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Philadelphia Old City Hall Tours

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Philadelphia Old City Hall
Old City Hall was used by the first US Supreme Court from 1791 to 1800, when Philadelphia was briefly the nation’s capital. After the federal government moved to Washington DC, the building was occupied by Philadelphia’s city hall and mayor’s office. Today it’s maintained as a historic site, and visitors can see the restored courtroom. 

The Basics
Old City Hall sits in the heart of Philadelphia’s Historic District, surrounded by the Liberty Bell, Independence Hall, and Congress Hall. It was built in the Federal style, with distinctive red brick and a clock tower, which visitors can still see today. Most of the furnishings inside the old courtroom are from the time period, but not original to the room. Portraits of the first five Supreme Court justices can be seen in the Second Bank portrait gallery.
Visit Old City Hall independently or as part of a sightseeing tour of Philadelphia—on foot or by trolley. No admission fee is required, and park rangers are available to answer questions, though it’s worth taking a guided walking tour of the district to learn all of the history. 

Things to Know Before You Go
  • Philadelphia’s Old City Hall is a must-see for history buffs.
  • It’s located in Independence National Historic Park, and admission is free.
  • Get there early to beat the crowds and avoid waiting in line.
  • The building is accessible to wheelchairs through the west door.

How to Get There
There are several ways to reach Old City Hall, located at 5th and Chestnut streets in Philadelphia’s Historic District. Most visitors arrive as part of a sightseeing tour or by public transport—the Market–Frankford line and the Philly Phlash downtown loop stop nearby.

When to Get There
Old City Hall is open daily from 9am to 5pm, and there isn’t really a bad time to visit. Arrive early if you want to beat the crowds and avoid waiting in line, as entry is on a first-come, first-served basis. Old City Hall is closed on Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year’s Day.

Philadelphia’s Historic District
While at Old City Hall, set aside some time to explore Philadelphia’s Old City Historic District, spanning from Front to 7th streets and from Vine to Lombard streets. Visit highlights such as the Liberty Bell, Independence Hall, Franklin Square, and Carpenters’ Hall. See beautifully restored 18th-century homes and take a stroll down Elfreth’s Alley, the nation’s oldest continuously inhabited residential street and a National Historic Landmark.
Address: 501 Chestnut St, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA
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5 Tours and Activities to Experience Philadelphia Old City Hall

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The Constitutional Walking Tour of Philadelphia

The Constitutional Walking Tour of Philadelphia

star-4.5
Discover the birthplace of America on this guided walking tour through the country’s most historic area in Philadelphia. Get a behind-the-scenes look at the Independence National Historical Park and more than 20 other historic sites on this 1.25-mile trek, including the National Constitution Center, Independence Hall, the Liberty Bell Center, and many more.
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  • 1 hour 15 minutes
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
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$19.00
From
$19.00
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From History to Happy Hour Philadelphia Walking Tour

From History to Happy Hour Philadelphia Walking Tour

star-5
This half-day Philadelphia tour ditches the guidebooks and provides a dose of history from a local perspective. Follow a guide through Old City and visit unmissable Philly landmarks. Then ride the subway to Center City for a happy hour pub crawl that includes beers. This small-group walking tour is limited to 12 people for a personalized experience.
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  • 4 hours 30 minutes
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
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$102.30
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$102.30
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Go Philadelphia Explorer Pass

Go Philadelphia Explorer Pass

star-3.5
See some of Philadelphia's top attractions at a discount with The Philadelphia Pass. Select your choice of three, four, five, or seven activities from a list of options and get direct entrance after you save your pass on your mobile device. Use your pass for touring options such as the Hop-On Hop-Off Big Bus Philadelphia Tour, or for entrance tickets to venues such as the African American Museum, Betsy Ross House, or Philadelphia Zoo. Passes are valid for one year from purchase date and you have 60 consecutive days from first use. Please note: Enjoy the extra flexibility in case your travel plans need to change: All passes (purchased by December 31) are valid for two year from purchase date and only become activated with your first attraction visit. After activation your pass will be valid for 60 days and/or the remaining number of attraction choices purchased.
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  • 60 days
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$54.00
From
$54.00

BYOB Historically Hilarious Trolley Tour of Philadelphia

BYOB Historically Hilarious Trolley Tour of Philadelphia

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See Philadelphia’s historic landmarks and sites while sipping your own beer or wine and hearing little-known facts from a guide. This sightseeing tour by trolley takes the stress off finding a designated driver for exploring as you see tops sights such City Hall, Love Park, Boathouse Row, the Liberty Bell, Betsy Ross’ House, and the Declaration House. Drinks are BYOB.
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  • 2 hours
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
$37.00
From
$37.00
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Go Philadelphia All-Inclusive Pass with Hop On Hop Off Tour

Go Philadelphia All-Inclusive Pass with Hop On Hop Off Tour

star-3
Choose from 1, 2, 3, or 5 days of unlimited sightseeing with the Philadelphia Pass, and cover top attractions like the Philadelphia Zoo or the Eastern State Penitentiary with a single package ticket. The pass is easily downloaded to your mobile device, so you can ditch the complicated vouchers. Explore the city of brotherly love at your own leisure—ideal for tourists and residents alike. Please note: Enjoy the extra flexibility in case your travel plans need to change: All passes (purchased by December 31) are valid for two year from purchase date and only become activated with your first attraction visit. After activation your pass will be valid for the number of days purchased.
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  • 1 to 5 days
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$63.00
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$63.00

Frequently Asked Questions

The answers provided below are based on answers previously given by the tour provider to customers’ questions.
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What's the best way to experience Philadelphia Old City Hall?