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Eastern State Penitentiary

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Address: 2124 Fairmount Avenue, Philadelphia, PA 19130
Phone Number: 215 236 3300
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Today
10:00 am - 5:00 pm
Open now
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Hours:
Sun - Sat 10:00 am - 5:00 pm
Recommended length of visit: 1-2 hours
Fee: Yes
Description:

Eastern State Penitentiary Historic Site was once the most famous and...

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.

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TripAdvisor Reviewer Highlights

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  • 2001
    Excellent
  • 827
    Very good
  • 144
    Average
  • 33
    Poor
  • 21
    Terrible
Young child enjoyed it, dress for the weather, come early

We came here in 20 degrees Fahrenheit. Our fault we were unprepared. It is a defunct prison, after all. It was exceedingly cold. Come on a week day before noon, tour buses show... read more

5 of 5 starsReviewed yesterday
Pannipannini
,
Maryland
via mobile

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3,026 Reviews from our TripAdvisor Community

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Maryland
Level Contributor
256 reviews
102 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 161 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed yesterday NEW via mobile

We came here in 20 degrees Fahrenheit. Our fault we were unprepared. It is a defunct prison, after all. It was exceedingly cold. Come on a week day before noon, tour buses show up after that... We did the self guided tour (though the 7-year old didn't care for it, we later went on the web and learned things ourselves).... More 

Helpful?
Thank Pannipannini
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Level Contributor
40 reviews
31 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed yesterday NEW

I've been here probably about 3 or 4 times. The last time I went it was for Holloween. It's totally worth it. At Holloween they have a haunted house that I dare you to go through. If you like scary things this is the time and place for you. I hope you get as much joy out of this as... More 

Helpful?
Thank Josh S
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Level Contributor
34 reviews
17 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 20 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed 2 days ago NEW

There is an audio tour to follow through the site. In addition to the main recordings, there are many additional commentaries to hear. Be sure to stop and read the display boards and press the button for each entry to learn more. Walk into the cells that are opened for a better experience. The entomologist display was something else -... More 

Helpful?
Thank Sue R
Kansas City, Missouri
Level Contributor
10 reviews
3 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed 2 days ago NEW

It was very cold and we wish we would've dressed warmer as a lot of the prison is open air. Enjoyed the audio tour, there was a lot to see and read about, very thorough. I especially enjoyed the special art exhibitions throughout such as the one with the photographs remembering the victims of the people who served time there.... More 

Helpful?
Thank jhuff2014
Level Contributor
24 reviews
11 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed 2 days ago NEW

It was a quick walk over to ESP. The tour was $14 - which seems to be a bit much since it is self guided but I didn't mind because I knew that the money was going to continue restoring the building. We spent much more time in there than we expected. It is nice because you can explore on... More 

Helpful?
Thank Valerie B
Level Contributor
41 reviews
32 attraction reviews
5 of 5 stars Reviewed 3 days ago NEW

This was a great site to visit. The audio tour was a great introduction to the site and made it all very informative. We found the ease of our own pace was great as you aren't rushed by a tour time line. The stucture is in orignial form and this made the experinece even more relatable.

Helpful?
Thank Tammy T
Singapore, Singapore
Level Contributor
9 reviews
4 of 5 stars Reviewed 3 days ago NEW

Impressive architecture, and it's quite chilling to imagine inmates living the way they did - being isolated for the entire sentence so that they could repent. Can be drafty - so please dress warm. Only portable toilets were available, and they were filthy. Staff wasn't too friendly and helpful, it felt like they weren't too interested in what they were... More 

Helpful?
Thank jaslyn-anne
1 review
5 of 5 stars Reviewed 4 days ago NEW

Visiting Philadelphia, this is a must see. The history,design, and audio stories of the prisoners all add to the tour. It is great to see that this site was saved from demolition. It would be nice to see the entire complex open for self or guided tour.

Helpful?
Thank Duane K
Liverpool, England, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
23 reviews
7 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed 4 days ago NEW via mobile

We visited the penitentiary after hearing about the Buscemi audio tour. The prison itself was quite well set out and gave a fascinating insight into the American incarceration system and how it has shaped the country. The audio guide gave the prison an additional dimension on what would have been an otherwise unremarkable tour. That said, I would recommend it... More 

Helpful?
Thank Daniel C
dallasmorning
Level Contributor
78 reviews
6 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 51 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed 4 days ago NEW

Eastern State is one of my favorite places in Philadelphia hands down. As a photographer, I love to photograph old(er) places, and the amazing details that ESP offers is just that! As I work in Philly I've been there a number of times and each time it is a joy. The lighting, especially in mid-morning, the various cells, Al Capone's... More 

Helpful?
Thank dallasmorning

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