The Old Exchange is one of the oldest structures in Charleston, a famous city landmark, and one of the most historically significant buildings in the United States. Once the site of important political events, the building is now open to the public for fascinating tours, including a walk-through of its haunted Provost Dungeon.
From banquets with George Washington to the ratification of the South Carolina Constitution, the Old Exchange has witnessed a significant chunk of Charleston and US history. Today the popular landmark’s exhibits showcase Charleston’s early days through artifacts, paintings, and documents—part of the original Charleston seawall is a visitor favorite—and museum docents dressed in period clothing are available to answer questions.
Admission includes a self-guided tour of the top two floors and a 25-minute guided tour of the Provost Dungeon. Alternatively, pick up a combo ticket that includes access to the Old Slave Mart Museum, or a Charleston Tour Pass for entry to this and up to 30 other attractions. Many sightseeing tours of the city pass by the building, and some include time for a visit.
Things to Know Before You Go
- The Old Exchange and Provost Dungeon are a must for first-time visitors to Charleston, especially history buffs.
- Plan to spend roughly an hour exploring the sight.
- Children under the age of 6 are free, and there are discounts for seniors, teachers, students, and military.
- The Old Exchange is accessible to wheelchair users.
How to Get There
The Old Exchange is located at the intersection of East Bay and Broad streets in the heart of downtown Charleston. It is easy an easy walk or bike ride from most downtown locations. If driving, note that parking can be challenging; consider a nearby parking garage.
When to Get There
The Old Exchange is open daily from 9am to 5pm with the exception of major holidays. Tours begin every half hour starting at 9:30am. If you’re visiting Charleston in the summertime, keep in mind that the Old Exchange is air-conditioned and can provide a welcome break from the heat.
The Provost Dungeon
During the American Revolution, British soldiers converted the bottom floor of the Exchange building into a prison. It is rumored that the ghosts of these prisoners—including American prisoners of war, British soldiers, and enslaved people—still linger in the Provost Dungeon today, but only a Charleston ghost tour that includes a visit to the Old Exchange can let you know for certain.