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Reopening Information

We're thrilled to welcome you back to Eastern State Penitentiary Historic Site! The health and safety of our staff and visitors remains our top priority, and we will follow all guidelines issued by the City of Philadelphia and the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.

Read on or watch the video at the bottom of this page to learn more about what you can expect during your visit:

Hours of Operation
We are currently open for daytime tours Friday through Sunday from 10:00 am to 5:00 pm. Plus, this fall, experience our dark, abandoned cellblocks like never before with Night Toursselect evenings from September 18 through November 15.

Advanced Tickets Required
All tickets must be purchased online in advance. No tickets will be available at the door. In order to maintain 25% capacity and allow for physical distancing, visitors will select a 30-minute entry window.

For daytime tours, timed reservations are not required for Eastern State members; visitors with free ticket vouchers; visitors utilizing our accessible, discounted admission programs (e.g. ACCESS Card); Library Pass holders; or visitors who have purchased tickets through a third party such as CityPASS.

Health and Safety

  • Staff and visitors (ages 2+) will be required to wear a face mask over their nose and mouth at all times. If you do not have your own mask, you can purchase a fabric mask when you buy your ticket online.
  • Hand sanitizer will be available, and visitors will be asked to sanitize their hands before entering the site.
  • Physical distancing will be required in any queues and throughout the site. Markers will be present to help ensure that groups of visitors remain 6 feet (2 meters) apart at all times.
  • When possible, doors will be propped open to increase ventilation of enclosed areas.
  • Cleaning, particularly of high-touch areas, will be increased.
  • Plexiglass shields will be installed in admissions and at any other points of contact.
Icons of a mask, two people with six feet between them, a bottle of hand sanitizer, and a person speaking wearing a mask

Other Changes to Your Visit

  • Visitors will follow a linear, one-way path through the site. Areas of the penitentiary accessible along this path include our main audio tour route (Cellblocks 1 and 4, central surveillance hub), the baseball field (including The Big Graph), Prisons Today, Cellblock 15 (Death Row), Cellblocks 2, 10, and 9, and Al Capone’s Cell.
  • We will not offer group tours, guide-led tours, or Hands-On History experiences at this time. All events (e.g. The Searchlight Series) will remain virtual unless otherwise stated.
  • To reduce contact, you may take a photo of a map displayed in front of the penitentiary or view a digital map by clicking here or scanning one of the QR codes on site.
  • All audio guides will be thoroughly sanitized between uses. Disposable earbuds will be distributed, or feel free to bring your own.
  • Our typical photography guidelines remain; however, tripods and other equipment will not be allowed on site.
  • Cash cannot be accepted at this time.

Amenities/Museum Store

  • Our museum store will be closed. Drinks and other convenience items will be available for purchase in admissions using credit/debit cards only. We will also have limited merchandise for sale at a small pop-up store outside on the baseball field. In addition, you can shop our online store.
  • Our bag check will be closed, so please consider limiting what you bring with you.
  • Restrooms on site are limited to a three-stall restroom trailer with flush toilets and running water (located near the start of your tour). One stall is ADA accessible. Restrooms will be cleaned frequently throughout the day, and physical distancing will be required when queuing here or anywhere on site.

Still have questions?
Contact us at [email protected] or 215-236-3300 for more information.


For a closed captioned version of this video, please click here.

2017 American Aliance of Museums Excellence in Exhibitions Overall Winner