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Liberty Bell Visitor Guide for Groups

Visiting The Liberty Bell Center

The Liberty Bell is the quintessential icon of American freedom, and it is one of the most visited historic sites in the United States.  This page will detail how to see this incredible artifact of American history.

The Liberty Bell with Independence Hall in the Background

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The Basics

The Liberty Bell is housed inside of the Liberty Bell Center which spans almost an entire city block on 6th Street between Market and Chestnut Streets. The Liberty Bell can be seen from both inside and outside of the Liberty Bell Center.  Inside the Liberty Bell Center are exhibits about the history of the Liberty Bell, including original artifacts, photos, x-rays of the crack, a great video, and of course, the Liberty Bell itself.  Try to catch a National Park Ranger lead program talk and learn more about the Liberty Bell when you are viewing the Liberty Bell.

No Tickets Required

Entrance to the Liberty Bell Center is free and no tickets are required. Some visitors may get confused because Independence Hall does require tickets to enter.  You can see our guide on visiting Indpendence Hall here.

Where to Go

The Liberty Bell Center entrance is located near the corner of 6th and Market Streets. On the Southeast corner of 6th and Market Streets is the Presidents’ House site, the predecessor to the White House, where President George Washington and President John Adams lived when each man served as President of the United States.  Directly to the side of the partially re-constructed President’s House site (near 6th & Market Streets), you will see stanchions and signage directing you to the beginning of the security screening line for the Liberty Bell Center.  When the Liberty Bell Center is very crowded, the security screening queue may wind around the corner toward the intersection of 6th and Chestnut Streets.

Hours of Operation

  • The Liberty Bell Center is open every day of the year except Christmas Day (December 25th).
  • The Liberty Bell Center is open from 9AM-5PM throughout most of the year (except on Christmas Eve when it closes at 3PM).
  • In the Summer, the Liberty Bell Center offers extended hours of operation from 9AM-7PM. The dates when the Liberty Bell Center switches between regular and Summer hours are determined by the National Park Service and are not determined more than a few months in advance.  Generally though, Summer Hours start sometime in mid-June and extend to the beginning of September.
  • To visit the Liberty Bell, you need to clear the Liberty Bell security screening checkpoint at least five minutes before the Liberty Bell Center closes. 
  • The National Park Service may cut off the line to enter the Liberty Bell Center in advance of closing time if the Park Service determines that guests will not be able to clear security in time to see the Liberty Bell.
  • The Liberty Bell is viewable 24 hours per day, 7 days per week, 365 days per year from outside of the Liberty Bell Center through the large glass windows.
  • After waiting in line for the security screening checkpoint, you will need to pass through security before entering the Liberty Bell Center.
  • Be prepared for airport level security screening. 
  • While phones and cameras are allowed, you cannot bring any weapons into Independence Hall, including small pocket knives. 
  • While you can bring in sealed water bottles or packages of food in a bag, you are not allowed to bring in any beverage that cannot be sealed and placed in a bag, nor any open food products.
  • Once you have cleared security, you will be able to walk thought the museum at your leisure and view the exhibits and the Liberty Bell.

Bathrooms

There are no restrooms inside the Liberty Bell Center.  We advise that you visit the bathroom in advance of getting in the line at the security checkpoint to enter the Liberty Bell Center.  There are nice new restroom facilities at the Independence Visitor Center, directly across the street from the Liberty Bell Center.

Visiting the Liberty Bell Center in the Spring and Fall

  • We suggest getting in queue as early as 8:30AM which is 30 minutes before the Liberty Bell Center opens, and before school groups arrive.  Alternatively, you may want to plan your visit for sometime after 1PM when many school groups are departing the Independence National Historical Park area.
  • In the Spring (April to June) and Fall (September to November), it is school field trip season at Independence National Historical Park, and almost every weekday, thousands of students arrive by the busload, and many school groups head right for the Liberty Bell Center.
  • If you are a teacher with a school field trip or a tour leader with a group tour and you wish to visit the Liberty Bell Center during this time, depending on the size of your group, you should plan to allocate about an hour between waiting in line, clearing security and viewing the exhibits and Liberty Bell, but it is best to be flexible.  During the height of school field trip season from May to mid-June, two hour long waiting times to enter the Liberty Bell Center are commonplace.
  • Try to schedule something after your visit to the Liberty Bell that you are ok cutting from your itinerary if the wait for the Liberty Bell stretches a long time.
  • It is also a good idea to try to visit the Liberty Bell as early as possible in your day.  This way if the line is really long, you could change plans and do something else and then try the Liberty Bell again later in the day when the line will hopefully be shorter.

Visiting the Liberty Bell in the Summer

  • During the Summer, there will be a lot of tourists to compete with as you try to see the Liberty Bell. 
  • During this time of the year, the best time to view the Liberty Bell is first thing in the morning. 
  • You can begin to line up to visit the Liberty Bell Center before the 9AM opening.
  • Otherwise, it is again just wise to be flexible, and if despite your best efforts you can’t avoid a long line, there is also an option that doesn’t involve waiting in any lines, which we’ll tell you about next.
  • Viewing the Liberty Bell Without Waiting in Line
  • If the security screening lines are exceedingly long during your visit, or if you just have a short amount of time, it is still possible to see the Liberty Bell without waiting in line and entering the Liberty Bell Center.
  • The Liberty Bell can be seen anytime and any day (or night) through large showcase windows on Chestnut Street, close to the Northeast corner at 6th and Chestnut Streets, across the street from Independence Hall.
  • Some of the best views of the Liberty Bell are available at night when the Liberty Bell is illuminated, so when you are enjoying the monuments by moonlight at Independence Park, make sure to see the Liberty Bell at night, even if you have also seen it during the day.
  • If you would like a closer look of the Liberty Bell from outside of the Liberty Bell Center, there is also a smaller window along the eastern wall of the Liberty Bell Center, about 50 feet north of Chestnut Street.  This window will place you very close to the Liberty Bell, and there is also information about the history of the Liberty Bell posted on the wall beside the window.

Insider Tip

If you see a Park Ranger inside the Liberty Bell Center and want to learn more about the Liberty Bell, be sure to politely ask the ranger to tell you all about the Liberty Bell.  Take a selfie with the Liberty Bell, or a "belfie" as our tour guides like to refer to it.

Planning Your Visit to Historic Philadelphia

The Constitutional Walking Tour of Philadelphia is an outdoor walking journey that provides a primary overview of the Independence National Historical Park area and visits more than 20 of the most historic sites in America’s Birthplace including the Liberty Bell, Independence Hall, Franklin Court, Betsy Ross House and the National Constitution Center.  Often times, groups taking The Constitutional Walking Tour may choose to visit certain sites such as the Liberty Bell before or after The Constitutional.

Additional Information
The Liberty Bell Center
526 Market Street (GPS address)
6th & Market Street
Philadelphia, PA 19106
(215) 965-2305

 

 

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