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“Would be a better book...” 3 of 5 stars
Review of National Liberty Museum

National Liberty Museum
321 Chestnut Street, Philadelphia, PA 19106 (City Center East)
+1 215-925-2800
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Ranked #78 of 262 Attractions in Philadelphia
Type: History Museums, Museums
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Attraction details
Owner description: Jackie Robinson. Jim Henson. Malala Yousafzai. These are just a few of the heroes of liberty that will greet you as you walk through the National Liberty Museum's front steps. Located in the heart of Historic Philadelphia, the National Liberty Museum brings liberty to life by fostering strong character and civic engagement. Enter the brand new Welcome Gallery, free to the public, and touch an exact replica of the Liberty Bell. Cast your vote on who the next hero of liberty should be, and take a quiz on the gallery's interactive iPad exhibit to find out "what kind of hero are you?" Next take an inspirational walk through freedom, interacting with heroes and artwork from around the world; look inside Nelson Mandela's jail cell; gaze at the museum's extensive collection of glass art; honor the heroes of 9/11. With its unique combination of personal and peer experiences, entertainment and adventure, and intrigue and inspiration, the National Liberty Museum allows us all to explore liberty and discover our inner hero. Open 10am to 5pm, 7 days a week.
Houston, Texas
Top Contributor
144 reviews 144 reviews
109 attraction reviews
Reviews in 25 cities Reviews in 25 cities
201 helpful votes 201 helpful votes
“Would be a better book...”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed December 20, 2010

I have to agree with an earlier reviewer that this museum is not "typical". Unfortunately, I really like most museums, so my tastes tend to run toward the "typical" I suppose. First for the pros--definitely not crowded on a Sunday when I visited. Granted it was December, but I was literally the only person in the place for a solid hour. The exhibits are on four floors, and they did have one very interesting and unique exhibit on violence among children that discussed various aspects from bullying to violence in the media, recent events involving guns in schools, etc. Each staircase has a different memorial to victims of the 9/11 attacks as well. But to be honest, I found the museum to be only mediocre due to a few points: 1.) most of the "exhibits" consist of extensive writing on plaques or posters on the walls. Honestly, it would have made for a better book, there was so much reading involved. 2.) Many of the "heroes" highlighted who fought for peace and liberty were actually martyrs, especially the 9/11 victims and those highlighted as fighting for civil rights on the first floor, all of which gave it a kind of depressing air. I felt like most of the time I would read about a person's efforts to bring freedom to their country and the explanation would end with the person being murdered. Lastly, 3.) the two exhibits I was most excited about were very disappointing. The "recreations" of Anne Frank's secret annex and Nelson Mandela's jail cell were easily 12 feet square and each consisted of a bed and a book and little else.

Additionally, I looked up times for the museum about a month ago when I booked my tickets, and since then they changed so that when I arrived I discovered that the museum didn't open for several more hours. I noticed another reviewer mentioned that there was also a lack of communication regarding when it is open, so I would suggest calling ahead.

Final verdict: I'm glad I visited and I learned a few things, enjoyed the unique artwork and several of the exhibits, but I would NOT return, take children under the age of 14, or suggest cutting something else out of your itinerary to fit in the Liberty Museum.

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English first
Princeton, New Jersey
1 review
“liberty off limits”
1 of 5 stars Reviewed August 7, 2010

I don't know what's in the museum because after driving for
over an hour to get there I found it closed for some kind of
"event". This was not announced on the web site, which I
had checked before setting out. So if you don't mind taking your
chances, I suppose this museum might be worth a visit.

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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
North Central Indiana
Top Contributor
166 reviews 166 reviews
22 attraction reviews
Reviews in 65 cities Reviews in 65 cities
62 helpful votes 62 helpful votes
“Awesome Exhibits”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 3, 2010

We escaped the hot temperatures of a July day and found ourselves overhwelmed by the great exhibits in this museum. There are lots of video interactive productions that will keep your kids quite engaged. They learned a lot more about the Constitution as well as all the ammendments at this Museum. It is well worth your time during your trip to Philly

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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Washington State
Senior Reviewer
6 reviews 6 reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
7 helpful votes 7 helpful votes
“Not What You Think”
1 of 5 stars Reviewed May 3, 2010

They should call this "International Liberty Museum" since it focuses more on International cultures than truly American culture. If you buy into the whole 9/11 propaganda you might find it interesting though.

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Saratoga Springs, NY
1 review
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
“Do NOT miss this - even if you don't like museums - there's something for everyone!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 8, 2009

We were amazed to find a museum dedicated to peace, conflict resolution and the elimination of oppression of every kind. The focus was world-wide: there was a very moving tribute to victims and survivors of 9/11, an entire room devoted to honoring people from around the globe who have fought oppression, and a wonderfully diverse offering of installation art dedicated to celebrating individuals who aided victims of the holocaust. But it wasn't just the idea of a museum dedicated to the eradication of oppression and violence that impressed us. The caliber of the art was as impressive as the museum's ideals.
On the Sunday we were there, the entrance fee was intended to underwrite anti-violence programs with inner city Philadelphia youth. In fact, the museum has an extensive outreach program with the community.
The museum is small enough to cover in two to three hours, and is easy to find, right on the edge of the historic district. The staff was extemely friendly and knowledgeable. We thought it would improve the world immensely if they could take their exhibits "on the road"

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