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Eastern State Penitentiary

2124 Fairmount Avenue, Philadelphia, PA 19130
215 236 3300
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Ranked #4 of 281 attractions in Philadelphia
Certificate of Excellence 2014
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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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1,522 reviews from our community

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English first
San Francisco, California
Top Contributor
66 reviews 66 reviews
17 attraction reviews
21 helpful votes 21 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 21, 2014 NEW

This was an interesting and enjoyable experience. The audio is very informative, and was recorded by the actor Steve Buscemi, and has interview snippets with inmates and guards. Visitors have access to much of the prison, including having the opportunity to go inside of cells. We would recommend it.

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Zurich, Switzerland
Senior Contributor
26 reviews 26 reviews
13 attraction reviews
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 21, 2014 NEW

It is a great experience and it should be taken as a model of how a ruin can be transformed in an awesome attraction! If you are curious and you like history you should totally visit it! Only negative point was the bathroom: they just have plastic cabins and they were really dirty and stinky... Besides from that it is... More

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Northern Kentucky
Senior Contributor
26 reviews 26 reviews
6 attraction reviews
10 helpful votes 10 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 21, 2014 NEW

Put on the headset and listen to Steve Buscemi narrate this very interesting tour. Also interviews with former guards and prisoners. Great place for photos. Highly recommended

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Highland, Indiana
Senior Contributor
27 reviews 27 reviews
9 attraction reviews
7 helpful votes 7 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed July 21, 2014 NEW

This was a very unique experience. The self-guided tour allows you to spend add much or as little time as you'd like at the entire site. The information provided is interesting (that is if you have an interest in this topic like I do). Spent about 2.5 hours here total. Well worth the admission price of $14. The only way... More

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Melbourne, Australia
Senior Reviewer
8 reviews 8 reviews
8 attraction reviews
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
4 of 5 stars Reviewed July 20, 2014 NEW

A great excursion. Guides were very knowledgable and the history interesting and well done. It is still work in progress

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York
Contributor
13 reviews 13 reviews
51 helpful votes 51 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 20, 2014 NEW

We've walked past the penitentiary on multiple trips to Philly. This is the first time that we've actually gone in, and I'm glad that we did. The audio tour (narrated by actor Steve Buscemi) is interesting and informative. The graphic statistics on incarceration are illuminating (if somewhat disturbing). It's a worthwhile stop.

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Tampa, Florida
Top Contributor
387 reviews 387 reviews
152 attraction reviews
171 helpful votes 171 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed July 19, 2014 NEW

This is a self guided tour... We found it using the hop on hop off bus and decided to take a chance... We saw Al Capone's cell and some other exhibits... Like I said.. It was a little spooky.

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Haddonfield, New Jersey, United States
Senior Contributor
27 reviews 27 reviews
14 attraction reviews
22 helpful votes 22 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 19, 2014 NEW

This place is AWESOME for HALLOWEEN! BOOOOOOO and be as scared as you want or don't want with Scare Factor choices. What more could you want in a Halloween Attraction? Crazy college kids scaring you senseless in a creepy, old, Al Capone-era, concrete, barbed wire and kinda crumbling historical jail all in the city where our country began! Bring your... More

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Newmarket, Canada
2 reviews
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 18, 2014 NEW

On My recent trip with 3 friends we wanted to explore Philadelphia, I didn't know this place even existed; and when we arrived we were looking for destinations,..we came upon this, and was amazed. There is an audio tour where you key in numbers on a pin pad, tells you about the spot you are at...Narrated by Steve Buscemi (done... More

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Senior Reviewer
10 reviews 10 reviews
8 attraction reviews
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed July 18, 2014 NEW via mobile

The exhibit was kind of all over the place and not very well organized. Thank goodness for the audio for our this would have been a complete waste.

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