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The Best Statue of Liberty Tour in New York City in 2023

The iconic Statue of Liberty with NYC in the background on a sunny day with blue skies
Posted: 3/24/2023 | March twenty fourth, 2023

I really like New York City. I’ve spent a lot time visiting and dwelling right here. To me, it’s the beating coronary heart of the world. There isn’t a language spoken or meals eaten which you could’t discover right here. And there’s a never-ending stream of things to see and do. You possibly can by no means be bored on this metropolis.

Every time I need a deeper dive into a spot, I take a strolling tour.

And in relation to strolling excursions, NYC has all of it.

Free excursions, historical past excursions, pub crawls, meals excursions, ghost excursions — there are a ton of walking tours around town.

My favourite firm — in NYC and overseas — is Walks. They started in Italy in 2009 however shortly expanded to different nations and cities in Europe. Then they made the leap over the Atlantic, providing guided excursions in New York Metropolis, Niagara Falls, New Orleans, Chicago, Boston, and Washington, DC.

Whereas their excursions aren’t free, they’re tremendous insightful and stability having enjoyable with studying.

In New York, they run a handful of choices, together with a tour to Ellis Island to see the Statue of Liberty.

As somebody who studied historical past in school (enjoyable truth: household got here to America by way of Ellis Island) this tour was particularly fascinating to me.

And, after taking it, right here’s my evaluation:


Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island Tour Overview

The famed Ellis Island as seen from above with NYC in the background on a sunny day with blue skies

“Welcome to the true door to America,” our information stated when he opened up the entrance door to the huge Registry Room. Right here, as much as 6,000 immigrants per day received their first style of their new life in America.

Between 1892, when the 27-acre island first opened in New York Harbor, and 1954, when it closed, the Registry Room obtained over 12,000,000 immigrants, who shortly turned new Individuals.

The tour group met at 8:15am on the southern tip of Manhattan. There have been 14 of us plus our information, Nicola, an Italian-born former prison lawyer who stated he had been combating the mafia in his native Florence earlier than he correctly selected a profession change. He quickly shepherded us towards the ferry for our half-day stroll round Liberty Island, house to the long-lasting Statue of Liberty, and Ellis Island.

As we walked there, Nicola regaled us with tales concerning the founding of New York Metropolis, how it ping-ponged between the Dutch and the British, and the way 35 p.c of Manhattan right now is on landfill.

After we received to the ferry in decrease Manhattan, there was an enormous line to board the boat. However Nicola led us across the military of vacationers, a lot to their annoyance, and we received proper to the entrance of the road. I don’t know if Nicola was simply being a seasoned and daring information or if it has one thing to do with the truth that Walks and the boat firm Hornblower are each owned by Metropolis Experiences — maybe giving Walks the additional privilege of skipping the strains.

Regardless of the case, having to not wait with the lots to board the boat was price the price of the tour.

As soon as on the ferry, Nicola directed us to sit down in a really particular spot, which we had been capable of get due to the truth that we had been the primary individuals on the boat. This gave us an superior view of the NYC skyline.

After about 20 minutes, you get off the ferry on Liberty Island and stroll the entrance of the Statue of Liberty the place, when the climate is sweet, you get to study concerning the historical past of the long-lasting statue and the way it got here to be positioned right here.

After we had been on Liberty Island and Ellis Island, Nicola was a wealth of knowledge. He talked about this was his 1,144th tour of the islands. He dropped some wonderful details that I’d by no means heard earlier than, together with these three gems:

  • The statue, which was formally erected in 1886, was initially being thought-about for Battery Park on the southern tip of Manhattan. However then somebody with a way of imaginative and prescient for the long run realized that Manhattan’s rising skyline would at some point fully dwarf the statue and eclipse its majestic presence. After contemplating putting it in Central Park, they ultimately selected the island that may later be named Liberty, partly as a result of you’ll be able to see it from varied factors round New York Harbor.
  • When the statue arrived from France in 1885, there was one vital facet they’d not thought-about: a pedestal. After scrambling to seek out funding and a designer — they went with the identical architect who designed the Metropolitan Museum of Artwork — the pedestal was prepared a yr later and, quickly sufficient, Girl Liberty was standing tall.
  • On Ellis Island, they not solely needed to register the 6,000 or so new immigrants per day but additionally display them for illnesses. There have been solely two docs on employees at one time on the island, so you’ll be able to think about how lengthy it took.

After that, you get about 40 or so minutes by yourself to wander the island, try the Statue of Liberty Museum, have a espresso or chunk to eat on the island’s cafeteria, and browse within the present store.

Total, this tour to be the right primer concerning the island, immigration throughout this time, and the Statue.

Ought to You Take a Guided Tour of Ellis Island & the Statue of Liberty?

The towering Statue of Liberty in New York City on a bright and sunny day

Even if you happen to’ve been to NYC and despatched the statue from afar, some of the spectacular sights within the metropolis is seeing the statue shut up. You get a special angle and perspective on the statue and the one hanging factor you’ll discover whereas on Liberty Island is that the statue is just not standing tall; she’s truly strolling, “Marching towards the long run,” as our information stated.

Now, you are able to do a self-guided, DIY tour of the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island by yourself for the worth of admission ($31.50 USD). And that’s fantastic if you happen to simply need to stroll round by yourself, have a look at issues, and never precisely know the importance of them.

However, if you wish to stroll away with a deeper data of Liberty and Ellis Islands, this Walks tour is invaluable. Its value begins at $69 USD, however could be very a lot definitely worth the value.

Whereas it’s wonderful to see the statue up shut, the true spotlight of the tour was our information. There was simply a lot nuance and context his experience added, which made all of the distinction by way of worth.

I’ve lengthy been an enormous advocate of guided strolling excursions. And I’ve additionally lengthy been a fan of Walks and have taken a lot of their excursions in Europe and past. The Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island tour didn’t disappoint.

It additionally reaffirmed for me how a lot better of a journey expertise one has when opting to fork out a bit extra money for a guided tour. You study extra. You stroll away extra appreciative of the place. You set cash within the pocket of a neighborhood tour information. And also you may simply meet some pleasant vacationers alongside the best way.

Ideas for Your Ellis Island & Statue of Liberty Tour

Listed here are a number of fast suggestions to make sure you profit from your go to to Ellis Island and the Statue of Liberty:

  • Put on snug footwear. You’re going to be in your ft for no less than 4 hours. Be sure that your footwear are snug and appropriate for strolling round.
  • Verify the climate. If it’s going to be chilly, convey a jacket and scarf. If it’s going to be sizzling and sunny, convey a hat and water. Wet? Don’t overlook an umbrella!
  • Keep away from the weekends. All the pieces is busier on the weekend, so attempt to go to mid-week if you happen to can.
  • Ask questions. Your information is a wealth of knowledge. Take advantage of it by asking any and all questions you might have. There aren’t any unhealthy questions on these excursions!


New York City has an infinite abundance of points of interest and issues to do. It’s additionally an expensive metropolis. However you seemingly received’t remorse spending somewhat extra for a guided tour. You’ll go house with a number of extra fascinating tales and details to inform and have a way more insightful, memorable expertise.

Book a Walks Tour of NYC Here!


Get the In-Depth Price range Information to New York Metropolis!

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Ebook Your Journey to New York Metropolis: Logistical Ideas and Methods

Ebook Your Flight
Use Skyscanner to discover a low-cost flight. They’re my favourite search engine as a result of they search web sites and airways across the globe so that you all the time know no stone is left unturned!

Ebook Your Lodging
You possibly can e-book your hostel with Hostelworld as they’ve the most important stock and greatest offers. If you wish to keep someplace apart from a hostel, use as they persistently return the most affordable charges for guesthouses and low-cost inns. Three of my favourite locations to remain within the metropolis are:

Should you’re in search of extra locations to remain, here my complete list of favorite hostels the city. Moreover, if you happen to’re questioning what a part of city to remain in, here’s my neighborhood guide to NYC!

Don’t Neglect Journey Insurance coverage
Journey insurance coverage will shield you in opposition to sickness, damage, theft, and cancellations. It’s complete safety in case something goes fallacious. I by no means go on a visit with out it as I’ve had to make use of it many instances prior to now. My favourite firms that supply the most effective service and worth are:

On the lookout for the Finest Firms to Save Cash With?
Take a look at my resource page for the most effective firms to make use of whenever you journey. I listing all those I exploit to save cash once I’m on the highway. They may prevent cash whenever you journey too.

Want a Information?
New York has some actually fascinating excursions. My favourite firm is Take Walks. They’ve professional guides and might get you behind the scenes on the metropolis’s greatest points of interest. They’re my go-to strolling tour firm!

Need Extra Info on NYC?
You’ll want to go to our robust destination guide on New York City for much more planning suggestions!

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