The Statue of Liberty is more than just a statue. It is a symbol of freedom, democracy and hope for millions of people around the world. It is also a stunning sight to behold, standing tall and proud on Liberty Island in New York Harbor.
If you are planning to visit New York City, you should not miss the opportunity to see this amazing monument up close. In this guide, we will show you how to visit the Statue of Liberty, from booking your tickets to exploring the island and the museum. We will also give you some tips and tricks to make the most of your visit.
What is the Statue of Liberty?
- It is a colossal neoclassical sculpture on Liberty Island in New York Harbor, in the United States.
- It was a gift from the people of France to the United States, to commemorate the friendship of the two nations and their shared values of freedom and democracy.
- It was designed by French sculptor Frederic-Auguste Bartholdi, and its metal framework was built by Gustave Eiffel, the engineer behind the Eiffel Tower.
- It was dedicated on October 28, 1886, and became a symbol of welcome to immigrants arriving by sea, as well as a universal icon of liberty and human rights.
- It represents Libertas, the Roman goddess of liberty, holding a torch in her right hand and a tablet in her left hand. The tablet is inscribed with the date JULY IV MDCCLXXVI (July 4, 1776), the day of the U.S. Declaration of Independence. At her feet lies a broken chain and shackle, symbolizing the abolition of slavery in the United States after the Civil War.
- It stands 305 feet (93 meters) tall from the ground level to the torch, and weighs 225 tons (204 metric tonnes). The statue is made of copper sheets over a steel framework, giving it a green patina over time.
- It has a museum inside the pedestal, which displays the history and construction of the statue, as well as a replica of its original torch. Visitors can also access the pedestal and the crown of the statue by advance booking.
When to Visit the Statue of Liberty?
The Statue of Liberty is open to visitors every day of the year, except for Thanksgiving Day and Christmas Day. But, depending on your preferences and availability, some times may be better than others to visit this popular attraction. Here are some factors to consider:
- The peak season for the Statue of Liberty is from April to September, when there may be long queues to board the ferry and enter the attractions. The period from December to March has the least activity, unless it is Christmas or New Years holidays, which are very active Fall is a popular time to see New York city, but visitors’ flow to the Statue of Liberty is moderate, so it’s a good time to discover one of the main symbols of the city. If visiting in summer, June is the best month with fewer crowds and nicer weather.
- Weekdays are always less crowded than weekends. If you have no choice but to come on a weekend, Sunday morning usually sees less visitors.
- Boarding queues can take longer than 90 minutes during peak season, so you should get there at least half an hour before departure time. An early morning time slot is the best choice to avoid the crowds that swarm the ferry about 10-11am.The park is open from 9AM until 5.45PM daily.
- You can usually visit both the Statue of Liberty on Liberty Island and the Immigration Museum on Ellis Island. Plan for at least two hours for the Statue of Liberty and one to two hours for Ellis Island. Don’t forget to add ferry times to your trip: each island takes about 15-20 minutes to reach. If your tickets are for 2:00pm or later, you can only visit one of the two islands.
The popularity and limited capacity of the statue’s crown and pedestal areas (not included in the standard ferry ticket) mean advance booking is essential. You can book your tickets online well in advance, especially if you plan to visit the Crown: in summer and for Christmas you need to book up to 3-4 months to secure your spot for a tour, book months ahead of time.
How to visit the Statue of Liberty?
The only way to get to the Statue of Liberty is by ferry from two departure points: Battery Park in Manhattan, or Liberty State Park in New Jersey. You can buy your tickets online or at the ticket offices, but we recommend booking online to avoid lines and secure your spot. You can choose from different types of tickets, depending on what you want to see and do:
- Reserve Ticket: This is the basic ticket that gives you access to the ferry, Liberty Island, Ellis Island and the Immigration Museum. You can explore the grounds of Liberty Island and enjoy the views of the statue and the city skyline. You can also visit the museum inside the pedestal, which displays the history and construction of the statue, as well as a replica of its original torch. This ticket costs $19.25 for adults, $14 for seniors (62+), and $9 for children (4-12). Children under 4 are free.
- Pedestal Access Ticket: This ticket includes everything in the Reserve Ticket, plus access to the pedestal of the statue. You can climb up to the top of the pedestal and enjoy a panoramic view of the harbor and the city from an observation deck. You can also see the interior structure of the statue, designed by Gustave Eiffel. This ticket costs $19.25 for adults, $14 for seniors (62+), and $9 for children (4-12). Children under 4 are free.
- Crown Access Ticket: This ticket includes everything in the Pedestal Access Ticket, plus access to the crown of the statue. You can climb up a narrow spiral staircase of 162 steps inside the statue’s arm and reach the crown, where you can see through small windows and admire a unique perspective of the city and the harbor. This ticket costs $22.25 for adults, $17 for seniors (62+), and $12 for children (4-12). Only children 4 and older can enter the crown.
Note that all visitors must go through a security screening before boarding the ferry, and visitors with Pedestal or Crown Access Tickets must go through a second screening on Liberty Island. You are not allowed to bring large bags or backpacks inside the statue, but you can use lockers on Liberty Island for a fee of $2.
What to see and do at the Statue of Liberty?
The Statue of Liberty is more than just a monument: it is a museum, a park, and an adventure. Here are some of the things you can see and do at this amazing attraction:
- See the statue up close: Whether you choose to stay on the ground level or climb up to the pedestal or the crown, you will be amazed by the size and detail of this colossal sculpture. You can admire its copper surface, its facial expression, its torch, its tablet, and its symbolic features. You can also take photos with different angles and backgrounds, such as the city skyline, the harbor, or Ellis Island.
- Learn about its history: The statue has a rich and fascinating history that spans over a century and two continents. You can learn about its origins, its design, its construction, its transportation, its restoration, and its meaning at various exhibits and displays on Liberty Island and Ellis Island. You can also watch a short film about the statue at the Information Center on Liberty Island.
- Enjoy nature: The Statue of Liberty is located on a 12-acre island that offers green spaces, gardens, and wildlife. You can stroll around the island and enjoy its natural beauty and tranquility. You can also spot some birds, such as gulls, cormorants, geese, and herons.
- Visit Ellis Island: Ellis Island was once the gateway for millions of immigrants who came to America in search of a better life. Today, it is home to an Immigration Museum that tells their stories through exhibits, artifacts, photographs, audio recordings, and interactive displays. You can learn about their journeys, their challenges, their contributions, and their legacy at this museum. You can also search for your ancestors’ names at an online database or at a research center on site.
- Have fun: The Statue of Liberty is not only an educational attraction but also a fun one. You can enjoy some activities such as audio tours, ranger-guided tours, junior ranger programs, gift shops, cafes, and picnic areas on both islands. You can also experience some thrill by climbing up to the crown or taking a helicopter tour over the statue.
How to get tickets and plan your visit?
- You can get your tickets and check the ferry schedule ahead of time at Statue City Cruises.
- You can also download the new National Park Service app for more information and resources.
- You should check the park website again on the day of your visit for any last-minute park alerts.
- You should arrive 15-20 minutes before your desired ferry departure time and go through airport-style security before boarding the ferry.
- You should pack light, wear comfortable footwear, dress for the weather, and pick a meeting spot in case you get separated from your group.
How much does it cost to visit the Statue of Liberty?
- The ferry ticket includes access to both Liberty Island and Ellis Island. The prices are $23.50 for adults, $18.50 for seniors (62+), $12 for children (4-12), and free for children under 4.
- The pedestal access is included in the ferry ticket, but you need to reserve it in advance. The pedestal offers an observation deck and a museum.
- The crown access is an additional $3 per person and requires advance reservation. The crown offers a panoramic view from the statue’s head, but you need to climb 354 steps in each direction.
What are the hours of operation and best time to visit?
- The park is closed only on December 25 and open every other day. The first ferry departs at 8:30 a.m. and the last ferry departs at 5 p.m. from both locations
- The best time to visit is early in the morning or late in the afternoon, when there are fewer crowds and shorter wait times. You should also avoid weekends and holidays if possible.
What are the security measures and prohibited items?
- You will need to clear security twice: once before boarding the ferry and once before entering the pedestal or crown. You will go through security screening like at the airport.
- You are not allowed to bring large backpacks, suitcases, coolers, weapons, explosives, drones, glass containers, alcohol, or animals (except service animals) to the park.
- You can bring small backpacks, strollers, cameras, food, water, and medications. However, you will need to store them in lockers before entering the pedestal or crown.
- The lockers are located on Liberty Island and cost $2 per use (only quarters accepted).
Published By: Mypuritour