Trip Planner:   USA  /  California  /  San Francisco  /  Nature  /  Alcatraz Island

Alcatraz Island, San Francisco

(4.7/5 based on 38,000+ reviews on the web)
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.
Create a full San Francisco itinerary
map

Plan your trip to San Francisco

  • Get a personalized plan

    A complete day-by-day itinerary
    based on your preferences
  • Customize it

    Refine your plan. We'll find the
    best routes and schedules
  • Book it

    Choose from the best hotels
    and activities. Up to 50% off
  • Manage it

    Everything in one place.
    Everyone on the same page.

Plans in San Francisco by other users

5 days in United States BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES May, popular PREFERENCES: May ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 6 days in United States BY A USER FROM CANADA June, popular PREFERENCES: June ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 22 days in United States BY A USER FROM AUSTRALIA September, outdoors, historic sites, shopping, popular PREFERENCES: September, outdoors, historic sites, shopping ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 22 days in United States BY A USER FROM AUSTRALIA September, outdoors, relaxing, historic sites, shopping, popular PREFERENCES: September, outdoors, relaxing, historic sites, shopping ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 33 days in United States, Brisbane & Cancun BY A USER FROM AUSTRALIA June, popular PREFERENCES: June ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 5 days in California BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES June, popular PREFERENCES: June ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 10 days in California & Lake Tahoe (Nevada) BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES June, teens, kids, relaxing, beaches, historic sites, hidden gems PREFERENCES: June, teens, kids, relaxing, beaches, historic sites ATTRACTION STYLE: Hidden gems PACE: Medium 36 days in United States BY A USER FROM QATAR July, kids, popular PREFERENCES: July, kids ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 19 days in Vancouver & San Francisco BY A USER FROM AUSTRALIA September, popular PREFERENCES: September ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 2 days in San Francisco BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES April, slow & easy, popular & hidden gems PREFERENCES: April ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular & hidden gems PACE: Slow & easy 4 days in San Francisco BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES June, kids, culture, outdoors, relaxing, romantic, beaches, historic sites, museums, shopping, popular PREFERENCES: June, kids, culture, outdoors, relaxing, romantic, beaches, historic sites, museums, shopping ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 7 days in California BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES April, kids, outdoors, beaches, historic sites, museums, hidden gems PREFERENCES: April, kids, outdoors, beaches, historic sites, museums ATTRACTION STYLE: Hidden gems PACE: Medium
View more plans
Reviews
TripAdvisor
  • Absolutely amazing trip a must see for anyone visiting San Francisco just to experience for a short while what Inmates lived through for years on the rock  more »
  • We recently did the night tour of Alcatraz Island. The ticket included the audio guide of the prison building which I would say is a must. Unlike some audio tours this was engaging as it included the ...  more »
  • I've been there around 6 times. Unfortunately, less and less areas are open to the public. Nonetheless, the trip is really interesting, and very much worth doing it. The history of the place is well p...  more »
Google
  • The island has a lot of history that I was unfamiliar with. I'm not a history person, but i found my time on this island to be a pleasant one. I would recommend visiting this if you haven't been before. You're free to walk around the island without being with a tour group during the day whereas at night, you're stuck with the group. The audio tour itself is a self-tour so again, you're not stuck with a group of people. You can freely walk around and listen to the audio tape. Also, bundle up. The island is breezy so knock a few degrees off the temperature and expect it to be slightly windy at times.
  • Alcatraz is a must see while in San Francisco. I took a friend's advice and booked my ticket early. Although I did not visit in the peak season, when I arrived for my cruise at 8 AM, the day was already sold out. If you book a hotel stay during summer months, book your Alcatraz tickets at the same time! Included in the ticket cost is a 45 minute audio tour through the cell house - definitely worth listening to. Rangers have smaller, guided tours and talks throughout the day which you can pick and choose as you see fit. Pack a water bottle when you head over. They are allowed in the park and recommended with the steep terrain. The fog is generally denser on the island, and the wind heavier. Plan your wardrobe accordingly. We spent a little more than 2 hours on the island, enough time to plan other activities for the remainder of the day.
  • This experience with the infamous super prison [insert prison here] was an amazing experience. I really loved the [Fact 1] it was absolutely [insert adjective here]. Me and my Spouse [insert generic gender neutral name here] made it all better this one time on trip [insert generic unrelated story here] I love [he/she] so much.
  • It's my first time to visit her with my family and I had a very bad experience in Alcatraz in Cell D Block especially #12 and #14.. When I went inside I felt Dizzy like there is a negative Energy inside. Something grabing my head like there is Magnetic Pressure.. I heard weird voices inside that cell. When I found out this place is Haunted. Never come back again.
  • Fantastic time! The boat ride over was on time and very organized. Most of the staff was very welcoming. The ride over was only about 12 mins. They had some beverages on the boat but unfortunately didn't allow alcohol on the way over (only on the way back). Once we arrived, Wendy, a park ranger gave everyone some great information about what to expect and what to look for on the island, she was very sweet, excited and animated and we really appreciated that. The video inside really held our attention and the audio tour was fantastically done (although next time I would opt to bring my own set of headphones, the ones we were given had the audio going in and out). Handicapped? NO PROBLEM! The Rock is very handicap accessible and even has a tram to take you up to the top of The Rock. Bathrooms were clean and the sights were gorgeous. I also really enjoyed that the tour was self guided, I was very impressed with the quality of the entire thing. Wonderful time!