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Alcatraz: Tours & Tickets

See all tours & things to do in Alcatraz
See all 211 tickets & tours

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

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

The "Birdman of Alcatraz" actually became a respected ornithologist at his previous prison, Leavenworth. Alcatraz wouldn't let him keep animals!

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 "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.

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!

Alcatraz: Our 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 to visit
    Ferry departures from 9AM daily.
  • What is the price?
    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 tips
    • 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

Fantastic Trip, well worth a day of anyone's time.

Great day out, fantastic tour guide who made the drive there and back to San Francisco enjoyable.
San Francisco to Yosemite Park Full-Day Tour Reviewed by Nathan, 10/16/2016

Sunset bike tour was fantastic, trip to Alcatraz just topped it all.

Sunset bike tour was excellent, very well organised and conducted by well informed friendly guide. Took in all of the Bay sights from Fishermans Wharf to across the Golden Gate Bridge. Alcatraz was just amazing a wonderful step back in time to how the island was ran, firstly as a military prison and then as a state prison. Excellent trip which you could conduct at your own pace along with the cell block audio tour which was very informative. The views from the island of San Francisco and the Golden Gate Bridge were truly memorable. All round a fantastic, value for money excursion.
San Francisco: Alcatraz and Bike Tour Reviewed by Shaun, 10/04/2016

If you can, do the sail first so you have more te at Alcatraz.

Had a wonderful sailing day in October with 20+ winds and sun for great views of the GG Bridge!

Rolling on 2 wheels without an ounce of effort

My two sisters and I (all around 50) went Segwaying to celebrate a birthday. I have been a few times before on other tours, but this was my sisters first times. They both picked it up quickly and had no problems riding up and down the roads of San Francisco. It was an ideal way to see San Francisco especially since one sister has a sore knee.
3-Hour San Francisco Segway Tour Reviewed by Kristin, 10/01/2016

Fantastic tour of mist important highlights of San Francisco!

Great guided bicycle tour of san francisco. A must do if you are visiting san francisco. Easy biking and very safe. Alcatraz also a must see and great experience.
San Francisco: Alcatraz and Bike Tour Reviewed by Susanna, 09/19/2016

Things To Do Near Alcatraz

Based on 256 reviews by GetYourGuide customers