Statue of Liberty Visitors Guide

Everything you need to plan your visit to the Statue of Liberty

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 become a symbol of freedom and democracy.

More: New York City's Most Popular Attractions

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    USA, New York State, New York City, Aerial view of city with Statue of Liberty at sunset
    ••• Tetra Images/Getty Images

    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 September 11, 2001, the observation deck of the Statue of Liberty was reopened on August 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, Liberty Island and the Statue the re-opening was delayed. Today, visitors who plan in advance can get tickets to climb up to the Crown.

    More: History & Culture of the Statue of Liberty from NPS

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    getty-ellis-island.jpg
    ••• Getty / nimu1956

    First, you'll need to buy your ticket. I highly recommend 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...MORE clear security again.

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    Statue-of-Liberty-Face-City-Pass.jpg
    ••• Photo credit: CityPASS

    Admission to Liberty State Park is free, but you must buy a ferry ticket to get there.

    Statue Cruises Ferry Ticket Prices: Adults $18; Senior Citizens (62+) $14; Children (4-12) $9; Children 3 and under free. You can buy your tickets for the ferry online, by calling 877-LADY-TIX or in person at either departure location

    Access to the Pedestal (& Statue of Liberty Museum) requires a special ticket but doesn't cost extra. Access to climb the stairs to the Crown costs $3 extra (& includes access to the pedestal & museum)

    More: Which Ticket Should I Buy To Visit The Statue of Liberty and/or Ellis Island?

  • 04 of 09
    Ellis Island from the Statue of Liberty
    ••• Ellis Island from the Statue of Liberty. Heather Cross

    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.

    More: Seeing the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island in One Day.

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  • 05 of 09
    Replica of Statue of Liberty's Face
    ••• Replica of Statue of Liberty's Face. Heather Cross

    Visiting the Statue of Liberty is a very popular activity for visitors to New York City -- our tips for visiting the Statue of Liberty will help you make the most of your visit and help you avoid some of the potential pitfalls that first-timers experience.

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    • 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.

    More: Tips for Keeping Kids Happy at the Statue of Liberty

  • 07 of 09

    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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    Statue of Liberty in Upper New York Bay
    ••• Alvis Upitis /Photographer's Choice RF/Getty Images

    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.

    Continue to 9 of 9 below.
  • 09 of 09
    Statue of Liberty's Original Torch
    ••• Statue of Liberty's Original Torch. Heather Cross
    • Statue of Liberty Pictures - See pictures of the Statue of Liberty, Liberty Island and the view of downtown Manhattan from Liberty Island.
    • Statue of Liberty Observatory Tour Pictures - Curious about what you'll see on the Observatory Tour on the Statue of Liberty? Check out these pictures for a preview of seeing the inside of the Statue of Liberty.