Beginning of main content
Trip Type
Flight 1
Flight 2
Flight 3
Flight 4
Flight 5

Search over 1 million properties and 550 airlines worldwide

Search over 1 million flights, hotels, packages, and more

No Expedia cancellation fee to change or cancel almost any hotel reservation

Alcatraz Island

Now a National Park, this rocky island was once home to one of the most feared prisons in the United States.

Between 1934 and 1963, the prison on Alcatraz Island housed criminals such as the likes of Al Pacino, Alvin Carpis and George “Machine Gun” Kelly. Standing on the mainland and gazing out to the rocky island, it’s not difficult to see why Alcatraz law-breakers of the day were filled with such dread at the utterance of its name, with its stormy weather and bleak isolation.

You can get to Alcatraz Island by ferry. Taking 15 minutes, the Alcatraz Cruises ferry leaves Pier 33 at the Embarcadero. Included in the price of a round-trip ferry ticket is a cell house audio tour, but it’s also worth joining one of the free tours run by the Alcatraz National Park volunteers and guides. Alternatively, just pick up a brochure at the ferry landing and see the island in your own time.

Head to the penal colony to peer into the cellblocks that once held some of the most notorious criminals of the day. In the walled exercise yard, the apparent proximity of San Francisco must have been both frustrating and tempting for the inmates. The island is also home to the first lighthouse on the USA’s West Coast, originally constructed in 1854 and then rebuilt in 1909.

An escape from Alcatraz was pretty much an impossible task, but that didn’t stop 36 people from trying during the 29 years that the prison was in use. Of those 36, 23 were caught, 6 were killed and the rest were believed to have fallen victim of the icy waters and dangerous currents of San Francisco Bay.

A year before the prison closed in 1963, three inmates managed to dig through their cell walls and escape, leaving dummies in their beds to trick the authorities. Although their bodies were never found, they were all presumed dead after attempting to swim through the treacherous waters to the mainland.

You’ll easily spend a couple of hours on the Rock, and you can stay on the island until the last ferry of the day, which departs at 4.25 pm. It’s a good idea to buy your ferry tickets in advance, particularly in summer, as the island is a popular tourist attraction.


Guide to Exploring Alcatraz Island


Map

Top Alcatraz Island Hotel Deals

See all 1,659 properties near Alcatraz Island
Hotel Zephyr San Francisco SG$216
Hotel Zephyr San Francisco

Hotel Zephyr San Francisco

250 Beach Street, San Francisco, CA
     
    4.0 out of 5.0 Stars

    Located in North Beach, this boutique hotel is within a 5-minute walk of USS Pampanito and Pier 39. Ghirardelli Square and Lombard Street are also within 15 minutes. Ferry Building Station is 28 minutes by foot.

    RIU Plaza Fisherman's Wharf SG$162
    RIU Plaza Fisherman's Wharf

    RIU Plaza Fisherman's Wharf

    2500 Mason St, San Francisco, CA
       
      4.0 out of 5.0 Stars

      Located in North Beach, this hotel is within a 10-minute walk of Aquarium of the Bay, Pier 39 and Fishermans Wharf Cable Car Turnaround. Ghirardelli Square and Lombard Street are also within 15 minutes.

      Argonaut Hotel - a Noble House Hotel SG$227
      Argonaut Hotel - a Noble House Hotel

      Argonaut Hotel - a Noble House Hotel

      495 Jefferson St, San Francisco, CA
         
        4.5 out of 5.0 Stars

        This family-friendly San Francisco hotel is located in the historical district, within a 5-minute walk of Hyde Street Pier and Ghirardelli Square. Lombard Street and Pier 39 are also within 15 minutes.

        Hotel Zoe Fisherman's Wharf SG$189
        Hotel Zoe Fisherman's Wharf

        Hotel Zoe Fisherman's Wharf

        425 North Point, San Francisco, CA
           
          4.0 out of 5.0 Stars

          Located in North Beach, this eco-friendly hotel is within a 10-minute walk of USS Pampanito, Pier 39, and Ghirardelli Square. Lombard Street and Aquatic Park are also within 15 minutes.

          Hotel Caza SG$160
          Hotel Caza

          Hotel Caza

          1300 Columbus Avenue, San Francisco, CA
             
            3.5 out of 5.0 Stars

            Located in North Beach, this hotel is within a 15-minute walk of Lombard Street and Pier 39. Palace of Fine Arts and Alcatraz Island are also within 3 mi (5 km).

            Hyatt Centric Fisherman's Wharf San Francisco SG$189
            Hyatt Centric Fisherman's Wharf San Francisco

            Hyatt Centric Fisherman's Wharf San Francisco

            555 N Point St, San Francisco, CA
               
              4.0 out of 5.0 Stars

              Located in North Beach, this hotel is within a 10-minute walk of Ripley's Believe It Or Not Museum, Ghirardelli Square and Lombard Street. Pier 39 and Aquatic Park are also within 15 minutes.

              Holiday Inn Express and Suites Fisherman's Wharf SG$141
              Holiday Inn Express and Suites Fisherman's Wharf

              Holiday Inn Express and Suites Fisherman's Wharf

              550 N Point St, San Francisco, CA
                 
                3.0 out of 5.0 Stars

                Located in North Beach, this hotel is within a 10-minute walk of Ripley's Believe It Or Not Museum, Ghirardelli Square and Lombard Street. Pier 39 and Aquatic Park are also within 15 minutes.

                Club Quarters Hotel in San Francisco SG$140
                Club Quarters Hotel in San Francisco

                Club Quarters Hotel in San Francisco

                424 Clay St, San Francisco, CA
                   
                  4.0 out of 5.0 Stars

                  Located in Downtown San Francisco, this hotel is within a 5-minute walk of Embarcadero Center and TransAmerica Pyramid. Exploratorium and Ferry Building are also within 15 minutes. Embarcadero Station is 8 minutes by foot and Ferry Building Station is 9 minutes.