Alcatraz
Urban Exploration

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Our most recommended Alcatraz Urban Exploration

San Francisco: Alcatraz Island and Guided City Tour

1. 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 today and why they’re important to so many. After a slow drive through Nob Hill and Chinatown, visit the charming Italian neighborhood of North Beach. Finally, enjoy a trip across the Golden Gate Bridge and pause along the cliffs to admire the beautiful views of the “city by the bay”. Take in the spectacular beauty of Golden Gate Park before finishing your tour.

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San Francisco: Golden Gate Bridge to Sausalito Bike Tour

2. San Francisco: Golden Gate Bridge to Sausalito Bike Tour

Experience San Francisco with the wind in your hair and the sun on your skin on this stunning city tour that takes you on a ride across the iconic Golden Gate Bridge. Truly the best way to see the bay, this tour is perfect for families and individuals seeking an up close and personal look at the city’s most celebrated landmark. Start the tour at the picturesque Aquatic Park in Fisherman’s Wharf, and then ride through the mostly flat National Park and through to Fort Mason, the Marina, Presidio National Park, and then onto the famous Golden Gate Bridge. Along the way, your local guide will share entertaining and educational information with you, including the history behind the Golden Gate Bridge and the city itself. Marvel at the stunning views across the bay as you cross the bridge on the sidewalk, followed by a 10-minute downhill ride into the charming bay side town of Sausalito. The tour ends here but your all-day bike rental allows you to explore the area at your own leisure and return the bike once you’ve explored it all. Why not grab a bite to eat, relax, shop, and enjoy Sausalito’s famously wonderful weather before taking your bike on the ferry back to San Francisco.

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San Francisco: Alcatraz Tickets and Chinatown Walking Tour

3. 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 and provide you with an easy map so you can enjoy San Francisco's eclectic cuisine options. After lunch, make your way to Alcatraz where your guide will give you all the insider information on how best to make the most of your time on the island. On the ferry ride, take in views of the Golden Gate Bridge and the bay. Explore the infamous Alcatraz prison, accompanying your visit with an award-winning audio guide.

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San Francisco: Luxury Van Tour with Snacks

4. San Francisco: Luxury Van Tour with Snacks

Explore the city on this luxury, air-conditioned van tour led by an expert local guide. Tours depart in small groups so you can enjoy a personal and friendly experience. Sit back, relax and avoid the crowds of bigger bus tours. Your tour starts at Fisherman’s Wharf, one of the city’s most beloved tourist destinations. The tour will stop for views over the Golden Gate Bridge and other popular sights such as Alcatraz. You'll have the chance to take it all in before heading over to lesser visited spots like Twin Peaks and Fort Point. Complimentary snacks and water are available as your guide takes you to local neighborhoods that the big tour buses don't visit. See the hustle and bustle of everyday life in the city and get to know the real San Francisco.

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Alcatraz Ticket & Streets of San Francisco E-Bike Tour

5. Alcatraz Ticket & Streets of San Francisco E-Bike Tour

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 at 11:00. On this 4-hour bike tour you’ll explore the back alleys of North Beach’s Little Italy and have up-close views of the iconic Transamerica Pyramid Building. See Barbary Coast and San Francisco’s historic supper clubs. Find out how the neighborhoods have transformed from scandalous to sparkling.  You’ll ride around the Giants’ Oracle ball park, and into the culturally rich Mission, Castro, and Haight Ashbury neighborhoods. See ever-changing street art and the locals that rule each area and make each community unique.  Cruise Nopa and take in the charming Painted Ladies of Alamo Square before visiting the Civic Center. Ride through Polk Gulch, which is San Francisco’s original gay neighborhood, and finish your ride at Aquatic Park. The tour ends at festive Fisherman’s Wharf. Important note: All bike tours take place one day prior to your selected Alcatraz departure. The date and time selected on your confirmation is for your Alcatraz tour on the second day.

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San Francisco: Highlights Self-Guided Audio Tour with App

6. San Francisco: Highlights Self-Guided Audio Tour with App

Explore San Francisco’s iconic landmarks at your own pace via an app with audio narration and multiple walking routes. See and learn about the Golden Gate Bridge, Pier 39, and Alcatraz at the tap of a finger. Know exactly where you are every step of the way with the app’s navigational system. Steer clear of big tour groups and visit your favorite sights thanks to the suggested routes on this app. Head to any of the available landmarks, including the leafy Golden Gate Park, Union Square, or up Lombard Street’s iconic steep hill, listening to interesting facts and stories at each hotspot. Hit pause whenever you feel like it and continue on your journey of discovery in your own time. Best of all, enjoy the unlimited use of the app and its features for the duration of your stay in San Francisco.

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Other Sightseeing Options in Alcatraz

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What people are saying about Alcatraz

Overall rating

4.9 / 5

based on 234 reviews

As someone with advanced arthritis in my knees, I was pleasantly surprised at the pace of the walking tour (Chinatown through North Beach to Pier 33 - Alcatraz. There are hills to climb and the combined tour is 3+ hours, but it was a nicely timed tour and a comfortable walk with a few stops (to shop or to listen to a local story, plus an hour break for lunch). The combination of the tours gives non-locals a nice flavor of the city in one outing - between the shops, markets and a tour of a fortune cookie factory. Would highly recommend!

We did this tour on the first full day we were in San Francisco and we felt it was a great introduction to the city! Joseph was our tour guide and Archie was our driver and they made a great team with their combined knowledge from growing up in the area. Alcatraz was awesome and we were lucky enough to experience it during fleet week with the Blue Angels flying above us. Highly recommended activity!

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

Ellen was amazing and very knowledgeable! Will definitely recommend this tour to people visiting the area!

In a word, easy. They were very communicative with the whole process.