We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.
We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

Eastern State Penitentiary

2124 Fairmount Avenue, Philadelphia, PA 19130
215 236 3300
Website
Improve this listing
Ranked #5 of 281 attractions in Philadelphia
Certificate of Excellence 2014
Book a Tour

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
Write a Review

1,546 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
    1,024
    410
    74
    22
    16
Date | Rating
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Japanese first
  • Portuguese first
  • Russian first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Dallas, Texas
Senior Reviewer
8 reviews 8 reviews
3 attraction reviews
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 27, 2014 NEW

I grew up in Philadelphia and never visited the Eastern State Penitentiary. I was fortunate to visit when I returned to Philly for a class reunion. I am aware of the many "firsts" in Philadelphia, but I did not know that some of the innovations at Eastern Pen were among them. Al Capone's cell demonstrates his ability to continue a... More

Was this review helpful? Yes
Illinois
Senior Contributor
29 reviews 29 reviews
12 attraction reviews
18 helpful votes 18 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 26, 2014 NEW

I didn't know what to expect visiting a historical penitentiary but I loved it!!! I travel with my children, the oldest being in a wheelchair and who travel with a service dog. I was unable to contact a person before our trip to the site to question the accessibility. There were only a couple of areas that my daughter couldn't... More

Was this review helpful? Yes
Detroit, Michigan
Contributor
19 reviews 19 reviews
13 attraction reviews
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed July 26, 2014 NEW

The first prison I ever toured... I suggest taking teens there....it makes them realize the bleakness and permanence of incarceration

Was this review helpful? Yes
Highlands, New Jersey
Top Contributor
167 reviews 167 reviews
47 attraction reviews
41 helpful votes 41 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 26, 2014 NEW

All I bargained for was a great photographic shoot but I got much more. Usually I by pass the audio tours but since it came with the price of admission - I listened. It was amazing to hear the stories and see the country's oldest penal system. Cell block after cell block contained visual confirmation of how difficult early prison... More

Was this review helpful? Yes
kansas city, Missouri
Senior Contributor
30 reviews 30 reviews
15 attraction reviews
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 26, 2014 NEW

The historical significance of this penitentiary is overwhelmingly. It was the first in the world, and people, including Charles Dickens, came to America to see it. A touch of history you don't get in a class. Has guided or self-guided tours with earphones. Even my 6 and 7-year-old grandchildren were interested throughout the tour.

Was this review helpful? Yes
East Meadow
Senior Contributor
36 reviews 36 reviews
13 attraction reviews
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 26, 2014 NEW

This place is huge. When you are walking toward the Penitentiary, you get an eerie feeling. You feel so small standing next to the huge walls. When you go inside, the first thing you notice is the vastness of the building. When you pay your entrance fee, you are given a pair of headphones for you audio tour. The nice... More

Was this review helpful? Yes
Springfield, New Jersey
Contributor
19 reviews 19 reviews
10 attraction reviews
4 of 5 stars Reviewed July 26, 2014 NEW

I took the audio tour yesterday and it was interesting to see one of the worlds oldest prisions. The site is worth a visit if this type of attraction is of interest of you. I believe the cost was $14.00 per person but they offer discounts for seniors. We spent about an hour at the penitentiary but you can spend... More

Was this review helpful? Yes
Liverpool, United States
Contributor
12 reviews 12 reviews
3 attraction reviews
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed July 26, 2014 NEW

The audio walking self-tour, narrated by Steve Buscemi and with voices from actual guards and inmates, takes you back in time to a penitentiary that established a model for corrections. There's also a fair amount to explore that isn't on the audio tour - more than we had allowed ourselves time for. Take note - some areas of the prison... More

Was this review helpful? Yes
Contributor
18 reviews 18 reviews
10 attraction reviews
16 helpful votes 16 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 25, 2014 NEW

I went during Halloween, so they may have turned up the corniness factor, but it was quite a thrill and the staff there are enthusiastic and make for a good time.

Was this review helpful? Yes
Germantown, Maryland
Contributor
11 reviews 11 reviews
4 attraction reviews
9 helpful votes 9 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 24, 2014 NEW

This place was recommended highly by the hotel concierge so we decided to check it out. It was a really neat look into the American Penitentiary system and it's evolution. I also really enjoyed the audio tour. I enjoyed being able to go at my own pace. They could use more employees though as we saw several ignorant guests climbing... More

Was this review helpful? Yes 1

Travelers who viewed Eastern State Penitentiary also viewed

 

Been to Eastern State Penitentiary? Share your experiences!

Write a Review Add Photos & Videos

Owners: What's your side of the story?

If you own or manage Eastern State Penitentiary, register now for free tools to enhance your listing, attract new reviews, and respond to reviewers.

Manage your listing