A bit of history and explanation about the Statue of Liberty
The Statue of Liberty has been showing off on Liberty Island since October 28, 1886. Originally, the copper statue was a gift from the French people to congratulate the Americans with their independence and to celebrate the abolition of slavery. It was designed by Frédéric Auguste Bartholdi and built by the famous Gustave Eiffel. They chose the Roman goddess Libertas who holds a torch above her head and holds in her right arm a tabula ansata on which the date (July 4, 1776) of the Declaration of Independence is registered. Soon the image grew into a symbol of freedom that welcomes foreign immigrants into the United States. Once they started seeing this giant statue, it wouldn’t take much longer before they had arrived on Ellis Island where they were checked before they could enter the country. It’s estimated that more than 12 million immigrants passed through this checkpoint between 1892 and 1954.
Visit to the Statue of Liberty
When you visit the Statue of Liberty, you have three different options.
The “Grounds Only” ticket gives you the opportunity to stroll around on Liberty Island. This is only sold if the two other types of tickets are already sold out and can be bought at the ferry terminal on the day itself. An excellent choice for travelers who want to see the Statue of Liberty last minute.
You also have the “Pedestal” card with which you can enter the pedestal and also get access to the museum. The pedestal was designed by Richard Morris Hunt. This pedestal is about half the length of the entire monument and also offers a panoramic view of New York and Ellis Island.
The last option is the “Crown” card with which you can visit the pedestal, the museum and the famous crown of the Statue of Liberty. If you’ve already seen the crown of the Statue of Liberty in films or television series, you know that from here you have a magnificent view of the impressive skyline of New York. It’s more than worth the 377 steps that you have to climb. Note that this is the most popular day card and is thus very quickly sold out. Fortunately, you can reserve a ticket already six months in advance. I can’t say enough that you should buy your tickets in advance if you plan to visit the Statue of Liberty.
Tickets Statue of Liberty
It’s best to plan a visit to the Statue of Liberty as early as possible. You can easily purchase the tickets online. These tickets also include transportation by ferry (back and forth).
If you only want to visit the pedestal, adults pay $18.5 and children between four and twelve pay $9. You can enter for free up to four years. If you also want to visit the impressive crown of the Statue of Liberty, you pay three dollars more. An audio tour in English and a guided tour with a park ranger are also included. This is both optional and not mandatory.
Once you are there, you can also take the opportunity to visit Ellis Island. Fortunately, you can buy tickets that combine the visit with the Statue of Liberty.
Opening hours Statue of Liberty
From 27 May to 4 September
The first ferry departs from the mainland at half past eight in the morning and the last one sails back at five o’clock in the evening. The last ferry from Liberty Island sails back at 6:45 pm. Liberty Island is closed at half past seven.
From 5 September to 9 October
The first ferry leaves Manhattan in the morning at 8:30 and the last one goes at 4:00 pm. At 5:45 pm the last ferry leaves from Liberty Island.
From 10 October to 17 November
The first ferry leaves at 9 o’clock in the morning and the last one leaves the mainland at 3:30 pm. At 5 pm the last ferry sails from Liberty Island to Manhattan.
For more information, please consult the official website. The Statue of Liberty is open every day of the year, except for Christmas (December 25).
Visit the Statue of Liberty for free
Technically, it’s not possible to visit the Statue of Liberty free of charge, but there is another way to enjoy an excellent view of this American symbol for free. From subway stations Bowling Green or South Ferry, you can jump on the Staten Island ferry.
This ferry is completely free and is operational 24 hours a day. After 25 minutes of sailing you arrive on Staten Island and once you’ve admired New York from here, you can take the same boat back to Manhattan. There are also paying options that bring you closer to the Statue of Liberty, but this is in any case an excellent alternative.
I can also recommend a cruise around the entire island of Manhattan. This is one of the best things to do in New York and you get a complete picture of this bustling (and gigantic!) City.
Twelve fun facts about the Statue of Liberty
- From the ground to the top of the torch, the Statue of Liberty is 93 meters or 305 feet high. The lady weighs 204 tons.
- Last year 4.5 million people visited this icon. That is 2.5 million less than the other famous creation of Gustave Eiffel, the Eiffel Tower.
- The seven teeth on the crown of the Statue of Liberty represent the seven oceans and seven continents of the world. This shows that freedom is universal.
- The statue has an iron inner structure and the outside is made of copper. This has become green through oxidation. Although this is a sign of damage, it also serves as a layer of protection to prevent further degradation.
- It is said that the face of the Statue of Liberty is modeled after Charlotte, the mother of the designer.
- Every year this copper lady is hit by more than 600 lightning strikes. However, this was only recorded for the first time in 2010. Curious? Check out the picture here.
- Two people have successfully committed suicide by jumping from the statue. These unfortunate events took place in 1929 and 1932, since then it has become (almost) impossible.
- There are replicas of this famous statue all over the world, yet only one was made by the original creator. You can admire this at Musée d’Orsay in Paris, where you can find in total three other of Ladies of Libert.
- From 1886 to 1902, Lady Liberty also served as a lighthouse.
In 1916 the Statue of Liberty was the target of German saboteurs. The arm that carries the torch was most damaged and it cost more than $100,000 to repair all damage. Since then, the torch can no longer be visited.
- The total cost of the Statue of Liberty (including pedestal) is estimated at $500,000… at the time. Today it would cost around ten million dollars to make.
- The Statue of Liberty almost didn’t make it! When it was transported from France on the Isere ship, it almost sank during a storm.
The Statue of Liberty is rightfully one of the most visited sights in New York. To understand the city (and the country) you must have been here. It stands for the core values of American society and in combination with a visit to Ellis Island you can see why the United States is so multicultural. New York is a fantastic city and if you arrange a trip to the Statue of Liberty you should do so. It really is wroth seeing from up close!
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Hi, I'm Sam Van den Haute. The last three years I've been traveling the world almost constantly. Heading out for an adventure and visiting the most beautiful places are what I love to do! Let me inspire you with great stories, beautiful pictures and handy tips from my adventures and travels. On my facebook page and instagram account you'll get to see the latest updates and photos to inspire you for your next vacation.