If you are holidaying in New York, the Statue of Liberty is a must visit.
Around 4 Million people get onto the Statue of Liberty ferries every year and land on Liberty island – they all can’t be wrong.
In this article, we explain everything you need to know before booking your Statue of Liberty tickets.
1. Types of tickets
2. Buy tickets
3. Boat tours
4. How to reach
5. Opening hours
6. Tour duration
7. Best time to visit
8. Statue of Liberty Ferry
9. Liberty Museum
10. Audio tour
11. Ellis Island
12. Liberty at night
13. Security Checks
14. Food and restaurants
Where is the Statue of Liberty?
The Statue of Liberty is a massive monument on Liberty Island in New York Harbor in New York.
Initially, the island was called Bedloe Island, and in 1956 it was re-named as Liberty Island.
Liberty Island is closer to New Jersey than New York.
Even though it resides in New Jersey’s waters, the Statue of Liberty has always been considered part of New York.
Types of Statue of Liberty tickets
Before we proceed any further, you need to know the types of Statue of Liberty experiences you can book.
Depending on access
Depending on the access to the different parts of the Statue of Liberty, there are three types of tickets you can book.
1. Ground Only Tickets
These are the most popular and widely available tickets.
This ticket gives you access to Liberty Island and the Statue of Liberty Museum.
You won’t be able to climb up to the Pedestal or the Crown of the Statue.
These tickets are available as both timed ticket and flexible ticket.
2. Pedestal Reserve tickets
A limited number of Pedestal tickets are sold per day.
This ticket gives you access up to the top of the Pedestal, including the Statue of Liberty Museum.
3. Crown Reserve tickets
These tickets are also limited – during the peak summer months, approximately 500 Crown tickets are sold per day.
Only 0.4% of the day’s tickets sold are Crown tickets.
This ticket gives you access to the Statue’s Crown, the Pedestal and the Museum.
These tickets are difficult to get and during the summer months get booked six months in advance.
Because of this lack of availability many visitors feel the Reserve tickets are better than Crown tickets.
Note: All of the above Statue of Liberty tickets also include entry to the Immigration Museum in Ellis Island.
Flex tickets vs. Reserve tickets
Depending on the time you must report for the security check to board the ferry, there are two types of tickets.
A reserve ticket is for a specified time on a specified day.
If you have bought a Reserve ticket, you must enter the security line at the time mentioned on your ticket.
Since they want to regulate the number of visitors who go up the Pedestal and the Crown, both these tickets are ALWAYS Reserve tickets.
Advantage: Since Reserve Tickets have a time mentioned on them, the Reserve ticket holders are given priority access to the security screening and ferries.
Disadvantage: Since these tickets have time by when you must report for the security screening, you can’t be flexible with your timings.
A Statue of Liberty Flex Ticket doesn’t have a reserved time and can be used for a one-time entry anytime within three days.
The three days’ time period starts from the time beginning on the day you specify at the time of purchase.
A Statue of Liberty Flex Ticket is a first come-first serve ticket, so it is better to reach there early to avoid waiting in long lines.
There are three ways to get a Statue of Liberty flex ticket.
You can visit the Statue Cruises ticket office in either Battery Park (NY) or Liberty State Park (NJ) early in the morning (as early as 5 am!).
Your third option to get a flexible Liberty ticket is to buy one of the discount cards such as New York City Explorer Pass.
The NYC Explorer Pass gets you free entry to Statue of Liberty, at the time of your choice.
Advantage: Since Flex tickets don’t have a time mentioned on them, they offer a lot of flexibility to your day’s itinerary.
Disadvantage: Since Statue of Liberty Flex Ticket is a first come-first serve ticket, during peak season, the wait in security screening line can exceed one hour.
Note: Companies such as GetYourGuide.com and Tiqets.com, etc. have onsite Guest Relations Team to help you to get through the lines faster.
Statue of Liberty tickets
When it comes to the Statue of Liberty’s admission tickets, there are various combinations which confuse people.
We have tried to simplify it below.
Whichever ticket you choose, rest assured the company’s Guest Service Team will be available at the venue to help you.
All these are smartphone tickets, and you don’t need to take print outs.
Just show your Statue of Liberty tickets in your email, and walk in.
Note: The time that’s mentioned in the ticket booking page is the time to report for security screening, not to board a specific ferry.
1. Statue of Liberty Flexible tickets
This is the most popular ticket and is rated as high as 4.6/5.
A GetYourGuide Guest Relations team will meet you at Battery Park to facilitate your tour.
For the flexible ticket, on the booking page select the option which doesn’t include the Pedestal access.
|Adults||13 to 61 years||$24|
|Child||4 to 12 years||$15|
2. Statue of Liberty Pedestal tickets
Since all Pedestal tickets are timed, you get priority entry to the security screening and ferry ride.
There are three kinds of Pedestal tickets you can book.
Self-guided Pedestal access ticket
If you buy this ticket, you get a guide to help you navigate Battery Park (the place where the security screening and boarding the ferry happens).
But after that, you explore Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island Museum on your own, with an audio guide.
|Adults||13 to 61 years||$53|
|Child||4 to 12 years||$50|
Guided Pedestal access ticket
This 4-hour guided tour of Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island is one of the highest rated tours on this circuit.
Rated 4.9/5 consistently, you can take this tour early (8.30 am or 9 am) or decide to do it in the afternoon (12.30 pm).
If you opt for the afternoon slot, there may be longer waiting periods for security screening and ferries.
|Child||4 to 12 years||$54|
If you need a guided tour only for Statue of Liberty and can manage the Ellis Island Immigration Museum yourself, here is a cheaper option.
Early access Pedestal ticket
If you are short on time and/or want to avoid the crowd, this is the perfect Statue of Liberty ticket for you.
All you must do is meet your local guide at 9 am at Battery Park, and then they take over.
In approximately four hours, you can finish both Statue of Liberty (with Pedestal climb) and Ellis Island and be back.
|Child||4 to 11 years||$47|
3. Statue of Liberty Crown tickets
These tickets get you to access the Crown of Statue of Liberty.
However, since every day only a few of these tickets are released it is tough to buy them.
For instance, during peak summer months only 500 tickets are issued per day, and they get booked six months in advance.
During non-peak months Crown tickets get booked 90-120 days in advance.
Therefore, we suggest you go for one of the Statue of Liberty experiences we have recommended above.
Don’t believe us? Check out Statue Cruises to see for which date the next Crown ticket available for.
If you still want to go up the Crown, here is some information on last-minute Statue of Liberty Crown tickets.
Statue of liberty boat tours
Some tourists prefer not to go through the five to six hours grueling Liberty visit and instead prefer to cruise around the Statue of Liberty.
There are lots of Statue of Liberty boat tours available, offering different experiences.
These are also often referred to as Statue of Liberty Cruises.
These cruises are generally one hour long. Unless it is a Statue of Liberty dinner cruise, in which case it can be three hours long.
Besides sailing within 100 feet of the Statue of Liberty, these cruises also take you to Ellis Island.
Day time Liberty cruise
The are many kinds of day time Statue of Liberty cruises you can book.
The 60-minutes day time cruises start around 10 am and go on till 5 pm. They cost approximately 30 USD per person.
The 90-minute Liberty Cruise, where you also get to see the grandeur of lower and midtown Manhattan, starts at 3.30 pm and costs 37 USD per person.
If you prefer luxury, check out this Statue and NYC Skyline Cruise aboard the Luxury Yacht Manhattan.
Night time Liberty cruise
There are two ways you can experience the Statue of Liberty in the dark.
The 60-minutes Sunset Cruise starts at 4.30 pm and goes around Liberty Statue and Ellis Island. It costs 24 USD per person.
Or if you prefer a more elaborate experience, you can opt for the 3-hour long Statue of Liberty Dinner Cruise.
It starts at 7 pm and costs 205 USD per head.
During both the night time cruises you get to experience the stunning New York skyline from the New York Harbour.
How to reach Statue of Liberty
Only ferries organized by Statue Cruises can take you to Statue of Liberty.
Once you have seen the Statue of Liberty (and Ellis Island Museum), you can return to either Battery Park or Liberty State Park.
You need not get back to where you started from.
Getting to Battery Park, New York
Most of the tourists visiting Statue of Liberty board the ferry from Battery Park.
This is because of two reasons.
1. Most of the visitors are already holidaying in New York
2. Battery Park is easily accessible via public transportation
Since parking lots are limited in Lower Manhattan, it is highly recommended that you use public transport to get to Battery Park.
A subway is a comfortable option because many subway stops are located near Battery Park.
1 and R trains stop at South Ferry/Whitehall Street Station, which is a New York City Subway station complex in the Manhattan neighborhood.
4 and 5 trains stop at the Bowling Green Station
Both these subway stations are within five minutes’ walk from Castle Clinton, where State Cruises ticket office is located.
Get on to M5, M15, or M20 and get down at South Ferry stop.
You can’t miss the sign for the Statue of Liberty ferries.
Getting to Liberty State Park, New Jersey
Because of the lack of good public transport options, fewer tourists board the Statue of Liberty ferry from Liberty State Park.
By Light Rail
Get on to Hudson-Bergen Light Rail, which runs through the Jersey City and New Jersey area and get down at the Liberty State Park station.
This station is 1.6 KMs (1 Mile) from the ferry location, and unfortunately, there is no taxi service you can hail.
Your only option is to walk or bike the distance to reach the Statue Cruises ticket office in the CRRNJ Terminal.
You have the option of taking the Liberty Landing Ferry, a fast and efficient transport option across the Hudson.
You can get the Liberty Landing ferry from World Financial Terminal, New York and get to Liberty Landing Marina within Liberty State Park, New Jersey.
Recommended Reading: Statue of Liberty facts
Statue of Liberty hours
Statue of Liberty in New York is open all through the year except on Thanksgiving (fourth Thursday in November) and Christmas (25 December).
Statue of Liberty visiting hours are calculated based on the ferry timings.
And since the first ferry from both Battery Park and Liberty State Park set sail at 8.30 am, and they take 15 minutes to reach Liberty Island, 8.45 am is considered to be Statue of Liberty’s opening time.
The Statue of Liberty visiting hours come to an end at different times all through the year.
As far as the closing times are concerned, there are two times to keep in mind –
1) Last entry into the monument, which affects only the Crown and Pedestal ticket holders
2) Closing of Statue of Liberty ground, which affects all visitors
|Days||Last Entry||Grounds Closure|
|1 Jan to 24 May||3.30 pm||4.20 pm|
|25 May to 2 Sep||5 pm||6.20 pm|
|3 Sep to 4 Oct||4 pm||5.20 pm|
|15 Oct to 27 Nov||3.30 pm||4.20 pm|
|29 Nov to 23 Dec||3.30 pm||4.20 pm|
|24 Dec||1.30 pm||2.20 pm|
|26 Dec to 31 Dec||3.30 pm||4.20 pm|
How long does the Statue of Liberty take?
There are lots of factors that decide the duration of your visit to the Statue of Liberty.
– Time of the year
– Day of the week
– Time of the day you board the ferry
– The ticket you have (Reserve, Pedestal or Crown)
Here is a breakdown of how much time you may spend on each activity during your Statue of Liberty tour.
Primary Security Screening
Before you can get onto the ferry at Battery Park or Liberty State Park, you must undergo security screening.
During peak times including summer, weekends and holidays this can take even 90 minutes.
Boarding the Ferry
After the primary screening, you wait to board the ferry.
A ferry sets sail every 20-25 minutes, but during peak times you may have to let one boat go because it was full, and wait for the next one.
Ferry ride to Liberty Island
Wherever you start from – Battery Park or Liberty State Park, this usually takes 15 minutes or less.
Secondary Security Screening
This screening is applicable only for visitors with either Crown or Pedestal tickets (those who must enter the monument).
Secondary screening is like the screening you must have gone through on the mainland before getting on to the ferry.
During peak times, such as summer holidays and weekends this screening can take up to one hour.
Exploring Statue of Liberty
If you have a Crown ticket and are climbing up all the way, you will need 30 to 40 minutes to reach the top.
You can spend ten minutes inside the Statue of Liberty’s Crown, and in 20 minutes you can be down again.
If you have a Pedestal ticket, it doesn’t take long to go up because they have an elevator.
If you decide to take the stairs, you will be able to climb the 215 stairs from the lobby to the top of the Pedestal building in 10 minutes.
If you have the Reserve ticket, you can’t go into the monument, but you can explore the grounds as much as you want.
However, you won’t need more than half an hour to see around.
If you decide to pack a picnic box, you may need an extra hour.
Boarding the ferry to Ellis Island
During peak times, you may have to wait your turn and maybe even let go of a ferry because it was full.
This wait can last up to 30 minutes.
The ferry ride from Liberty Island to Ellis Island takes 15 minutes or less.
Exploring Ellis Island
The audio guide of Ellis Island’s National Immigration Museum is 45 minutes long.
If you spend any time less than that, you won’t be doing justice to this historical site.
However, tourists are also known to spend up to three hours exploring the Ellis Island Museum.
Boarding the ferry to go back
If you had started your Statue of Liberty tour early in the day, you don’t have to wait long to board a ferry back to base.
Ferry ride to Battery Park/ Liberty State Park
This last leg of your Statue of Liberty tour doesn’t take more than 15 minutes.
In effect, during peak times you will need at least six hours to explore the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island Museum to your satisfaction.
During non-peak hours, you can explore both these New York attractions in approximately four hours.
Note: If you get on a ferry but don’t get down at Liberty Island (and continue to sit on the ferry), in one hour and fifteen minutes you will be back to where you started from.
Best time to visit Statue of Liberty
The best time to visit the Statue of Liberty is as soon as you can.
For the best experience, we recommend that you be in the first or second ferry which leaves for the Statue of Liberty.
When you start early, you avoid the crowd and thus avoid long waiting times.
As the day progresses, the mercury goes up making the exploration difficult.
If for some reason you can’t make it to the ferry by 1 pm, it is best to plan it for some other day.
This is because you won’t have time to enjoy both the Statue of Liberty National Monument and Ellis Island Immigration Museum.
Statue of Liberty Ferry
Statue of Liberty ferry is operated by Statue Cruises (the only official ferry operator).
Statue of Liberty ferry routes
The ferries start from two places – Battery Park in New York and Liberty State Park, New Jersey.
Depending on where you take the Statue of Liberty ferry, here is the route the ferries take and the stops they make.
Ferry route from Battery Park, New York
All Liberty Cruises which sail from Battery Park in New York first go to the Liberty Island, where the Statue of Liberty stands in all its glory.
Then they sail to Ellis Island and finally back to Battery Park.
Ferry route from Liberty State Park, New Jersey
All Statue of Liberty boats which sail from Liberty State Park in New Jersey first go to Ellis Island – the island with the Immigration Museum.
Then they sail to Liberty Island so that the tourists can see the majestic Statue of Liberty, and finally they get back to Liberty State Park.
Statue of Liberty ferry tickets
You don’t need to buy separate ferry tickets to go to the Statue of Liberty. Or to Ellis Island.
The Reserve, Pedestal or Crown ticket you will buy online (or from the ticketing office in New York or New Jersey) includes access to the Statue of Liberty ferries.
Statue of Liberty ferry schedule
Ferry timings from the Mainland
From both Battery Park and Liberty State Park in New Jersey, a ferry starts every 20 to 25 minutes to the Liberty Island.
The ferry times from Battery Park and Liberty State Park are the same.
|Tourist Season||First ferry||Last ferry|
|Mid-March to Late May||8.30 am||3.30 pm|
|Late May to Early September||8.30 am||5 pm|
|Early September to Mid October||8.30 am||4 pm|
|Mid October to Mid March||9 am||3.30 pm|
Last ferry departing Liberty Island
Timings of the last Statue Cruises ferry departing the Statue of Liberty Island also depends on the season.
|Tourist Season||Last ferry from Liberty Island|
|Mid-March to Late May||5 pm|
|Late May to Early September||6.45 pm|
|Early September to Mid October||5.45 pm|
|Mid October to Mid March||5 pm|
Last ferry departures – things to know
If for some reason you end up being on the last boat from Battery Park, Liberty State Park or the Liberty island itself you must remember the following –
1. The last departure from Battery Park won’t stop at Ellis Island. That is, you can only see the Statue of Liberty but not the Immigration Museum.
2. Tourists on the last ferry from Liberty State Park can choose which attraction they want to visit – Statue of Liberty of Ellis Island Immigration Museum. They can’t see both.
3. Liberty Island starts closing thirty minutes before the last ferry back to the Mainland, to allow those on the Island to reach the dock.
Statue of Liberty free ferry
Many call Staten Island ferry the ‘Statue of Liberty free ferry,’ but you must know that it doesn’t take you to Liberty Island.
Staten Island ferry is a regular commuter ferry which shuttles back and forth from The Whitehall Terminal at the tip of Manhattan to the St. George Terminal on Staten Island.
During this journey, it passes by the Statue of Liberty monument.
The Staten Island ferry takes 25 minutes one way.
The moment you get down at Staten Island, you can always get back in line for the ride back.
If you want a bargain, and want to go near the National Monument without spending any money, then opt for this Statue of Liberty free ferry trip.
Statue of Liberty Museum
Before May 2019, only holders of the Crown and Pedestal tickets could visit the Statue of Liberty Museum because it was inside the monument.
Now, the new Museum has been built outside, and even visitors with just the Ground access tickets can explore the Museum.
At the Statue of Liberty Museum, you get to understand how France and the USA worked together to make the Statue of Liberty what it is today – a symbol of freedom and liberty.
The centrepiece of this Museum is the original torch Lady Liberty carried before it was replaced in the 1980s because of a leak.
The Museum also contains photos of sculptor Bartholdi’s actual studio, in which the Statue’s huge body parts can be seen all over.
Yet another item not to be missed is a full-sized replica of Statue of Liberty’s foot, built in the 1980s.
Statue of Liberty audio tour
Audio tours of both Statue of Liberty National Monument and Ellis Island Immigration Museum are included with every ticket sold.
Liberty’s self-guided audio tour helps visitors learn about the Statue while exploring the grounds of Liberty Island.
It is 30 to 45 minutes long and is perfect even for kids six years and above.
The Ellis Island Museum’s audio tour is 45 to 60 minutes long and once again has been designed with both adults and kids in mind.
These audio guides are available in Arabic, English, French, German, Italian, Japanese, Mandarin, Russian and Spanish.
Statue of Liberty Ellis Island
Many visitors get confused between the two islands – Liberty Island and Ellis Island and end up asking if Statue of Liberty is in Ellis Island.
In this section, we clear this out for you.
Statue of Liberty is on Liberty Island. This island also has the Statue of Liberty Museum.
The next stop on your trip is Ellis Island, where you get to explore the Ellis Island National Museum of Immigration.
Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island tickets
No, you don’t need to buy two different tickets for Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island.
Statue of Liberty ticket which you buy also gets you access to the Ellis Island Museum.
This is why sometimes these are also referred to as Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island tickets.
Statue of Liberty at night
During peak summer months, the last ferry to reach Liberty Island is at 5.30 pm, and during non-peak months it is as early as 4 pm.
After this, you can’t land on Liberty Island.
This means, if you want to see the Statue of Liberty after dark, the only way is to book an evening cruise.
These cruises set sail from New York Harbor and help you see Lady Liberty up-close, personal and well lit. But they don’t land on the Liberty Island.
Besides circling around Statue of Liberty at night, you also get to enjoy the well-lit New York skyline on such cruises.
We present two of the best Night Cruises around Statue of Liberty –
|Statue of Liberty Sunset Cruise||4.6/5||$25|
|Statue of Liberty Dinner Cruise||4.3/5||$205|
Security at Statue of Liberty
All visitors must subject themselves to the Primary airport-type screening before boarding the Statue of Liberty ferries.
There are no locker storage areas at the screening facilities in both Battery Park and Liberty State Park.
Here are the items prohibited on Statue of Liberty ferry –
1. All weapons including guns and knives
2. Drones and similar remote controlled vehicles
3. Large suitcases, carryon baggage, etc.
Visitors with Pedestal tickets or Crown tickets must undergo one more screening before they enter the Statue of Liberty Monument.
The screening process at the Monument is stricter, and items that can’t be taken inside must be kept in the locker facilities available.
What to leave in Statue of Liberty locker
1. All edible items
2. All drinks (you carry water along)
3. All backpacks
6. Laptops, tablet, keyboards
7. Pocket knives
If you are climbing up to the Crown, you can only take four items with yourself – mobile, camera, water and any medication you may need.
Food at Statue of Liberty
Food and drink won’t be a problem during your tour of the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island.
If you are hungry or thirsty on the ferry, look for concession stands which sell snacks and beverages (and merchandise!).
Here are your other options –
Get your own food for a picnic
We recommend this because it will be healthier and cheaper.
Just make sure you don’t pack a lot and that too in large coolers because large packages don’t make past the security.
Both Liberty Island and Ellis Island have lots of beautiful picnic spots, where you can sit down and enjoy a meal with your family.
Keep the weather in mind, when you plan the picnic.
Crown Cafe & Ellis Island Café
Both the Liberty Island and Ellis Island have a Café each.
They serve healthy light snacks and full meals.
The prices are a bit steep, but if you haven’t packed anything, these restaurants are excellent alternatives. Check out the menu here.
Statue of Liberty FAQs
Here are Statue of Liberty questions which get asked frequently by visitors.
The Statue of Liberty’s height from the ground to the tip of the flame in the torch is 93 meters (305 feet and 1 inch).
It is the same height as a 22-story building.
When the Statue of Liberty was inaugurated in 1886, it was the tallest structure in New York City.
While trying to raise money to build Statue of Liberty, poet Emma Lazarus wrote a sonnet ‘The New Colossus.’
The line reads: “Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free.”
A plaque with the poem’s last lines is mounted inside the pedestal of the Statue.
Note: These lines are not actually words on the Statue of Liberty. The only words on the statue are the inscription “JULY IV MDCCLXXVI” on the tablet Lady Liberty is holding. It means “July 4, 1776”, the day America gained independence.
Statue of Liberty was built and dedicated to the USA on October 28, 1886, making it a 133 years old monument in 2019.
However, since it had taken the sculptor 15-20 years after it was initiated, to convince the USA to accept it, one can safely say that the Statue of Liberty is almost 150 years old.
The Statue of Liberty as we know today has contributions from three artisans.
1. French sculptor FrédéricAuguste Bartholdi designed the statue
2. French civil engineer Gustave Eiffel built the metal framework on which the statue rests
3. American architect Richard Morris Hunt designed and built the pedestal on which the statue stands
The Statue of Liberty is a rendition of the Roman Goddess of Liberty.
The Statue of Liberty is modeled after Marie Bartholdi, sculptor Frédéric-Auguste Bartholdi’s mother.
The Statue of Liberty was a gift from France to the citizens of the USA.
It was to commemorate the alliance of France and the United States during the American Revolution.
The outside layer of Statue of Liberty is made of copper about 3/32 inch (2.5 mm) thick.
The internal framework is made of cast iron and stainless steel.
Initially, the Statue of Liberty was conceived as a symbol of friendship between the people of France and the US and a sign of their mutual desire for liberty.
However, over the years the Statue of Liberty has become the universal symbol of freedom, welcoming millions of immigrants and giving them hope and opportunity.
When the Statue of Liberty was inaugurated in 1886, it was like an American penny – brown in color.
Even though it was brown when inaugurated, over time the Statue’s copper oxidized to form a layer of patina or green coating.
In some places, this green coating is as thick as the copper underneath it.
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