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Eastern State Penitentiary

Address: 2124 Fairmount Avenue, Philadelphia, PA 19130
Phone Number: 215 236 3300
Website
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Special Offer
$62*
and up
Philadelphia CityPass
93%
Ranked #4 of 253 Attractions in Philadelphia
Certificate of Excellence 2014
Type: Historic Sites, Sights & Landmarks, Museums
Fee: Yes
Owner description: Eastern State Penitentiary Historic Site was once the most famous and...
More attraction details
Attraction details
Type: Historic Sites, Sights & Landmarks, Museums
Fee: Yes
Recommended length of visit: 1-2 hours
Hours:
Sun - Sat 10:00 am - 5:00 pm
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.
Useful Information: Activities for older children
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English first
Dagsboro, Delaware, United States
Senior Reviewer
7 reviews 7 reviews
3 attraction reviews
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 24, 2015 NEW

I was intrigued by this old penitentiary. However, it was so very cold inside....20 degrees less that the 31 degrees outside. It was hauntingly impressive. I liked having the self-audio tour instead of a guided tour. I was impressed by the artist recreation exhibits in one corridor. A popular cell to visit was Al Capone's cell recreated with furniture that... More 

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fort lauderdale
Top Contributor
69 reviews 69 reviews
15 attraction reviews
27 helpful votes 27 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 24, 2015 NEW

Great history. Headphone self guiding tour. There were staff available to take guest into places that the tour did not cover in small groups.We were there in October and they had a hunted house in the evenings.

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Toronto, Canada
Top Contributor
155 reviews 155 reviews
93 attraction reviews
51 helpful votes 51 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 21, 2015 NEW

Convinced my local Philly cousin to come out here as he's never been before. Bought tix online easily and made our way there no problem. Took the tour with a guide and it was amazing, awe-inspiring, hauntingly beautiful and very scary if your imagination runs away with you. HIGHLY recommended.

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Galloway, New Jersey
Senior Contributor
42 reviews 42 reviews
16 attraction reviews
38 helpful votes 38 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 21, 2015 NEW

My wife and I visited this place in the summer of 14, we took the guided tour, and was extremely impressed with the knowledge of the tour guide, he was informative, and actually managed to get a fair amount of crowd participation from our group.The guide informed us that they have an event where the prison guards, and the former... More 

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Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Top Contributor
58 reviews 58 reviews
36 attraction reviews
15 helpful votes 15 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed January 20, 2015 NEW

I recently toured a prison in Ireland that had a lot of stories of prisoners and artifacts so I expected similar here. It was mostly a run down building with a boring audio tour.

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Rochester, Minnesota
Top Contributor
101 reviews 101 reviews
12 attraction reviews
35 helpful votes 35 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed January 19, 2015

This is a very historic spot, and it is worth the time to stop and check it out! I would say a day trip is better!!!

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Brooklyn, United States
Contributor
13 reviews 13 reviews
65 helpful votes 65 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 18, 2015

Since we have visited Philly so many times in the past, we choose to do some sight seeing in the center city. It was quite close to the center city. I didn't know there was a prison in the city like that. This was the first penitentiary in the United states which open in 1829. It was closed in 1971... More 

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San Luis Obispo, California
Senior Contributor
26 reviews 26 reviews
8 attraction reviews
15 helpful votes 15 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 18, 2015

This place is definitely worth a visit. The prison history is fascinating, the art installations add a unique element, and the casual atmosphere of the place makes it fun to just wander around.

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New Jersey
Senior Contributor
42 reviews 42 reviews
8 attraction reviews
23 helpful votes 23 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed January 18, 2015

Very historic tour, which I would recommend but on warmer days as it is not heated, and after a ten degree night it was a bit chilly for my liking. Other than that to see the first prison in the world was awesome.

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Sydney, Australia
Senior Contributor
46 reviews 46 reviews
20 attraction reviews
24 helpful votes 24 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 14, 2015

It was fascinating to learn about the history of the place but it was a bit depressing and although it housed criminals, I came away feeling a bit sorry for them.

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