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

Alcatraz Island, San Francisco

Categories: Islands, Historic Sites, Nature & Parks, Tourist Spots
Inspirock Rating:
4.7/5 based on 34,000+ 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 itinerary - for free!
going to
read all reviews »
  • We have booked the tickets in advance on the Internet what is an absolute must. Also, we opted for a time early in the morning. This was a good idea, because not so many people on the island and in the Interior of the building. The audio tour of the cells, etc. is very interesting and instructive. On the boat trip, you have super views of the city.
    show original
  • Alcatraz is an excellent experience. It's so popular that you need to book it up months in advance. The ferries depart Fishermans Wharf on a regular basis and its only a short crossing to the island. ...  read more »
  • To the Fortune we have followed the raat of a colleague and have pre-ordered tickets over the internet. We had a super day caught in the weather. The tour was very exciting and the impressions were terrific. Negative has been that you could explore the whole island...
    show original
  • I've had the good fortune of visiting this place more often than most people, and every time I visit, I discover more and learn more about this fascinating piece of history in the middle of San Francisco Bay. My favorite spot is one that is rarely accessible - the Agave Trail - on the south side of the island, facing the city. Only open to guests when the birds aren't nesting, it offers a peaceful oasis and unique views. Visitors are warned to plan ahead, even if you do consider yourself the "plan ahead" type - here it's a must. You will be rewarded. Book your tickets for the tour before you buy your tickets to San Francisco. Also, make sure to stop at the gift shop after your audio tour. You never know who will be signing books there - former prisoners, their jailers, or offspring?
  • If you get a chance, be nice to the park staff and ask for a tour of the basement. My wife and I decided to take a trip to San Francisco this year and one of the spots we hit was Alcatraz. We took the early barge over and spent the entire day touring the island (and I am positive that we still didn't get to see everything). Since my wife is a native Californian, she had done this tour years back as a kid. While we were listening to the self tour recording, she started speaking with one of the guides. During one of these conversations the guide asked if we'd like to see something cool and then proceed to take us into the, normally off limits, basement. There was a lot of history to be learned even under this historical prison (since this is actually part of the old fort). So be nice and maybe you to will be invited to experience what so few get to do.
  • It is definitely worth a short ferry ride to "The Rock." It does cost $, but I found it worth it. Take the self walking tour, which includes headphones that tell very authentic stories about the inmates, guards, policies, and even an escape, and riot. It is important to be aware that Alcatraz has a number of steep hills. It may be challenging for a person with a disability to find the correct mobile services.
  • Only so many tours can offer such an in-depth historical background as Alcatraz. The place can send shivers down your spine, we may have hurried our tour as we were on a short trip to San Fran before driving down the coast, I would recommend putting a good few hours aside to visit and make the most of it. Stunning views across the bay to San Francisco
  • I highly recommend visiting Alcatraz! It's not only full of history, but it's thrilling. I highly recommend going at night. Also, the audio tour is very important and adds greatly to the experience. One thing to note: be sure to get your tickets way ahead of time since they sell out quickly. Definitely an SF hotspot that you don't want to miss!
Nearby Attractions
Visit for 1​h 30​m
Visit for 2​h 30​m
Visit for 3​h
Visit for 1​h 30​m
Visit for 30​m
Visit for 1​h 30​m
Visit for 1​h 30​m
Visit for 2​h