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Eastern State Penitentiary

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Address: 2124 Fairmount Ave, Philadelphia, PA 19130-2603
Phone Number: 215 236 3300
10:00 am - 5:00 pm
Closed now
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Sun - Sat 10:00 am - 5:00 pm
Recommended length of visit: 1-2 hours
Fee: Yes

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

Read all 3,726 reviews
Visitor rating
  • 2316
  • 903
    Very good
  • 146
  • 36
  • 22
Great tour!

This is a self guided tour through the penitentiary. A lot of information and a great tour. It's a stop you need to make!

5 of 5 starsReviewed yesterday
Christine P
via mobile
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3,726 Reviews from our TripAdvisor Community

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Showing 3,423: English reviews
Level Contributor
4 reviews
5 of 5 stars Reviewed yesterday NEW via mobile

This is a self guided tour through the penitentiary. A lot of information and a great tour. It's a stop you need to make!

Thank Christine P
Washington DC, District of Columbia
Level Contributor
113 reviews
29 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 41 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed yesterday NEW

For a family of 5 this was an awesome 3 hours of touring. We thought we'd maybe spend 60-90 minutes looking around. We were impressed and it kept the attention of every member of the family for a full 3 hours. The history was interesting and the audio tour fascinating.

Thank offthewalls
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Level Contributor
62 reviews
6 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 22 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed yesterday NEW

Went with 2 normally grumpy teenage girls expecting them to complain but instead they love it! I live in Philadelphia and it was my first time there. Very interesting. Great for history lovers. Will go again!

Thank KellysGirl0805
Hartford, Connecticut
Level Contributor
7 reviews
5 attraction reviews
5 of 5 stars Reviewed yesterday NEW

This was more interesting than I expected. My surprise was that the prison had toilets and running water before most of the nation. The eye opener was the educational area that shows the costs of incarceration vs education. Some cities spend more than 1 million dollars per city block on incarceration, in some cases many blocks in a row. What... More 

Thank 532karlr
Walnut Creek, California
Level Contributor
92 reviews
10 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 126 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed yesterday NEW

While the property is in need of repair the tour is so interesting. What a great snapshot into what prisons were like and the interesting thinking that went into the design so long ago. If you care about prison conditions it is also a great look at how that idea has evolved over 200 years. They do warn you that... More 

Thank SFWorld
Level Contributor
46 reviews
23 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 23 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed yesterday NEW

I visited here with my parents when they visited and several time since. Though my more recent visits are for the Haunted House they every year. I am always fascinated bye the way this place is being preserved and utilized. Close in the late 70's it has haunting draw and make you think about our older penitentiary system. A must... More 

Thank Wesley V
Auckland, Auckland, New Zealand
Level Contributor
23 reviews
19 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed 2 days ago NEW

The place has a great history, having inspired quite a few penitenciaries worldwide and being the first of a kind, and it hosted well known prisoners, such as Al Capone, making it very interesting. It includes an audio-tour that is very detailed and allows you to visit it as you wish (one main tour that you do at the begining... More 

Thank Raphaël D
Eustis, Florida
Level Contributor
153 reviews
49 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 67 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed 2 days ago NEW

This was the top of my list to see when in Philly and it did not disapoint! Creepy, crumbling, andexactly what you would expect of an old abandoned prison. The audio tour is free with admission and very informative. There were also some guided tours that sadly we didn't have enough time for. I could have easily spent the whole... More 

Thank gpisces
Level Contributor
4 reviews
3 attraction reviews
4 of 5 stars Reviewed 2 days ago NEW

I had a nice tour guide and would recommend going here if you are spending more than 2 days in Philadelphia. It has a fascinating history, just know that they are still fixing rooms up, so not everything looks like it would in the past. Both kids, adults, teens, and elders will enjoy a tour.

Thank Jeremy-Scooter-Price
Deerfield, NH
Level Contributor
3 reviews
4 of 5 stars Reviewed 2 days ago NEW

Staff were friendly and knowledgable. The self guided tour was instructive and there were staff placed throughout the exhibit to help with directions. Hauntingly beautiful the view down the corridor. Parking right next door.

Thank Debra B

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8 months ago
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Typical questions asked:
  • Do I have to buy a ticket for my infant?
  • How do I get there using public transportation?
  • Is there a restaurant or café onsite?