How to get tickets to the Statue of Liberty when they’re sold out
The Statue of Liberty is one of America’s great icons and a must see when you are visiting New York City.
There’s a catch though: tickets to Liberty Island sell out really fast, even in the middle of winter.
For me, the first time I got lucky and managed to extend my trip three-days to climb to the Crown. The second time I had to find a way to get five tickets to the Statue of Liberty when they appeared sold out, but I did get my hands on five tickets and I want to share how.
How to get tickets to the Statue of Liberty when they’re sold out
Here’s all the information you need to know –
Types of tickets for the Statue of Liberty
There are two important points most visitors aren’t aware of when visiting the Statue of Liberty:
- There are four different ways to see lady liberty; three official and one very easy way.
- There are two different locations you can catch the ferry from if you want to visit Liberty Island.
Okay, let’s start with the four different ways to experience the Statue of Liberty:
- Grounds only ticket – you should have no problem getting one of these tickets. You’ll have access to the island but no access inside the monument. You’ll be able to access the Statue of Liberty Museum (opening May 2019).
- Pedestal reserve ticket – gives you access to the pedestal of the monument, which includes the lookout, museum in the monument and lower levels of the pedestal. Advance booking is recommended.
- Crown reserve ticket – gives you access to the grounds, the pedestal of the moment and crown PLUS priority screening. Only about 500 of these tickets are sold daily and they sell out fast!
- Cruise around the Statue of Liberty – okay, so this may not be quite what you expected but it is one of the easiest and cheap ways to see the Statue of Liberty. There are several options for cruises around the Statue of Liberty. Click here for my tips on a cruise around the Statue of Liberty (including two free options!)
All tickets include a complimentary audio tour for both Liberty Island and Ellis Island which you can pick up when arrive on each of the islands.
Honestly, if you are going all the way to Liberty Island I highly recommend you consider the Crown climb if you have time, are physically able to climb 162 stairs, and aren’t claustrophobic. If you don’t feel you can make it to the top, I highly recommend buying Pedestal Reserve tickets because the view is worth it and there is elevator access to the museum and Pedestal viewing deck.
How to advance purchase tickets to the Statue of Liberty
There is only one official seller of Statue of Liberty tickets and that is Statue Cruises. To book tickets you can do so online at statuecruises.com or by calling them on +1 877-523-9849. If you want to visit the Crown of Pedestal advance purchase of tickets are a must.
Many tour companies may have purchased and are authorised to combine Statue of Liberty tickets with their tours and this can be a great way to save some money on entrance fees. (I recommend a few great tour options here!) When booking with anyone other than Statue Cruises please make sure the tour you book gives you access to the grounds, pedestal or crown.
When to book:
- Crown Reserve tickets: 3-4 months in advance
- Pedestal Reserve tickets: 3-4 weeks in advance
- Reserve tickets: 3-4 days, though Pedestal Reserve tickets should seriously be considered if you are going.
How to get tickets to the Statue of Liberty when they are sold out
These are the four best options if you want to get your hands on a ticket to the Statue of Liberty when they are sold out –
GO EARLY: If you haven’t managed to pre-purchase some tickets a limited number of extra tickets to the Crown or Pedestal are sold each day. The ticket office opens at 8am (and the first ferry departs at 8:30am) but there is likely to be a line-up already. I got there at 7:35am and was near the middle of the line (thankfully, it was not a snow day when I lined up!) and managed to walk away with my ticket.
LAST MINUTE TICKETS: sometimes reserved tickets get cancelled and if they do they are placed back in the system. Anyone looking for last minute tickets to the Statue of Liberty should keep their eye on Statue Cruises ticket calendar or call them directly.
BOARD FROM NEW JERSEY: Remember how I said there are two places you can catch the Statue of Liberty ferry from? One of them is just across the Hudson in New Jersey and this is how I got FIVE tickets for my family on an otherwise sold out day during high season.
One piece of advice: don’t take an uber to the New Jersey Statue of Liberty cruise departure point from Manhattan unless you have the exact address because the address in Google Maps/uber app is wrong (it will take you to a museum). Instead, input ‘Central Railroad of New Jersey Terminal‘ instead. When you arrive here you can walk inside the building to collect your tickets or head down to the waterfront to clear security and board the ferry to Liberty Island. There’s also public transport available.
When you are leaving Liberty Island you are free to board either the New Jersey or Manhattan-bound ferry so take whichever is best for you.
GO AS PART OF A TOUR: There are loads of tour companies that provide tickets to the Statue of Liberty, many with a second activity. Some I recommend are:
- Want to experience everything NYC has to offer? I have bought and used the New York CityPASS with friends and family. You can save up to 41% on the city’s top attractions, and one of the ‘choose this or that’ options is a grounds tickets to the Statue of Liberty. Highly recommend.
- If you only want tickets to the Statue of Liberty & Ellis Island, you can book through here.
- For first timers to New York, I recommend pairing your Statue of Liberty visit with a New York City Hop-On Hop-Off Bus tour like this one.
- If you want to visit the Statue of Liberty and One World Observation tower, check out this tour which provides double the bang for your buck.
- Combine the Statue of Liberty, 911 Memorial and Downtown New York together in this incredibly moving tour.
I recommend booking any tours a few days out to ensure you can take advantage of hotel pick up and drop off options many tour companies offer.
Another Way to See the Statue of Liberty
What makes the Statue of Liberty special is that you can experience it in so many different types of ways. Here are a few of my favourite non-traditional ways to see the Statue of Liberty:
Essential info for people travelling to the Statue of Liberty
- If you weren’t able to secure a ticket don’t buy tickets from people outside the subway and around Battery Park. They are likely to not be real or only grant you access to the grounds.
- Don’t stand in the line for boarding the ferry/security until your designated time. The line moves fast and there are people who will check tickets and tell you to go to the back of the queue.
- You’ll be going through airport-like security at least twice if you have tickets to access the statue. Once before you get on the ferry and a second before you enter the pedestal. So leave the heavy bracelets and home.
- Leave big bags and backpacks at the hotel. While there are storage lockers at the entrance to the Statue of Liberty, just bring your purse (small bag) and camera to make things easier for you.
- Make sure a park ranger gives you a wristband to enter to the Pedestal or Crown. You need these!
- Don’t forget about Ellis Island! All tickets to Liberty Island gives you access to Ellis Island on the return journey. Between the years of 1892 and 1924, Ellis Island was the chief gateway into the United States for over 100 million immigrants. If not, just stay on the ferry to return to Jersey City or Manhattan.
What to wear at the Statue of Liberty
It is typically colder and windier in New York Harbor than in elsewhere in the New York City metropolitan area. Winters are cold and damp. Spring and Fall can range from chilly to warm. Summers are warm to hot and humid.
Regardless of when you go, bring a jacket. For spring and summer, I pack my North Face Triclimate which is wind and waterproof. It folds down small and will fit down the bottom of your day bag if you don’t need it.
Also, wear comfortable shoes. You will be doing a lot of walking! I recommend some comfy sneakers or, since I travelled in winter both times, I wore Timberlands with a thick pair of socks.
In winter, gloves (like these gloves you can use with your mobile or other devices) and a beanie are a must, especially if there is any windchill or snow!
In summer, be sure to bring a hat and sunscreen!
Where to stay in New York City
While most people will tell you to get out of Midtown, I love it. There’s plenty of public transport to get you to where you want to go fast.
On my last few trips I have stayed at these hotels:
Moxy Times Square: an ultra-cool boutique hotel that is young at heart. It may be small in size but packs a big punch for value. Within walking distance of the best New York has to offer, including Broadway shows and within a short walk to Penn Station and all the major Subway lines. Avoid eating at the in-house bar. It’s overpriced and the diner one block over offers much better options. Make sure to upgrade or ask for a room with a view of the Empire State Building.
InterContinental Barclay: old world glamour on a modest budget. Located a few blocks from Times Square along Lexington, this hotel offers some of the more generous sized rooms in the city. A short walk to Grand Central Station, the UN Headquarters, and the Empire State Building. Some rooms have views of the Chrysler Building and overlook Lexington Avenue.
YOTEL New York: if you don’t plan to spend a lot of time in your hotel room, YOTEL may be the perfect option for you. Small but truly functional rooms in Hell’s Kitchen will have you sleeping comfortably after a long day exploring the City. Be sure to ask for a room with a skyline or Empire State building view!
Located just a short walk from Hudson Yards and west of Times Square means you are spoilt for choice by day and night. Also close to Pier 78 and the Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum.
Now it’s over to you
Are you going to climb the Statue of Liberty
or do you prefer to see it from the ground?
Let me know in the comments below!