CLIMBING THE STATUE OF LIBERTY CROWN

Statue of Liberty

Heading to NYC? Don’t miss a trip up to the Statue of Liberty Crown for incredible views, the Liberty Crown tour and see the original torch.

After booking our tickets for the crown nearly 3 months before we arrived in the great city, we were beyond excited when the day came along. We had visited Liberty Island before but had missed out on tickets for the crown on our last trip. But this is our adventure climbing the Statue of Liberty Crown – one of the best NYC tours you can experience!

Statue of Liberty Crown from behind

Visiting the State of Liberty Crown

From our hotel just off Time Square, we jumped on the subway (line 1) and headed towards the South Ferry Station. The ticket booth and security check point is just a short walk from the station and by this time (10.30am ish) it wasn’t too busy and the lines weren’t too long.

If you are visiting the Statue of Liberty, then try to get to the ferry as early as possible. On our last trip to New York City, we arrived to buy tickets at 11am and still had to wait 45 minutes to get through security. Book tickets online and arrive early!

Ferry to Statue of Liberty

The ferry across to Liberty Island doesn’t take too long – approx ten minutes.

Our crown entrance tickets were booked for 11am, so we headed straight to the pedestal entrance around the back of Lady Liberty. We stored our stuff in a locker, strapped the GoPro on my wrist and headed in.

If you have crown tickets then you can also explore the historical museum inside the pedestal of the statue, where you will see a replica of the Lady’s face and as well as the original torch that would welcome immigrants to the country back when they entered via boat.

Their are lots of other interesting artefacts in this area of the monument, including a life-sized replica of the statues foot to give you an understanding of the size and scale of the monument.

A replica of Lady Liberty's foot in the Statue of Liberty Museum
The original torch of the Statue of Liberty NYC

We headed up the tight and narrow winding staircase to take us to the top of the crown. There was no one else heading up with us so we were able to take our time getting up there. If you are claustrophobic then these stairs aren’t for you. 

Stairs to the top of the Statue of Liberty Crown
Stairs up to the Statue of Liberty Crown

Once at the top, we enjoyed taking some pictures and peered up to the monuments torch and down to the book that is held by Lady Liberty. We spent around 15-20 minutes at the top and then waited for a group who had arrived after us to head down first before making our way down the stairs.

View from the top of the Statue of Liberty Crown

Tips for visiting the Statue of Liberty Crown

  • Three months ahead – The MOST important thing to remember with crown tickets is to book ahead. Tours are limited and crown access tickets usually book up 2 months in advance. The pedestal access tickets can usually be booked around 2-3 weeks before but always aim to book early to avoid disappointment. 
  • Wear comfortable shoes – if you wish to climb to the crown, wear comfortable clothes and loose clothing. The walk is just over 200 steps and it is a strenuous climb, so wear your trainers for this trip. 
  • Prepare – We are fairly healthy people but are slightly larger than your average traveller. We had no trouble fitting through the narrow staircases but were glad it wasn’t a busy day. If you aren’t sure you are healthy enough, get walking before your trip and see our photos on this post to get a better idea of the staircase width. 
  • Allow plenty of time – Aim to be catching a ferry over the Liberty Island at least an hour before your booked time slot. It can take some time to get through security, even if you already have tickets.  
  • Week visit – Visit during the week for a quieter trip. The crown and museum is fairly small, so the fewer the people, the better. 
Narrow steps to the Crown of the Statue of Liberty
Statue of Liberty Crown
  • Use the bathroom – There are bathrooms on both islands and the ferry but they can be hard to find once exploring the island. Make sure you visit the bathroom before heading into the Statue of Liberty Museum (which then leads into the Crown) to avoid any emergency needs when you are 200 steps above the island! 
  • Use the lockers – There are lockers available to rent ($2 for 2 hours) and we highly recommend you use them. These lockets only take $1 note so bring some with you. As you go inside the Statue of Liberty, you will only be allowed to bring in small purses and camera bags. When you are squeezing up the tight staircase up to the crown, you will be thankful this rule!  
  • Keep your water bottle – The inside of the Statue of Liberty is not climate controlled. That means you will want to keep hold of your water bottle (especially during the warmer months) and you may want to keep on a coat during the winter.
View from the crown of the Statue of Liberty

Tips for visiting the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island

  • Book early – Aim to book a slot in the morning to get a quieter experience but also spend less time in those queues. 
  • Take a free tour – If you want to learn more about Liberty Island, you can take a free tour ran by the rangers. Head to the flagpole on Liberty Island, rangers lead tours throughout the day and these last for around 30-45 minutes. Check at the information centre on Liberty Island for a full tours schedule. 
  • Bring a picnic – If you want to avoid the overpriced and not-so-great food, then bring a picnic, There are plenty of green spaces and benches around the island for you to take a seat and enjoy your own snacks. If you do find yourself eating in the cafeteria, do not worry too much. The food isn’t the best quality but it is also not as expensive as other restaurants in tourist areas around NYC. Expect to pay around $10 for lunch and take advantage of the free water fountains. 
  • Pack water and sunblock – You will need plenty of water for this trip; especially if you plan on walking up to the crown. Also bring sunblock unless you are visiting in the winter. There is very little shade on Liberty Island so bring a hat and sunblock to keep shaded. 
The Lady Liberty face replica up close inside the Statue of Liberty Museum
  • Visiting the Statue of Liberty with children – There is a children’s version of the audio tour, aimed at children aged 6-10. This is available in English, Spanish, Italian, Germany, French, Mandarin, Arabic, Hindi, Korean, Russian, Japanese and Portuguese. There is also a Junior Ranger Program for those children aged 7-12; the program is available to print online. 
  • See the original torch – The original torch can be seen in the Statue of Liberty museum. The original torch was removed and replaced in 1986 after it lasted for 100 years but its damage was beyond restoration. The museum is now open to everyone who visits Liberty Island so make sure to spend some time to visit the museum. 
Statue of Liberty Crown

Statue of Liberty Ticket Prices:

How much does it cost to go up to the Statue of Liberty?

Ticket prices to the Statue of Liberty differ depending on what you are looking to visit. Book any tickets in advance on the Statue Cruises website to avoid disappointment and avoid long ticket queues. 

Reserve Ticket (access to Liberty Island and Ellis Island) – $19.25 for adults, $14 for seniors, $9 for children aged 4-12.

Pedestal Reserve Ticket (access to the Fort Wood section of the pedestal) – $19.25 for adults, $14 for seniors, $9 for children aged 4-12.  (These are the same prices as Reserve tickets but you must book at least two weeks in advance).

Crown Reserve Ticket (Access to the Crown of the Statue of Liberty).  – $22.25 for adults, $17 for seniors and $12 for children aged 4-12. 

Statue of Liberty Crown museum

Statue of Liberty FAQ

The climb to the crown of the Statue of Liberty is 354 steps from the bottom of the entrance to the top (around 20 stories). You will need to be in good health, wear appropriate shoes and take your time. The winding staircase is also narrow and offers very few places to stop and rest. 

It takes around 20 minutes to walk to the top of the Statue of Liberty. You can take an elevator to the pedestal level of the Statue but the walk up to the crown itself will take you at least 15 minutes. 

The crown is worth visiting if you are heading to Liberty Island on a clear day. If you don’t mind the walk, we highly recommend visiting the Crown for the views and significance of the landmark. The museum is now open for all visitors so we recommend at least visiting the museum (for free) to learn more about the landmarks history. 

The best way to see the Statue of Liberty is by taking a ferry to Liberty Island from Lower Manhattan and Battery Park. If you are short on time, you can enjoy a NYC Dinner Cruise or sightseeing boat along the Hudson River whilst those looking for something a little more extravagant can get a helicopter tour over the Statue. Budget travellers can also get some great videos from the State Island Ferry too. 

You can visit the Crown in the Statue of Liberty; book your tickets early to avoid disappointment. However, there has been times when they have closed the crown due to security risks and weather. You were one able to visit the Statue of Liberty torch but this is not the case anymore after a piece of shrapnel hit the Statue of Liberty in 1916 after the ‘Black Tom’ explosion, closing off the arm to future visitors. The explosion was one of the nations first large acts of sabotage until the events of Pear Habor 25 years later. 

Statue of Liberty Crown

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8 Comments

  1. I was born in NYC and this is something I haven’t been able to do since I was a kid since I usually don’t book my flights over 3 months ahead of time. These were great tips!


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