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Alcatraz Island

Alcatraz Island

Historic Site, Park, and Island
San Francisco
448 Tips and reviews
  • tours
  • cells
  • scenic views
  • landmarks
  • historic sites
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  • Recent
  • 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.
  • Wilson F.
    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.
  • Craig G.
    Craig GlassnerJuly 19, 2012
    Best time to visit is the first ferry of the morning - the island us not crowded and you'll have ample time to experience all it has to offer yet still be back in the city for lunch.
    Upvoted Aug 22
  • 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
    Upvoted Aug 22
  • Catriona H.
    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.
  • Tony X.
    Tony XerrayMay 20, 2013
    SCREW THE AUDIO TOUR! Walk around the cells like the inmates did and get a pure sense of what it was like to be contained. This place is the funnest tourist trap of all time and the ferry is awesome!
    Downvoted Aug 22
  • 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!
  • Jaquie S.
    Jaquie SosaJanuary 25
    The view you can get from here is amazing, it's kind of cold though... so you better bring your coat if you're not used to be in windy weathers.
  • 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.
  • 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!
  • 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.
  • Eugen K.
    Eugen KleinNovember 10, 2013
    Take in the evening tour and see the sun cascade on the jail bars. Get inside the solitary chamber and feel the walls of the Birdman's cell. Welcome to the rock! @kleingroup
  • 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 :)
  • 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.
  • 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!
  • 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.
  • 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).
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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!
  • 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.
  • 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!
  • 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.
  • 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
  • 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!)
  • 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!
  • 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.
  • 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!
  • 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!
    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 4 weeks ago
  • Kwendo J.
    Kwendo JoshMarch 18, 2015
    Woah! The ferry ride to it is amazing as you have a view of the golden gate from the island and in the ferry, the prison itself is full of history
  • 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
  • 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!
  • Gyozo N.
    Gyozo NagyMarch 24
    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;)
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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).
  • Alex J.
    Alex Jegtnes1 week ago
    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.
  • 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
  • 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
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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).
  • Pettran
    PettranSeptember 19, 2015
    Super interesting historic site. Take the audio tour and allow at least three hours on the island.
  • 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.
  • 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
  • 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.
  • Jennifer C.
    Really interesting to wonder around. Quite haunting. Highly recommend, plus you get a fun boat ride over!
  • 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.
  • 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.
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