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“A must do and see if in San Francisco”
Review of Alcatraz Island

Alcatraz Island
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Viator Exclusive: Alcatraz and Aquarium of the...
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Fee: Yes
Recommended length of visit: 2-3 hours
Owner description: Park rangers conduct tours by recounting the prison's thrilling history along with intriguing anecdotes about Al Capone and other legendary figures that made a "home" here.
Reviewed July 23, 2013

A very telling audio tour of the history of Alacatraz. You walked the halls and into the cells where those prisoners were and got a first hand look at what life was like for them.

Thank Beth D
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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"audio tour"
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in 1,508 reviews
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in 460 reviews
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in 530 reviews
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30,146 - 30,150 of 50,676 reviews

Reviewed July 23, 2013

We had such a fun time on this tour. The ferry takes you over to the island in about 10 minutes or so. The ride over is pleasant- but windy. There is space to get out of the wind on the boat however. They also offer beverages and food on the boat. You cannot take food on the island though. And they only allow water bottles on the island. This tour is not too crowded. They do a nice job of limiting the number of visitors at once. I did not feel it was too crowded at all. We had room to walk around. There were seats open on the boat at all times for people. The island itself was a lot of fun. The tour includes an audio self tour that guides you through the main jail. You get all the "inside scoop" of life at Alcatraz. They have at least 2 gift stores on the island so you can find that replica jail key you've waited your whole life to get.
You are welcomed to stay as long as you want and are free to walk most of the island. There are some parts they limited but it seems like it is due to it being in disrepair or under construction. You can see the good parts. They let you take all the photos you want too. You do get to go into a cell.
Tips: Buy your tickets as soon as you know you want to go. We went on July 12th. When we were there, they had a sign up that said they were booked until August 8th at that time. If we had waited, we would have been out of luck. We think that the other tours buy up some of the tickets- like the bus tour around the city - I overheard them tell a passenger that they had tickets. So, if you miss out, you could try to get them that way. Go early enough so you have enough time on the island. We booked a 1:30pm trip and it was plenty of time. We wanted to do the night cruise but it was booked up when we made our reservation. We were glad we missed it as I was pretty cold on this trip and at night it would have been colder. But, if you want to do the night cruise- definitely book that even earlier. Having been on the tour though- I can't imagine it is as good at night. Take another cruise on the water at night to see the city lights. I'd recommend going during the day to see Alcatraz though. The views are amazing from Alcatraz and you really get the perspective of what it was like for the men who were incarcerated there. Another tip- they have a bathroom on the ferry boat, a bathroom right when you get off the boat, and one up by the main jail (a climb- or tram ride for those with disabilities). That's it.

1  Thank pcnj444
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 23, 2013

Absolutely loved it. We went with a group of Friends on the night tour and I can thouroughly recommend it. You get the usual audio guide tour plus a few extra bits which they open up at night (the hospital wing etc.) The atmosphere is definately creepy (although this may also be the case during the day!) Then you can go back on the boat or hang around for an extra hour or so for the talks, We listened to 2. One about the Myths of Alcatraz (where the ghost stories come from etc.) and one called The sounds of the Slammer which was great. We were shown how the doors worked and how they all sounded when they were shut. Great fun!

The whole tour was interesting and very informative as well as being creepy and a little bit sad. It was historical but also quite a lot about the people who were in prison there.

Very interesting and well worth a visit!

1  Thank Joanna E
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 23, 2013

The audio-guided tour was very informative. Highly recommended to anybody visiting San Francisco. But watch out for the birds!

Thank mjmccarthy104
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed July 23, 2013

You need to take this tour, and do the audio-guided portion.....extremely informative and educational! great gift shops as well!

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

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