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“Incredibly beautiful former prison and lots of history!”

Eastern State Penitentiary
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US$32.00*
and up
Philadelphia 27-Stop Double Decker Tour Pass
Ranked #5 of 478 things to do in Philadelphia
Certificate of Excellence
More attraction details
Attraction details
Fee: Yes
Recommended length of visit: 1-2 hours
Owner description: 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.
Useful Information: Activities for older children
Reviewed 2 April 2018

The former penitentiary is just astounding to see and walk through - the architecture, paired with the history behind this place is just awesome. For the ones loving to make pictures, this is the perfect sport for HDR photography. Definitely worth going there and having a guided tour as it offers so many more insights than the included audio tour.

Thank girlfromfaraway
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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"audio tour"
in 1,014 reviews
"al capone"
in 294 reviews
"haunted house"
in 178 reviews
"steve buscemi"
in 154 reviews
"cell blocks"
in 126 reviews
"own pace"
in 274 reviews
"solitary confinement"
in 90 reviews
"prison life"
in 89 reviews
"halloween season"
in 55 reviews
"operating room"
in 61 reviews
"porta potties"
in 68 reviews
"art installations"
in 63 reviews
"interesting place"
in 93 reviews
"self guided"
in 123 reviews
"interesting history"
in 68 reviews
"great place to visit"
in 81 reviews
"two hours"
in 68 reviews
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163 - 167 of 5,314 reviews

Reviewed 1 April 2018 via mobile

This was an impromptu stop during our day trip through Philly. We were able to set the pace with the self-guided audio tour. You walk through several cell blocks and can go into an actual recreated while listening to the history of the prison and some stories from former inmates and guards. At the end of the visit there is an indoor area which addresses some social justice issues of prison reform, discrimination, etc. which my teens were interested in. Dress warm as it is not heated.

Thank s0cial1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 1 April 2018 via mobile

T hi is building is so large if a little creepy! Human beings design this type of total solitude punishment for humans. It is humbling to think about their determination to build such large and imposing building. The headphone digital recording is very good and informative, going alone and you can notbget lost. I wish they had a history pamflet with dates and people in it. I did find some postcards which were very good , they show an aerial as well as the inside of the ghostly cells. Al Capone cell shows that even back then money can buy anything...

Thank RocNY_er
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 1 April 2018 via mobile

We regularly travel north on I-95 passing a creepy-looking old gaol, so we thought this was it. No - it’s another creepy-looking old gaol and one which was seen as revolutionary in its time for care and the reformation of prisoners.

Long corridors had individual cells, with no doors into said corridor, just a hatch and wall were thick; everything designed to prevent communication between inmates. Later, in the time of Al Capone things had eased somewhat, but it was still a tough place as we learned from recorded voices of both inmates and guards.

Most interesting was the challenging section on crime and prisons today, with statics which are downright scary! The USA has the highest proportion of people in gaol.

It’s easy to navigate the place with the excellent audio guide.

Thank noredpen
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviewed 31 March 2018

My friend and I went on a day trip to Philadelphia this was one of our stops for the day. We spent about two hours here doing the audio tour. It was a fun time for all! It was very educational and interesting.

Thank Laura G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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