Skip to main content

Visitphilly.com Official Visitor And Travel Site
MENU

Start at the Visitor Center

Pictured: Independence Visitor Center

Map all locations History in Philadelphia

History in Philadelphia

A Parade passes in front of Independence Hall

Independence Hall

A Parade passes in front of Independence Hall Credit: G. Widman for GPTMC

The paths to understanding American history all converge in Philadelphia and its historic countryside. Even before William Penn founded the city and built his estate in Bucks County, Native Americans and Swedish colonists recognized the region as an attractive place for trade and settlement.

Known as the birthplace of American democracy, Historic Philadelphia’s Independence National Historical Park (INHP) is located on the site of many of the seminal events that carried the nation through its founding as a global leader of democratic ideals. But this site hasn’t remained static in the nearly two-and-a-half centuries since the Declaration of Independence was adopted there on July 4, 1776. Instead, it has grown and progressed with the times, emerging in the early 21st century as a National Historical Park, providing a living model of history for the generations who come to experience it.

Don’t miss these hotspots

SPONSORED CONTENT:
SPONSORED CONTENT:

Featured Listings

  • The Liberty Bell Center

    Dramatic new home of the internationally known symbol of freedom

    The Liberty Bell in Historic Philadelphia

    The Liberty Bell has a new home, and it is as powerful and dramatic as the Bell itself. Throughout the expansive, light-filled Center, larger-than-life historic documents and graphic images explore the facts and the myths surrounding the Bell.

    View More
  • Independence Hall

    Birthplace of both the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution

    Independence Hall

    They risked everything — “their lives, their fortune and their sacred honor.” During the blistering summer of 1776, 56 courageous men gathered at the Pennsylvania State House and defied the King of England. Eleven years later, representatives from 12 states gathered to shape the U.S. Constitution, finally creating one unified nation.

    View More
  • Valley Forge National Historical Park

    Where the spirit of the Revolution received its sternest test

    Experience history at Valley Forge.

    With more than 3,600 acres of rolling hills and well-worn trails, Valley Forge is now a magnet for runners, bicyclists and picnickers as well as history buffs.

    View More
  • The Betsy Ross House

    The birthplace of the American flag

    Betsy Ross inside her home

    Did she or didn’t she? While historians debate Betsy Ross’ role in making the first American flag, the home of the nation’s best known seamstress is among the region’s most popular attractions.

    View More
  • National Constitution Center

    The world’s only museum dedicated to the U.S. Constitution

    Exterior of the National Constitution Center

    The 160,000-square-foot National Constitution Center explores and explains this amazing document through high-tech exhibits, artifacts, and interactive displays. In the star-shaped Kimmel Theater, powerful music, a live actor and 360 degrees multi-media images tell the story of We the People.

    View More
  • Independence Seaport Museum

    An interactive museum exploring Philadelphia’s maritime heritage

    Sailing on the river outside the Independence Seaport Museum.

    With historic vessels to board, an underwater ROV to maneuver and a mock cannon to fire, Philadelphia’s maritime museum conveys what the Delaware and Schuylkill Rivers have meant to the city over the years.

    View More
  • Elfreth’s Alley

    The nation’s oldest continuously inhabited street

    Elfreth’s Alley in Philadelphia

    Butchers. Bakers. Candlestick-makers. Named for blacksmith and property-owner Jeremiah Elfreth, Elfreth’s Alley was home to the 18th century artisans and trades-people who were the backbone of colonial Philadelphia.

    View More
  • Eastern State Penitentiary

    Radical 19th century prison designed to create social change

    The looming exterior of Eastern State Penitentiary

    Eastern State Penitentiary set the standard for penal reform, with its soaring, castle-like Gothic architecture and its founders’ Quaker-inspired belief that solitary confinement could reform criminals.

    View More
  • Bastille Day Festival
    at Eastern State Penitentiary

    Wigs are welcome at this day-long reenactment of the French Revolution

    Eastern State Penitentiary

    Grab a pitchfork and storm the walls! Whether you’re a revolutionary or a royalist, there’s something for you in this celebration of all things French at Bastille Day at the Eastern State Penitentiary.

    View More
  • Historic RittenhouseTown

    The site of the first paper mill in British North America

    Historic RittenhouseTown, the birthplace of paper in North America, is now a preserved village on idyllic Lincoln Drive in beautiful Fairmount Park.

    The birthplace of paper in North America, Historic RittenhouseTown is now a preserved village on idyllic Lincoln Drive in beautiful Fairmount Park.

    View More
  • Juneteenth Festival

    An annual all-day festival celebrating the end of slavery

    Germantown is an apt place to celebrate the end of slavery.

    Celebrate the end of slavery with free exhibitions, performances, vendors, discussions, family-friendly events and activities in Germantown.

    View More
  • Stenton

    William Penn’s powerful agent-secretary, James Logan, made Stenton his country seat

    Stenton was one of the grandest houses of its time.

    Ben Franklin thought it was worth the trip to Germantown’s Stenton, one of the grandest houses of its time.

    View More
  • Your Philadelphia Tour

    Design your own historical and cultural excursion in the City of Brotherly Love

    Your Philadelphia Tour allows tour-goers to create their own custom guided tour.

    Your Philadelphia Tour seeks to offer a different way to see and learn about the City of Brotherly Love: by putting the tour-goers in charge.

    View More
  • The Philadelphia History Museum at the Atwater Kent

    New and improved history near Independence Hall

    City Stories Gallery at the Philadelphia History Museum.

    History renews itself this fall at the reopened and renovated Philadelphia History Museum. The historic 1826 building, located just around the corner from Independence Hall and the Liberty Bell, has been an exciting gateway into Philadelphia History for nearly 70 years.

    View More
  • Independence Seaport Museum

    An interactive museum exploring Philadelphia’s maritime heritage

    Sailing on the river outside the Independence Seaport Museum.

    With historic vessels to board, an underwater ROV to maneuver and a mock cannon to fire, Philadelphia’s maritime museum conveys what the Delaware and Schuylkill Rivers have meant to the city over the years.

    View More
  • Independence National Historical Park

    The birthplace of American democracy

    The Liberty Bell Philadelphia

    Known as the birthplace of American democracy, Historic Philadelphia’s Independence National Historical Park (INHP) is located on the site of many of the seminal events that carried the nation through its founding as a global leader of democratic ideals.

    View More
  • Washington Crossing Historic Park

    Where Washington made his famous trip across the Delaware

    Washington Crossing the Delaware River reenactment on Christmas Day.

    See the spot where the General George Washington’s boats quietly took the soldiers to the battles of Trenton and Princeton

    View More
  • Revolutionary Germantown Festival

    A special day to discover America’s history along Germantown Avenue

    Reenactors at the Revolutionary Germantown Festival.

    You are never far from history when in Germantown, one of Philadelphia’s most historic neighborhoods. However, it is on full display during the Revolutionary Germantown Festival, a day-long festival that celebrates the rich history of Germantown and features the annual reenactment of the Battle of Germantown, the only military battle ever fought within the borders of Philadelphia.

    View More
#visitphilly
Go To Top