Philadelphia is a city, and with common sense and comfy shoes, it is a safe and insightful place to be. We felt safe walking in this area. Street parking is scarce and limited, so plan to park in a parking garage and expect to pay $15-$25. Obvious stops include the Liberty Bell and Constitution Center and the US Mint (if it is open). But, get that free map and explore the easy to follow streets to get to other sites. Betsy Ross's house was fun ($5 pp) but small.(steps/close quarters). The 2nd National Bank is a gallery of portraits. The grand steps and columns are inviting. We didn't know many of the faces, but one portrait of a young girl is the inspiration for the American Girl doll Felicity's party dress. Ben Franklin is everywhere including statues and his grave.
If you really want to get tickets to get inside Independence Hall, consider paying the fee to reserve online. http://www.nps.gov/inde/index.htm
The tickets for the whole day were all gone by 11:30 am. We were there on a cool Thursday afternoon, midday, and the crowds were minimal. If you visit in summer, I imagine bigger crowds and some longer lines. You could see this area of Philadelphia in one day if you have the energy and determination. Plan a longer visit if you will be there in especially hot or cold weather, or school trip season, have young kids/senior citizens, or during some planned event.
Bathrooms and snacks are available in the visitor's center.
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