Built in 1724, the Alamo was first named Misión San Antonio de Valero and was originally intended to serve as a home to missionaries and their converts in this region.
Today, this site is commemorated for the immense role it played in the Texas Revolution and was renamed the Alamo by the Spanish soldiers in memory of their hometown in Coahuila. Present-day visitors can relive the legendary past of the Alamo on the famous Battlefield Tour, which guides you through landmarks like the Musquiz House, the San Fernando Church, the Maverick House and the funeral pyres on Commerce Street.
You can even voice your support for the preservation of the Alamo, by buying yourself, or a loved one, a commemorative brick, or even donate a limestone Patio Paver. The well-informed docents, who lead you through the Alamo, also offer you a unique eye-opener into the various fables that shroud the historic battle, while history buffs can browse through the rare artifacts and memorabilia pertaining to the Alamo’s past, like a flintlock rifle used in the battle, a period Bowie knife and even personal artifacts belonging to Alamo’s celebrated heroes, which the museum houses.
At the end of your visit, don’t forget to stop by at the gift shop which houses quaint souvenirs like books, apparel, flags, and jewelry and take home a bit if San Antonio’s grandiose past with you! Admittance to the Alamo is free of cost and the site is open to visitors from 9 am to 5:30 pm, Monday through Saturday and 10 am to 5:30 pm on Sunday.
Those looking to include the Alamo into a comprehensive look at the San Antonio area will find a variety of sightseeing tours that visit the Alamo, including:
Alamo & Mission Trail Tour
Alamo & Mission Trail Tour is the ideal opportunity to get lost in the historical aspects that make San Antonio the city it is today. Historical highlights are shared among stops at The Alamo; Mission San Jose; Mission Conception and The Marketplace. Learn the cultural and historical impacts of these missions on San Antonio and the state of Texas by venturing back into the city’s rough background. Other points of interest covered on this tour include Espada Dam; Acequia and the Governor’s Palace.
Here the true nature of relationships in San Antonio history come together to create the vibrant city standing today. This look into San Antonio’s past provides tour participants with insight into the functional process of the missions today. Additional insight will be provided as to how and why The Alamo battle turned into a display of blood yet figures so prominently into San Antonio history.
- Children under 5 years of age are free of charge.
- All prices include transportation and tours
- Price does not include admission fees to attractions or lunch.
- Attire should be casual with comfortable walking shoes.
- Cameras are allowed on the tour.
- Tour starts at 9 am and ends at 12:30 pm
- Tour duration is three and a half hours.
- Tour portions through the missions are unguided.
- Missions provide on-site guided tours if interested.
Alamo Trolley Tour
A 60-minute tour that guides you through some of the most popular attractions in San Antonio, such as the Alamo and Institute of Texan Cultures, the Alamo Trolley Tour makes for a pleasant way to experience the diverse sights and sounds that San Antonio has to offer. Not surprisingly, your first stop with the Alamo Trolley Tour is the Alamo itself. Built in 1718, this site has had a very significant role to play in the Texas Revolution, with the legendary Battle of the Alamo staged here in 1836. The next stop, which is the IMAX Theater, invites you to journey through the tumult of the Battle of the Alamo, with the movie, “Alamo… the Price of Freedom.” Here, you can even load up on souvenirs and other keepsakes of your visit to San Antonio at the Rivercenter Mall and then cruise away on the tranquil waters of the lagoon on a Riverboat ride.
From here, you are then lead through the Institute of Texan Cultures, which houses a number of interactive displays, each of which offers a unique eyelet into the tremendous ethnic and cultural diversity that permeates this region. The Hemisfair Park, which houses the 622 foot-tall Tower of the Americas, is also yet another noteworthy highlight of this journey of San Antonio discovery. The Alamo Trolley Tour then trolleys you to Mission San Jose, where you can closely examine life within the mission walls, and then steers you towards the Mission Concepción, which is as famed for the exquisite frescoes it houses, as for its repute as the oldest unrestored stone church in the country. But as locals here will vouch, no visit to San Antonio is complete without a trip to the vivacious El Mercado, or Market Square, or even the San Fernando Cathedral which having been founded in 1772, is amongst the oldest Catholic Parish Churches in the south-west. Your final stop with the Alamo Trolley Tour is La Villita, dates back to 1750s, and still embodies the rich cultural diversity, vivaciousness, and traditional laissez-faire of that era.
- The price of your ticket includes transportation and narration.
- This tour departs from the Alamo Visitor’s Center near the Alamo in the Historic Menger Hotel. Parking is available in a nearby parking garage or mall parking lot.
- Cameras are welcome!
- This tour is great for all ages!
- Casual dress is recommended.
- This tour is handicap accessible.
- Your tour takes place in an air-conditioned open-top trolley.
- **Keep in mind that this is a drive-by tour. You won’t be able to get out and explore each of the sites on this tour.
Alamo Highlights Tour
As the name suggests, the Highlights Tour offers a 3.5-hour look at some of the most popular attractions this city has to offer, including the Alamo, while also offering you a first-hand experience of the immense historic legacy and vivacious culture that is synonymous with this region today. The tour begins with the legendary Alamo, which dates back to 1718 and is well-known for the immense role it has assumed in the Spanish Revolution. The first mission in San Antonio, the Alamo was later used as a fortress, having served as the venue for the famous Battle of the Alamo in 1836. The next stop on the Highlights Tour is the Mission San Jose, which was home to more than 300 inhabitants in its heyday. Painstakingly restored to much of its former glory, the mission is one of the finest examples of Spanish Colonial art in America and is embellished with several exquisite carvings and the famous ‘Rose Window.’
Your next destination is the Market Square, or El Mercado as it is popularly known, which is a vibrant change from the walk down memory lane that the tour first guides you through. Here, you can fill up on delicious baked treats, step into a breathtaking world of art at the gallery, or even load up on souvenirs at any of the 80 specialty shops. And now that you’re nourished and refreshed, it’s time for some adventure — Texan style! The Texas Adventure is a favorite with visitors of all ages, as they relive the famous Battle of the Alamo, complete with the exquisite sights, smells and sounds.
The final highlight of the Highlight Tour is a visit to the Mission Conception, which is the oldest unrestored church in the country and has had a very prominent role to play during the Spanish Conquest. Visitors can also learn about the early traditions and ways of life of the Native Americans, who were the first settlers in this region, and also trace the development of the various missions in San Antonio.
Tour Sights Include
- The Alamo
- Mission Concepcion
- Mission San Jose
- El Mercado – The Market Square
- Tour departs twice daily, once at 9 am and again at 1:30 pm. 9 am tour ends at 12:15 pm, and 1:30 tour ends at 5 pm.
- Price includes transportation via shuttle.
- Pick up service available from most area hotels.
- Camera and video cameras are permitted.
- Casual dress is recommended.
- Appropriate for all ages.
- Motor coach can accommodate those with handicaps.