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The beautiful Lady Liberty
Statue of Liberty (New York, USA)
Member Name: stuff10
Statue of Liberty (New York, USA)
Advantages: Cheap, great photo opportunities
Disadvantages: Ellis Island, the security
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.
Summary: A must-see in NYC
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