Eastern State Penitentiary

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Eastern State Penitentiary: Our most recommended tours and activities

Philadelphia: Eastern State Penitentiary Admission

1. Philadelphia: Eastern State Penitentiary Admission

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.

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Philadelphia: Go City All-Inclusive Pass w/ 30+ Attractions

2. Philadelphia: Go City All-Inclusive Pass w/ 30+ Attractions

Enjoy an all-inclusive multi-attraction pass that gets you into over 30 Philadelphia attractions. Just select the number of days you want to sightsee for (1, 2, 3 or 5 days), then enjoy admission to as many included attractions as you want to visit for the number of days you selected the pass for. Simply show your Go City pass at included attractions for admission and pay nothing at the gate. Activate the pass by visiting your first attraction, then, use it on consecutive calendar days. The attractions include: • Hop-on, Hop-off Big Bus Philadelphia Tour• Eastern State Penitentiary• Franklin Institute Science Museum• Philadelphia Museum of Art• National Constitution Center• Betsy Ross House• Adventure Aquarium• Philadelphia Zoo• LEGOLAND Discovery Center Philadelphia• Barnes Foundation• Academy of Natural Science• Battleship New Jersey Museum & Memorial• Ghost Tour of Philadelphia• Independence Seaport Museum• Christ Church Burial Ground Tour• City Hall Tower and Observation Deck• National Museum of American Jewish History• Dark Philly Adult Night Tour• National Liberty Museum/We the People• Longwood Gardens• African American Museum• Rodin Museum• Franklin Footsteps Walking Tour• Penn Museum• RiverLink Ferry• Brandywine River Museum of Art• The Simeone Foundation Automotive Museum• History and Cheesesteak Tour• Murder by Gaslight - A Walking Tour Mystery

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Philadelphia: City Explorer Pass with 3 to 7 Attractions

3. Philadelphia: City Explorer Pass with 3 to 7 Attractions

The Explorer Pass is a multi-attraction pass that includes admission to 3, 4, 5, or 7 Philadelphia attractions of your choice. There are over 30 attractions and tours to choose from. Simply purchase a pass for the number of attractions you want to visit. There's no need to decide which attractions you want to visit before your trip. Just choose as you go from the options included. Visiting your first attraction activates your pass. Then, you’ll have 60 days to use it. Simply show your pass at designated ticketing areas at included attractions for admission and pay nothing at the gate. You'll also get a digital guide with detailed attraction descriptions and hours of operation to help plan your itinerary. Save up to 40% on admissions to your choice of 3-7 attractions. The attractions include: • Hop-on hop-off Big Bus Philadelphia Tour• Eastern State Penitentiary• Franklin Institute Science Museum• Philadelphia Museum of Art• National Constitution Center• Betsy Ross House• Adventure Aquarium• Philadelphia Zoo• Barnes Foundation• Academy of Natural Science• Battleship New Jersey Museum and Memorial• Ghost Tour of Philadelphia• Independence Seaport Museum• Christ Church Burial Ground Tour• City Hall Tower & Observation Deck• National Museum of American Jewish History• Dark Philly Adult Night Tour• National Liberty Museum/We the People• Longwood Gardens• African American Museum• Rodin Museum• Franklin Footsteps Walking Tour• History in HD Tour• LEGOLAND Discovery Center Philadelphia• History and Cheesesteak Tour• Penn Museum• Independence Tour• Italian Market Immersion Tour• Brandywine River Museum of Art• Murder by Gaslight - A Walking Tour Mystery• The Simeone Foundation Automotive Museum• Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts• RiverLink Ferry

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Philadelphia: Sightseeing Day Pass for 35+ Attractions

4. Philadelphia: Sightseeing Day Pass for 35+ Attractions

Use The Philadelphia Pass directly from your mobile phone to allow you cash-free entry to over 35 destinations, museums, and tours, including some of the most popular attractions in The City of Brotherly love. Delve into the history of the city as you explore landmark museums and monuments, or take a spooky after-hours walking tour to discover haunted Philly. Train like Rocky on the front steps of the Philadelphia Museum of Art, or eat like a local at either the historic Reading Terminal Market, or the 9th Street Italian Market. With your pass, you'll enjoy discounts at many local restaurants and bars. Attractions included: • Philadelphia Zoo • Eastern State Penitentiary • Adventure Aquarium • Betsy Ross House • Franklin’s Grave at Christ Church Burial Grounds • City Hall Tower Tour • Fort Mifflin • QVC Studio Tour • Escape Game King of Prussia Museums included: • Philadelphia Museum of Art • National Constitution Center • Museum of the American Revolution • Academy of Natural Sciences • African American Museum • Battleship New Jersey Museum & Memorial • National Liberty Museum • Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts • Philadelphia History Museum • Simeone Foundation Automotive Museum • The Mutter Museum • The University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology • Wharton Esherick Museum • Penn Museum Tours included: • Philadelphia Sightseeing Hop-on, Hop-off Bus Tour • 76 Carriage Company - Franklin Footsteps Walking Tour • Ghost Tour of Philadelphia Candlelight Walking Tour • Grim Philly Twilight Tours • Independence Tour - Walking Tour • Philly Tour Hub • Spirits of '76 Ghost Tour • Philadelphia Sightseeing Hop-on, Hop-off Bus Tour • 76 Carriage Company - Franklin Footsteps Walking Tour • Ghost Tour of Philadelphia Candlelight Walking Tour • Grim Philly Twilight Tours • Independence Tour - Walking Tour • Philly Tour Hub • The Constitutional Walking Tour • RiverLink Ferry (operates seasonally) • Big Red Pedal Pub Crawl Tours • Blue Cross RiverRink Summerfest

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From New York: Philadelphia Day Trip

5. From New York: Philadelphia Day Trip

Discover the highlights of Philadelphia on a guided tour from New York. Explore one of the oldest cities in America and learn about its historical importance. Your experience starts with pickup from selected hotels in New York. After a 2-hour transfer, arrive in Philadelphia city and visit the Liberty Bell. Enter the Independence Hall to see where the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution were created. Pass by Congress Hall and the Christ Church cemetery, where the tomb of Benjamin Franklin is located. See the house of Betsy Ross, who designed the first US flag. Wander along Elfreth’s Alley, the oldest street in the country, lined by 32 Georgian houses. Visit Parque del Amor in the city center, and enter the City Hall. Pass the State Penitentiary where famous prisoners such as Al Capone and Willie Sutton were held. Stop at the Philadelphia Museum of Art to see the stairs where Rocky was filmed, before returning to New York.

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Philadelphia: Sightseeing Flex Pass

6. Philadelphia: Sightseeing Flex Pass

Save over 50% on admission prices to Philadelphia's top attractions with a flexible sightseeing pass directly from your phone allowing convenient entry to your choice · of attraction or tour option. Select from 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, or 7 attractions and choose your own itinerary. Take advantage of the pass’ flexible start date and go at your own pace over a 30-day period. This pass is perfect for visitors who have limited time to sightsee, and for those who want to visit the must-see attractions. Experience 4 centuries of Philadelphia history. Explore the birthplace of American independence with visits to Fort Mifflin and the Betsy Ross House. Visit Benjamin Franklin’s grave at the Christ Church Burial Grounds, or see the past come to life on one of the spooky nighttime walking tours. Follow in the footsteps of Rocky, training like "the Pride of Philly" on the front steps of the Philadelphia Museum of Art. Then take in the cinematic sights of Center City, Midtown Village, and South Street via the hop-on, hop-off bus service.  You will also receive discounts at local restaurants and bars, as well as retailers and entertainment venues. Eat like a local at the historic Reading Terminal Market or the 9th Street Italian Market. Or drink in the sights and the history of Philly over a cold one while you pub crawl your way through the City of Brotherly Love. Attractions: Philadelphia Zoo Eastern State Penitentiary Adventure Aquarium Betsy Ross House Franklin’s Grave at Christ Church Burial Grounds City Hall Tower Tour Fort Mifflin QVC Studio Tour Escape Game King of Prussia Scavenger Hunts Museums: Philadelphia Museum of Art National Constitution Center Museum of the American Revolution Academy of Natural Sciences African American Museum Battleship New Jersey Museum & Memorial National Liberty Museum Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts Simeone Foundation Automotive Museum The Mütter Museum The University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archaeology & Anthropology Wharton Esherick Museum Penn Museum Bus Tours: Philadelphia Sightseeing Hop-on, Hop-off Bus Tour Walking Tours: 76 Carriage Company — Franklin's Footsteps Walking Tour Candlelight Ghost Tour of Philadelphia Grim Philly Twilight Tours Independence Tour Philly Tour Hub Spirits of '76 Ghost Tour The Constitutional Walking Tour Sightseeing Cruise: RiverLink Ferry (operates seasonally) Bike Tours: Big Red Pedal Tours Blue Cross RiverRink Summerfest

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Philadelphia Private Driving Tour - Half or Full-Day

7. Philadelphia Private Driving Tour - Half or Full-Day

Explore the city of Philadelphia on a private driving tour, customized to suit your preferences, and available as either a half-day or full-day option. The former capital of the Pennsylvania Colony, Philadelphia is intimately connected to the history of Amercia. You will see all the highlights, including Elfreth’s Alley and the Liberty Bell. Go to Independence Hall, where the Declaration of Independence was first debated. Pass Christ Church to see the birthplace of the American Episcopal Church, and Penn's Landing, where William Penn docked in 1682. Drive down the Avenue of the Arts and see Love Park (JFK Plaza), dominated by Robert Indiana's “Love” sculpture. Continue the arts theme at the Rodin Museum or Philadelphia Museum of Art, complete with Rocky’s statue and the steps used in the blockbuster movie. See where Al Capone was incarcerated at the Eastern State Penitentiary, admire the boat houses on the Schuylkill River, and visit Memorial Hall in Centennial Park. You’ll almost certainly get out to Belmont Plateau for a great view before coming back through Rittenhouse Square. There will be time to get out and take pictures or enjoy a short walk, perhaps down Elfreth’s Alley, or to the gazebo next to the boat houses on the Schuylkill. It’s your tour and your choice, but your guide will give some great suggestions. Take detours into Society Hill and out to the 9th Street Italian Market, home of the great Philly Cheese Steak. The full-day tour can be customized to include nearby neighborhoods or the beautifully situated Laurel Hill Cemetery and Historic Rittenhouse Town. Suggestions will also be given for lunch, whether you fancy a snack or full-blown meal.

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Other Sightseeing Options in Eastern State Penitentiary

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What people are saying about Eastern State Penitentiary

Overall rating

4.7 / 5

based on 75 reviews

Unique place to visit with a vert special atmosphere as a stabilized ruin. There is a lot to explore beyond the building which is fascinating for itself. Exhibits on current prison system are very interesting and well made.

A very interesting site to visit. The audio tour is excellent. There’s a lot to see and take in, so plan to spend several hours. This site is historic, and also relevant to the present.

The Alcatraz of the East, right here in my backyard! Shame on me for not visiting sooner!! Thanks so much. My daughter and I really enjoyed the tour!!

Great experience especially with the recorded guided tour by actor Steve Bushemi.

Easy to follow recorded guide. Really cool to see this place!