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.

Missouri State Penitentiary

115 Lafayette St., Jefferson City, MO 65101
+1 866-998-6998
Review Highlights

This is the first time we have visited as a family. My son and I have been before on a school field... read more

Reviewed 2 days ago
via mobile
amazing history!

I've lived in Jefferson City for 18 years, but it took some out of town visitors to finally get me... read more

Reviewed 3 days ago
Jefferson City, Missouri
Read all 423 reviews
Sponsored by:
Map updates are paused. Zoom in to see updated info.
Reset zoom
Updating Map...
Sponsored by:
The Missouri State Penitentiary (MSP) opened in 1836 along the banks of the Missouri River in Jefferson City, Missouri, the state capital. The prison housed inmates for 168 years and was the oldest continually operating prison west of the Mississippi until it was decommissioned in 2004. The prison was already 100 years old when Alcatraz began taking inmates.The Jefferson City Convention & Visitors Bureau now offers a wide variety of tours at the site, once named the "bloodiest 47 acres in America" by Time magazine. Visitors can choose to take a History or Ghost Tour, among others, and will walk through several incredibly historic housing units, the vast upper yard of the property and the gas chamber, where 40 men and women were executed. The tour also showcases cells of infamous inmates such as Sonny Liston, who learned to box during his time in the big house and James Earl Ray, who escaped from MSP before assassinating Martin Luther King Jr.
  • Excellent75%
  • Very good20%
  • Average2%
  • Poor2%
  • Terrible1%
Travellers talk about
“gas chamber” (95 reviews)
“ghost tour” (79 reviews)
“hour tour” (60 reviews)
115 Lafayette St., Jefferson City, MO 65101
+1 866-998-6998
Write a Review
Reviews (423)
Traveller rating
Traveller type
Time of year

1 - 10 of 421 reviews

Reviewed 2 days ago via mobile

This is the first time we have visited as a family. My son and I have been before on a school field trip. I remember driving by growing up when it was still housing inmates. Now that it is open for tours, it is wonderful...More

Thank mgardner448
Reviewed 3 days ago

I've lived in Jefferson City for 18 years, but it took some out of town visitors to finally get me to tour the MO State Penitentiary. The tour guide (Mike) was marvelous. This really is a HISTORY tour. He explained the origin of the prison,...More

Thank LisaFoxJC
Reviewed 3 days ago

Michael and James were our guides on June 25. Very knowledgeable and made the tour very engaging. We took the haunted tour, and they provided a historic baseline while including the spooky experience. I would suggest this tour to anyone...it was well worth the trip.

Thank tylerzmom
Reviewed 5 days ago via mobile

Great visit. Learned some things about infamous inmates. Small tour group with added information. Easy to find and plenty of free street parking.

Reviewed 5 days ago

Loved the old buildings. Our guide was a warden that had worked there the last 5 yrs the prison was open. You could tell his main love was the buildings because that is mostly what he talked about. I did learn some interesting facts but...More

Thank Q274ENkareno
Reviewed 6 days ago

This tour was so interesting and informative. My husband and I took the 2 hour tour, but we will go back and do the longer tour next time. It was that good. The guide had been a guard there when it was still operational, that...More

Thank flutterbyjen
Reviewed 6 days ago via mobile

I was most impressed with our tour guide, Dale, who led us through the prison with a sense of humor and enthusiasm. He did not seem bored of saying the same things like some tour guides. Tips: Dress for the weather as there is no...More

Thank FrannyGlass1976
Reviewed 1 week ago via mobile

My husband and I moved to Missouri a few months ago and my mother flew in to town to visit us. We decided to take her and a few of our friends to the Missouri State Penitentiary. My mother is handicapped and can't do a...More

Thank Bailey W
Reviewed 2 weeks ago via mobile

Very very very fun very informative tour and very nice people that give it to her very nice place I would recommend taking two or four other people would love to do it again

Thank Paul T
Reviewed 2 weeks ago

We took the three hour tour. I was extremely interesting and very enjoyable. Valuable information on the history of the penitentiary, I highly recommend tour.

Thank Bob M
Sponsored by:
Nearby Restaurants
Madison's Cafe
331 reviews
.92 km away
Arris' Pizza Palace
291 reviews
1.15 km away
Prison Brews
313 reviews
.53 km away
The Grand Cafe
132 reviews
1.02 km away
Nearby Attractions
Missouri State Capitol
456 reviews
1.16 km away
Lewis and Clark Monument Trailhead Plaza
35 reviews
1.02 km away
Miller Performing Arts Center
11 reviews
1.05 km away
Ask a question
Questions & Answers
8 November 2016|
Answer Show all 3 answers
Response from Sheila S | Property representative |
No, Our Tour Season runs March - November. We close December - February as we have no heat at the facility.
18 July 2016|
Answer Show all 6 answers
Response from michael r | Reviewed this property |
I too would wait.
Ralph B
17 February 2016|
Response from Sheila S | Property representative |
The cost for the 2-Hour History Tour is $15.00/person and the 3-Hour In-Depth History Tour is $26.