How to Visit The Statue of Liberty – Ultimate Guide

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Statue of liberty and views of Manhattan from ferry

Visiting the Statue of Liberty should be easy but for some reason it was more complicated that I expected. In this article, I’ll give you my complete guide to how to visit including the different types of tickets and how to get to the Statue of Liberty by ferry.

I have written a related guide: Are Crown Access Tickets Worth It? Which includes what to see at the Statue of Liberty. As well as a guide to 12 Iconic Things To Do In New York For Tourists.

Quick Links for Statue of Liberty Tours & Tickets

Short on time and just want to book something? Here are the quick links:

  • Best tour to Liberty Island: Book this Statue of Liberty tour, $49. There are a few options – choose the 9 a.m., 4-hour tour with priority line access and choose Pedestal Access if you want to go inside the Statue of Liberty. Note: no guided tour gives Crown Access.
  • Best City Sightseeing Pass for Statue of Liberty tickets: Buy the New York CityPASS, $136. Pedestal Access is on a first-come basis only.
  • Official Tickets: Book official Statue of Liberty tickets, from $19.25 including the ferry to the islands.
  • Best quick-book standard tickets: if you’re struggling to book official tickets, you can usually pick them up last minute on Get Your Guide. No pedestal or Crown Access. Includes ferry and audio guide.
  • Best cruise past the Statue of Liberty: 60-Minute Cruise Around The Statue of Liberty & Ellis Island, $30 is the best paid cruise. The Staten Island Ferry is your best free cruise.

The Tours

Taking a tour is the quickest and least stressful way of visiting the Statue of Liberty, not least because your won’t have to work out the ferry and ticket times. A tour can also be a great option if you’re booking last minute as the official tickets sell out quickly. Note, no guided tours offer Crown Access. If you want to go inside the crown, you’ll need to book official tickets, details on how to do that below. Here are my suggested tour options in order of recommendation (prices might change so check before booking).

Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island Tour with Pedestal Access Option, price $49. There are a few options. I suggest booking the 9 a.m., 4-hour, priority line tour with Pedestal Access. All you need to do is turn up at the meeting point and your tickets, ferries and guided tour of Liberty Island and Ellis Island are all included and planned for you.

Statue of Liberty, Ellis Island and Pre-Ferry Tour, price $60. This tour is a little different. You don’t get Pedestal Access but you do get a 30 minute history tour before you board the ferry. You can choose to take the audio guide around Liberty and Ellis Island or upgrade to a guided tour with the same tour guide. This is a good and popular option is you don’t care about Pedestal Access and want to explore on your own but want someone to sort the tickets, ferries and timings for you.

Statue of Liberty, Ellis Island & 9/11 Memorial, price $115. Similar to the above tours, you get a guide who arranges your tickets, ferries and guides you around both islands. In addition, when you get off the ferry at the end of your tour, you get access to the 9/11 Memorial. I’ve been in the museum and it was harrowing but at the same time an essential part of New York history. As above, I recommend adding the Pedestal Access and taking the 9 a.m. tour. 

The Best Sightseeing Passes for Statue of Liberty Tickets

Behind the statue of liberty with clouds
She eventually used her big flame to burn away those thick clouds.

The good news is, most New York sightseeing passes include a visit to the Statue of Liberty. But be aware these tickets have some downsides:

  • You get a Reserve Ticket only. That means, you don’t have a time slot – you just turn up on the day and line up at the ticket window to exchange/show your pass for a ticket. Go early otherwise you’ll face long queues.
  • To get Pedestal Access, you’ll need to see what’s available on the day on a first come, first served basis.
  • Crown Access isn’t included.

The upside – if you’ve already paid for your pass and don’t care about going inside the Statue of Liberty, it’s good enough. Just go early to beat the queues.

The main sightseeing passes that include Statue of Liberty tickets:

The passes can be great value if you plan to do a lot of sightseeing in New York. They typically give free entry to many of the big attractions like the Statue of Liberty and Empire State Building as well as discounts on other attractions and tours. I always find the passes encourage me to see more. There are usually also freebies or discounts at selected bars, restaurants and entertainment.

Seeing the Statue of Liberty by helicopter or cruise

None of these tours will land you on Liberty Island but if you prefer to sail past by boat or air, a cruise or helicopter tour is a great way to see the Statue of Liberty.

60-Minute Cruise Around The Statue of Liberty & Ellis Island, price $30. A brilliant compromise if you don’t want (or can’t get hold of tickets) to go to Liberty Island. This cruise will get you within 100 feet of the Statue of Liberty and also takes you under the Brooklyn Bridge. If you’re torn between the Staten Island ferry (free but far away from the Statue of Liberty) and tickets to Liberty Island, book this cheap tour. It includes a guided history. 

Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island Cruise, price $40. Pretty much the same 60-minute tour as above except you can listen to the sound of silence – there is no commentary on the boat, which might suit some people better. 

Helicopter tour over NYC, price $194. If you’re looking to see the Statue of Liberty from a different angle, take a helicopter tour. You’ll also see the Brooklyn Bridge and Central Park. Great for a special occasion.

How to see the Statue of Liberty for Free

Statue of liberty seen from staten island ferry
Here’s a photo of the best view I got of the Statue of Liberty from the free Staten Island Ferry. This was taken a bunch of years ago on a standard point and shoot digital camera.

There are a couple of ways to see the Statue of Liberty for free. If you’re short on time or on a budget, they’re valid option. The main free options are:

  • From Battery Park – Battery Park is located in lower Manhattan and this will be your least-effort option if you’re in New York. However, it’s a very distant view and you’ll want some binoculars (I bought this cheap, small set of travel binoculars). 
  • Take the Staten Island FerryThe most popular option is taking the Staten Island Ferry. All you have to do is sit on the 25 minute one-way/ 50 mins round trip ferry to Staten Island. I did this on my first trip to New York and I was satisfied with it. However, having since visited Liberty Island, I’d highly recommend the paid option. Why? The picture above was taken from the Staten Island Ferry. The picture below from Liberty Island. See this article for how to take the Staten Island Ferry.
Close up of statue of liberty from below
Compare that to this picture which I took from Liberty Island. Exactly.

In summary, if you can get tickets, go to Liberty Island. If not, take a cruise (or helicopter tour). The Staten Island Ferry is your best free option but failing that, squint through some binoculars from Battery Park is better than nothing.

How To Buy Official Statue of Liberty Tickets

Liberty Island, where you will find the Statue of Liberty, and nearby historic Ellis Island are part of the US National Park Service and are technically free to enter. However, you still need to get to Liberty Island and for that you need a ferry ticket. There is only one official ferry company that can drop visitors at Liberty Island – Statue Cruises. Therefore, to visit Liberty Island, you need to buy ferry tickets from Statue Cruises and that effectively includes your ticket to see the Statue of Liberty. Here is the official Statue Cruises Website

side view of statue of liberty and pedestal

There are 3 types of tickets to choose from:

  • Reserve Ticket $19.25 –  This ticket includes the ferry rides to Liberty Island and Ellis Island as well as access to the immigration museum on Ellis Island. You can walk around the grounds of the Statue of Liberty and get excellent photo opportunities but you cannot go inside the statue.
  • Reserve Ticket with Pedestal Access $19.25 – this ticket is the same as above except you are able to go inside the Statue of Liberty up to the top of the pedestal (the brown section). You’ll notice the cost is the same as a reserve ticket so if this ticket option is available, go for it over the reserve ticket.
  • Reserve Ticket with Crown Access $22.25 – This is both the most popular and least available ticket because as well as the above, you get to go inside the Statue of Liberty all the way into the crown. However, you must, must, must have a stomach for heights and tight spaces as well as they fitness to climb lots of winding stairs .

See my article: Is Crown Access Worth It? You’ll see pictures inside the Statue of Liberty, the stairs you need to climb, the elevator option in the pedestal and what you can do if you don’t go inside.

All three tickets offer ‘priority’ boarding/access at the security clearance. With all tickets you get a free audio tour and/or Ranger tour.

Quick book official tickets: If you’re struggling to get tickets on the official site, try booking them Get Your Guide – you can usually get Reserve Tickets last minute. In fact, many people go straight here to book because the ticketing and online booking is quick and easy. It will cost a bit more but I’ve reliably used Get Your Guide for city attractions and trust them.

Note: Crown Tickets have your name on them so you can’t transfer them or sell them to somebody else.

What about Felx tickets? Flex tickets are tickets you can buy on the day that are valid at any time for 3 days. Sounds great but I would see Flex Tickets as a last resort because there is no guarantee any tickets will be available on the day. You basically need to stand in the general admission queue and cross your fingers. You also can’t go inside the Statue of Liberty, which may be fine for some people but a lot of people don’t realise this restriction.

Watch out for ticket touts!

screenshot of statue of liberty ticket tour

There are some savvy tour companies ready to sell you a ticket at a higher price with no benefit to you. As an example, the above company charges $25 (Reserve and Pedestal) and $28 (Crown) for what should be $19.25 and $22.25 tickets. You don’t even get a free postcard. Stick with the official provider: Statue Cruises.

How to Get to the Statue of Liberty

Statue cruises ferry

To get to the Statue of Liberty, you need to take the ferry operated by Statue of Liberty Ferries. If you’ve booked a guided tour, your tour guide will arrange all of this for you. Otherwise, all tickets that you book directly include the cost of your ferry to Liberty Island, Ellis Island and back to your departure point so you don’t need to book ferries separately or pay any extra.

Where is the Statue of Liberty? The statue is located on Liberty Island, which is a few miles off shore to the south west of lower Manhattan, in the Upper Bay.

Where does the Statue of Liberty ferry leave from? When you buy tickets to visit, you’re offered two departure points: New Jersey (Liberty State Park) and New York (Battery Park).

The ferries run to a schedule and basically run in a loop as follows:

  • Battery Park – Liberty Island – Ellis Island – Battery Park
  • Liberty State Park – Liberty Island – Ellis Island – Liberty State Park

Here is the full Statue of Liberty Ferry schedule. And here are the routes in pictures:

map of ferry route from manhattan to liberty island
map of ferry route from Jersey to Liberty Island
Credit: Statue Cruises

The key thing to check when you re-board the ferry at Ellis Island when you’re done sightseeing is which departure point you’re returning too – you don’t want to end up in New Jersey if your hotel is in Manhattan.

Map of Statue cruises departure point battery park

If you’re departing from Battery Park (as most tourists will), head to Statue Cruises LLC as shown on the map above (this is also Clinton Castle on Google Maps, just to confuse you). It’s a 5-minute walk from Bowling Green Subway or 10 minutes from Whitehall Subway. Broadstreet and Wall Street Subways are also close.

Statue of Liberty ferry timings:

  • The ferries start at 8:30 a.m. (first ferries leaving Battery Park and Liberty State Park) and run until around 5:45 p.m. (peak season)/ 5:00 p.m. (low season).
  • However, those later timing are the time you arrive back at your Departure Point. The last ferry leaves Liberty Island ferry at 4:00 p.m. (peak season) and 3:30 p.m. (low season).
  • The ferry service is also limited towards the end of the day with the last ferries offering access to Liberty Island only (from Battery Park) or a choice of Liberty Island or Ellis Island (New Jersey).
  • Unhelpfully, the ferry schedules differ between the National Parks Service website and the Statue Cruises website. If you expect to be there late in the day, check with the Statue of Liberty ferry operators or at the information centre on Liberty Island.
  • Liberty Island and Ellis Island are open 364 days a year – the exception is Christmas Day. 
manhattan island panoramic view

Top Tip: If you’re after great ‘approach’ shots of the Statue of Liberty, on the Liberty Island ferry from Battery Park, go to the third level on the right .

Useful Information

In this section I’ll answer some of the most frequently asked questions.

What is the best ticket time slot?

Buildings of manhattan seen from water
View from the Statue of Liberty ferry looking back over Battery Park – that’s the beautiful World Trade Centre (with the antenna)

When you book your ticket you’re required to book a time-slot of 9 am, 10 am, 11 am, 12 pm and 1 pm. Assuming you have the full choice of time-slots for the day you’re looking at, I’d recommend the 9 a.m. slot for several reasons:

  • being on one of the first ferries to arrive on Liberty Island, you’ll be able to explore in relative peace and quiet. As the day goes on and people linger, the crowds grow.
  • it gives you the best chance of seeing what you want to see without rushing. After visiting both islands, I was back in Manhattan by mid-afternoon.
  • even according to the official Statue Cruises website, booking the 1 p.m. slot will not give you enough time to visit both Liberty Island and Ellis Island.

What does your Statue of Liberty time-slot mean?

This bit really confused me. I had booked a ticket for the 9:00am but it wasn’t in the slightest bit clear what that actually meant. Was it the time I needed to collect my ticket? Was it the time I needed to ‘check-in’ i.e. show my ticket and go through security? Was it my Liberty Island ferry time? Was it the time I needed to be on Liberty Island for my Crown Access slot?

Checking the ferry schedule only confused things further as none of the ferry times corresponded with the ticketed time-slots. Add the fact that the Statue Cruises website recommends that you turn up 30-minutes in advance of your slot and I was beyond confused. What’s the deal?

In the end, I turned up at the Departure Point (in Battery Park) at 8:30am, which turned out to be the right guess. I collected my ticket, had it checked, skipped through security (just kidding – nobody ever skips through a USA security check) and then boarded the ferry. All in, there was little drama surrounding the timing of the ticket, which I came to realise was more indicative than strict. Still, I wouldn’t over or undershoot your time-slot by too much. Plus, by turning up early, you can get a good spot on the ferry.

How long do you need to visit?

Visiting both Liberty Island and Ellis Island, climbing into the crown, a quick coffee and sandwich break to refuel and a relatively quick look around the immigration museum on Ellis Island took me about six hours from arrival at the departure point in Battery Park. From the research I’ve done online, that’s about standard

However, if you visit during peak season, add extra time (to the tune of hours) for security checks and ferry queues, which can add an extra 90 minutes per ferry ride in peak season (April to September).

If, on the other hand, you visit in low-season and are ‘efficient’ with your time and don’t climb up to the crown, you could probably cut this down to half a day. In other words, don’t dismiss a visit just because you’re short on time while you’re in New York.

The guided tours will have you done in about four hours (because the guides know the timetables and can navigate the queues like the experts they are) so if you only want to commit to a half-day, book a tour

How far in advance should you book tickets?

Around 4 million people visit the Statue of Liberty each year, which is a good way of saying – book as far in advance as you can. It will also depend whether you want to go inside the Statue of Liberty for either Pedestal or Crown Access. For Crown Access, you generally need to book at least 3 to 4 months in advance.

Pedestal Access tickets tend to have more availability and can generally be booked a week ahead (excluding holidays and peak dates). That said, don’t be put off – I booked in September and was able to get a Crown Access ticket for just 10 days later. This may have been a fluke and I was booking that rare ticket for one (cue: violins), but it’s still worth checking.

Can you buy tickets on the day?

Crown Access tickets are not available on the day. You can in theory buy both the Reserve Ticket and Pedestal Access tickets on the day but Pedestal Access tickets are popular so it’s not likely they’ll be available on the day. If you do try, make sure you buy them at one of the departure points – you can’t buy them on Liberty Island.

How do you collect your tickets?

How you get hold of your tickets depends on what you’ve booked:

Reserve Access and Pedestal Access: when you book online, you have a choice of receiving your tickets by email to print at home or picking them up either on the day or in advance from the ticket booth (known as Will Call for any non-US readers). There is no price difference for either option so I’d recommend printing the tickets yourself as it’s hard to predict how long you may have to queue to collect them in person.

Crown Access Tickets: regardless of how you book, you must collected Crown tickets in person from the Will Call window at your departure point.

If you pick up tickets at the Will Call window, you’ll need photo ID and the credit card you booked with.

Security Rules

The Statue Cruises website warns visitors that they’ll need to go through ‘airport grade’ security but don’t worry it’s not nearly as rigorous as what you’ll go through at the airport.

Security to board the Ferry: You do need to go through a scanner to get onto the ferry at your initial departure point but it seems like they’re scanning for weapons rather than liquids and iPads. The list of prohibited items is: weapons, scissors, sharp implements or tools, luggage, packages and parcels and face masks or costumes that can conceal your identity (with great regret I put my Batwoman costume back in my suitcase for another day).

Security to enter the statue of liberty: If you have Pedestal or Crown Access Tickets you need to go through an additional security check which largely involved checking for ID (for Crown Access) and making sure you put your possessions in a locker before ascending into the statue (both Crown Access and Pedestal Access tickets).

Photo identification for Crown Tickets: For Crown tickets you’ll need to bring photo identification. I used my driving license and passports would be acceptable, too. Beyond that, I can’t find official information about what ID will or won’t be accepted though the main thing that was checked on the day was whether the name on my ID matched my ticket. ID is required for every person with a ticket, not just the person who booked. However, ‘minors without ID’ apparently don’t need to show ID.

Lockers for Pedestal and Crown Tickets: Beware that once again the Statue Cruises website and the National Park Service website give inconsistent details on what you will or won’t be allowed to take inside the statue for Pedestal Access and Crown tickets. The Statue Cruises website says you have to put backpacks, strollers and large umbrellas in lockers. In practice (and according to the NPS website), you can’t take anything inside the statue apart from one camera, drinking water and necessary medication. Fortunately, there are plenty of lockers right there at the entry to the Statue, large and small, costing $2 for 2 hours.

Food and Drink

Food is a big part of my travels and sadly the only good thing I have to say about the food situation during my visit was that there was food (the only thing worse than bad food is no food)…oh, and the serving lady on Ellis Island was lovely and cheerful.

On a more objective/factual note, food concessions are available on the ferry and at both islands. As you can imagine, the prices are higher than you’d pay if you were not at a major tourist attraction, but costs aren’t prohibitive. The food on the ferries was largely snack-based – coffee, coke, chips, hotdogs. I only visited the Ellis Island cafe where a bunch of sandwiches, salads and other lunch food was on offer. It was ok but nothing to write home about.

In hindsight, I’d have packed a picnic of a nice deli sandwich from somewhere in Manhattan and I’d recommend you do the same. Oh, and pack plenty of snacks and water because it can be a long day that requires plenty of refuelling.

Official Statue of Liberty Websites: The two official sites for more information about how to visit the Statue of Liberty are the National Park Service website and Statue Cruises Website. Out of the two, the National Park Service site is much more informative, accurate and up to date.

Interested in a multi-destination trip? Did you know you can easily catch the train to Washington DC via Philadelphia. Find out more in my guide to How to Get from New York to Washington DC.

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Author - Jo Fitzsimons

Hi, I'm Jo, the writer behind Indiana Jo. In 2010 I quit my job as a lawyer and booked an around the world ticket. As a solo female traveller, I hopped from South America to Central America, across Asia, the Middle East and Europe. It was supposed to be a one-year trip but over a decade later, it's yet to end. I've lived in a cave, climbed down a volcano barefoot, spent years as a digital nomad, worked as a freelance travel writer, and eaten deadly Fugu. Now I'm home, back in the UK, but still travelling far and wide. You can find out more About Me.

44 thoughts on “How to Visit The Statue of Liberty – Ultimate Guide”

  1. Before reading your article, I had no clue how to visit the statue of liberty cuz of lack of info as you mentioned. You summed up everything so clearly that i just booked my ticket to go there on this Fri and im super sure how to start! Thank you so much for writing this. It’s informative and so fun to read.

  2. Great article. Informative and engaging. Quick question. If I book the crown ticket slot for 9am, does that mean everyone else who booked these tickets have to catch the same time ferries at each location ie from battery to liberty island to Ellis island back to battery park? Or can I go at my own pace and catch whichever ferry and at what time I want from liberty to Ellis to back to battery? I don’t want to be stuck in a group and go at my own pace.

    • Hi Raj, you can take whatever time ferries you want but your crown access slot is the one allocated. Hope that helps. Have a great trip!

  3. I am curious about the time slot itself for the crown access. Once on the island do you just go to the crown access point (which is where? passed the pedestal?) at your allocated time slot? We have crown access booked for mid December. I thought I read somewhere that the slots were then broken down into smaller groups? As you may be able tell I have issue with specific time slots and panic about missing ferries and things that are booked. I much to prefer to fly by the seat of my pants!!!

    • Hi Sally, it is confusing! I treated the ticket time (mine was 9 a.m.) as the time to catch the ferry. I turned up at 8:30 a.m. because I didn’t want to fly by the seat of my pants. When I got to Liberty Island, I went straight to the crown and up. I don’t think the timings are as formal as you might think except if you have an afternoon ticket, I doubt you could access any sooner. I hope that helps?

  4. Hi Jo, Thanks for a very comprehensive post in Lady Liberty. We are a family of 5 and I have made 2 bookings for crown access. I am just concerned about the 4 per household rule. Will we risk just getting 4 access at the ticket booth? Would I be better to book one more ordinary access for the same time slot? Thanks in advance

    • Hi Siobhan, I’ve not tried to buy more than 1 ticket at a time but so long as you have more than 1 transaction, I don’t see why it should be a problem. My guess is that the 4 ticket rule is designed to stop ticket touts buying 1,000 tickets at once. Have a great trip!

  5. Hi Jo!

    Thank you for all the helpful info! I just have one question. My friend and I have the 9:00 am ticket slot. I’m looking at the ferry schedules and it says none of the ferries leave Liberty Island or Ellis Island before 4:00 pm. We have a lot of sightseeing we want to do and something planned that evening, so I don’t want to be “stuck” on the islands all day. I know you mentioned that you can leave early, so I’m asking do the ferries stick to their schedule or do they run every certain amount of time? i.e. every hour, etc.

    And if they don’t, is there any other ferry that does run all day?

    Thank you!!

    • Hi Alex, don’t worry you won’t get stuck. I have a link in the post but here it is again – the ferries leave each island about every 20 minutes. Here is the schedule: Have a great trip.

  6. Hello and thanks you for all the information. I will be in NY on September 8,2019. For 4 hours, need to be at th JGK airport at 12.
    How long does it take the ferry to get to the liberty island?. I just want to go, take some pics ( spend maybe 30 minutes there) and come back to the battery Park. How often does the ferry leaves from the liberty island to Battery park?.Thank you for your answer.

    • Hi Mati, I really think you’d struggle to get back to the airport and see the Statue of Liberty in 4 hours! In fact, I personally wouldn’t venture into the city with only 4 hours to spare – JFK isn’t so close. A quick map search says it will take about 2 hours each way to get to the island and that is without taking queues and train/ferry waiting times into account. Sorry to be a downer but I think you’ll be really pushed for time to the point I don’t think it’s do-able. By all means come back and tell me I was wrong if you did manage it….

  7. Great information. Wife and I are looking into a trip to the northeast this fall. Any suggestions on an easy way in and out of the NY area to see the statue? Not big city fans but would like to see the Lady. Not looking forward to driving to the ferries. Would like to drop a rental car and let someone else do the driving. Thanks

    • Hi Gary, New York has amazing public transport. You could arrive by Amtrak and then use the subway to get around. It will probably save you a heap in parking costs too. Check out – one of my favourite route planning websites. That should give you an idea of your route options. Have a great trip.

  8. Hey Jo, just wanted to tell how helpful this post is to someone planning to go to Statue of Liberty! i’m thankful for answering the questions that i’m boggling in my head and for all the details you’ve put in this post. Cheers to discovering more great destinations!

  9. Thank you for the fantastic information! We are visiting in July and unfortunately could only get a 3:00 pedestal ticket. What time do you think we should arrive at security? Since we will have to sail past Ellis Island without a stop, what time do you think we would arrive back at Battery Park after our time on Liberty Island? I need to book our return bus ticket.

    • Hi Sue, sorry for the slow reply! In July, I’d imagine the queues will be pretty long so I’d give yourself plenty of time. You have the bonus of being able to print your ticket in advance as you have pedestal access. Honestly, if it was me and not wanting to miss out, I’d still dedicate a day to this and go early. You could see Ellis Island in the morning and wander around Liberty Island, taking the ranger tour until the time of your pedestal access. If you don’t want to do that, I’d work in a couple of hours just to be sure – you’d hate to time it wrong and miss out! Have a wonderful trip.

  10. Hello Jo,

    Thank you for the information and the humour that made it an absolute joy to read! It was very informative and detailed and I love how you included every single aspect that a tourist might have concerns about and answered them in such a meticulous and comprehensive fashion. I was literally asking myself throughout the article “but how bout..” and then it was answered immediately in the next paragraph. Thank you so much!


    • Hi Jamie, thanks for the kind words. I showed the post to a friend once and they skimmed and said ‘it’s very long’ to which I replied and said, ‘but visiting the Statue of Liberty is somehow very complicated’. So, thank you for affirming that this lengthy piece is helpful. Funny is always a bonus ;p

  11. Thanks for the info. You’ve saved me from making a huge mistake! I’ll be in New York overnight on 1-2 June this year on my way to Normandy with two friends for the 75th anniversary of D-Day. It will be my first time in the Big Apple and I would have loved to see the Statue of Liberty, but we would have to take the subway for about an hour from our hotel in Queens, get out to Liberty Island, see the sights, then get to JFK by about 6:00 p.m., in addition to trying to see some other sights in Manhattan such as the Empire State Building, Times Square, World Trade Center, 9/11 Memorial, etc. One big factor is that I’m 52, with moderate disabilities from two spinal cord injuries, so I don’t want to get up at 6 a.m. and be awake for at least the next 27 hours! LOL

    I’ve been all over the western U.S., Washington DC, Dallas, New Orleans, London, Paris, Normandy, Berlin, Frankfurt, Munich, and Salzburg, but I’ve never been to the largest, most famous city in my own country, and I don’t know if I ever will again, though I would REALLY like to visit the lady of green. Before I read your page, I read the NPS’s page about the statue and I was thinking we might be able to manage it, but I’m now sure that would have been a catastrophic failure, and par for the course for yours truly!

    Therefore, though I wasn’t able to use your tips for a visit, I do think you saved me from making a costly mistake, and for that I truly thank you. If I am able to get back to NYC someday, I’m going to visit the big bronze beauty and I’m sure your info will come in handy.

    Las Vegas, USA

    • Hi Terry, it’s a shame you won’t be able to squeeze it in this trip but honestly sailing past on the Staten Island ferry was enough for my first trip – just being proximate. And this way, you’ll be able to see more of the city. Have a great time in Europe!

  12. I just have to say THANK YOU for this post. I’ve been reading and researching about visiting Statue of Liberty for literally an hour. Your review is the first reference I’ve seen to using the Statue Cruise website directly to book tickets. I was all ready to book on the ‘statue of liberty tickets’ website. You literally just saved my family of five $35. I am grateful!! Thanks!

  13. Hi there, how do I book a Pedestal tour that begins at 8.00 or 9.00 am leaving from New York I am looking at these dates the 29th June, 30th June, 1st 2nd or 3rd of July this year. I have gone onto Statue Cruises website and it only gives me 11 am as the earliest time on the 2nd but then says I cannot book 3 ppl. The next time is 12.00 midday. I really do not want to get on the ferry at 12.00 midday as we also want to see Ellis Island. Is there any other site or booking company that I can get on an earlier ferry guaranteed before midday preferably by 9 or 10. I guess I’m trying to find out if the tour to the pedestal in the mornings on those dates is totally sold out? At the moment I can still book the tour thru Statue Cruises departing from New Jersey at 9.00 am but it will take me an hour to get there from where we are staying. So confusing please help, many thanks ?

    • Hi Leigh, my guess is that the tickets are sold out on the date you’re looking at. I’d recommend trying Get Your Guide which sells Statue of Liberty tickets with pedestal access. I hope you manage to get the tickets you’re after.

  14. Hi Jo,
    I am traveling to New York from the uk, doing Washington DC first (your guide is excellent), I am disabled and my parents are getting on in years they don’t know about this trip, my question is as they don’t know I can’t ask them if they want to got to the crown but I know my mum doesn’t like heights, however my brother & dad don’t mind. How long would it take them to go to the crown if we wait at the bottom for them? We are going to be in New York from the 31st December until the 5th January, is it likely to be very busy as it’s the holidays?

    • Hi Bev, sorry for the slow reply. As there is a constant stream of people looking to visit the Crown, you’ll naturally moved along anyway. Also, because of the limited tickets, I doubt you’re talking about hours of queue time. That said, I visited on the first ferry and it wasn’t around the New Year. I’ve not travelled at this time of year but I suspect it will be incredibly busy – New York for New Year is on almost every bucket list I’ve seen. I don’t know about your budget but if you can afford to lose a few dollars, I’d recommend buying the Crown access tickets for those of your party who want to go up and see how it is on the day. In my opinion, the Crown wasn’t that impressive. Either way, there is a small place to grab a coffee and a sitdown so you won’t be waiting out in the cold if some of you do go up. I hope that helps and I hope you have an amazing trip!

  15. Hi Jo
    Thank you so much for all the info. I found it very helpful. My husband and two teenagers (14 &16) will be arriving in New York from Sydney, Aust on the 28th of December and will be there until the 2nd of January. We have already booked the 9/11 museum tour for the 29th. My question is… is it worth going through companies like Viatour or Get Your Guide to get a more compressive tour of the two islands or are the Rangers and audio tours just as good. Also which day 30/31 Dec or 1Jan do you think would be a better day.
    Cheers, Luise

    • Hi Luise, I’m glad you found my article useful. I was very happy with the ranger tour and probably would have found a more detailed tour a bit too much. However, my suspicion is that a paid guide will just reiterate the same facts as the Ranger but for a fee. As much as I love wandering around museums, I don’t think I would have had the patience for a guided tour of Ellis Island. There is just so much of it that a tour could stretch on for half a day. That said, guides are usually pretty upbeat by nature so they might help, particularly with teenagers, to keep things interesting. It’s a tough call – I’d check the reviews (I had a quick look and this one is popular: ). As for the dates, I’d check the public transport options. I know that in London, transport is more patchy on New Year’s Day than New Year’s Eve so you should check if the ferries are working. Otherwise, I imagine New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day to be pretty quiet when other people are out planning or recovering from the New Year celebrations. I’d be interesting to know if this plays out so, if you have time to come back and let me know, I’d appreciate it. Have a great trip!

  16. Hi Jo!! Great info, thanks for compiling! We will be there on October 25, I’ve read in a few places to expect to stand in very long lines to both get on a ferry as well as getting into the statue. My thought is to make sure we’re there for the first trip over, thus hopefully missing allot of standing and waiting. Three in our party, only two want to go to the crown and the other just to the pedestal. No interest in Ellis Island this trip…. Think that we can do this in 3-4 hours? We have a very short stay in NYC and trying to do several things before we have to leave, so trying to do a schedule ahead of time.

    Thanks again!!

    • Hi Rita, if you take the first ferry in October, I think you’ll absolutely be able to do it in 3-4 hours. Queues were low when I was there end of September so you should be fine. Have an amazing trip and say hi to Lady Liberty from me.

  17. Thank you for this post! Surprisingly, there’s not as much information about a day at the Statue and Ellis Island as I’d hope, so your post was most welcome! Question: With “reserve tickets for the pedestal” do we also get to go in the express lines at the ferry? I’ve noticed that tour groups advertise that there is a “reserve line boarding on the ferry” and I wonder if that’s also what we have if we have a time on our ticket? We’re going in April so crowd are a concern when we only have two days to run through NYC.

    • Hi Angie, I know – I thought there’d be tonnes of sites with comprehensive details for visiting. Glad I wasn’t the only one who couldn’t find it. I’ve just checked and according the the Statue Cruises website: “The Reserve Ticket allows you priority entry into the Screening Facility Queue which saves you time at the departure point. Prior to entering the Statue of Liberty National Monument there is a second security screening.” So, yes. You do get to go in the express line. Hope that helps.

  18. Jo,
    Statue of Liberty question,
    I always carry an extra medium lens in a fanny pack for my DSLR camera. In your opinion, would I be able to wear that around my waist going up to the crown and not have to leave it behind in a locker. I look at it as that’s my bottle of water around my waist. Meaning, if you can carry a bottle of water up with you, I should be able to wear a small fanny pack up.

    • Hi John, in my view, I think they’d make you take this off. The rule doesn’t seem to be about the size of what you’re taking but more that you can’t take anything other than absolute essentials (a camera and bottle of water). However, if I were you, I’d email them in advance and see if you can get permission then print the email if they say yes. Worth a try? Have a great trip!

  19. Hey! Great read. I just have ine question though, can we buy the tickets in cash when we get to the ferry I mean is there an option for people who would like to purchase tickets offline!

    • Hi Kanza, sorry for the slow reply – just after New Year I flew to Asia and I’ve been off the grid. To answer your question, you can buy tickets offline in cash on the day at the Manhattan ferry point, which is in Battery Park. The thing to be aware of is that you won’t be able to get Crown Access on the day. You should also be prepared to queue because on-the-day visitors get lowest queuing priority. There is also a phone number you can call if you want to book that way (number above in the post). I hope you have an amazing visit.


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