Visit Alcatraz from San Francisco | Tips, best way & time, tickets

Alcatraz is one of the most famous prisons in the world. Alcatraz prison is on an island. You can visit Alcatraz from San Francisco by ferry. Discover the best tips and way for visiting Alcatraz on a guided or self-guided tour.

ferry to go to the alcazar island tickets

How to get to Alcatraz Island from San Francisco?

Take a ferry. In order to visit Alcatraz, it is necessary to take one of the ferries of the company Alcatraz Cruises, which operates between San Francisco and Alcatraz Island.

Where? Boats leave from Pier 33, which is in the Fisherman’s Wharf area of โ€‹โ€‹San Francisco. In general, departures are every 30 minutes.

Alcatraz tour. Tickets to go to Alcatraz by ferry include entrance tickets to visit the prison with an audio guide. Thanks to the explanations of the audio guide, you can dive into the life of the prisoners of this place, which was one of the most secure prisons in the world. The visit to Alcatraz Island lasts 45 minutes.

Good to know! In summer, tickets for the ferry go very quickly. It is possible that there are no more places for the visit on the same day. If you do not want to miss the visit to Alcazar, it is best to book ferry tickets at least a few days in advance. And in high season, even two weeks in advance.

When to Visit Alcatraz: Day tour or Night tour?

Really at night? You can go to Alcatraz Island during the day, or at the end of the day. Tickets to visit Alcatraz at the end of the day are called tickets for a night visit, even if it is a visit during sunset.

Alcatraz: day tour or night tour? At the end of the day, there are a little less people, and you can enjoy pretty views, if the visit takes place at sunset.

Some tips. In San Francisco Bay, where Alcatraz Island is located, it is often windy. So take a jacket to cover yourself from the wind, especially if you are visiting in the evening. In addition, prefer comfortable shoes for this visit.

best time to visit alcatraz san francisco

Tickets to visit Alcatraz

How much does it cost to visit Alcatraz? There are several tickets to visit Alcatraz. The prices are starting from 50 $ pers person. Some include only the ferry + entrance tickets, others include other visits as well. Here are some examples.

Cruise. When you visit San Francisco, one of the big must-see places is of course the Golden Gate. You can experience it from the waters! It is a magical moment to experience as a couple or as a family. Here are the tickets for a cruise in San Francisco Bay + ferry tickets to visit Alcazar with the entrance ticket.

With a guide. Before visiting Alcatraz, you can enjoy a guided tour of San Francisco’s Fisherman’s Wharf area. It is from this district that ferries leave for Alcatraz. It is one of the most visited neighborhoods in San Francisco. Thanks to the explanations of the guide, you discover more about Alcatraz, but also San Francisco. Read more here: Fisherman’s Wharf guided tour + ferry tickets to visit Alcazar with the entrance ticket.

By bike. You can also tour Golden Gate by bike with a guide, then continue your tour by going to Alcatraz Island: see more information here.

Hop-on hop-off bus. This combined ticket combines the visit of Alcatraz with tickets to visit it from San Francisco by bus. If you stay in San Francisco for a few days, this is a good solution: 2 days of bus + 2h night tour by bus + ferry tickets to visit Alcatraz with the entrance ticket.

If you cannot find tickets to visit Alcazarโ€ฆ

In this case, you can take a cruise in the San Francisco Bay. This is a great way to experience Alcazar from the outside by sailing near Golden Gate. You will love this cruise that will make your trip memorable! Find out more information here: Book the 1-Hour San Francisco Bay Cruise.

Can you go to Alcatraz without a tour?

In order to visit Alcatraz Island, you need to take a ferry. The tickets for the ferry are sold by Alcatraz Cruises, which operates between San Francisco and Alcatraz Island. The tickets for visiting Alcatraz include audioguide.

How long do you need to visit Alcatraz?

How long to get to Alcatraz by ferry from San Francisco? The ferry takes 15 minutes to reach Alcatraz Island from San Francisco.

And visit the island? Typically, visitors spend 2 hours on Alcatraz Island. If you want to visit Alcatraz, plan about 3 hours, including transport or other hazards.

guided tours alcatraz

Visiting Alcatraz is visiting one of the must-do things to do on a trip to San Francisco. It is an interesting place to visit if you are going to discover San Francisco in 2 days or more. The Fisherman’s Wharf area from which ferries depart to Alcazar is an interesting place to visit. Many travelers even choose to pack their bags here on their first trip to San Francisco (read our blog post: Best areas to stay in San Francisco).

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