We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

“A must!”
Review of Alcatraz Island

Alcatraz Island
Certificate of Excellence
More attraction details
Attraction details
Fee: Yes
Recommended length of visit: 2-3 hours
Owner description: Park rangers conduct tours by recounting the prison's thrilling history along with intriguing anecdotes about Al Capone and other legendary figures that made a "home" here.
Reviewed 6 April 2018 via mobile

Only problem - you need to reserve the place on the ferry months in advance. The guided tour is entertaining and interesting, the view of the city - amazing!

Thank Airsealands
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Write a ReviewReviews (49,619)
Traveller rating
Traveller type
Time of year
  • More languages
All reviews
"audio tour"
in 10,664 reviews
"night tour"
in 3,207 reviews
"book in advance"
in 1,467 reviews
"cell block"
in 823 reviews
"cell house"
in 542 reviews
"boat ride"
in 1,793 reviews
"al capone"
in 453 reviews
"own pace"
in 1,475 reviews
"weeks in advance"
in 519 reviews
"park ranger"
in 398 reviews
"buy your tickets"
in 408 reviews
"self guided"
in 391 reviews
"great trip"
in 632 reviews
"take your time"
in 413 reviews
"worth the trip"
in 391 reviews
"angel island"
in 364 reviews
"bucket list"
in 378 reviews

2,366 - 2,370 of 49,633 reviews

Reviewed 6 April 2018 via mobile

Finally toured Alcatraz and I certainly wasn’t disappointed. The tour guides were very helpful and very nice. The headphone Cell tour was so cool and so informative. There was so much to see and it was so much fun to share that time with my son.

Thank LloydDob89
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 6 April 2018 via mobile

Our tour guide led us on a very interesting, educational, and fun tour of one of San Francisco's must see spots if you visit.

Dress appropriately depending on the time of year when you visit Alcatraz. It was early April and it was so cold!! The winds across the Bay made matters worse. Some of the tour is outside!

Thank John F
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 6 April 2018 via mobile

So interesting to see the island and learn about the inhabitants of the prison.
Book well in advance online to avoid disappointment.

Thank Grahamteam
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
See more reviews
Reviewed 6 April 2018

We decided to fly to San Francisco at the last minute for our family’s Spring Break vacation (booked flights and hotel on Sunday for a Tuesday departure). When I checked online for Alcatraz tickets, there were no evening options available (which was my preference). This is the 5 hour after dark tour that is longer and more strenuous. Given that it rained the entire day we went, in the end we were glad we did not book that one — although it does sound very cool (if the forecast is good). Other tips:
- You can carry a backpack with your own bottled water but the pack has to be a normal size one, not a huge backpacking one.
- The tour includes an audio device with prisoner and guard voices talking about their experiences and the history of the site. This is the main part of the visit. If you prefer, you can take your own ear buds as they will fit into the audio device.
- When you arrive, be sure to position yourself to the right of the ranger introduction so that you can head up the hill immediately in front of everyone else and won’t have to wait in line as long for the audio devices. The audio devices are given out in the main prison at the very top of the island. It is a zigzagging route and is a little strenuous if you walk quickly like we did.They do have a tram but it is for people that need extra assistance not the average tourist. When you are given your audio device, they will ask what language you want it in — there were multiple options.
- The best views / pictures are at the top of the ferry boat as you approach the island. It can be cool, so dress appropriately. If you sit up there, unfortunately you are also the last to get off. The lower floor has the cafe with tables and chairs.
- Be sure to bring an umbrella and/or rain coat depending on the forecast as you are outdoors as you walk up to the prison and when you wait for the next ferry to take you back (these run every half hour).
- If you’re not going to do the evening tour, consider doing the first tour. Besides being cheaper, you’re the first tour to get to the island so it is less crowded. I got some really cool pictures of empty hallways and areas. This didn’t last long though as the audio tour criss crosses parts of the prison so it gets pretty crowded in some of the bottleneck areas.
- On the way back down the hill, stop in and see the cannons. It is pretty cool how they swiveled back and forth and went forward and backwards. Right after that is another building you can go into. It talks about the Indian occupation (be sure to read the proclamation).
Really enjoyed the ferry ride and tour — well worth it!

3  Thank Brenda S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

Travellers who viewed Alcatraz Island also viewed


Been to Alcatraz Island? Share your experiences!

Write a Review Add Photos & Videos

Owners: What's your side of the story?

Own or manage this property? Claim your listing for free to respond to reviews, update your profile and much more.

Claim Your Listing