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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
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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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    Very good
  • 126
    Average
  • 31
    Poor
  • 21
    Terrible
Educational, fascinating and a little chilling

All the supernatural stuff aside, this is an amazing look at a multifaceted and complex place. The photo opportunities are great for those who like such things, and the human... read more

5 of 5 starsReviewed August 28, 2015
Alison S
,
New Jersey

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2,608 Reviews from our TripAdvisor Community

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South Carolina
Level Contributor
99 reviews
36 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 61 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed August 29, 2015 NEW

This is an interesting place and I love the history and the architectural aspects. The admission seemed a little pricey, but there are quite a few staffers around the place to answer questions. In addition to the self-guided audio tour, you get a schedule of smaller tours at various locations or about specific topics relevant to the history or operation... More 

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Massachusetts
Level Contributor
3 reviews
2 of 5 stars Reviewed August 28, 2015 NEW

Was bored out of my mind about 10 min into the visit. It's a big prison with many cells, but after seeing a couple of them, the rest becomes very repetitive. On top of that, the majority of cells are completely run down, you essentially are looking at the ruins. I personally do not see the point in preserving a... More 

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New Jersey
Level Contributor
16 reviews
7 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 28, 2015 NEW

All the supernatural stuff aside, this is an amazing look at a multifaceted and complex place. The photo opportunities are great for those who like such things, and the human stories are incredible as well. Lots to think about, and the audio tour highlights a lot of history. Definitely worth it.

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Birmingham, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
7 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 28, 2015 NEW

As I student I paid just ten dollars for a self guided tour. Everybody gets a radio tour, which in my opinion was more than enough and I wouldn't recommend anyone to get the guided tour. The penitentiary was incredible. It had been kept in its original form as much as possible and the stories that accompanied each location were... More 

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Syracuse, New York
Level Contributor
4 reviews
3 attraction reviews
4 of 5 stars Reviewed August 28, 2015 NEW

Definitely an interesting place to visit. Would like to come back during the Halloween season. It is an interesting look into the history of prison life

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Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Level Contributor
5 reviews
4 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 27, 2015 NEW

Location is right in the middle of a community, this prison may have been once in an isolated area but urban expansion has surrounded this prison that is now a museum. It is best to visit in October if you like spooky places.

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Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Level Contributor
10 reviews
6 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 27, 2015 NEW

If you are on the fence about visiting Eastern State Penitentiary, GO! You will be amazed. The audio tour offers a LOT of explanation so even if you go more than once, you pick up on things you missed the first time. Great place to take photos and enjoyable no matter what the weather. There are heaters inside for cold... More 

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Paris, France
Level Contributor
42 reviews
18 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 17 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed August 27, 2015 NEW

Very interesting visit, and also at a time of high criticism about jail system, the long term effects, Gantanamo ... This visit will show that US is a free country. You will find difficult questions raised, about why so many black people in jail compared to other communities, you will find some questions about evolution of the jail , numbers... More 

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Westchester, NY
Level Contributor
40 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 14 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed August 27, 2015 NEW

do NOT do the guided tour! Do the SELF-guided headset tour instead! Really fun and interesting landmark!

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Waupaca, Wisconsin
Level Contributor
6 reviews
4 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 27, 2015 NEW

Our family (kids age 15 and 11) really enjoyed this attraction! We got there by jumping on and off the double decker bus tour. It is a self guided audio tour. Don't miss it!

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  • Do I have to buy a ticket for my infant?
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  • Is there a restaurant or café onsite?