Tours and Tickets

Philadelphia Historical Independence Walking Tour

As the nation’s first capital, and location where the Declaration of Independence was signed, Philadelphia is considered the birthplace of American democracy. More than just an overview of the city’s history, this in-depth tour will whisk you to more than 20 essential Philadelphia landmarks, all in a short timespan. See Independence Hall, Betsy Ross House, the former home of the US Congress, and follow in the footsteps of the Founding Fathers.
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Ages 7-99, max of 30 per group
Duration:1h 30m
Start time: Check availability
Ticket type:Mobile
English

Highlights
  • See upwards of 20 key landmarks in the space of a single tour
  • Learn all about Philadelphia’s rich history from your guide
  • Explore the places where the Founding Fathers lived and worked
  • Several departure times are conveniently available throughout the day

  • Local guide

Choose from several available departure times, meet your guide in front of the conveniently located Independence Visitor Center, and set off on a whirlwind tour of Philadelphia’s essential historical landmarks. See Independence Hall—where the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution were both discussed and then adopted—as well as Betsy Ross House, said to be where the first American flag was sewn. As you go, learn from your guide all about Philadelphia’s place in American history, as well as the Founding Fathers that once called the city home. In total, you’ll see over 20 important historical sites. Other stops along the way will include the house where Thomas Jefferson first drafted the Declaration of Independence, the original Supreme Court building, Congress Hall, and other key highlights of Independence National Historical Park.

Departure details
  • 41 N 6th St, Philadelphia, PA 19106, USA The tour departs from the Independence Visitor Center at 6th and Market Streets. By the gift shop
  • 599 Market St, Philadelphia, PA 19106, USA By the gift shop.
Return details
  • Returns to original departure point

  • Wheelchair accessible
  • Stroller accessible
  • Service animals allowed
  • Near public transportation
  • Infant seats available
  • Transportation is wheelchair accessible
  • Surfaces are wheelchair accessible
If you have questions about accessibility, we’d be happy to help. Just call the number below and reference the product code: 27135P1

  • Confirmation will be received at time of booking
  • Most travellers can participate
  • This experience requires good weather. If it’s cancelled due to poor weather, you’ll be offered a different date or a full refund
  • This experience requires a minimum number of travellers. If it’s cancelled because the minimum isn’t met, you’ll be offered a different date/experience or a full refund
  • This tour/activity will have a maximum of 30 travellers

  • For a full refund, cancel at least 24 hours in advance of the start date of the experience.

A note from Philadelphia Historical Independence Walking Tour
  • Our walking tours include safety precautions which include masks as well as social distancing.
What you can expect during your visit
  • Regular temperature checks for staff
  • Regularly sanitised high-traffic areas
  • Guides required to regularly wash hands
  • Face masks required for travellers in public areas
  • Social distancing enforced throughout experience
  • Transportation vehicles regularly sanitised
  • Face masks required for guides in public areas
  • Safety precautions are provided by the property and are not checked by Tripadvisor for accuracy.

If you have questions about this tour or need help making your booking, we’d be happy to help. Just call the number below and reference the product code: 27135P1

Itinerary
  • You’ll have 2 starting options
    See departure details
  • 1
    Independence Hall
    Stop: 10 minutes
    See details
  • 2
    Franklin Court
    Stop: 5 minutes
    See details
  • 3
    Carpenters' Hall
    Stop: 5 minutes
    See details
  • 4
    Congress Hall
    Stop: 5 minutes
    See details
  • 5
    The President's House
    Stop: 5 minutes
    See details
  • 6
    Bow Tie Tours
    Stop: 2 hours
    See details
  • You'll return to the starting point
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4.5
106 reviews
Excellent
88
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Hannah Tare
4 contributions
Our tour guide was Cpl. Mike. He was very informative and seamed to really care about his topic. The tour was a 70 minute walking tour about the history of Philadelphia and the founding of our nation. There was a lot of history elements of the tour, but it wasn’t at all boring. Mike also made us laugh a couple of times. After the tour, he also recommended some other cool historical buildings and sites that we should see. Overall an amazing experience. Thank you Mike and Bow Tie Tours!
Written 2 April 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
G1001FWdavidc
Thank you so much fir your feedback. We feel very fortunate to have Mike giving tours fir Bow Tie Tours.
Written 4 April 2021
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

Denise M
Philadelphia, PA1 contribution
Jun 2022
My Friend and I took the Historical Independence Walking tour with Kyle. It was very informative and fun. Kyle is well read about the history and shared stories about individuals and life at that time. Would recommend Kyle as a tour guide..
Written 29 June 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

angelabeano
brisbane68 contributions
This was one of the most interesting and informative tours we've ever done. So much personal information about the major players and what led up to the fight for independence from England which really filled out our limited knowledge. We got so much more out of this experience due to our wonderful guide Andrew. Who answered all of my endless questions.
Written 27 June 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

CK&RK from GA
Atlanta, GA49 contributions
Jun 2021 • Couples
With only one full day to spend in town, this walking tour was disappointing. Several who signed up for the tour group showed up more than 10 minutes late, which was pretty inconsiderate.

Setting that matter of courtesy aside, it was difficult to even hear Linda, our timid, stuttering tour guide who tended to mumble and trail off at the end of her sentences.

It would have been helpful to have been given an overview of our tour from the start, just a verbal list of the places we would visit. Linda was a very nice lady, who would probably gain confidence with some voice lessons and coaching on public speaking. (I have contacted the tour operator, offering to upload a video to give them an idea of our experience.)

There was very little substantive or unique information during our tour. Much of what we heard I can recall hearing in US history class. Husband and I felt our 90 minutes would have been better spent reading about the Declaration of Independence online or in a book.

I think there would be more interesting tours with more confident, engaging tour guides than what was offered by this company, Bow Tie Tours.
Written 15 June 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Susan T
Rockaway, NJ16 contributions
Jun 2019 • Couples
This was an excellent tour...we suspect that it may not have been as informative or as moving had Kyle not been our guide. He was very passionate and knowledgeable about the subject matter and about American history of the era as well. When the tour was concluded we felt a renewed sense of patriotism. We told Kyle that he should be giving this tour to all the members of the three branches of our current government with his special insight and passionate love for this country. I was reminded how much we have all forgotten what it took to build the nation and how we have overlooked the many sacrifices that were made.
Written 14 June 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
G1001FWdavidc
Thank you so much for your comments,
Written 15 June 2019
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

BagmanNZ
Wellington, New Zealand975 contributions
Oct 2019
I took this tour with Brian. Brian takes a lot of time to explain things to you. You sit for 15-20 minutes at a table while he explains a whole lot of things to you and then says this is a walking tour. At this point you get up walk 20 feet out a door and stand there for 10 minutes while he explains more stuff to you. Just for a recap, half an hour down, 20 feet walked.

Now I'll be honest here, I could have lived with this but for one thing - Brian had no idea what he was talking about. I live in New Zealand and had no idea about any of the US constitution or independence stuff and still knew more than him. And he likes to point out he's a teacher - teaching young Philadelphian children about US history.

Where did he go wrong? Well it was the four references to the 56 delegates at the constitutional convention. There were 55. I knew this from Google and doing full research on the subject after seeing Hamilton. I was a little amazed he got this wrong but the best was yet to come.

Brian talked about Christ Church and the five Independence signers interred there. He went through them in his own time explaining who they were etc, until he got to...Jonathan Ross. I almost said WTF?? I dare anyone to find an Independence signer by the name of Jonathan Ross buried at Christ Church. I'll pay you if you can. There's one George Ross there who signed it. There's a Jonathan Ross on Penn & Tellers Fool Us TV programme but not in Christ Church. I know I had been there three days previously. I can remember his name, why can't a teacher.

The tour wandered around a bit and lasted one hour 20 minutes which was less than I was expecting. By the end I was just trying not to listen to Brian anyway. It was obvious he knew little of his chosen subject. I found it scary that there are so many good reviews talking about his great knowledge. People rely on what he says and what he says is wrong. He's confident in how the says it, just wrong.

And the final insult to this tour - Brian puts on a big smile and asks you for a tip for his efforts. Here's a tip Brian, learn your country's history.
Written 2 November 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

MMinCA
Oakland, CA42 contributions
Apr 2019 • Couples
There are two different Independence walking tours offered by the company: The 75-minute Independence Walking Tour, and the 4-hour Independence "Extraordinaire" Tour. We booked the 4-hour Extraordinaire tour because it includes admission to Independence Hall and a few other historical sites. This saved us a lot of extra work in trying to get tickets for Independence Hall. We were lucky enough to have Kyle as our tour guide. He is full of knowledge and affinity for this subject matter.
The 4-hour tour started out in the morning with the same group that booked the regular 75-minute walking tour. When the regular tour ended, the Extraordinaire tour folks continued on with the same guide and we were taken to the Independence Hall entry line and given our timed tickets for the tour that would be conducted by a ranger. After that, we visited Congress Hall, and then we did some more walking around town to different spots, and entering some other buildings that were not covered on the shorter walking tour. This expanded tour was amazing! We only had 2 days in Philly, so we wanted to soak up all the history we could. Kyle was a superior historian and guide. This tour costs just a little more, and you need to be up for walking around for 3-4 hours. There is intermittent sitting, however. I highly recommend the longer tour so that you can go inside Independence Hall. Independence Hall tickets are hard to get in advance, and they sell out on the same day. (Independence Hall tickets are actually free, but they are timed and there are a limited supply each day. When they're gone, they're gone.) The Bow Tie company already has your tickets in hand, so you are guaranteed that you'll be entering the room where it happened! This should not be missed.
One piece of feedback for the Bow Tie company is that the 4-hour tour schedule did not build in a restroom break. This was uncomfortable for me, as well as embarrassing that I needed to ask about it. I recommend adding a restroom break and having the guides offer this break so that we don't have to ask about it. I suggest having a designated public restroom stop when the 75-minute regular tour ends and before the Extraordinaire part starts. Once you're in Independence Hall, there are no bathrooms available. Nevertheless, this was a meaningful and inspirational and patriotic experience. Great, great tour!
Written 30 May 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Sherry M
Mossleigh, Canada19 contributions
May 2018
We did this walking tour with Kyle, he knows the tour itself very well and does a good job with the tour information. I found his knowledge of Philadelphia in general a little weak, if you asked question about things not covered in the tour his answer would be "that is not part of this tour", or acted uninterested in having a conversation about that topic and then he carried on with the tour. As a tourist I am interested in what make the city not just a history lesson and there were only the 3 of us (my daughters and myself), I don't think the tour had to be quite so structured and I would have enjoyed someone with a bit more personality and some more information about other building and life in Philly.
Written 18 May 2018
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

TM3
6 contributions
May 2019 • Couples
Kyle was very knowledgeable - providing lots of historical tidbits & anecdotes) and entertaining. The walk was easy (even in the heat & humidity). A great way to see and get to know the people/events that led to the beginning of our nation.
Written 6 June 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Mark C
Saint Louis, MO35 contributions
Oct 2018 • Couples
Our guide for this was enthusiastic, but didn't really have a depth of knowledge to tell interesting stories. It was just some facts about the small plots. Overall, this was a lot of money to tour a very small graveyard with very little of interest, other than Franklin's tomb.
Written 15 January 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

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