Statue of Liberty in New York

The Statue of Liberty is the most famous icon of the United States. We provide you with all the facts about the landmark in the harbor of New York City and give you helpful tips for a visit to the "Lady Liberty" on your vacation in the USA!

Statue of Liberty facts

Profile of the Statue of Liberty
Location: New York City Port
Size: 93 meters
Weight: 225 zons
Material: Copper, steel, and concrete
Construction year: 1886

What is the Statue of Liberty?

The Statue of Liberty is a 92 m tall statue made of copper, steel, and concrete given to the United States by France in 1886. It stands in Upper New York Bay and is the first thing visitors see on the seaway to New York City.

The history of the Statue of Liberty

The history of the Statue of Liberty The original idea for the construction of the Statue of Liberty came from the French politician Édouard René de Laboulaye in 1865. The enthusiastic supporter of America wanted to erect a monument in the USA to commemorate the independence of the United States.

It was not until 1871 that the idea turned into reality, for in that year, the sculptor Frédéric-Auguste Bartholdi, a friend of Laboulaye, traveled to New York and discovered the small Bedloe's Island in the harbor, which was just perfect for such a statue.

The search for financiers and the design of the 300 components of the Statue of Liberty, which was carried out in France, took many years. During its creation, the base for the statue was already being erected in New York.

The 300 copper parts of the statue were transported to America in 214 crates on the French ship Isere, which almost sank in stormy seas. On the afternoon of October 28th, 1886, the Statue of Liberty was finally inaugurated in a solemn ceremony with parades and a speech by President Cleveland.

 Construction of the Statue of Liberty

In 1924, the Statue of Liberty was declared a national monument, and in 1956 the name of Bedloe Island was changed to Liberty Island. In 1982, President Ronald Reagan initiated a restoration of the Statue of Liberty, during which, among other things, the flame was replaced with a gilded replica.

In 1984, the Statue of Liberty was added to the Unesco World Heritage List.

How to get to the Statue of Liberty

If you're vacationing in New York and want to visit the Statue of Liberty, you have several options to get there. These include:

Public Transportation

Public transportation is available to ferry departure points in Battery Park in New York City and Liberty State Park in New Jersey.

In New York, the M5, M15, and M20 bus lines stop at the South Ferry. There are also three subway stations near Battery Park: Bowling Green (lines 4 and 5), Whitehall Street (lines N, R, and W), and South Ferry Station (line 1).

In New Jersey, the Hudson-Bergen Light Rail runs and stops at Liberty State Park.

Arrival by car

You can either drive to Battery Park in New York City or Liberty State Park in New Jersey before transferring to a ferry.

In New York City, unfortunately, you will find few parking spaces along West Street and South Street, so we would recommend public transportation. In Liberty State Park in New Jersey, however, there is plenty of nearby (but metered) parking.

Guided Tours

If you want to get to the Statue of Liberty without stress, it's best to book a guided, all-inclusive tour or a comfortable cruise in the Upper Bay. Many tours even include a visit to the neighboring Ellis Island, which is part of the Liberty National Monument.

Don´t forget

If you are not a US citizen or Green Card holder, you will need a US visa or ESTA to enter the US.

How to visit the Statue of Liberty

There are three different ticket options for the Statue of Liberty:

  • Ground Access (General access to the island and fort).
  • Pedestal
  • Access Access to the Crown

Tickets to the Statue of Liberty are free! However, you'll still need to hop on a ferry to cross to the island, as private boats aren't allowed to dock. So you'll have to factor in at least the boat ride fees.

Boat or ferry

For an extended boat tour around the islands or a ferry ride to the island, you can spend between €30 and €50. The packages often include a guided tour, a skip-the-line option, and other benefits such as museum visits or take-home guides. Saving tip: Taking the free ferry to Long Island or Staten Island will bring you very close to the Statue of Liberty.

Book your ferry tour here!

Helicopter flight New York

Visiting the Statue of Liberty from above is a very special adventure. The highly desirable tours by helicopter cost between € 180 and € 300 per person and last up to 30 minutes. Of course, on these tours, you will not only see the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island but all of Manhattan from above! Fantastic!

Book your helicopter tour here!

Liberty Island and Fort Wood

Once you make it to the island, you can explore it on a walking tour. Fort Wood, the star-shaped building under the pedestal of the Statue of Liberty, awaits you with an exciting gallery before you climb up to the pedestal and explore Miss Liberty from the inside. By the way: Liberty Island is the state property of New York, even if the island is closer to New Jersey.

Book your tour here!

The pedestal of the Statue of Liberty

If you want to enter the pedestal of the Statue of Liberty, you will need an additional ticket, which you can get for free. However, tickets are often booked up months in advance, so be sure you make your reservation early. Once inside, you can see the "spine" of the Statue of Liberty. A spiral staircase leads you to a viewing platform just below the top of the pedestal.

Book your tour here!

Climbing into the crown

When the crown of the Statue of Liberty is open, visitors have to climb 354 steps to enjoy the view from the top. For this, you need a separate crown ticket, which is free but must be reserved early. Good to know: The torch of the Statue of Liberty can unfortunately no longer be entered for safety reasons since it was damaged by the Germans during the Black Tom explosion in 1916.

Book your tour here!

Avoid waiting times at the Statue of Liberty

At most times of the day, you can expect a long queue at the Statue of Liberty. The best way to avoid this is to arrive at the beginning or shortly before the end of the opening hours. The ferry departure times differ depending on the season.

The Statue of Liberty in detail

The majestic "Lady Liberty," as the Statue of Liberty is also called, consists of many elements, each of which has a special meaning or history. For example, did you know that the head was exhibited separately at the World's Fair in Paris in 1878? Here are more exciting "Insides" about the Statue of Liberty:

Statue of Liberty Material

The Statue of Liberty in New York City is made of an iron frame covered with formed copper sheets. Therefore, the exterior was not always green but was discolored due to oxidation. The base of the Statue of Liberty is made of concrete.

The interior of the statue is a framework of rivets, beams, and posts. In the center of the metal structure is a staircase made of metal, which has the shape of a double helix.

The crown of the Statue of Liberty

The Statue of Liberty's crown has seven prongs. This number is not accidental: they are supposed to symbolize the seven oceans and continents of the world. There are also 25 windows in the crown, which are supposed to symbolize the gems of the Earth.

The base of the Statue of Liberty

The foundation and pedestal of the Statue of Liberty face southeast so that ship travelers are greeted by the statue. The pedestal is in the shape of a truncated pyramid with four equal sides. There is an observation deck directly below the statue.

The torch of the Statue of Liberty

Until 1986, the torch of the Statue of Liberty was made of copper. After that, it was replaced by a gold-plated flame, which still supports the important symbolics: the flame of the Statue of Liberty is said to stand for enlightenment. Hence the original name of the Statue of Liberty: "Liberty Enlightening the World."

Since the damage in 1916, no visitor was allowed to enter the torch. Only National Park Service employees are still allowed up there. They have to climb a narrow ladder to maintain the floodlights that illuminate the torch.

The tablet of the Statue of Liberty

The tablet in the statue's hand reads "JULY IV MDCCLXXVI" (July 4th, 1776), the date of the American Declaration of Independence.

The feet of the Statue of Liberty

The Statue of Liberty's feet stand between broken chains or shackles. This detail is meant to symbolize the progress of the United States and the liberation from oppression and slavery. In addition, Lady Liberty moves her right foot toward a new, free era.

Fort Wood

Fort Wood, the star-shaped building below the Statue of Liberty, was originally a coastal defense fort built between 1809 and 1811. Today it serves as a gallery and lookout.

Ellis Island in detail

Ellis Island is part of the Statue of Liberty National Monument, although the island is located a bit away from Liberty Island. The islet played an important role in both world wars as well as in the history of immigration to the United States, as it long served as an immigration staging area.

Book your tour here!

The best photo spots at the Statue of Liberty

The Statue of Liberty is one of the most popular photo subjects in the world! To get a really good picture of Lady Liberty, you should position yourself wisely in good weather. Here are the best places to photograph the Statue of Liberty:

  • the deck of the Staten Island ferry
  • the deck of a Circle Line Harbor Cruise ship
  • a helicopter tour
  • the sidewalk of the Brooklyn Bridge
  • Battery Park City Esplanade

Statue of Liberty fun facts

You probably haven't heard these exciting facts about the Statue of Liberty:

  • The full name of the statue is Liberty Enlightening the World.
  • Lady Liberty has to withstand about 600 lightning bolts every year. In strong winds, she can rock back and forth about eight inches.
  • The metal framework of the Statue of Liberty was designed by Gustave Eiffel - the engineer of the Eiffel Tower.
  • Frederic-Auguste Bartholdi is said to have modeled the face of the Statue of Liberty in the likeness of his own mother.
  • The Statue of Liberty's torch was originally intended to serve as a lighthouse, but it wasn't bright enough.
  • The Statue of Liberty has a shoe size of 879. In EU sizes, this would be shoe size 1200.
Statue of Liberty FAQ

Do you feel like you still don't know enough about the Statue of Liberty? Then you will find all the answers to your questions in our FAQ:

If you want to go to the islands and maybe even inside the Statue of Liberty, you need one or more tickets. You should book a combined ticket through the official ferry service State City Cruises well in advance.

Tickets to enter the Statue of Liberty often sell out months in advance, so we recommend you make reservations early.

If you take the free Staten Island ferry past the Statue of Liberty, you can see and photograph Lady Liberty very well. So you don't even have to pay for the crossing. However, the free ferry is not allowed to dock at the island.

The Statue of Liberty is made of copper and has turned green due to oxidation.

The Statue of Liberty symbolizes the friendship between the USA and France. For US immigrants who came to New York by sea, it has always been a symbol of freedom and unlimited opportunities. The individual elements of the Statue of Liberty also have meaning:

  • Torch: the light that shows the way to freedom.
  • Crown: a symbol of divinity
  • Spikes on the crown: the seven continents
  • Robe: a symbol of freedom
  • Window in the crown: the gems of the Earth
  • Broken Shackles: freedom from oppression
  • Panel: United States legislation
  • View to the southeast: welcoming visitors

More sights in New York City

If you're in New York City, don't miss out on the top sights in the Big Apple! Empire State Building, Central Park, 9/11 Memorial, Times Square, and many other places are waiting for you! Learn more in our New York City sightseeing guide!

ESTA – visa-free to the USA

With an ESTA, you can stay 90 days visa-free in the USA. Apply online now!