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Eastern State Penitentiary

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Address: 2124 Fairmount Avenue, Philadelphia, PA 19130
Phone Number:
+1 215-236-3300
Website
Today
10:00 am - 5:00 pm
Open now
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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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Penitentiary Visit - worth your time, even for the audio tour

I visit Philly annually, but until this year I had not toured the Penitentiary. I did the audio tour and it was WELL worth my time. The tour was fascinating and I wish it would've... read more

4 of 5 bubblesReviewed 3 days ago
Nina B
,
Atlanta, Georgia
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4,139 Reviews from our TripAdvisor Community

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Showing 3,797: English reviews
Atlanta, Georgia
Level Contributor
91 reviews
18 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 58 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 3 days ago NEW

I visit Philly annually, but until this year I had not toured the Penitentiary. I did the audio tour and it was WELL worth my time. The tour was fascinating and I wish it would've gone on for longer. The history of the building - as well as the people that were incarcerated there - were discussed. The building itself... More 

Helpful?
1 Thank Nina B
Niagara Falls, Canada
Level Contributor
96 reviews
31 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 18 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 3 days ago NEW

- Went to the Eastern State Penitentiary in mid September, which was very hot! I would suggest wearing layers to be more comfortable in the tour and to wear closed toed shoes. I don't remember there being a ton of steps to navigate but there are some to get to specific areas. It was both indoor and outdoor. - It... More 

Helpful?
Thank Deidra L
Level Contributor
47 reviews
13 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 3 days ago NEW via mobile

Really interesting history of our early prison system. The self guided tour allowed us to tour at our own pace. Definitely a Must See Stop in Philly.

Helpful?
Thank Kipurllij
Billings, Montana
Level Contributor
14 reviews
6 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 3 days ago NEW

We originally saw this location on the TV show "Ghost Hunters" and thought it might be a hoot to tour. We ended up spending an entire afternoon wandering through the forsaken and forlorn place. It is really interesting to learn not just about the place but about the failed attempt at using total isolation and Bible only reading rule as... More 

Helpful?
Thank 4mary13
West Chester, Pennsylvania
Level Contributor
65 reviews
16 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 4 days ago NEW

Al Copone once was housed in here. It's spartin. Parts of it are showing it's age. It housed all types of people from gangsters to ordinary crooks to people who couldn't pay their bills. It's old but the history is interesting. At Halloween they turn it into a haunted prison.

Helpful?
Thank Joe K
Pittsburgh, United States
Level Contributor
5 reviews
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 4 days ago NEW

Thoroughly enjoyed the tour of Eastern Penitentiary. Not exactly "museum quality", but that adds to the eerie atmosphere. Truly a learning experience.

Helpful?
Thank paulalM3915HL
Naperville, Illinois
Level Contributor
29 reviews
7 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 21 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 4 days ago NEW

We visited this past weekend and did the self-guided tour. Our tour was scheduled for 2pm but we arrived about 1:45pm and were able to get started right away. I must say, I loved this place! So much history and even has a kind of eerie feel to it. My daughter, who is extremely sensitive, cried. She felt sorry for... More 

Helpful?
Thank RGM2
Philadelphia
Level Contributor
4 reviews
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 4 days ago NEW via mobile

I wasn't sure what to expect on my trip there but it was very cool experience seeing all of the cells and hearing history of the penitentiary. It is mostly outdoors and indoors isn't heated...so bundle up!

Helpful?
Thank Julianabug
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Level Contributor
16 reviews
8 attraction reviews
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 4 days ago NEW

What a great experience. Allow yourself at least 2 hours to walk through. Head phone guided tour. A lot of information. Can't believe people actually lived here. They also do a haunted Halloween tour. Looks really scary and knowing what it looked like inside makes it even more scary.

Helpful?
Thank pooh703
Takoma Park, MD
Level Contributor
76 reviews
26 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 4 days ago NEW

There is no heat here, it is open to the outdoors, but it is fascinating to visit and see the penitentiary. They give you an audio thingy with earphones and you do a self guided tour. There are also a few staff around that can answer questions, and a separate free tour of the medical area, but this is only... More 

Helpful?
Thank deathblosom

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