Eastern State Penitentiary

Eastern State Penitentiary, Philadelphia: Hours, Address, Eastern State Penitentiary Reviews: 4.5/5

Eastern State Penitentiary
4.5
10:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Wednesday
10:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Thursday
10:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Friday
10:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Saturday
10:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Sunday
10:00 AM - 5:00 PM
About
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.
Suggested duration
2-3 hours
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Tours & experiences
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Popular mentions

4.5
6,342 reviews
Excellent
4,379
Very good
1,625
Average
257
Poor
52
Terrible
29

Christa W
Canton, Ohio51 contributions
Very Cool Tour
May 2021
Self guided tour we took at night. Very interesting stories that you would follow listening on a head set. My husband and 14 yr old son were there Memorial Weekend. Had a nice crowd but didn't feel like you were on top of others. Definitely worth visiting for a different type of adventure!
Written 12 October 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

LizabethRose
New Jersey217 contributions
Must Visit!
Oct 2021 • Friends
Excellent experience - History, architecture and very thought provoking! The audio tour was quite good. There is so much to see, so do plan to spend several hours.
Written 10 October 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Zach B
1 contribution
Horrible
Oct 2021 • Friends
Great if you want to wait in lines for 40 bucks. Absolutely awful. All you do is wait in lines to pay money to do nothing
Written 8 October 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

hrobinson1114
Hopkinsville, KY2,405 contributions
Wonderful, more than a ghost hunting site
Oct 2021 • Solo
I can’t rave about this place enough. Full of interesting architecture and photo ops, but the best thing here is the history and the poignant, heart wrenching exhibits on prison reform.

The solitary confinement exhibit touched me most. I was in tears.

I also really loved the “prisons today” exhibit. Interactive and thought provoking.

I did the audio guide, which was quite good. Steve Buscemi narrated the first 10 stops on the tour. After that, you could choose any part of the audio tour that interests you—whether it be about an artist’s installation or Al Capone’s cell.

There is a recreation of Capone’s cell here. And when I went, if you took your time, you had plenty of time alone to contemplate and take photos (most people had short attention spans and moved through quickly). Several people there, but not crowded.

This is a historical site, full of info, and will really touch your heart and make you think, if you pay attention to what they are offering.
Written 6 October 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

awilliams811
Catonsville, MD41 contributions
Super amazing, but were left disappointed with CB3 tour
Oct 2021
Went for the halloween nights festivities. Extremely well organized start to finish. Likely 100+ actors working the 3 haunted houses which was a nice distraction. We were most interested in the CB3 tour and that was a massive miss. The tour guide was snarky, unimaginable... def seemed like she didnt want to be there for the tour but more for promoting her own agenda. The tour could have included all kinds of stories but instead was very one dimensional. Good tour and this is 5 stars, but if your expecting a sweet guided tour this will disappoint. Our experience was 3.5 stars.
Written 4 October 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Jaime C
Worcester, MA28 contributions
Cool experience
Sep 2021 • Couples
So cool. Loved going to ESP. So much history. Was planning on doing a daytime tour but Halloween nights just started so we did that instead. It was fun- not very scary. Not everything was included in the price of the ticket which was frustrating but it is what it is. The jail itself is super creepy and eerie. If I ever visit again I’ll definitely do a tour of just the jail.
Written 27 September 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

BarbL114
Silver Spring, MD60 contributions
Fascinating look into history
Sep 2021
Eastern State Penitentiary opened in 1830 and closed in 1970, so there is a LOT of history going on. I feel like a learned a lot, and the tour is a good combination of guided through the use of the included audioguide and just wandering on our own. I liked the looks at how people's ideas about incarceration changed over the years, as well as how that reflects various demographics. Well worth the trip.
Written 21 September 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Lissette E
Tampa, FL44 contributions
IMPRESSED FROM TAMPA FL
Sep 2021 • Couples
First time in Philadelphia and this was a must I was impressed by this building that looks like a castle from the outside and the history it's sad that it's in such a state of collapsing it seriously needs to be repaired specially were tourist walk but for the history it's a must see
Written 13 September 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

SkateGirl314
Cumberland, RI407 contributions
Very neat place!
Sep 2021
Could not get over the condition considering it only closed in the 1970s. A fortress on the outskirts of the city. Audio tour was very information and have lots of opportunities to explore deeper into topics of interest.
Written 12 September 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

1Jaybee1
Newport News, VA1,280 contributions
Interesting experience
Sep 2021
We couldn't find street parking so we parked at the lot beside it. It was $8 for up to 2 hours. I liked the audio tour and learned a lot of the facility. We didn't see everything at the penitentiary, but I thought the tour covered a lot. There were a few exhibits outside. The items at the pop up were inexpensive to me and I ended up buying more souvenirs than I thought I would.
Written 8 September 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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Frequently Asked Questions about Eastern State Penitentiary

Eastern State Penitentiary is open:
  • Wed - Sun 10:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Buy tickets in advance on Tripadvisor. If you book with Tripadvisor, you can cancel at least 24 hours before the start date of your tour for a full refund.

We recommend booking Eastern State Penitentiary tours ahead of time to secure your spot. If you book with Tripadvisor, you can cancel up to 24 hours before your tour starts for a full refund. See all 13 Eastern State Penitentiary tours on Tripadvisor



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