The Statue of Liberty was a gift from the French people to the people of the United States as a symbol of the international friendship forged during the American Revolution. The Statue was designed by Frederic Auguste Bartholdi and the pedestal by Alexandre Gustave Eiffel.
After many delays (mostly due to financial challenges) the Statue of Liberty was dedicated on October 28, 1886; just ten years late for the Centennial celebration for which it was intended. The Statue of Liberty has since become a symbol of freedom and democracy.
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Facts and History
When shipped from France to New York, the Statue arrived in 350 pieces.
Once delivered, it took four months to put her together and was completed on October 28, 1886.
For the first time since Sept. 11, 2001, the observation deck of the Statue of Liberty was reopened on Aug. 3, 2004. On July 4, 2009, they reopened the crown to visitors willing (and able) to hike the 354 steps in each direction. Interior access to the Statue of Liberty was suspended on October 29, 2011, for upgrades that were expected to take about a year, but due to damage to Liberty Island sustained during Hurricane Sandy, the re-opening was delayed. Today, visitors who plan in advance can get tickets to climb up to the crown.
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The Statue of Liberty is located on Liberty Island in the New York Harbor. To get to there, you'll need to take a ferry from Battery Park City or New Jersey.
Closest Subways to the Statue of Liberty: 4/5 to Bowling Green; N/R to Whitehall Street; 1 to South Ferry (you must be in the first 5 cars of the train to exit at South Ferry). Follow the signs to Castle Clinton to buy tickets for the ferry to the Statue of Liberty.
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What to Expect When You Visit
First, you'll need to buy your ticket. It's highly recommended that you buy it in advance.
Then, you'll need to clear security before boarding the ferry to Liberty Island. Security is very serious for visitors to the Statue of Liberty — everyone will clear security (including x-ray inspections of baggage and walk through metal detectors) before boarding the ferry.
When departing from Battery Park (Manhattan) the ferry first stops at Liberty Island. All passengers must disembark on Liberty Island, even if they want to skip visiting Liberty Island and continue directly on to Ellis Island. After traveling from Liberty Island to Ellis Island, the ferry once again returns to Battery Park. For visitors traveling from New Jersey, the ferry route runs in reverse, visiting Ellis Island first followed by Liberty Island.
The ferry rides between each stop are about 10 minutes, but allow extra time for boarding and disembarking.
Visitors who enter the Statue for either pedestal or crown access will clear security again.
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Admission to Liberty State Park is free, but you must buy a ferry ticket to get there. You can buy your tickets for the ferry online, by phone or in person at either departure location.
Access to the pedestal and Statue of Liberty Museum requires a special ticket but doesn't cost extra. Access to climb the stairs to the crown costs extra and includes access to both the pedestal and museum.
Adults can add on a tour of the Ellis Hospital for an additional cost. Children are not permitted.Continue to 5 of 7 below.
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Seeing the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island in One Day
The ferry that takes you to Liberty Island also stops at Ellis Island. Seeing both in a single day is possible, but it will take most of the day. Make sure you arrive early to board the ferry and plan to spend 5-6 hours to give yourself adequate time for travel and exploring both islands.
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Visiting With Kids
There is no charge for children under 4-years-old to take the ferry to the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island. Minors 17 and under must be accompanied by an adult 25 or older when traveling to visit the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island.
Strollers are not permitted inside the Statue of Liberty (for pedestal, museum, and crown access), but they are allowed on the ferry and around Liberty Island. There is plenty of room for running around and relaxing on Liberty Island.
Children must be at least 4-feet-tall and 4-years-old to climb to the crown.
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Other Ways to See the Statue of Liberty
If you just want to see the Statue of Liberty, but don't necessarily care about climbing into the crown or walking around Liberty Island, there are a number of great places you can go and things you can do and see the Statue of Liberty.
- Battery Park or the Brooklyn Promenade — if you just want to see the Statue of Liberty from a distance, these are good spots
- New York City Sightseeing Cruises — nearly every sightseeing cruise offers participants a view of the Statue of Liberty, many times with a good photo opportunity as well
- Staten Island Ferry — take this free ferry to Staten Island for a great view of the New York Harbor and a chance to see the Statue of Liberty from a distance
- Red Hook Fairway — the outdoor cafe at this Brooklyn supermarket offers a view of the Statue of Liberty