If there's one icon that represents New York, it's the Statue of Liberty. Visiting her or circling her by boat is an experience not to be missed on your trip to New York, if only for the picture-postcard views of Manhattan from Liberty Island.
Buying your tickets in advance will save you two queues: the one for the ferry to Liberty Island and the one to get to the statue. Here are the best ways to visit the Statue:
Access to the pedestal of the Statue with guided tour
Perfect if you want to visit the Statue of Liberty without having to worry about transport and waiting at the ticket office. An expert guide will accompany you during your visit to the Statue's pedestal. You will also visit Ellis Island. Ferry and entrance fees are included.
One of the points I want to highlight (and which applies to this option as well as any other that takes you there) is that the views of the Manhattan Skyline from the ferry and from Liberty Island are spectacular. Once you get to the statue, inside, you can visit the impressive museum dedicated to the history of the construction of this iconic monument, and look out over the observation deck from where you can see Manhattan in the distance as if it were a postcard.
The first thing you should know is that the Statue of Liberty is on a small island south of Manhattan and the only way to get there is by boat. So, what I like most about this Statue of Liberty pedestal ticket is that, in addition to access to the pedestal and the Immigration Museum, transportation is included.
You will then take the ferry to Ellis Island and visit the Immigration Museum. One of the highlights of this tour, in addition to the historical context that your local guide will explain throughout the visit, is that you won't have to wait in line at the ferries as you'll have priority access.
Why I like this option: This is the best value for money option I have found. Being a complete experience, with access to the pedestal, the price is very economical.
Recommended if... you are thinking of going to the Statue of Liberty and want to enjoy it without having to spend a lot of money, but with the convenience of having transport included and being accompanied by an expert guide.
Take a ferry ride to the Statue to see it up close.
If you want to see the city's most famous lady without spending a lot of time and a lot of money, take a boat ride to her for the best photos. The views of Manhattan from the ferry will make the trip worthwhile.
This may be your best option if you are visiting New York for a few days with little time or if you have been there before and just want to take a relaxing cruise around the Statue of Liberty to reminisce about your previous visit and enjoy the sights.
Although this tour does not include access to the Statue, for me the advantages of this activity are clear: you won't wait in line, you won't have to spend extra time disembarking and re-embarking and you can enjoy the best views of Manhattan while taking a nice boat ride. If you're going in the cold season, don't forget to wrap up warm so that the low temperatures don't fog up the tour and you can get out and take some great photos.
Why I like this option: This is the cheapest tour to get close to the Statue without having to pay the entrance fee.
Recommended if... you don't want to give up the chance to see it up close even if you don't have the time or budget to go inside.
We compare the two options
Access to the Statue's pedestal with guided tour
Perfect if you want to visit the Statue of Liberty without having to worry about transport and waiting at the ticket office. An expert guide will accompany you during your visit to the Statue's pedestal. Ferry and entrance fees are included.
Get up close and personal with the Statue by ferry
If you want to see the city's most famous lady without spending a lot of time and a lot of money, take a boat ride to the Statue for the best photos. The views of Manhattan from the ferry will make the trip worthwhile.
Buy your tickets for the Statue of Liberty at the ticket office
The big disadvantage of buying tickets on the spot is that you will have to queue and you may have to wait for the next ferry if there are large crowds of tourists.
Access the Statue of Liberty with New York Pass and other city sightseeing passes
The lure of the Statue of Liberty also makes it a must-see attraction on the city's main tourist passes. If you still don't know what they are, how to use them or whether they are suitable for you or not, I invite you to read my article on New York Pass and other passes.
In any case, if what you're interested in is getting to the point and seeing which passes include admission to the Statue of Liberty, here's a list of what they are and, by the way, I'll link you to the practical guide I've prepared about each of them. I'm sure this will help you decide which one is best suited to your trip!
How can I climb the Crown of the Statue?
You can climb the crown of the Statue of Liberty by paying a supplement or by purchasing a specific ticket. The attraction of climbing the crown of the Statue of Liberty is more to see the actual monument built from the inside, as the views from the top are not as spectacular. If you opt for this option, I recommend you book your tickets well in advance, as they sell out first.
The ferry to the Statue of Liberty
If you are thinking of going to Liberty Island on your own, you should know that there is only one company that operates ferries to the Statue of Liberty, and that is Statue Cruises.
- Battery Park, which is south of Manhattan. As the main pier, it's the most crowded, so again, try to get there early in the morning. To get there, it's best to take the underground to Bowling Street or South Ferry.
- Liberty State Park, which is in New Jersey. If you don't want to wait in a long queue for the ferry, or you're staying nearby, this is a good alternative option.
There is a ferry to the Statue of Liberty every 25 minutes. When you arrive at the Battery Park pier, if you have already bought your ticket, you simply go through the security checkpoint and directly onto the ferry. The ferry will take you straight to Liberty Island in about 15 minutes, and little by little you will see the Statue of Liberty getting closer and closer.
At the end of your visit, you can catch the ferry to Ellis Island (where you can visit the Immigration Museum) or head straight back to Manhattan. Visiting Liberty Island, the Statue of Liberty, and Ellis Island will take you about 5 hours. This may seem obvious, but try not to miss the ferry back! The Liberty Island guards will have to order a special pick-up service for you, and guess who they'll make pay for it?
Practical information for visiting the Statue of Liberty
If you already have one foot on the ferry and are looking forward to the day of your excursion, take note of some tips that will come in handy before you organise your visit.
How much does it cost to visit the Statue of Liberty?
Prices to visit the Statue of Liberty can vary depending on whether you choose to buy a standard ticket or a guided tour, but tours usually start from 50 Euros and include tickets, ferry and an expert guide.
If you prefer to go on your own, you can find tickets from around 20 Euros for the pedestal, but you will have to buy separate ferry tickets and pay for a guided tour if you choose to visit the Statue and Liberty Island with a guide.
When to go to the Statue of Liberty
As you might expect, the Statue of Liberty is one of New York's most popular attractions, so it's hard to miss the crowds. That said, try to get there as early in the morning as possible. If you manage to get to Liberty Island before 10am, you'll save yourself a lot of crowds.
Of course, most visitors go to the Statue of Liberty on weekends, so if you can, try to go Monday to Friday. If you can still only go on weekends, Sundays are the best day for crowds.
Can I bring a backpack or luggage?
When you arrive at the Liberty Island pier, you'll walk a short distance to the foot of the Statue of Liberty. Before accessing the statue's pedestal, you'll need to leave your belongings in a locker (except for your mobile phone, camera and wallet) at the lockers at the base of the statue. They cost 25 US cents per locker, so remember to bring loose change (or notes for the change machines).
To climb the crown of the Statue of Liberty, you will have to leave all your belongings at the ticket booths except for the ticket and your camera. For this reason, I recommend that you take the essentials and nothing else on this visit.
As I mentioned earlier, once you've finished visiting the Statue of Liberty, you can return to the Liberty Island pier and, if the beautiful views of Manhattan allow you to get away, you can hop on the ferry to Ellis Island.
At Ellis Island you can visit the Immigration Museum, with over thirty rooms with exhibits about the times when New York received immigrants from all over the world. Something I found quite interesting about this museum is that it has an ancestry search service where you can see if anyone from your most distant family ever lived in New York.
Where to eat when you visit the Statue of Liberty
When planning where to eat on your visit to the Statue of Liberty, you have two options: eat before or after your visit, or go to the cafeteria on Liberty Island or Ellis Island, where a menu usually costs between $12 and $15, with options such as salads, burgers, and sandwiches.
If you heed my recommendation and visit the Statue of Liberty early in the morning, you'll be back in Battery Park just in time for lunch, which is why I recommend a few mouth-watering restaurants. However, if the following list doesn't convince you, check out the best places to eat in New York here.
- Inatteso Pizzabar - a popular pizza place in the Financial District where you can find salads, meatball dishes, pasta, and pizza, all looking delicious and authentic.
- Toro Loco NYC - a Mexican-inspired restaurant with an amazing menu of tacos, nachos, quesadillas and burritos. Perfect for a quick bite to eat in or to take away and continue exploring New York.
- Café 11 - here you'll find sushi, wraps, and vegetarian options, mainly takeaway, if you prefer a light and healthy meal. On the downside, they're not open on weekends, so keep that in mind before you go.
- Luke's Lobster - The lobster roll, one of the essentials of the American sandwich repertoire, is this restaurant's speciality. Basically, it's a brioche sandwich filled with lobster meat and sauce. It's not for everyone, but if your mouth is watering from reading this, don't think twice and try it!
Alex's Traveller Tip
Beware of the hawkers you'll find in Battery Park offering you tickets - most are fakes!
Other interesting activities in New York
If you fancy seeing the Statue of Liberty from a different point of view, there are a number of places in the city that will give you the best views of the Statue of Liberty.
But it's also possible to fly over Manhattan in a helicopter: a 15-20 minute flight over the Hudson will bring you close to seeing not only the Statue but also Manhattan's most imposing skyscrapers. Sounds good, doesn't it? If you want to read more about this option, I recommend my article on how to take a helicopter ride over Manhattan.
Whether it's your first time in New York or you're already a frequent visitor, you'll know that the city is huge and the range of attractions, things to do and points of interest is enormous. Taking a guided tour is essential to get to know the most important sights and understand the history and customs of the city. Here is my report on these two tours, which for me are the most complete: Upper and Lower Manhattan Tour and New York Contrasts Tour.
If, on the other hand, you have plenty of time and feel like getting out of the city to discover its surroundings, I leave you here my article on 5 Day Trips from New York so you can explore all the options.
Frequently asked questions
Where is the Statue of Liberty?
The Statue of Liberty is located on Liberty Island, which can be reached by ferry.
Can the inside of the crown of the Statue of Liberty be accessed?
Yes, but you will need to book a special ticket to access the crown.
What are the visiting hours of the Statue of Liberty?
Opening time for Liberty Island and the Statue of Liberty begins at 8:30. The last ferry leaves the island at 17:00.
How can I climb The Crown of the Statue of Liberty?
Passes to the Statue do not include access to the Statue's crown, but only to its pedestal. You can only get tickets for access to the Crown from the Statue of Liberty's official website, and spaces are very limited, so they tend to sell out very quickly.