Eastern State Penitentiary

Haunting and fascinating in equal measure, Philadelphia's Eastern State Penitentiary is a must for true crime fanatics and history buffs alike. 

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Eastern State Penitentiary | Go Philadelphia Pass

What you'll do

Visit the Eastern State Penitentiary with Go City® 

  • With us, there are no entry fees on the day - all you've got to do is show your pass.
  • Spend time exploring the Eastern State Penitentiary with a self-guided audio tour.
  • Get the chance to see Al Capone’s cell.

Step into this historic prison and see the comfortably-furnished cell where Chicago gangster Al Capone was held for eight months.

A trip to Philadelphia wouldn't be complete without going to the infamous prison. 

In addition to being famous for housing several high-profile criminals, the Eastern State Penitentiary also played an important part in modernizing the American judicial system and moving away from capital punishment.

You'll take a self-guided tour around the architectural wonder, which had running water and central heating before the White House in its day, and learn all about its infamous residents. Marvel at the beautiful vaulted ceilings and castle-like walls which stand in stark contrast to the dim cellblocks and death row.

Your Eastern State Penitentiary ticket includes access to all regular exhibits and art installations. And, if space is available, you can reserve a spot at the admissions desk for the daily guided tour and discussion.

Eastern State Penitentiary exhibition highlights

Al Capone’s Cell – you’ll get to see the very cell where the infamous Chicago-area gangster served eight months of his one-year sentence at Eastern State Penitentiary. His cell includes many comforts not typically allowed to inmates, including furniture, rugs, artwork, and more.

Unlocking History – these short tours take place throughout the penitentiary, each lasting from five to 20 minutes. Join an Eastern State educator to unlock history by exploring a special topic or experiencing a space not otherwise open to the public.

Artist Installations – art installations, chosen for their ability to address the primary themes of Eastern State, approach topics such as the American criminal justice system and the penitentiary’s past through thought-provoking displays.

Eastern State Penitentiary facts

  • The first female prisoner was received in 1831.
  • The first prison escape was in 1832. The escapee was captured but managed to do it again in 1837.
  • The controversial practice of solitary confinement was officially abandoned at Eastern State Penitentiary in 1913.
  • Leo Callahan, an escapee in 1923, remains the only Eastern State prisoner to never be recaptured.
  • Inmate number C-2559 was Pep, “The Cat-Murdering Dog,” who served a life sentence.
  • In January 1970, the Eastern State Penitentiary closed and the first limited group tours of the building began in 1988.
  • In 1994, visitors were required to wear hard hats and sign liability waivers. In 2003 and 2008, visitors were no longer required to wear hard hats and sign liability waivers, respectively.

Go City is a better way to sightsee. Your pass includes an Eastern State Penitentiary ticket, plus admission to dozens of top Philadelphia attractions for one money-saving price.

Ready to start exploring Philadelphia? First, choose between an All-Inclusive Pass or Explorer Pass.

Experience Eastern State Penitentiary and many other attractions with the All Inclusive Pass.

View the All Inclusive Pass

Know before you go

Getting in

Go City customers do not need to make reservations in advance – simply enter with your pass and join the queue line.

After you’ve made your purchase, you’ll be emailed your pass which you may download via our app. Simply present your pass at the admission desk of the must-see Philadelphia penitentiary. 

Tips for visiting the Eastern State Penitentiary

  • Decide before you go whether you want to do the full audio tour and then go back and take time to do each Unlocking History exhibit, or, do them as you encounter them along the tour.
  • Allow plenty of time as most visitors spend around two hours at the Eastern State Penitentiary.
  • Last admission is one hour before closing time.
  • Dress for the weather – the Eastern State Penitentiary does not have climate control.

For more information visit the Eastern State Penitentiary website.

Where you'll be

Operating hours

August - May 
Daily except Tuesday: 10AM - 5PM

June & July
Daily: 10AM - 5PM

Your ticket gives you access to Daytime tours. Please note the attraction is unavailable during special events like Summer Nights.

Closings & holidays

Tuesdays (with the exception of Tuesdays in June & July)

Closed on Thanksgiving, Christmas Eve and Christmas Day.

Eastern State Penitentiary

(215) 236-3300

Buy with confidence

Free cancellation

Plans can change, we get it. All non-activated passes are eligible for a refund within 90 days from your purchase date.

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