Answer: Visiting the Ellis Island Immigration Museum and the Statue of Liberty is free, but you need to buy a ticket for the ferry that will bring you to the islands where they are both located. You'll save a ton of time if you buy your tickets in advance, but you can also buy tickets on location if that makes more sense for you.
First, you need to decide if you want to visit the Crown and/or Museum/Pedestal at the Statue of Liberty:
- Visit The Crown
Visiting the Statue of Liberty crown costs an additional $3 and requires participants to climb up and down 354 steps. On warm days, it can be up to 20 degrees warmer in the Statue of Liberty's crown, so visitors are advised to drink plenty of water if they plan to climb to to the top of the crown. It is a strenuous walk and not advised for children under 4 feet tall or visitors with heart and respiratory conditions, mobility impairments, claustrophobia (fear of confined spaces), acrophobia (fear of heights) or vertigo (dizziness).
- Visit The Museum/Pedestal
If you know you want to go inside the Statue of Liberty to see the museum, the Statue's interior, and to walk along the Statue's pedestal, you'll need a ticket with Pedestal/Museum Access. These are free, but there are a limited number available. (All Crown access tickets also include access to the Pedestal/Museum.)
You'll also need to know whether you plan to take the ferry from Battery Park in Manhattan or from Liberty State Park in New Jersey. The Manhattan departure point is ideal for people staying in Manhattan who want to use public transportation to get to the ferry. The New Jersey departure point offers extensive parking, so it's a good choice for large groups and others driving to the ferry departure.
The audio tour is free and included with all tickets. Crown visitors pay $3 extra in addition to their ferry fare. Advance tickets cost no more than same day tickets, but they will save you the time of waiting in line for tickets once you arrive in Battery Park. You will be able to go straight to security and bypass the first (and often very long) line.
Advance Ticket Options
- Reserve With Crown Ticket (includes Pedestal/Museum Access): $21; $17 for seniors; $12 for children 4-12
- Reserve with Pedestal/Museum Access Ticket: $18; $14 for seniors; $9 for children 4-12
- Reserve Ticket: $18; $14 for seniors; $9 for children 4-12
- 3-Day Flex Tickets: These tickets are good for use over a three day period of time. They can only be purchased at the departure points and over the phone by calling 1.877-LADYTIX (523-9849), but are not available online. They do not allow access to the pedestal or the crown.
- Buy Your Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island Ferry Tickets from Statue Cruises Online
If you know you want to visit the Crown, the Museum or the Pedestal at the Statue of Liberty and have a good idea of when you're going to visit the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island, you should buy a ticket in advance.
These tickets have a specific time for arrival at security and by booking in advance, you can secure the access you want for your visit.
Audio Tours Are Included
All tickets include an audio tour that covers both Ellis Island and the Statue of Liberty. Tours are available in Arabic, English, French, German, Italian, Japanese, Mandarin, Russian and Spanish. For people who enjoy audio tours or don't speak English, these are a great option, but I think that the free Ranger-Guided Tours of both Liberty Island and Ellis Island are fantastic. (Ellis Island's tour lasts about 45 minutes and leaves every hour, the schedule for Liberty Island tours varies.)
Children ages 6-10 will enjoy an audio tour geared specifically to them, narrated by fictional characters and offered in five languages.
On Site Tickets
If you don't plan in advance to go to the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island, you can buy tickets at the ticket booth in Castle Clinton National Monument inside Battery Park.
Arrive early in the day in order to avoid a long wait for ticket purchases.
Ticket Changes & Refunds
You can get a refund or change your ticket as long as you do so at least 24 hours in advance of your scheduled departure. The best way to make changes is to call 201-432-6321 with your confirmation number.
New York City Attraction Passes
If you are a CityPass, New York Pass, or New York City Explorer Pass bring your card to the prepaid ticket window in order to get your ferry ticket.