Eastern State Penitentiary

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Hours you can use your STAMP pass:

  • Daily, 10am-5pm (last entry at 4pm)

When Eastern State opened more than 180 years ago it changed the world. The first prison of its kind – a penitentiary – it was designed to help people learn a lesson for committing a crime. The building itself was an architectural wonder, it had running water and central heat before the White House, and attracted visitors from around the globe. Although the prison now stands in ruin, its story remains relevant today.

There is a lot to see at Eastern State, from the audio tour, to artist installations, to Hands-on History. Most visitors stay about two hours, but there is enough here to stay all day! Tours include the cellblocks where inmates once lived (including “Scarface” Al Capone and Pep the Dog), short, behind-the-scenes tours called Hands-On History that let you do activities like unlocking a cell, and exhibits like Towercam! that show you what it was like to work in Eastern State’s central guard tower. Don’t miss the Room for Debate, where you can add your voice to conversations about what’s going on in prisons today.

Please note that teens ages 14 and under require adult supervision. Please also note Eastern State Penitentiary is closed Thanksgiving, Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, New Year’s Day. This pass is good for normal hours of operation only. Not valid for prearranged private tours or promotional events, including Terror Behind the Walls. Cannot be combined with any other discount offers. Parents and guardians should be aware that there is some adult content at Eastern State Penitentiary. These areas are noted on the site map.

Tweet and Instagram during your visit! ESP’s handle is @easternstate.

CLICK HERE to read about STAMP Teen Council member Kaia’s first visit to Eastern State!

LOCATION

2027 Fairmount Avenue, Philadelphia, PA 19130 (corner of 22nd & Fairmount)

GETTING THERE

Public Transportation:
Bus Service to Eastern State Penitentiary is convenient to SEPTA bus routes: 48, 43, 33, 32, 7. Take the 7, 32, or 48 to 22nd and Fairmount Avenue. Walk east one block and the entrance to Eastern State Penitentiary is on the left-hand side of Fairmount Avenue between 21st and 22nd Streets. Take the 33 to 20th and Fairmount. Walk west one block and the entrance to Eastern State Penitentiary is on the right-hand side of Fairmount Avenue between 21st and 22nd Streets. From the 43 bus, get off at 21st and Spring Garden Streets and walk north. Fairmount Avenue is the next major street, parallel to Spring Garden Street.

By car:
Directions from the North or West: Take Interstate 76 (the Schuylkill Expressway) to Exit 344 (Old Exit 38), which is Interstate 676, also know as the Vine Street Expressway. On I-676 take the first exit, “Benjamin Franklin Parkway/ 23 Street.” Take the first left onto 22nd Street. Pass the Philadelphia Museum of Art (on your left) and continue five blocks north, to Fairmount Avenue.

Directions from the South or East: Take I-95 to Exit 22 (Old Exit 17) and follow Interstate 676 West. Get off at “Art Museum/Benjamin Franklin Parkway” Exit. At the top of the ramp, turn right onto 22nd street. Pass the Philadelphia Museum of Art (on your left) and continue five blocks north, to Fairmount Avenue.

There is ample on-street parking surrounding the Penitentiary. While the parking is unmetered, some streets do have a two or three hour limit.

There is a public parking lot right next door. Parking costs generally range from $3.00 to $10.00 depending on the length of your stay. For exact pricing, please call Parkway Corporation at (215) 569-8400 x4037.

SNACK/SHOP

There is a museum store featuring Eastern State clothing, postcards, mugs and more. There is no cafe on the property, but there are several wonderful restaurants and coffee shops in the surrounding neighborhood.

INSTAGRAM YOUR VISIT! Use #STAMPphilly

Fine print: Photography is encouraged! The building’s appearance is incredibly unique and probably like nothing you’ve ever seen before. If you plan to bring photographic equipment there is a $10.00 fee. No equipment, other than a single tripod, monopod or easel, is permitted during public hours. Learn more here: http://www.easternstate.org/general-policies-all-photographers

 Find Eastern State on Facebook and follow them on Twitter and Instagram @easternstate.