Eastern State Penitentiary, Philadelphia

4.7
Admire the impressive architecture and haunting atmosphere of one of the most famous and expensive prisons in the world, Eastern State Penitentiary. Once a thriving site of discipline and order, the prison has long since closed, and now you can take a tour of the building’s unique wagon-wheel design that inspired thousands of penitentiaries worldwide. Follow your guide through the cellblock rows, solitary confinement cells, and execution chambers. Don’t miss the chance to visit the original cell of Al Capone. If you’re interested in haunting tales, ask about the prison’s long history of paranormal activity and ghost sightings. Plan to visit Eastern State Penitentiary during your Philadelphia vacation using our convenient Philadelphia itinerary maker .
Improve this listing »
Create an itinerary including Eastern State Penitentiary
map
© OpenMapTiles © OpenStreetMap contributors
Eastern State Penitentiary Reviews
Rate this attraction
TripAdvisor Traveler Rating
TripAdvisor Traveler Rating 4.5
5,351 reviews
Google
4.7
TripAdvisor
  • We enjoyed touring the facility. Look for Al Capones cell. Pretty posh. We have never toured a penitentiary before and it was very interesting.  more »
  • This place was fascinating! The history here is like none other. Purchase your tickets online as it's quite a bit cheaper. The self guided tour was great and very informative. If you go in the summer,...  more »
  • Came to town for a few days and decided to take the audio tour. It was very interesting. Would be nice if they remodeled the interior a little bit being privately funded prevents that to a point. Over...  more »
Google
  • I definitely recommend anyone come here if they have the time. There is a great deal of history and with every admission you get an audio tour that you listen to as you walk through the Penitentiary. There is so much information and it is super interesting! The rooms and the halls are so astounding to look at and it is curious to think about how much prisons have changed and think about how life was here. They offer plenty of information on modern crime and prisons. You can even register to vote here which is pretty neat
  • I think this place is one of the coolest museums you may ever seen. They atmosphere is so cool including a lot of different aspects of daily life of a prisoner back in 1800s and 1900s. Along with an awesome voice tour guide, you can visit every single room on your own and get lots of information in like 2 hours. I believe it is awesome that they preserved the place and didn't demolish it after it was closed down. Lots of stories about famous prisoners and life styles back that time, and the architect of the place itself will amaze you. This is another MUST SEE place here at Philly.
  • Although I never got to see the daily tour, the haunted house was an awesome adventure. I applied for a job late in the season to be an actor and although I was not expecting to do a group interview and I have never done anything like that before, and it scared me, because I kept thinking I would be the only one not to get the job, but surprisingly I did. Amy is an awesome creative director and if I still lived on the East Coast I would definitely come back to scare people every year. I liked it so much, I am going to try and get into one of these haunted houses out here. If you get a chance to scare in Eastern State Pen it's the most fun ever, just hope you don't get stuck work with Q, that dude is a straight up air head who has no business being in management.
  • Definitely sign up for a guided tour if you have an hour to spare. It's informative without being overwhelming. You'll learn about the life of inmates and wardens alike, the most (in)famous inmates, and why there is a carefully restored Jewish synagogue and a wall filled with religious paintings here. There are some special exhibitions and plenty of information boards that invite visitors to reflect on the many aspects of incarceration and the current state of the penal system. This place is also great for photography, with plenty of postcard-worthy scenes at every turn. If you're visiting in the summer, be warned that most of the buildings are not air-conditioned. We were here at 2:00 PM, with the temperature + heat index hovering around 100°F (38°C) and it was, needless to say, very uncomfortable. If you can, try and turn your perspective around and treat this hellish condition as an authentic inmate experience. You can retreat to the gift shop if it gets too warm or plan to arrive early.
  • This is one of the must do-s in philly; and it’s right by the art museum/rocky stairs so if you are visiting you can knock out 2 birds with one stone! I live in the neighborhood and love walking by this structure. I took the audio guided tour once and loved it, and I also went for the Halloween haunted house which they do really well! I could spend hours here taking pictures, reading facts, and wandering these spooky halls. If you love urban decay, this place is for you! It was also surprisingly educational about the prison system we have today!
Places to stay near Eastern State Penitentiary

Plan your trip to Philadelphia

  • Get a personalized plan

    A complete day-by-day itinerary
    based on your preferences
  • Customize it

    Refine your plan. We'll find the
    best routes and schedules
  • Book it

    Choose from the best hotels
    and activities. Up to 50% off
  • Manage it

    Everything in one place.
    Everyone on the same page.

Plans to Eastern State Penitentiary by other users

20 days in United States BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES December, popular sights PREFERENCES: December ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular sights PACE: Medium 39 days in United States BY A USER FROM AUSTRALIA October, culture, outdoors, historic sites, museums, wildlife, popular sights PREFERENCES: October, culture, outdoors, historic sites, museums, wildlife ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular sights PACE: Medium 38 days in United States, Niagara Falls & Toronto BY A USER FROM AUSTRALIA June, teens, popular sights PREFERENCES: June, teens ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular sights PACE: Medium 11 days in United States BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES March, culture, romantic, historic sites, museums, shopping, wildlife, popular sights PREFERENCES: March, culture, romantic, historic sites, museums, shopping, wildlife ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular sights PACE: Medium 4 days in Philadelphia & Denver BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES October, popular sights PREFERENCES: October ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular sights PACE: Medium 4 days in Philadelphia & Dallas BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES October, popular sights PREFERENCES: October ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular sights PACE: Medium 19 days in United States BY A USER FROM AUSTRALIA January, popular sights PREFERENCES: January ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular sights PACE: Medium 60 days in United States BY A USER FROM UNITED KINGDOM October, popular sights PREFERENCES: October ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular sights PACE: Medium 10 days in Philadelphia BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES June, teens, kids, historic sites, museums, popular sights PREFERENCES: June, teens, kids, historic sites, museums ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular sights PACE: Medium 13 days in Pennsylvania BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES June, teens, kids, historic sites, museums, popular sights PREFERENCES: June, teens, kids, historic sites, museums ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular sights PACE: Medium 2 days in Philadelphia BY A USER FROM COSTA RICA December, popular sights PREFERENCES: December ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular sights PACE: Medium 5 days in Philadelphia BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES July, popular sights PREFERENCES: July ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular sights PACE: Medium
View more plans