10 Best History Tours In Philadelphia, Pennsylvania - Updated 2024

| 5 min read

Home to the iconic steps from the movie “Rocky,” Independence Hall, and the Liberty Bell, Philadelphia is the largest city in Pennsylvania and a city that’s rich in culture and history and has played a great role in the evolution of the country. With so much history hidden behind the city’s cobblestone streets and inside its buildings, one of the best ways to explore the city and learn a thing or two about its history is by joining a small-group tour where you’ll get the inside scoop from locals and professional tour guides. Excited to see Philly’s main attractions and hidden gems? Here are the best history tours in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, for you to check out.

1. Discover the history behind iconic building in Philly (from USD 50.0)

Philly’s history goes back centuries so today’s city is packed with stories that tell the tale of its past. The buildings in the city have their own history, from the materials used to the people who had designed or built them. Their walls have seen lots of historical events, keeping many secrets to this day. Join tour host Reid, a registered architect, who will walk you through Society Hill and Old City, telling you all there is to know about the area’s architecture and pointing to the places where George Washington and Ben Franklin lived and worked.

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Duration: 3 hours

132 reviews

2. See iconic/historical landmarks and hidden gems (from USD 40.0)

Whether exploring iconic landmarks or hidden gems, the list of things to see in Philadelphia is quite extensive, with lots of cultural and historical attractions waiting to be discovered and explored. This two-hour tour is ideal for those looking for a small-group experience that covers a lot of ground. You’ll get to check the must-see attractions from your bucket list, places such as Independence Hall and “Rocky” statue, Christ Church, and Betsy Ross House, but also experience real life in Philly. You’ll wander around Historic District and Old City, discover picturesque back streets, restaurants, and coffee shops, and make a final stop at a local brewpub where you’ll get a complimentary local beer.

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Philadelphia History, Highlights, & Revolution Tour

Duration: 2.5 hours

721 reviews

3. Follow in the footsteps of one of the most remarkable Founding Fathers (from USD 45.0)

Several people played a crucial role in Philly’s history and development, but none of them has lived a life as rich and tumultuous as Alexander Hamilton. Hamilton has worn various hats throughout his life, including a former member of the Constitutional Convention and Revolutionary War hero. This three-hour tour will take you to the places in Philly where he lived and worked and offer you a peek into the rich life he had. Come prepared to listen to lots of fun stories and 16 songs from the musical and sing along and have a good time.

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Hamilton - The Tour where it Happens!

Duration: 2.5 hours

91 reviews

4. Take a class on black history during Colonial times (from USD 35.0)

While the tour will take you to Philly’s iconic landmarks such as the Liberty Bell, Congress Hall, and Independence Hall, the main focus will be on black history during Colonial times. You’ll get to learn about the great role Black Americans played in the founding of the nation, listen to tales of slavery, as well as see places such as Congo Square, where African celebrations were held, Dock Street, or Bishop White’s house.

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The Black Journey- Philadelphia Black History Walking Tour

Duration: 2 hours

140 reviews

Philadelphia Tour Guide

Stephanie Eley

Stephanie Eley

I'm a graduate of ITMI, International Tour Management Institute and 17 years as a licensed Tour Director and Program Director. My expertise began in NYC and Washington, DC where I'm a licensed guide and has expanded to Europe, South America, Cuba and the Western / Southwestern National Parks of the US. I'd love to introduce you for a day or a week to Denver, Colorado and the 4 corners region of... Read more

Tours by Stephanie

Philadelphia Tour Guide

Annie Leguennec

Annie Leguennec

My name is Annie. I am a local Tour guide based in Philadelphia enjoying fully what the city has to offer with its deep history, street arts, murals, architecture, traditional food, black history, Farmer Markets, green space, a melting pot of neighborhoods and its great locals. I am looking for to welcome you and show you this incredible city where you will gain a better understanding of the ci... Read more

Tours by Annie

Philadelphia Tour Guide

Vance Lehmkuhl

Vance Lehmkuhl

Tour operator and tour guide for American Vegan Center in historic Old City Philadelphia, administering walking tours focusing on Philadelphia's "veg history" - the vegans and vegetarians through history that started the US vegetarian and vegan movements in this city. Author of "Eating Vegan in Philly" (2016) and also "V for Veg: The Best of Philly's Vegan Food Column," a collection of my colum... Read more

Tours by Vance

5. Get a glimpse of 18th-century Philly (from USD 39.0)

get a glimpse of 18th-century philly

Philadelphia has seen a lot of changes since the 18th century, and it’s people like tour guide Nick, a historian who’s lived in Philly most of his life, that will be able to paint a picture of how the city looked like and how it evolved throughout the years. Don’t expect the tour to cover major historical events, like the signing of the Declaration of Independence, but rather talk about the waterfront and early inhabitants. The river that crosses the city was twice as wide and the area consisted of many small islands.

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Learn Colonial Waterfront history

Duration: 2 hours

26 reviews

6. Reminisce of the Gilded Age in the heart of Philadelphia (from USD 45.0)

Although an era that is long gone, the Gilded Age’s reminiscences can still be seen in Philly today. From Renaissance structures to Art Deco architectural details, the city is filled with historical significance. This small-group tour lasts approximately two and a half hours and will take you on a walk along Market Street. You’ll pass by landmarks such as Masonic Temple, Academy of Music, City Hall, and several others.

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Exploring Philly's Gilded Age to now!

Duration: 2.5 hours

9 reviews

7. Learn about the history behind Philly's buildings (from USD 40.0)

A big part of Philadelphia’s history is told through its buildings, whether it’s the materials used, its designers and creators, or the historical events the buildings have seen. Take a stroll through the neighborhood of Old City to see some of the city’s oldest buildings. Philly is where you’ll find the former homes of George Washington and Ben Franklin, and also the emblematic Christ Church, First Bank of the United States, and Independence Hall.

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Discovering Colonial Philadelphia

Duration: 2.5 hours

159 reviews

8. Delve into America's most historic city (from USD 23.0)

There’s no doubt that Philadelphia has played a great role in the birthplace of the American nation. To this day, the city oozes history and culture so the best way to explore it is on foot if you want to see as much as possible. You’ll be welcomed by a very knowledgeable and lively tour guide who will take you to see Philly’s most historic sites. Expect to visit Independence National Historical Park, Independence Hall, see the Liberty Bell, and check out National Constitution Center, Declaration House, and many more. With around 20 stops, you’ll cover a lot of ground and learn a lot about the city in a fun and educational way.

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Philadelphia Constitutional Walking Tour with Guide

Duration: 1 hour 15 minutes

783 reviews

9. Learn about the women who shaped the city's history (from USD 59.0)

Like many other places around the US, Philly is no exception in the massive role women played in its history and development. The city is home to women who have become pioneers in many fields, including politics, science, and medicine. The tour will include three stops at Liberty Bell Center, Pennsylvania Hospital, and Gayborhood, a stunning mural presenting one of Philly’s powerful women.

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Badass Women's History Walking Tour of Philadelphia

Duration: 1 hour 45 minutes

69 reviews

10. Relive scenes from the classic movie “Mannequin” (from USD 33.0)

While many of you know Wanamaker Building as the Prince & Company Dept store from the classic 1987 movie “Mannequin,” the building actually has an interesting history dating back to 1911. Built by Daniel Burnham, an architectural genius from Chicago, the building is home to the largest playable organ globally and features lots of hidden spots that, although are not open to the public, you’ll get to see on this tour.

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“Mannequin” 1987 movie classic experienc

Duration: 1 hour

7 reviews

Discover the many sides of Philly's history

Whether we’re talking about the women or Black Americans who shaped the country’s history, or we’re looking for memories from the long-gone Gilded and Colonial Ages, Philadelphia is the place where you’ll find it all. Check out our curated list that includes the best history tours in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, and get a closer look at the city’s historical sites and a glimpse into its architecture and famous people that have shaped its evolution.

Any must-sees we missed? Tell us about them in the comments section or write a post here to help out fellow travelers!
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Karina, a content creator rooted in Bucharest, Romania, embodies the spirit of a globetrotter. Her fascination with the beloved series F.R.I.E.N.D.S and a fervent love for coffee add vibrant layers...Read more

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