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“Would be a better book...”

National Liberty Museum
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$7.00*
and up
National Liberty Museum General Admission
Ranked #52 of 443 things to do in Philadelphia
Certificate of Excellence
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Attraction details
Recommended length of visit: 1-2 hours
Owner description: Located in the heart of historic Philadelphia, the National Liberty Museum is dedicated to preserving America's heritage of freedom by encouraging people to find their own place in the story of liberty. Visitors to the Museum enjoy an inspiring and entertaining experience, as they interact with incredible stories of heroes and a collection of contemporary art. Come see an exact replica of the Liberty Bell that still rings, life size children made of jellybeans, and our famous "Flame of Liberty" by Dale Chihuly made just for the National Liberty Museum. Also, be sure to check out our gift shop full of Philadelphia souvenirs, unique handmade jewelry, and fashion accessories.
Useful Information: Wheelchair access
Houston, Texas
Level Contributor
158 reviews
124 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 224 helpful votes
“Would be a better book...”
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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3 Thank annikalibby
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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132 reviews from our community

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Date | Rating
  • English first
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  • Any
English first
Princeton, New Jersey
1 review
“liberty off limits”
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.

Helpful?
Thank tourist46756
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
North Central Indiana
Level Contributor
261 reviews
39 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 101 helpful votes
“Awesome Exhibits”
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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1 Thank HoosierDady
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Washington State
Level Contributor
6 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
“Not What You Think”
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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Thank CarlaWashingtonState
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Saratoga Springs, NY
1 review
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
“Do NOT miss this - even if you don't like museums - there's something for everyone!”
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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1 Thank lyssatt
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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