“ Built by French sculptor Frederic-Auguste Bartholdi, the 'Statue of Liberty' has been standing in New York's harbour since 1886 and it is generally considered to be America's most powerful symbol of freedom. Found on Liberty Island, you ca „
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=== The Statue of Liberty ===
Before Christmas we went on a fantastic trip to the Big Apple. When you think of New York, one of the first things that comes to mind is the Statue of Liberty, it is so iconic. It was definitely one of the things that we had to go and see when visiting the city.
The statue is on Liberty Island, in the harbour of New York.
=== History ===
Very briefly - The statue was a gift from France to America. It was designed by a guy called Bartholdi, and he was assisted by Gustav Eiffel who designed the internal structure (this was prior to the Eiffel Tower's construction, which is built in a similar way). The statue was transported from France to New York and was placed on the plinth built by the Americans ready for the statue's arrival. The statue was unveiled to the world in 1886.
There is far more history to the statue than this, but as always, I try not to delve too deep into it in my reviews as this information is accessible online for those that are interested. It is also accessible via the audio tour, but more on that later.
=== Booking your tickets ===
We booked our tickets online before we left the UK. Pre-booking is something I would suggest doing if you would like to visit this iconic monument. When you book online you select the date and an approximate time you would like to visit. It cost us $17 a ticket. This covers you for the boat trip over, and your tours on Liberty Island and Ellis Island. We felt this was a reasonable price to pay. Once you have bought your tickets online you simply print them off and take them with you when you go.
=== Arrival ===
You need to make your way down to the ferry station at Battery Park (right at the bottom of Manhattan - if I remember rightly we got there by taking the E train from Penn Street Station, near our hotel). Once there you go through security (similar to airport security) before you get on the boat transfer. The queue was relatively long when we got there, but not overly so, and moved quickly.
The boats are pretty big, but have limited seating on the lower deck. You can go up the steps to the upper level - much better for views, and there is more seating in the form of simple benches. As the boat sails away you can watch the amazing iconic sky line behind you as the statue gets ever closer - a great photo opportunity. The crossing was smooth the day we went, quick, and getting on and off the boat was a quick and easy process.
=== Liberty Island ===
As you get off the boat there is a cafe/shop/toilet facilities to your right hand side, and a booth where you can pick up the audio tours pretty much right in front of you. And of course the magnificent lady takes pride of place.
The audio tour takes you around the island telling you a lot of fascinating information. It covers how the statue was made, how it was transported, the importance the icon had to immigrants, and much more. There are options to skip bits of the tour out should you wish, and there are also options to listen to additional information that don't form part of the main tour. It is worded in a way that I found really interesting to listen to. Parts of it are also done in the voices of immigrants stating what the statue means to them. The audio tour is included in the price of your ticket and is well worth a listen!
There is an option to go up the statue, however we weren't able to do this. When we booked our tickets online we tried to book the tickets that allowed you up the statue, only they had sold out already for all the days that we were in the city. I am guessing this is a combination of the fact we went at a busy time for New York (the run up to Christmas) and we booked all our attraction tickets quite close to our departure date. Should we go back to NYC this is something I would definitely bear in mind, and would book tickets further in advance.
Despite not getting to go up the statue itself, we thoroughly enjoyed our walk around Liberty Island, listening to our audio tours and taking plenty of photos. It is such an amazing place to visit. I would really recommend going if you go to NYC. Despite the fact that Liberty Island is quite small in size, and essentially there is only the statue itself, the shop and the cafe on the island don't underestimate how long it will actually take. I think we spent approximately 4 hours (including boat trips) but we could have easily spent longer if we had had statue tickets. The tickets do also include Ellis Island, and the boats stop there after Liberty Island, but due to us having another ticket for somewhere else later in the day we decided to give it a miss and stayed on the boat - we were only in NYC for 4 days, we tried to cram a lot in! After stopping at Ellis Island the boat takes you back to Battery Park.
=== Facilities ===
Shop - We did spend quite a bit of time in the shop looking at all the different merchandise they had to offer. Most of it was your general souvenir type gifts. We did buy a nice photo frame for a nice picture of us that we had taken by the statue. We're in the process of buying a house though and I am slowly accumulating (even though I really don't need to!) things to make it more homely, so a photo frame suited us. Pretty much any souvenir you can think of though they had it with a picture of the statue on.
Toilet facilities - There are toilet facilities in the shop, which are easily accessible.
Cafe - We didn't use the cafe, so I can't really comment, but it looked nice enough.
Terrain - Liberty Island was pretty flat, and easy to walk around. To get into the shop there were steps, but there was also a ramp for pushchairs and wheelchair users. Other than the shop/cafe you are outside the whole time (unless you're in the statue itself) so be prepared for whatever the weather has in store on the day of your visit.
=== Summary ===
I would definitely recommend going to the Statue of Liberty, and would love to go back to do the things we didn't get to do this time around - up the statue itself, and Ellis Island. I definitely recommend booking in advance, tickets can be purchased at www.statuecruises.com.
The Statue of Liberty.
Think of America and one can immediately conjure up an image of one of the most popular associations of America that being the Statue of Liberty in New York. The statue of Liberty is synonymous with everything about the United States and represents freedom, America being the land of the free.
Where is the Statue of Liberty?
The Statue of Liberty was erected on a small island originally called Bedloe's Island opposite Manhattan Island and Straten Island. It is now called Liberty Island. It is situated in the harbour of New York and she was one of the first sights to greet immigrants to the New Land and the processing centre on the next island known as Ellis Island. Throughout its history the island has been used as an oyster farm by the native Americans, a Private residence, a quarantine island for arriving people, a prison, a hospital amongst some of the uses of the island. It is currently a national Park.
The statue of Liberty was a gift from the French to the people of America and was designed and built by an engineer called Frederic Bartholdi. He began building it in France but faced difficulties with the structure however he enlisted the very skilful Gustav Eiffel to assist him in building a supporting structure that is inside the Statue. The statue was built in sections and then shipped over to New York where it was finally erected and in 1886 it was finally inaugurated.
I was aware of and have seen a smaller version of the Statue of Liberty which can be found on the River Seine in Paris but at a mere 39 metres high it is tiny in comparison. I was unaware of how many copies of the statue can be found around the world there are literally hundreds one being outside the New York, New York hotel in Las Vegas but there are hundreds alone around the USA. We even have one here in Great Britain a tiny 17 foot high Statue in Liberty Park, Leicester.
My trip to the Statue of Liberty.
We pre-booked our tickets to the Statue of Liberty and I think it wise that you should do so to avoid the massive queues to buy tickets. Tickets are available for $13 which not only gives you access to Liberty Island but also to Ellis Island and includes your boat transfer there and back which I think represents excellent value for money. You can book the date and approximate time you want to go. We had just completed our helicopter tour over Manhattan and wandered down to Battery Park to join the queue at the check in area and security area. All bags are checked by x ray and you go through an airport type body scanner machine. Although the queue was quite long it moved quite rapidly as there were people available to get you prepared for the search to avoid hold ups. Once through this we boarded one of the waiting cruisers that take you across the bay to Liberty Island.
The boat trip.
The boat gives you fantastic views of the Manhattan sky line as you sail across the bay passing Governors island on the left and Ellis island on the right. There are large panoramic windows either side of the boat and you can even sit on the top deck at times. During our cruise this was not an option. Your eyes darting from side to side to try and take in all the sights. Approaching the Island with the Lady standing proudly holding her torch in her right hand you sail around the island to the landing stage. Disembarkation is fast.
On the Island.
As you alight from the boat there is an open air cafe area and Liberty museum to the right of you. The island is quite big and there are cafe and toilet facilities and a small park area to wander around. You walk up an small tree lined avenue to a large circular area at the rear of the statue which is on your right hand side.
If you wish to go up the statue of Liberty you have to go through another stricter search where you are not permitted to take any bags with you at all and have to deposit them in a locker. The queue here seemed to take much longer because not only are you searched you also pass into a booth where squirts of air are blasted at you from all directions in order to detect explosives. Once through this check you can mount the pedestal the great lady is standing on.
Approaching the pedestal you enter the vast structure of the pedestal which takes you to the observation deck of the statue which is 89 feet high. The pedestal is square shaped and on three sides there are two triangular shapes that jut out. On the side where the Statue of Liberty looks out towards Manhattan there is one giant sized triangle. Once inside there are brass replicas of the face and one of the feet inside the great hall. Standing in the middle of the hall is one of the original lamps that the great lady held in her hands which had to be replaced due to corrosion from the sea and salty air.
There is a glass viewing section in the ceiling which gives you a view of the internal structure that holds the great lady up. It's very interesting to look at all the girders and spiral staircase in the centre of the actual statue. You mount a staircase to reach the viewing deck. From this vantage point you get fantastic views of Manhattan and New York, Ellis Island and Governors Island. You can walk full circle of the pedestal to view the statue and the rest of the island. If the sky is blue it's an advantage but just being there is quite exciting. I imagine that it would be beautiful any time of the year minus any fog of course!
We then wandered around the island taking in different views not only of the statue but also the surrounding scenery lapping up the sunshine and generally feeling great. It really is a mind blowing experience actually being there and enjoying the Statue close up. After about an hour and a half of wandering around the park we then boarded the boat that takes you to Ellis Island but as we had spent so much time on Liberty Island we could not get off and had to head straight back to Battery Park.
Would I recommend a visit to Liberty Island and the Statue of Liberty?
Absolutely yes! It is well worth a visit however we spent too long just soaking up the views and atmosphere and you could spend a whole day here and visiting Ellis Island. The next time I go to New York I would definitely make this a day trip on its own spending the morning on Liberty island then head over to Ellis Island before returning to Manhattan. Do not underestimate how long you will be there as although Liberty Island is quite small you underestimate how much you are drawn to just taking in the sights and for $13 you can't go wrong. There is also an audio tour you can take for an extra payment but we did not take that option.
Tickets are available from the following web site and I would really advise you to pre book your ticket. http://www.statuecruises.com/
When I went to New York this year, we were in firm agreement that visiting the Statue of Liberty was going to be on our itinerary. It's a famous land mark and something that symbolises the USA, not just New York. The statue was a gift to the US from France, and it is an iconic symbol of not only freedom, but also the USA.
It was our first time in New York and something you have to do at least once, and we decided to go all out and book tickets to go up to the crown whilst we were there, as we were only planning on doing this the once. After the September 11 attacks in 2001, the statue was closed, and the pedestal didn't re-open until 2004, and the statue itself until 2009. There are limits on how many people can access the crown, and as a result it's recommended you book crown tickets in advance online before your visit to avoid disappointment. Before going to New York I did read reviews about accessing the crown, and I strongly recommend anyone considering going up to the crown to do the same, but I will come to that part later on.
To get to the statue you have to get a ferry from either Liberty State Park in Jersey City, or Battery Park in Lower Manhattan. The Battery Park landing is probably the most popular, and I read online about the huge queues that form there for tickets. For this reason we booked our tickets online for 9am on a weekday morning, as recommended by many on TripAdvisor. I was glad we did this as we missed the queues and crowds, and also had the rest of the day ahead of us after our morning at the statue. We also bought tickets for the crown, and the total came to $15 each so not a bad price at all. If you only wish access to the pedestal then it is cheaper, and you can view the different prices on StatueCruises.com
We took along our print out in the morning to the ticket booth to collect our tickets, we also had to show ID however they accepted our UK Driving Licences, a good thing as we didn't feel comfortable walking around with our passports all day. There were no queues, and it was quiet, although the weather that day was terrible and it was raining quite a bit. After collecting our tickets we had to go through airport style security before getting on the ferry. The ferry goes to the Statue of Liberty monument first, before going onto Ellis Island where you can explore the museum.
After getting off the ferry at the statue, we immediately made our way to a building to get our wristbands off a park ranger; again we had to show our ID and tickets. After getting these the ranger explained how to get to the area with the lockers. As we had access to the statue we had to pay $1 for a locker, which didn't have a key, you had to scan your fingerprint to gain access! You are only permitted to take a camera and medication up to the crown and so all other belongings must go into a locker. I should point out the park rangers are extremely helpful and always direct you to the next area clearly, so you know exactly what to do. Once we were inside the pedestal of the crown, another ranger greeted us and explained to meet back at the bottom of the staircase in 10 minutes to begin our climb to the top. In the meantime we were free to view the museum and the original torch from the statue in the entranceway.
When it was time to begin our climb, we gathered on the staircase with around 8 other people who also had crown access. The ranger explained the climb to the top, and also explained that it's not easy and if you feel at all unwell then you can stop at anytime and leave. I had researched this part and I knew the climb to the top would be hard, but some people in the group clearly hadn't. In particular there was a rather large couple there, who didn't actually make it to the top. The climb to the top of the statue is hard, and as you get nearer the top the winding staircase becomes steeper and tighter, there really isn't much room to move around. When we eventually reached the top, gasping for air, we were greeted by 2 park rangers and a very small platform. The windows of the crown are quite small, but you do get a good view out of them. The ranger pointed out the torch, and showed where to look down on the statue to see the 'book.' Not long after this a group of 3 girls finally reached the top behind us, and as it was rather crowded we decided to make our way back down. This was just as hard as coming up, the stairs are very steep and also a tight squeeze, which meant by tall boyfriend had to duck whilst climbing down! It was difficult, but we made it back to safety at the bottom. I am glad I went to the crown, though I would never do it again!
After this we were free to wander around the statue's pedestal outside, and then we made our way down to the area in front of the statue to take the obligatory photos. It wasn't too crowded here, as it was still morning time, but as we were leaving it was starting to get busy. There is a cafe on the island but we decided to press onwards to Ellis Island, though we did look around the gift shop. I didn't realise you could put the statue of liberty on so many things!
I do think the Statue of Liberty is well worth a visit, though I do recommend going very early in the day to miss the queues and crowds. If you are planning on going to the crown, then please make sure you are fit enough to do it, and that you aren't claustrophobic! You can book your tickets online before you go from Statue Cruises, and I highly recommend doing this.
We booked to go to the Statue of Liberty first thing on a Sunday morning
and took the subway from Times Square to South Ferry. We walked out of South Ferry and round Battery Park to the waters edge to catch our first real glimpse of Lady Liberty! Wow! Now you know you're in New York! Suchan iconic statue.
We prebooked tickets online on the statue cruises website so avoided the queue for buying tickets and were able to go into the reserve tickets queue rather than the general queue. Our tickets cost us $20 - $12 standard fare and $8 for the audio tour. There was no extra charge for booking online and you print your tickets out yourself.
We definitely saved some time here, our ticket was time at 9am, we
joined the queue about 8.45am and it was already getting quite long - if
you don't pre-book definitely go for the first ferry! We made our way
through security (airport style) and got a good seat on the boat,
although then soon realised we didn't want to sit as we wouldn't be able
to see and instead went and stood up next to the railings on the boat.
The first boat departed at 9.30am and we were on our way, even at this
time the boat was full. It was a beautifully sunny and clear day, but
going across the water in March there was a very cold wind!
In about 10mins we arrived at Liberty Island, having sailed round the
front of the Statue herself, it was a beautiful sight. We got off the
boat and headed straight for the shop - we had prebooked an audio tour
so we went to collect our headsets. We also prebooked Monument access - Crown access was sold out when we booked. Monument access meant that we could go to the Pedestal level of the statue and also visit the museum. It didn't cost any more for monument access you just had to pre-book it as I don't think many if any are available on the day.
We started the audio tour and listened to the introduction, and some of
the history relating to the statue. We then made our way to the statue
for our museum and pedestal visit - if you are on the first ferry go
here first, we saw big lines later on in the morning as more and more
boats arrived, we were able to look round at our own pace without it
To gain access to the statue you have to go through another security
checkpoint, you also can't take any food or drink with you and they
don't like you taking your bags either. There are some lockers that are
fingerprint activated (quite cool!) and these were $1 I think, we just
put everything in there and kept the camera and camcorder with us. Next
for the security screening, you have the usual airport style checks but
you have to take off shoes, belts and watches, you then stand in a body
scanner type thing and get puffs of air blown at you! (Probably not a
good idea to wear a floaty skirt!) I presume this checks whether you are
hiding anything! Now you can make your way into the museum and statue.
The first thing you will come across is the original torch from the
statue, it makes you appreciate the size of the statue! We used the
audio tour to guide ourselves round the museum, there is a lot of
information and if you didn't have the audio tour there was plenty of
stuff to read. My husband does not have a very good attention span and
got quite bored of the audio tour, whereas I thought it was really
informative and interesting! He took to listening to the children's
audio tour and seemed quite happy with that! The museum takes you all
the way from the original idea of the statue and guides your through the
history of the statue and the structure inside it, I found this all
We then made our way up the stairs to the top of the pedestal level (the
lifts have been suspended indefinitely - there are about 200 steps). We
walked all the way round the pedestal at this level and you get some
fantastic views of Manhattan island. We took loads of pics and even
asked what we thought was a security guard to take our pic - you never
get couple pics when there's just the 2 of you on hol! I then realised
he wasn't a security guard! He had SWAT written on his back and a huge
gun! Oops! He said he shouldn't really but seen as no-one was about he
would! Phew! It was quite breezy up here and we got some fab views, I'm not sure how worthwhile it would have been going to the crown, other than to say you'd been in the crown. We then made our way down and spent some time wandering round the base before going down to the grass where there was starting to get quite a lot of people about.
We retrieved our bags from the locker and made our way back out and to
the front of the statue, again using our audio guides. There was a
professional photographer taking photos so we took advantage of this and did actually buy 2 ($20 for 2, one of us and the statue, one of us and the skyline). These will be a nice memento!
We bought a foam crown from the shop and spent a bit of time taking
silly photos and posing as the statue of liberty! It had to be done! We
also bought a few other little things from the shop, a magnet, pen and
some sweets! They weren't too overpriced seen as you were at one of the most if not the most iconic thing in America!
It was now about 12noon, we had left the hotel just after 7.30am and
were starting to get hungry! We decided to have a look at the menu in
the restaurant as it was a nice day and there were quite some seats
outside. We got 2 burgers and fries and a bottle of coke for about $20.
We thought this was quite good value for money considering we were
eating it in the shadow of the Statue of Liberty! Once we had finished
our lunch we made our way back to the boat to head to Ellis Island
(separate review to follow!).
We thoroughly enjoyed our visit to Liberty Island and I would definitely
recommend pre-booking the monument pass, the museum is really
interesting and a good way to spend some time. Without the monument
access there isn't really anything to do other than walk round the
island! I know you can see the statue for free from the Staten island
ferry but for a first trip to New York it was good to actually be on
Liberty Island and inside the statue, also I think it was excellent
value for money.
Definitly worth the trip! Just get there early and even better pre-book!
Statue of Liberty
The Statue of Liberty is one of New York's top attractions, right up there with the Empire State Building and Brooklyn Bridge. It was erected in the 19th Century as a gift from the French and stands at an impressive 305 feet tall.
The only way to get to the statue is by ferry which run every half an hour from 9.30am from Battery Park close to the impressive South Ferry terminal.
We arrived at Battery Park shortly before 9am, having reserved our place on the first ferry if the day and it's a good job we did - even at 9am there were already a good few hundred people in the queue.
The queue stretches out from a large white tent which acts as the security for the ferry. Be prepared to take your coat and belt off and empty your pockets much like you do when you get on a plane.
After security there's a 10 minute ferry ride which takes you to Liberty Island and your first up-close look at Lady Liberty.
You can take a walk around Liberty Island, have an audio tour ($8), climb the pedestal or ascend right to the top of the statue for an extra $3, although this is limited to 10 people per hour and needs to be booked online well in advance - sadly it was sold out when we were there.
If you want to climb the pedestal you'll have to deposit your bags in a locker. The lockers are keyless and are opened and closed by scanning your thumb. After depositing your bags you're again frisked by security and have to walk through a scanner that shoots air at you. I'm not sure why you have to do this when we'd already been through security before we got on the boat, but the guys had guns so I decided it'd be better not to ask!
Inside the statue is a small museum telling you why and how statue was built, if you've paid for an audio guide you'll have this information read out to you to save you the trouble of having to read it.
After the museum it's a short climb of 168 steps to the top of the pedestal where you'll see some super views of downtown Manhattan.
Back on the ground there's a gift shop and small but pretty decent and reasonably priced fast food restaurant. We got burger and chips for 2 for around $20, which isn't bad at all - especially when the food was as lovely as it was there!
Like the Top of the Rock, Liberty Island gas its own photographers who'll gladly take your picture, there's no obligation to buy but they are quite cheaply priced at around $10 each if you do want a souveneer.
When you've had enough of looking at Lady Liberty you can catch the ferry back to Manhattan via Ellis Island.
Ellis Island is the old immigration centre for New York. I could tell you some facts about how many people went through there, but to be honest I wasn't listening and I found Ellis Island to be the most boring part of our trip to New York. It's a bit like the leather factory you go to on the way home from a Spanish day trip - nobody wants to go there, but they take you anyway. Luckily it wasn't long before the next boat arrived and we got back to Manhattan.
For only $12 each this really was fantastic value for money and is essential for anybody heading to New York.
Before I finish, here's a few quick tips:
1. Book your ticket online beforehand - you get to go in a special shorter queue.
2. Get there early - you'd be surprised how busy it was at 9am.
3. Stand at the right hand side of the boat - that gives the best view if the Statue from the water.
4. Go for the audio tour but listen to the kids tour - it's much more entertaining than the adults one!
5. Avoid Ellis Island at all costs, it's undoubtedly the most boring part of NYC.
I'll start by giving this iconic monument it's full title: 'Liberty enlightening the world.'
It is probably the most photographed and instantly recognisable man made artefact ever.
I visited it on a cold and blustery day last December. We were on the island for a few hours before going on to visit Ellis Island. It is possible to see the statue quite well by sailing past on one of the harbour's ferries but we thought it would be worthwhile to go and visit Lady Liberty close up. I'm glad we did! She has a beautiful face with a solemn determined expression. As well she might when you think that she embodies a nation's desire for freedom from oppression.
Four of us took the ferry from Battery Point on the south of Manhattan Island. Inclusive tickets for the two islands cost around $12.00 The ferries run regularly and frequently throughout the day with an airport style security check before embarking. In high season these checks can take up to half an hour but we were through in ten minutes. A short but choppy journey across the harbour and we alighted at Liberty Island. Entrance to both the islands is free but you pay to visit the crown. You have to pay for this before you get on any of the ferries.
The island itself is quite large, about half is taken up with the statue and the other half is wooded and landscaped. The day we were there there was a huge amount of Canada Geese in residence. They were very good to look at but due to their lack of toilet training made walking about a bit hazardous! (not to mention kneeling down to take photos!)
When we were there the crown was closed to visitors because of security after 9/11, in fact the whole island was closed in the aftermath for 100 days and the pedestal for four years. Now it is possible to climb up to the crown again but access is strictly limited and tickets must be booked well in advance.
Walking around the base of the pedestal takes about ten minutes, (if you don't stop!) it's an enjoyable walk because you get to see many details of the statue that are not normally obvious. It is incredibly impressive! Observation points along the perimeter fence allow for fantastic views of the Hudson River and New York City. It was very sad to observe the gap in the skyline where the twin towers once stood. The path is even and level and wheelchair access here, as on the rest of the island, is good.
Liberties' torch is gold plated and really shines in the sun. At night 16 spotlights are trained on it and it glows beautifully. We saw the original torch in the large entrance hallway, damage meant it had had to be replaced by a new one in 1986. Seeing the size of just the torch made me really appreciate the scale of the whole statue!
I was taken with the sight of the broken chain peeping out from the bottom of Liberty's robes. It symbolizes the fact that Liberty is striding forward having broken free from the shackles of tyranny. That small detail moved me. It is so easy to take democracy for granted.
The visitor centre/museum is on the second floor of the pedestal. It has a huge amount of information which is well laid out and interesting to read. I particularly enjoyed looking at the old photographs of construction. I still smile when I remember the photo of construction workers building scaffolding with their bowler hats on!
There is a video to watch giving the history of the Statue and some wonderful shots of it's construction. There is also an outside walking tour available for free which last about 45 minutes. I didn't go on this but I am told that the guides are entertaining and informative.
Audio tours are available in English, Italian, French, German, Spanish, Mandarin, Russian, Arabic, and Japanese. (Probably Martian too!) I think they cost $8.00. I like audio tours because you can take your time and take in what you are seeing properly.
We spent over an hour in the museum and I wanted to stay longer but I got outvoted by the hungrier members of my party so we made our way to the eating areas. Quite a large range of food was available here at New York prices! I wasn't keen on the cafes, they seemed a bit squalid to me. (and they didn't use boiling water to make tea with! ) It was possible to eat inside or outside and there were a generous amount of picnic tables available if you brought your own lunches. (Which I will if I go again) After my Son-in-Law and Husband's quest for chips were satisfied we visited the souvenir shop. (Of course!)
The souvenir shop was large and funny! I have never seen so many images of the Statue Of Liberty on so many items! In fact I think they took some liberties with her! The image of her on the front of a very flimsy thong was a bit mind boggling. I couldn't help wondering what Monsieur Bartholdi would have made of it. Or how about a Statue of Liberty soft toy that spoke to you? Or even better, a glow in the dark Statue of Liberty snow globe? I have to say that the designers of Statue of Liberty memorabilia had a lot of taste and most of it was bad! Funny though! We decided against buying anything and dragged my daughter out of the shop and back to the ferry.
Considering that entrance to the islands is free, this is a good way to spend time and be simultaneously entertained and educated. I would recommend a visit to anyone but take some goose repellent and a packed lunch!
~~~A few statistics~~~
The pedestal of the statue is a very large star shape. The responsibility for building the pedestal rested on the American Public and due to their lack of enthusiasm it nearly didn't happen! In the end the newspaper magnate Joseph Pulitzer raised the money through appeals in his newspapers. It was designed by Frederic-Auguste Bartholdi and the infrastructure was built by French engineer Alexandre Gustave Eiffel.
Liberty stands 305 foot high. (half of which is pedestal!) She is covered with 31 tons of copper over a steel scaffolding which weighs 125 tons. I was fascinated to learn that the copper covering, which is the thickness of two pennies, is designed to move independently of the frame so that it isn't damaged by high winds.
It was a gift from France by public conscription. The Statue was completed in France in July of 1884, then taken apart and shipped to the U S. She arrived in NY In June 1885. Once started it took four months to rebuild her and she was opened to the public in October 1886.
A good cheap day out at a site which is manned by friendly and helpful staff. There is something to entertain all ages there. Being so close to such an icon is an unforgettable experience. Now, every time I see an image of the Statue I can say to myself. "I've touched that!" (I didn't get the tee shirt though!)
On a recent trip to New York my boyfriend and I decided to try and get tickets to go into the newly opened crown of The Statue of Liberty. We booked them online for about $30 in total. And the email confirmation did not give much detail about getting the tickets. So on the day we arrived at Battery Park and queued in the Statue of Liberty Ferry Queue. We were told to go back out of the queue and to a little booth a couple of minutes walk away.
On arrival at the booth we were asked to present ID to confirm who we were. Fortunately we both had something on us, but there was no mention of needing this on the actual confirmation.
After going through security checks - putting bags and coats through the scanner - we had to queue in what can only be decsribed as a large tent while we waited like cattle for the ferry (which by the way only comes every 30mins at it's peak, hourly at certian parts of the day)
It takes about 20 mins to reach Liberty Island. When we got off we made our way round to the entrance. Where we were told that for crown tickets we needed to go to a different cabin (back where the boat docked) to get our crown wristbands. Nice of them to put up notices before we walked past it!!??
Eventually we got our wristbands and attempted again to make our way inside the statue. Everyone has to put all items into lockers. You can only take your tickets and a camera inside the statue with you (and medication if absolutely necessary).
Once inside the first stage of the entry process you have to go through more body scanners before you can actually get inside. The whole time you feel like a piece of meat being lumped from one security person to the next. The staff are never particularly polite or smiley and seem to hate the tourists for being there at all.
The guides around the Statue are lovely however, and incredibly helpful. They are knowledgable and friendly. And are situated at several points in the massive stair climb to the crown.
The actual steps up to the crown are narrow and fairly steep but there are plenty of rails to hold onto. Once into the crown we were slightly disappointed. The "viewing platform" is about 10 x 4 foot. And you look out of a window at not great views to be perfectly honest. You feel like you can only be on there for a few seconds as more people are trying to get onto the platform behind you, so you head back down the spiral stair case.
The viewing on the level that everyone has access to has much better views, and unless you want the novelty of saying you've been in the crown, I really wouldn't waste my time or energy doing it again. At the top you are despertae for a glass of water, but being only allowed to take a camera inside, there is no chance of that until you are down the stairs
The one well organised part of the process was the stairs - there is an up set and a down set so you never cross paths.
Now that they have opened the crown to the public again, my wife and myself decided it would be a good place to visit on our recent trip. When the crown was closed, we never wanted to visit the actual island, as you could and still can see the statue from a number of places that you do not have to pay for. I purchased the tickets online, through an unofficial website (which I did not know at the time) and paid around £40 for 2 tickets with access to the crown. Be advised, I purchased these about 3 months before we went and only had one day that was not fully booked up during our trip.
After getting the tickets, you receive an email that informs you to collect your actual tickets from the main ticket office by the ferry departure at least 30 minutes before your booked crown time, to enable you to get through security.
The ferry departure is located in Battery Park, lower Manhattan, right by the battery fort. Inside the actual fort is where you collect your tickets. There are 2 separate lines for you to pick from. One for pre booked tickets and one for those purchasing on the day. Fortunately, the pre booked line had no one in it, so a quick show of our confirmation email, ID to confirm it was us and we had our tickets.
To get on the ferry, there is a security check point you have to go through. A simple airport style check point and then you are onto the ferry. Be warned, there is not much seating on the ferry, so be prepared to stand. It only takes 20 minutes to cross to the Statue, but could be much for thsoe who can't stand for long. Photo opportunity for you all as well, sit on the right hand side of the ferry (side that is closest to land when you board). This is the side that faces the statue as you approach. It is also slightly emptier on this side when you board, as everyone is on the left thinking they will get the pictures from there, silly people.
From this point on, this review will mainly be about the island from a crown ticket holder perspective.
When we arrived on the island, we made our to the information point, just inside the gates of the island on the right. You show you crown tickets here and receive a red wristband that denotes you have crown tickets. You are then told to make your way to the gift shop to deposit everything you have on you into lockers. I mean everything people. The only thing you can take up to the crown is a camera. I even had to leave my belt in the locker!!!
Once deposited, you make your way through a different queue that everyone else is standing in. This queue is basically like a fast track line for theme park rides, you just bypass the main queue to the beginning, saving on waiting time. At the front of the queue, you go through yet another security check point. This one is the same as before, with airport style checks. The only difference is entering some machine that puff's air onto you detecting vaarious chemicals on you incase you have explosives. Very clever and abit wierd feeling if you ask me.
After this, you are then in the pedestal of the statue. For crown ticket holders, it gets confusing now. There are no signs pointing you where to go, so we just followed everyone else and where the rangers pointed us to go. This was upstairs into the museum and then into the base of the actual statue. Here, we showed a ranger our wristband and was informed we had gone the wrong and needed to make our way back to the entrance to the pedestal. How annoying.
Back down we went and found a rather bored looking ranger standing off to the right of the entrance doorway, out of sight, so obvious how we missed her. There wasn't any sign here either to help us. She told us to wait at the bottom of some stairs that are blocked off and someone would be with us shortly. Another couple of people joined us and then a peron arrived and opened the stairs and let us go up. This basically put us in the statue and ended up joining where everyone else without crown tickets were walking up. People without crown tickets can only go to the viewing platform at the top of the pedestal.
As we was walking up the stairs, I just happened to glance to the left and see a ranger sitting there and a small sign telling crown holders to speak with this ranger. It was that inconspicuous, that my wife had already walked past this bit without seeing it. After speaking with her, she checked our wristbands and sent us up a different set of stairs, taking us away from everyone else. This is it now, you are on the stairs that take you to the crown. There is around 300 stairs from here, they do tell you, but I forget exactly how many it is. The stairs are spiral and extremely skinny. Not wishing to be mean, but anyone of the larger size will find this very uncomfortable and maybe impossible to walk up, they are that skinny.
After the climb up, you arrive in the crown and my, my, it is absolutely tiny. The windows are barely bigger than airplane windows and the space inside the crown will struggle to hold 15-20 people. Luckily we were the only ones there with a ranger. The view is brilliant though. Out of the windows on the left, you get to see lower Manhattan and up the Hudson River. Central windows get you looking at Brooklyn, drifting over to the right sees you looking at Staten Island and parts of Jersey. It is well worth the money paid for the tickets.
Being so small though, once more people arrive, you feel the need to leave, which we did as people arrived. The walk down is like the walk up, plenty of rests for my wife. You end up at the viewing platform on the pedestal with everyone else. The view is good from here, but nothing like the view from the crown.
I'll be honest now, after going to the crown, we had no desire to go around the island itself, so made our way straight back to the ferry. The island looked nice itself, but just didn't appeal to us. After the ferry leaves this island, it takes you to Ellis island before going back to the mainland. Again, this did not appeal to us, so I cannot say anything about Ellis Island.
For me personally, a trip to New York is not complete without a visit to one of it's most popular tourist attractions - The Statue of Liberty.
Situated on Liberty Island in New York Harbour it was traditionally the first sight that was seen by immigrants to the United States from Europe and beyond. For a while after the September 11 terrorist attacks the actual statue itself was closed, but now it is possible to go inside the statue, the crown itself and the torch too.
I went to the Statue of Liberty in March 2004 on one of the most unseasonably cold days of the year.
When you arrive at Battery Park - the departure point for the ferry - you need to go to the ticket office in Castle Clinton to buy your ticket. When I went it was $10 per adult for the ferry to both Liberty and Ellis Island with admission to the museum. You then join the queue for the ferry and depending on time of day, time of year etc there will be lots of people there so expect quite a wait.
Right before you board the ferry you have to go through security screening of metal detectors and x-ray scanning of bags and personal items. This doesn't actually take all that long, as long as you are organised and follow the instructions you are given. I would recommend not taking too much with you and be prepared to take off belts quickly as they can set off the metal detector.
The ferries themselves that take you to Liberty Island are quite big with seats, toilets and somewhere where you can buy drinks and snacks. It's a short journey out to Liberty Island where you disembark and can wander around at your leisure. When I went the statue itself was closed so all we could do was walk around the gardens but you still had excellent views of the statue and the Manhattan skyline across the harbour. There is a gift shop and fast food restaurant with toilets, but the queues were large so we didn't bother to make use of that.
Whenever you are ready you can go back to the ferry which takes you on to Ellis Island. If you don't want to visit here you can just stay on the ferry until it takes you back to Manhattan. Today there is a large museum on Ellis Island where you can search through the passenger manifests of ships arriving in America carrying thousands of immigrants. You can also visit the American family Immigration History Centre, The American Immigrant Wall of Honor and Ellis Island Living Theatre.
I was particularly interested as my great-great aunt had moved to America in 1912, and both she and my great-great uncle were listed on the 'Wall of Honor' on the Island. You can use the computers to search for names and find out details. We found out that my aunt travelled through Ellis Island immigration in August 16 1912 after leaving Liverpool on the Mauretania.
I think that the trip is well worth it, as the price is pretty reasonable and you are visiting one of the world's most recognisable places. If you don't mind making a day of it then this New York attraction is well worth visiting.
The Statue of Liberty was a gift from France symbolising the freedom in America; its a great trip to make from either Battery Park or from the New Jersey side of the river. There is joint point trip which takes to to the statue and to Ellis Island.
*Ellis Island was the 1st place immigrants stopped before they were allowed into America.
*Cost: We chose to leave from the New Jersey side as the queue and journey time is about a third of that from battery park, about 15 minutes. The cost is $12 for adults and $5 for children you can also can an audio tour which is about double those prices.
*What to do there: when we went there (2008) you where limited to how high you could go up the statue and you could only go to the 2nd platform. There queue for this was extremely long at around a 2 hour wait. However, if you are able to go up much higher I would recommend it at you will have a great view of New York from there.
*There is food and gift shops on the Island and plenty of very helpful park rangers.
If you are visiting there you ought to ensure you leave a whole day to go to the statue and Ellis Island and the best place to take photos from is on the ferry on your way there.
Thank You For Reading.
Upon my visit to New York we thought it necessary to visit the main tourist attractions, and this was obviously to include the statue of liberty.
So we woke up early one hot summers day during our stay in 2008 amongst one of the most severe heat waves to grip the city in living memory. After getting the bus over to the Ferry port we realised we should have purchased advanced tickets, as the line for just buying a ticket was substantial to say the least at only 9am and this queing became harsh as the day went on in the strong sun. After getting our tickets finally, we were able to line up for the Ferry, this took about 45 minutes and the whole process was hampered, like all other NYC attractions, by the obligatory security checks largely due to 9/11. However we did finally board the boat, and thankfully part of the queing entailed being under a large tent like structure with many fans blowing it, making it ever so slightly more tolerable.
After finally getting on one of the ferries we managed to nick some seats on the upper deck, which was fortunate due to how crowded the ferries were. As we approached Liberty island the view was overwhelming, a surreal feeling of seeing such views of the Manhatten skylines on movies and the same with the Statue of Liberty.
Upond getting off the ferry onto the island you are offered the opportunity to purchase a personal player giving you a guided tour of the island, we chose not to bother with this but I am sure it is great. Unfortunately the actualy statue is close aprt from an hour ot two in the morning which we missed due to the long wait, this was a let down but did not ruin the experience. The gift shop was nothing extraordinary with the textbook sort of items you would expect along with the stupidly expensive prices too.
Overall it is a great experience to visit the Statue after seeing it on TV everywhere and is definately worth getting your pictures with it. However its popularity is also a curse as it means that in the high season it is inevitable that you will face long waits at many stages of the visit so it would be obviously better to go when it is not the peak of the tourist season.
Think of New York and what would be the first thing you'd think of? I'm guessing it would be the statue of Liberty, as that's what I thought of when I thought of New York.
It's an icon image that reminds everyone of New York and standing on the edge of the Hudson River and I could see the statue of liberty although from where we were it was no bigger then my thumb. Yet still I was amazed and me and my boyfriend were taking photos zooming in as close as we could.
Quickly we headed for Pier A which would be where we could get the ferry across to Liberty Island where the statue was.
When you get there you'll need to go and buy you tickets, and then queue up for the ferry. This is quite a long queue and roughly I would say it took us an hour to get onto the ferry, although with the excitement of it you honestly dont even notice the amount of time your waiting.
When you get through into the pier you'll have to go through security similar to that at an airport. You may also get asked to remove your shoes (be careful here as we went in December and it had been snowing so the floor was wet, boyfriend eneded up with soaking feet!) but once your though here you can go onto the ferry.
It takes about 15 minutes of chugging along on the ferry until you get the Liberty Island my advise though is as your setting off go to the back of the ferry you'll get some awesome pictures of the New York skyline like all those you see in films.
As you approach the Island it's amazing I couldnt believe that we were this close to the statue of liberty! It was something that for me represented New York, and so it was amazing to see it this close.
Once of the Island you can get up close to the statue and it was only at this point I actually reaslised the size of it! This is perfect opportunity to get some great photos of the statue and we even found zooming in on the statues face was great as this is the sort of detail you never really get to properly see! Unfortunatley while we were there we could not go upto the crown or even the observation tower at the base of the statue however it was still great to just be so close to an iconic statue.
There is also a gift shop and restuarant on the Island, where we bought a few tourist things such as keyring photo frames etc.
Yu can then either get the ferry back to New York or over to Ellis Island.
I would say that you need about half a day to visit this, and is really a must see as everyone will want to know what it's like!
I just came back from a fabulous five days in New York so I am going to share my tips and experiences on a few of the Big Apple's major sights, the first one being the Statue of Liberty!
The Statue of Liberty was actually a gift to the United States from the French, way back in the year 1886. It was given as a gesture of friendship and was to commemorate the centennial of the signing of the US Declaration of Independence. This is why the date July 4th is written on the tablet the Liberty holds in one of her hands. In the other she holds a torch.
The statue was the first thing that immigrants saw as they reached the coasts of the United States (back in the late 1800's, early 1900's) and was seen as a beacon of hope/enlightenment and new life for the thousands of people that descended upon those shores.
The statue (correct name, Liberty Enlightening the World) is located on Liberty Island in New York Harbor. It is basically just off the coast of Manhattan and very accessible to get to. The Statue is now a National Monument and as such is looked after and administered by the National Park Service. The Statue of Liberty National Monument actually encompasses Ellis Island as well which is national museum of immigration In order to reach Liberty Island to see the statue and Ellis Island you need to take a ferry.
There is actually no entrance fee to the islands as it is a National Monument, however, there is a charge to take the ferry. For adults it is $12 and for children it is $5. I found this to be very reasonable considering the amount of time we actually spend on the islands and the amount of things to see.
The ferry departs from two spots, Battery Park in New York and Liberty State Park in New Jersey. We took the ferry from the New York side. Getting to the ferry terminal was very easy. We took the subway from midtown Manhattan and exited at the Whitehall/South Ferry stop. It probably took us about ½ an hour to get there. You have a slight walk then through Battery Park and it is easy to spot the ferries. To me it was a great moment to walk through the park, look over the water and see the Statue of Liberty for the first time, quite an imposing and famous landmark and a very moving sight!
The Park is open every day of the year except the 25th December and opening hours are 9am to 5pm although I do believe they change depending on the time of year. We bought our ferry tickets online as I've heard it can get really busy in peak times so for us it was just easier. The website to go to for this is http://www.nps.gov/stli.
You can print the tickets from the internet too as they send you a e-mail once you have confirmed payment so you don't have to wait in any queues at the statue to pick them up. I would recommend also getting the tickets that have "Monument Access." This is a free option but then allows you to actually go into the statue as only a limited number of these tickets can be purchased on the day so I think it is better to have them in advance.
In order to get onto the ferry you have to go through a security screening process, it doesn't take took long but it's just like at the airport, you have to remove your coats, shoes, belts etc but I would rather know I was safe on the island than not so it didn't bother me. Once on the ferry it probably takes about 10 minutes to first get over to Liberty Island. A little tip here, as you get on you can sit outside so go to the side nearest the shore as when the boats sails up to the island the statue will be right in front of you and you will get a great view. The photo opportunities from the ferry are probably the best way to capture the statue and the New York skyline behind you.
Once on Liberty Island you have a choice of things to do. As you walk into the park you are greeted by a great tall American flag in front of you in a big open space. The area is paved in brick and looks really welcoming and traditional. The whole park itself I found to be very clean and well kept. There are quite a few park rangers around and available to give you tours or answer any questions you have and they were all very knowledgeable. In front of you there is a walk way around the island lined with trees which is very pretty. On your right when you first enter the park there is a canteen where you can purchase hot and cold food and drinks which I thought were fairly reasonably priced. There was also a gift shop attached to this as well as a museum gift shop a bit further on in the park. They had a good range of merchandise, all featuring the Statue image of course. For example, there are t-shirts, bags, mini statues, teddy bears and some really good informative books. As it was near Christmas I bought a statue of Liberty tree decoration, just short of being extremely tacky as it's going on the tree which I though at $3.95 was a bargain!
Then we joined the queue to go into the statue itself with our monument access passes. Again, there is another security screening section. I'm not too sure why they had this one as we had already gone through one to get to the island but oh well. This one was a bit more intense with big machines that blew air on you to make sure you had no explosive materials on you but I suppose it's always good to be security conscience.
Back in the early 1900's you could actually go all the way up to the torch in the Statue and until 2001 you could go up to the crown in her head but now after 9/11 the furthest you can go up is to the observation tower and the base of where the statue begins. There are two ways to get up there. If you are feeling adventurous you can climb the stairs, I think there were about 160 but you can also take an elevator to the 10th floor pedestal and then walk a short 24 steps. From here you can go outside onto a balcony and you get a really good view of the harbor and the city. It's fun to look up also and see the statue from a different angel although you do have to crane your neck but it's interesting to see the copper. Inside you can look up into the statue and view the statues interior from underneath and all the copper skin supported by a web of steel bars. This was quite interesting but we didn't stay up there long as once you had seen the view that was really all to see up there. The statue is 151 ft (46 m) tall, but with the pedestal and foundation, it is 305 ft (93 m) tall.
Around the place there are various exhibit panels and presentations that tell you about the history of Liberty, how she was constructed etc which was very interesting and there wasn't too much information to make it overpowering or anything. It was definitely an exhibit that kids would love.
Once we had finished on Liberty Island we got the ferry across to Ellis Island. The ferries run approximately every ½ hour from island to island and back to land so they are quite handy. Liberty Island like I've said above houses the immigration museum. This was actually the place where all the immigrants who sailed over to America stopped for the first time. The museum told us how they were then either granted access tot eh United States or if they were to be sent back to where they came from. All the processes were displayed in great detail and it was really interesting. The museum had photos and quotes from actual immigrants and you really got a sense of how life must have been for them then in those times. Outside they have a wall with all the names of all the people who came to America through this port and if you have any relatives, like I do who came in this was it's really a great site to see.
We probably spent about an hour here and then got a ferry back to New York. If you ever go to New York I would say that this trip is an absolute must do. Leave yourself a good half a day to see everything but you don't really need a whole day and see a piece of history with your own eyes!
I was talking to a friend today on email about her impending trip to New York. She is over with her husband to see his mum & wanted some ideas of day trips & places to eat.
There are some places in NY that are always on the tourist Must See list & the Statue of Liberty is one of them.
I was in NY last December and visited the Statue of liberty really at the insistence of the friend I was with. I was quite happy to take the photo on the way to Ellis Island rather than step off the ferry to see up the lady's skirts so to speak.
We had a beautiful day for the joint trip to Ellis & Statue of Liberty Island. The queues to get on the ferry weren't that bad, but then we had opted for a Tuesday morning. The ferry trip to the first stop of Liberty Island gave some great views back towards Manhattan & it also gave you an idea of the huge gap in the infamous skyline caused by the lack of the Twin towers.
So off the ferry onto Liberty Island. The Island is surprisingly large with a nice park & plenty of picnic spots. Here you can take as many photos of lady Liberty as you want although they wont be that different from the ones you would get on the boat. We then made our way to the tent that was the entrance to the statue itself; and really that is where the farce began. There weren't really that many people there however we queued for over 2 hours in this tent with no idea what the hold up was. Eventually we got to the front of the queue and were allowed to see what was beyond the tent and causing the delays! Security, and lots of it, in fact more security measures than I have seen anywhere including US airports. There were a number of machines you had to go through including something that blew wind all around you.
So through security what do you get? There is a small display on the history of the statue, how it was jointly funded by the US & French as a celebration of US independence, how the huge statue was designed, made & transported to its current residence. You are then allowed to climb rather a few stairs to get to the base of the statue, you can walk around this base looking up Lady Liberties skirts & you can also from the inside see up through the hollow structure. And that is it! Since the Sept 11 bombings the statue its self has been off limits, no more views from the crown at the top.
There really is no advantage to going through the ridiculous security to get onto the statue. If you have no interest in visiting Ellis Island then the best bet to seeing the Statue of Liberty close up is on the Staten Island ferry (which is free). Otherwise take your photos as you pass Liberty Island on your way to Ellis Island.
Ive rated this as 3 star as any first timers tourist trip to NY should include the Statue of Liberty on their itinerary; it is iconic NY after all, and easily included with Ellis Island and the site of ground zero. It just isn't worth paying the money & wasting a lot of time standing in a Queue.
The Statue of Liberty is definitely something you have to see if you go to New York or "Liberty Enlightening the World" which it is also known as.
Outside the ticket offices there are people dressed up as the statue of liberty with their faces painted to match the colour of the statue. You can get your photo taken with them however you will have to pay a donation which isn't much, only a few dollars. My sister pretended that she didn't get the photo the first time so she had a few pictures (she definitely wanted value for money) lol!
Once you pay you have to go through security checks before you get onto the boat over to see the statue. There are quite long queues and you will have your bags checked. Once on the boat the views from the water were fantastic we got some great photos. I have also been told that the views from the Staten Island Ferry is the same and it is a cheaper option however I did not do this option. What surprised me was that the statue was alot smaller than I had initially thought. When you see it on the television you think that she is huge but this is not the case.
Once onto the island where the statue is you can get some great photos of the skyline. You can not actually go into the statue itself but you can climb up the platform she is standing on. You will get more security checks in which you will have to wait in more queues. In here there is a few exhibitions and there is a free tour guide telling you some history about the statue and will answer any questions you may have, I found her extremely helpful and passionate about her job. The exhibitions also were very educational telling you different facts about how the statue was built.
Then we climbed to the base of the statue and you can look up to see inside it, there is glass covering the passage up into the statue. I would advise you to remember to turn your flash off your camera when taking photographs, as if you don't you will only have the flash in your photograph as the glass is there. You are not allowed into the statue as it is a fire hazard. You also can go outside onto the platform which is worthwhile for the views.
You also can walk around the statue and see the statue up close I found this short walk refreshing and definitely worth while. There also was a shop where you could buy souvenir's of the statue. It was all in all a great experience!
Orginally posted on Ciao under my username denisekelly40
Built by French sculptor Frederic-Auguste Bartholdi, the 'Statue of Liberty' has been standing in New York's harbour since 1886 and it is generally considered to be America's most powerful symbol of freedom