Standing on Liberty Island in New York Harbor, the Statue of Liberty is a colossal neoclassical sculpture presented to the United States by France in 1886 to commemorate the U.S.'s 100th birthday, and the two countries' alliance during the American Revolution. Measuring 151 feet high, and set upon a 154-foot pedestal, it is the tallest statue of modern times, and one of the world's most famous.
The Statue of Liberty has been a symbol of hope and freedom for millions of people fleeing poverty and hardship abroad since its unveiling on July 3, 1886. Visitors are invited to take ranger-led or self guided tours. Audio tours can be used on both Liberty and Ellis islands, and are available as part of the ferry ticket. Free timed passes for entrance inside the pedestal are available, but must be reserved at time of ferry ticket purchase (limited quantity available).
The tour includes a small museum on the history of the statue and the island, as well as a chance to stand a few feet away from the original torch which was replaced in the mid-1980's. But make sure you plan ahead. While an average of 3,000 people are able to take the tour every day, on some days, more than 15,000 sometimes show up hoping to do so.
Statue of Liberty – Trip Tips
You'll need at least 3 hours to see the Statue of Liberty, including round-trip ferry transportation. Here are a few other things you should keep in mind when planning your visit to this popular New York City attraction:
- You can catch a nice view of the Statue of Liberty on Liberty Island from the shores of Battery Park in Lower Manhattan.
- The Statue of Liberty is accessible only by ferry service from Battery Park or Liberty State Park in Jersey City, NJ. To save time and avoid lines, purchase tickets in advance, if possible.
- Allow ample time and maintain a flexible schedule to allow for security screening and boarding the ferry.
- Only 10 people at a time are permitted to climb the 377 steps from the main lobby to the crown platform. This is a strenuous walk, and not recommended for those who are physically challenged.
- Those who have difficulty with heat and/or small spaces should think twice about climbing to Lady Liberty's crown during summer. The stairwell is a tightly enclosed area and is not air conditioned.