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Historic District


Essential Info

Welcome to Philadelphia's Historic District, the birthplace of the nation and the first World Heritage City in the U.S., as designated by the Organization of World Heritage Cities (OWHC).

The Historic District, spanning from the Delaware River to 7th Street and from Vine Street to Lombard Street, is rich in history — after all, this was the heart of Philadelphia's original city.

But it’s also home to buzzed-about restaurants and beer gardens, owner-operated boutiques, pushing-the-boundaries art galleries and more.

Read on for our guide to Philadelphia's Historic District.

The bell that was later named the Liberty Bell was initially used to call the Pennsylvania Assembly to meetings. It was soon adopted by abolitionists, suffragists, Civil Rights advocates, Native Americans, immigrants, war protestors and others as their symbol. Visitors can tour the Liberty Bell Center for free year-round. The Liberty Bell Center is part of the U.S. National Park Service and Independence National Historical Park.

more on the Liberty Bell

In Independence Hall in 1776, the Founding Fathers came together to sign the Declaration of Independence and, 11 years later, write the U.S. Constitution. Guided tours of the hall are available to visitors year-round. Free, timed tickets are required and can be picked up at the Independence Visitor Center at 6th and Market streets. Tours can sell out before noon, so plan accordingly. Independence Hall is part of the U.S. National Park Service and Independence National Historical Park.

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The all-in-one Independence Visitor Center at 6th and Market streets serves as a clearinghouse of information and a box office for free timed tickets to Independence Hall. It’s also the spot to ask real, live experts for Philly tips.

more on Independence visitor center

Getting Here: The Historic District is conveniently located in the center of Philadelphia, from the Delaware River to 7th Street and from Vine Street to Lombard Street.

Parking: There are a number of parking garages and lots available in the Historic District, including at the Independence Visitor Center, the National Constitution Center and the National Museum of American Jewish History. Check the Philadelphia Parking Authority's site for more info on garage parking. On-street parking is also available in the district.

Walking: Foot power is the best way to discover the side streets and quaint alleys of Philadelphia's Historic District. Fortunately, navigating the city is easy. Numbered streets run north/south, and named streets run east/west.

PHLASH: Tour all of Center City on the purple Philadelphia PHLASH Downtown Loop, running every 15 minutes in season and making four stops in the Historic District. Get your tickets at the Independence Visitor Center or pay on board.

Indego: Indego, the pay-as-you-go bike-share program with eight locations in the Historic District, makes cycling a fun way to see the city.

SEPTA: SEPTA's Market-Frankford public transit line stops at 2nd Street near the waterfront attractions and at 5th Street by the historic sites, and more than a dozen buses run through the area.

The Official Trail of Philadelphia's Historic District

The birthplace of the nation is rich in history. But how do you decide exactly what to do?

Consider this your essential 24-stop guide to Philadelphia's Historic District, from the Liberty Bell and Independence Hall to Franklin Square and Penn's Landing.

Download A Map Of The Official Trail

Plot your trip through Philadelphia's Historic District with a map of the official trail. Click the button below to access a page where you can download a PDF courtesy of Where Magazine as well as the latest edition of the Historic Philadelphia Gazette.

Download the Map


Explore the city of Philadelphia before stepping foot on a single cobblestone by launching Visit Philadelphia's interactive virtual tour which includes 25 panoramic, 360-degree photos; a three-minute, 360-degree video; and video and photos in virtual reality (VR) — as an immersive tour on a VR headset.

Click below to launch virtual tour.

Top Things To Do

Philadelphia's Historic District is overflowing with amazing things to do.

From family-friendly and free attractions to nightlife and selfie ops, our curated articles and trails will help you plan your fun-filled days and nights in the district.

12 Awesome Things to Do in Philadelphia’s Historic District
The coolest experiences in the Historic District
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Philadelphia’s Historic District Pass and Museum Pass
Experience premier attractions in Philadelphia’s Historic District for a low price
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Museum of the American Revolution Guide
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Top Things to Do with Kids
in Philadelphia’s Historic District
Fun activities abound in the Historic District
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25 Things to Do in Philadelphia's Historic District After Dark
Things to Do in Philadelphia's Historic District After Dark
Explore the Historic District’s restaurants, bars, theaters and more after the sun goes down
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25 Awesome Things to Do On Philly's Waterfront
A tour of everything the Delaware River waterfront has to offer
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20+ Great Restaurants in Old City and Philadelphia's Historic District
20+ Great Restaurants in Old City and Philadelphia’s Historic District
Tasty eats in Philly’s original city
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People enjoying drinks at Morgan's Pier in Philadelphia
25+ Great Bars in Philadelphia’s Historic District
Where to cheers with a pint or two in the Historic District
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24 Free Things to Do in Philadelphia's Historic District
Explore the Historic District’s cool inexpensive offerings
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A Tippler's Tour in Philadelphia's Historic District
Where to Experience Living History in Philadelphia's Historic District
Spots to meet, mingle and grab a selfie with our nation’s celebrated history-makers
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A family in front of the Merchants' Exchange
Independence National Historical Park Sites
A comprehensive guide to “America’s Most Historic Square Mile”
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Elfreth's Alley
20+ Selfie Spots and Photo Ops in the Historic District
Snap eye-catching photos in Philly’s original city
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Top Places for Lunch Near the Liberty Bell
Grab-and-go bites and fanciful dishes, all within a 10-minute walk of the bell
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A Guide to Alexander Hamilton’s Philadelphia
Go beyond Broadway and follow Hamilton’s Philadelphia footsteps in the Historic District
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African-American Historic Sites in Philadelphia
African-American Historic Sites in Philadelphia
A citywide exploration of African-American culture and history
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The President's House at night in Philadelphia
15+ Must-See Historic Attractions in Philadelphia's Historic District
The quintessential stops for those who love a rich story steeped in history
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the national constitution center
New Americans Tour of Philadelphia
A self-guided journey through the city’s must-visit attractions for new citizens
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Top Political Sites in Philadelphia
Top Political Sites in Philadelphia's Historic District
Philly is overflowing with centuries of political history
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Nine Great Hotels in Philadelphia's Historic District
10 Great Hotels in Philadelphia’s
Historic District
Spend the night in the heart of Philadelphia’s charming Historic District
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Valley Forge National Historical Park
The Historic American Revolution Trail of Philadelphia
Sites throughout the region recount America’s fight for independence
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Explore The District

Check out the map and listings below for the restaurants, bars, shops, galleries and attractions that make Philadelphia's Historic District appealing to 21st-century residents and visitors day and night.
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#HistoricPhilly Photo Gallery

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