurants, apartments, and entertainment.