27 Apr A Guide to Visiting the Statue of Liberty
I currently live in Jersey City and have the luxury of being able to see the view of the Statue of Liberty every day.
Every time I look at Lady Liberty I feel goosebumps – it’s such an iconic statue symbolizing freedom, hope and the American Dream.
I took the ferry to Liberty Island when I visited New York on my first ever trip to the United States. Little did I know then that I would eventually move here and start my own American Dream.
Looking at Lady Liberty reminds me of the journey I made to get here and that anything is possible.
If you visit New York this is definitely one of the must-see attractions and in this brisk read, we’ll fill you in everything you need to know about visiting the Statue of Liberty in 2021.
A brief history of the Statue of Liberty
The Statue of Liberty was a gift of friendship from France to the United States and is recognized as a symbol of freedom and liberty throughout the world. It was also a welcoming symbol for immigrants who arrived to the United States by sea.
Made of copper, the statue is a figure of Libertas, a Roman liberty goddess, who is holding a torch in her right hand and a tablet in her left hand inscribed with the date of the U.S Declaration of Independence in Roman Numerals. At her feet lies a broken shackle and chain, commemorating the abolition of slavery.
The Statue of Liberty was designed by Frédéric-Auguste Bartholdi and brought to life by several architects including Alexandre-Gustave Eiffel and Richard Morris Hunt. It was designated on October 28th,1886.
Buy Your Tickets Online
Buying tickets in-person is a time-wasting (not to mention boring) experience. Who wants to spend their life waiting in line? Nobody. So, why not buy your Statue of Liberty tickets online? In seconds, you’ll have e-tickets that you can bring up on your phone, plus you know you won’t be ripped off on prices.
It’s also safe – if you’re not vaccinated yet, why risk getting the virus in a ticket lineup? By purchasing online, you can minimise the risk to you and your party.
Head Down to the Ferry Terminal
No roads lead to Liberty Island – to get there, you must take a ferry. Statue Cruises runs these boats, which set sail from two ports: Battery Park in Lower Manhattan or Liberty State Park in Jersey City, NJ.
Travellers staying in NYC can take the 1,4, 5, or R subway trains to Battery Park. Meanwhile, those in NJ can use Hudson-Bergen Light Rail to access Liberty State Park. However, if you buy your tickets online, you may have access to VIP buses that’ll transport you directly to ferry terminals in NYC or NJ.
What is there to do at the Statue of Liberty?
Ferries run by Statue Cruises call at two destinations. After leaving the mainland, Liberty Island is stop #1. As you approach the island, prepare to depart the ferry.
After walking onshore, you’ll find two buildings to your left and right. On your left is a Visitor’s Information Building, which is where you can pick up an audio tour (guided ranger tours are on hold due to COVID). On your right is a food concession, where you can buy snacks, refreshments, and even full meals.
What about the Statue of Liberty itself? For now, the interior remains closed, so you’ll have to admire Lady Liberty from the outside. However, 2021 will be a fluid year. With luck, this situation may change by the time you visit.
On the island you’ll find a museum which features over 390,000 artifacts and over 1 million archival records, which represent the cultural and natural histories of Liberty and Ellis Islands. Significant items inside the museum include 1886 models of the Statue of Liberty, immigration cards and inspection documents, and personal items families brought with them through Ellis Island.