Located in the Independence National Historical Park beside Independence Hall, the 50,000-square-foot Independence Visitor Center welcomes travelers to the city of Philadelphia. Here guests can pick up various area maps and brochures; get free, timed tickets to Independence Hall (required from March to December); find public bathrooms and a variety of snacks; and connect to free WiFi.
The center is staffed by reps from the National Park Service, some of whom lead free tours of the Historical Park and Old City—these begin in the lobby. Short historical films are also shown at the center: Independence, a 30-minute film made by director John Huston in 1976 that illuminates Philadelphia's place in history during the 25 years following the American Revolution and the 15-minute Choosing Sides, which features modern-day teens reading letters written by post-Revolution-era teens.
The Visitor Center features an underground parking lot for easy access by car. On the ground floor, guests will find Philadelphia's official souvenir shop, which offers, among many other items, T-shirts and coffee mugs emblazoned with the city's signature logos.