Few visitors make the trip to New York City without making an effort to see the Statue of Liberty in some shape or form. Whether you decide to make the journey out to Liberty Island, or you just want to snag some photos of Lady Liberty from ashore, find out who should go, when you should go, how to get there, and why you should skip.
Why You Should Visit the Statue of Liberty
Iconic: Lady Liberty isn’t simply an icon of New York, she also represents all Americans in the quest for liberty, light, and truth.
Architectural: An architectural marvel, the statue is considered one of the first examples of curtain wall structure. You can learn all about the state-of-the-art architectural techniques used to build the statue inside the museum on Liberty Island.
Historic: Originally finished in 1886 by Frederic August Bartholdi, the statue was created as a gift to America to congratulate our country on abolishing slavery.
Kid Friendly: Kids absolutely love seeing the 305-foot tall statue in person, taking photos with the replicas of the face and feet inside the museum, and climbing up to the crown.
Literary: The poem attached to a plaque on the side of the Statue of Liberty, The New Colossus, was written by famous New Yorker, Emma Lazarus.
Cinematic: The statue has been featured in dozens of movies, including Ghostbusters 2 and Titanic. Check out a full list of movies featuring the Statue of Liberty.
Outdoorsy: There’s a pretty awesome museum inside the pedestal of the statue, but you’ll spend the majority of your time outside and on ferries.
Cost to Visit the Statue of Liberty/Money Savers:
- Adults: $18.50
- Children: $9.00
- Buy a discount pass to save money on your ticket. Discover the pros and cons of discount passes before buying.
How Much Time Should I Spend at the Statue of Liberty?/Time Savers:
Fly-By: 10-60 minutes to snag some photos from shore or to take the 60-minute Staten Island ferry ride round trip.
In-Depth: 3 hours if you just want to visit Liberty Island; budget 5 hours to visit both Liberty Island and Ellis Island; budget an additional 30-45 minutes if you have pedestal tickets. If you get crown tickets, take note of the time on your timed ticket to ensure you make it to the crown on time.
Need to Know:
- The only way to reach Liberty Island, where the statue stands, is by ferry. The only ferry company authorized to take you to Liberty Island is Statue Cruises. Included in your round trip ferry ticket is admission to the statue’s pedestal and admission to Ellis Island.
- If you want to gain access to the statue’s pedestal and/or crown, you must make reservations in advance. Crown tickets should be purchased six months in advance as they sell out quickly.
Why You Should Skip:
Visiting the statue is kind of a huge time sucker. You’ll spend a good amount of time during your trip to the statue waiting in line for security and ferries. If glimpsing Lady Liberty from afar is good enough for you, don’t get SOL FOMO. Just say no.
When to Go to the Statue of Liberty:
- Get on the first ferry or second ferry in the morning. Lines can get extraordinarily long later in the day.
- Buy and print tickets online beforehand to save up to 60 minutes the day of.
- If you plan on going to Ellis Island too, visit Ellis first.
How to Get to the Statue of Liberty:
The ONLY way to visit Liberty Island is by buying a ferry ticket through Statue Cruises. This is the only ferry company that has permission to dock at the statue.
Walking: Walk down Broadway to Battery Park (the southern-most tip of Manhattan Island). You’ll see the ferry terminal behind the round battery (fort). Disregard the ticket sellers at the entrances to the park. Not all of them are selling tickets that will take you directly to the statue.
Subway: Take the 4 or 5 trains to Bowling Green, the R or W trains to Whitehall Street, or the 1 train to South Ferry.
Taxi/Car: Traffic can be horrendous in Manhattan first thing in the morning, so it’s best to take the subway. If you’re headed down on a Saturday, Sunday, or major holiday, traffic won’t be so bad. You can tell your driver to take you to Battery Park.
Bus: Take the SBS 15, the M55, or the M20 to Battery Park.
Related Attractions/Other Ways to See:
- Staten Island Ferry: The Staten Island Ferry is the second most popular way to see the statue (next to visiting Liberty Island). This 30-minute ferry ride to Staten Island takes you pretty darn close to the statue. Make sure to stand on the right side of the boat (or the back of the boat) for the best views).
- Battery Park: You can snag the best view of the statue by land from the Statue Cruises ferry terminal.Bay Ridge Boardwalk: If you’re feeling the need for a hike through Brooklyn, take the R train to 72nd Street in Bay Ridge and walk to the boardwalk for a great view of the Statue of Liberty.NY Water Taxi: For around $35, the tourist water taxi will take you as close to the statue as you can get without visiting Liberty Island. The water taxi even spins around a few times in front of the statue for great photos from either side of the vessel.
Need more inspiration on how to focus only on what you love in NYC? Check out a full list of attractions.
Don’t forget to read a few articles on how to hack New York City, so you can see more, do more, and stress less!