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Alcatraz: Tours & Tickets

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Top sights in San Francisco

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The most famous prisoners in Alcatraz history

Alcatraz is home to a Civil War military garrison, seabird colonies, and the West Coast's oldest working lighthouse. But if its walls could talk, they'd give a whole lot away about some of America's most dangerous criminals. Here's a quick overview!

Al Capone

Perhaps the most famous gangster of all time, Capone eventually ended up in cell 181 where, by most accounts, he was unable to cope with prison life.

Robert Franklin Stroud

The "Birdman of Alcatraz" actually became a respected ornithologist at his previous prison, Leavenworth. Alcatraz wouldn't let him keep animals!

Mickey Cohen

Harvey Keitel won an Oscar for Best Supporting Actor for his portrayal of Cohen in "Bugsy." It was a fitting tribute to a man who invented every Hollywood mobster cliché!

James "Whitey" Bulger

Before he was one of America's most feared crime bosses, the notoriously brutal Bulger spent three years in Alcatraz. The bogeyman of Boston is currently incarcerated in Florida.

Photo: Derek Key @Flickr (CC BY 2.0)

Frank Morris, John Anglin, and Clarence Anglin

In 1962, these three cracked an intricate plan thought to be the only successful Alcatraz escape attempt. What happened to them after that is anyone's guess!

Alcatraz: Our Tips

How to get there?

You can only reach Alcatraz by ferry, which sets off from Port 33 on the Embarcadero.

Best time of year to visit?

Alcatraz gets quite foggy during the summer months, so you'll experience the best weather at the end of spring or beginning of fall. May and June are ideal for bird activity.

Best time of day to visit?

It only really matters if you want to spend the whole day there, in which case you'll obviously want to get there as early as possible! There are a limited amount of people allowed on the island, which keeps crowds from getting out of hand - so be prepared to wait.

Good to Know

  • When to visit
    Ferry departures from 9AM daily.
  • What is the price?
    Ticket prices vary, from $30 for adults.
  • Will I need a guide?
    Experience Alcatraz as part of a hop-on hop-off tour of other San Francisco sights like the Golden Gate Bridge, and save money - there'll be a guide giving you all the information you need for every destination.
  • How to get there
    As Alcatraz is an island, the only way of reaching it is by ferry. You can do this on the F line of the Muni (bus).
  • Additional tips
    • The island has some steep hills, so make sure to wear good walking shoes.
    • Bring a jacket or sweater - it can get chilly near the coast!

What People Are Saying About Alcatraz

I enjoyed this tour more than any other.

The tour guide was very knowledgeable of the city and the Segway's were so much fun.

3-Hour San Francisco Segway Tour Reviewed by Janice, 08/08/2017

Super fun we would all do it again!!Great guide, Emma

Really enjoyed the segways. Emma was a great guide. A good time was had by all We will come play again for sure

3-Hour San Francisco Segway Tour Reviewed by Anne, 08/02/2017

Fantastic way to discover what the city has to offer.

Biking through the city hills was challenging but very rewarding with fantastic views. Biking the Golden Gate bridge was great. The enthousiastic guide provided interesting background information. The boattrip to Alcatraz from Fiesherman's Warf Pier 33 the next day was fun and very interesting. Excellent combination!!

Alcatraz Ticket with 3-Hour Bicycle Tour at Sunset Reviewed by a GetYourGuide Customer, 07/31/2017

Experience not to be missed in San Francisco.

Only did Alcatraz which was fantastic. The stories were well done and the flora and fauna was lovely. The birds were unaffected by our presence.

Alcatraz Ticket with 3-Hour Bicycle Tour at Sunset Reviewed by Gabrielle, 07/27/2017

Fantastic! Above and beyond our expectations

The tour guide was absolutely brilliant great depth of knowledge and very friendly, we tucked all our must sees off on this fantastic guided tour

San Francisco City Tour with Visit to Alcatraz Reviewed by Alison, 07/26/2017

Things To Do Near Alcatraz