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Eastern State Penitentiary, Philadelphia

Categories: History Museums, Museums
Inspirock Rating:
4.5/5 based on 3,800+ reviews on the web
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 your Eastern State Penitentiary visit and explore what else you can see and do in Philadelphia using our Philadelphia trip itinerary planner.
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  • This widely advertised attraction is OK as an interesting building but poor value for money. Many parts of the prison are only available by paying for an extra tour. The Restrooms are dreadful, only 6...  read more »
  • Eastern State Penitentiary - tall walls and really solid. Former jail. It's better to observe it from outside! 
  • We visited this former penitentiary of day and I must say that, even so, it was creepy. (There is also an overnight tour with ghosts and other scary characters.) Is very extensive and the visit will take some time. Only downside: the bathrooms are only portable toilets (also because the hotel is very dated and probably would not be able to sustain normal baths).
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  • This place was fascinating! They had wonderful tours, along with self-guided tours. I hope very much to be able to make it to the Halloween presentation at some point. There is a ton of History, and getting to see and touch all of these different pieces of History was incredible. They have many displays of animals and videos about procedures that are fascinating to watch as well. There are few places that are closed off to the public, which naturally nearly killed me with curiosity, but for the most part this is all open and informational to the public. Great trip. I would definitely recommend.
  • I absolutely loved exploring this place. I took the recorded guide tour. The history is stunning. It was designed to be a more ethical form of punishment and very modern. Charles Dickens visited it in the mid 1800s. Al Capone was an inmate here and his cell is crazy for a prison inmate. He definitely spent his time there in style. They're continuing to restore the site and it's very creepy seeing the dilapidated parts. It's supposed to be haunted, too. I'm hoping to go back again some day.
  • First time visiting Philly and we did the audio penitentiary tour which was very informative. It was a great historic tour and roaming around really makes you feel what it's like to be in a place like that. We got to see Al Capone's cell which was amazing how he served time there compared to others. It was fun with a history lesson all rolled into one. If you have time, definitely check this place out and do the audio tour!
  • My favorite attraction in Philly. the history is amazing, the place is super cool looking, especially at Halloween. The audio tour is free and Steve Buscemi narrates, which is awesome. You also have carte blanche to explore the place which is cool. And student discounts!
  • A little pricey so that is why 4 stars. Really interesting though. A lot of the prison is literally falling down. Definitely not a place for a curios 3 yr old. The tour is like half an hour and all done by little headsets they give you. They have guide led tours but I didn't do that. I didn't see any bathrooms and I guess I couldn't urinate down the pipes like the prisoners.
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