Things to do in New York

All you need to know about visiting the Statue Of Liberty

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Named after the Roman Goddess Libertas, the monumental Statue of Liberty stands tall on the 12 acre Liberty Island in New York Harbor. Lady Liberty was a gift from the French to mark 100 years of American Independence. This colossal neoclassical sculpture was a beacon of hope and an relief of welcome to the million immigrants who were fleeing from their motherlands in search of refuge. In 2009, TIME summed up the essence of the Statue of Liberty as “a fixture of New York City and a symbol for the nation.”

Before you set off to witness Lady Liberty in all her glory, there are some things you must know to have a confusion free excursion. So, I have stitched up an inclusive guide that details all you need to know before you visit the Statue of Liberty - an FAQ section, the symbolism of Statue of Liberty, ticket categories, cruise details and a few insider tips to make your Statue of Liberty visit truly liberating!

Statue of Liberty in a Nutshell

Opening Hours

The Statue of Liberty remains open every day except December 25th. Timings for Crown and Pedestal Ticket Holders are as below:

  • January 1 to May 26 | 8:00 AM to 3:30 PM
  • May 27 to September 4 | 8:00 AM to 5:00 PM
  • September 5 to October 9 | 8:00 AM to 4:00 PM
  • October 10 to December 31 | 8:00 AM to 3:30 PM
  • Christmas Eve, December 24 | 8:00 AM to 1:30 PM

Know before you go

☀️ Best Time to Visit:Late afternoons, or evenings
⏰ Suggested Duration: 4 Hours
💜 Must See:The Torch Exhibit
🎟️ Statue of Liberty & Ellis Island - Ticket + Audio Guide$23.50
🎟️ Early Access Tour of Statue of Liberty & Ellis Island $59


New York, NY 10004, United States
Get there

Why Visit The Statue of Liberty

statue of liberty

1.If you visit New York City and don't go say hi to lady Liberty - did you really go to New York?

2. Apart from it being a bucket list item on everyone's 'Things to do in New York' list, there's lots to do and see here: from walking tours to fountains, and cafes to bike tours.

3. A Statue of Liberty Cruise is essentially a must-do while in New York City. A boat, iconic views, and great food and vibes. What else do you need?

Statue of Liberty Cruise Tickets - Which One Should You Buy?

The Statue of Liberty is a favourite among tourists and locals alike (duh), as it IS the perfect way to end a day with a beautiful sunset and some adventure. Hence, long waiting lines are natural. Here are the top rated Statue of Liberty Cruise tickets you can buy, so you can save time and dime:

Buy your Statue of Liberty Cruise tickets on Headout and save $8 using the code: GONYC

Statue of Liberty: Facts Simplified

Why was the Statue of Liberty built?

Back in 1865, Edouard de Laboulaye, President of the French Anti-Slavery Society proposed that a statue representing liberty be built for the United States to commemorate the alliance of France and the United States during the American Revolution. Other reasons that led to this decision by Edouard de Laboulaye was to celebrate the centennial of American independence, the country's friendship with France and as a tribute to President Abraham Lincoln and the abolition of slavery. The geographical position of the Statue of Liberty at the entrance to the port of New York gave it a more broader meaning over the years. This location gave Lady Liberty the status of the Mother of Exiles, greeting millions of immigrants and embodying hope and opportunity in its simplest form. It was a beacon for 60 years and brought joy, fear, too, but mainly the hope of a better life than what was experienced in Europe then.

When was the Statue of Liberty built?

The Statue of Liberty was built by the French Sculptor Auguste Bartholdi in France and took all of 9 years with ten hour days of toil and seven day work weeks. It was then dismantled into 350 pieces and packed into 214 crates so as to ship it from France to New York. Though it was presented to America on July 4th, it took 4 months to resassemble the Statue in New York. Finally on Oct 28, 1886, the Statue of Liberty was officially unveiled during a ceremony presided over by President Grover Cleveland . On October 2018, the Statue of Liberty will turn 133 years old.

Where is the Statue of Liberty?

The location of the Statue of Liberty has always been ambiguous to say the least. Since most tours combine sightseeing of Ellis Island and Statue of Liberty, many think that the Statue of Liberty stands on Ellis Island. This is however not true. Lady Liberty stands on Liberty Island in New York Harbor whereas Ellis Island is where the National Museum of Immigration resides. Another common confusion is where Statue of Liberty is in New York or New Jersey. Though the Statue of Liberty is technically closer to New Jersey than New York and resides in New Jersey's waters, a pact between NY and NJ ratified back in 1834 declared the Statue of Liberty within territorial jurisdiction of the State of New York.

Who built & designed the Statue of Liberty?

French sculptor Frédéric-Auguste Bartholdi along with French engineer Gustave Eiffel designed and built the Statue of Liberty. While Bartholdi is said to be the one designed the statue, Eiffel, who was responsible for the Eiffel Tower is the one who created the frame for the statue. History goes that Bartholdi had designed a statue similar to Lady Liberty to to commemorate the opening of Egypt's Suez Canal. This monument was designed to be a woman holding up a torch over her head dressed in Arab peasant garb as Bartholdi was known to have been enamored with Egyptian pyramids. However, this did not work out hence the artist recycled his design, made the Arab garb into a Greco-Roman goddess and lo behold! the Statue of Liberty, as we know her, was born. There was a third person of American origin who helped make the Statue of Liberty too. Richard Morris Hunt was the American architect who designed the pedestal the statue is placed on.

What is the Statue of Liberty made of?

The Statue of Liberty is made of an iron frame with a thin sheet of pure copper plastered over. A total 31 tons of copper and 125 tons of steel has been used in the construction of the Statue of Liberty. Due to the pure copper plaster layer, the Statue of Liberty's original colour was a shiny reddish brown. Due to the corrosion and chemical reaction between metal and water over the years, scientifically called patination, it has turned blue green shade. The torch flame was initially coated with copper but during the 1916 rennovation, a lot of the copper durface was chipped off to install glass windows. This led to intensive corrosion as water and snow leaked in through the window panes. Hence, the original torch was taken off and displayed in the museum while Lady Liberty was given a freshly gold leaf coated torch to hold. What you see today is the replacement torch.

How tall is the Statue of Liberty?

From the base to the torch, the Statue of Liberty is 151 ft. tall. However, if you include the pedestal and foundation, the Statue of Liberty stands 305 ft. tall. Some other interesting dimensions of the Statue of Liberty are her feet which is a whopping US size 879 ( yes, she has big feet), a face that is a little over 8 ft. tall and her waist which is a rather slender 35ft. She has a sizeable nose which happens to be 4ft and 6 inches big and she weighs a total of 4,50,000 pounds.

What is the Statue of Liberty holding?

Lady Liberty holds a torch in her right hand, above her head which denotes the symbol of enlightment. In her left hand she carries a tabula ansata (a tablet evoking the law) which is engrained with the inscription JULY IV MDCCLXXVI (July 4, 1776), the date of American Independence.

What is the Statue of Liberty poem?

In order to raise money for the construction of the pedestal on which the Statue of Liberty stays mounted, American poet Emma Lazarus wrote a sonnet in 1883 called the "The New Colossus" also known as the Statue of Liberty poem .At that time, the poem did not recieve due attention and was easily forgotten after money for the pedestal flowed in. However, after Emma's death in 1887, one of her friend's began a campaign to commemorate her and her sonnet. This campaign was a nation wide success and moved people to such an extent that it was voted to cast the poem on a bronze plaque and mount it inside the pedestal's lower level in 1903.

Top Ways to Explore the Statue of Liberty

1Guided Tours

While entry to Ellis Island and Liberty Island are free, there is only one official ferry service that is allowed to ‘land’ on the islands – Statue Cruises. Hence, if you intend to do a guided tour or a self guided tour of the Statue of Liberty and go all the way up to the pedestal and crown, this is your best and only bet.

statue of liberty - things to do

2Harbour Cruise Tours

If you're interested in seeing the Statue of Liberty by the night, or see all of Manhattan's skyline from the water along with the Statue of Liberty, you can purchase tickets for cruises that will take you around the Statue of Liberty but won't drop you on the Islands. This is a great deal for those who are looking to experience the city from the New York Harbor and skip entering the Statue of Liberty. These paid harbor cruises stop for a photo op near the Statue of Liberty so you can click pictures galore then!

statue of liberty - things to do

Plan Your Visit

Statue of Liberty Opening Hours

Statue of Liberty is open from 8 am to 4 pm, everyday - depending on the cruise you go for.

Ferry Timings

The First ferry to the Statue of Liberty departs at 8:30 AM ( from Battery Park and Liberty State Park) and runs until about 5:45 PM during peak season and up until 5:00 PM during low season. Funnily enough, there is some ambiguity in the timings on the National Parks Service website and the Statue Cruises website, so it is best to read 2 hours prior your slot time to avoid last minute hassles. You can find the ferry timings here.

How to get to the Ferry

The closest subways to the Statue of Liberty are Bowling Green and South Ferry. Follow the signs to Castle Clinton to reach the ferry departure to the Statue of Liberty.

Ferry Timings:

  • First Ferry from the Mainland - 8:30 AM
  • Last Ferry from the Mainland - 3:30 PM
  • Last Ferry from Liberty Island - 5:00 PM ( low season) / 5: 45 PM ( peak season)
  • Last Ferry from Ellis Island - 5:15 PM

Best Time To Visit the Statue of Liberty

While there is no perfect time to visit the Statue of Liberty - it's an established fact that the views are best during sunset. Ideally, it’s also the perfect time to bump into a plethora of people. If you're someone who loves beating the crowd, sometime early morning, or late afternoon should be the best time to visit.

Visiting the Pedal at the Statue of Liberty

Statue of Liberty Guide

Many people wonder if visiting the Pedestal at the Statue of Liberty is worth it. I think it definitely is worth the money spent and the 215 steps up because of many a reasons. The Pedestal at the Statue of Liberty is basically an entire building, housing a museum that details history about the making of Lady Liberty. It has a lobby, exhibits on 2 floors and a 10th floor observatory. The most famous exhibit in here in the Torch Exhibit, the original 1886 torch that Lady Liberty used to hold. This exhibit is displayed on the first floor. Famous exhibits on the second floor include the Mother of Exiles, Becoming the Statue of America and The Statue in Popular Culture along with a whole bunch of photos, documents, sketches and artifacts. To get to the top of the Pedestal, you can either climb 215 steps up or take the elevator all the way up. Note, there are a few steps to climb before and after the elevator.

Know Before You Visit The Pedestal

  • The Pedestal Entrance is a white tent behind the statue.
  • You are required to flash your ticket at the entrance to gain admission.
  • You are not allowed to carry food, beverages, backpacks, strollers, umbrellas and tripods into the Pedestal
  • Should you have any of these on you, you can rent a Storage locker for 2 hours at $2 and store these safely. Note, the locker facility accepts only cash.
  • When you book your Pedestal Reserve Tickets online, you have a choice of receiving your tickets by email to print at home or to pick them up on the day or in advance from the Will Call Ticket Booth. We'd recommend printing it at home to avoid the queue at Will Call.

Visiting The Crown at the Statue of Liberty

Statue of Liberty Guide

While everyone calls the Lady Liberty's headpiece a crown, it is a diadem in reality. A diadem is a headband worn as a symbol of sovereignty and her diadem is a symbol of liberty. There are 7 spikes on it which stands for the 7 oceans and 7 continents because the idea of liberty is universal. Some also interpret the spikes as the sun's rays which gives it a feeling of a halo to show her divinity. You will find 25 windows on the crown and these are said to represent gemstones found on the earth.

Like the Pedestal, one can go all the way up the Crown as well. However, this required some serious grit and physical endurance. You are required to climb 146 double-helix spiral stairs to reach the Crown and unlike the Pedestal, there is no elevator! This is as good as climbing a 22 storeyed building. If you have health conditions, respiratory conditions, mobility impairments, claustrophobia, acrophobia or vertigo; we recommend not attempting this physical feat.

Know Before You Visit The Crown

  • You will find a seperate entrance saying "Crown Entrance" to go up the Crown.
  • It is mandatory that the name on the ticket and your id proof is the exact same.
  • Children below 4 feet will not be allowed entrance
  • Crown tickets must be picked up from the Will Call counter at the ferry departure points by the person who purchased them. They may not be printed at home.
  • You are only allowed to carry your camera (no case or camera bag) , a bottle of water and medication if you need any to the Crown. Nothing else is allowed to be carried, hence taking a locker on rent is a wise idea.
  • The temperature inside the Crown is not controlled, hence dress for the day. It can be hot or cold depending on the weather outside.

Know before visiting Statue of Liberty

  • Set aside 5-6 hour to account for the ferry both ways and the climb to the Crown.
  • It is recommended to arrive the ferry departure point about 2 hour prior to your slot to give yourself some buffer in case of crowds.
  • There are a total of 363 steps in each direction so unless you deem yourself fit to climb up and down, do not buy the tickets.
  • The washroom after the security check near the monument is the only facility available inside the Statue, so hit it while you can!
  • Wear good footwear as you will be spending a lot of time on your feet - climbing, walking, stepping in and out of the ferry.
  • The rangers on Liberty Island conduct many tours daily that depart from the flagpole and last for about 30-45 minutes. These tours are free and don't require reservations in advance.
  • If you're not much of a guided tours person and prefer self-guided audio tours, you can pick up the audio guide devices from the Information Center and enjoy a tour around Liberty Island, available in multiple languages.
  • There are 2 rounds of security before entering the Statue of Liberty. Once before entering the ferry, you are required to walk through metal detectors and undergo x-ray inspections of baggage. There is a second round before going through the Pedestal or Crown entrance.
  • All minors below 17 years or age must be accompanied by an adult 25 or older when traveling to visit the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island.
  • Strollers are not allowed inside the Statue of Liberty (pedestal, museum and crown), but are allowed on the ferry and around Liberty Island.

Thing to do near near Statue of Liberty

Here are some top attractions which are located near the Statue of Liberty, that you should add to your itinerary.

FAQs: Statue of Liberty

Statue of Liberty Guide

Is the Statue of Liberty in New York the real one?

The Statue of Liberty was built in France between 1875 and 1884. It was disassembled and shipped to New York City in 1885. The statue was reassembled on Liberty Island in 1886, although the torch has been redesigned or restored several times since its installation.

What does the Statue of Liberty in New York represent?

A symbol stands for an idea. The Statue of Liberty stands in Upper New York Bay, a universal symbol of freedom. Originally conceived as an emblem of the friendship between the people of France and the U.S. and a sign of their mutual desire for liberty, over the years the Statue has become much more.

Why Statue of Liberty is so famous?

The Statue of Liberty is one of the most well-known and beloved monuments in America. It stands to welcome in immigrants to New York Harbor and to let people who are returning home know that they have reached America. It has become a lasting symbol of freedom throughout the world.

Is Statue of Liberty in New York or New Jersey?

The Statue of Liberty is on Liberty Island, federal property administered by the National Park Service, located within the territorial jurisdiction of the State of New York. A pact between New York and New Jersey, ratified by Congress in 1834, declared this issue.

Why was Statue of Liberty built?

1865 - 1886. In 1865, a French political intellectual and anti-slavery activist named Edouard de Laboulaye proposed that a statue representing liberty be built for the United States. This monument would honor the United States' centennial of independence and the friendship with France.