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4.5
351 votes

Eastern State Penitentiary

2027 Fairmount Ave, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 19130 USA

Tour & Activity Deals

Eastern State Penitentiary

Philadelphia CityPass

Philadelphia
Flexible
From $59

Haunted Philadelphia: Spirits of '76 Ghost Tour

Philadelphia
75 minutes
From $19

Small-Group Historical Walking Tour of Colonial Philadelphia

Philadelphia
3 hours
From $85
$
$$$$
Budget
Closed Now
Opens Sat 10a
  • Independent
  • Credit Cards Accepted
  • Wheelchair Accessible
Add to Trip

“hauntingly fun ”

Eastern State Penitentiary Historic Site, Inc. works to preserve and restore the architecture of Eastern State Penitentiary; to make the Penitentiary accessible to the public; to explain and interpret its complex history; to place current issues of corrections and justice in an historical framework; and to provide a public forum where these issues are discussed. While the interpretive program advocates no specific position on the state of the American justice system, the program is built on the belief that the problems facing Eastern State Penitentiary’s architects have not yet been solved, and that the issues these early prison reformers addressed remain of central importance to our nation.

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Reviewed by
Greg Newkirk

  • Expert
  • 316 Reviews
  • 318 Helpful
September 17, 2013

One of the greatest ghost tours in the Northeast. Self-guided, and after you sign the waiver, you just go off on your own. Amazing building, and some fun installations. Keep an eye out for the red pipes that mark successful escapes from the prison!

6 people found this review helpful

Reviewed by
Jenn Coffill

  • 19 Reviews
  • 9 Helpful
April 26, 2015
Rated 5.0

The best stop on our Philly road trip! Check hotels and rest stops for a $2 off coupon or show a student ID for a steeper discount. We did the main audio tour first and then wandered the rest of the grounds for another hour or two. Such a neat and historical place with lots of fantastic photo ops. The artist installations were really neat and thought provoking. If you have children, be careful of a few of the off the main tour exhibits ;)

2 people found this review helpful

Reviewed by
Dana Newkirk

  • Road Warrior
  • 299 Reviews
  • 316 Helpful
September 16, 2014
Rated 4.0

Go! Absolutely go. If you love visiting abandoned places, or you love history, or you love a good ghost story ESP is like the motherland of all three. Take the all the tours and then when you've finished go do the self-guided tour. The building is beautiful and the history is fascinating. And like Greg said, red pipes equal successful escapes, and that equals awesome photo ops!

2 people found this review helpful

Reviewed by
pastor.ari

  • 73 Reviews
  • 35 Helpful
September 10, 2014
Rated 4.0

First prison in America is one of those rare places that rates highly on both the fun and learning scales. Touring the halls is fascinating and exciting, but also a great lesson in our approach to criminal justice over two centuries and leaves you with a lot to think about. Definitely do the audio tour.

2 people found this review helpful

Reviewed by
Susan

  • Photographer
  • 21 Reviews
  • 6 Helpful
November 14, 2014

i visited during the night time. we went on the haunted tour called LIghts Out. It was amazing! All we had for lighting was a glow stick. If you wear one around your neck, the scare actors can touch you. DO IT! It is a great experience not to miss! Well done I think it was better than my visit to Howl O scream at Busch Gardens. The atmosphere of the defunct prision makes it creepier. Will have to visit during the day

1 person found this review helpful

Reviewed by
tinahuffman0426

  • 4 Reviews
  • 1 Helpful
August 23, 2014

We really enjoyed this place. The audio tour provided so much information.

1 person found this review helpful

Reviewed by
Spiritweaver

  • 4 Reviews
  • 3 Helpful
July 14, 2014

Very interesting historic site that describes innovations in humane treatment of prisoners and changing philosophies regarding punishment and penitence. Tour guides, audio tours, and hands on exhibits make this a must see for children as well as adults. It was not scary at all.

1 person found this review helpful

Reviewed by
wkroner

  • 35 Reviews
  • 23 Helpful
April 8, 2014

Terror behind the walls is the annual Halloween event. Even better is going to take the regular audio tour. Still a little eerie but very interesting.

1 person found this review helpful

Reviewed by
Brian

  • 13 Reviews
  • 1 Helpful
April 29, 2017
Rated 5.0

Many different tours available. Worth the trip!!

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Reviewed by
ScoutSilverstein

  • 9 Reviews
  • 0 Helpful
September 1, 2016
Rated 5.0

really great stop, well worth the admission price. Easy to find. Parking was also easy - just carefully read the signs. So much information inside !! I took myself through and it was inspirational, educational, and also a great visual experience. The installations were a good variety and much respect for choosing an LGBTQ+ oriented one.

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Eastern State Penitentiary

2027 Fairmount Ave
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
19130 USA

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Hours

Closed Now
  • Sun - Sat: 10:00 am - 5:00 pm

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  • Independent
  • Credit Cards Accepted
  • Wheelchair Accessible
  • Street Parking

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