Things to do in New York: Visit the Statue of Liberty

Statue of Liberty, Liberty Island, New York

Statue of Liberty, Liberty Island, New York

A couple of weeks before we went to New York we started forming a plan of where to go, grouping places together by area. We wanted to fit as much into our 5 days as possible so organising things by area seemed like the logical ways to do things.

The State of Liberty is one of those 'if you are in New York must-do's'. One thing we hadn't realised though was just how far in advance you need to book if you want to go up to the Crown of the statue.  When we looked it was pre-booked for a couple of months, so we bought tickets to go up to the pedestal level. One thing I would say, having been, is that other than being able to say 'I've been up the Statue of Liberty' is that the experience doesn't offer a great deal in terms of views - so don't beat yourself up if you can't get tickets to the top, it's still very much worth going.

This post is about our visit to the Statue of Liberty in September 2015, one cloudy day.

From the beginning of the trip to the Statue of Liberty security is tight. There's airport style security screening before boarding the ferry and visitors to the Monument undergo additional security screening.

The ferry ride across gives arguably better views than being on Liberty Island itself. You have stunning views looking back to New York and different angled views as you approach Liberty Island, with viewing facing, side on and behind the statue. 

Ferry ride to Liberty Island, View of New York

Ferry ride to Liberty Island, View of New York

Top tip: Arrive for the ferry early so you can board early and get a spot by the side of the boat if you want to take photos of the statue as you approach.

Approaching Liberty Island

Approaching Liberty Island

Statue of Liberty, Liberty Island, New York

Statue of Liberty, Liberty Island, New York

The Statue of Liberty, or to use her full name, ‘Liberty Enlighting the World’, was a gift from France, given to America in 1886. The female robbed figure of the statue represents Libertas, the Roman goddess of freedom. Wondering how the torch appears to shine? The original torch was replaced in 1984 by a new copper torch covered in 24k gold leaf.
Statue of Liberty, Liberty Island, New York

Statue of Liberty, Liberty Island, New York

Once you  reach Liberty Island you can walk around the island, taking in the views from all angles.

Statue of Liberty, Liberty Island, New York

Statue of Liberty, Liberty Island, New York

Going inside the Statue of Liberty

 If you are planning on going inside the Statue you cannot take backpacks, umbrellas, food, drink or strollers and there are lockers to store items located inside the gift shop. Planning what you take is really important as there are only small lockers available. 

Once inside the Statue there are  steps to negotiate. The climb to the crown is 393 steps, it's worth noting that it's a strenuous journey. As a reasonably fit woman I managed the walk up in one but I won't lie, it was bloody hard work.  All crown visitors must be able to climb up and down the 393 steps unassisted. From the Pedestal level to the Crown is 162 narrow and tight steps, with no elevator access from the top of pedestal to the crown platform. Also bear in mind that in the summer months the temperatures inside the Statue can become uncomfortable.

The staff inside are friendly and knowledgeable. We asked one chap if the green colouration of the Statue means it will corrode away some day, he explained that  the statue would have been copper coloured when first erected but with copper once it corrodes to the green colour than that actually protects the metal from further corrosion. 

Pedestal Level experience

My experience on the Pedestal level was fine but naturally it was busy and actually you couldn't really see much of the statue itself. If I'm, honest this part was a little underwhelming.

Statue of Liberty, Liberty Island, New York

Statue of Liberty, Liberty Island, New York

Around Liberty Island

Walking around the island was my favourite part. You can learn about the history and the people that made the statue possible and see the statue from different angles.

Statue of Liberty, Liberty Island, New York

Statue of Liberty, Liberty Island, New York

Statue of Liberty, Liberty Island, New York

Statue of Liberty, Liberty Island, New York

The trip also stops at Ellis Island, but we skipped that part as we had other plans!

Handy info

We bought out tickets from the official seller and all information about getting there, ticket options and security can be found on their website : Statue of Liberty Tickets