Alcatraz Island, San Francisco

4.7
#1 of 3,756 in Nature in United States
Tour the infamous former maximum-security penitentiary on Alcatraz Island. Nicknamed The Rock, this small island in the San Francisco Bay is now a national park. After taking a ferry to the island, follow the audio guide, available in ten languages. You'll go through the inside of the old prison's facilities, which include a lighthouse, military fortifications, and cellblocks. Though long considered escape-proof, the prison suffered an irreparable blow to its reputation in 1962, when three inmates mysteriously disappeared using a makeshift raft. Explore the protected recreation area with a park ranger, who can enhance your visit with little-known information about the island's current inhabitants: the black-crested night herons and western gulls. To visit Alcatraz Island and get the most from your holiday in San Francisco, create itinerary details personal to you using our San Francisco vacation planner.
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Reviews
TripAdvisor Traveler Rating
42,298 reviews
Google
4.6
TripAdvisor
  • August 14, 2017
    We did the night tour and it was wonderful. Creepy informative Erie and enlightening this is definitely the number one tourist attraction in San Francisco plan to spend about 2 to 3 hours and you can ...  more »
  • August 14, 2017
    A must do visit. Very well organised and engaging audio tour. Remember you can pause it to let the hordes go ahead and then take your own time.  more »
  • August 14, 2017
    This is a place that you have to visit when in SF. The audio tour is fantastic and gives great first hand insight into what life on the island was like. Take layers and possible a wind proof layer as ...  more »
Google
  • August 18, 2017
    This is a classic tourist spot for visitors of San Francisco but it is worth the trip. We got tickets for the ferry ahead of time. It's a beautiful view of the island and the city from the ferry. The island itself has some beautiful gardens. The audio tour is really well done. Everyone doesn't get the same order so people aren't all crammed together which could be hard considering it is a tour of some pretty tight spaces. Great way to spend a beautiful day in San Francisco.
  • August 14, 2017
    This place is a must if you are in the city. Buy your tickets in advance. They only have limited space. The audio tour is excellent. It takes you back in time and brings the prison to life. While it is a prison and not meant to be nice, it is actually a very nice building. The style and attention to detail is excellent. I will go back and I highly recommend.
  • June 29, 2017
    Great history! It's great seeing the historic Alcatraz Penitentiary in person. Recommend buying tickets early because I think they sell out quickly. A must see if you're visiting San Francisco! Will definitely be back. Also has a great bookstore / gift shop at the end of the tour.
  • August 23, 2017
    Really enjoyed the island and the unique history it has. It was a bird preserve, a military fort, a prison, a Native American protest site, and the site of several famous movies. There really is a rich history to this island. When I visited their was a former inmate who told stories and sold a book. Made the visit even more intetesting. There are some pretty steep hills and odd climbs so for those who have difficulty walking it can be a tough island to get around. In my opinion this is a must do if visiting San Francisco.
  • May 30, 2017
    Alcatraz was an absolutely amazing experience. I did the night tour, which is definitely worth the extra money. Getting on the ferry was a quick and easy process. During the night tour you get to go all the way around the island, which was a nice touch! The tour guides were all friendly and incredibly knowledgeable. Views of San Francisco from the main road are beautiful. Following the audio tour was a very cool way to experience the facility. Highly recommended

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