Alcatraz

Enter your dates to find available activities

Alcatraz: Our most recommended tours and activities

  • San Francisco: Escape from The Rock Bay Cruise

    1. San Francisco: Escape from The Rock Bay Cruise

    Cruise San Francisco Bay and sail under the Golden Gate Bridge on a 90-minute narrated tour around Alcatraz Island. Skip the box office line and go straight to the gate with your ticket.

    See Alcatraz island from the water while listening to accounts of the chilling escape attempts and the notorious criminals that called Alcatraz prison home. Cruise full circle around Alcatraz Island, allowing you to view every angle of this mysterious island, which housed famous inmates such as Al Capone, Billy Cook the Killer, and Clyde Johnson, whose escape attempt is legendary. Gain a clear picture of what life in this maximum-security prison was like when it was the most feared institution in the American penal system.

    This was a fun trip! I do wish someone would of warned us about how windy and cold it is if you sit on the outside deck. A winter coat and hat, at least, would of created a more comfortable experience. It did seem like the cruise was generous with the time. The only thing I would change is that when circling around Alkatraz that circling around at oppsite directions so that BOTH sides of the boat can get the good, unobstructed view. If you want an unobstructed view sit on the right hand side of the boat. Otherwise we enjoyed this cruise very much. Thank you!

  • San Francisco Bay Sunset Cruise by Luxury Catamaran

    2. San Francisco Bay Sunset Cruise by Luxury Catamaran

    Enjoy this relaxing 90-minute cruise on board a luxury catamaran and see sunset views of San Francisco as the sun dips below the San Francisco Bay. Sail by Alcatraz Island and under the Golden Gate Bridge, and search for sea lions playing in the ocean. Then, cruise along the shore, gazing on the city skyline as you watch the magnificent sunset.

    Relax onboard either a 55- or 65-foot catamaran. Both come complete with a protected viewing area, providing panoramic 360-degree viewing, in addition to canvas trampoline nets for the more adventurous who want to experience the ocean and sights in the bracing open air.

    the crew was very informative and prepared for our trip, even providing extra jackets if needed

  • San Francisco: Bay Sailing Tour with Drinks

    3. San Francisco: Bay Sailing Tour with Drinks

    Meet your captain and first mate at Pier 39, 15 minutes before your scheduled departure time. Check in and then make yourself comfortable on the Privateer, a lovely double-masted 28-person sailboat. Motor out of the dock, and once out on the bay, your crew will raise the sails. Sail past Alcatraz and Angel Island, get a great view of the Bay Bridge, take in the beautiful green landscape of Marin and the picturesque city of Sausalito, sail parallel to the Golden Gate for some great photo opportunities, and then return to views of the San Francisco waterfront before docking again at Pier 39.  While you are out on the water, your first mate will serve you two free beverages, your choice of beer, wine, soft drinks, or water! Friendly captains and first mates will be happy to answer any questions you might have during your tour, or you can feel free to just sit back, relax, and enjoy our in...

    If you want to experience sailing on the bay this is the way to do it. Very intimate, and close to the water, and not like standing on tugboat like some other tours. Friendly crew and having a couple beverages while viewing the Golden Gate Bridge from the water is unforgettable.

  • San Francisco: Waterfront Guided Tour and Alcatraz Ticket

    4. San Francisco: Waterfront Guided Tour and Alcatraz Ticket

    Meet your guide at the north end of Fisherman's Wharf at 9:30 AM and start your experience by taking in the amazing views of the bay, the Golden Gate Bridge and Alcatraz. Hear how San Francisco transformed from a sleepy village to a booming port city when gold fever swept the nation in 1849. Learn about the life of the Italian chocolatier Domenico Ghirardelli at the famous former chocolate factory in Ghirardelli Square. Stroll along the fog-lined waterfront and drool over the numerous stalls selling crab and clam chowder in sourdough bread bowls. Walk a portion of the historic Barbary Coast trail while your guide tells you about it's colorful past. You and your group will then make your way to Pier 39 and admire historic ships in the harbor. Witness the colony of sea lions that have taken over many of its docks. Continue along the Embarcadero Promenade and learn about its evolution fr...

    Dara Mihaly, our tour guide was knowledgeable and friendly. She provided a great experience with historical information that was fascinating. I would highly recommend her for any tourists.

  • San Francisco: Hop-on Hop-off Bus Tour with Alcatraz Ticket

    5. San Francisco: Hop-on Hop-off Bus Tour with Alcatraz Ticket

    Get a huge amount of choice for sightseeing in San Fransisco in one go—access to the hop-on hop-off city tour route, a special night tour, and tickets to the Alcatraz Island for a self-guided audio tour of the notorious prison. 

    Audio guides are available in a variety of languages but the hop-on hop-off tour is only available in English. With open double-decker buses and a guide on each one, you can see just about everything and learn just as much.

    You can get to all the most famous spots in the city, and 48 hours is enough time to go back and visit your favorites again. Official City Loop highlights include:

    The Palace of Fine Arts

    North Vista Point where you can take photos of Golden Gate Bridge

    Golden Gate Park where you c...

    The tour was very organized. The tour guides were very good in explaining the property. The Self-guided tour was thorough as well.

  • San Francisco: Alcatraz Tickets and Chinatown Walking Tour

    6. San Francisco: Alcatraz Tickets and Chinatown Walking Tour

    Begin your day with a local guide near the Dragon Gate of San Francisco's beloved Chinatown. Weave through time and space down the main street for a walking tour through a neighborhood lined with dragon lanterns, imperial terracotta statues, and all the adornment of a "Little Shanghai." Hear the stories of the former streets and alleys — how it came to be and the more seedy aspects of its Gold Rush foundations. Discover how the neighborhood has transformed over the decades. See neighborhood landmarks including Waverly Place and St. Mary’s Cathedral. Stop into a traditional apothecary featuring fascinating Chinese medicine. Snack on some fresh fortune cookies, a San Francisco invention, and take some home for the road (on us!). After your Chinatown tour, head out for lunch on your own into 2 incredible foodie neighborhoods. Your guide will set you up to find all the "locals only" spots ...

    I really enjoyed learning about Chinatown, Little Italy and Alcatraz. The tour guid was amazing and very informal.

  • San Francisco City Tour and Alcatraz Entrance Ticket Combo

    7. San Francisco City Tour and Alcatraz Entrance Ticket Combo

    Enjoy an approximately 4-hour guided tour of San Francisco. At each stop, you’ll have the chance to get off the bus and see the sights. Along the way, your fully narrated tour will show you San Francisco as you’ve never seen it before. Tour the city from the Bay to the Ocean, with photo stops at key locations. Enjoy great views and visit famous attractions, including the Golden Gate Bridge. Stopping at Twin Peaks will give you a breathtaking 360-degree view of the city from 1000 feet above sea level. Your tour will begin and end in Union Square but along the way, you will take in the superb vistas of Alcatraz Island and San Francisco Bay on this comprehensive half-day guided tour. Alcatraz Island remains one of San Francisco's greatest landmarks — and now you can experience its chilling allure for yourself. Packaged with the Grand City Tour, this Alcatraz combo features an award-winni...

    The tour guide was very knowledgeable and made the whole experience a great day.

  • San Francisco: Wine Tasting on the Bay

    8. San Francisco: Wine Tasting on the Bay

    Marvel the best views of the Golden Gate Bridge and San Francisco Bay. Start at Pier 39 and glide towards the Golden Gate Bridge, up close to the infamous Alcatraz, down the San Francisco city front, and past many other famous landmarks and attractions. Experience San Francisco from unique perspectives and take iconic photos of the world-famous skyline and wildlife from a 360-degree walkway around the boat. Enjoy personalized treatment and a large selection of local wines. Beverages are available for purchase during your tour.

    Such a great way to experience San Francisco bay! Beautiful views of the city and golden gate bridge. We were surprised at how close we got to Alcatraz! We even got to see a bunch of porpoises in the water. Enjoyed the casual setting and wine selection!

  • San Francisco: Golden Gate Bike Tour and Alcatraz Ticket

    9. San Francisco: Golden Gate Bike Tour and Alcatraz Ticket

    Cross San Francisco Bay on a journey to the notorious Alcatraz Prison by ferry. This world-famous prison served as a federal penitentiary from 1934 to 1963 and housed infamous criminals like Al Capone and Robert Stroud, the Birdman. Take the award-winning 45-minute Cellhouse audio tour and hear the tales of those who lived in Alcatraz. This tour brings history alive through the recounting of tales from correctional officers and prisoners. Your bike tour will take place the previous day 10:00 AM. Set off from Fisherman’s Wharf and enjoy a leisurely cycle for around 3 hours. You’ll be kitted out with a current model bike, front handlebar bag, lock, helmet, rear gear rack, and takeaway map – and then you’ll be ready to head out on tour! Follow the San Francisco waterfront with your guide, past Aquatic Park, Fort Mason, the Marina, and the Presidio, through Crissy Field and to Fort Point. ...

    Highly recommend both activities!!! Our bike tour was incredible and Alcatraz was very cool.

  • San Francisco: Alcatraz Island and Guided City Tour

    10. San Francisco: Alcatraz Island and Guided City Tour

    Following pickup, enjoy a 30-minute tour of San Francisco's waterfront where you will see notable landmarks such as Embarcadero, Levi’s Plaza, and Fisherman's Wharf. Enjoy a brief coffee break at the Ferry Building. Next, make your way to Pier 33 where you’ll board the ferry to start your Alcatraz Island tour. Listen to an audio presentation featuring recordings of inmates and guards that worked and inhabited the island. Enjoy 2-3 hours on "The Rock" where you will have time for a guided tour and some free time to explore.  Take one of the late-morning ferries to San Francisco so you can join for the afternoon portion of your day tour. Cruise along San Francisco’s waterfront and the Marina District, and then visit the Palace of Fine Arts. Explore the culturally rich neighborhoods of San Francisco. Learn about what made the Haight-Ashbury, Mission, and Castro districts what they are tod...

    The tour was good. Our driver made it fun and interesting. We were able to see quite a few places and heard some stories about the different sites. The only part that we didn't like was that we had to get our on ride back to where we were picked up. I feel that if you take the alcatraz cruise you should then be returned to your original pick up place.

Planning Your Visit

  • 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!

Other Sightseeing Options in Alcatraz

Want to discover all there is to do in Alcatraz? Click here for a full list.

What people are saying about Alcatraz

Overall rating

4.5 / 5

based on 3,406 reviews

We loved the tour! We went from the pier to the Golden Gate Bridge. We got very close to the Golden Gate Bridge and we were able to get some great photos of the city as the book turned around and headed back. We also got first row seats to Alcatraz Islands and were able to take up and close photos. We'd highly recommend this intimate boat tour if you're looking for a smaller setting to tour the bay and would enjoy some wine while you're at it. Note, it did get a bit windy and the waters got a bit choppy at the start but after that it was smooth sailing the rest of the way back.

Such a great way to experience San Francisco bay! Beautiful views of the city and golden gate bridge. We were surprised at how close we got to Alcatraz! We even got to see a bunch of porpoises in the water. Enjoyed the casual setting and wine selection!

Even with chilly weather, the trip was still a delight, and the crew made it fun (especially the bartender!)

the crew was very informative and prepared for our trip, even providing extra jackets if needed

Lots,of great information Very interesting and learned a lot.