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Eastern State Penitentiary

Certificate of Excellence
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Address: 2124 Fairmount Ave, Philadelphia, PA 19130-2603
Phone Number:
+1 215-236-3300
10:00 - 17:00
Open now
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Sun - Sat 10:00 - 17:00
Recommended length of visit: 1-2 hours
Fee: Yes

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

Read all 4,281 reviews
Visitor rating
  • 2659
  • 1041
    Very good
  • 164
  • 38
  • 25
Creepily awesome!

I've been here twice, once for their Halloween thing and once for a tour. I recommend the tour during the day then a night one!!! So much history in this place and you can feel... read more

5 of 5 bubblesReviewed yesterday
Amy H
via mobile
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4,281 Reviews from our TripAdvisor Community

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Showing 3,927: English reviews
Level Contributor
43 reviews
13 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 16 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed yesterday NEW via mobile

I've been here twice, once for their Halloween thing and once for a tour. I recommend the tour during the day then a night one!!! So much history in this place and you can feel the walls looking at you!!!

Thank Amy H
Albuquerque, NM
Level Contributor
26 reviews
9 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 21 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed yesterday NEW

Old prisons don't garner the excitement of other tours; and ESP is a bit of a distance from the highlights of downtown Philly. But if you're on a history tour, this is a must stop. There are two ways to visit, one by audio tour voiced by Steve Buscemi, or a guided tour at specific times. We took the audio... More 

Thank NMSoccerDad
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Level Contributor
9 reviews
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed yesterday NEW

For the money you pay to enter, I would believe they would have had more sections open. The people who were in character were creepy and got a little too close for comfort. I realize this is their job but they could have used deodorant and breath mints.

Thank americaninfidel120
Level Contributor
13 reviews
6 attraction reviews
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed yesterday NEW via mobile

Something to do for an afternoon. It's like a large castle in the middle of the city. Upon entering you are provided with headphones and an audio tour unit in which it's a self guided tour of the history and stories of the prison. You could probably spend a couple of hours here just walking around. Worth the visit. Don't... More 

Thank Nicholas M
Ormond Beach, Florida
Level Contributor
577 reviews
131 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 365 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed yesterday NEW

This is a well-done exhibition of a time gone by when criminals were treated more like animals than human beings: Forbidden to speak to any one, kept in relative solitary confinement. The prisoners inside these walls were the worst of the worst criminals. Each person receives a headset to go from station to station, listening to narration and at times,... More 

Thank Pamgoes
Manila, Philippines
Level Contributor
7 reviews
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 2 days ago NEW via mobile

The walk tour is very worth it - they have audio guides that were very detailed that will help you out learn the history of this place. It was a bit eery inside but given the past, it was well preserved

Thank Criszette
upstate new york
Level Contributor
249 reviews
119 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 146 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 2 days ago NEW

This place should be on everyone's GO TO list. It is so interesting (of course, I guess you have to like history to find it interesting). We thoroughly enjoyed our time at the Penitentiary and were very glad we got off the Hop-On-Hop-Off bus to see it. Al Capone's cell, the "yard" and other various places within the walls were... More 

Thank Joanne T
United States
Level Contributor
123 reviews
34 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 31 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 3 days ago NEW

Definitely a "must do" while in Philadelphia, I think everyone in the country should experience this place. It is very interesting and makes you think about our penal system in general. The staff was very helpful and everything was run very efficiently. The process to get tickets (got ours online) was simple and parking was easy (public lot right next... More 

Thank emped0cles
Dallas, TX
Level Contributor
10 reviews
5 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 4 days ago NEW

My 15-yr old daughter and I visited Philly on 3/18 and had a few hours to burn before heading to the airport. My daughter found the Eastern State Penitentiary online. We'd never even heard of thsi place, but it's a very cool place...literally. We were there in mid-March and it was about 40 degrees and drizzling. Except for the main... More 

Thank Starslover07
New York City, New York
Level Contributor
76 reviews
31 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 4 days ago NEW via mobile

Our family enjoyed the visit. There are areas that can get a bit spooky in particular for smaller children but also for adults if you put yourselves in the shoes of the former inmates.

Thank NYCitian

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  • Do I have to buy a ticket for my infant?
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