The Liberty Bell, a 2,000-pound (907-kilogram) piece of American history, was forged in London's Whitechapel Foundry and represents freedom in the city where the Declaration of Independence was crafted. Now set in the Liberty Bell Center, the bell was commissioned in 1752 and has been in Philadelphia since British Colonial rule.
Visit the Liberty Bell Center to see the bell up close and read its famous inscription, which has been an inspiration to US leaders such as George Washington, Benjamin Franklin, and the heroes of the Civil Rights movement. Many Philadelphia city tours include a visit to the center, including walking excursions, Segway tours, small-group driving tours, and hop-on hop-off bus tours. Most excursions also include stops at nearby landmarks such as the National Constitution Center and Betsy Ross House.
Things to Know Before You Go
- There’s almost always a line to enter the Liberty Bell Center, but you can also view the bell through a window on the western side of the building.
- Wheelchairs are available to borrow on a first-come, first-served basis at the Independence Visitor Center, and most buildings in the Independence National Historic Park are accessible to wheelchairs and strollers.
- You must pass through security to visit the Liberty Bell Center; bring only small bags to minimize screening time.
How to Get There
The Liberty Bell Center is part of the Independence National Historical Park, located in Philadelphia’s Old City historic district. The nearest train station is located at 8th and Market streets, and the nearest Metro station is 5th Street Station. Street parking is scarce, but there are paid lots nearby. The PHLASH bus operates seasonally (spring and summer) with stops at 20 locations, including the Independence Visitor Center, the Philadelphia Museum of Art and the Philadelphia Zoo.
When to Get There
You can visit the Liberty Bell Center year-round, although the site is typically packed with visitors during summer and school vacation weeks. Opt for an early morning visit to avoid lines and crowds.
The Liberty Bell’s Famous Crack
Originally cracked during a test ring in 1752, the bell was fixed, cracked again after almost 100 years of regular use, then fixed again in 1846, prior to the anniversary of George Washington's birthday. The bell seen today is proof that “stop drilling,” the technique used to repair that last crack, worked.