Statue of Liberty
The Statue of Liberty is one of New York’s most powerful monuments and is a must-see on everyone’s bucket list. If you’ve flown to the Big Apple with us, now’s your chance to see ‘Lady Liberty’ in all her glory! This huge sculpture graces the waterside of New York and stands on Liberty Island at the entrance to Manhattan. A fascinating creation, the Statue of Liberty has a rich history and is guaranteed to impress you. Take an extra memory card for your camera, because you’re going to need it!
Visit Statue of Liberty
Visiting the Statue of Liberty couldn’t be easier during your trip to New York. You can catch the Statue of Liberty ferry from Battery Park in Manhattan, or from Liberty State Park across the water in New Jersey.
If you want to go inside the Statue of Liberty to climb to the top of the crown, you’ll need to book in advance. It’s best to book your spot as soon as you start planning your trip to New York, as spaces fill up months in advance.
Even if you can’t get tickets for the crown or if you’re planning a last-minute trip to New York, you can still catch the ferry to Liberty Island and take the free tour around the park there. The Statue of Liberty is fantastically impressive from the water and from Liberty Island.
Getting to Liberty Island
It’s best to book your ferry tickets in advance, even the day before. You can pick up your pre-booked tickets at the departure area, or print them off before you arrive. After passing through a security check you’ll board the Statue of Liberty ferry for the 15-minute journey to Liberty Island. This ferry ride is a wonderful experience in itself, as you’ll see New York from completely new angles.
Once you step off the ferry at Liberty Island, head over to the visitor centre where you can sign up for a free Ranger guided tour of the Liberty park. This tour is great fun, packed with facts and entertainment, it’s a smart way to find out about the complex history of the island.
Statue of Liberty History
The Statue of Liberty was a gift from the people of France to the United States and was dedicated in the autumn of 1886. The statue was a gift to represent the independence of the USA and has since become an international symbol for New York and for the whole of the USA, representing freedom, tolerance, and a beacon for the ‘huddled masses’ who have flocked to the USA in search of a better life for hundreds of years.
Who built the Stature of Liberty?
This iconic statue was designed by Frédéric Auguste Bartholdi, a French sculptor and part-built by Gustave Eiffel who also built the Eiffel Tower in Paris. The project was announced in 1875 and was built in sections in France over the next ten years.
The statue was shipped to New York and assembly began on top of the newly constructed pedestal in April 1886. By October of the same year, the statue was complete, and President Cleveland lead the procession to the island for the dedication.
What is the Statue of Liberty made of?
The Statue of Liberty was originally mainly made from an iron support skeleton and copper skin, although stainless steel has since been used during internal restorations. Initially, the Statue of Liberty had a golden colour, thanks to the outer layer of copper. However, because copper reacts to oxygen, the outer layer turned the iconic green we see today in a chemical process called verdigris.
How tall is the Statue of Liberty?
The copper structure of the Statue of Liberty is 151ft 1inches (46 metres) but from the bottom of the pedestal to the top of the torch it’s actually an incredible 305ft 1inches (93 metres). By the time it was completed, it was the tallest monument in the United States, and still is today.
Statue of Liberty Facts
• Height. 305ft including pedestal
• Year Built. 1886 completion
• Who is the Statue of Liberty?. Libertas, a Roman Goddess
• In 1916 the Statue of Liberty suffered damage from an explosion set off in nearby Liberty State Park (then Black Tom peninsula) by German saboteurs during the First World War
• Later that year the Statue was illuminated at night for the first time. The lights were turned on by President Wilson
• Liberty Island was called Bedloe’s Island up until 1956, when the name was changed
• In 1933 the island was turned into a National Park
• The Statue of Liberty was not illuminated at night during the Second World War due to the blackout restrictions. However, on D-Day 1944 its lights flashed the Morse code for the letter ‘V’ for Victory
• In the early 1980s it was discovered that the head of the statue had been installed two feet off centre and, over the following years, the sculpture underwent significant renovation
• The original torch was replaced in 1986 with a new one, with a flame coated in 24-carat gold
Inside the Statue of Liberty
Statue of Liberty Museum
If you want to go inside the Statue of Liberty pedestal you can get a free ticket when you buy your ferry tickets. The museum is a must-see for anybody who likes history and historic photographs. However, construction of a new, much larger Liberty museum began in 2016, which is scheduled to open in 2019.
Inside the current museum, you’ll see the original flame, replicas of Lady Liberty’s face, and alternative designs for the statue. The museum tells the history of the statue and its construction and is really interesting for the whole family.
Climbing to the top
If you would like to climb to the crown, you need to buy a separate ticket which can be booked up to a year in advance. We recommend you book your ticket as soon as possible as only 240 visitors can climb to the top each day, so tickets go very quickly.
If you are climbing to the top, you’re only allowed to take your camera and any medication. The rest of your belongings can be left at the bottom in secure lockers. This means you don’t have to carry your whole bag to the top, which you’ll be thankful for!
While there is a lift to the top of the pedestal, it doesn’t continue up through the statue to the top. This means that everyone climbing to the crown must walk up 354 steps (about 20 storeys)! As a result, it’s best to only go up if you’re sure you can walk up and down that far. Children are allowed to climb too but they must be at least 4ft (1.2 metres) tall. All children can go up in the pedestal.
Inside the Crown
The Crown is the highest part of the Statue of Liberty that is accessible to the public, and offers incredible views of the sea and the city. It’s truly a once in a lifetime experience and will make the long hike up definitely worthwhile.
Exploring Liberty Island and Ellis Island
Ellis Island is also part of the Statue of Liberty Monument park and is included on your ferry ticket. It’s complete with its own fascinating museum, the Immigration museum, and is well worth a visit. It also gives excellent views of the Statue of Liberty.
You can get a tasty lunch easily on both Liberty Island and Ellis Island. On Liberty Island you can head to the Crown Café for its classic hamburgers, fresh fish and chips, and lots of other seafood and snacks.
The Ellis Island Café also has plenty of delicious choices and both cafés provide lots of organic food. Stop by the gift shops in the Statue of Liberty Museum and over on Ellis Island for a little souvenir of your time at this world-famous monument.