Tips for Visiting the Statue of Liberty

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Visiting two of the most popular attractions in New York City requires extensive planning and packing.

The Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island are always on the must-see list of all travelers – but they come with some complications like overcrowding, heat, and tickets.

Unlike Times Square and Central Park, there is a lot of planning involved at each place, plus a few guidelines for tourists. 

This article will share a list of things about how you can make the most of your visit, and by the end of it, you will become an expert on visiting the statue. 

From dressing for the occasion to where you should go, consider this guide your go-to resource for exploring the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island.

1. Start Your Visit As Early As Possible 

Know the best time
Image: Pwai from Getty image signature (Canva)

We are aware that lines get longer and longer throughout the day. So, it’s always best to start early wherever you are going. 

Plus, the Statue of Liberty closes earlier in the day at 5 pm, and it takes some time to go from island to island. 

The last thing you want is to arrive late with limited time and see a huge crowd so large that you can’t even take a good picture.

Hence, understanding the ideal time to visit can help guarantee a hassle-free and relaxing journey.

We recommend you try to visit the monument on a weekday before the first ferry leaves at 8.30 am.

If you arrive too early before your ferry leaves, no worries. You can explore Battery Park or visit Castle Clinton. You might also see street performers and acrobats.

Also, booking tours of the island early in the morning is always the most enjoyable because it ensures a smooth visit without a lot of crowds.

Read more to learn the best time to visit for a smooth visit. 

2. Book Tickets Well in Advance 

For those who want to view Manhattan from the top of the iconic crown, our advice is always to buy tickets in advance, as the wait list can be 6 to 9 months long. 

Hence, booking in advance eliminates the possibility of any extra waiting time and gives you direct access to Lady Liberty.

If you don’t want to pay in advance, you can also reserve your tickets at no additional charge and pay when visiting.

You will not even have to print the ticket; arrive with a copy on your phone and walk right up to the security checks. Buy Tickets 

3. Enquire about the Ferry Schedule 

The Lady Liberty is on an island, so you must take a ferry ride from New York or New Jersey to reach the attraction. 

Therefore, it is crucial to be aware of the departure point and various ferry schedules to reach the National Monument.

Hence, when entering or exiting the ferry boat for the first time, it’s always a good idea to photograph the timetable. 

The daily schedule is normally posted at the pier or the boat’s entry. 

Taking a picture allows you to easily pull up and plan ahead without guessing or attempting to remember when you need to be in line.

The first ferry leaves Battery Park and Liberty State Park at 9 am, and subsequent ferries depart every 25 minutes. 

The last ferry from the mainland departs at 3.30 pm.

4. Statue of Liberty Dress Code

There is no specific dress code for visiting the Statue of Liberty.

Visitors can wear casual clothes. However, check the forecast before packing or leaving for the day of your visit and be prepared for any weather conditions. 

If you are visiting in the summer, you should wear cotton T-shirts, pants, comfortable shoes, and a hat to protect against the direct sun. 

Remember to pack your sunscreen and apply it regularly. If the temperature is a bit low, you should add layers. 

Also, exploring Liberty Island will require much walking, so we recommend wearing comfortable clothes and shoes. 

Here are some tips on dressing for visiting the Statue of Liberty:

Tips for Dressing at the Statue of Liberty


Layer Up: While it might be sunny, you are going to an island with relatively cooler weather and a breeze.

A sundress might be a good choice for warmer weather; consider bringing a jacket or hoodie for cooler temperatures.

You can also bring jackets/scarves that can be easily added or removed as required.

Take Accessories: You can reach the island by cruise or ferry, and it can be quite sunny. Wear a stylish hat and sunglasses to shield your eyes from the sun.

You can also bring backpacks or crossbody bags to carry your essentials, like water, sunscreen, etc., to keep your hands free.

Apply Sunscreen: New York Harbor can be windy, but don’t let that fool you—UV rays can still reach your skin.

Make sure to apply sunscreen before your visit to protect yourself from sunburn, especially if you’re taking a boat to Liberty Island.

At last, you can show your support for America by adding shades of blue, white, and red to your outfit to enhance your patriotic spirit. 

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5. Learn about the Bag Policy

If you are going inside the Statue of Liberty, to the pedestal level or the Crown, avoid bringing your luggage.

Large bags and things like selfie sticks, large umbrellas, and baby strollers are not allowed. 

The maximum size for any baggage is 24″× 18″. Ferry authorities will allow one small bag per person but no laptops, strollers, or weapons.

Another thing to note is that even if your small bag is in the shape of a backpack, it won’t be allowed. 

You can use the locker facility for nominal fees to store your valuables. 

6. Stand on the Good Side of the Boat

As you board the ferry for the first time, you’ll observe everyone rushing to the right to get a seat on that side of the boat. 

This is understandable, given that the side of the statue is visible from the pier.

However, as soon as the boat departs, it will take a quick turn. By the time you come near the statue, the opposite side will have the finest view.

So, when you first get on the boat, go to the side facing Manhattan. 

Most people are unaware that this is where you may get the best view. 

Then, when the boat crosses in front of the statue for the first time, you’ll have the perfect opportunity to capture an incredible photo of Lady Liberty.

7. Tips to Get the Best Pictures

There are several different viewing points for photographing the Statue of Liberty, including from the boat and at the island’s edge. 

But the greatest and most famous shots should be taken from the top of Fort Wood, “on your back!”

That’s right, lying down is the finest position for snapping pictures.

Fort Wood, a star-shaped fortification, is located just below the pedestal. 

This historic battle fort is an excellent place to spend a few minutes after visiting the crown’s pedestal. 

You can go around and snap stunning photos of New York Harbor, but the best place is just in front of the Statue of Liberty. 

8. Try Kayaking

You can kayak around Liberty Island, exploring attractions at your own pace.

Kayaking provides a unique waterborne vantage point from which you can appreciate the monument while taking stunning photos.

This activity will give you a newfound perspective on the Statue of Liberty, the Manhattan skyline, and New York Harbor.

9. Go Visit the Museum First

From personal experience, we know that after getting off the boat, everyone rushes to the front of the statue to take a picture. 

This leaves you battling crowds and competing for the best shot.

However, if you visit the Statue of Liberty Museum first, or even the gift shop, you will be able to bypass the initial wave of visitors and proceed directly to the monument. 

Just make sure to take shots before the next boat arrives, which will carry even more passengers.

10. Go Beyond Liberty

Do not forget to visit the surrounding areas on your visit to the Statue of Liberty.

Consider visiting Ellis Island, which was a gateway for hundreds of immigrants entering the United States.

Explore it to gain a deeper understanding of American history and heritage.

Note: You can save a lot of money if you choose the New York City Pass, which includes access to the Statue of Liberty, the 9/11 Memorial Pools, the Brooklyn Bridge, the One World Observatory and more.

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FAQs

1. What do you wear to the Statue of Liberty?

2. What are you allowed to bring to the Statue of Liberty?

3. Can I take food to the island of the Statue of Liberty?

4. Does Statue City Cruises take you to Liberty Island?

5. Can I climb to the top of the Statue of Liberty?

6. Are there any other activities available on Liberty Island?

7. Is the Statue of Liberty accessible to people with disabilities?

8. Are there restrooms and food available on Liberty Island?

9. Can I carry backpacks or luggage to the Statue of Liberty?

10. What do I need to know before going to the Statue of Liberty?

11. Can I take a selfie stick to the Statue of Liberty?

12. Are bags allowed at the Statue of Liberty?

13. What is not allowed at the Statue of Liberty?

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