The Statue of Liberty

Discover the Statue of Liberty

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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!

Go see it, take pictures of it and while you’re at it, why not visit Ellis Island, the island next door? There, you will discover a fascinating site: the Immigration Museum. A visit to the museum will help you to learn more about the history of New York City.

Some information about 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.

The statue faces Brooklyn and the Atlantic Ocean, not the Manhattan borough as many people think.

The statue is 92 metres high (46 m 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 American Independence).

Up until 1902, the statue served as a lighthouse.

How to get to the Statue of Liberty?

discover liberty island

It is forbidden to dock on Liberty Island: only Statue Cruises is allowed to do so. You must therefore take their ferries to get there.

You can take the ferry:

  • either from Battery Park, at the southern tip of Manhattan;
  • 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).

In fact, the route is the same, it's just reversed!

So you will do either:

Battery Park > Liberty Island > Ellis Island > Battery Park

or

Liberty State Park > Ellis Island > Liberty Island > Liberty State Park

BOOK YOUR FERRY TICKETS BY CLICKING HERE

On the way, feel free to take pictures of Manhattan, of Ellis Island – and of the Statue, of course.

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, and getting off at “South Ferry”.

To get to Liberty State Park, take the “New York — Liberty State Park” water taxi. It's $7 one way (and a 10 minute ride).

Statue of Liberty included in tourist passes 🗽

If you're reading this article, you probably want to visit the Statue of Liberty. Did you know that there exist different tourist passes that allow you to discover many different attractions of New York City?

If I take the best known of them as an example, the New York Citypass – know that it will give you access to 6 activities (3 imposed and 3 activities that you can select from a list, depending on your interests). The proposed attractions are often the most famous & popular in the city: the Empire State Building, the Top of the Rock, museums, ...

By opting for a tourist pass, you'll make it easier for yourself to book and access the activities, and you'll be able to control your budget! And some passes will even allow you to benefit from additional advantages if you own one of them. Doesn’t that sound interesting? 🙂

MORE DETAILS ON THE NEW YORK CITYPASS BY CLICKING HERE

What are the visiting hours?

visit statue of liberty

Liberty Island and Ellis Island are open daily from 9.30 a.m. to 5 p.m. (except 25 December). The sites may also be closed in case of severe weather.

The first ferry leaves Battery Park at 9 a.m. and there are crossings every 30/45 minutes. This first boat is a very good option, as not only are there fewer people at this time, but it also leaves you with enough time to visit everything during the day.

How long does the tour 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!

How much does it cost to visit the Statue of Liberty?

You can buy tickets on site (ticket offices open at 8.30 a.m.).

  • If you are boarding at Battery Park, you can buy tickets at the Castle Clinton National Monument or the Railroad Terminal Building.
    Please note that the last departure from Battery Park is at 3.30 p.m.
  • 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.

You can take the tours alone, with an audio guide or with a real guide.

TO SEE THE DIFFERENT TICKETS AVAILABLE, CLICK HERE

You can choose between three types of tickets:

  • Crossing only/Grounds of Liberty access

See prices on the official website (Statue Cruises):

Category

Price

Adult

$19.25

Senior

$14

Youth (12 and under)

$9

This ticket is free for children under 4.

You can also buy 'flex' tickets (usable within 180 days of purchase) and priority tickets (a ticket that cuts through the queue). Please note that a “no-queue” ticket is only really useful if you want to visit the museum late in the morning, when there will be a lot of people waiting.

statue of liberty

What does this ticket allow you to do?

Although you won't be able to climb to the top of the statue, this ticket is well worth it!

Once you arrive at the pier, you can take a leisurely stroll around Liberty Island, walk around the island, and access "Fort Wood", the star-shaped fortification where the statue is built and which was intended to protect New York harbour. You will be able to see the Statue of Liberty from up close and admire it from all angles.

You can 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.

Give me your tired, your poor,

Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,

The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.

Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me,

I lift my lamp beside the golden door!

This ticket will also give you access to an audio guide that will allow you to learn more about the island and the statue.

From the riverbank, you will enjoy a beautiful view of Manhattan and the New York skyline.

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.

Allow two hours to visit Liberty Island, walk around the island, admire the building and take photos.

  • Reservation with Pedestal Access

These tickets are sold at the same price as for a simple crossing, but also give access to the pedestal, so don't hesitate to buy them!

Category

Price

Adult

$19.25

Senior

$14

Children under 12

$9

Tickets are free for children under 4 years old.

What does this ticket allow you to do?

With 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!

  • The crossing and access to the crown of the statue/Reservation with Crown Ticket

Category

Price

Adult

$22.25

Senior

$17

Children under 12

$12

This ticket is free for children under 4.

What does this ticket allow you to do?

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, as such not many people can be there at the same time). Beware: if you arrive late, you will lose your place!

Afterwards, you will be able to access the base, but also climb into the crown of the statue and enjoy a superb panorama of the Brooklyn and Manhattan boroughs, as well as of the Skyline, Staten Island, the New York Bay and the ocean. You will also be able to see "Miss Liberty"’s tablet and the inscription on it.

Know that:

  • If you really want to ride the crown, you should book your ticket at least 3 months before you come to New York! Indeed, tourists are numerous and places are limited.   
  • There is no lift to get up there, you will have to climb 377 spiral steps – and the staircase is narrow!
  • Children must be at least 1.20 metres tall to climb the crown.

Are there any good plan?

Yes, and especially if you plan to visit other New York City landmarks! Just buy a tourist pass which will allow you to benefit from discounts on entrance fees.

The ferry crossing, access to Liberty Island and a visit to the Ellis Island Museum are included in the New York Pass and the New York City Pass, for example. However, you will not have access to the base or the crown.

TO FIND OUT MORE ABOUT THE TOURIST PASS, CLICK HERE

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!

You can also 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.

You can also opt for a cruise around the Statue of Liberty at night. You'll see Lady Liberty lit up and the Skyline all shining. The view is just sublime (and a perfect choice for a romantic evening)!

MORE INFORMATION ABOUT THE NIGHT CRUISE HERE

Why should Ellis Island be part of your programme?

cruise new york

Between 1892 and 1954, 12 million European immigrants entered the United States through Ellis Island. There they underwent medical examinations and filled in their paperwork. Some were quarantined on that very island.

Because this part of history is so important to American citizens, a National Museum of Immigration was established there in 1990. 

Inside, you will see a statue honouring the first immigrant to set foot in Battery Park – she was a 15 year old Irish girl named Annie Moore. The baggage room has also been recreated exactly as it was before. Additionally, you will see the registration room and a gallery of personal items left by passing immigrants. Over 200,000 names of immigrants were engraved on a wall of honour.

Access to Ellis Island is included in your ferry ticket. All the more reason to go!

Additional information

visit statue liberty

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.

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Amélie
A first trip to New York, and a new favorite city! 30 years old, city dweller and good-plan finder, I share my New York discoveries on this blog to help you visit this magnificent city with me. With each new trip, there are more activities to discover!

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