FAQs of Visiting
What can I see?
The German Society is not a museum, but our building is on the National Register of Historic Places, and the German Society has been in continuous possession of our buildings since the 1880s. We have an Auditorium with world-renowned acoustics, a Library with over 50,000 volumes, and a traditional Ratskeller. Tours usually range from 30-45 minutes, depending on your interests and the number of questions you ask.
Do I need to make an appointment for a tour?
While we certainly welcome walk-ins, we strongly suggest that you call us (215-627-2332) before coming in for a tour. The staff and volunteers in the building on a regular basis are often occupied by the daily operations of the Society. To ensure someone is available to give you a tour, we suggest you let us know you will be coming. Tours are offered in English, but if you would prefer a tour in German, a reservation, and at least one week's notice, is required.
Is there admission charged for a tour?
We do not charge admission for a tour of our building, but we would certainly appreciate a donation for our time. We usually suggest $3 - $5 per person on the tour, but you may certainly give more or less if you choose. There are donation boxes around the Society if you feel uncomfortable handing money to your tour guide.
Do I need to make an appointment to use the Library?
While visiting the Library is part of a building tour, you will need to make an appointment to actually use the Library and its collections. You can schedule a visit with our Librarian by calling 215-627-2332, or you can send her an email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Can I bring children with me on a tour?
The German Society loves having youngsters in our building, and you are welcome to bring them with you, though the tour is geared toward older folks.
Do you do group tours?
We are certainly happy to conduct group visits for tourists, school classes, university German clubs, and the like. We ask that you give us as much notice as possible and include the following information: English or German (or mixed) tour, number of people in group, desired length of tour, time of tour, and if there is a space needed for a meal. We are happy to accommodate groups of any size, though we will break a group of 20 or more into smaller groups for ease of navigating through the building.
Can I take photos while I'm at the Society?
You certainly can. We do not have any restrictions as to what you may or may not photograph. We just ask that you respect the historic nature of the space and make sure camera equipment does not damage the property in any way.
Do you have a gift shop or things for sale?
We have several bookcases throughout the building with old books you may take with you. It is requested that you make a donation for any books you would like to take, but please feel free to do so. We do not have a gift shop where you can purchase merchandise.
Can I park in your parking lot?
Our parking lot is open for visitors and friends of the Society. If you are planning a visit here and would also like to grab a bite to eat or visit another attraction in the area, you are welcome to leave your car here. We will not lock you in or have you towed if you plan on visiting the Society during your trip. However, please be sure to park inside the black gate. The parking in front of the gate and under the mural does not belong to us, and you will be in danger of towing if you park there.
Can I have a birthday party or my wedding reception at the Society?
Absolutely! Please see the rental pages for more information about special event rentals.
What other things of interest are in your neighborhood?
The Philadelphia Museum of Art and Eastern State Penitentiary are a very short car ride (or longer walk) away, as well as Penn's Landing, South Street, Independence Mall, and the rest of Center City. You can also visit the Edgar Allan Poe National Historic Site right across the street. There are several restaurants in the area, such as Silk City and Dave & Buster's, but we recommend venturing further toward the center of town for a larger variety of choices.
What is the general neighborhood like around the German Society?
During business hours, the area along Spring Garden Street is well-populated and trafficked. We would not recommend walking alone after dark.
If you have any other questions or are planning a visit, please feel free to call us at 215-627-2332 (9am - 5pm, Monday - Friday).