National Liberty Museum
National Liberty Museum
4.5
Monday
10:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Thursday
10:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Friday
10:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Saturday
10:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Sunday
10:00 AM - 5:00 PM
About
Located in Old City Philadelphia – the birthplace of American democracy – the National Liberty Museum (NLM) offers a contemporary perspective on the boldest and most innovative concept in American history: the idea that liberty is – and must be – a shared pursuit if it is ever truly to be “for all.” With four floors of permanent exhibitions and changing galleries, NLM explores the meaning and practice of liberty today. Through a compelling lineup of programs and exhibitions, we invite everyone to spark and engage in meaningful dialogues on the most pressing issues of our time.
Duration: 1-2 hours
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The area
Address
Neighborhood: City Center East
How to get there
  • 5th St • 3 min walk
  • 2nd St • 4 min walk
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Most Recent: Reviews ordered by most recent publish date in descending order.

Detailed Reviews: Reviews ordered by recency and descriptiveness of user-identified themes such as wait time, length of visit, general tips, and location information.

Popular mentions

4.5
4.5 of 5 bubbles274 reviews
Excellent
181
Very good
58
Average
22
Poor
7
Terrible
6

Paultskenny
Ashton in Makerfield, UK123 contributions
3.0 of 5 bubbles
Aug 2022 • Couples
There is a lot to do in Philly and having been fortunate to visit other museums in the area we looked forward to our visit in August. The message is so important but we felt the museum lacked exhibits worthy of the subject matter. That’s not to say that this is not worth checking out - but if you have only a short time in Philly then there are other better attractions to visit.
Written August 8, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Peggy T
Singapore, Singapore1,155 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Nov 2022 • Friends
We chanced upon the National Liberty Museum after our visit to the Independence Hall. My friends and I are extremely woo by the powerful digital graphic presentation sharing about liberty. It was the most impactful presentation we have experience. The words, thoughts and question surely get us thinking about what liberty really means and how every individual can do their part. Very impressive.
Written November 6, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

HappyTravelerFromNYC
New York City22 contributions
3.0 of 5 bubbles
Jun 2015 • Couples
While there’s initially a lot of promise here, with a moving introductory film about people helping to make the world a better place, thereafter, this museum’s mission becomes lost in curatorial confusion and messaging. An entire floor is dedicated to bible stories – well done if this were a biblical museum. Some beautiful and interesting art pieces found on other floors seem out of place, but were actually a highlight. There are also spaces honoring armed services heroes and first responders to the tragic events of 9/11. But then, a wall of honor showcasing people who have overcome physical challenges (nice sentiment, but where’s the “liberty” theme?), shockingly includes Paula Abdul , Brooke Shields, and Donny Osmond among truly inspirational, significant figures such as FDR , Helen Keller, Lou Gehrig, and Ray Charles, to name a few. The film and sculptures made our visit memorable, but this museum is only worthwhile if you have spare time after seeing all of the many other “must-see” sites.
Written July 8, 2015
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

AdaminDC
Washington, D.C.24 contributions
3.0 of 5 bubbles
Jun 2013 • Friends
This museum is not for everyone. It is best understood as the realization of the somewhat quirky vision of its founder, who is passionately interested in both studio art glass and inspirational stories centered on the theme of liberty. The museum tries to combine the founder's twin passions; sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't. So you end up seeing the uneasy juxtaposition of displays devoted to Nelson Mandela's prison cell, Dale Chihuly's glass sculptures, Anne Frank's Secret Annex, stained glass windows depicting biblical scenes, photographs of genocidal dictators, paintings by Marc Chagall, photos of September 11 victims, etc. Many of the glass art pieces are beautiful, and many of the wall texts are interesting, but the overall effect is somewhat bewildering.
Written June 10, 2013
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Katherine S
Hartford, CT45 contributions
3.0 of 5 bubbles
Oct 2018 • Friends
I expected a historical museum, but it's more a conceptual museum. It reminded me of what they've done to the Harriet Beecher Stowe House in Hartford - a place to make you think, when maybe you just wanted a little history. My group's stay was rather short. If I had had the opportunity to read every single exhibit about each person represented there and been able to truly take in the glass art works, I would probably have enjoyed it much more. Also, our guide, a very pleasant young lady, was well given a meaning, but seemed to have provided her standard tour geared towards school children, not a bunch of women old enough to be her mother. Informative, but left me feeling like I'd just attended a college lecture being given by a first grade teacher because the professor was out sick.
Written November 28, 2018
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

MITraveling2
Northville, MI17 contributions
3.0 of 5 bubbles
Jun 2018 • Couples
Ok museum, but there are much better museums in Philadelphia if you are short on time. If you have lots of time to spare, give it a look, especially if you have a Philadelphia Pass. Lots of artwork and emphasis on American everyday heroes.
Written July 4, 2018
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

luv2flyplaces
Orange Cty, CA120 contributions
3.0 of 5 bubbles
Apr 2014 • Family
The idea behind the museum is noble, recognize and pay tribute to heroes of liberty, but neither my 14 yr old nor I were as moved by what we saw as I had hoped.

You should know (as we didn't) that this museum has little to do with the founding of our nation, which many visitors to Philadelphia come for. We were referred here by one of the staff at the Liberty Bell (he didn't really advocate going so much as offered it as an option). We were walking nearby so stopped in.

We spent less than 15 minutes inside. Before you think we didn't give it a chance, I'd just like to say, maybe so - but we didn't feel a desire to, and that's the problem. A good museum makes you WANT to stay. You WANT to touch, interact, learn. I did try, but as soon as I'd stop to read something, my son would keep walking. He isn't much of a "museum reader." He's more into interactive exhibits. We didn't find much to "do" here.

Honestly, I was unclear what the mission of the museum was until we'd reached the bottom (after starting on the top floor) when I realized everything we were seeing had to do with people who advocated freedom. I was expecting the focus to be on the founding of our nation - THAT liberty. But, it's really ALL liberty. There's the Holocaust, 911, Martin Luther King, etc. Just a huge variety of events. Does it belong in PHL? Maybe, probably, but I wouldn't have spent the time on our short visit here if I'd known what I do now. Still, my 3 * rating is not because it is out of place, but because it didn't inspire or educate as much as I had hoped.

If you are a glass collector, or a fine art enthusiast, you'd probably enjoy it more.
Written April 5, 2014
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Thank you very much for your important feedback - we greatly appreciate any critique offered to us. We're currently in the process of some great changes to our museum, starting with our first floor and museum entrance gallery, which focuses on engaging and inspiring visitors to understand that liberty isn't just historical, but alive and active in the work of individuals past, present, local, and global, through interactive galleries and showcases. We apologies that you were not inspired by the stories of liberty and heroism that our galleries focus to convey but we thank you again for your important critique.
Written April 9, 2014
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

bcnett
Stoneham, MA441 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
May 2012 • Couples
We purchased a five day philly pass. This was the last thing we saw on the pass. We waited to the end, because we weren't quite sure what this museum was all about. The name doesn't do this museum justice. We arrived 90 minutes before closing. We could have spent all day there. It is a very moving and thought provoking museum.
Written June 13, 2012
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

annikalibby
Houston, Texas201 contributions
3.0 of 5 bubbles
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.
Written December 20, 2010
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Stacy H
Tampa, FL102 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Jul 2021 • Couples
I had not had not heard much about this museum but we had over an hour to waste before our tour and we were close by so we decided to check it out. So glad we did. This place was awesome. They had various art from local artist that expressed their view of independence. They had a beautiful glass sculpture that lit up. They also had a gallery of amazing people who did things to make the world better. I would recommend this museum to anyone visiting Philadelphia.
Written July 26, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

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National Liberty Museum - All You Need to Know BEFORE You Go (2024)

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