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    Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island: tips for organizing a visit

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    Joel Fulleda

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    What would a trip to New York be without a visit to the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island? Raise your hand if you would give up getting on a ferry to sail to the foot of the proud, mammoth monument-symbol of the great American metropolis, or who would say "no!" at the prospect of a walk on Ellis Island, a historic islet that, for many years, was the last "bureaucratic obstacle" to overcome for migrants who were about to fulfill their American dream, finally setting foot on Manhattan soil.

    In this article we want to give you some useful advice on how to visit Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island, two unmissable monuments in New York, whose visit requires careful preparation, so as not to risk wasting too much time, or to see everything in a hurry without enjoying. nothing.


    • What can you visit at the present time?
    • Statue of Liberty
      • Statue of Liberty Museum
    • Ellis Island
    • Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island: how to visit them?
      • Ferry departure times and point
      • Cost of tickets
      • How to save?
      • Panoramic cruises

    What can you visit at the present time?

    In this reopening phase there are some changes in the access modalities to the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island, here are the main ones:

    What is open?

    • The path and space around the pedestal of the Statue of Liberty (Ground Access)
    • The Museum of the Statue of Liberty
    • The pedestal
    • Ellis Island e il National Museum of Immigration
    • Il Crown Cafe

    What is closed?

    • It is not possible to climb up to the crown of the statue (Crown Access)
    • The Liberty Island Information Center

    What has changed?

    • Tickets for the ferry must be booked with a specific date and time.
    • A mask must be worn inside the premises.

    The complete experience of visiting the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island is described below, however I recommend that you give precedence to what has just been written to understand what is actually open to visitors at present.

    Statue of Liberty

    To visit the Statue of Liberty, a majestic 93-meter monument full of cultural and idealistic significance, you will have to take some time. A hit and run visit could be disappointing for many reasons, not least that of not being able to enjoy, in addition to the statue itself, the exhilarating panorama of the Manhattan skyline. The Statue of Liberty, transported to New York in 1886 from Paris (where it was designed and built by Frédéric Auguste Bartholdi and Gustave Eiffel - yes, that Eiffel!) Is shown from all sides, in all its majesty, to the eyes of those who reach the island by boat, and can be visited on three levels (each with a different ticket):

    • Ground Only Access: You can walk around the statue without entering the pedestal or the top of the crown.
    • Pedestal Access: in addition to visiting the museum of the Statue of Liberty, you can climb to the top of the pedestal (Fort Wood level) to enjoy the view and look at the monument from the inside.
    • Crown Access: this access, which is limited and available only by reservation at a slightly higher price, has its own charm. In fact, with this precious ticket, you can climb up to the crown and take advantage of the phenomenal view that can be enjoyed from the almost 100 meters high of the statue's head.
    Liberty Island photo
    Photo from the Pedestal
    Photo from the base
    Liberty Island photo

    From an organizational point of view, it is clear that each type of access requires its own time for the visit. We advise you to put in the quote at least one hour, excluding the time of the crossing.

    Statue of Liberty Museum

    In May 2019, Liberty Island was enriched with Statue of Liberty Museum, for an museum dedicated to the history and deep symbolism of the Statue. The modern building, located behind the Statue of Liberty, replaces an exhibit that was previously inside the pedestal: arriving by boat you will find the museum on your left. The museum's conceptual approach is very innovative and aims to create an engaging experience for the visitor through a subdivision into three sections, each with its own mission:

    • Immersive Theater: 10-minute multimedia experience with great impact. We find ourselves "surrounded" by videos and images that aim to let us enter the historical story of the Statue of Liberty, through the narration of the ideals it represents. The performance also includes a virtual tour inside the statue.
    • Engagement Gallery: this section of the museum was designed to give an idea of ​​the "behind the scenes" of the construction of the Statue. Imagine entering the workshop where this monumental American symbol was designed and built!
    • Inspiration Gallery: the museum's most interesting attraction is here. I'm talking about the original torch of the Statue, replaced in 1985 due to wear and tear and now on display in a museum room bordered by stained glass windows offering a remarkable view of the monument and skyline. This space is interactive: those who wish can create a self-portrait that composes a digital collage called “Becoming Liberty”.

    Even from the top of the roof of the building you can enjoy a beautiful view of the Statue and the Skyline. Start taking your best photos from here! Entrance to the museum is free, the visit takes about 45 minutes.

    Ellis Island

    The great hall where immigrants were once welcomed to Ellis Island

    When you have taken your avalanche of photos of America's most famous statue, you will be ready to return to the boat in the direction Ellis Island. Not everyone knows the importance of this place: in 1892, on this islet floating in the bay of New York, the offices of the Immigration Station were opened for the first time, the last obstacle to overcome for all those who wanted to enter the city ​​of a thousand opportunities. Checking documents and financial resources, checking health conditions and criminal records ... the whole bureaucratic process (with some thrills!) Passed through this islet, which seemed to the migrants the gateway to paradise.

    The visit to Ellis Island allows you to relive these very significant moments in the life of many people, thanks to the presence ofEllis Island Immigration Museum. The rest of the island can only be explored on a guided tour. Also in this case, calculate the timing of the visit well, especially if you want to stop for a long time at the Statue.

    Old luggage on display at Ellis Island

    Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island: how to visit them?

    Let's start by saying that these two attractions are to be considered as part of a single tour. Because? The reason is not only related to affinity historical and cultural, but it is also logistical: in fact, to reach these two independent islands it is possible (indeed, it is necessary!) to take a single boat that will take you, at the pace and timing that suits you best, both to the Statue of Liberty and to Ellis Island.

    Ferry departure times and point

    The boat in question leaves near Battery Park and includes the crossing to the Statue of Liberty, from there a second embarkation in the direction of Ellis Island, and finally the return to Manhattan (in this precise order). The exact starting point of the boat from Manhattan it is indicated here, but it is good to know that there is another pier from which the boats leave: it is located in New Jersey, at the Liberty State Park (1 Audrey Zapp Dr, Jersey City). When purchasing your ticket online you will be asked to specify whether you depart from one or the other pier.

    If you want to visit only one of the two monuments, fear not. It's not mandatory get off the boat at the two islands. If you don't want to go to Ellis Island or the Statue of Liberty, just sit in your seat and wait for the boat to restart. However, the ticket price remains unchanged.

    The first race departs at 9:30 am from Battery Park. The last part at 15:30. As for the return, the last boat leaving Liberty Island leaves at 15:50 pm. Timetables may vary over the seasons: the advice is therefore to check the site from which you buy the ticket.

    We emphasize once again the importance of calculating well times: if you want to visit both monuments in depth, it is not advisable to leave Battery Park later than 15 pm, otherwise you risk doing everything in a hurry.

    Cost of tickets

    Prices they range from approximately $ 25 to $ 68 per person, but may vary over time. If you don't want to queue at the box office, you can buy them online.

    Statue of Liberty Ticket by Ferry

    If you want to buy other more expensive types of tickets (Crown Access and guided tours) do it on the official website. Finally, do not underestimate thewide range of combined packages and organized tours that include the boat trip with disembarkation on the island and other attractions.

    • All Statue of Liberty tours on GetYourGuide
    • All Statue of Liberty tours on Viator

    With regard to scenic cruises, I refer you to the next paragraph for further information.

    How to save?

    But is there a way to save on the cost of the ticket? Yes, the most common is to buy one of the pass in New York. To find out which ones include the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island, use our ComparaPass and choose based on the other attractions you would like to visit, based on the days available.

    Panoramic cruises

    Overview of Liberty and Ellis Island

    If you are satisfied with seeing from afar, through a panoramic cruise, the combined Statue of Liberty-Ellis Island (without getting off and visiting the respective islands) there are a couple of very interesting useful resources:

    • From the pier called South Ferry, near Whitehall Circle and Battery Park itself, a ferry leaves from Manhattan to Staten Island. The ferry is free, the ride is approximately 5km (25 minutes) and passes by the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island. You will see them in passing, but at least you will not spend anything.
    • During our tireless work of scouting for the most interesting activities, we have come across this tour which, at an affordable price, gives the possibility to take a cruise on a real sailing ship, from which you can enjoy the view not only of the two monuments in question, but also of the New York skyline. Not only the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island therefore, but a real one panoramic cruise of the best of New York.
    • There is also the possibility of combining a visit to the Statue of Liberty with a visit to the Empire State Building, perhaps the most famous and iconic skyscraper in New York. Find all the info on this page.
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