Would you like to visit the Statue of Liberty during your trip to New York? This lady welcomed millions of immigrants upon their arrival on a new continent, and she continues to greet visitors from Liberty Island today. So that you know how to get there, how to climb the pedestal or the crown and what to do on each island, today we tell you about the visit to the Statue of Liberty step by step.
The Statue of Liberty at a glance
The Statue of Liberty is located in lower Manhattan, on a small island known as Liberty Island.
- Although we all know her as the Statue of Liberty, her official name is Liberty Enlightening the World.
- It was designed by Frenchman Auguste Bartholdi in 1886 and was a gift from France to celebrate the centennial of the United States Declaration of Independence.
- It is full of symbolism : in his left hand, he holds a tablet with the date of the Declaration of Independence engraved on it. On the right, he raises a torch, the light that illuminates the path to freedom. Beneath his tunic, his feet and broken chains appear, also a symbol of freedom.
- Height of Statue of Liberty is 46 meters, although, counting from the ground to the top of the torch, it reaches 93 meters.
- For a few years, it was possible to visit the torch inside. Today, the only parts of the Statue that we can discover are the pedestal and the crown.
- The visit to the Statue of Liberty is done in conjunction with the visit to neighboring Ellis Island, the island where immigrants were inspected upon arrival in the United States.
Prices and tickets for the Statue of Liberty
Now that you know a little more about this lady, let’s see how you can visit the Statue of Liberty! The first thing you should know is that although there are many cruise companies that sail near it, there is only one ferry company authorized to dock at the islands, Statue Cruises. In Battery Park, a thousand and one street vendors will approach you offering you tickets. But, to avoid one of the typical New York scams, we recommend buying tickets only through Statue Cruises.
Ticket types: basic, pedestal, and crown
There are several types of tickets to visit the Statue of Liberty. But, whatever you buy, they all include the following :
- The ferry to Liberty Island (with a free visit to the island and the Statue Museum).
- The ferry to Ellis Island (with a free visit to the island and the Immigration Museum).
What not all of them include is access to the interior of the Statue. These are the three types of tickets you can buy on the web:
- Basic ticket (Reserve Ticket). The basic ticket allows you to disembark on Liberty Island, go around the island, see the Statue and visit the Statue of Liberty Museum. You can then board the ferry to Ellis Island and visit the Immigration Museum. The only thing this ticket does not include is access to the interior of the Statue of Liberty, you have to settle for seeing it from below.
- Entrance to the pedestal (Pedestal Reserve Ticket). This ticket includes the same as the basic option but, in addition, it allows you to go up to the pedestal of the Statue of Liberty, where there is an observation deck and a small museum. Although the price is the same, places are limited, and many times they sell out and only basic tickets remain.
- Crown Reserve Ticket – Temporarily closed during the pandemic. The most sought-after ticket is the one that, in addition to all of the above, allows you to climb the crown of the Statue of Liberty. The good news is that it is only $3 more than the basic or pedestal ticket. The bad thing is that the crown is so small that they allow access to very few people a day, and getting tickets is very difficult: they usually sell out 3 or 4 months in advance ! There is no other way to get them. The only thing you can do is visit the website a few times before buying the tickets, in case by any chance a place becomes available for the crown. Important: to get to the crown, you will have to climb162 very narrow steps. It cannot be reached by elevator.
Statue of liberty ticket prices
Ticket prices to visit the Statue of Liberty are as follows:
|Adults||Children (4 – 12 years)||Senior (+62 years)|
|entrance + pedestal||$23.8||$12.3||$18.3|
|Entrance + climb to the crown||$26.8||$15.3||$21.3|
* Children under 4 years old have free entry. But keep in mind that if your little ones are shorter than 120 cm, they will not be able to climb the crown. Our recommendation is that you buy tickets in advance on the web. They force you to choose a day and time, but this way you can skip the ticket office queues and the queues for the ferry security check (which are sometimes very long), as there is a special queue for passengers with reserved entry. They will send you the entry to the email. The only exception is that if you buy tickets for the crown of the Statue of Liberty, you will have to pick them up at the Castle Clinton ticket office, next to the ferry, to get a special wristband.
What does the time of entry mean? The time shown on your Statue of Liberty tickets is the time you need to queue for the ferry security check. It does not mean that you arrive at Liberty Island at that time; between the security check, boarding and the trip, it is likely that you will arrive almost 1 hour late.
Entrance with tourist cards
What if you have a card? The visit to the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island is included in the most important tourist cards of New York :
- New York CityPASS – Included Attractions
- Go New York – Attractions included
- New York Pass – Attractions included
- Sightseeing Pass – Attractions included
However, the entry included in all these cards is the most basic: only the ferry and access to the islands and their museums, without access to the pedestal or the crown of the Statue. You cannot use the card to visit the Statue of Liberty and pay a supplement to climb the crown. If you want to go up to the pedestal or the crown, you will have to buy the full ticket through Statue Cruises. To visit the Statue of Liberty with a tourist card, you do not need to book a time, but you will need to go to the Castle Clinton ticket office for tickets.
The Statue of Liberty ferry
And where do you take the ferry to go to the Statue of Liberty ? Statue Cruises ferries depart from two different piers:
- Battery Park, in Manhattan – The vast majority of travelers sail from Battery Park on the southern tip of Manhattan and the Financial District, so there are often long lines. If you want to take the ferry there, we recommend going first thing in the morning. The nearest tube stations are Bowling Green (4, 5), South Ferry (1) and Whitehall St (R, W). Here is our guide to the Financial District with more information.
- Liberty State Park, New Jersey – If you’re staying in or visiting New Jersey, you can also depart from this much less crowded pier.
As we said above, keep in mind that the time indicated on your ticket is not the departure time of the ferry, but the time at which you have to stand in line to pass the security control and be able to board.
- Ferries leave every 25 minutes – After passing through security, you will board the ferry that runs from Battery Park to Liberty Island. After visiting the island and the Statue, you will board a return ferry that stops at Ellis Island. You can get off or stay on board and return to Battery Park.
- How long does it take to visit the Statue of Liberty? – The ferries are huge and with so many passengers, it takes a long time to board and disembark. If you intend to visit Liberty Island and Ellis Island, calculate that you will need about 3:30 hours between the ferry and the islands. If you also have tickets to climb the pedestal or the crown of the Statue, calculate between 4 and 5 hours.
- Check ferry schedules – on the Statue Cruises website.
Liberty Island and The Museum
First stop: Liberty Island – If you have purchased the basic ticket, you will not be able to access the interior of the monument, but you will be able to go around the island to see the Statue from all angles. Plus, you ‘ll get to visit the Statue of Liberty Museum, a free museum that tells the story of the Statue’s construction (and a great place to retreat on a cold winter ‘s day ). Both from the museum and from the northern part of the island you will have great views of Manhattan. Note that in addition to One World and the bridges, you can even see the Empire State Building and the skyscrapers of the Hudson Yards neighborhood.
Climb to the pedestal of the statue
If you have purchased a ticket for the pedestal or the crown of the Statue of Liberty, you will first have to leave your backpack or bag in a few lockers next to the base of the monument. They cost 25 cents and there is a change machine. The only things you can take with you are your mobile and camera. Once inside the pedestal, you can visit a small museum about the Statue or go directly to the observation deck, an outdoor terrace located at the base of the Statue from where you will enjoy beautiful views of Manhattan and, on the other side, of Staten. Island and the Verrazano–Narrows Bridge. You can go up on foot or by elevator, although keep in mind that the terrace is so narrow that it is not accessible by wheelchair.
Climb to the crown of the statue of liberty
If, in addition, you have tickets for the crown, the vertigo moment arrives. And it is that, to go up, you will have to overcome 162 steps of a narrow spiral staircase that winds through the interior of the monument, with the robe of the Statue around you. If you are afraid of heights or closed spaces, keep in mind that, every few steps, there are landings where you can stop to catch your breath. Another point in favor is that the ascent and the descent are made by different stairs, so you will not find other travelers face to face. You will soon arrive at your destination: a small room lined with narrow windows that are actually the holes in the Statue’s crown. Approach the windows and look down: do you see the tablet in the left hand of the Statue? On it is engraved the date of the United States Declaration of Independence, July 4, 1776. Due to the orientation of the windows, it is difficult to have a good perspective of Manhattan, so going up to the crown is more special because of where you are than because of the view you will have from there.
Ellis Island and the immigration museum
Once your visit to Liberty Island is over, head back to the pier and wait for the next ferry to arrive, which will take you to Ellis Island. Although you can skip this island and wait for the ferry to return to Manhattan, if you have time, we recommend you go down and visit the Immigration Museum, with interesting exhibitions about the new arrivals and the role they play in the history of the country. It is exciting to know this place, through which between 1892 and 1954 passed 12 million immigrants upon arrival in the United States.
Abandoned Ellis Island hospital tour
After visiting the museum, you can also walk around the area, the only part of Ellis Island that is open to the general public. Although, for curious travelers, there is another way to visit Ellis Island : sign up for one of the tours of the abandoned hospital in the south of the island, called Hard Hat Tours (because it is in ruins and you have to wear a helmet). They are much more expensive, but for us, the experience of touring the abandoned buildings and learning about the history of the immigrants who ended up there, some only for a time and others before being deported to their country for medical reasons, seemed spectacular.
Staten Island Ferry, the free option
Is it worth visiting the Statue of Liberty? If you’re excited, yes, as simple as that. For us, it is not essential if you are in the city for a few days, since the crowds, the controls and the waiting can be quite heavy. But it is true that it is a symbol of New York and that visiting it and getting to know Ellis Island is curious and exciting. If you decide you don’t want to visit the Statue of Liberty, remember that there is a free alternative: take the Staten Island Ferry, which passes relatively close to Liberty Island. Although it doesn’t stop on the island, it gives you a good perspective of Statue of Liberty. Another even more amazing option is to fly over New York by helicopter : you pass very close to both islands and you will see the monument from a bird’s eye view! We hope this guide has helped you on your visit to the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island! When you return, you can tell us how was the experience 🙂