Located on Liberty Island, south of Manhattan, the Statue of Liberty is one of the most famous monuments in the United States. It is even considered one of the country's symbols. So when you're in New York, you owe it to yourself to go say hello! 🗽
Why visit the Statue of Liberty?
The Statue of Liberty was built and donated by France to the United States on the occasion of the centenary of the American Declaration of Independence. However, it was not inaugurated in New York until 110 years after the independence of the United States (on 28 October 1886) – 10 years later. It operated as a lighthouse until 1902.
The statue is 92 metres high (46 without its base), weighs 200 tons and is about 10 metres tall. Her crown is made of 7 branches, representing the 7 seas and continents, while at her feet are broken chains, symbolising the abolition of slavery. In her left hand, Lady Liberty holds a tablet on which one can read "July 4, 1776" (date of the American Independence).
Today, the statue has become the symbol of New York City and is certainly one of the most famous and recognisable monuments in the world. It is therefore unthinkable to visit New York without visiting the Statue of Liberty!
Where to buy tickets to visit the Statue of Liberty?
You can buy tickets on site (ticket offices open at 8.30 a.m.).
- If you choose to board at Battery Park, you can buy tickets at the Castle Clinton National or the Railroad Terminal Building. Please note that the last departure from Battery Park is at 3.30 p.m. though, so be careful to arrive before then if you wish to do the trip in the afternoon.
- If you are boarding at Liberty State Park, you can buy your tickets at the Liberty State Park Museum.
You can also book your tickets online. You only have to select a tour date, ticket type, and number of people, then pay. This will help you best plan your day without the risk of unpleasant surprises (such as all tickets being sold out!). Tours can be done alone, with an audio guide or with a professional guide – it's up to you! 😄
The different tickets to discover the Statue of Liberty
1. Tickets for the crossing
Although you won't get to climb to the top of the Statue, this admission ticket is well worth its price! Once you dock at the pier, you can take a leisurely stroll around Liberty Island and access Fort Wood, the star-shaped fortification on which the statue is built and which was intended to protect New York Harbor. You will get to see the Statue of Liberty from up close and admire it from all angles!
Finally, from the riverbank, you can enjoy a superb view of Manhattan and the New York City skyline. With this ticket you will also receive an audio guide to learn more about the island and the Statue of Liberty.
(13 to 61 years old)
(62 years and over)
(4 to 12 years old)
(under 4 years old)
You can then continue your visit by going to see the 5 statues made in tribute to the people who built the Statue of Liberty:
- Édouard René Lefebvre de Laboulaye, a French historian specialising in the United States who had the idea of building the statue;
- Frédéric Auguste Bartholdi, the French sculptor who wanted a gigantic work;
- Gustave Eiffel, the designer of the statue's internal structure;
- Joseph Pulitzer, a famous journalist at the time, who used his newspaper (the New York World) to obtain American funding for the statue’s base;
- Emma Lazarus, who wrote the poem (The New Colossus) that made the project known. The poem is engraved at the feet of the statue.
At the end of your visit, you may decide not to go to Ellis Island. In that case, stay on the ferry and it will take you back to your starting point.
In total, you should allow 2 hours to visit Liberty Island, have time to walk around the island, admire the building and take pictures. There is also the option of purchasing flex tickets – which can be used whenever you want within 180 days of purchase – or priority tickets – you won't have to wait in line (note that the no-queue ticket is only really useful if you want to visit in the late morning, when it is very crowded).
Tourist passes to visit the Statue 🎫
Did you know that there are different tourist passes that allow one to discover the different attractions of New York City such as the Statue of Liberty? One of the best known is the New York CityPass, which grants access to 5 activities: 2 are fixed and 3 are to be selected from a list.
The attractions offered are often the most popular and sought-after in the city: the Empire State Building, the Top of the Rock, the AMNH... By opting for a tourist pass, you can easily book your activities in advance all while controlling your budget! Interested? 😁
2. Tickets for the crossing + access to the pedestal
These tickets are sold at almost the same price as for a simple crossing, but also give access to the pedestal, so don't hesitate to buy them instead! 😉
By booking this ticket, you will be able to access the base of the statue, where you will find a museum in which you can discover the different stages of construction and delivery of the statue.
From a balcony that goes around the room, you can see the statue’s first, old torch (it remained in place until 1986), and through a glass ceiling you can even see the internal structure of the statue. You will also see a copper representation of the statue's face.
The visit of the museum will also allow you to discover many historical pieces such as photos of the Parisian workshops where the statue was built (the "Gaget and Gauthier" workshops), or of the assembly of the statue in Paris.
You will also see a model of the statue and its base (this model is just over 2 metres high), tools that were used, engravings from newspapers of the time, cross-sectional drawings of the statue as well as its various reproductions.
Afterwards, you can go and admire the view at various levels (take the stairs or the lift). The higher you go, the more impressive the views of New York. On the top floor, you'll be 50 metres above sea level – and it is really impressive! 🤩
3. Tickets for the crossing + access to the crown
When you arrive at the site, make yourself known at the information centre. An employee will tie a wristband around your wrist to identify those who are allowed to go up to the crown. You will then be told at what time you can go up (there is limited space at the head of the statue, so not many people can be there at the same time). Beware: if you arrive late, you will lose your place! 😕
(13 to 61 years old)
(62 years and over)
(4 to 12 years old)
(under 4 years old)
- Tickets for the crown are only available on the official Statue Citycruises website.
- If you really want to climb the crown, book your ticket at least 3 months in advance! There are a lot of tourists and the tickets are limited.
- There is no lift to the crown of the statue: you will have to climb 377 spiral steps, and the staircase truly is narrow!
- Children must be at least 13 years old to climb to the crown.
Flying over the Statue of Liberty 🗽
If you want to admire the Statue of Liberty from above, I recommend a helicopter flight over New York City! You will get a whole new perspective of this monument!
From the air, you will also see Central Park, the Hudson River, New York Harbor and all the most iconic buildings in the city, such as the Rockefeller Center, the Empire State Building, the World Financial Center and the Chrysler Building. You will also see the Brooklyn Bridge and of course the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island! For a 15-minute helicopter flight, expect to pay around £200 🙂
Is there any good deal to visit the Statue of Liberty?
The best option I can recommend are the New York city passes! Especially if you plan to visit other New York City landmarks! All you have to do is buy a tourist pass and you will benefit from discounts on entrance fees to several activities.
The ferry ride, access to Liberty Island and visit to the Ellis Island Museum are included in the New York Pass and the New York Explorer Pass, for example. However, you will not have access to the base or the crown.
You can get really close to the Statue of Liberty for free by simply boarding the Staten Island Ferry which runs every half hour to Manhattan, 24/7. From there, you'll also get a great view of the Manhattan skyline! 😊
Another option is to buy a ticket that combines a visit to the Statue of Liberty with another attraction in the city, which will save you time during your stay. For example, you can opt for a Manhattan City Tour by bus or a visit to the Empire State Building observatory.
Ellis Island, a must-see visit
Access to Ellis Island will be included in your ferry ticket. Another reason to go! 🙌
This island is steeped in history. Between 1892 and 1954, 12 million European immigrants entered the United States via Ellis Island. There, they underwent medical examinations and filled in administrative formalities. Some were even quarantined there. This part of history is very important to American citizens, which is why the National Immigration Museum was established there in 1990.
How to get to the Statue of Liberty?
It is forbidden to dock on Liberty Island: only the company Statue Cruises is allowed to do so. You must therefore take book your tickets for their ferries to take you there.
You can take the ferry:
- either from Battery Park, at the southern tip of Manhattan. This route will take you past Liberty Island and Ellis Island before returning to its starting point at Battery Park.
- or from Liberty State Park in New Jersey (this pier is less crowded, the waiting time at the boarding is shorter, and so is the journey). This route also takes you past Ellis Island and Liberty Island, before returning to Liberty State Park.
To get to Battery Park, you can take the New York underground:
- Line 1 and get off at Station 1 "South Ferry" ;
- Line 4 and 5 and get off at “Bowling Green”;
- Line 5 and get off at “Whitehall St — South Ferry”.
You can also get there by bus with the M5, M20 or M15 lines, getting off at “South Ferry”.
What are the visiting hours?
When do the ferries leave?
Liberty Island and Ellis Island can be visited daily from 9:30 am to 5 pm (except 25 December). The sites may be closed in case of severe weather, though.
How long does the visit last?
Allow two hours to visit one island and 5 hours to see both sites in their entirety.
When booking your tickets, it is best to choose a morning tour to allow time to visit both islands. Indeed, if you choose a visit in the afternoon, say at around 2 p.m., you won't have enough time to see everything! 😄
Looking for an activity to do in New York City?
You’ve planned to visit the City That Never Sleeps, and are wondering what to do in New York? There is no shortage of things to do in this city! If you're looking to see one of the best views of New York, the top of the One World Observatory is the perfect place. You'll be able to take in the iconic landmarks, the surrounding waters as well as the panoramic views of the Manhattan skyline and beyond.
You'll also see how much New York City has changed since the 1500s through a virtual time-lapse visual experience. Remember to book your tickets in advance so you can skip the queue at the ticket office and go straight through security 👍
- Where to eat?
You can bring a picnic lunch with you (coolers are not allowed) or buy snacks (sandwiches/drinks) on the ferries. There are also fast food outlets on both islands.
- Is there a souvenir shop?
Yes, there are gift shops on the ferry and on both islands.
- Are there any security checks?
Yes indeed! And these being national monuments, the controls are quite strict! Please keep this in mind when getting ready to leave for this visit, as the controls will take some time. Expect an extra 30 minutes wait at Battery Park (1 hour on busy days) and 15 minutes at Liberty Park.
Note that minors must be accompanied by an adult of at least 25 years of age to board a ferry.
That's it for this article about the Statue of Liberty! I hope you've found all the information you needed for your next visit to New York 😊 If you're planning a stay of several days in New York City, don't hesitate to check my article on where to stay in New York City, where I share with you the best addresses at the best prices! 😉