Located in Independence National Historical Park beside Independence Hall, this 50,000 square-foot building is the official visitors center for the city of Philadelphia. Here visitors can park in the underground lot; pick up various city/area maps and brochures; get free, timed tickets to Independence Hall (required from March-December); find public bathrooms and a variety of snacks; and connect to some free Wi-Fi.
The Center is staffed by reps from the National Park Service, some of whom lead free tours of the Historical Park and Old City that meet/begin in the lobby. If you miss out on a tour, try to catch the short historical films that are shown at the Center: “Independence,” a 30-minute film made by director John Huston in 1976, illuminates Philadelphia’s place in history during the 25 years following the American Revolution ; and “Choosing Sides,” a 15-minute film made by the History Channel that features modern-day teens reading letters written by post-Revolution-era teens.
The city’s official souvenir shop is located on the ground level, offering, among many other items, t-shirts and coffee mugs emblazoned with Philadelphia’s signature LOVE and “With Love, xoxo” logos.