Shades of the Statue Of Liberty
Shades of the Statue Of Liberty

Visiting The Statue of Liberty – First Time Experience

If you had asked me a year ago if I would go to the Statue of Liberty, I would have said maybe someday. But thanks to KubeCon Chicago, I did my first international trip, which I extended to a holiday in New York and that’s when I visited The Statue of Liberty. With this visit, I completed the trio of the Statue of Unity, the Statue Of Equality and the Statue of Liberty. I don’t know if it’s a feat or not, but yes that’s what I did.

Anyways, in this blog post, I’m going to share my first-time experience of visiting the Statue of Liberty. Everything that you need to know to plan your trip to the Statue of Liberty should be available in this blog post. 

Statue of Liberty – The History

By now, you should know that I’m a history buff and love to go back to the past to learn more about the place or the thing.  

The Statue of Liberty, conceived by French historian Edouard de Laboulaye, was a gift from France to the United States. Designed by Frédéric Auguste Bartholdi and constructed with the expertise of Gustave Eiffel, it was dedicated in 1886 as a symbol of freedom and democracy.

Over the years, the Statue of Liberty has become a symbol of freedom and democracy, welcoming millions of immigrants to the United States as they entered the country via nearby Ellis Island. In 1924, the Statue of Liberty was designated a National Monument, and in 1984, it was designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Maharaj in New York
Maharaj in New York

So the Statue of Liberty is another UNESCO World Heritage Site that I’ve visited. Visitors can ascend to different levels of the statue, including the pedestal and the crown, offering breathtaking views of New York Harbour and beyond.

Visiting The Statue of Liberty – Things To Know

Visiting the Statue of Liberty requires planning and I’m saying that because it’s a ticketed place and it’s better to get your tickets in advance. Below is everything that you need to know when planning your visit to the Statue of Liberty. 

How to Reach

The closest Metro station to the Statue of Liberty is South Ferry Station, served by the 1 train. Read more in my New York Metro guide to know more. You can also take a bus to Battery Island. From there you take a ferry to the Statue of Liberty. 

Tickets

The tickets are priced differently based on age as well as what part of the statue you want to go to. Also, all the tickets include a round-trip ferry ride from New York or New Jersey. These also give you an audio guide.

  • General Admission: there are regular tickets that give you access to visit Liberty Island, Liberty Museum and everything there. You can, however, not get on the Statue of Liberty.
  • Pedestal Reserve: This ticket includes everything from above and also allows you access to the wooden pedestal. I took this ticket and it cost $25. You get to climb to the base of the statue and you get a beautiful view of the New York skyline. 
  • Crown Reserve: These are the best tickets that include everything from the above and also allow you to go to the crown of the statue giving you an even better view of the city. However, these tickets are sold out way in advance. For example, at the time of writing this, I couldn’t find any tickets for June, that’s about 3 months from now. So that’s how ahead you need to plan if you want to visit the crown.

The official ticket site for Statue of Liberty is Statue City Cruises where you can book your tickets in advance. 

My Experience at the Statue Of Liberty – It’s Surreal

Having purchased the unlimited weekly metro pass, I felt like a free bird who could take any metro to anywhere. I planned to visit this on a Monday hoping for a lesser crowd. Took off from Queens, changed metro and got to Ferry Station which opens right infant of Battery Park. The moment you reach here, you’ll see the crowd walking towards the screening station.

Screening & Cruise

Before you enter the station, you’ll have to show/scan your ticket. The screening area is exactly like the airport ones, so better to avoid large bags etc. After the screening is complete, you wait for the cruise. There’s one every 30 mins I guess, but you have time on your ticket, so make sure you come at that time. 

Ticket screening and cruise
Ticket screening and cruise

I got on to the cruise and that’s when I realised that irrespective of what day of the week it is, it will be crowded! I managed to get a space at the end of the ship that gave me a good view of everything. The boat started and soon we were on the high seas (if I can say so), the New York skyline looked amazing, but the void of World Trader Center could be felt as every image I had seen on the NY skyline had the two towers.

Nonetheless, it took about 30 minutes to reach Liberty Island. However, the sight of the statue from the cruise itself was so amazing. We reached the island, took our audio guides and were free to explore. I went around the place and gazed at the beautiful New York skyline before walking closer to the statue. 

Statue Of Liberty – up close

Up close, the statue is massive. It stands in all its glory, the lady in blue holding the torch. It felt surreal that I was there. Never in my wildest of dreams, had I imagined travelling overseas, let alone visiting the Statue of Liberty, but there I was. It looks beautiful. But for pictures, I’d suggest clicking them while you’re on the cruise. 

Shades of the Statue Of Liberty
Shades of the Statue Of Liberty

I then took off to visit the pedestal. There’s an area where you need to leave all your bags. You need to have a coin with you to operate the lockers. If you don’t have one, you could ask one of the people working there to lend you one. I liked the locker concept with the coin here. You insert a coin to lock it, and when you unlock it, you take the coin back. 

After that, I got entry into the area from where I could go to the pedestal. Since I was wearing the team India jersey, the security guy yelled “Namaste Dude, aap raise hain?” and I was amazed at that. He told me he had been learning bits of Hindi and I was impressed.

From here, you have an option to take a lift or the stairs. I chose the stairs (Why?) and climbed, climbed and climbed. Huffing and puffing I reached the pedestal and I felt I could have taken the lift. The pedestal area is very small and with the number of people there, it feels even smaller. This gives you a good view of the NY skyline and the surrounding areas. 

New York Skyline from Liberty Island
New York Skyline from Liberty Island

I was so tired of all the walking and climbing that I skipped the museum and took the next cruise back to Manhattan. While there’s no fixed duration you should spend here, anywhere around 3-4 hours is good. 

Pro Tips

Below are a few pro tips that you can use, I haven’t tried all of them, but I’m sure some of you can try and let me know.

  • View the Statue of Liberty For Free: If your intention is just to view the Statue of Liberty up close without paying anything, then the Staten Ferry is your option. It’s a free ferry service for New Yorkers that can be fairly crowded. But it’s a good way to get up close to the statue and get some good photos. 
  • Affordable fridge magnets: Usually the stores at such places are expensive, but I found this really good deal where I got a box of 25 fridge magnets for $24 which at that time I felt was the cheapest I could get. 

Worth Your Time

I remember when I visited here (like a few other places), I got a few DMs saying this is overrated. Well, I’d still say you must visit this once. Irrespective of what people say, go there and experience it for yourself. It’s amazing, I enjoyed my outing for sure. 

More than that there was a sense of accomplishment that I had visited three famed statues. Will I go back again if I ever visit NYC? If I’m alone no, If I’m with someone, yes. It’s an iconic monument in an iconic city that I feel everyone should visit once in their lifetime. 

That’s about it for this blog post, hope you found it helpful. Do let me know what you think and put in your queries, thoughts in the comments below, tweet to me at @Atulmaharaj, DM @Atulmaharaj on Instagram or Get In Touch

About Atulmaharaj

A seasoned blogger and a content marketer for close to a decade now. I write about Food, Technology, Lifestyle, Travel, and Finance related posts. Blogging brings me joy and the best part is I get to read and e-meet so many amazing bloggers! PS: I'm also the founder for Socialmaharaj.com :) Favorite Quote: "Traveling is like reading a book, one who hasn't traveled, hasn't turned a page.

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