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“Feel it. Learn from it.” 5 of 5 bubbles
Review of Eastern State Penitentiary

Eastern State Penitentiary
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$60.00*
and up
Philadelphia 3-Combo Tour: Hop-on Hop-off, Eastern State Penitentiary, and...
Ranked #3 of 433 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
Bloomington, Indiana
Level Contributor
12 reviews
5 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
“Feel it. Learn from it.”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed January 3, 2014

Visit it if you're interested in learning the history of a prison. It is not creepy at all and pretty educational. Learn bout some crazy history of this prison and I would say it is a cool experience. Or else, get a tour guide for your visit and it is FREE! They know the prison very well!
However, not recommended for kids tho.

Visited December 2013
Helpful?
Thank Phoena
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Belo Horizonte, MG
Level Contributor
70 reviews
42 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 44 helpful votes
“Interesting but not great”
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed January 3, 2014

The constrcuction is very interesting for people that have visited a prision. The site is cold and everuthing is well organized (although my headphone was out of order).
Nevertheless, there is not much to be seen - cells and history about the place - name of famous and not famous inmates.
If you do not have high expectatios, you should pay a visit.

Visited December 2013
Helpful?
Thank ricik
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Level Contributor
4 reviews
3 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
“hidden gem”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed January 3, 2014

Eastern State Penitentiary is an amazing place. Its both historically relevant as a penal institutions which revolutionized the way the US and many European countries utilized incarceration and architecturally fascinating. The penitentiary is in a state of semi-ruin which adds to its eerie-ness and (for the aspiring photographers out there) makes for amazing photos. Being off the normal tourist route, this is an often overlooked site but it really is a worthwhile stop. ESP is known mostly for the massive haunted house it puts on at Halloween, but I cannot recommend enough going for the historical tours-- go check out Al Capone's cell!

Visited July 2013
Helpful?
1 Thank Sarah H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Durham, North Carolina
Level Contributor
97 reviews
27 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 41 helpful votes
“Nice place to visit”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed January 2, 2014

educational and historic! I visited twice. Nice place to take photos too. I did not encounter any ghosts. :-(

Visited November 2013
Helpful?
Thank Philly-In-Durham
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Boston, Massachusetts
Level Contributor
41 reviews
7 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
“We were skeptical, but ended up fascinated with Eastern State Pen.”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed January 1, 2014 via mobile

If you are in Philly and looking for something unusual to do, look no further! Closed in the late 60s/early 70s, this relic is a trip back in time. Audio (narrated by Steve Buschemi!) or live guide will take you through this unique spoke/wheel structure that was revolutionary when built in the late 1800s. Surprising modern art installations in the solitary cells were thought provoking, just as the cells were intended to inspire in its prisoners. We almost rated it a 3 because its not of everyone's interest area, and is outside the main tourist area, and it takes some walking to get there. Once there, we were totally fascinated.

Helpful?
Thank npwest
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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