Did you know that approximately 4 million people visit the Statue of Liberty every year? It can get pretty hectic but there are some ways around the crowds. In this guide, we’ll help you plan ahead! Here’s everything you need to know about how to visit the Statue of Liberty from how to get tickets, to the best tours, what to see, and more!
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Visiting the Statue of Liberty: What We’ll Cover
The Statue of Liberty was a gift to the United States—a symbol of friendly alliance and appreciation. Over the years since the statue took its place on Liberty Island in 1886, many marveled at the sight of this iconic monument as they sought a better life and it came to represent something more—the promise of freedom and the possibility for their dreams to come true. As you prepare for your visit to the Statue of Liberty, here’s what you need to know:
- Opening hours and tickets
- How much time to budget for your visit
- How to get there
- What to see at the Statue of Liberty
- Guided tour options
- Facts and history of the Statue of Liberty
- Where to eat inside and nearby
Statue of Liberty Opening Hours and Tickets
The Statue of Liberty is located on Liberty Island, so you’ll need to take a ferry to get there. When you purchase your ticket for the Statue of Liberty, it includes the ferry ride and access to the Ellis Island Museum. Here are the various ticket types:
Reserve Ticket: With this ticket, you have access to the grounds and audio guide. However, you cannot go inside the Statue of Liberty.
- Adult: $24.50
- Senior 62+: $18
- Child 4-12: $12
- Child 0-3: Free
Pedestal Reserve Ticket: You’ll get access to everything included in the Reserve ticket, plus access to the Fort Wood Section of the Pedestal.
- Adult: $24.80
- Senior 62+: $18.30
- Child 4-12: $12.30
- Child 0-3: Free
Crown Reserve Ticket: You’ll get access to everything included in the Pedestal Reserve ticket, plus access to the Crown and Pedestal
- Adult: $24.80
- Senior 62+: $18.30
- Child 4-12: $12.30
- Child 0-3: Free
There are two ports with departures to the Statue of Liberty. One is Battery Park in New York and the other is Liberty State Park in New Jersey. Statue City Cruises is the only authorized concessioner for ferries.
Battery Park Ferry Hours: 9:30 am – 3:30 pm, every 30 minutes
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Not ready to book a tour? Check out our New York Guide for more resources.
How Long To Spend at the Statue of Liberty
Short Answer: 3 to 4 hours
When you purchase a ticket to see the Statue of Liberty, you’re actually buying three items: A ferry ride, Statue of Liberty Access, and Access to the Ellis Island Museum. Be sure to keep that in mind.
The Ferry Ride
You’ll start your adventure at either Battery Park in NYC or Liberty State Park across the bay in New Jersey. The ferry works like a hop-on, hop-off bus with stops at Liberty Island (where the Statue of Liberty is) and Ellis Island before returning to the port.
It takes around 15-20 minutes to arrive at each destination. So, there’s just enough time to enjoy some sea views without it being too long.
Once you arrive at Liberty Island, it’s about a 10-minute walk to the Statue of Liberty. Depending on the ticket you have (see above), you’ll either just walk around the island or climb up the statue itself.
I last visited the area in May of 2021 and I’d say if you are not climbing up, give yourself about 2 hours. Why so long? You’ll want to enjoy the views from the various vantage points.
There’s also a cool little museum to visit where you can see the original torch that Lady Liberty held. There’s an audioguide included in the ticket, but you know how that goes…listen for 5 minutes before you put it in your pocket. We recommend taking a guided tour of the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island, which will make your time more memorable and definitely elevate your experience.
If you’re thinking of skipping this section and just heading back to the city, I strongly urge you to reconsider. When I arrived at Ellis Island, I was very unprepared for the emotional aspect of the visit. My only exposure to the area previously was from the film “The Godfather”. I honestly found Ellis Island to be just as compelling as the Statue of Liberty!
Considering the size of the museum I would allocate 1.5 hours for your visit. The main area you’ll be visiting is all in one building, but it is quite big and it’s on two floors. You will learn all about the influx of immigrants from all over the world (mostly European) who came in search of a better life in America.
Location: Statue of Liberty
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How To Get To the Statue of Liberty
Traveling to the Statue of Liberty is pretty simple, you’ll be departing from one of the ferry points located either in Battery Park or Liberty State Park. Before you leave, you should plan your journey to these locations. This way, you’ll be sure to get to Liberty Island early and avoid any unnecessary travel complications or stress along the way.
Battery Park is in Manhattan, at the southern tip of the city. It’s surrounded by the New York Harbor and the Hudson River. You can get there on the subway, bus, or train, and they’re super easy to access from different points around the city and even out of state.
If you head to the MTA website, you can set the destination as Battery Park and add your current location for a display of the best route as well as how to purchase transport tickets (they can be purchased online or at the station kiosks). For a point of reference, from Times Square in New York City, you can take the train southbound from Times Square Station (1, 2, or 3) to the South Ferry Stop. From there, it’s a quick 5-minute walk to Battery Park.
The bus is another good option. From near Times Square, you can take the bus from the 5 Av/W 41 St. Stop to the South Ferry stop as well. The MTA website also provides a detailed schedule of bus routes and times from several different points around the city.
Liberty State Park
Liberty State Park is the other popular point of departure for the ferry that arrives at Liberty Island. This park is located in Jersey City, New Jersey, and similar to Battery Park in NYC, it’s easily accessible via public transport that’s provided throughout the state of New Jersey. Newark Penn Station is one of the most frequently used stations in the state and if you leave from there, you’ll have a relatively simple journey to the destination.
As suggested on the Liberty State Park Website, take the PATH subway to the Exchange Place stop in Jersey City. From there, you’ll take the Light Rail to Liberty State Park, followed by a short trip on the shuttle bus to the ferry slip. In addition to Newark Penn Station, you can also embark from Hoboken Station and Journal Square in Jersey City. If you’re interested in learning about alternative departure points, the New Jersey Transit website is a great resource to plan your route with ease.
What To See at the Statue of Liberty
Once you’re on liberty island, there are a few spots that you should definitely visit. Some of these will depend on the ticket you purchased in advance, so keep reading to get an idea. For a more detailed explanation of each area, read our top things to see at the Statue of Liberty.
- Statue of Liberty Exhibit
- Statue of Liberty Museum
- Statue of Liberty Pedestal
- Statue of Liberty Crown (Get ready to walk up 190 stairs!)
Statue of Liberty Tour Options
Unless you’re planning a trip to NYC on a shoestring budget, you should definitely consider a guided tour of the Statue of Liberty. Besides the benefits of skipping the lines that you get when visiting with an expert guide, a tour will simplify your trip.
With round-trip ferry tickets taken care of and a convenient meeting point in Battery Park, you’ll have nothing to worry about except enjoying your time at the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island. Here is our top guided Statue of Liberty tour with great reviews:
Join us on an epic journey through American history! On this tour you’ll visit the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island with roundtrip ferry transport included all with a local guide who will describe the city’s amazing history as you visit the picturesque monument.
Not ready to book a tour? Check out our Statue of Liberty Guide for more resources.
Facts and History of the Statue of Liberty
The Statue of Liberty has some impressive numbers. Here are some cool numbers about this amazing statue:
- Amount of copper used: 62,000 lbs. ( 31 tons).
- Weight of concrete foundation: 54,000,000 lbs. (125 tons).
- The thickness of copper sheeting: 3/32 of an inch, the thickness of two pennies placed together.
- Wind sway: 50 mph winds cause the statue to sway up to 3 inches and the torch up to 6 inches.
- Direction: It is facing southeast so people can see the statue when entering the harbor.
- The Tablet: It reads July 4th, 1776—the date of American Independence.
- The Torch: Is a 1986 replacement. It is copper, covered in 24k gold leaf.
- Height of the Statue of Liberty: 154 feet.
Statue of Liberty History
The Statue of Liberty was a gift from France. In 1865, Edouard de Laboulaye, an important French political thinker and supporter of Abraham Lincoln during the American Civil War proposed to create a monument for the United States.
His reasoning was that the victory of the Union in the Civil War reaffirmed the United State’s ideals of freedom and democracy. As a result, honoring the United States would at the same time strengthen the causes for Democracy in France.
Frédéric-Auguste Bartholdi was the man that made it happen. Bartholdi was a famous French sculptor, best known for his work on the Statue of Liberty. He was elected by Edouard de Laboulaye as the sculptor to build a monument that could commemorate the kinship between France and the United States as well as appreciation for President Abraham Lincoln’s work.
Bartholdi previously worked with Laboulaye in the designing of his bust and was excited to work on the project that came to life over the span of a few years. Thus, the Statue of Liberty was born.
How was it built?
The construction of the statue began in France in 1876. Bartholdi enlisted a number of French craftsmen to help in the process of transforming his unique ideas into reality. The various parts of the statue were created separately and then shipped to the United States for assembly in 1885.
Upon visiting New York City, Bartholdi chose Liberty Island as its home because of the high level of visibility, which he described as the “gateway to America.” Most of us can agree that the location was a perfect choice, not only is the statue a signature attraction of the city, it’s a symbol of America and its core ideals.
Once the statue arrived, assembly began very quickly along with the construction of the pedestal upon which it still stands tall today. The process was officially completed in 1886 and celebrated with a large dedication ceremony that was held shortly after. Around a million New Yorkers came out to revel in the unveiling of the statue, a part of a grand history that was yet to fully unfold.
Interested in finding out more? Read our article on the history of the Statue of Liberty or join our expert local guides on a Statue of Liberty tour—by far the best way to learn more about this iconic NYC landmark.
Places To Eat Inside and Nearby
There are limited options to eat when you depart for the Statue of Liberty. If you go in the morning, I suggest eating in the city when you return. A picnic is also a great idea. Here are a few recommendations for places to eat:
On the Ferry: There are snack stands where you can purchase refreshments and healthy snacks
Crown Café: $$ | Quick Snacks—This is the only place on Liberty Island where you can actually get food. You can get burgers, pizzas, and even sushi in this cafeteria-style café.
Ellis Café: $$ | Quick Snacks—Same as the Crown Café, but on Ellis Island.
Have a Picnic: Liberty Island is actually considered a park, so there is lots of open areas. Grab some food from a local gourmet grocery store in New York and have a leisurely lunch in the sun.
Near the Statue of Liberty:
Hotdog Truck: A quick and easy way to eat like the locals. I’ve eaten from them hundreds of times and never gotten sick. You’ll find them all over the place. Go for it!
The Dead Rabbit: $$ | Irish Pub—Great pub food and strong drinks. What else could you ask for after sightseeing all morning long?