Visiting the Statue of Liberty: info, tickets, admission

The Statue of Liberty is THE landmark of New York. Everyone knows it and of course every visitor to New York wants to have seen it once. We have all the info you’ll need to visit the Statue of Liberty.

The Statue of Liberty is probably one of the most famous symbols of the USA and worldwide.

It represents the American Dream more than any other landmark and for many millions of immigrants the Statue of Liberty was the first sight of their new home.

What you may not have known: the French gave the statue to the USA in the year 1876 for its 100th birthday.

But as is the case with such oversized gifts, the Statue of Liberty unfortunately wasn’t done on time and until all of the parts of the statue arrived on ships to the US, the Americans had already celebrated their 110th birthday. But hey, good things take time.

Today, the Statue of Liberty is above all else a tourist attraction and a very popular one at that.

In this article, we’ll advise you on whether a trip to the Statue of Liberty is really worth it. We’ll of course also show you how to get there and what tickets are available.

Also read our other articles on New York

Is it worth visiting the Statue of Liberty?

We’ll start right away with the most important question: is a visit to the Statue of Liberty even worth it?

We would say: not really.

We of course also want to explain why. Visiting the Statue of Liberty is really time consuming. Because of the masses of visitors and security measures, you have to plan at least half a day for a visit to the statue.

And since there’s such a huge amount to see in New York, time is really tight for almost all visitors in New York. Unless you have two weeks there, but only just a few have such luck.

The visit to the tiny island where the Statue of Liberty is located is also rather unspectacular. At least that’s what we think.

Our suggestion: instead of making a trip directly to the Statue of Liberty, we suggest doing a boat tour that brings you very close to the Statue of Liberty.

It doesn’t only save considerable time and is just as impressive, but also has yet another advantage: you can take much better photos of the statue.

That is to say, when you’re standing directly in front of it, you can barely fit the Statue of Liberty in a picture.

Helicopter flight New York
The Statue of Liberty in front of Manhattan’s skyline. We got this great view during our helicopter ride over New York.

Info on visiting the Statue of Liberty

All the same, we can of course understand if you’d still like to see the statue from up close. After all, it’s not every day that you go to New York and Lady Liberty does radiate a certain magic.

So we’ve put together for you here all of the important info on visiting the Statue of Liberty.

Ellis Island & Liberty Island

The Statue of Liberty is located on the small Liberty Island. Ellis Island is found right next to it.

Until 1954, all migrants came to Ellis Island. Ellis Island was something like a quarantine station where almost 12 million people took their first steps into their new home.

A museum stands there today, where you can retrace the steps of the immigrants of those times — from the luggage room all the way to the medical examination.

Americans can find out in databases there which of their ancestors landed here and where they had started their long journey to the US.

The visit to Ellis Island is included in all tickets for the Statue of Liberty, which we definitely suggest you also take a look at.

We found that Ellis Island was actually almost more interesting than the statue itself.

How do you get to the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island by ferry?

There’s only one provider that is allowed to bring tourists to the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island.

It’s called “Statue Cruises” and the ferries launch daily between 9:00 am and 3:30 pm at the South Ferry Terminal at Battery Park on the southern tip of Manhattan.

Alternatively, there’s also a ferry from Liberty State Park in New Jersey. But that only makes sense if you live in New Jersey.

How much time should you plan for visiting the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island?

You should plan at least a half day to a full day for the visit. Above all, you should plan some time for the strict security control.

So we’d suggest that you take the first ferry of the morning.

Ellis Island
Millions of immigrants took their first step in the US on Ellis Island.

Tickets for the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island

What are the different tickets?

We’d definitely suggest that you book a ticket in advance.

Theoretically, you can also buy the tickets right at South Ferry Terminal. But we’d advise against this because the lines are often outrageously long and you can only get the simple tickets at short notice, with which you’re not allowed to enter the Statue of Liberty.

If you’d like to go into the base or even the crown of the Statue of Liberty, you have to reserve your ticket very well in advance.

The tickets are the cheapest right on the website of Statue Cruises. Alternatively, you can also buy the tickets here at Getyourguide. They’re a few euros more expensive there, but the website is in different languages.

There are three different options in total.

Option 1: New York Reserve – with this ticket, you have entrance to both islands, but aren’t allowed into the Statue of Liberty. You get an audio-guide for both islands and can of course visit the Ellis Island National Immigration Museum. Tickets cost $18.50 for adults (cheaper for seniors and kids).

Option 2: New York Reserve with Pedestal – entrance to both islands, including audio-guides, admission to the Ellis Island Immigration Museum and admission to the pedestal of the Statue of Liberty. Tickets cost exactly as much as ticket option 1.

Option 3: New York Reserve with Crown Access – entrance to both islands, including audio-guides, admission to the Ellis Island National Immigration Museum and admission to the crown of the Statue of Liberty. Tickets cost 21.50 euros per person, but they’re often quickly sold out.

Attention: There are no elevators to the crown. To get to the crown of the Statue of Liberty, you have to climb up 162 narrow, small steps. Kids have to be at least 1.22 meters (4 ft) tall.

Statue of Liberty
There’s a viewing platform in the crown of the Statue of Liberty, which you should be sure to get a ticket for well in advance.

Is visiting the Statue of Liberty included in one of the New York Passes?

If you’ve decided for one of the sightseeing passes for New York, you can visit the Statue of Liberty with it without needing to buy an extra ticket.

A visit to the statue and Ellis Island is included in all available passes, but always without visiting the pedestal or the crown.

So if you’d like to see the inside of the statue, you’d have to buy a separate ticket.

If you’d like to know whether one of these passes is worth it for you, take a look at our detailed comparison:

To the New York pass comparison

Boat rides and ferries to the Statue of Liberty

For most visitors to New York, visiting the Statue of Liberty is an absolute must. We can of course understand that!

If you ask us though, we’d rather save our time for other highlights of the city and not visit the two islands.

Instead, we recommend that you take a boat ride that takes you right past the statue and is perfect for taking photos. We can recommend two different options for this.

#1 The free Staten Island Ferry

The Staten Island Ferry departs from Whitehall Terminal (South Ferry) and goes relatively close to the Statue of Liberty.

The ride with the ferry is completely free and the ferries leave regularly around the clock, so you never have to wait long for the next departure. A trip lasts around 25 minutes.

After arriving in Staten Island, you simply change to the ferry that’s heading back to Manhattan.

Our tip: the nicest thing to do is to take the ferry back to Manhattan during sunset. On the ride, don’t just concentrate on the Statue of Liberty, but also on Manhattan’s Skyline! On the outward journey, it’s best to stay in the back of the boat on the right, and then in the front on the left for the way back from Staten Island to lower Manhattan.

Staten Island Ferry
The Staten Island Ferry departs from the very south of Manhattan.

#2 A ride on the Circle Line

Alternatively to the Staten Island Ferry, we could recommend a boat ride with the Circle Line. These are classic cruises for tourists, but you actually see a lot.

There are various tours, including the “Liberty Cruise,” which brings you right to the Statue of Liberty.

We wouldn’t suggest this tour though. Instead, we’d highly recommend the great tour “Best of Manhattan.” It costs only marginally more, but offers a lot more.

With this tour, you of course go to the Statue of Liberty, but you also make a large detour around Manhattan and see, for example, the famous bridges and the landmarks of the skyline from a wonderful perspective.

To the Best of Manhattan tour

A great alternative to this tour is a cruise at night. You’ll be able to see the Statue of Liberty and the New York skyline once more in a really special ambience.

To the cruise at night

Tip for saving money: the cruises with the Circle Line are also included in most New York passes.

Those were our tips on visiting the Statue of Liberty. We’re curious now: will a visit to the Statue of Liberty be on your New York agenda? Or do you see it like us and think that a boat ride around the statue is enough?

Or do you still have questions or comments? We’re happy to see your comments!