February 8, 2022
There are plenty of things that should be on your New York City bucket list when you visit the city. Near the top should be getting a photo of the Statue of Liberty (preferably during a visit to Liberty Island).
Lady Liberty is one of the icons of New York, so it only makes sense to snap a picture with her on a visit to the city. Because she sits out in the middle of the water off the southern tip of Manhattan, there are plenty of places to get a good picture. Here are some of your best options.
If you want a view of the Statue of Liberty from the water, take a ride on the Staten Island Ferry. Plus, this way you’ll get a few different perspectives during the ride.
The Staten Island Ferry leaves from Battery Park in Manhattan and goes to Staten Island throughout the day. The free boat ride drops you off at the other end, and you can hop right back on another ferry to come back.
Local tip: The Staten Island Ferry is not the same as the Statue Cruises ferry. The Statue Cruises ferry is the only way to get to Liberty Island. Visitors often get confused with the two, so don’t let this happen to you!
If you take a picture of the Statue of Liberty from the east, you can get a beautiful picture of the sun setting behind her. The best way to take this is from a boat, but you can also get this shot from Battery Park or Governors Island with a bit of zoom.
For something a little different, you could also take a time-lapse video of the sun setting behind the statue. Even as a silhouette hidden by shadows, it’s a beautiful sight.
However you capture it, Lady Liberty with the sun setting as the backdrop is a gorgeous memory from your travels.
One of the coolest perspectives of the Statue of Liberty is from Liberty Island itself. If you stand right at the base of the statue and look up, you’ll have an interesting perspective of the statue.
While it’s difficult to get a full look at the statue while standing on Liberty Island, this is one of the ways to capture the monumental size of the statue. And visiting the Statue of Liberty on the island is an absolute must!
There are plenty of places in southern Manhattan where you can see the Statue of Liberty. Battery Park (officially named, The Battery) is one of the popular areas at the tip of Manhattan island where you can see the statue. It will give you a great view of Lady Liberty in the distance surrounded by water, and it’s free to visit the park, though finding parking nearby can be challenging.
Local tip: Want something less crowded? If you follow the path along the water, you can come up to Battery Park City for a more peaceful viewing of the statue. There are also benches along the water to sit and enjoy a coffee while you take in the view.
As I mentioned above, there’s only one boat ride that gets you to Liberty Island where the statue is located. But what should you do once you’re there? Explore the island. Visit the Statue of Liberty Museum. Learn all about the history, meaning and surprising facts and stories about this incredible landmark.
When you travel with a tour guide, you have someone happy to take your photo. (We know all the best spots.) And there’s always the classic group shot so you can cherish the memory forever.
While this photo isn’t exclusively of the Statue of Liberty, a picture from Top of the Rock — or any other super high vantage point in the city — will give you the entire lay of the land (and sea).
From this view, you can see the whole skyline of Midtown down to Lower Manhattan, plus the Statue of Liberty off in the distance. If you want to change it up with your photo selection, this one is definitely different.
One of the coolest aerial views you can get of the Statue of Liberty is from a helicopter. There are helicopter tours that go around Manhattan that will provide you not only with a bird’s-eye view of Lady Liberty but also of the Manhattan skyline.
There’s something so striking about the way the Statue of Liberty is lit up at night. If you happen to be on a boat in the bay at night when there’s nothing but darkness surrounding this American icon, snap a picture. The haunting spotlights will keep her visible even on the darkest evenings.
Local tip: Don’t want to go out late at night? Remember that it gets darker earlier in winter, so that’s a great time for nighttime photography.
For a day-long adventure, consider chartering a boat (or bringing your own) to cruise up and down the Hudson River and into the bay. You can get a number of shots of the Statue of Liberty from various angles on the water. Plus, if you’re out for most of the day, you can get the sun at different angles — from a morning burst of sunshine to the sun setting over the west. Lady Liberty looks good in any light.
Just be aware that you can’t dock at Liberty Island, even if you have your own boat. As mentioned above, you need to take the ferry to Liberty and Ellis islands.
If you have a drone, send it up into the air to take a photo. However, be aware that you can’t fly your drone over national landmarks like the Statue of Liberty. Drones must stay at least 400 feet away from the boundaries of the landmark.
Experienced drone flyers can send up their machines in designated areas by following air space regulations (which includes speed, location, and radio announcements) to get the photo or video they’re looking for. Keep in mind that it can be tricky to follow all the government guidelines on drones in this area, so only do this if you feel confident you can do it safely.
Liberty Island and Ellis Island aren’t the only islands off of Manhattan, which means you can pop over to another spot to see the Statue of Liberty.
Try going to Governors Island to not just see the statue but for a day of sightseeing. There are plenty of beautiful nature spots on Governors Island for you to enjoy to make it worth the visit on its own. While there, snap that perfect photo of the Statue of Liberty.
During the warmer months, you can take a ferry to Governors Island and walk around the footpaths before having a picnic in the grass. Relax and enjoy the view of the statue while you dine al fresco.
Before your cruise ship sets sail, get out your camera and zoom in on the Statue of Liberty. From atop a ship, you’ll have a great vantage point of Liberty Island with the New York City skyline in the background.
Because you’re rather far away, you’ll need a zoom lens to get a good view of her, but it makes for a great photo with the entire scene.
If you’re flying into New York, especially LaGuardia Airport in Queens, and pass over the Statue of Liberty, a photo from the air is a unique one to have. The only issue with putting this on your photo checklist is that it’s not always reliable, considering flight paths aren’t always what you expect.
However, if you are flying in or out of the city, be at the ready just in case you can snap a photo of the statue from the sky. Because you’ll be pretty low and ready to land, you should be close enough to get a decent picture.
As you can see above, you can even get a distant view of the Statue of Liberty when flying into Newark. (Look at the 1:30-second mark.)
Though the Statue of Liberty is the star of the show, getting the Manhattan skyline behind her in a photo is truly beautiful. While this is a stunning photo in the daytime, doing it at night is a whole other world of pretty.
You can take this photo from various vantage points in New Jersey or on the water.
No matter where you decide to take your photos from, make sure you get a clear shot of Lady Liberty’s face. When people think of Statue of Liberty photos, scene shots naturally come to mind, but along with all the panoramas above, closeups are special as they provide a different perspective.
You might even want to take closeups of other parts of the monument as you learn about the meaning of the Statue of Liberty.
No matter what your view of Lady Liberty is, be sure to capture it in a photo as the perfect memento of your trip to New York.
There are plenty of amazing sights in NYC across its boroughs, but the Statue of Liberty, probably the most well-known of them all, is one you can’t miss. It’s worth making a trip to the southern tip of Manhattan, even if just to snap a quick photo. And if you can tour the Statue of Liberty on Liberty Island itself, the photos will be even better!