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Alcatraz Island

Alcatraz Island

Historic Site, Park, and Island
San Francisco
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9.5/10
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464 Tips and reviews
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  • Wilson F.
    Wilson Favre-DelerueApril 19, 2016
    A must-do for any San Francisco visit, Alcatraz remains a fascinating place with a rich history. The audio tour is well worth the time and offers magnificent city views from one of its terraces.
    Upvoted Jun 19
  • BAH
    BAHFebruary 13, 2013
    Go to both the night & the day trips if you can. My wife & I loved it. They have a very well produced audio tour for most of the inside. Well worth it. Say hi to Adam when you are there. Hi Adam. De
  • Hugo R.
    Hugo ReevesJune 25, 2015
    An awesome spot to go visit, it only takes a couple of hours. The audio tour is amazing if you are on a short time schedule and want to learn as much as possible in the shortest amount of time.
  • Begum T.
    Begum Tekin CiftciAugust 10, 2014
    Book your tickets online im advance, it sells out. Fantastic view of SF from the island. Take the audio tour!
  • المهره الصعبه ماهي لأي خيال
    Historical site of the isolated island for dangerous prisoners. It was known that it is one way journey. We still don't know if someone managed to escape!
  • Roma F.
    Took the night tour, completely worth the price of $42.50. Eerie and sad, the feeling stays with you. The audio tour is great and the workshop classes offered by the guides are really interesting.
  • Justin M.
    Justin McClintickNovember 17, 2013
    Plan accordingly as this tour can take up most of the day. Really historic experience! Great views from the boat ride over so bring a camera!
  • Catriona H.
    Catriona HunterJune 30, 2016
    Fascinating place. A ferry btw 10&11am, gives plenty of time without being rushed. Take time to walk around outside and see the gardens. The ferry and the island can be cold so bring a sweater.
  • Linda A.
    Linda AldredMarch 22, 2015
    Steep walk up to the main building but tram when you get off the boat if you need a ride. You can easily spend a few hours on the island so plan accordingly. Audio your a must!
  • César B.
    César BlueAugust 4, 2015
    Use the audio guide, is the best way to know what happen inside this amazing bulding. This guide is included in the tour. The souvenir store is full of nice and funny things.
  • Taben N.
    Taben NikeOctober 20, 2012
    Frank Morris, Clarence Anglin, John Anglin. Escape from Alkatras in 1962. REWARD for capture in $1.000.000, offered in 1993 the Red & White Fleet company, still remains unclaimed.
  • Ahmad Q.
    Ahmad QousiSeptember 12, 2012
    Beautiful view from the front yard of the cellhouse on the top of the island, every 5 minutes the view changes due to the fog that might block the view of San Francisco.
  • Nitzan B.
    Nitzan BJune 2
    This is just an amazing historical site. The audio tour is really good and the view of SanFran it the cherry on top
  • Becky H.
    Becky HendersonOctober 21, 2013
    Awesome tour! Make sure to wear good shoes it's a 13 story hike up to the main cell block. A lot of people brought kids under ten which I thought was a little crazy.
  • Suja R.
    Suja RamachandranAugust 29, 2012
    Good audio tour - worth the $28! Make sure to time your audio tour and the gift shop visit with enough time to catch a ferry without having to wait 35 minutes for the next one :)
  • Social News Network
    Social News NetworkDecember 4, 2013
    Take the ferry to this historical island. What used to be an inescapable prison, an immigration station, and a place of unrest for thousands of Native Americans has become a history buff's paradise.
  • Melik B.
    Melik BayoudiaDecember 12, 2013
    You have to take the audio tour. It is amazingly thrilling to walk through the cellblock and listen to the stories. And the Merchandising is also really good #awesome
  • Marcia B.
    Marcia Baroni SmithSeptember 24, 2014
    Great experience! The rangers give you a warm welcome speech with interesting info on the prison. Kudos to audio tour too, very nicely produced and easy to follow.
  • Liz .
    Liz 🦎September 9, 2015
    Book your tickets at least a month in advance! They have 50 tickets on the day of for the first boat at 8:45am. Get there by at least 6am to get in line (they start selling at 7:30am).
  • kaypsii
    kaypsiiDecember 25, 2014
    The audiotour is a must! Reliving history through a vivid narration and excellent audio effects! Plan to go when weather is NOT good! The atmosphere is awesome!
  • Elisabeth L.
    Elisabeth LongshoreOctober 16, 2016
    The audio tour is included in your visit. Also, take the "hiking trail" up to the prison. Stairs make the climb easier.
  • Catriona H.
    Catriona HunterJanuary 17, 2013
    The audio guide of the cell block is great, but moves quite quickly so it is worth pausing the guide now and again to read the information boards, admire the views etc.
  • NASA
    NASAJanuary 11, 2011
    Now that you have seen what Alcatraz looks like from the inside, click the link to see what it looks like from 220 miles above Earth aboard the International Space Station using an 800mm camera lens. Read more
    Upvoted Jul 9
  • Cory O.
    Cory O'BrienJanuary 20, 2012
    You'll have to pay for the privilege, but it's worth the trip to imagine what it must have been like to spend life on 'the rock'. Plus, you can't beat the view of the city!
  • Andrea A.
    Andrea AndrewsMay 16, 2011
    A total blast. Very interesting and informative. The audio tour is an award winning guide that keeps the crowds moving and engaged. A must see for sure. I hear the night tour is even more thrillin Read more
  • Christie H.
    Christie HeikkinenMarch 3, 2013
    Go in the morning before it gets too busy, and leave whenever you're ready. It's a great spot for photos of the city as well. They have a self-guided audio tour of the prison inside.
  • Ulf H.
    Ulf HillstedtMay 12, 2013
    Not only a must when visiting San Fransisco. It is actually interesting and gives you nice views of the town, the Golden Gate. Do not miss the use the headphones.
  • Rennie L.
    Rennie LeonDecember 29, 2010
    The Agave Trail on the city side of the island is a must if you are visiting in the fall or early winter! Walk it on your way back to the ferry for some great shots of the city and bridges.
  • Drew M.
    Drew MatthewsJuly 20, 2015
    If you have a kid get the junior ranger booklet from the gift shop for $1 then complete it and get sworn in as a junior ranger. Includes a really nice badge!
  • Lydia B.
    Lydia BerkennouJanuary 26, 2015
    Take the tour audio guide with you. It's a must as it makes the tour even more incredible and exciting!
  • Travel + Leisure
    Travel + LeisureJuly 30, 2012
    Take the eerie nighttime excursion: a narrated circuit around the island and guided tours to the main prison building (not to mention a few special programs only offered after dark).
  • Christine L.
    Book weeks/months in advance. Otherwise, check the website frequently for tickets that free up from cancellations, etc. (Refresh the page at tix office opening time, midday, and end of business day.)
  • Angelos N.
    Angelos NMay 20, 2012
    The tour is well worth it. They did a great job with the electronic tourist guides. Go early to avoid lines, buy tickets prior to departure day to avoid lines.
  • Caroline B.
    Caroline BlackSeptember 28, 2016
    Get the first or second boat out and skip the welcome when you get off the cruiser and head straight to the cell house to beat the crowds for the audio tour.
  • Tina W.
    Tina WarviNovember 13, 2011
    Do the nighttime tour! You can take an early eve ferry & catch the last one of the night to make the most of your time. Bring your camera & be prepared to feel chills...not just because of the cold!
  • Hostelling International
    Cliched maybe, but the Island is in itself a very interesting part of San Fransisco's history. The audio tour gives you an unnerving glimpse into life on the island for both prisoners and guards.
  • Nicola M.
    Nicola MackenzieDecember 12, 2013
    Audio tour is fantastic! Make sure you get the right tour most just go round the island there's only one that stops on it from pier 33
  • Hostelling International
    Book Alcatraz in advance (online). We went there on the same day and it was sold out! We hadn't known that you have to book in advance (only very limited number of tickets sold on same day!)
  • Erik H.
    Erik HomFebruary 12, 2012
    Many movies filmed here featuring this former penetentiary: The Rock, Escape from Alcatraz, View to a Kill, Birdman of Alcatraz, Murder in the First, and Book of Eli
  • Gyozo N.
    Gyozo NagyMarch 24, 2016
    Audio tour is perfect and this is a world famous building. You just cannot skip. Tickets are sold at least for the next two weeks. Go online;)
  • Brad T.
    Brad TotherowJune 25, 2013
    We did the night tour. It was fine. The crowds were apparently lesser than the day crowds. If that's the case, I would hate to take the tour during the day. Very cool, nevertheless.
  • Stephanie L.
    Stephanie LMay 22, 2013
    A must-do if you are visiting the Bay Area. Take the audio tour and enjoy the views on a clear day. Be sure to book ahead.
  • Fodor's Travel
    Fodor's TravelAugust 21, 2015
    Take time to savor a multitude of views: the island itself on your ferry ride, the Golden Gate Bridge from the recreation yard, and the city skyline from the paths surrounding the Cell House.
  • Pettran
    PettranSeptember 19, 2015
    Super interesting historic site. Take the audio tour and allow at least three hours on the island.
  • HISTORY
    HISTORYMarch 30, 2010
    Robert Stroud, "The Birdman of Alcatraz" spent 17 years in cell #42. Segregated from the prisoners, he turned to birds for company. He was the inspiration for the 1962 movie starring Burt Lancaster.
    Upvoted Jul 9
  • Alex J.
    Alex JegtnesSeptember 12, 2016
    Make sure you do the evening tour if you can, there are more arranged activities after you finish the wonderful audio tour than during the day.
  • Josh
    JoshJanuary 22
    A SF staple. A must visit if you haven't been. Book in advance to make sure you get the time and day you want to go.
  • Rachel C.
    Rachel ClarkOctober 31, 2015
    Take the night tour. Pretty spooky, with the bonus that you might get to wander around the infirmary (and the Birdman's cell).
  • Marc H.
    Marc HoppersNovember 25, 2014
    If you're a history buff, do the audio tour, listen to all the Ranger and docent talks, and hike the island.
  • Michelin Lifestyle
    Michelin LifestyleFebruary 24, 2011
    Lucky for you, unlike the former prisoners of Alcatraz, you can successfully escape! Make sure you have your comfy Michelin footwear with tire traction technology, to see all sites of the prison.
  • Alix B.
    Alix BloodworthJuly 8, 2012
    The headset tour is wonderful. Be sure to watch the movie first. Get tickets early because it sells out two weeks in advance. Concierge can help you get tickets.
  • Jennifer C.
    Jennifer CarterMarch 26, 2016
    Really interesting to wonder around. Quite haunting. Highly recommend, plus you get a fun boat ride over!
  • Nick F.
    Nick FruendtJanuary 3, 2015
    Make sure to get the audio tour. This is one of the finest landmarks in America and you get great views of the bay
  • Allison K.
    Allison KaminskiSeptember 5, 2015
    Go on the night tour!!! You have to book months ahead. Sick views of the city. Remember it's always freezing on the island.
  • Allison K.
    Allison KaminskiSeptember 5, 2015
    Go on the night tour!!! You have to book months ahead. Sick views of the city. Remember it's always freezing on the island
  • Allison K.
    Allison KaminskiSeptember 5, 2015
    Go on the night tour! You have to book months ahead. Sick views of the city. Remember it's always freezing on the island.
  • Westfield S.
    Take a trip back in time and see San Francisco’s colorful history come to life. Visit Westfield San Francisco Centre on 865 Market Street to watch our free light spectacular under the dome!
  • Sibely N. K.
    Sibely N. K.May 8, 2012
    Amazing! The audio tour constantly tells you what to look for and where to walk... Definitely one of the best audio tours I've done.
  • Bren P.
    Bren PearsonDecember 4, 2015
    Night tour definitely recommended! Not sure how much extra you get but even just for the view of San Francisco is amazing at night.
  • Amy Y.
    Amy YounghansMarch 27, 2013
    We happened to visit on the 50th Anniversary of the closing of Alcatraz. Such an incredible experience! The night tour is the best!
  • Maria
    MariaNovember 15, 2012
    When you disembark and don't want to wait for true false waste your time questions, head up the hill go underneath the tunnel and follow signs for the cell house audio tour.
  • lino b.
    Give yourself two hours. Make sure to book in advance. Guided tour is helpful.
  • Gabriel C.
    Gabriel CarmoSeptember 12, 2014
    Worth every second. The audio tour is increadible. Gives every detail of the important events! One of the best things to do in San Francisco.
  • The Criterion Collection
    When a highly-decorated squad of marines held San Francisco for ransom in Michael Bay's most morally complex film, THE ROCK, they chose this "escape-proof" prison as their impenetrable fortress. Read more
  • Amy R.
    Amy RobinsonSeptember 6, 2014
    Go as early as you can to avoid huge crowds, get the audio tour then go round the trails. Beautiful island.
  • We Travel A.
    We Travel And BlogJanuary 16, 2015
    We hate paying for tours, but this one is actually so worth it and the audio guide is key!
  • Vance N.
    Vance NgSeptember 27, 2013
    Highly recommend staying in cell 2. Tight space, but comes with a bonus pillow. Great for long-term stays
  • Steven M.
    Steven MansillaDecember 9, 2015
    Amazing place with many historians, saw and listen the history about the people that work or was in this prison is something that you can't lose.
  • SF Weekly
    SF WeeklyMay 25, 2011
    SF Weekly’s Best Of 2011 Winner – Editorial Pick – BEST TRIATHALONSummer race: competitors jump boat (1.5-mile swim), 18-mi bike ride on the Great Highway, ending at Marina Green w/an 8-mile run.... Read more
  • Amy
    AmyNovember 9, 2016
    Book the first ferry well in advance. Get off the boat, leave the tour and head straight for the prison to get the best pic.
  • Clarence L.
    Clarence LeungFebruary 8, 2015
    When it's raining, ponchos are sold at the gift shop at the dock and the bookstore on the island itself, $5.00 and $2.50 respectively.
  • Michael C.
    Michael ClarkAugust 10, 2013
    The night tour is awesome. Includes audio tour and awesome skyline views at sunset. Extra areas are also a possibility.
  • Bori 2.
    Bori 206June 9, 2011
    Skip the 1st giftshop (better selection in the prison giftshop) & head straight for the audio-tour. Next take a #free guided tour & finally explore the island. You'll need four hours. Worth it!
  • Dhyana S.
    Dhyana ScaranoJuly 25, 2012
    Definitely worth it. Make sure you book at least 3 days ahead, especially in peak season. No tickets are sold on the day.
  • Vitória S.
    Vitória SousaMay 3, 2013
    Take your time, do the audio tour! Very good! At spring the garden can not be explainable by words! Wonderful isn't enought...
  • ✈✈ Mhmtali. ✈✈
    ✈✈ Mhmtali. ✈✈May 31, 2013
    Been here 5+ times
    Robert Stroud, "The Birdman of Alcatraz" spent 17 years in cell #42. Segregated from the prisoners, he turned to birds for company. He was the inspiration for the 1962 movie starring Burt Lancaster.
  • Brett B.
    Brett BertolinoJanuary 31, 2014
    Still need a ticket? Buy your CityPASS here and get a ticket to Alcatraz, unlimited pass for the Muni & cable cars, Exploratorium, Aquarium of the Bay & more! It's a good deal.
  • Jared Z.
    Jared ZimmermanNovember 6, 2012
    The Rock! No one escapes, especially if you miss the last ferry back. If you want to see Alcatraz you gotta buy your tickets really early.
  • Ashley C.
    Ashley CavillMarch 2, 2016
    It's a great place to go. Bring lunch because they dont sell food in there ,only in the ferry but like snacks.
  • Daniel S.
    Reserve your tickets early - they go fast! The audio tour is spectacular, narrated by real guards and prisoners!
  • NUCRO B.
    NUCRO BLACKNovember 28, 2012
    take a tour to alcatraz and see the cell of al capone,u can take tickets from pıers close to fishermans wharf @embarcedero;)and take the wonderful view of SF
  • Mhairi S.
    Mhairi SinclairAugust 13, 2015
    Do the audio tour, it has sound effects like the cell doors opening and closing. Makes you really feel like you are experiencing Alcatraz prison life
  • Meetu S.
    Meetu SinghalNovember 28, 2011
    Book the tour in advance ( at least 3 days) as there is only one company organizing the tours to the island. Great trip!
  • Patty H.
    Patty HicksJuly 16, 2016
    Great place. Take the audio tour of the cell house. It's included in your ticket and gives lots of info.
  • Emiliy M.
    Emiliy MarinoSeptember 17, 2014
    Come early in the morning to avoid the crowds. The audio tour is included and worth the 45 minutes!
  • Blake
    BlakeAugust 15, 2016
    You can pack a lunch and eat it on the island as long as you eat on the dock
  • Felicity D.
    Felicity DOctober 13, 2012
    Save yourself 20 mins and skip the ranger lecture when you get off the boat, you need all of the time you can get on the island!
  • Allison K.
    Allison KaminskiSeptember 5, 2015
    Go on the night tour & book months ahead. Sick views of the city. Remember it's always freezing on the island.
  • Jeremy K.
    Jeremy KrantzAugust 13, 2014
    Don't skip the audio tour, you'll regret it. It's very well designed, fun and informative as well as interactive.
  • Travel + Leisure
    Travel + LeisureSeptember 30, 2014
    Even if you have an annual national-parks pass, you’ll have to pay the entry fee here; the admission actually covers the ferry ride over. Read more
  • Thijs N.
    Thijs NiksNovember 4, 2013
    Take the English language audio tour, it's awesome. Former inmates and guards explain the events and their routines.
  • Chris O.
    Chris OSeptember 16, 2014
    It was good to have said we have done it, but I wasn't blown away. The walking audio tour provides lots of history but results in frequent bunching of crowds.
  • Ashley C.
    Ashley CavillMarch 2, 2016
    It's so a great place. Bring luch because they don't sell food in there and you need like all day to see all Alcatraz.
  • Sandra K.
    Sandra KallmeyerNovember 6, 2014
    The audio tour is fantastic! Choose the English version to hear original voices of former inmates.
  • Allison K.
    Allison KaminskiSeptember 5, 2015
    Go on the night tour! book months ahead. Sick views of the city. Remember it's always freezing on the island.
  • Darcy C.
    Darcy CheeriosAugust 4, 2013
    A must see if your in San Fransisco. Try and put your mind in a place to appreciate it back when it was a functioning prison.
  • Binky B.
    Binky BearMay 27, 2013
    Take you're time! The information on the audio tour is so interesting!
  • Jc M.
    Jc MartinezApril 28, 2012
    Ve a la zona de las duchas, ahi te ofrecen una guia con audifonos muy util, en espanol es impresionante/go to showers area, they will offer a very useful guide with headphones,in Spanish is impressive
  • Nadia S.
    Nadia SilvaJanuary 14, 2014
    Audio tour is a must, and definitely go off season.
  • Brittany S.
    Brittany SherrillMarch 18, 2013
    The night tours are the best part. Make sure you go into one of the isolation cells and close your eyes. The audio tour is better than usual.
  • Fran I.
    Fran InchaustiJanuary 10
    Impresionante, se siente la energía de lo que paso allí a cada paso. La autoguia es buenisima, si sabes ingles hacerla en ese idioma ya que las voces son las originales de los guardias y prisioneros.
  • Guilherme 梅.
    Guilherme 梅田November 2, 2016
    Compre seus ingressos com muita antecedēncia! Eles acabam muito rápido! E se der certo, faça o TOUR NOTURNO!! Ja fiz os dois (dia e noite) e garanto que o noturno é mais divertido!
  • Rafael Freitas S.
    Melhor passeio de San Francisco. Possui o audio tour em português é perfeito. Compre o ingresso com antecedência pela internet e aproveite.
  • Nasser M.
    Nasser MMarch 4, 2016
    يوجد فيلم وثائقي يعرض قصة الجزيرة وأنصح بمشاهدته في بداية الزيارة ،، التجربة جميلة لمدة قصيرة فقط لكن لا يوجد شيء مميز .. العبارة تغادر كل 25 دقيقة ،،
  • Patricia G.
    O tour através de áudio, em Português, fez toda a diferença. Os homens narrando as experiências vividas ali, nos faz imaginar o que acontecia naquela época. Visita interessante. Grata surpresa.
  • Luis S.
    Luis ShimabukuroAugust 25, 2014
    Se estiver por SF vale a pena conhecer a história da prisão mais famosa dos USA, além de ter uma linda vista da cidade de SF!
  • Claudia G.
    Claudia GoñíaMay 24, 2016
    Este panorama es lo mejor de SF, tour con audio guía es maravilloso y esta en español. EXCELENTE
  • Angel David R.
    De lo mejor de las ciudad. Una maravilla de visita. La audioguía es completa, amena y divertida
  • Gabriela Z.
    Gabriela ZagoApril 12, 2016
    Atração surpreendentemente interessante. O tour de áudio vale muito a pena. Seria interessante poder com uma prisão de mesmo tipo (federal de segurança máxima) no Brasil.
  • michele b.
    michele boccaliniJune 11, 2015
    Alcatraz è una esperienza fantastica , assolutamente da vedere. 38$ che meritano assolutamente di essere spesi. Consiglio : prenotate in anticipo online
  • Gerardo L.
    Gerardo LourdesJune 1, 2016
    El tour de audio es buenísimo, si sabes inglés lo recomiendo pues hay grabaciones originales de reos.
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