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The 2023 Guide To Visiting The Statue of Liberty (+ Ferry Ride Information & Local Tips)
William Warby | Flickr

The Statue of Liberty is one of the most memorable tourist sites in New York City and among the most beloved sights across the United States. Standing tall on Liberty Island just off New York Harbor, the statue is an enduring symbol of liberty and freedom.

The Statue of Liberty, formally known as Liberty Enlightening the World, was built in a joint effort between France and the U.S. to commemorate the lasting friendship between the two nations. The 93-meter statue was made by French sculptor Frederic-Auguste Bartholdi out of hammered copper. The steel framework was made by Alexandre-Gustave Eiffel, the man behind France’s famed Eiffel Tower.

Getting To The Statue of Liberty

The Statue of Liberty is located on Liberty Island off the New York Harbor. To get there, you need to take a Statue of Liberty ferry from Battery Park City in Lower Manhattan or the New Jersey Terminal in New Jersey City.

If you’re planning on taking the subway, take the 4/5 to Bowling Green and the N/R to Whitehall Street. You can also take the 1 to South Ferry. However, you would have to be in the first five cars of the train to exit South Ferry.

Once you get off the subway, just follow the signs to Castle Clinton where you can buy Statue of Liberty ferry tickets.

When you purchase tickets for the ferry, you’ll likely see different prices. The Statue of Liberty ferry prices vary depending on the kind of tour you want during the visit.

Ticket options are as follows:

Ticket Grounds ($16 – $24.25)

This ticket grants visitors unlimited access to the summit and the esplanade. The tour takes approximately three hours.

Ticket Pedestal ($16 – $27.25)

This ticket grants visitors access to explore the inside of the Statue of Liberty. Guests can also partake in the Liberty Museum audio tours as well as a complimentary audio guide of Ellis Islands and Liberty Island.

Guests with Ticket Pedestal will be able to enter the Ellis Island Immigration Museum and access the upper section of the pedestal, also known as the Fort Wood section.

Ticket Hard Hat ($61- $66.25)

Guests who purchase Ticket Hard Hat will have a complimentary audio tour available in several languages and entrance to the Ellis Island Immigration Museum.

Hard Hat ticket holders will also have a nearly two-hour exclusive tour of the Ellis Island Hospital where different artwork exhibitions are available for viewing.

Do note, however, that there is a minimum age limit of 13 years old for the Hard Hat tour.

*All ticket options include a round-trip ferry ride.

Tips For Visiting The Statue of Liberty

Visiting the Statue of Liberty is not without complications. There should be a good deal of planning involved to be prepared for your trip to the statue. As such, we thought of sharing some valuable tips from locals to make your trip memorable.

  1. Arrive early

As with most tourist sites, the line for the statue gets longer and longer by the hour. Additionally, the statue closes earlier thanz other attractions, which means you have limited time to visit.

If you are able to, it is advised that you catch the first ferry ride of the day. This way, you will beat the crowds to the Ellis Island National Museum, the Statue of Liberty national monument, and the pedestal. Early morning tours are also the best because the guides are well-rested and the lighter crowd means the visit will likely go smoother.

  1. Buy your tickets in advance

While you can always buy your tickets on-site, buying them in advance eliminates the time needed to fall in line and wait for your turn at the ticketing booth. Buying online also allows you to purchase your tickets before your scheduled visit.

In most cases, you would not need to print your ticket. You can just arrive at Ellis Island with a copy of the ticket on your phone.

  1. Pack light

If you’re planning on visiting the inside of the statue’s pedestal, it is advised not to bring a backpack as it is not allowed inside. Food and drink other than water are also not allowed inside.

Visiting the statue would require you to pass through up to two security checks. Security at the statue operates similarly to that at the airport, which means your belts, watches, jackets, hats, and jewelry all have to come off.

If you’re unsure whether the items in your bag are allowed inside, you can double-check the website for a list of all prohibited items.

  1. Stand on the left side of the ferry

When you board the ferry, it is advised to take up a spot on the left side. While that side of the boat doesn’t have the best view of the statue from the harbor, it will be the best spot once the boat moves. In fact, standing on the left side will give you the perfect opportunity to take a photo of Lady Liberty when you cross in front of the statue.

  1. Enjoy the view

Many of the people who visit Liberty State Park forget that the island is surrounded by stunning views. The northern edge of the island gives visitors the best views of the Lower Manhattan Skyline. On a clear day, you can see the Freedom Tower, Ellis Island, Brooklyn Bridge and Empire State Building.

  1. Take note of the ferry schedules

Ferry schedules to and from Liberty Island change based on the season, which means it’s always a good idea to check the daily schedule posted at the dock or at the entrance to the boat.

  1. Get in line early

It’s always a good idea to make sure you are in line for the ferry at least 10 to 20 minutes before its scheduled departure. This is because the boats have capacity limitations. This means that you can get cut off and be forced to wait for the next boat if it reaches capacity before you board, regardless of whether you bought a ticket on the day of the trip or months ahead.