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  1. United States
  2. Pennsylvania
  3. Philadelphia
  4. Eastern State Penitentiary

Philadelphia: Eastern State Penitentiary Admission

Product ID: 110998
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Explore the cellblocks of Eastern State Penitentiary, once the most famous and expensive prison in the world. Learn about the history of this facility and its relevance today through interactive exhibits, history displays, and art installations.
About this ticket
Valid 365 days
Printed or mobile voucher accepted
Instant confirmation
Host or greeter
English
Audio guide/headphones
Spanish, English
Booklets
Spanish, Chinese, English, French, German
Wheelchair accessible
Free cancellation up to 24 hours before activity starts

Select participants, date and language:

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Experience

Highlights
  • Explore America's most historic prison
  • Peek into Al Capone's lavish cell
  • Tour the long-abandoned Hospital Block
Full description
Discover the historic building of the Eastern State Penitentiary which stands today in ruin, a haunting world of crumbling cellblocks and empty guard towers. Learn about how when Eastern State opened more than 180 years ago, it changed the world of prisons and was copied throughout the world.

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 prisoners. Discover how the building itself was an architectural wonder; it had running water and central heat before the White House. Marvel at the vaulted, sky-lit cells which once held many of America's most notorious criminals, including bank robber "Slick Willie" Sutton and Al Capone.

As you explore the building, listen to 'The Voices of Eastern State' audio tour which is included in your admission price. Narrated by actor Steve Buscemi (known for Boardwalk Empire, Fargo, Armageddon, and Ghost World), this rich, stereo soundscape mixes dozens of voices. Hear the stories of 3 former wardens and 25 guards and inmates which create an atmospheric tour as you stroll through Eastern State's cellblocks and yards.

When you arrive, receive an MP3 player and headset that will guide you through the penitentiary complex and explain the prison's history. This audio guide contains a main audio route, plus additional stops for subjects like escapes, riots, sports, sexuality, and more. You are free to tour at your own pace and to listen to (or skip) stops based on your interests. Also discover interactive experiences, history exhibits, and a critically acclaimed series of artist installations.
Includes
  • The Voices of Eastern State Audio tour
  • Interactive experiences
  • History exhibits
  • Artist installations
  • Guide-led tours (subject to availability)
Not suitable for
  • Children under 7 years

Prepare for the activity

Meeting point

Eastern State Penitentiary, 2027 Fairmount Ave, Philadelphia, PA 19130, USA

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Important information
Know before you go
• Not recommended for children under the age of 7 as the building is in a state of semi-ruin and can pose safety hazards to unattended children
• This tour operates rain or shine; the building does not have climate control so please dress for the weather
• Be sure to wear appropriate footwear
• There is a small exhibit and gift shop that are only accessible by a set of 3 steps; this section of the penitentiary can easily be bypassed; the rest of the tour route is equipped with ADA compliant ramps and meets most ADA guidelines
Customer reviews

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Eastern State Penitentiary

Product ID: 110998