Ellis Island National Museum of Immigration

Ellis Island is a museum and a piece of history all by itself. 

You must visit this museum as it’s a great place to gather cultural knowledge. It tells the fascinating tale of American immigration.

Explore a living memorial to the history of the American people at the Ellis Island National Museum of Immigration.

The Ellis Island Museum is located inside the renovated Main Building of the former immigration complex. 

It takes you back in time through a carefully chosen collection of images, artifacts and searchable historical documents. 

Visitors can learn more about the hopeful ancient immigrants while viewing the Great Hall, luggage room and refurbished dormitories. 

Highlights of the National Immigration Museum at Ellis Island

These exhibits clarify the immigration process and enable tourists to understand the complexities of the American melting pot.

A Snapshot of America: Flag of Faces

Remember to check out the interactive installation called ‘The American Flag of Faces’, which honors the nation’s diverse population.

The installation is a sizable digital mosaic that combines historical portraits to paint a picture of the national character.

It depicts a plethora of faces representing Americans from different backgrounds and eras of our history. 

The Flag of Faces is made from a combination of historical photos and entries submitted by users worldwide.

It serves as a reminder of the Great Seal of America’s slogan, “E Pluribus Unum”—”Out of many, one.” 

The Flag of Faces is a work in progress that changes daily. 

Visitors can contribute to this installation by submitting their or their ancestors’ images. 

The Ellis Island Museum charges a donation of $50 for every entry. 

The Entire Story: Peopling of America Center

The “Journeys: The Peopling of America – the 1550s-1890” pre-Ellis Island galleries let you learn about immigration during the Colonial and Victorian eras.

Before the Ellis Island processing station opened in 1892 and after it closed in 1954, Peopling of America Center at Ellis Island chronicled the immigration of Native Americans that visitors could access. 

Enjoy the fascinating journey of immigrants through interpretive graphics and moving audio recordings. 

The Ellis Island tour offers complimentary National Museum of Immigration tickets.

Ellis Island Immigration Museum Exhibits

National Immigration Museum at Ellis Island
Image: Rabbit75_cav (canva)

One of the most interesting places you must explore on your Statue of Liberty tour is the Ellis Island National Immigration Museum. 

Housed inside the restored main building of the erstwhile immigration complex, it is a living monument encapsulating stories of people who make America and are the living definition of the American dream. 

Apart from the obvious highlight, Lady Liberty, everyone must visit Ellis Island Immigration Museum. 

The National Museum of Immigration is spread on Ground Floor, Second Floor, and Third Floor, and a Special Exhibit section. 

The Ground floor is a bustling place and you will first encounter the introductory exhibits about immigration and signage to guide your visit. 

“Journeys” is an exhibit on this floor exploring the early history of immigration before Ellis Island was opened as an immigration station. 

Further, explore the digital displays and an array of exhibits recounting the tales of innumerable persons becoming American in the “Citizenship Gallery.”

The Second floor is the Registry Room and is the iconic arched ceiling room with enormous windows that have become synonymous with the National Museum of Immigration in New York. 

The room has been restored to what it would have been back in 1918-24. It is also sometimes known as the “Great Hall”. 

Explore the Hearing Room and the fascinating Through America’s Gate exhibit describing step-by-step what most new arrivals experienced on Ellis Island. 

Peak Immigration Years:1880-1924, is an exhibit on the East wing on the second floor of the museum capturing highlights of the said period. 

The Third Floor features the Dormitory where immigrants were temporarily detained. One fascinating exhibit on the East wing of the third floor is the Ellis Island Chronicles recounting the history of the island. 

Treasures From Home is an exhibit on this floor, a collection of artifacts donated to the National Park by families who came to the USA during the peak Immigration years.

“Silent Voices” depict the period after. The government closed Ellis Island. 

Ellis Island Immigration Museum Gift Shop

Given how unique and fascinating the Ellis Island National Immigration Museum is, you will be inclined to pick up a souvenir on your visit. 

Well, you are in luck as there is one Gift shop located on the first floor that houses a bookstore, Ellis Island Cafe, Theatre 1, access to the Wall of Honor and the American Family Immigration History Centre, and an Information desk. 

You can purchase some fascinating memorabilia and gifts for yourself and your friends and family. 

From coffee mugs to different small decoratives, you will find a sizeable selection to pick from. 

Don’t forget to browse through the bookstore. You might find something that catches your eye. 

Ellis Island Immigration Museum Facts

Ellis Island Immigration Museum Facts
Image: Visual.ly

The history of Ellis Island goes as far back as the history of Statue of Liberty. Thus the Ellis Island Immigration Museum encapsulates plenty of fascinating stories. 

Before your Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island visit, here is a list of top Ellis Island Immigration Museum facts to get you excited for the tour. 

  • Ellis Island was opened on January 1st, 1892, and became the nation’s premier federal immigration station.
  • Before becoming a station for processing immigration, the island was used as a place where pirates and criminals were condemned to death. 
  • During this time, the island came to be known as “Gibbet Island” after the Gibbet or posts where the criminals were hanged. 
  • First-ever immigrants were technically kids, a 17-year-old minor girl named Annie Moore who came with her two younger siblings. 
  • Originally, the island was much smaller, at 3.3 acres. Gradually, it was expanded with fill dirt to its present size of 27.5 acres. 
  • The island is named after Samuel Ellis who owned the island during the 1770’s when it was eventually purchased by New York. 
  • Even though, Ellis Island is part of New York, it technically sits in the water that belongs to New Jersey. 
  • One of the fascinating aspects of Ellis Island is the presence of the Family History Centre where visitors can look up their ancestors. 
  • Up until when it remained in operation in 1954, the facility processed over 12 million immigrants. 
  • The present Ellis Island National Immigration Museum was opened on September 10, 1990. It was being restored after being abandoned for 30 years. 

Ellis Island National Museum of Immigration Opening Hours

The Ellis Island National Museum of Immigration opening hours are quite similar to the Statue of Liberty ferry schedule. 

The opening hours are from 9.45 am to 4.45 pm. The Museum remains open all days of the week, just like the Statue of Liberty. 

Ellis Island remains open every day except for Thanksgiving and Christmas. So, visitors don’t need to worry about timing their visit. 

As long as you know the ferry schedule from NYC or NJ, you will find Ellis Island and all the various attractions such as the Wall of Honour and Family History Center open for visitors. 

Directions to Ellis Island Immigration Museum

Directions to Ellis Island Immigration Museum
Image: Nps.gov

Ellis Island National Museum of Immigration address is Ellis Island Bridge, Jersey City, NJ, 10280, USA. 

Click here to know the pinpoint Ellis Island Immigration Museum location and open it on Google Maps. 

To reach the Ellis National Museum of Immigration location, visitors need to catch a ferry that leaves from two locations. 

One is Battery Park, at the southern tip of Manhattan in New York, and Liberty State Park in New Jersey. 

So, you must know the ferry schedule of ferries from New York and ferries from New Jersey

However, there are multiple ways, both public transportation and private, to reach these two destinations from where the ferries leave. 

Using the elaborate network of the New York Subway is the most recommended way followed by a taxi. 

For more detailed information, you must read how to reach the Statue of Liberty

Ellis Island Immigration Museum ferry

Visitors looking to arrive at Ellis Island will take the same ferry as to that arrives and depart from Liberty Island from the two locations. 

These two locations are Battery Park, at the southern tip of Manhattan in New York, and Liberty State Park in New Jersey. 

Thus, the ferry schedule or Ellis Island Immigration Museum ferry timing is the same as the ferry schedule from New York and New Jersey. 

If you are taking a ferry from New York then it departs from Battery Park starting at 9 am. There is one ferry leaving after every 25 minutes. 

The last Ferry to depart from the mainland is 3.30 pm while the last ferry to depart from Ellis Island is 4.40 pm. 

Read Ferry from New York to learn more information in detail. 

If you are visiting from New Jersey then the ferries depart from Liberty State Park. The timing remains the same as the ferries for New York. Read Ferry from New Jersey for more in detail. 

The last return trip ferry is at 5 pm from Liberty Island for both sides.

Tickets to Ellis Island Immigration Museum

Tickets to Ellis Island Immigration Museum
Image: Npr.org

There is no Ellis Island National Museum of Immigration tickets or fees for visiting the Ellis Island museum or the grounds of Ellis Island. 

You only need to have a valid ticket to board the ferry. A typical Statue of Liberty tour ticket includes an Ellis Island tour. 

You can buy a Statue of Liberty tour that will give you access to the grounds of the Statue of Liberty and access to Ellis Island.  

You can explore various attractions on Ellis Island such as the Wall of Honour and Family History Center open to visitors. 

Unlike Ellis Island, You can upgrade to purchase a Pedestal ticket or guided tickets to the Statue of Liberty and enjoy your visit and get access to visit inside the Statue. 

Ellis Island Immigration Museum entrance fee

Just like how you don’t require any entrance ticket to Ellis Island, there are no Ellis Island Immigration Museum admission fees. 

The ferry price that is included in the Statue of Liberty Tour allows visitors to explore both the grounds of Liberty Island and Ellis Island. 

Furthermore, unlike Liberty Island, where you need to purchase different tickets such as the Pedestal, Grounds-only, guided, or combo to get a certain level of access, it doesn’t apply to Ellis Island. 

All of the attractions such as the Wall of Honor, the Family History Centre, and the Museum are all open free of cost. Thus, there is no Ellis Island Immigration Museum entrance fee. 


1. What is the National Museum of immigration history?

The National Immigration Museum is a unique museum on Ellis Island, which you can explore on your Statue of Liberty tour

Giving a different experience than the Statue of Liberty Museum, it traces the movement of the people of America to tell a story of who they are as Americans.

Visitors can examine the various documents and the rich story of American immigration through a collection of photographs, heirlooms, and searchable historical records. 

2. Is Ellis Island a museum now?

Ellis Island is both a Museum and a memorial at the same time, making it one of the unique highlights of your Statue of Liberty tour

The main building of the former immigration complex is now home to the Ellis Island National Museum of Immigration. 

The Ellis Island Museum showcases a fascinating series of exhibits and an amazing collection of artifacts from American history. 

3. Can you walk on Ellis Island?

You can walk around and explore the Ellis Island National Museum of Immigration. 

But to get to Ellis Island, you need to take a ferry which will be a part of the Statue of Liberty tour, allowing you to explore both iconic places. 

You can get a unique perspective on American history, the people of America, and immigration if you have the Ellis Island Museum Tickets. 

4. Is Ellis Island worth visiting?

Exploring Ellis Island is an integral and inseparable part of the Statue of Liberty tour.

Visiting the National Immigration Museum on Ellis Island is the best place in the country to understand America’s immigration history. 

You can get a guided tour of the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island Museum ticket to get the most out of your tour.

Featured Image: Simonasacri.com

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