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“Interesting” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Eastern State Penitentiary

Eastern State Penitentiary
2124 Fairmount Avenue, Philadelphia, PA 19130
215 236 3300
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$62*
and up
Philadelphia CityPass
Ranked #5 of 262 Attractions in Philadelphia
Type: Historic Sites, Museums, Cultural
More attraction details
Attraction details
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 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
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Contributor
15 reviews 15 reviews
7 attraction reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
“Interesting”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 28, 2012

This was an interesting and informative tour that I am glad I had the chance to experience. We especially thought the audio guide format was great because of the sounds and actual interviews. Wear comfortable safe shoes because the ground is a bit unstable in places. Dont miss this.

Visited October 2012
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Buffalo, New York
Senior Contributor
23 reviews 23 reviews
4 attraction reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
“Really great experience”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 27, 2012 via mobile

Great historical place with architectural details and great photo opportunities. It takes about an hour and a half to go through, and don't miss Pep the dog and Al Capone's cell.

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Senior Reviewer
7 reviews 7 reviews
3 attraction reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
“Favorite part of our visit to Philadelphia!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 27, 2012 via mobile

Great history. Cool photo opportunities. Really enjoyed the visit. I would loved to have done the haunted house but our schedule did not permit.

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Lancaster, Pennsylvania
Top Contributor
97 reviews 97 reviews
16 attraction reviews
Reviews in 32 cities Reviews in 32 cities
43 helpful votes 43 helpful votes
“"Terror Behind the Walls"”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed October 27, 2012

We went to the Eastern State Penitentiary Haunted House called Terror Behind the walls. First off I should disclose I'm not a huge haunted house fan, I went with friends for their birthday. As you near the enterance, you are met with a cadre of zombies and gouls to help you get in line...The freaky gargoyle was the best! The tour starts off a little slow, with a "maze" as you enter the prison, not horrifying but a good start for haunted house lightweights like me. As you continue, there are def. some creepy and "jump out of your skin" moments. Thankfully it is a "no touch" attraction, you can't touch the monsters and they can't touch you....something I really apprecitated.

It takes about 45 minutes to go through. I would recommend you purchase the parking that they offer and take the bus to the attraction.
You certainly won't be scarred for life, but it was a really fun way to spend a fall evening with friends. It made me want to return to visit the prison in the daylight!

Visited October 2012
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Beaufort, NC
Top Contributor
67 reviews 67 reviews
12 attraction reviews
Reviews in 20 cities Reviews in 20 cities
23 helpful votes 23 helpful votes
“fascinating trip back in time”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 25, 2012

The penitentiary does a great job with its self-guided audio tour, which lets you explore it at your own pace after giving you the essentials in the first 45 minutes. Very well done, with interesting explanations about the several theories of prison management and objectives in the 1800's, and other input into inmate routines, etc. and an eye-opening look at how Al Capone was given rather cushy treatment during his year in residence.

Visited October 2012
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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