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Eastern State Penitentiary Tours

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Eastern State Penitentiary
At the time of its construction in 1829, Eastern State Penitentiary was the most expensive public structure ever built, housing notorious criminals such as gangster boss Al Capone and bank robber Willie Sutton. No longer a functioning prison, the structure is now open to the public as a National Historic Landmark. 

The Basics
Explore the vaulted stone halls and learn about the prison’s Enlightenment-inspired efforts to reform inmates rather than merely punish them—a system that was eventually abandoned to create solitary confinement and Death Row blocks. Audio guides provide insight into prison history, while docent-led tours cover off-limits areas such as the guard towers. 

Many Philadelphia city tours include a visit to Eastern State Penitentiary, including private excursions and hop-on hop-off tours. A Philadelphia Pass provides entrance to the historic site along with other attractions such as the Academy of Natural Science and Betsy Ross House. It’s also possible to visit the prison as part of a day trip from New Haven, Connecticut. 

Things to Know Before You Go
  • Since the site is nearly 200 years old, some sections are not ADA compliant.
  • Equipment for "The Voices of Eastern State" audio tour includes special features for those with sight, hearing, and mobility impairments.
  • The building does not have climate control, so be prepared with appropriate seasonal clothing.

How to Get There
Located in Philadelphia’s Fairmount neighborhood, Eastern State Penitentiary is accessible by SEPTA bus routes 48, 43, 33, 32, and 7. Street parking is available nearby and there is a paid lot adjacent to the prison. Guided city tours and hop-on hop-off bus routes allow you to bypass the hassle of navigation and parking. 

When to Get There
Eastern State is open year-round. Around Halloween, the prison remakes itself into a terrifying haunted attraction—definitely not suitable for kids. From December to March, special Winter Adventure Tours cover the indoor and outdoor areas of the complex and are given in lieu of regular tour programming.

Exploring Philadelphia’s Fairmount Neighborhood
The section of Fairmount Avenue facing the prison gates is lined with restaurants, bars, coffee shops, and boutiques—the perfect place to enjoy lunch or a stroll through the neighborhood. The Philadelphia Museum of Art, located on Benjamin Franklin Parkway, is just a 4-block walk from the prison.
Address: 2027 Fairmount Ave, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 19130, USA
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13 Tours and Activities to Experience Eastern State Penitentiary

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Free Cancellation:Get a full refund up to 24 hours in advance on most experiences.See Details
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Philadelphia Hop-On Hop-Off City Tour

Philadelphia Hop-On Hop-Off City Tour

star-4.5
Explore the best that Philadelphia has to offer on this hop-on hop-off tour of the city. Visit Philadelphia’s top attractions—like the Liberty Bell and Independence Hall—on a full loop. Select from a 1-, 2-, or 3-day pass. Board at any of the stops and get to know the city in custom fashion, with live commentary. A route map and courtesy shuttle from Center City hotels are included.
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  • 1 hour 30 minutes
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
$25.00
From
$25.00
Taking safety measures

Philadelphia Hop-On Hop-Off Tour with Eastern State Penitentiary Admission

Philadelphia Hop-On Hop-Off Tour with Eastern State Penitentiary Admission

star-4
See the sights of Philadelphia at your own pace with a 2-day hop-on hop-off tour that includes admission to Eastern State Penitentiary, a National Historic Landmark. With the hop-on hop-off pass, you'll enjoy easy transportation to 27 stops around the city with live commentary by guides on board the double-decker bus. Get off at the attractions that interest you, such as the Rocky Steps, Independence Hall, and the Liberty Bell, to learn about the history and culture of one of the oldest cities in the U.S.
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  • 2 days
  • Free Cancellation
From
$65.00
From
$65.00

BYOB Historically Hilarious Trolley Tour of Philadelphia

BYOB Historically Hilarious Trolley Tour of Philadelphia

star-5
See Philadelphia’s historic landmarks and sites while sipping your own beer or wine and hearing little-known facts from a guide. This sightseeing tour by trolley takes the stress off finding a designated driver for exploring as you see tops sights such City Hall, Love Park, Boathouse Row, the Liberty Bell, Betsy Ross’ House, and the Declaration House. Drinks are BYOB.
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  • 2 hours
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
$37.00
From
$37.00
Taking safety measures

Philadelphia Combo Tour: Hop-on Hop-off, Eastern State Penitentiary, Franklin's Footsteps

Philadelphia Combo Tour: Hop-on Hop-off, Eastern State Penitentiary, Franklin's Footsteps

star-5
Delve deep into Philadelphia history with this combination tour, which includes a hop-on hop-off bus ticket, admission to the Eastern State Penitentiary, and an historic walking tour. Hop off the bus tour at any one of the 27 attractions to explore further on your own. See Al Capone's cell and learn about the history of American incarceration at Eastern State. Follow in statesman Benjamin Franklin's steps on an historic walking tour of Old City's highlights.
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  • 8 hours
  • Free Cancellation
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$71.40
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$71.40

Philadelphia Combo: Hop-On Hop-Off Tour, Eastern State Penitentiary, One Liberty

Philadelphia Combo: Hop-On Hop-Off Tour, Eastern State Penitentiary, One Liberty

star-2
Explore Philadelphia with ease—and venture to two of its highlight attractions—on this immersive package. Begin with 24-hour tickets to a hop-on hop-off bus tour of the city: one of the simplest ways to enjoy an overview of Philadelphia’s top attractions. Listen to your guide’s live commentary as you head past landmarks ranging from Betsy Ross House and the Liberty Bell to the National Constitution Center. Your tickets also include entry to the Eastern State Penitentiary and the One Liberty Observation Deck.
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  • 2 to 8 hours
  • Free Cancellation
From
$60.00
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$60.00

Go Philadelphia Explorer Pass

Go Philadelphia Explorer Pass

star-3.5
See some of Philadelphia's top attractions at a discount with The Philadelphia Pass. Select your choice of three, four, five, or seven activities from a list of options and get direct entrance after you save your pass on your mobile device. Use your pass for touring options such as the Hop-On Hop-Off Big Bus Philadelphia Tour, or for entrance tickets to venues such as the African American Museum, Betsy Ross House, or Philadelphia Zoo. Passes are valid for one year from purchase date and you have 60 consecutive days from first use. Please note: Enjoy the extra flexibility in case your travel plans need to change: All passes (purchased by December 31) are valid for two year from purchase date and only become activated with your first attraction visit. After activation your pass will be valid for 60 days and/or the remaining number of attraction choices purchased.
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  • 30 days
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$54.00
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$54.00

Half Day Private Philadelphia Driving Tour

Half Day Private Philadelphia Driving Tour

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Enjoy a personal and private introduction to the City of Brotherly Love on this half-day sightseeing tour around Philadelphia. Choose from a 4- or 6-hour tour around the City of Brotherly Love, then climb aboard a comfortable minivan and explore the highlights of the city. Visit all the must-see spots, like Independence Hall and the Liberty Bell Exhibit, the South 9th Street Italian Market, Philadelphia City Hall, Love Park, the Rocky steps at the entrance to the Philadelphia Museum of Art and much more. Local hotel pickup and drop-off included.
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  • 4 to 6 hours
  • Free Cancellation
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$421.34
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$421.34
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Hop-on Hop-off and Philly By Night Tour Combo

Hop-on Hop-off and Philly By Night Tour Combo

star-4.5
Explore the best that Philadelphia has to offer on this hop-on hop-off tour of the city. Visit 27 of Philadelphia’s top attractions — like the Liberty Bell and Independence Hall — on a 1.5-hour loop. Select from a 1- or 2-day pass, then board at any of the 27 stops and get to know the city in custom fashion, with live on-board commentary. After dinner (own expense), enjoy the city as it’s illuminated for the evening on a ‘Philly by Night Tour.’ Pickup and drop-off from select hotels included.
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  • 2 days
  • Free Cancellation
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$59.74
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$59.74

Philadelphia Museums Tourist Scavenger Hunt

Philadelphia Museums Tourist Scavenger Hunt

Are you visiting Philadelphia? You must try our scavenger hunt through the Philadelphia Museum district to see all the sights! It will take you from City Hall to the Philadelphia Museum of Art all while taking a few side trips and proposing challenges at every leg. All the while, you will learn some local history and get valuable local tips. This 3-hour self-guided walking tour is completed with your smartphone. You can start it at your leisure, on any day or time. You can also go as fast or as slow as you wish. Pause at any time and resume when ready.
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  • 2 to 5 hours
  • Taking safety measures
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$34.55
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$34.55
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Go Philadelphia All-Inclusive Pass with Hop On Hop Off Tour

Go Philadelphia All-Inclusive Pass with Hop On Hop Off Tour

star-3
Choose from 1, 2, 3, or 5 days of unlimited sightseeing with the Philadelphia Pass, and cover top attractions like the Philadelphia Zoo or the Eastern State Penitentiary with a single package ticket. The pass is easily downloaded to your mobile device, so you can ditch the complicated vouchers. Explore the city of brotherly love at your own leisure—ideal for tourists and residents alike. Please note: Enjoy the extra flexibility in case your travel plans need to change: All passes (purchased by December 31) are valid for two year from purchase date and only become activated with your first attraction visit. After activation your pass will be valid for 30 days and/or the remaining number of attraction choices purchased.
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  • 5 days
From
$63.00
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$63.00

Philadelphia Hop-On Hop-Off Bus Tour with One Liberty Observation Deck Admission

Philadelphia Hop-On Hop-Off Bus Tour with One Liberty Observation Deck Admission

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See Philadelphia’s major highlights, and don’t worry about the logistics of getting around town: this hop-on hop-off bus tour makes for a seamless way to discover the City of Brotherly Love. The entire loop covers 16 miles (26 kilometers), and passes landmarks like the Liberty Bell, Independence Hall, LOVE Park, and the Philadelphia Museum of Art. Your 48-hour tickets give you the freedom to explore at your own pace, and disembark when you wish. Your tickets also grant you entry to the One Liberty Observation Deck.
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  • 4 hours to 2 days
  • Free Cancellation
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$69.34
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$69.34

Philadelphia Double Decker Sightseeing Tour & Campo's Cheesesteak Combo

Philadelphia Double Decker Sightseeing Tour & Campo's Cheesesteak Combo

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This Historical Double Decker Tour & Authentic Campo's Philly Steak Combo allow's you to experience the rich history and legendary sights of Philadelphia with an authentic Philadelphia cheese steak at stop 27 on the tour at Philadelphia's beloved Compo's. Experience local guides that offer live commentary as you travel a 90 minute loop to 28 different stops highlighting Philadelphia's 100 most popular attractions, including the Liberty Bell, Independence Hall and the US Mint. Aboard the double-decker bus, a 360-degree view of Philadelphia will leave you speechless and entertained while you soak up the history, heritage and beauty of one of America's oldest cities.
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  • 1 hour 30 minutes
  • Free Cancellation
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$49.00
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$49.00

Philadelphia Double Decker Night & Day Tour with Campo's Philly Cheesesteak

Philadelphia Double Decker Night & Day Tour with Campo's Philly Cheesesteak

Get the best of the city by experiencing the top attractions in Philadelphia during the day, and the twinkling lights during the night! Experience local guides that offer live commentary as you travel a 90-minute loop to 28 different stops highlighting Philadelphia’s 100 most popular attractions, including the Liberty Bell, Independence Hall, and the US Mint. Experience Philadelphia with an authentic Philadelphia cheesesteak at stop 27 on the tour at Philadelphia’s beloved Campo’s. Aboard the double-decker bus, a 360-degree view of Philadelphia at night will leave you speechless and entertained while you soak up the dazzling lit up buildings, history, heritage, and beauty of one of America’s oldest cities in the night. Have the option to Hop on, Hop off during the day! Night tour is not a Hop on, Hop off tour. Night Tour may be operated by Philadelphia Big Bus.
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  • 1 hour 30 minutes
  • Free Cancellation
From
$94.00
From
$94.00

Frequently Asked Questions

The answers provided below are based on answers previously given by the tour provider to customers’ questions.
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What's the best way to experience Eastern State Penitentiary?