Eastern State Penitentiary, Philadelphia

4.6
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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Eastern State Penitentiary Reviews
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TripAdvisor Traveler Rating 4.5
5,037 reviews
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4.6
TripAdvisor
  • We went on a bloody hot autumn day, I'd hate to think what it was like for the actual prisoners in summer back in the day. It's an amazing piece of history with interesting audio guides, and a few nic...  more »
  • They play with the curiosity that was a prison and its illustrious inhabitants as Capone, but is practically in ruin. The best preserved its external walls. I think that $ 16 is excessive for what they offer.
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  • Fascinating history of the Eastern State Penitentiary, but even more interesting was the modern display that provided compelling facts about incarceration in America over time. Thought-provoking and d...  more »
Google
  • First off, it was very cold today but we all enjoyed this attraction! The audio tour was informative and at a comfortable pace while being very informative as well. My boys enjoyed sneaking a peak in all of the cells and this place maintained their interest throughout. The history lesson is amazing and I thought it was great that one particular guard later became an inmate! There is plenty to do here but we made it through most of the tour in a little under an hour. If the weather was warmer, it would have been great to hang out in the open areas more. Please make this an addition to your list of you are in the area!
  • A must see if you are in Philly. Read about how imprisonment was back then, learn about featured inmates including Al Capone, and learn about some attempted escapes. There is plenty to learn at ESP including current prison facts. Honestly a good time for the whole family. You will be given an audio guided tour narrated by Steve Buscemi which is very helpful and informative. I will definitely be coming back to Eastern State Penitentiary in the near future.
  • It was my first time visiting and I had such a great time. All of the guides and employees were super friendly and educated about the prison. We went on a guide led tour and you have options of other tours included with your admission which isn't expensive at all. The gift shop is surprisingly cheaper than most as well. Also we were able to wander around and take pictures after the tour on our own and it was nice exploring by ourselves too. Love this place and the history! P. S. It really makes you think about the state of current prisons.
  • First time visiting ESP and Philly. This was quite an educational visit to ESP and found the history more interesting than the paranormal based background that I have previous seen on various television shows. The audio tour was great and how do beat one done by the great Steve Buscemi? You do the tour at your own pace and one can easily spend two hours here like we did. Fascinating and offbeat, and at the same time very informative. Potentially haunted? Maybe, draw your own conclusions there. But if you are ever gonna go to prison in your life then make sure to visit ESP or Alcatraz. Parking: paid parking is a short walk away and makes for a good hub location so that you can then go to the Rocky steps and check out the statues nearby, and other closer sites.
  • Good history and well detailed with story boards and the audio players. Would be helpful if the kids running the place had mandatory training or book history to read about the prison. Most kids know very little about prison history. Otherwise 4 stars. Note to management: please train your workers because it would make it a better experience.

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