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Ways to Experience Alcatraz Island
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Reviewed yesterday

Alcatraz is for sure a "must see" experience and we had the 'Alcatraz feeling' the whole trip. However, a couple of things disappointed us. The waiting experience to the boat is not fun at all. A giant line, several checks for your ticket. Not a very nice experience. Could be easily improved if the line was themed (ie. prisoners waiting for there transfer). On the Island/in the prison the audio tour is informative, but a little short and for me it misses the 'thing'. I never had the feeling I was visiting thé most famous prison in the US. But maybe that's just me.

Thank Jarno B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed yesterday

I had been told by friends not to bother with Alcatraz, it was boring and not worth the admission apparently, so I ignored them and got tickets lol. The boat ride was easy and the views are nice. Once we arrived you are given a bit of background information by a Ranger and then up the hill you go. The hill is rather steep so be prepared, not like running a marathon but it takes a little bit of an effort.

Once at the top of the hill you enter the prison and line up for your audio guidance set. The audio guide was very good, the stories and insights are fantastic and make for an enjoyable experience, it does however have you doubling back in a few areas which creates a bit of crowding but overall I thought the tour was worth the effort.

Whilst it is enjoyable I left feeling that it was after all just a prison, and like most old prisons it has interesting stories to tell. So I personally wouldn't fly to San Francisco just for Alcatraz, but if you are going there anyway then the tour is certainly worth it in my opinion.

Thank DLF1984
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed yesterday via mobile

Ferry was easy and well organised. Be sure to book it sells out weeks in advance.
Audio tour is really good and nite tour had some extra bits like going right around the island on the ferry and some presentations after the prison tour.
It's interesting, but I wonder how popular it would be if not for the various movies.

Thank mellowred156
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed yesterday via mobile

It’s an icon of San Francisco and a great experience to see. We took the early bird ferry. If you can get there in time I would recommend it. Book tickets online before as they do sell out for this time slot but it gives you almost an hour head start on the rest of the tourists which means it’s a lot quieter getting around. The audio tour is brilliant

Thank jessr549
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed yesterday via mobile



Ferry boat ride across the bay, self-guided audio tour of the penitentiary and return ferry trip to San Fran...about 3 hours total, including walking around to check out the rest of the island. The whole venture was very well set up, well executed and completely worth it. The audio tour tells you when to start the recording and then gives you fantastic directions on where to walk to or look next while the narration gives you wonderful facts about the facility. Even when they describe certain events, like the convicts overpowering a guard, you hear the scuffle and punches being thrown in the background. It sounded like you were right there when it was happening. You can start off the experience with a brief film which gives you a quick overview of the history of Alcatraz, from its beginnings as a Union fort during the Civil War, to it's 30 year run as a Federal Penitentiary. We visited when the fires in California were raging, creating such a haze that it obscured what I suspect is an outstanding view of the city of San Fran and the Golden Gate Bridge. However, by no means did that dampen my view of the whole Alcatraz experience. It was fantastic!

Thank rschmitt73
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed yesterday

Had an amazing day on Alcatraz Island. Pre-purchased tickets in Australia prior to going to SF to avoid the possibility of missing out. Great experience. Audio tour is fantastic

Thank 659Colin1212
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed yesterday via mobile

The audio tour was spot on guiding you through every turn. Amazing to stand there and think that is how prisoners lived. Made the movies come to life! Equally interesting are the back stories to the island and unknown to me the story of the native Americans on the island

Thank Trolz
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed yesterday via mobile

We visited Alcatraz early boat, if you take later boats the island and jail are completely overrun. We used a guide and a device you can get which gives you more detail. We did the cell isolation, if you suffer from claustrophobia do not do this, we had a lady and she ruined it for us but she did not know she was going to have a claustrophobic fit, we did the cell a second time, wow how those prisoners ever stayed sane is unbelievable, it is worth doing. All i can say for the rest it is totally worthwhile.

Thank R.A. S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed yesterday via mobile

Having 4 early teen kids, their knowledge of Alcatraz is almost nil. But the interest is there ( due to some of their classmates story). To not make a tour where only the parents are keenly interested, I introduced a long, tedious process of what can be seen there, including the infamous escapes that promoted its closure.

The tour went well. After alighting from the ferry boat that alternatingly sail about every half- hour or so from pier 33 to Alcatraz island, we proceeded immediately to tour the prison proper after a brief introductory speech by an officer about rules & regulations in the complex. It was exactly as what you will see in the movie. Together with the headseat that serves as our tour guide, we walked through all parts if the prison cells, mess halls, places of historical break-outs, warden and officers housing areas. There are other places to tour around the island that is not actually behind bars like civilian population residences, industry or factory of sort but we did not venture any further.

The end of the tour will let you exit through a nice souvenir shop with a lot of things like keychains, books, metal reglamentary signs, posters, cups, shirts etc. An added bonus on the day of our visit was a book signing by one of the last surviving correctional officer turned author George Devincenzi, where he signed our book and obliged a nice photo with my family.

Thank renniem888
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed yesterday via mobile

Make sure you take your family to Alcatraz and learn the history of this fascinating prison and island that’s been around for 70 years and has held many an interesting prisoner escape artist the Birdman how to swim off of the island the currents of the island water surrounding it and the actual jail cells just a fascinating piece of American history

Thank rpalive
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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