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Eastern State Penitentiary

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Address: 2124 Fairmount Ave, Philadelphia, PA 19130
Phone Number:
+1 215-236-3300
10:00 - 17:00
Closed now
See all hours
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 4,126 reviews
Visitor rating
  • 2554
  • 1007
    Very good
  • 160
  • 38
  • 25
Worth a visit

You could easily spend half a day here. The place is huge & full of lots of information. Thought it was great

5 of 5 bubblesReviewed today
via mobile
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4,126 Reviews from our TripAdvisor Community

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Showing 3,784: English reviews
Level Contributor
4 reviews
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed today NEW via mobile

You could easily spend half a day here. The place is huge & full of lots of information. Thought it was great

Thank angem83
Level Contributor
2 reviews
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed yesterday NEW via mobile

So glad we made a morning out of this! Totally the high light of our trip to philly. I would come back to Philadelphia just to see this again. Would be a lot better in warmer weather. It was snowing a bit but there are some warming and charging rooms which help. Get there early. We left around 1 and... More 

Thank Stephanie G
Maine, United States
Level Contributor
9 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 2 days ago NEW

Whether or not you're interested in the prison system/ judicial system; this place is one cool place to visit. The tour was great- lots of constructive conversation during the tour. Got to explore after on my own and that was great too. Spent a few hours there. Such a cool historic place. I cannot wait to take my kids for... More 

Thank itsabigdog
Okinawa, Japan
Level Contributor
20 reviews
7 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 2 days ago NEW via mobile

Excellent audio tour with many free add-on audio clips! Usually if a place says it takes 2 hours, we can see it in 1, but we actually spent close to 2 here! Very informative and great experience, plus free street parking nearby. Wish the additional audio clips were included in the main audio tour so we didn't have to back... More 

Thank MichiB224
United States
Level Contributor
103 reviews
25 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 42 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 2 days ago NEW via mobile

OIf you're visiting Philly, take Uber or a taxi to this intriguing attraction, a former prison that opened in 1829. (Benjamin Franklin was one of the founders who believed all people were, at their core, good.) Be sure to allow time after the tour to visit the "Prisons Today" exhibit, which objectively explores America's obsession with incarceration.

Thank CrossgarDown
Genoa, Italy
Level Contributor
37 reviews
6 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 14 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 2 days ago NEW via mobile

We planned a short trip to Philadelphia and, looking at the most relevant attractions, we found out the eastern state penitentiary. The visit was great, the audio guide was complete and the tour took us 2 hours since we were super excited about visiting such an historic place. Walking through the cell blocks we felt the effort made to maintain... More 

Thank sereseresere123
Fort Myers, Florida
Level Contributor
28 reviews
7 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 4 days ago NEW via mobile

Had a great time with friends of all backgrounds New Year's Eve. Helpful stuff but loved being able to explore on our own.. there were many recordings on many different topics I don't know how you couldn't please any visitor.. wouldn't miss this while in Philly !

Thank Julie K
Level Contributor
8 reviews
3 attraction reviews
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 6 days ago NEW via mobile

Wasn't sure what to expect originally, but was pleasantly surprised by how interesting and informative the penitentiary was. Very well done self-guided audio tour.

Thank Becky L
Level Contributor
6 reviews
3 attraction reviews
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 1 week ago via mobile

This is a must! place to visit if you are visiting Philadelphia. The building itself is filled with history and walking around the space makes it a very unique experience. The entrance fee covers the very educational audio tour worth every penny since it gives you both a general idea and personal stories of the people that once lived there.... More 

Thank Seleny B
Kingston, Canada
Level Contributor
23 reviews
18 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 1 week ago

Very cool place to FEEL the history of Eastern State Pen. Not all areas are accessible, but you see enough to get a pretty good idea of what life was like on the inside. The cell of Al Capone is really amazing .. you can almost see Al sitting in his chair!!

Thank FugiMan

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Typical questions asked:
  • Do I have to buy a ticket for my infant?
  • How do I get there using public transportation?
  • Is there a restaurant or café onsite?