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“A pleasant surprise”

Eastern State Penitentiary
Ranked #6 of 470 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 weeks ago via mobile

This was surprisingly probably my favorite stop in Philly. It was a self guided tour with earphones. I found it very interesting as did my teenage kids.

You could walk around and look at displays after. They had a certain political point of view. I generally agree with it, but just a heads up if that bothers you.

Dress for the weather if you go. It was cold inside on a 40 degree day. I’d imagine that advice goes for any temperature. This is not a criticism; simply be ready for it. I’d estimate an hour and a half is a good amount of time to block off for this trip.

Thank stephendT4915LM
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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"audio tour"
in 998 reviews
"al capone's cell"
in 292 reviews
"haunted house"
in 177 reviews
"steve buscemi"
in 146 reviews
"cell blocks"
in 123 reviews
"own pace"
in 264 reviews
"solitary confinement"
in 89 reviews
"prison life"
in 84 reviews
"halloween season"
in 55 reviews
"operating room"
in 60 reviews
"porta potties"
in 68 reviews
"art installations"
in 63 reviews
"interesting place to visit"
in 48 reviews
"self guided"
in 120 reviews
"interesting history"
in 67 reviews
"two hours"
in 66 reviews
"across the street"
in 75 reviews
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45 - 49 of 5,206 reviews

Reviewed 3 weeks ago via mobile

Do the daytime audio guided walking tour, it’s a must do. Then at night, take the VIP Guided Tour and Terror Behind the Walls (Halloween season) combo. You will NOT be disappointed.

Every step you take in this place is amazing. Bring a backup phone battery, you’re going to want to take A LOT of pictures.

Find the spots for the mini-guided tours during the day. The audio tour is great, but having a guide talk you through some of it breaks it up.

Thank Lauren K
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 3 weeks ago via mobile

This is really a place where you can experience the life in a prison in the 18s and 19s.
You can have a tour using headsets that guide you inside many cells blocks with respective histories of guards and inmates.
The system is similar to what we have in Alcatraz.
Last but not least, there is parking near to the prison at 2 hours cost of $8.

Thank Rubens A
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 3 weeks ago

I rushed here three hours before a flight and was not disappointed. The audio tour was captivating and had great information. The staff also guided me through everything so I could see everything quickly. I would definitely come here again and spend more time on the timed tours they offer to places such as the prison church or underground punishment cells.

Thank em-2115
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviewed 3 weeks ago

A prison in the middle of the city. How cool! We took the self-guided audio tour which was about 40 mins long (including few pauses). You also have the option of extending your self-guided audio tour by choosing more options from the menu. I definitely enjoyed listening to the stories that are narrated by the guards and previous inmates. Took the experience to a whole new level.

This prison is one of the most iconic prisons in the world and many other prions were modeled after it. We also got to see mockup of cells where some of the most notorious criminals in the U.S. history stayed. If you enjoy history, this site is a must. Plan on spending anywhere from 40 mins to couple of hours here depending on how much you would like to see and learn.

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

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