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“Well Done!”

Eastern State Penitentiary
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Philadelphia 3-Combo Tour: Hop-on Hop-off, Eastern State Penitentiary, and...
Ranked #3 of 443 things to do in Philadelphia
Certificate of Excellence
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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
upstate NY
Level Contributor
59 reviews
7 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 51 helpful votes
“Well Done!”
Reviewed April 21, 2008

It's hard to get an unqualified positive review from my 13-year son, but this did. An hour and a half to two hours is plenty of time. The audio tour is a very nice production. Any visit to Philly should include this (tip: we got a CityPass and took the trolley to ESP and then it is a short 6 block walk to the Franklin Institute).

1 Thank knight_w_o_armor
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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London, UK
Level Contributor
55 reviews
28 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 27 helpful votes
“Superb morning or afternoon - one of the best things in Philly!”
Reviewed December 7, 2007

It is a self guided audio tour with Steve Buscemi as your guide.....it is very rare that you get the chance to see and walk around a prison and this is a superb place. You can see Al Capone's cell, and there many good photo opportunities...

I would thoroughly recommend a visit...the kids might like the fact that 12 monkeys with Brad Pitt and Bruce Willis was filmed within these walls!

Thank WorldTravellerfromGB
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Marlborough, Massachusetts
Level Contributor
131 reviews
58 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 95 helpful votes
“great attraction for an afternoon”
Reviewed September 2, 2007

Eastern State Penitentiary is a great way to spend an afternoon in Philly. It took longer than we expected because they give you an audio tour to listen to as you walk around so expect at least 1-2 hours. The history of the prison was fascinating but it seemed like a lot thrown at you all at once. It was hard to figure out where to find things but the staff there was very nice and very helpful. It was a very interesting place to walk around and see the ruins. Definatly would recommend anyone visiting Philly go see it.

1 Thank LisaPunk01
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level Contributor
22 reviews
3 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
“My kids favorite site in Philly”
Reviewed July 5, 2007

Touring the Eastern State Penitentiary was a great history lesson! My kids loved it.

Thank VirginiaTravelbuddy
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Long Island
Level Contributor
5 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
“Interesting for an afternoon”
Reviewed April 2, 2007

This was an interesting place to go see though I think I would have enjoyed it more if I hadn't seen Alcatraz already. The audio tour had a lot of filler in it and there were times when we wished it could move quicker, yet we didn't want to skip through it (it does give this option, but then you miss out on some stories). I wouldn't recommend it for young children since it is creepy and there's a lot of debris around...in one section it was "raining" pieces of chipped paint. You have to sign a waiver before entering. It's obvious that a lot of work has been done to improve the safety of the building and there are artistic exhibits throughout the grounds.

2 Thank LilacL
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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