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Last updated: 29 May, 2023
Expert travel writer: Laura Kiniry

A mile-and-a-half offshore in the San Francisco Bay, Alcatraz – or ‘The Rock’ as its residents affectionately dubbed it – was one of America’s highest-security prisons until it shut down in 1963 (the razor-sharp cliffs and frigid waters were enough to deter most escape plans).

Nowadays, visitors can hop on the ferry at Perry 33 and tour the accommodations once occupied by Al Capone and Machine Gun Kelly. Luckily, overnight visitors are no longer accepted.

Price from: £35
Minimum age: Any
Age suitable: 8+
When: All year around

Getting there & doing it

The only way to reach the Rock is by catching Alcatraz Cruise’s Alcatraz Ferry at Pier 33. During high season, ferries leave almost every half-hour between 9am and 7pm.

Alcatraz tickets often sell out, and booking ahead is essential.

Different tours are available depending on your desired departure time, and ticket prices include both the ferry roundtrip and guided tour. Tours (2.5 hours including return journey) include a ranger tour and a 45-minute audio presentation. It’s also possible to do a longer 5.5 hour tour combining visits to Alcatraz and Angel Island, where guests are taken on a one-hour narrated tram tour.

When to do it

Tours run all year round, daily. During high season, ferries leave almost every half-hour between 9am and 7pm.

Night tours, leaving pre-dusk, are the most comprehensive, and have a decidedly spooky feel. As a bonus, you can enjoy the lovely sight of the sun setting over San Francisco.

Early Bird and Day Tours use audio tour, and are less intimate and interesting than the guided Night Tours. Early Bird Tours are the least crowded, departing 8.45am.

Our selection of the best Viator tours of this attraction or activity

Alcatraz Ticket + Fisherman's Wharf Walking Tour

San Francisco

Alcatraz Ticket + Fisherman's Wharf Walking Tour
Visit some of the top attractions along San Francisco's famous waterfront: Ghirardelli Square, Fisherman's Wharf and Pier 39 with this special tour plus Alcatraz ticket. Save time and see more. During this 75 minute walking tour you'll learn about the rich history of the area with one of our highly rated guides, all while taking in amazing views. You'll visit iconic landmarks and hear incredible stories about the gold rush, the cable car system, earthquakes and much more.

Price: $99

Min age: 5

Rating 4.53 / 5 [89 ratings]

Tour supplied by:

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Alcatraz Inside and Golden Gate Bridge Express Visit

San Francisco

Alcatraz Inside and Golden Gate Bridge Express Visit
Enjoy two same day San Francisco experiences — a round trip express excursion to the Golden Gate Bridge (SF side) by minibus from Fisherman’s Wharf with an assigned time visit inside Alcatraz cellhouse. Basic Tour departs Fisherman's Wharf to experience 45 minutes at the Golden Gate Bridge (SF side). There is also an option to upgrade in advance to visit the other side of the bridge in addition to San Francisco side or to choose a small group van experience. No food included. Guests can upgrade to the "Walk The Bridge with Brunch" option where we drop guests at the other side of the bridge to which guests have TWO HOURS to walk back to the San Francisco side. Their efforts are rewarded with a $10 brunch credit and pick up at the Bridge Restaurant. Light History Narration and Television Monitor Documentaries will be provided. Guests will be dropped off directly at Pier 33 Alcatraz or Wharf. Some dates may start with Alcatraz followed by Golden Gate Bridge.

Price: $100

Min age: 0

Rating 4.53 / 5 [119 ratings]

Tour supplied by:

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Alcatraz Inside and One Day Bike Rental

San Francisco

Alcatraz Inside and One Day Bike Rental
See the bay your own way with this 2-day combo package! This package combines a trip to Alcatraz with an business day San Francisco bike rental. On your first day, you will be assigned by us a random ferry boat time to go inside the Alcatraz cellhouse with audio tour of the grounds. Stay as long as you like during opening hours and return on any boat you desire. Your second day includes a one NON MOTORIZED self guided bike rental departing from Fisherman's Wharf. This pedal yourself bike may be used from 10am-5pm and due back before close of business. Guest may redeem the one time bike rental on the same day as Alcatraz or one day after if they choose. Bike vouchers not used within one day after Alcatraz date will be forfeited.

Price: $126

Min age: 5

Rating 4.14 / 5 [102 ratings]

Tour supplied by:

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Small Group Tour: San Francisco, Muir Woods, Sausalito with OPTIONAL Alcatraz

San Francisco

Small Group Tour: San Francisco, Muir Woods, Sausalito with OPTIONAL Alcatraz
You get to see everything in one day! All the main sites in San Francisco, a lunch break in Sausalito, and a walk around Muir Woods. If you have selected the Alcatraz option, you will take a ferry ride to Alcatraz Island in the afternoon for the Official Alcatraz Tour. 8am – Depart Fisherman’s Wharf 8-9:30am – Explore San Francisco’s BEST neighborhoods! You will be treated to entertaining stories about the neighborhoods and several photo stops. 9:30-11am – Explore Muir Woods You will have 75 minutes among some of the last remaining coastal redwoods in the world! 11am-12pm – Lunch in Sausalito Enjoy lunch in the quaint town of Sausalito where you can shop and explore! 1:30pm - If you have selected the Alcatraz option, you will be dropped off at Pier 33 for the Official Alcatraz Tour! For those not going to Alcatraz, you will be dropped off at the same location as your meeting point.

Price: $129

Min age: 0

Rating 4.83 / 5 [684 ratings]

Tour supplied by:

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Official Alcatraz Tour + 90 minute City Bucket List Excursion

San Francisco

Official Alcatraz Tour + 90 minute City Bucket List Excursion
Take the Official Alcatraz Tour, then see our favorite neighborhoods and San Francisco highlights, including the Golden Gate Bridge. • Start your day with the Official Alcatraz Tour (ferry departs at various times). • After Alcatraz, see our favorite neighborhoods in San Francisco, including the Golden Gate Bridge. • Our 2 hour city tour includes 7 different locations, 3 different photo stops, all with a local guide. • Get your Instagram worthy pics at our Fort Point stop with gorgeous views of the Golden Gate Bridge. • Know the best restaurant stops as we take you through the history, culture, and architecture of the area. • See famous TV and movie spots from Mrs. Doubtfire, and more. PLEASE SEE BELOW TOUR DEPARTURE TIMES: Alcatraz departs at 12pm (pier 33/Alcatraz Landing) 90 minute city tour departs at 4pm (pier 35 next to SS Jeremiah O’Brien)

Price: $139

Min age: 0

Rating 4.89 / 5 [104 ratings]

Tour supplied by:

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Alcatraz Island Tour Packages

San Francisco

Alcatraz Island Tour Packages
Combining Muir Woods and Alcatraz affords the client the opportunity to experience and see 3 major destination points. * Golden Gate Bridge * Muir Woods National Monument * Alcatraz Island The first leg of the tour will start with a guided bus tour over the Golden Gate Bridge. We make our way to Muir Woods National Monument. The the route taken affords the client beautiful views of the Golden Gate Bridge, and San Francisco skyline, and the surrounding bay. After Muir Woods, the tour will return to San Francisco and drop the clients off at Pier 33 "Alcatraz Landing". Here the clients will catch their scheduled ferry to Alcatraz Island. The Ferry ride is approximately 30 minutes in length. The unobstructed views of the Golden Gate Bridge, San Francisco SkyLine, the Bay Bridge as well as all the geographical phenomena unique to the "Bay" make for prime photo opportunities.

Price: $141

Min age: 1

Rating 4.53 / 5 [143 ratings]

Tour supplied by:

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Alcatraz and Muir Woods Express with Golden Gate Bridge Visit

San Francisco

Alcatraz and Muir Woods Express with Golden Gate Bridge Visit
Combine inside Alcatraz with an assigned time same day visit to Muir Woods with Golden Gate Bridge. Enjoy a hybrid of light driver narration with bridge history and Alcatraz Escape presentations. This tour includes: Assigned By Us: Muir Wood Van departure time (70+ minute) Assigned By Us: Alcatraz Island Admission Time Slot (2.5+ hours) Golden Gate Bridge stop (15+ minutes) We will assign your time in advance. We will assign a random time slot as early as 6:45am or as late as 5pm in peak times. VIP James Woods Road Trip Upgrade: Our full Muir Woods Express plus bonus time in Sausalito with brunch credit. Guests will be returned to Wharf by van or scheduled Sausalito ferry. Some dates will start by ferry in Sausalito then Muir Woods and Golden Gate. We will advise. 645am Early Bird: Get there before the crowds do! Enjoy nature as it was intended with silence! We are often the first tour group there! Enjoy $10 Brunch credit after Muir Woods at our chosen vendor.

Price: $150

Min age: 0

Rating 4.78 / 5 [231 ratings]

Tour supplied by:

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Alcatraz with Muir Woods and Sausalito Tour

San Francisco

Alcatraz with Muir Woods and Sausalito Tour
Combine three of the Bay Area's top attractions—Alcatraz Island, Muir Woods, and Sausalito—in a single tour from San Francisco. Enjoy comfortable transportation in a luxury tour van as you ride across the Golden Gate Bridge, allowing you to focus on the scenery instead of driving and directions. Independent travelers will love the free time to explore both Muir Woods and Sausalito. Your Alcatraz admission includes the ferry ride and the audio tour. The 8:30am option departs from 545 Post Street. It will start with Muir Woods and Sausalito then go to Alcatraz. The 9:10am option departs from Pier 33. It will start with Alcatraz then go to Muir Woods and Sausalito. All transportation provided in a luxury tour van Small group of just 14 people or fewer Includes Alcatraz admission ticket, ferry ride, and audio tour

Price: $159

Min age: 0

Rating 4.53 / 5 [749 ratings]

Tour supplied by:

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San Francisco Combo: Ferry Building Food Tour and Alcatraz

San Francisco

San Francisco Combo: Ferry Building Food Tour and Alcatraz
The historic Ferry Building and Alcatraz are two of San Francisco's most prolific attractions. On this not-to-be missed combo tour, you get to see them both in one day. First, enjoy 90 minutes in the Ferry Building to nibble on some of the city’s finest fare during a guided tour.  Please note that the Farmer's Market is active on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays. Tours on all other days will spend more time and visits inside the building. After the food tour, walk over to Pier 33 to pick up your tickets and board your ferry to Alcatraz. On Alcatraz Island, the Cellhouse audio tour will captivate you with live recordings from the former prisoners.

Price: $174

Min age: 0

Rating 4.49 / 5 [151 ratings]

Tour supplied by:

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San Francisco Small Group City Sightseeing and Alcatraz Tour

San Francisco

San Francisco Small Group City Sightseeing and Alcatraz Tour
This urban adventure in San Francisco takes you around the city in a safari-style open-air vehicle, then drops you off at the ferry to Alcatraz Island for the cellhouse audio tour. On this uniquely crafted sightseeing tour limited to 12 people, you will see renowned landmarks like the Golden Gate Bridge and hear quirky stories about the city as an entertaining guide drives your custom vehicle through SF's distinctive neighborhoods. After the four hour city tour, your tour guide will drop you off at Pier 33 where you will catch the ferry to Alcatraz Island. Most guests spend two to three hours at their leisure enjoying the audio walking tour of the former federal penitentiary known as ‘the Rock’. Hotel pickup is included.

Price: $180

Min age: 0

Rating 4.92 / 5 [202 ratings]

Tour supplied by:

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Best Alcatraz Prison Tickets & San Francisco Combo Tour

San Francisco

Best Alcatraz Prison Tickets & San Francisco Combo Tour
Why Choose Us? Because we are unconditionally committed to excellence in all we do We offer new custom tours and exclusive outdoor adventures We specialize in private tours and provide high quality travel services Certified local business and hundreds of five–star reviews Reliable, passionate, professional and multilingual tour guides Complimentary services and all-inclusive tour packages Luxury 4WD SUVs and top-of-the-line vehicles Go where you want to go, travel your way and at your pace Quality products, great values and no hidden fees All applicable taxes and entrance fees included Luxury excursions and VIP travel services à la carte Refreshments and breakfast or champagne included (Balloon rides) Expert photographers and hiking tour leaders available Family-friendly tour operator, you will not be disappointed!

Price: $393

Min age: 0

Rating 4.95 / 5 [234 ratings]

Tour supplied by:

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Destination guides including or relevant to this experience

San Francisco

California, United States of America (USA)

Early morning low fog at Golden Gate Bridge

A beautiful bayside city with home-grown authenticity, charmingly unique neighbourhoods and excellent locally-driven food. Home to the magnificent red-ochre Golden Gate Bridge and the world’s most infamous prison, Alcatraz.