If you’re in New York City, you can’t miss out on visiting the Statue of Liberty. A well-known symbol of freedom in the United States, a visit with Lady Liberty is a must for your NYC itinerary.
10 things you should know before visiting the Statue of Liberty
1.) Get Tickets Beforehand
On your walk to Battery Park you are going to get offer after offer for ferry tickets to the statue. It is best to just purchase your tickets online before your trip, to avoid any scams or illegal ticket sales. Statue Cruises is the official ferry service provider, and you can purchase your ticket online.
2.) Arrive Early
You’ll want to arrive at Battery Park 30-40 minutes earlier than your departure time. You will have to wait in line and go through security before boarding the ferry. In addition, if you want a spot by the railing (best place to get photos) you’ll want to be some of the first people on the ferry.
3.) Prepare for Security Checks
Before boarding the ferry, you will have to go through a security check. The procedures are fairly similar to airport security– take everything out of your pockets, and no open food. Don’t worry about taking off your shoes or bringing more than 3oz of water, though. You will also have to go through security again if you plan on going into the Pedestal or Crown of the statue.
4.) Wear Comfortable Shoes
You are going to be walking a lot. I was in comfortable shoes and still felt like my feet were cement blocks! I can’t imagine what it would have been like if my shoes were not A+.
5.) Take Your Motion Sickness Meds
If you’re susceptible to motion sickness, I suggest taking some meds! The ferry does rock back and forth while waiting at the dock, and the trip to the statue can be a little choppy. Better safe than puking over a railing! I recommend Bonine for a non-drowsy option.
6.) Wear Sunscreen
That sun can be brutal, and there are few spots on Liberty Island to escape it! Make sure to wear sunscreen so you don’t end your day all crispy and red.
7.) Do Ellis Island First
Your ferry ticket includes a stop at Ellis Island in addition to the Statue of Liberty. My advice- go here first. There is so much history to take in, especially if you have a good grasp of your family heritage. When I visited, I did Ellis Island after the Statue, and I was so exhausted I could barely enjoy the museum. I definitely didn’t see all that Ellis Island had to offer, so I wish I would have done that first.
8.) Bring Snacks and a Reusable Water Bottle
As with all attractions, purchasing food and drink at the Statue of Liberty can be a bit pricey. However, you are more than welcome to bring your own food and drinks to the island. Just make sure the food is in secure containers for the security check. There is a water bottle refilling station near the restrooms in the gift shop.
9.) Get Real With Yourself
Before buying your tickets to visit the Crown of the Statue of Liberty, you need to get real with yourself. Are you really in good condition to walk 354 steps up to the top? The stairs are narrow and there is nowhere to stop and take a breather if you need it. The crown is a very small space and many people feel claustrophobic while doing this part of the Statue. Not everyone can do it. And that’s okay.
10.) Take Your Time
There is so much history to take in when visiting the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island. Don’t try and pack several things into your Statue of Liberty day, because you’ll want lots of time to take everything in. Even if you’re not really a museum person, there are a lot of really interesting things to learn here. Don’t rush through your time on the island.
Looking for more to do in New York City? Check out the Top of the Rock or take a day trip to Coney Island!