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Alcatraz Island

Alcatraz Island

Historic Site, Island, and National Park
San Francisco
405 Tips and reviews
  • audio tour
  • scenic views
  • landmarks
  • historic sites
  • tickets in advance
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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.
  • 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.
  • Elena M.
    A must visit tour! Very well organized, audio guide easy to follow and exciting to listen, picturesque view on the city. Island itself unique and beautiful! Don't forget to buy some souvenirs there 😉
  • Jeff S.
    Jeff S.March 6
    Alcatraz has been used as a Civil War fort & a Federal prison. Today, the National Park Service runs it as a tourist attraction. You’ll learn about American history & views of SF & the bay are amazing
  • 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.
    Roma Flores CastrejónJanuary 18, 2017
    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.
  • 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.
  • 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!
  • 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!
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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, 2017
    This is just an amazing historical site. The audio tour is really good and the view of SanFran it the cherry on top
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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 :)
  • 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
  • kaypsee
    kaypseeDecember 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!
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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).
  • 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
  • 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!
  • 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!
  • 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).
  • 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.
  • Matt
    MattSeptember 4, 2017
    The audio tour inside of the prison is excellent. Listening to the people who were actually there when the prison was open while looking in the cells made the tour.
  • 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
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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!
  • 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.
  • 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!
  • 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;)
  • 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
  • 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.
  • Pettran
    PettranSeptember 19, 2015
    Super interesting historic site. Take the audio tour and allow at least three hours on the island.
  • 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.
  • 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
  • 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.
  • 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!)
  • 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).
  • 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.
  • 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.
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