A Long Weekend in Philly – Independence Hall, Liberty Bell, and Rocky

Hi friends, welcome back to part two of our Philly adventures! In case you missed part one, you can check it out here. Part two picks up after our walking tour and inside Independence Hall. To see inside Independence Hall, you need tickets for a National Park Service guided tour. The tickets cost a $1 administrative fee each and prevent people from having to spend time waiting in a long line.

The tour lasts about twenty minutes and you can see where they debated and signed both the Declaration of Independence and US Constitution. All of the NPS Rangers did a great job with their tours and answering any possible questions the patrons had. I’d highly recommend booking a tour so you can see inside Independence Hall. Just note that there’s an airport security style check in to gain access to the area, so leave a few extra minutes before your reservation to pass through security.

In the same area you can also see Congress Hall with a free tour, no tickets required, and this was where the first House of Representatives and Senate held their sessions before the capital was moved to Washington D.C. The first floor was home to the House of Representatives while the Senate held their meetings upstairs. The tour only had access to the first floor, but I’d still recommend going inside.

George Washington took his second oath of office here, his first was at Federal Hall in NYC (I can see Federal Hall from my kitchen window!). Four years later, John Adams was inaugurated here and it showcased the first peaceful transition of power, unheard of in those times.

Across from Independence Hall sits the Liberty Bell. I’d HIGHLY recommend coming here as early in the day as possible to avoid waiting in a long line. The line after we finished the tour looked to be about 75 people deep so Jon and I went early on our last day (Monday) and walked right in. We could explore the small museum without a crowd or feeling rushed.

We also stopped inside The Second Bank of the U.S. to view the portrait gallery of the founders of the U.S. This museum is free and we spent about twenty minutes walking through and admiring the portraits. I wouldn’t make visiting this museum a priority, but if you have extra time it’s a cool spot to check out.

Jon and I were quite tired from our first full day of exploring and learning, so we ordered some Ramen takeout from Tomo Ramen & Sushi with a tiny sushi roll (so sad!) and pork buns. We did enjoy the Miso Ramen though!

The following morning, I walked to The Kettle Black to grab a charcoal sesame seed bagel with cream cheese and a donut brioche for later, and then Jon and I went to Olde City Coffee Company for some iced oat milk lattes. We sipped our coffee outside the Betsy Ross house and then headed into the museum and house (see prior post).

After the Betsy Ross house, we attempted to see the Liberty Bell but the line was too long, so we took a break and ate our bagel and brioche. We then walked to Reading Terminal Market (similar to Chelsea Market in NYC) in City Center to check it out. We grabbed some cookies from The Famous 4th Street Cookie Company that were recommended to me from a friend on Instagram and they tasted like traditional, delicious homemade cookies. This bakery was named by The Food Network as one of the best cookie bakeries in the US, so you know they’re good!

Next we saw the magnificent City Hall, the largest municipal building in America with over 700 rooms. Until 1987, this was the tallest building in the city and there used to be a gentleman’s agreement that no building could be taller than the William Penn statue on top. The 37-foot statue on top, named after the founder of Philadelphia, weighs over 50,000 pounds! All in all, there are over 250 sculptures on the exterior of the building. Usually, you can tour the exterior and interior of the building, but that is temporarily on hold. I’m adding a tour to the top of my list for the next time we’re in Philly!

Jon and I continued walking to the famous LOVE Park to get a picture with the LOVE Sign. I thought it was neat how you could see the art museum off in the distance.

We walked about 1.25 miles from Love Park to the Philadelphia Museum of Art and took in the beautiful museums we passed along the way. We didn’t make it into any of these museums, but if we had an extra day I’d definitely dedicate it to museum hopping.

Jon and I made it to the Philadelphia Museum of Art and Jon ran up the famous stairs like Rocky. I jogged a little, but it was a pretty weak attempt…Jon put a lot more effort into recreating the famous movie scene.

I’ll conclude part two with some silly, obligatory pictures with The Rocky Statue. There was a guy taking pictures for everyone (for tips), and he posed us these ways ha.

I hope you enjoyed part two, stay tuned for part three and one of my favorite and most unique excursions of the trip 🙂

22 thoughts on “A Long Weekend in Philly – Independence Hall, Liberty Bell, and Rocky

    1. Thank you! It was very cool to see things I always learned about and some pop culture too 🙂

  1. The shots of Independence Hall remind me of the scene in “National Treasure” where Nicolas Cage is out on those rooftops in search of further clues (and I’m surprised the Hall allowed a crew to film up there). Also, ONLY on “Lyssy in the City” are we treated to an in-depth tour of America’s colonial-era buildings followed immediately by an in-depth tour of Philadelphia’s best food. Crack me up. Finally, you and Jon take a lot of great pictures together but the first one in this post should be on your shortlist.

    1. I need to watch National Treasure again, I don’t think I’ve seen it in 10+ years but now I’ll recognize a lot more spots. Haha I spend equal time planning my trip itinerary as the eats 🙂 Thank you! The first picture is one of my favs 🙂

    1. Thanks Leighton, I’m glad you enjoyed! The train from NYC to Philly is only about an hour so you could easily visit both cities in one trip. I need to get some Ramen in Chinatown, it’s so good for this cold weather!

  2. Great post and Rocky photos! A couple of things I wondered about while reading: (1) what would the framers of the Constitution think of the country today, and (2) how many people have seriously injured themselves running up the steps nd recreating the Rocky scene? 😄

    1. Thank you! I think the framers are shaking their heads with their heads in their hands… That’s a valid question, stairs can be tricky ha! They seemed to go on forever too 🙂

  3. A great synopsis of a beautiful historic city, Lyssy. Those market cookies looked amazing. Hoping to visit Philly some day. Thanks for sharing Lyssy. Allan

  4. I love the Rocky photos! Another suggestion for a long weekend if you haven’t been is Newport, Rhode Island. I was there over the weekend and didn’t have the time I needed to see all of those mansions and the shops in town.

    1. Thank you! Newport has been atop my list for a few years and we’re finally scheduled to go this July 🙂 I’d love to visit before Christmas too when the mansions are decorated for the holidays.

  5. I am so glad that you guys stopped at the Reading Terminal Market! That place is so much fun and they have some pretty sweet food selections. All of your photos of Philly look fabulous as well!

    1. Thank you Allie! Reading Terminal Market was a lot of fun! I’m glad we had a game plan to get the cookies or we could’ve wandered through all day long ha

  6. It is a beautiful and historic city to visit and as you point out, there are lessons to be learned about the transition of power at the end of a term.

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