We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.
We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.
The latest reviews. The lowest prices. The perfect place to shop for hotels.

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

Eastern State Penitentiary
Book In Advance
More Info
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
More attraction details
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
Thank Phoena
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Write a Review

4,275 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
Date | Rating
  • Chinese (Traditional) first
  • Chinese (Simplified) first
  • Danish first
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • Finnish first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Japanese first
  • Korean first
  • Portuguese first
  • Russian first
  • Spanish first
  • Swedish first
  • Any
English first
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
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
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
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.

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

Travelers who viewed Eastern State Penitentiary also viewed


Been to Eastern State Penitentiary? Share your experiences!

Write a Review Add Photos & Videos

Owners: What's your side of the story?

Own or manage this property? Claim your listing for free to respond to reviews, update your profile and much more.

Claim Your Listing