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  • Address: Ferries depart from Pier 33, San Francisco, California 94123, USA
  • Hours: Multiple departure times available
  • Admission: Varies
Alcatraz, the former federal prison that once held notorious criminals Scarface Al Capone and George 'Machine Gun' Kelly, is today a national historic landmark and one of the most sought-out (and sold-out) attractions in the San Francisco Bay Area. Tour the remains of the maximum-security facility on small and windy Alcatraz Island, aptly nicknamed 'The Rock,' to scope out the grounds and cellhouse; hear stories from former inmates; and pass by the Golden Gate Bridge, Bay Bridge, and Angel Island on your 1.25-mile (2-km) ferry rides in and out.

The Basics
Alcatraz is only accessible by tour, and tickets sell out days (sometimes weeks) in advance. Lock in high-demand tickets by booking a San Francisco city tour that includes admission to the infamous federal penitentiary and a day of sightseeing via bike, bus, boat, or Segway. City tours typically cover highlights such as Chinatown, Coit Tower, North Beach, the Presidio, and the Ferry Building, while other booking options combine a hard-to-snag Alcatraz tour with a cable car ride, a bay cruise to Sausalito, or a multi-day adventure into the Marin headlands, wine country, or Muir Woods.

Once on the island, visitors can explore at their own pace with the self-guided cellhouse audio tour (included in admission). You'll also find National Park Service exhibits, video presentations, docent- and ranger-led guided tours, and special programs that vary by season. Allow about 2.5 hours for the full Alcatraz prison experience, including both 15-minute ferry rides.

Things to Know Before You Go
  • Alcatraz tickets include round-trip ferry transportation (take note of the assigned departure time printed on your ferry ticket). You can take any ferry back to the city, available every half hour or so.
  • Bring a camera and a coat for the chilly but beautiful ferry rides.
  • You'll find a few snacks offered on the ferry and water available on the island.
  • The walk to the prison from the ferry dock is steep and hilly; an electric shuttle departs from the dock twice an hour for visitors requiring assistance. While wheelchairs are not provided or loaned at the prison, the cellhouse does have elevators.
How to Get to Alcatraz
All Alcatraz island tours depart via ferry from Pier 33 near Fisherman's Wharf in San Francisco. There are several parking garages in the area with rates from $25 to $50 per day, but prices typically double during special events, so consider taking public transportation. Multiple Muni lines run through the area, including the F-Line trolley. To arrive in style, consider booking a Viator VIP experience aboard an exclusive cable car.

When to Get to Alcatraz
Alcatraz cruises depart every half hour between 9am and 4pm. The early-bird trip departs at 8:45am, while the limited Alcatraz night tour allows visitors to stay on the grounds until 9:25pm and includes both live boat narration and a guided walk from the dock to the prison. Alcatraz tickets are hardest to come by in spring and summer.

Tours & Tickets

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Big Bus San Francisco Sightseeing and Alcatraz Combo, San Francisco, null
TVRM_SORTED : true ESSENTIAL : 1 ADMISSION : 3

Big Bus San Francisco Sightseeing and Alcatraz Combo

4.5 star rating: Recommended 199 Reviews

See all of San Francisco's top attractions with this special Big Bus hop-on hop-off tour and combo package. Create your own sightseeing itinerary, hopping on ...  Read more

Location: San Francisco, California
Duration: 1 day pass

From USD $110.00
Jail and Sail: Alcatraz Tour and Twilight Bay Cruise, San Francisco, Hop-on Hop-off Tours
TVRM_SORTED : true ESSENTIAL : 1 ADMISSION : 3

Jail and Sail: Alcatraz Tour and Twilight Bay Cruise

5 star rating: Highly Recommended 457 Reviews

Explore the best of San Francisco Bay on this great-value Alcatraz and sunset cruise combo in the summer months or hop aboard the twilight cruise in the winder ...  Read more

Location: San Francisco, California
Duration: 6 hours (approx.)

From USD $105.25
San Francisco Helicopter and Alcatraz Tour, San Francisco, Day Cruises
TVRM_SORTED : true ESSENTIAL : 1 ADMISSION : 3

San Francisco Helicopter and Alcatraz Tour

5 star rating: Highly Recommended 64 Reviews

See the best of San Francisco by combining a helicopter flight above the spectacular cityscape with a tour of one of its top landmarks. Spend up to 20 minutes ...  Read more

Location: San Francisco, California
Duration: Flexible

From USD $232.25
3-for-1 Pass: Alcatraz, The San Francisco Dungeon and Madame Tussauds, San Francisco, Helicopter ... 
TVRM_SORTED : true ESSENTIAL : 1 ADMISSION : 3

3-for-1 Pass: Alcatraz, The San Francisco Dungeon and Madame Tussauds

4.5 star rating: Recommended 119 Reviews

Madame Tussauds, San Francisco Dungeon, and Alcatraz are three of San Francisco’s most intriguing attractions. On this exciting combo tour, you’ll have the ...  Read more

Location: San Francisco, California
Duration: 3 hours (approx.)

From USD $120.00
San Francisco Combo: Alcatraz and City Segway Tour, San Francisco, Attraction Tickets
TVRM_SORTED : true ESSENTIAL : 1 ADMISSION : 3

San Francisco Combo: Alcatraz and City Segway Tour

5 star rating: Highly Recommended 107 Reviews

Explore Alcatraz and take a city Segway tour to see top San Francisco attractions such as the Golden Gate Bridge, Coit Tower, and Fisherman’s Wharf on this ...  Read more

Location: San Francisco, California
Duration: 5 hours (approx.)

From USD $112.25
San Francisco Combo: Ferry Building Food Tour and Alcatraz, San Francisco, Segway Tours
TVRM_SORTED : true ESSENTIAL : 1 ADMISSION : 3

San Francisco Combo: Ferry Building Food Tour and Alcatraz

4.5 star rating: Recommended 104 Reviews

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 ...  Read more

Location: San Francisco, California
Duration: 60 minutes (approx.)

From USD $145.00
3-in-1 Ultimate Bay Area Package: Alcatraz Tour Including Muir Woods and San Francisco City Tour, ... 
TVRM_SORTED : true ESSENTIAL : 1 ADMISSION : 3

3-in-1 Ultimate Bay Area Package: Alcatraz Tour Including Muir Woods and San Francisco City Tour

4.5 star rating: Recommended 18 Reviews

See the best of the Bay Area in a convenient way with this 3-in-1 sightseeing package that introduces you to some of the most popular destinations in and ...  Read more

Location: San Francisco, California
Duration: 2 days (approx.)

From USD $190.00
Alcatraz and San Francisco Bay Sightseeing Boat Tour, San Francisco, Attraction Tickets
TVRM_SORTED : true ESSENTIAL : 1 ADMISSION : 3

Alcatraz and San Francisco Bay Sightseeing Boat Tour

5 star rating: Highly Recommended 81 Reviews

Enjoy two separate adventures on San Francisco Bay with this combo experience that includes an Alcatraz tour inside the world famous prison and a sightseeing ...  Read more

Location: San Francisco, California
Duration: 90 minutes (approx.)

From USD $145.00
San Francisco Seaplane Flight and Alcatraz Tour, San Francisco, Day Cruises
TVRM_SORTED : true ESSENTIAL : 1 ADMISSION : 3

San Francisco Seaplane Flight and Alcatraz Tour

5 star rating: Highly Recommended 43 Reviews

See the highlights of San Francisco on this exciting tour that combines a 6-passenger seaplane flight with a ticket to Alcatraz. Start or end your adventure ...  Read more

Location: San Francisco, California
Duration: Varies; flight is 30 min

From USD $226.25
San Francisco Urban Adventure and Alcatraz Tour, San Francisco, Air Tours
TVRM_SORTED : true ESSENTIAL : 1 ADMISSION : 3

San Francisco Urban Adventure and Alcatraz Tour

5 star rating: Highly Recommended 69 Reviews

This urban adventure in San Francisco takes you around the city in a safari-style open-air vehicle, then drops you off at Pier 33 for an afternoon ferry ride ...  Read more

Location: San Francisco, California
Duration: 4 hours (approx.)

From USD $175.00

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