The iconic Lady Liberty is a definite must-see when you visit New York, that is why we have created the perfect Statue of Liberty Guide for you and your family. So… let’s get started!
The Statue of Liberty was a gift from the French people to the United States as a symbol of the friendship they forged during the American Revolution, cool, right?
The Statue was designed by a Frenchman named Frederic Auguste Bartholdi and the metal structure by Alexandre Gustave Eiffel.
It was made to be a symbol of new times with a democratic government, enlightenment ideals that started with the abolition of slavery, and as a celebration of the Union’s victory in the American Civil War.
There are two islands that are open for visitors and guided tours, Liberty Island, and Ellis Island. Each one of them has played its own part in American History.
Now that we have covered some of the basic historical contexts in which Lady Liberty got to New York City, let us walk you through the tips of this Statue of Liberty Guide you will find online.
Here Is Your Expert Statue of Liberty Guide
Planning Your Visit
To make the best of your visit, it is important that you have all the information beforehand. This will help you plan your Statue of Liberty visit, including how to get there, when is the best time to go, what ticket options you have, and so on…
Let us begin with where is it located? The Statue of Liberty is located on Liberty Island in New York Harbor. The only way you can get there is by ferry with the purchase of a round trip ticket.
You have two ferry terminals you can choose to leave from to get there; Battery Park in New York City or Liberty State Park in New Jersey.
Technically, it is free to visit the monument, but you must book tickets for the round trip ferry ride from both Liberty Island and Ellis Island. Preferably in advance.
All the ticket options available to visit the Statue of Liberty include access to Liberty Island, Ellis Island, as well as entrance to the Statue of Liberty Museum and Ellis Island Immigration Museum.
If you are interested in visiting Lady Liberty, we suggest that you purchase your tickets in advance as they sell out fairly quickly. Since there are a few options, let’s look at them, so you can choose what best suits your needs.
Basic Ticket Options
You can pick one of the following tickets: Ticket Grounds, Ticket Pedestal, or Ticket Hard Hat. Each ticket has different levels of access.
The most widely available option is Ticket Grounds. This will grant you access to both islands, and to the grounds of Liberty Island where you will see Lady Liberty up close, along with an audio-guided tour of both islands.
It is a great option to pick this ticket to go with your family. You will be able to explore the grounds, go into the Statue of Liberty Museum, and the Ellis Island Immigration Museum at your own pace.
You can also turn it into a picnic day! The view is beautiful even if you don’t go inside the Statue, and the ferry ride is just as great to enjoy the New York skyline.
Then there is the Ticket Pedestal. This option will grant you access to explore the inside of the Statue of Liberty with a detailed audio tour. You will be able to go up to the pedestal of the Statue and admire the view from the observation deck.
This ticket is more limited due to space availability inside the Statue, but if you choose it, you will get a spectacular view from the observation deck. So, don’t forget to take your camera with you!
Hard Hat Ticket Option
You also have the Ticket Hard Hat option. This ticket includes a guided tour of the Ellis Island Hospital on Ellis Island. The tour lasts for about an hour and a half during which an expert guide will take you through the complex giving facts and insights into what happened there when it was functional in the early 20th century.
This option is great for fans of dark and interesting places that are filled with original objects and have remained undisturbed over the years.
You can also enter the Ellis Island Immigration Museum, where the old station used to be, which received millions of immigrants that arrived in the United States searching for the American dream.
And don’t forget that you can also enter the Statue of Liberty Museum that has three interactive galleries that include a virtual fly through the Statue and the original torch is on display there for all visitors.
Pro Tips from your Statue of Liberty Guide
Most tourists embark on their trip from Battery Park ferry terminal, which leaves more ticket availability from Liberty State Park in New Jersey.
Another plus to the Liberty State Park ferry terminal is that there is parking available whereas in New York you can only arrive by public transport or taxi.
It’s also possible to pick different departure and arrival points, meaning you can depart for the Statue of Liberty from New York and return to New Jersey, or vice versa.
If you wish to visit both Liberty Island and Ellis Island on the same day, you should pick a departure time before 2 p.m. to ensure you have enough time.
The average tour duration for both islands is about three hours, an hour and a half on each island. But you can take stay as long as you want to, just make sure you catch the last ferry back.
And, if you want to make it a full picnic day, you can pick a departure as early as 8:30 a.m., so you will be able to enjoy most of the day on both islands.
The Hard Hat Tour on Ellis Island has some limitations due to the conditions of the hospital complex. There is an age limit of 13 years old and up and you cannot wear open-toed shoes on the tour.
Also, the Hard Hat Tour is not available for people with mobility issues because the hospital is in its original condition, and there is a lot of debris and broken parts that make it difficult to walk through.
We hope that you enjoyed our expert Statue of Liberty Guide and invite you to plan the best tour to visit Lady Liberty and Ellis Island.