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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
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 4,399 reviews
Visitor rating
  • 2749
  • 1058
    Very good
  • 169
  • 38
  • 25
You have to go here

This is one of my favorite places in Philly. It's a delightful fun place with so many different rooms. It might scare you.

Reviewed 2 days ago
East Coast
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4,399 Reviews from our TripAdvisor Community

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Showing 4,039: English reviews
East Coast
Level Contributor
31 reviews
8 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 27 helpful votes
Reviewed 2 days ago NEW

This is one of my favorite places in Philly. It's a delightful fun place with so many different rooms. It might scare you.

Thank dressedlikeastar
Level Contributor
6 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed 2 days ago NEW via mobile

Amazing Jail and history. Al Capone was there. It also had A Jewish Temple. There were two floors. You can get audio and follow the different rooms. There is also a skip to purchase items.

Thank Mark R
Level Contributor
71 reviews
47 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 31 helpful votes
Reviewed 2 days ago NEW via mobile

The wings are awesome, and I definitely recommend doing the Hands On Tours that get you into areas that are normally blocked off. The staff and volunteers are awesome and know most of the history to the prison.

Thank Timothy B
London, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
99 reviews
44 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 38 helpful votes
Reviewed 2 days ago NEW

When you walk up to the museum you know it's a unique and somber place. It is big and we spent about 3 hours touring. The audio tour is a must. The history of prisons in the USA is interesting but sad. The exhibit at the end on the growth of number of prisoners since 1970's is very intersting.

Thank suzysuzzer
Flagstaff, Arizona
Level Contributor
10 reviews
9 attraction reviews
Reviewed 2 days ago NEW

The coolest inmate was Pep... Capone's cell reminds us that he was loved by the people and the government tried to keep him happy. Lots to see and do!

Thank JustaGrrrl
Level Contributor
45 reviews
8 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed 2 days ago NEW

In town for business and had a Sunday afternoon to kill. Definitely try the audio tour, and options throughout the exhibitions for added material. Hopefully the dollars raised through visitors will help preserve the place. It's hauntingly beautiful and historically very interesting.

Thank elizabeth m
Level Contributor
9 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed 2 days ago NEW

This is a great site to explore, with a really good tour. It's an individual headphone tour guide in which you follow the main tour and then can do a self guided tour to parts that you find interesting. You can pick and choose which audio you listen and skip sections if you want to. Some parts of the prison... More 

Thank SurreyGlamper
New Jersey
Level Contributor
35 reviews
4 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 57 helpful votes
Reviewed 3 days ago NEW

We took the Halloween tour a while back and had a great time. Because it was by flashlight only, it was kind of eerie and you could get a sense of what it might have been like at night when it was still an active penitentiary, so that added to the feel. I felt a bit letdown when the tour... More 

Thank robf53e
Oshawa, Ontario, Canada
Level Contributor
51 reviews
13 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 30 helpful votes
Reviewed 3 days ago 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 19 helpful votes
Reviewed 3 days ago 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

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  • Do I have to buy a ticket for my infant?
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  • Is there a restaurant or café onsite?