So you made it to New York and on your first full day you’re eager to go see New York’s most famous landmark: The Statue of Liberty.
The Statue of Liberty, or Liberty Enlightening the World as originally named by its architect Bartholdi, is located on the Liberty Island and accessible only by ferry. Hurricane Sandy damaged the island, but luckily not the Statue, closing it down to public for a few months. The park, however, reopened last July. Let’s all hope no other catastrophe is coming its way and you’ll be able to experience her majesty for yourself.
How to get to the Liberty Island
First, get to the Battery Park. It’s quite a nice park and you might prefer checking it out after you’re back. Follow the signs to the ticket counter and get your ferry tickets. The schedules keep changing slightly, you can see their updated overview here: http://www.statuecruises.com/schedule.aspx
As your boat arrives, just get on and make sure to secure a spot with a view! It’s preferable to stand by the railing. Leave the seats to the elderly. Better to have a nice view of approaching the Statue than let your legs relax.
Can you go inside the Statue of Liberty?
The good news is – currently YES, you can even go up to the Crown! The entry to the Statue’s Crown was closed for a few years (2001-2009) due to enhanced security measures after 9/11 but as of now you can access the Crown again.
The Crown ticket grants you access to the Crown, the Pedestal, Museum and the Fort Wood level. You have to book several months in advance (online on www.statuecruises.com or over the phone) especially in summertime. The US National Park Service (NPS) recommends 6 months. Please note that there’s no elevator so it’s quite a workout to climb all the 377 steps. More info on visiting the Crown can be found here: http://www.nps.gov/stli/planyourvisit/visit-the-crown.htm
If you prefer to see the Pedestal and museum only, you should also book online in advance on the same website. Sometimes you might be even able to get a ticket early in the morning in the ticket offices in Battery Park, but definitely not in the summer months.
The tickets are relatively cheap, you only buy a ferry ticket and then additional access to the Crown for $3; there’s no fee for accessing the Pedestal. Current NPS pricing table is below:
For those of you who don’t manage to book in advance and only see the Statue of Liberty on the outside…let me just tell you – it’s totally fine. The giant Statue that stood by for decades and witnessed all the stories of immigrants hoping for a new life in America will leave a deep impression on you anyway. And you can still take great photos!
Apart from the Statue of Liberty, there are great views of Manhattan’s skyline that you shouldn’t miss. You’ll be able to compare the looks before and after 9/11. It’s at the September 11 Memorial Grove.
Count with having to stand in a loooong line for the ferry to go back to Manhattan. On your way back, you can consider getting off at the Ellis Island. It features an immigration museum. Although some areas of the island have been closed due to effects of hurricane Sandy, it’s still worth visiting.
In my opinion, the best time to visit the Statue of Liberty (and New York) is in summer. If you too plan to specifically come to New York in summer, read this NY summer guide.
The Statue of Liberty is only one of many interesting things to see in New York. For further planning, check out this New York itinerary for 4 days (maps included).
Have you been to the Statue of Liberty? Tell us how you liked it!