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Ways to Experience Alcatraz Island
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Reviewed today

We just had to visit Alcatraz during our stay in San Francisco and taking advice, we booked our tickets well in advance as the ferries get very full. We also booked direct with the Alcatraz Ferry website as this is much cheaper than any organised tour, as it includes admission, etc. The ferry ride is short and sweet, passing seals and seabirds. Our view of the golden Gate Bridge was spoiled due to the smog from the fires in California. There is a lot of walking on the small island, and the first section is quite steep. However a tram is available but only for those who really need it. We took the self-guided audio tour (no charge) which lasted around an hour and give a very good history of the prison, with some rather graphic background sounds too. At the end of the tour there is a large gift shop. There is no rush to leave the island, you can catch any ferry back to the mainland, and these run every 20 minutes or so. My overall impression was that I'm glad I wasn't a criminal in the mid 20th century, it must have been a bleak place to do time.

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

I learned so much about Alcatraz. Beautiful scenery and lovely gift stores around. Lots of cafes and shops to browse before entering ferry.

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

We basically booked tour the at the very last minute and were lucky to be on the boat with hundreds of other people.
Alcatraz is historic and definitely must see!Highly recommend !!!( make sure you wear comfy shoes)

Thank foodies588
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed yesterday via mobile

Fascinating audio tour and a beautiful spot to see the city. We loved this and would dp it again!

The ferry has indoor and outdoor seating as well as food and drinks available for purchase.

Thank 613kristenc
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed yesterday

Despite many trips to the Bay area, I hadn't previously done this boat trip. My daughter had gone to college in the area, and ased on reports to her, had recommended against it. But I had some time before a meeting and rather enjoyed it. If you sit on the upper deck of the boat, it is windy, so watch your hat. There was a very good ranger tour, and we had good views in the early afternoon, despite the morning fog. The history of the site was really interesting, and I also enjoyed walking along the south side, which is closed when birds are nesting.

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

A must to do since it is world known and do the head phones at the beginning. Be ready for some walking once on the island.

Thank Andy E
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed 2 days ago via mobile

The self directed tour was so wonderful and worth every penny. I could have done it a second time from the beginning. The history is phenomenal and the fairy is quite great. Would have loved more history on the "Indian Occupation" by the First Nations People. Crucial piece of US history and not much about it.

Thank CBJamesS
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed 2 days ago via mobile

I had high expectations for this and still they were exceeded. It was so great, so interesting.. the audio tour is great and is free/included. Great shop on site as well. We went on first boat of the day, means less people and crowds on the island, made it a pleasant experience and i recommend to get on the early boat.

1  Thank chopstar87
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed 2 days ago via mobile

If you go to San Francisco, you simply must visit Alcatraz.
I went with my husband, and, to be honest, I didn’t think it was going to be my thing.
The ferry ride over was on time, smooth and took about 25 minutes.
On arrival to the island, you are given your do’s and dont’s then you are left to your own devices.
We set straight off for the prison. On arrival you are given a headset with an audible tour.
What a place, you have the voices of ex prisoners, ex guards etc in your head whilst you walk in their footsteps. It was amazing, erie, sad and startling all at the same time. I am so glad I didn’t have to stay!!
It is a stark reminder and, I must say, a shame it is still not ‘active’, if only as a deterrent!
Go and visit, you won’t regret it......

1  Thank AnitaJ193
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed 2 days ago via mobile

Always love going to Alcatraz. This was the second time visiting and it was even better the second time. Highly recommend you gonna if you have never been

1  Thank spenice101
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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