Benjamin Franklin Museum

Top choice in Philadelphia

This underground museum is dedicated to Franklin's storied life as a printer (he started the nation's first newspaper), inventor (Bifocals! Lightning rods!) and political figure who signed the Declaration of Independence. The exhibition, divided into five areas, with each focusing on a particular trait of the man, is inventively laid out with interactive elements and plenty of famous Franklin quotations.

In the same courtyard, don't miss the printing office, where park rangers demonstrate an 18th-century printing press similar to that used by Franklin.

Lonely Planet's must-see attractions

Nearby Philadelphia attractions

1. Franklin Court

0.01 MILES

This peaceful courtyard, which can be accessed from both Market and Chestnut St, is where Benjamin Franklin's home once stood. The house was demolished in…

2. Franklin Court Printing Museum

0.04 MILES

These rooms are set up as a recreation of an 18th-century printing press operation similar to that used by Ben Franklin. A costumed park ranger will take…

3. Science History Institute

0.05 MILES

A must-stop for scientists and young explorers, this museum offers not just a look back at the history of chemicals and the materials made from them, but…

4. Museum of the American Revolution

0.08 MILES

This impressive, multimedia-rich museum will have you virtually participating in the American Revolution; interactive dioramas and 3-D experiences take…

5. First Bank of the US


Although closed to the public, it's impossible to ignore the grand neoclassical architecture of this 1797 building that housed the First Bank of the US…

6. Carpenters' Hall


Erected as a calling card for the skillful work of the Carpenters' Company of Philadelphia in 1774, this is where the First Continental Congress met.

7. Second Bank of the US

0.11 MILES

Modeled after the Greek Parthenon, this 1824 marble-faced Greek Revival masterpiece now houses a Portrait Gallery. Many of the paintings are by Charles…