Ephrata Cloister

Ephrata Cloister: Tickets, Tours, Hours, Address, Ephrata Cloister Reviews: 4.5/5

Ephrata Cloister
4.5
Speciality Museums • Historic Sites
12:00 PM - 5:00 PM
Monday
9:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Tuesday
9:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Wednesday
9:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Thursday
9:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Friday
9:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Saturday
9:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Sunday
12:00 PM - 5:00 PM
About
One of America's earliest religious communities, the Historic Ephrata Cloister was founded in 1732 by German settlers seeking spiritual goals rather than earthly rewards. Gathered in unique European style buildings, the community consisted of celibate Brothers and Sisters, and a married congregation of families.At the zenith of the community in the 1740s and 1750s, about 300 members worked and worshiped at the Cloister. Today, the National Historic Landmark is open for tours, special programs, and on-going research opportunities.
Suggested duration
1-2 hours
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What is Travelers’ Choice?
Tripadvisor gives a Travelers’ Choice award to accommodations, attractions and restaurants that consistently earn great reviews from travelers and are ranked within the top 10% of properties on Tripadvisor.
Popular mentions

4.5
356 reviews
Excellent
240
Very good
96
Average
15
Poor
4
Terrible
1

Jeffrey P
1 contribution
Gift store guy was a bummer
May 2021
We had a generally positive experience at the Cloister today; excellent craftsmanship, history, and well kept grounds. Staff was great with one exception. The guy in the gift store was a total mask na-zi. We chose to buy nothing and left, sadly, with a sour taste. They might want to let him know he hurts their revenue efforts and really damages the reputation of the venue. I would not recommend the Cloister at this point with this negative attitude. My recommendation, they should quickly adopt and live and let live spirt on the grounds. It will be worth visiting again for both historical value and a peaceful couple of hours once they pass on the mask attitude.
Written May 15, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

Melissaleonard
Philadelphia, PA342 contributions
Historical spot in Ephrata
Oct 2020 • Couples
It's a nice little historical spot to walk around and take pictures. They have an audio tour too. It has old buildings and you can go inside but we didn't.
Written October 25, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

Nursewhipple
Mount Vernon, OH129 contributions
Wonderful COVID accommodations
Oct 2020 • Couples
Normally, one would pay for a ticket and walk around the grounds, with access to the various buildings and tour guides telling you the history and significance of each spot. Since they are closed for COVID, they have provided free of charge a virtual tour with your cell phone. You can still walk the grounds, dial in, and hear about the history and people associated with particular buildings and landmarks. Although you can’t enter the buildings, it is still a nice afternoon stroll and educational endeavor. We appreciate the opportunity to dial in and still engage. There is a QR code for a donation to the Cloister Foundation if you so choose.
Written October 11, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC.
The QR codes are newly posted, and we are happy to hear that people are using and enjoying them.
Written October 13, 2020
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

kcald13
Reading, PA3 contributions
2019 Lantern Tour
Dec 2019 • Couples
New to area from the South. Took my husband and we had a terrific time. The students were EXCELLENT! They said tour was shorter this year due to fewer volunteers. I sincerely hope the kids don’t ever stop providing the tour!
Written December 30, 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC.
We're glad you enjoyed your experience at Lantern Tours. It is always such a fun program and it is a community favorite.
Written January 2, 2020
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

RingoPisco12
Columbus, OH49 contributions
Incredible buildings and interesting history
Dec 2019
My wife and I really enjoyed our guided tour of the buildings and grounds. There is a nice little museum that gives an overview of the history plus there is a great gift shop with a well-curated selection of books, hand-crafted items, etc. Highly recommend.
Written December 12, 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC.
We're glad you enjoyed your visit and hope you'll come again.
Written December 13, 2019
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

Kate H
Sarasota, FL33 contributions
Wonderful
Oct 2019 • Couples
So glad we were in town for the Day of Song! We were able to hear the music sung in the way it was written almost 300 years ago. Beautiful and peaceful place easily walked. There were Guides in many of the buildings and they were very informative and friendly. There is a self-guided tour and a small gift shop as well. Very enjoyable fall morning.
Written October 24, 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

Peggy T
Oakland, ME12 contributions
Ephrata Cloister
Sep 2019
if you love history of the local people, this is a must. the state of Pennsylvania has done a good job of keeping the buildings true to the original layouts.
Written October 15, 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

NYU62
Tucson, AZ14,170 contributions
A most interesting religious historical site
Oct 2019
We were staying in Hershey, and decided to make the relatively short trip to Ephrata to visit the Cloister, and to see the Winters Leadership Memorial. It was a very pleasant scenic drive.

As we drove into the parking lot, we immediately noticed these large, impressive Germanic-style buildings scattered on the grounds. We, first, went to the Visitor Center, which is housed in a modern building. Clean Restrooms, a drinking fountain and an introductory exhibit are all part of the Center. Also, with your paid admission ($8.00 for seniors), you will receive a Visitor Guide, which explains about each building on the property.

After acquainting ourselves with what we were about to see, we were off on a self-guided tour. They, also, have guided tours which last one hour. There are plenty of places to sit down, both inside and outside the buildings, however, my husband has had back problems, so we figured that a self paced tour would be better for us. The day we went (Friday 10/4) was a very nice day, and there were quite a few people on the grounds. We ran into two guided tours, and thus, were invited to enter the two largest houses with them. These are, otherwise, locked, and admission is with a guided tour only.

We were fascinated by the life these religious people led. Their daily life was highly regimented and disciplined. For a pillow, they used a wood block (how uncomfortable!). We later, saw such blocks for sale at the Gift Shop. My tall husband had to bend quite a bit, to enter through the doorways, as they were so low. We made our way through the grounds, and visited 23 marked places of interest. Along the way, we sat down on the many benches, and were warmed by the sun, the peace and the solitude.

The small, but well stocked Gift Shop has many good quality, local items for sale. It's worth a stop.
Written October 11, 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC.
We are so glad you enjoyed our benches! These are a recent addition to the site and we are hoping that many of our visitors will take the opportunity to enjoy Ephrata from this vantage point. As you commented the atmosphere at Ephrata Cloister still offers a sense of peace and serenity, something many people find lacking in today's busy lifestyle.
Written October 18, 2019
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

Mike B
Falmouth, MA616 contributions
Fascinating Religious Community Nicely Preserved
Sep 2019
If you are interested in religious history in the US, this a a fascinating place to visit. The tour guide was knowledgeable and the buildings were interesting.
Written September 15, 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

violinist49
Valley Forge, PA46 contributions
Interesting religious sect grounds and tour
Sep 2019
We had a wonderful guide, a retired teacher, to give us the history of the cloister. The religious sect did not have a name, but was very strict and believed in celibacy. No wonder they died out! The guide took us into two of the buildings and we were free to wander the rest of the grounds. This was a very nice place to spend a few hours and understand some Pennsylvania history!
Written September 8, 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

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Frequently Asked Questions about Ephrata Cloister

Ephrata Cloister is open:
  • Sun - Sun 12:00 PM - 5:00 PM
  • Mon - Sat 9:00 AM - 5:00 PM