Guarding the entrance to New York Harbor on Liberty Island, the 305-foot (93-meter) Statue of Liberty came to the United States as a gift from France to commemorate the 100-year anniversary of the signing of the Declaration of Independence. Lady Liberty has been a symbol of democracy and hope for NYC and the US since 1886. Together with neighboring Ellis Island, the Statue of Liberty National Monument is administered by the National Park Service.
Statue of Liberty tours start with a scenic ferry ride to the island, where you can explore the grounds or head to the famed, 10-story-high observation pedestal to see the original torch and gain great views and photo ops of the New York City skyline and neighboring New Jersey. It's also possible to secure tickets to the crown for an up-close at Lady Liberty, but be prepared to climb 354 steeply winding steps to the top.
Guided tours feature live narration and historical insight while offering personal attention, and informative audio tours explore the construction and restoration of the monument. The monument is also a highlight on New York Harbor cruises, city helicopter tours, and waterfront walking tours.
Things to Know Before You Go
- Choose between three levels of access: grounds only, pedestal access, or crown access. Pedestal and crown tickets should be booked well in advance.
- Opt for an exclusive early-access tour to beat the crowds.
- Access to the Statue of Liberty museum is included with pedestal tickets.
- While the observation deck is not wheelchair accessible, the information center, gift pavilion, bookstore, and exterior grounds are.
- All visitors to the monument are subject to security screening.
How to Get There
Liberty Island is southwest of the tip of Manhattan in Upper New York Bay. To visit, catch a Statue Cruises ferry from Battery Park in Lower Manhattan; the ferry continues to Ellis Island if you'd like to also visit there. The closest subway stations for Battery Park are South Ferry and Bowling Green.
When to Get There
Summertime crowds can get intense, so the earlier you arrive at Battery Park for the first few departing ferries, the better. Booking priority-access tickets in advance is a helpful way to maximize your time. The first ferry to Liberty Island departs at 9:30am and the last departs at 3:30pm, with extended hours in summer and around holidays.
Combine Your Statue of Liberty Visit with a Stop at Ellis Island
Many visitors choose to combine a Statue of Liberty tour with a visit to nearby Ellis Island; your ferry ticket includes access to both stops, and many guided tours offer a combination experience. Visit the Ellis Island Immigration Museum to learn about the history of immigration in the United States.