Alcatraz
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Alcatraz: Tours & Tickets

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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

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

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

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

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.

Frank Morris, John Anglin, and Clarence Anglin
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!

Our insider 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 should I visit?
    Ferry departures from 9AM daily.
  • Is it expensive?
    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 information

    • 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

Fabulous tour with a highly knowledgeable guide

San Francisco has very quickly become one of my favourite destinations to visit. The Towers Tour guide was highly knowledgeable and gave us a great insight into the city and its history. We will definitely be back and we would highly recommend GetYourGuide and Towers Tours!

Sea Plane tour is a must. Best part of our trip

Thank you to Ana, Paul, and John of Seaplane Adventures! Ana and Paul went out of their way to make sure we had a wonderful time. John is the most experienced pilot you could ever hope for!

Seaplane Flight + Alcatraz Cruise & Tour Combo Reviewed by Christy, 01/08/2019

Nice tour to see most of the town in a smal timeframe aboard a cable c

Nice tour to see alcatraz along site most of the emblematic points in the city in a small timeframe aboard a cable car. Curt and Joan were a joy. Recommended

Just as it was supposed to be (and even better)

Torsten is a very pleasant guide, who met all our needs and requests. He drove us to all majors sights, explained a lot and gave us useful tips. It was an excellent private tour.

San Francisco City Tour with Alcatraz Reviewed by Angelos, 12/24/2018

Excellent tour bus and Alcatraz was amazing

Really enjoyed both the tours. The big bus guys never let us down no matter where we go with them . Very accommodating especially when I couldn’t fing our tickets in union square . I did eventually but at least they let us in the bus out of the cold and dark . Cheers lads .

Things to do near Alcatraz