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

Great whistlestop city tour with plenty of local information+ Alcatraz

Friendly, informative tourguide/driver. Great stops for sightseeing and photos. Great tour of a great city. Alcatraz was extremely interesting. National park rangers and boat crew were friendly and helpful. I would strongly recommend this tour.

Above and beyond . Patrick was entertaining and knowledgeable!

Loved that I found a tour group that had Alcatraz tickets included ! We loved how knowledgeable Patrick was about the history and culture of San Francisco. His trivia game was entertaining and his picture taking skills were post card worthy. At first I thought the price was a lot but after taking the tours it was worthy every penny !

San Francisco, Muir Woods and Alcatraz Tour Reviewed by Nicole, 05/28/2019

Informative Alcatraz tour and fun Segway experience

Alcatraz - easy checking in, efficient transportation, very informative audio guide which conjured evocative atmosphere of the prison and how things must have been in its operational years. Not too long and no overkill. Segway - the company covered all aspects of health & safety in the pre-tour training and video. Christian and Tre were both humorous in delivery and genuine in their concern for our safety and enjoyment. The tour itself was excellent! Tre had superb local knowledge and made our time both fun and informative. Top marks all round and would highly recommend!

San Francisco VIP Segway Tour and Alcatraz Ticket Combo Reviewed by Anne-Marie, 05/22/2019

San Francisco wrapped in a 1-day package topped with a chocolate bow!

This was a wonderful experience packed with interesting information, beautiful sights, awesome music, and delicious chocolate!

San Francisco, Muir Woods and Alcatraz Tour Reviewed by Beth, 05/06/2019

This was a great way to see many things and learn a lot about the city

It was easy to find Joseph, our guide and he did a great job of explaining logistics. The group was not too big, not to small. I was traveling alone and this was a fantastic way to get out and see a lot. Joseph was a friendly and knowledgeable guide, intent on ensuring a great experience for all of us.

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