Know Before You Go: Tips for Visiting Alcatraz

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Perched on a rocky island in the San Francisco Bay, Alcatraz once housed such legendary criminals as Al Capone. Today, the former prison is an extremely popular National Historic Landmark. Here are the top things to know when planning your visit.
 
Book your ticket in advance to secure your spot.
Tickets to Alcatraz sell out days and even weeks in advance, especially during the summer season. As the island is only accessible via the Alcatraz ferry service, it’s essential that you purchase a tour in advance (tickets are rarely ever available for same-day purchase).
 
Pay attention to the time.
Your ticket for the ferry ride to the island will have a specific departure time. Make sure you’re at Pier 33, aka Alcatraz Landing, in time to catch your assigned ferry. Once you’re on the island, you can stay as long as you wish, returning to the city on any departing ferry. Allow at least 2.5 hours for both ferry rides and your time exploring the island.
 
Select a combo tour for an enhanced sightseeing experience.
One of the best ways to make sure you don’t miss a trip to Alcatraz is to book a tour that includes admission to the island plus another Bay Area experience, such as a city tour, a Segway tour, a twilight bay cruise, an independent GoCar tour, or a trip to see the redwood trees of Muir Woods.
 
Bring layers.
The ferry ride provides fabulous views of the San Francisco city skyline, the Golden Gate Bridge, the Bay Bridge, and Alcatraz Island, but the trip often comes with wind and fog. To enjoy the scenery and stand on deck at the same time, you’ll want to bring a jacket, even in the summer.
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Tours & Activities (21)
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Big Bus San Francisco Sightseeing and Alcatraz Combo

This combo package allows you to see all of San Francisco's top sights and attraction. Ride the open top double decker bus for One full day, hopping on and off at over 20 stops around the city. Learn about North Beach, Chinatown, and Barbary Coast neighborhoods with a personal tour guide as they take you on a walking tour through these three historical districts. Choose between a Panoramic Night Tour and see beautiful San Francisco lit up at night on OR Take a Sausalito Tour and explore the quaint sea-side town of Sausalito. Cruise across the bay to the infamous prison known today as the Rock and explore the infamous Island Jail.
  • Duration: 1 day
From
US$110.00
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  • Duration: 1 day
From
US$110.00

San Francisco Hop-on Hop-off and Alcatraz Combo Tour

With a hop-on hop-off bus tour and pre-booked Alcatraz ticket, you can cover all of San Francisco’s top attractions. You’ll enjoy convenient transportation to the Alcatraz ferry landing, where you’ll head across San Francisco Bay to tour the island prison with an included audio guide. Choosing between a 24-hour or 48-hour Hop On Hop Off tour provides easy sightseeing across the city, from Golden Gate Park to Chinatown to Fisherman’s Wharf. Plus, listen to live commentary on board the bus to learn fun facts about San Francisco.
  • Duration: 2 days
From
US$105.00
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  • Duration: 2 days
From
US$105.00

Early Access to Alcatraz and Cable Car Sightseeing Tour

Visit Alcatraz Island before most visitors arrive and tour San Francisco on a motorized classic cable car. You’ll head to Alcatraz early to enter this National Historic Landmark District. Explore the former prison via the award-winning audio guide, and enjoy a sightseeing tour of Chinatown, North Beach and the Golden Gate Bridge on a cable car retrofitted with wheels, so you can see more of the city.
  • Duration: 7 hours
From
US$192.50
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  • Duration: 7 hours
From
US$192.50

LIKELY TO SELL OUT

Jail and Sail: Alcatraz Tour and Twilight Bay Cruise

Cruise across San Francisco Bay twice in one day on this combo tour that includes entrance to the former island prison of Alcatraz, one of those most popular—and often sold-out—attractions in the city. Start with the ferry ride to San Francisco’s famous jail, which you’ll explore with a self-guided audio tour. After returning from Alcatraz, take a sunset or twilight cruise (depending on time of year) on the bay with an onboard buffet of hors d’oeuvres and a glass of wine or beer.
  • Duration: 6 hours
From
US$108.00
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  • Duration: 6 hours
From
US$108.00

Alcatraz Tour plus Muir Woods and Sausalito Day Trip

Experience some of the Bay Area’s top attractions on this Alcatraz and Muir Woods tour that also includes a stop in Sausalito. At Muir Woods National Monument, stare in wonder at the coastal redwoods, some of the tallest trees on Earth. Soak up the charm of seaside Sausalito, and experience Alcatraz in one of two ways—admission to the prison, which includes the ferry ride to Alcatraz Island and the audio tour.
  • Duration: 8 hours
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US$114.00
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  • Duration: 8 hours
From
US$114.00

San Francisco Seaplane Flight and Alcatraz Tour

See Alcatraz from above and explore the island prison on foot with this seaplane flight and Alcatraz combo tour. On a 30-minute aerial tour from Sausalito, you’ll see San Francisco landmarks like the Golden Gate Bridge, Fisherman’s Wharf and the Trans-America Pyramid. Then take the Alcatraz Island ferry across San Francisco Bay, where you’ll tour the cellblock via the included audio tour. Choose the time of your Alcatraz tour when booking, and take the seaplane tour in the morning of the same day.
  • Duration: 2 hours
From
US$226.25
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  • Duration: 2 hours
From
US$226.25

Alcatraz and San Francisco City Tour Combo

Explore San Francisco and Alcatraz on this full-day tour. Hop aboard a ferry for a scenic ride to Alcatraz and enjoy the award-winning audio walking tour. Then, with a knowledgeable local guide, learn about the City by the Bay through visits to top attractions such as Fisherman's Wharf, Chinatown, the Presidio, and the Palace of Fine Arts.
  • Duration: 6 hours
From
US$108.00
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  • Duration: 6 hours
From
US$108.00

Alcatraz and Ripley's Believe It or Not! VIP Package

Visit Alcatraz Island and Ripley's Believe It or Not! San Francisco with this combo tour package. To reach Alcatraz, you'll take a ferry ride across San Francisco Bay; then explore the cellblock with the award-winning audio tour. At the Fisherman's Wharf area, near Pier 39, check out the array of attractions at Ripley's Believe It or Not!, including the Marvelous Mirror Maze, Impossible LaseRace, and the Odditorium. (Note, the ferry ride is assigned by Alcatraz; you'll be notified of time after confirmation.)
  • Duration: 3 days
From
US$99.99
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  • Duration: 3 days
From
US$99.99

San Francisco Combo: Ferry Building Food Tour and Alcatraz

Tour San Francisco's Ferry Building on the original tour established in 2004 with a culinary expert guide, then visit Alcatraz on this full-day excursion in San Francisco.
  • Duration: 1 hour
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US$145.00
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  • Duration: 1 hour
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US$145.00

Alcatraz and Golden Gate Bridge to Sausalito Tour

Explore San Francisco on this 2-day combo, including a bike tour and admission to Alcatraz Island. On Day One, enjoy an all-day bike rental and a 3- or 4-hour tour departing from Fisherman’s Wharf. Cycle the city streets, head across the Golden Gate Bridge or take an evening tour as you experience the iconic city on two wheels. On Day Two, venture to the infamous prison to hear audio commentary about former inmates like Al Capone.
  • Duration: 4 hours
From
US$99.00
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  • Duration: 4 hours
From
US$99.00

Alcatraz and Walking Craft Beer Combo Tour

Explore Alcatraz and sip some of San Francisco's tasty craft brews on this 8.5-hour combination tour. Visit Alcatraz, the city's infamous prison, to learn about the fascinating criminal history contained there. After returning to the mainland, follow your guide to 3 bars in the North Beach and Fisherman's Wharf neighborhoods. Taste some of the city's locally produced craft beers, accompanied by snacks or dinner (depending on the date of your tour). This small group tour operates with 12 beer- and history- loving participants, ensuring personal attention and an intimate atmosphere. Round-trip ferry transportation and admission to Alcatraz is included.
  • Duration: 8 hours 30 minutes
From
US$127.00
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  • Duration: 8 hours 30 minutes
From
US$127.00

San Francisco Combo: Alcatraz and Three Hour City Segway Tour

Ride the ferry to Alcatraz Island for an award-winning audio tour of the notorious former prison, and take a city Segway tour of San Francisco the following day. This combination package offers a comprehensive look at famous city attractions such as the Golden Gate Bridge, Coit Tower, Fisherman’s Wharf, Ghirardelli Square and Washington Square Park. The Segway tour — offered in the morning or afternoon — is limited to eight passengers for a small-group experience with a personable guide.
  • Duration: 5 hours
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US$113.35
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  • Duration: 5 hours
From
US$113.35

San Francisco Urban Adventure and Alcatraz Tour

Tour San Francisco in an open-air safari jeep, then visit Alcatraz during this 4-hour urban adventure. With your small group, limited to 10 people or fewer to ensure an intimate experience, cruise through the city, passing landmarks like the Golden Gate Bridge and Twin Peaks, then winding through the city's diverse neighborhoods. Disembark at Pier 33 to board your Alcatraz cruise, then take the self-guided audio tour to learn about the prison's rich history. Pickup at your hotel in San Francisco is included.
  • Duration: 7 hours
From
US$175.00
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  • Duration: 7 hours
From
US$175.00

Alcatraz and San Francisco Bay Adventure Sightseeing Cruise

Sure. You can hop on the standard ferry to Alcatraz and explore the prison with the rest of the tourists. Or you can catch a ferry over to Sausalito and see a few parts of the Bay. But this combo-tour tour combines best of both worlds. The 'Bay Voyager' is a ship that takes you closer to the sights than any other ship. Make use of complimentary wet-weather gear in case you get a little too close to Mother Nature. After your RIB Boat experience, head  over to Pier 33 to join the famous Alcatraz Prison tour and see the grounds and the notorious solitary confinement wing.*You must submit all passenger names on checkout to redeem your Alcatraz Cruise tickets
  • Duration: 1 hour 30 minutes
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US$155.00
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  • Duration: 1 hour 30 minutes
From
US$155.00

Alcatraz and Hills of San Francisco Segway Tour

For a well-rounded San Francisco experience, combine admission to Alcatraz, one of San Francisco’s most popular attractions, with a Segway tour of this famously hilly city. During the day, explore sights such as Lombard Street and North Beach on your personal Segway, and take a ferry over to Alcatraz Island for a self-guided audio tour of this legendary penitentiary and National Historic Landmark District.
  • Duration: 3 hours
From
US$150.00
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  • Duration: 3 hours
From
US$150.00

San Francisco All-Day Alcatraz and GoCar Adventure Package Including Lunch

Visit the former prison cells of Alcatraz Island and then motor through San Francisco streets in your very own GPS-guided GoCar. This combo experience includes a ferry ride across the bay for an award-winning audio tour of the notorious penitentiary. You'll also receive a fabulous lunch from Get Fresh SF where you'll have your choice of a sandwich, wrap, or Asian bowl. On the same day or another day, take a 2-hour drive in your private GoCar, preloaded with more than 50 must-see attractions and landmarks including the Presidio, Crissy Field, Ocean Beach, Golden Gate Park and Lombard Street — the crookedest street in the world!
  • Duration: 2 hours
From
US$245.88
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  • Duration: 2 hours
From
US$245.88

Alcatraz Admission and Small-Group Craft Brews and Bike Tour in San Francisco

Visit Alcatraz and go on a beer-themed cycling tour through some of the city's hippest neighborhoods. This full-day excursion combines San Francisco's history; a ferry ride to Alcatraz and an audio tour of 'The Rock', with its modern craft brewing scene; a bike tour of the city's breweries and bars. With a local guide and a small group limited to 12 people or less, you'll enjoy personalized attention. Use of a bike and helmet is included, as well as one pint of craft beer.
  • Duration: 8 hours
From
US$119.00
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  • Duration: 8 hours
From
US$119.00

San Francisco Shore Excursion: Alcatraz and City Tour

Next time you're in port in San Francisco, why not spend your day touring the city's top attractions? Board a ferry for Alcatraz, and at the Rock, hear the stories and legends associated with the infamous penitentiary on a self-guided audio tour. Then, travel by coach to renowned sights such as the Golden Gate Bridge, Painted Ladies of Alamo Square, and Chinatown.
  • Duration: 6 hours
From
US$108.00
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  • Duration: 6 hours
From
US$108.00

The One Day in San Francisco Tour with Alcatraz

See the best of San Francisco in one day with this 9-hour tour from Fisherman's Wharf. You'll visit 11 different locations with five stops for photo ops, plus take a tour to Alcatraz Island in the afternoon. On board the minibus, you'll travel across the Golden Gate Bridge to see the redwood trees of Muir Woods Redwood National Monument, and listen to commentary from your guide about San Francisco's culture, history, and other places to check out on your own.
  • Duration: 10 hours
From
US$159.00
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  • Duration: 10 hours
From
US$159.00

2-Day Alcatraz Admission and Wine Country Bike Tour Combo

Tour wine country by bicycle and enjoy admission to Alcatraz on this multi-day combination tour of San Francisco's sightseeing highlights. On day one, head to the Russian River Valley, the Dry Creek Valley or the Napa Valley for a leisurely bike tour of four local wineries with a local guide. Eat a provided picnic lunch among the vineyards halfway through your day of wine tasting and learning about the region's winemaking history. 
  • Duration: 2 days
From
US$204.00
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  • Duration: 2 days
From
US$204.00

Alcatraz Island Tour and Yosemite Day Tour with Aquarium Admission

Pack some of the best spots in California all into two days with this Alcatraz and Yosemite tour package. On your first day, take a boat from Pier 33 to Alcatraz Island, and then go on a self-guided tour of the historic prison. Afterward, spend some time at the Aquarium by the Bay at the edge of Pier 39. On your second day, head off for Yosemite, and follow your guide around the Yosemite Valley. Break off on your own for about three hours, and explore Yosemite National Park however you’d like.
  • Duration: 2 days
From
US$259.00
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  • Duration: 2 days
From
US$259.00


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