The Statue of Liberty, also known as Lady Liberty, is a universal symbol of freedom. She was a gift from France for America’s 100th birthday. It was built  by Gustave Eiffel and was on the 28th of 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.

Statue of Liberty Quick Facts & History

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 statues 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 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).


Visiting the Statue of Liberty

Visiting the Statue of Liberty itself is free for visitors, however, it is necessary to purchase a ferry ticket to the island with which you will receive the free Liberty Island ticket. The tickets for the ferry to Miss Liberty and Ellis Island are limited however  After your time there the boat brings you to Ellis Island, where you can visit the popular immigration museum. The museum is included and you’ll not be charged for it. The boat starts from Battery Park in lower Manhattan.

Tickets to the Statue of Liberty

Only a limited number of tickets are available every day, and these require approx. a one-hour wait.  You will often see very long queues to the ticket booths as this is one of the most popular attractions of NYC. The Statue of Liberty Cruise Line is the official operator of the boat tours to the Statue of Liberty. With these tickets, you take the Statue Cruise ferry from Battery Park or Liberty State Park NJ to the Statue of Liberty.

Once you have left Battery Park you will make 2 stops along the way. Your first stop will be Liberty Island, where the Statue of Liberty is located. Depending on the type of ticket you bought, you can go into the Statue of Liberty, take pictures, and enjoy the beautiful views of Manhattan. Afterwards your ferry will continue on to Ellis Island. Here you can visit to the Immigration Museum, which was the former immigration headquarter for the City of New York. This is included in the ticket price. From the ferry dock a short glass walkway leads to the entrance of the museum. From there, you can return to Battery Park.

Statue of Liberty at Night

What is the best time for a visit?

As mentioned earlier, only a limited number of tickets are available per day. The early bird gets the worm: the earlier you arrive at Battery Park for departure, the better. The first ferry leaves at 9:30am. Click here to see the route of the ferry.

An overview of the various tickets available for a visit to the Statue of Liberty is below:

Name of TicketReserve with Crown TicketReserve with Pedestal Access Reserve OnlyHard Hat Tour and JR Exhibit
Price$21 for adults, $17 for children$18 or adults, $14 for children$18 for adults, $14 for children$43 for adults & for children
Access to crown?includednot includednot includednot included
Access to pedestal + Fort Wood?includedincludednot includednot included
Access to Ellis Island?includedincludedincludedincluded

Audio tours of Liberty and Ellis Islands are included in all tickets. The Hard Hat Tour and JR Exhibit also include a 90 minute guided tour in the southern part of Ellis Island as well as a visit to the exhibit “Unframed – Ellis Island” by JR.


Since 9/11 the security checks have changed considerably. The security is now similar to what you would expect at an airport before boarding your flight. Make sure that you don’t have glass or any other dangerous things with you.

Alternatives: Cruise by the Statue of Liberty

A visit to the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island can take several hours, especially if you are climbing the 171 steps up to the crown. Even when you have a ticket there is a wait because only 30 people are allowed to go up every hour. The Immigration Museum also takes around 2 hours. This means you should plan a full day for the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island. With a Circle Line Tour you can view the statue from the water and still get your picture opportunities. On top of this the cruise only takes approximately 75 minutes. This is the perfect alternative if you do not have the tickets or are not willing to spend one full day visiting only Lady Liberty as you may only be in NYC for a short time.

Our tip: Head out at sunset with the night harbor cruise. It will give you a very special view of the landmark.

Free Alternative: Staten Island Ferry

For all visitors pressed for time, a ride on the Staten Island Ferry to Staten Island is a good option. Very easy, and free as well. The South Ferry passes by the Statue of Liberty 365 days a year and there are not limited tickets as with the ferry to Liberty Island. You can take great pictures and admire Lady Liberty from a distance and on top of this do it for free. Once you get to Staten Island, simply take the next ferry back and enjoy the view a second time. This time, with the New York City skyline creating the perfect backdrop.

The Free Staten Island Ferry

The Free Staten Island Ferry

The Staten Island Ferry is one of the most iconic attractions in New York City for tourists. The Ferry, which connects Lower Manhattan with Staten Island, runs frequently, 365 days a year. A ride with the...

Our verdict

the Statue of Liberty should be on every New York visitor’s list. For us however, seeing it from the deck of the Staten Island Ferry was enough. Missing out on Ellis Island is a shame however as for many this is the reported highlight of the trip. After your excursion, you can take a walk in Battery Park as well. From there you will have another perfect view of the New York harbor and of course Lady Liberty. Have fun!


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