The Statue of Liberty, also known as Lady Liberty, is a universal symbol of freedom. She was a gift from France for the country’s 100th birthday. It was designed by Gustave Eiffel and built in October 1866. Around 4 million people visit the Statue of Liberty every year due to its status as an American icon. Here we have summarized everything you need to know if you have an upcoming visit to the Statue of Liberty.
How Can You Visit the Statue of Liberty?
There are many different ways to visit New York’s Statue of Liberty. Generally speaking, you have three different ways to set foot on the island and two more ways to see the island without setting foot on the island:
The Reserve ticket gives you access to the ferry that brings you to Liberty Island. There you can explore the grounds of the island and look up to Miss Liberty. Most attraction passes include the ferry to Liberty Island.
Reserve + Pedestal ($26):
The Reserve + Pedestal access entitles you not only to the ferry and grounds of the island but also gives you access to the Statue’s pedestal. You will go up the stairs to the first platform, seeing the Statue of Liberty from a very unique angle.
Reserve + Crown ($29):
The Reserve + Crown ticket goes one step further, letting you take the ferry to the island, explore the pedestal and ascend all the way to the Statue’s crown. To get to the top, you’ll need to use a narrow staircase. Because the space is so limited, tickets are too.
By Boat (from $18):
For those with little time or no desire to visit Liberty Island, you can take a cruise that passes the Statue of Liberty and this way experience the Statue from the water. A cruise combines seeing Miss Liberty with mesmerizing views of the skyline. Many cruises are included in attraction passes.
By Helicopter (from $160):
A unique way to see the Statue of Liberty is from a helicopter! If a helicopter ride has been on your New York bucket list anyway, then you’ll also get to see the Statue close-up from above.
There are even options to see the Statue of Liberty for free! You’ll be a little farther away but can still enjoy the view, including parks and ferries.
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Tips for Those Visiting the Statue of Liberty
1. Know the Opening Hours
The first ferry to the Statue of Liberty departs at 8:30 am and the last one will depart at 3:30 pm.
During the warmer months, get on the very first ferry of the day!
Why? Because the ferry is extremely popular in the summer, meaning that it will get crowded very fast. To avoid having to wait in line for 1 or 2 hours, get there early! The security check prior to boarding the ferry will also take anywhere from 10 to 90 minutes.
2. Visit Ellis Island and the new Statue of Liberty Museum
Accessing Liberty Island also gives you free admission to the new Statue of Liberty Museum as well as Ellis Island with its Immigration Museum.
3. Be Mindful of What You Carry With You
Leave your large backpacks, water bottles and other large liquids in your hotel or other accommodation. You will not pass the security check. For any other belongings, you can rent a locker for $2 when you get to Liberty Island.
4. Save Money with an Attraction Pass
The ferry to Liberty Island and Ellis Island is included in most attraction passes. If you are a holder, do not purchase separate tickets. Attraction passes also include a variety of different cruises that may pass the Statue of Liberty. Attraction passes are great if you want to save money despite the desire to visit the Statue of Liberty.
More About the Statue of Liberty
The French sculptor Frederic-Auguste Bartholdi created the outside of the statue out of sheets of hammered copper, while Alexandre-Gustave Eiffel, the man behind the famed Eiffel Tower, designed the statue’s steel framework. The Statue of Liberty was given to the United States, shipped to the USA in 350 parts and erected atop an American-designed pedestal on a small island in Upper New York Bay, now known as Liberty Island. The statue was then dedicated by President Grover Cleveland in 1886 in the harbor of New York.
Over the years, the statue stood tall as millions of immigrants arrived in America via nearby Ellis Island; in 1986, it underwent an extensive renovation in honor of the centennial of its dedication. The original torch has been replaced since the days where the statue operated as a functioning lighthouse. The original glass, which has been replaced with a golden leaf, can still be seen in the statue’s base. Today, the Statue of Liberty remains an enduring symbol of freedom and democracy, as well as one of the world’s most recognizable landmarks. The seven rays of the Statue’s crown represent the seven seas and continents of the world. The tablet that the Statue holds in her left-hand reads in Roman numerals “July 4th, 1776” (JULY IV MDCCLXXVI).
For those who like to know their numbers, some quick facts, and figures:
- The Statue of Liberty’s height, from the ground to the tip of the torch, is 305 ft.
- The total weight of copper used in making the Statue is 62,000 pounds (31 tons)
- The total weight of steel used is 250,000 pounds (125 tons)
- The total weight of the Statue’s concrete foundation is 54 million pounds (27,000 tons).