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Eastern State Penitentiary

2124 Fairmount Avenue, Philadelphia, PA 19130
215 236 3300
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Ranked #6 of 276 attractions in Philadelphia
Certificate of Excellence 2013
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Type: Historic Sites, Museums
Fee: Yes
Recommended length of visit: 1-2 hours
Owner description: Eastern State Penitentiary Historic Site was once the most famous and expensive prison in the world, but stands today in ruin, a haunting world of... more » Owner description: Eastern State Penitentiary Historic Site was once the most famous and expensive prison in the world, but stands today in ruin, a haunting world of crumbling cellblocks and empty guard towers. Known for its grand architecture and strict discipline, this was the world’s first true “penitentiary,” a prison designed to inspire penitence, or true regret, in the hearts of convicts. Tours today include the cellblocks, solitary punishment cells, Al Capone’s Cell, and Death Row. « less
Useful Information: Activities for older children
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English first
Baltimore, Maryland
Senior Reviewer
7 reviews 7 reviews
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 19, 2014 NEW

This was the highlight of the day. Had children of various ages, including a teen, and all were kept interested. Very unique, interesting stop and full of history. There is a lot of access to the different areas with certain times where restricted areas are opened to small groups. We were able to get into the hospital area and operating... More

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Senior Contributor
23 reviews 23 reviews
19 attraction reviews
7 helpful votes 7 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed April 19, 2014 NEW

We have just been to multiple museums during the last week and so wanted to do something different. This fits the bill. A good learning experience. But, not a must see.

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Alexandria, Virginia
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 18, 2014 NEW

Easy self-guided audio tour. There is an option to take a group tour but I preferred the first option. Very eery and interesting. It was fascinating to be within those walls and see the massive and expansive prison that once housed hundreds of prisoners. Took us about two and a half hours but we really took our time. Loved it... More

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hants
Senior Reviewer
7 reviews 7 reviews
9 helpful votes 9 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 18, 2014 NEW

Great tour was staying New York but went philidelphia for the day eastern state pen, coldest place I ever been but well worth tour and guide first class, don't believed in ghosts but honest there's something strange in there as took photo gor some reason and when zoomed in there's a man bending over and face in bars . Well... More

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Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
13 helpful votes 13 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed April 17, 2014 NEW

Fun as a haunted house. Go with a small group and when there are as many groups following/ or ahead of you so you will be surprised by things that jump out at you.

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NYC
Senior Contributor
41 reviews 41 reviews
5 attraction reviews
29 helpful votes 29 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed April 16, 2014 NEW

Takes about 2 hours. Very interesting and of historic interest. Self guided audio tour, but many friendly staff members available to answer questions and able to provide some unique details about the penitentiary.

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Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 16, 2014 NEW

Taking a tour of the Eastern State Penitentiary provides a fascinating and sobering look into the history of the American penal system. It was also the site used in the film Twelve Monkeys.

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Long Island, New York
Senior Contributor
30 reviews 30 reviews
58 helpful votes 58 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 16, 2014 NEW

Eastern State Penitentiary was a very interesting place to visit. I liked that they gave you a headset and let you tour at your own pace. The information given was thought provoking and gave plenty of historical background. This is a wonderful place to take photographs as well.

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Philadelphia
Contributor
15 reviews 15 reviews
8 attraction reviews
7 helpful votes 7 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed April 16, 2014 NEW

I'd avoid the Hallowe'en Tour, but that's just me. Otherwise, the history and place itself are fascinating, and all the more so if you've visited the one in Dublin, Ireland. Great neighborhood for restaurants and drinks.

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Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Senior Contributor
27 reviews 27 reviews
5 attraction reviews
8 helpful votes 8 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 16, 2014 NEW

THis area is great for a spring day. There's a secure parking lot in the center of the area and it's inexpensive. Plenty off bars and resteraunts and close by if the library, logan circle, art museum and the museum of natural history. However, the central focus is the Eastern State Penitentary, subject of many TV specials including the investigation... More

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