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.

Eastern State Penitentiary

Certificate of Excellence
Sponsored by:
Map updates are paused. Zoom in to see updated info.
Reset zoom
Updating Map...
Sponsored by:
Get directions
Address: 2124 Fairmount Ave, Philadelphia, PA 19130-2603
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.

read more
Book In Advance
More Info
and up
Philadelphia 3-Combo Tour: Hop-on Hop-off, Eastern State Penitentiary, and...
More Info
and up
Philadelphia CityPASS
More Info
and up
Philadelphia Hop-On Hop-Off City Tour

TripAdvisor Reviewer Highlights

Read all 4,390 reviews
Visitor rating
  • 2743
  • 1056
    Very good
  • 169
  • 38
  • 25
Great tour

This is our second tour of Eastern Penn. It is a great historical tour for all ages. I very much enjoyed visiting historical sites. This is a must see as soon as possible as the... read more

Reviewed yesterday
Edward C
Oshawa, Ontario, Canada
via mobile
Add Photo Write a Review

4,390 Reviews from our TripAdvisor Community

Traveller rating
Traveller type
Time of year
  • More
Showing 4,031: English reviews
Oshawa, Ontario, Canada
Level Contributor
51 reviews
13 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 30 helpful votes
Reviewed yesterday NEW via mobile

This is our second tour of Eastern Penn. It is a great historical tour for all ages. I very much enjoyed visiting historical sites. This is a must see as soon as possible as the prison is in a very sad state of declay probably will not have many years left before it would have to be torn down. Would... More 

Thank Edward C
Linden, New Jersey
Level Contributor
71 reviews
34 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 18 helpful votes
Reviewed yesterday NEW

I am big on historic sites, so this place was a good time. We came at the end of January on a Sunday morning when they first opened for the day. Thus, it was empty and more enjoyable. You get a headset that features clips from former prisoners and staff and is narrated by Steve Buscemi. I also liked all... More 

Thank Amanda C
Lisbon, Portugal
Level Contributor
171 reviews
65 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 81 helpful votes
Reviewed yesterday NEW

I liked to know the history of the prison and see some of the rooms, but many parts are in ruins. I believe that if some of the areas where rebuilt the visit would be more enjoyable.

Thank TudelaMartins
Rochester, NY
Level Contributor
298 reviews
146 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 159 helpful votes
Reviewed 2 days ago NEW

I've gone to alot of haunted tours and all sorts of asylums, jails, etc. This was pretty great and really well organized. I was surprised it was right in the city (as opposed to the outskirts like many others) We stopped as a break on a roadtrip from Cape May, NJ to Rochester, NY. Took a couple hours. We did... More 

Thank jenhaught
Warminster, Pennsylvania
Level Contributor
80 reviews
42 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 20 helpful votes
Reviewed 2 days ago NEW via mobile

Yesterday my husband and I were out for the day with my cousin and his wife. She was the one who suggested to come here. Perfect idea. We did the self guided tour with the headphones. Never realized how much history this place had in the past. We managed to see so much. I particularly liked seeing Al Capone's cell... More 

Thank retiredfrwork
Level Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed 3 days ago NEW via mobile

Lucky for me, I love the drama of ruins, for I find beauty in the ugly! This place is a top choice if you dig nostalgia! The walls are strong and standing, and the doors for each cell are well preserved! I can go on and on, but it's best that you visit it yourself! Don't forget to stop by... More 

Thank Le L
Level Contributor
6 reviews
3 attraction reviews
Reviewed 3 days ago NEW via mobile

I had no idea what to expect when we visited ESP but we went on in. The price was really great and they do military discount if that applies to you. The architecture was what I personally enjoyed the most but there is so much history to absorb as well. They give you headphones that you can use for your... More 

Thank Sara P
Sewell, New Jersey
Level Contributor
14 reviews
7 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
Reviewed 4 days ago NEW

Great time! went during the Halloween season. Very cool and scary. It was a great. We took our time walking through and it was awesome.

Thank jerrys1065
Cambridge, New York
Level Contributor
19 reviews
6 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed 4 days ago NEW via mobile

We arrived in Philadelphia with the Boy Scout Troop Kate in the day on Thursday with reservations fir the tour. It held the boys interest for about 2 hours. They were entertained by the tour guides stories about past prisoners and why it was built like it is.

Thank Jackster14817
Level Contributor
49 reviews
9 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 27 helpful votes
Reviewed 4 days ago NEW

Creepy, exciting, educations, humbling, surreal. You'll learn about the history of prisons in general and the idea behind this one, which was ahead of it's time, and why it failed ultimately. Also kind of like a ghost town, if you like those.

Thank Philly_opinion

Travellers who viewed Eastern State Penitentiary also viewed


Been to Eastern State Penitentiary? Share your experiences!

Write a Review Add Photos & Videos

Is This Your TripAdvisor Listing?

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

Claim Your Listing

Questions & Answers

Here's what previous visitors have asked, with answers from representatives of Eastern State Penitentiary and other visitors
18 questions
Ask a question

See all questions (18)

Questions? Get answers from Eastern State Penitentiary staff and past visitors.
Posting guidelines
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?