Eastern State Penitentiary, Philadelphia

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.
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Tours to Eastern State Penitentiary

Eastern State Penitentiary reviews

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TripAdvisor traveler rating 4.5
6,318 reviews
  • We enjoyed the tour. It is a self builder headphone tour. We took out time and had a wonderful time exploring.  more »
  • Well-narrated audio tour providing history of this penitentiary—designed initially for monk-like social isolation of the prisoners to make them penitent.  more »
  • Not as creepy as you would think. The audio tour guide makes this a fascinating and educational visit. I learned more than I could have imagined about prisons past and present. I was amazed how...  more »
  • Went here on our first trip to Philly with my significant other. We purchased the tickets online (you save $2) and went right through with our mobile tickets. Staff was immediately helpful and very polite! Walkable from the Art museum (less than 15 minutes) Lots of stuff to do, and things to see! You also learn so much about incarceration especially in our country now! So many things to see and enjoy you can be here all day long! Very cool to see and cool things to learn. Left with some cute things from the gift shop that weren’t too overpriced! Keep up the good work!
  • Very cool attraction to visit. I was there 3 + hours because there was so much to see. They give you a headset for the audio tour and it is narrated by Steve Buscemi! It was eerie walking through and seeing what some people had to go through. I bet their tours during October a really spooky. I definitely recommend going.
  • Awesome!! Only $16 ($12 for students with ID) for an amazing experience. Many cells are open and accessible to the public. Let’s not forget Al Capone’s fully restored cell! A must see if you’re in the area.
  • The experience at the Eastern State Penitentiary is honestly a very education and enjoyable time. The architecture of the Penitentiary is worth the trip alone: with stone walls up to the 30 feet high, the prison looks more like a castle in the middle of North Philly. The interactive audio tour was extremely engaging, narrated by Steve Buscemi and was a great format to exploring and learning about the prison's history. The most surprising aspect was the "Prisons Today" exhibit at the end, where they examine the changes made to imprisonment in the United States in the 70s and 80s, leading to the current day state of mass incarceration. Definitely a worthwhile trip in Philly for anyone who likes museums or architecture.
  • A great tour of a interesting part of Philadelphia's history. The self-guided audio tour lets you go at your own pace and learn about the penitentiary, its prisoners, life at the prison and its ultimate closure. Also a great segment on modern prisons with some good questions about modern day incarceration. Good for all ages.

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