Plan Ahead to Visit New York City's Treasured Icon
A visit to the Statue of Liberty, the world-famous icon of freedom and democracy, is near the top of every family's New York City must-do list. The location of the colossal copper monument on Liberty Island in the middle of New York Harbor means getting there requires a ferry ride. More than just a mode of transportation, that part of the journey may well bring to mind the experiences of those countless immigrants who arrived from distant countries by boat to be greeted by Lady Liberty upon arrival in America. A return ferry ride is included in the price of all tickets to the Statue of Liberty. Tickets are available exclusively through Statue Cruises, the only National Park Service-authorized provider.
Getting to the Statue of Liberty
You can purchase tickets to the Statue of Liberty in advance of your visit or on the same day from ticket offices at two departure locations: Battery Park (1 Battery Pl., New York, NY) in Manhattan, New York City and Liberty State Park (1 Audrey Zapp Dr., Jersey City, NJ), New Jersey.
The New York ticket office is inside Castle Clinton in Battery Park. You can get to the park by car, but parking is limited, so taxis or public transportation are generally preferable options. The closest subway stops are South Ferry, Bowling Green and Whitehall Street. There are also bus stops nearby.
Liberty State Park's ticketing office and departure place is by the historic Central Railroad of New Jersey Terminal. Parking is available there, and you can also reach the park by taxi or public transport (light rail or ferry).
The time on your ticket, if you purchased tickets in advance, refers to the time you should enter the screening facility at one of the two departure points. Aim to arrive about 30 minutes before your scheduled time. Ferries depart every 20 to 35 minutes from 8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
Four types of tickets to the Statue of Liberty are available. All options include round-trip transportation via ferry from your choice of the New York or New Jersey terminal, access to Liberty Island and the statue grounds, guided and self-guided tours and access to Ellis Island and the National Museum of Immigration. Reserved tickets also give you priority entry to the screening facility queue, which saves you time upon arrival.
Grounds-only/reserve tickets. This basic ticket option includes all basic ticket provisions. The price is $18.50 for adults, $9 for children 4 to 12 and no charge for children 0 to 3.
Pedestal reserve tickets. In addition to the basic ticket inclusions, pedestal tickets give you access to the Fort Wood section of the pedestal. Getting to the top of the pedestal requires walking up 215 steps, but an elevator is also available. Backpacks and strollers are not permitted inside, but you can rent a locker to store those items for $2. Pedestal tickets have limited availability, with only a small number sold on the morning of departure, so book in advance to avoid disappointment. Pedestal ticket prices are the same as grounds-only/reserve tickets.
Crown tickets. Choose crown tickets if you wish to go inside the Statue of Liberty's crown, which gives you incredible views over New York Harbor. Children must be at least 4 feet tall to visit the crown and must be accompanied by an adult at all times. Visitors also need to be able to climb a steep, 377-step spiral staircase, as there is no elevator access to the crown. The only personal items permitted inside are cameras. Advance reservations are required for crown tickets, which are very popular. Summer and holiday dates are often booked up to six months in advance. Crown tickets are $21.50 for adults and $12 for children ages 4 to 12.
Hard Hat reserve tickets. In addition to basic ticket inclusions, these tickets provide a 90-minute Hard Hat Tour of Ellis Island's south side and historic hospital complex. Visitors must be 13 and older to participate in this tour. Open-toe shoes and sandals are not permitted. Tickets are $53.50.
A writer of diverse interests, Joanne Thomas has penned pieces about road trips for Hyundai, children's craft projects for Disney and wine cocktails for Robert Mondavi. She has lived on three continents and currently resides in Los Angeles, where she is co-owner and editor of a weekly newspaper. Thomas holds a BSc in politics from the University of Bristol, England.