Trip Planner:   USA  /  Pennsylvania  /  Philadelphia  /  City Hall
The largest municipal building in the country, City Hall sits on the spot that once marked the geographic center of the city. Designed by architect John McArthur Jr. and completed in 1901 after nearly three decades of construction, this 167 m (548 ft) tall structure is the world's tallest masonry building. Widely regarded as a masterpiece of the Second Empire style of architecture, the imposing building features granite floors, marble columns, and 250 sculptures created by famed artist Alexander Milne Calder. A statue of city founder William Penn, considered the greatest achievement of Calder's career, adorns the top of the building. The interior of the building is composed of 700 rooms, some of which you can explore on a guided tour of this National Historic Landmark. The site offers two-hour tours for an in-depth look at the building, or you can get a ticket to the hall's observation deck and tower to take in sweeping views of the city. Use our Philadelphia trip builder website to visit City Hall on your trip to Philadelphia, and learn what else travelers and our writers recommend seeing nearby.
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City Hall Reviews
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  • The detail you can observe when walking through and around this building is not to be missed. It’s just as impressive lit at night as during the day. Ben Franklin at the top can also be seen better fr...  more »
  • We enjoyed walking all the way around City Hall, looking at the architectural details, and the various sculptures that have been placed around the building. We also rod the tower elevator up to the ob...  more »
  • So many ways, so many angles: city hall is definitely a masterpiece, overshadowing the many other buildings around, even the taller ones.  more »
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  • When the Second Empire Baroque style city hall building was completed, it was the tallest, freestanding secular building in the world. At the base of William Penn statue is where the Observation Deck is located. In order to go up to the Observation Deck, go to the City Hall visitor center on the first floor to make pre-paid reservation. TIP: GO EARLY TO RESERVE YOUR TIME, ESPECIALLY DURING THE PEAK TOURIST SEASON. A claustrophobic elevator which will only take four visitors plus a security guard/guide up to the Observation Deck. You'll have 15 minutes to enjoy the panoramic view of The City of Brotherly Love. During the elevator ride, peak through the small elevator windows to see the metal beams supporting internal structure. As of 2016, One Liberty Observation Deck is another option to view the city from the sky, but it will cost you more. Also, there is no time limit at One Liberty Observation Deck. ENJOY!!
  • Beautiful and imposing early 20th century building designated a National Historic Landmark. It is impressive both from the outside and inside (at the building courtyard), day or night. It is also interesting to have a statue (William Penn’s) at the very top of the building.
  • As a local, i like this historical city but i hate to see the dirty streets, chewing gums, garbages, sputum, old broken buildings and waste lands. i reckon that this city is not well managed. Local Railway is outdated and train stations are lack of parking spaces. It needs a rebuild.
  • The Second Empire style city hall at Philadelphia's core is one of the most magnificent in the country.
  • Beautiful Building day and night. Must go see yourself.

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Where to stay in Philadelphia

Most of Philadelphia's hotels cluster around the compact city center, ensuring quick and easy access to major tourist sights and activities. The only drawback to staying in this area is the lack of free parking, so if you're exploring by car, considering booking into a bed and breakfast in one of the city's residential blocks. Visitors planning on longer stays can also consider several apartment hotels, offering spacious furnished units with complimentary Wi-Fi, free bike rentals, and access to rooftop terraces.
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