The Statue of Liberty is one of New York City’s—nay, the country’s—most iconic structures, a 305-foot-tall beacon that’s stood in the middle of New York Harbor since the end of the 19th century.
It’s also one of the most popular tourist attractions in the city, with more than 4 million visitors taking the trip to Lady Liberty each year. But the question of how to get tickets to this enduring landmark comes up time and time again, thanks to scammers in lower Manhattan who dupe unsuspecting tourists into purchasing fake passes for the monument. In 2016, 21 people were arrested for ripping off Statue-goers, but that hasn’t stopped swindlers from continuing the practice, especially in and around Battery Park.
There’s also the question of getting tickets into the monument itself, which is operated by the National Parks Service. Some commercial guides (rather than parks ones) were permitted to take tourists to the Statue’s observation deck, but recently, the NPS banned those tours due to “mounting overcrowding.”
All of this is to say: If you plan to visit Lady Liberty, it’s best to know where and how to get tickets before heading out—read on for all the details.
Where to buy Statue of Liberty tickets
The National Parks Service recommends buying tickets ahead of time online, especially if you want to visit areas where access is restricted to a few dozen tourists per day—namely, the Statue’s crown. Tickets are available through the Statue Cruises website.
But if you want to go on the spur of the moment, the only place to get tickets in the city is at the Statue Cruises kiosk at Castle Clinton in Battery Park. Beware the folks who will accost you to buy tickets outside of nearby subway stops (especially the 1 to South Ferry and any around Bowling Green); they’re not legitimate operators.
How much do tickets cost?
Ticket prices vary depending on what you want to see: If you just want to go to Liberty Island and wander around the grounds, you’ll pay $18.50 (with lower prices for seniors and children under 12). The price goes up to $21.50 for Crown access, and tickets for that are best purchased well in advance of when you want to go.
All tickets come with a round-trip ferry ride and access to Liberty Island; they’ll also get you to Ellis Island, but you’ll have to pay extra ($35) to take a hard hat tour of the abandoned Ellis Island hospital.
What about the Statue of Liberty Museum?
Admission to the museum, which opened in May, is totally free. It holds artifacts related to the Statue’s history—including the original torch carried by Lady Liberty when she debuted in 1886—and has plenty of open space where you can hang out after climbing the 354 steps up to the statue’s crown.