Alcatraz tour is mandatory if you are in San Francisco. The most famous prison in the world even if you are not a fan of this kind of sightseeing I assure you that you will find the story very interesting. I really enjoyed the tour, and the audioguide, I 100% recommend this visit.
Alcatraz can be visited both day and night. The first costs 46USD and the second 56USD includes the ferry return an audio guide. Departure every 30min, the ferry ride is 10 / 15min, is very fast but will give you a beautiful view of San Francisco.
I recommend buying tickets for at least one month before the date especially if in summer. This combo ticket includes too the hop on and hops off of the San Francisco Tourist Bus. Allowing you to create your ideal sightseeing itinerary around the city and explore the places that interest you the most. Hungry? Check the 5 things you need to taste in San Francisco!
BEFORE THE TOUR
There is a lot of parking, also at Pier 33 where you take the ferry, 20USD for daily parking. With public transport, you can take the tram line E or F which stops at The Embarcadero & Bay St. With bus is the L-OWL line, remember there isn’t a metro transport in San Francisco.
Have you misjudged the time to get to the port and are you afraid that they will not let you get up at the time you have booked? No problem! If you have lost your ferry do not worry you can use a waiting line that will allow you to get on the first ferry with available seats.
Alcatraz Island appears often in media and popular culture, X-Men: The Last Stand, Catch Me If You Can, The Rock, Escape from Alcatraz, Birdman of Alcatraz.
Once you get off the ferry a guide will show you the various tours you can take and other general information about the island. The tour with the audio guide is only inside the prison, outside you can read the various information boards up to the entrance of the prison.
I do not want to make you the usual spoilers on the tour. I can only tell you that the prison was closed in 1963 and the audio guide will tell you the story of the various escape attempts. The tour lasts 1h30min and I’m sure you’ll love it.
During the 29 years, it was in use, the jail held some of the most notorious criminals in American history, such as Al Capone and Robert Franklin Stroud. The penitentiary claimed that no prisoner successfully escaped. A total of 36 prisoners made 14 escape attempts.
Alcatraz Island was occupied by Native American activists for the first time on March 8, 1964. The occupiers, who stayed on the island for nearly two years, demanded the island’s facilities are adapted and new structures built for an Indian education center, ecology center, and cultural center.