GuruWalk Original
Free tour

The Essentials: The Best Free Highlight Tour and More of Historic Philadelphia

Duration: 2h
Languages: English
Guru: Thomas
Quality Verified Registered on July 29, 2022

My name is Tom and I am History Swiftly. I am a U.S. history teacher in a local, suburban school district and am passionate about teaching history and sharing that love of history. Over the last 20+ years as a teacher, I’ve taken students from Quebec City to Boston to Gettysburg to Annapolis to Washington. Philadelphia is always a favorite tour. You will find that I purposely schedule smaller group tours (compared to many of the larger tours offered in the city) so I can share all of the wonderful history and fun Philadelphia has to offer and offer recommendations on how best to see the city!

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GuruWalk Original

GW Originals free walking tours are chosen by our staff among the best and are unique tours that you will only find on GuruWalk.

  • No minimum number of attendees
    No minimum number of attendees is required for the tour
  • Free booking and cancellation
    Free payment tour, no set price, booking and cancellation are free
  • Accepts electronic payment
    This tour allows payment by electronic means or credit card

Tour description

Highlight Tour of Historic Philadelphia:
Join this walking tour to see the important sites in historic Philadelphia: Independence Mall, Washington Square Park, parts of Society Hill and Old City.  This will be the BEST highlight tour of the historic area in Philadelphia that you will find!  

See More History:
You will see more, learn more, and have laughs while listening to stories on this guided walking tour of historic Philadelphia!  You will see all the essential spots in early Philadelphia history and a several bonus spots, too that other tours don't visit.  

Smaller Group Size:
You will not find me giving tours to large groups. Because I enjoy engaging with everyone on the tour, I have capped the group size to 13 or fewer and most tour groups are much smaller in size.  I think you’ll get more from the tour with a smaller sized group. I am always happy to offer personal suggestions on the best sites to see in the city to make your visit to Philadelphia a great memory.  If you are interested in a larger group tour, please feel free to contact me and I will work with your group to find a solution that benefits everyone.

The tour usually lasts about 2:00 hours. 

For a longer tour that extends past this tour into Society Hill, see another tour that I occasionally offer (usually on warm Sundays) by following the link at the bottom of this page.  

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What will we visit on this tour?

  • Meeting point:
    101 S Independence Mall E, Philadelph...
    101 S Independence Mall E, Philadelphia, PA 19106, USA
  • 1
    Outside visit
    Weitzman National Museum of American Jewish History Museum Store
  • 2
    Outside visit
    Declaration House
  • 3
    Outside visit
    President's House Site
  • 4
    Outside visit
    Liberty Bell Center
  • 5
    Outside visit
    Independence Hall
  • 6
    Outside visit
    Washington Square
  • 7
    Outside visit
    Second Bank of the United States Portrait Gallery
  • 8
    Outside visit
    Carpenters' Hall
  • 9
    Outside visit
    Welcome Park
  • 10
    Outside visit
    Christ Church
  • 11
    Outside visit
    Elfreth's Alley
  • 12
    Outside visit
    Betsy Ross House
  • 13
    Outside visit
    Arch Street Meeting House
  • 14
    Outside visit
    Christ Church Burial Ground
  • 15
    Outside visit
    Independence Hall Visitors Center

How much does this tour cost?

Free tours do not have a set price, instead, each person gives the guru at the end of the tour the amount that he or she considers appropriate (these usually range from €10 to $50 depending on satisfaction with the tour).

Tour opinions

105 ratings
By category
5 stars
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1 star
Lorena 30 May 2023
New York

Verified booking
Travelled in couple - May 2023
Our tour was lovely. Our guide had a lot of knowledge about the city and history, he was fun, and the walking wasn't excessive
Karen 27 May 2023
West Hartford

Verified booking
Travelled in group - May 2023
Eleven of us from 20’s - 70’s were engaged for over 2 hours. Thomas was funny and knew how to keep it going. Lots of charisma. Lucky to have him.
Terri 22 May 2023

Tim was friendly, knowledgeable, polite. Wonderful tour!!! Highly recommend.
Raffael 22 May 2023

Verified booking
Travelled in couple - May 2023
Thomas war ein super Tourguide und man merkt, dass er das ganze aus Leidenschaft macht. Konnte alle unsere Fragen beantworten und hat eine super informative und abwechslungsreiche Tour geboten. (Man konnte sogar mit Karte bezahlen) Nochmals herzlichen Dank an Thomas.
Gosia 22 May 2023

Verified booking
Travelled in group - May 2023
Thomas is a great tour guide and a very knowleagable history buff. He was also funny; chose the most important spots for his tour; answered our questions; challenged our knowledge of the US history without stressing us out; answered challenging questions without making anyone uncomfortable. I had been a little stressed before the tour because I brought two foreign visitors and was not sure their English would be enough but I shouldn’t have worried. Tom spoke in clear English and in an engaging manner for everyone. Fantastic way to start exploring Philadelphia, as he gives some great advice about what to do next.
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Who is this tour for?

Suitable for people with reduced mobility.
Accepts reservations up to 13 people.
Suitable for carrying pets.

What should you know?

Minimum of attendees
There is no minimum number of people required for the tour.
Additional costs:
The tour does not require the payment of entrance fees or additional expenses.
Free cancellation
If you will not be able to attend the tour, please cancel your booking, otherwise the guide will be waiting for you.
Payment methods
Electronic or credit card payment is accepted.
When do you want to go?
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