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No trip to New York City is complete without a visit to Lady Liberty herself. But why take any old trip to Liberty Island when you can do a Statue of Liberty tour? But before you dive in on Statue of Liberty tour tickets, make sure you know what you’re doing — not all are created equal! 

We may be biased, but our tour is pretty great. But whatever you choose, we’re here to help guide you through the planning process of figuring out what kind of Statue of Liberty tour you want to do, where to buy your Statue of Liberty tour tickets, and the best tips and reviews we’ve seen from the reviews out there.

Decide what kind of tour you want

First things first — what do you actually want to do? 

If you just want a tour that shows you the Statue of Liberty, that one’s easy. You’re looking for a Liberty Island guided tour. This will include the Statue of Liberty but typically won’t include Ellis Island, although you can always take the ferry there after your visit to the statue.

We have a Statue of Liberty Express Tour that includes an expert-led tour of Liberty Island. You can visit the Statue of Liberty Museum, enjoy amazing views of Manhattan, learn about Lady Liberty, and more. 

Here’s a pic of one of our recent express tour groups doing just that.

Statue of Liberty Tour Group

Your ticket also includes access to Ellis Island via the same ferry that takes you to Liberty Island, but that visit is optional and on your own if you choose to go.

But most people — if they have time — choose to tour both islands. The islands are only about 15-20 minutes apart by ferry, so it’s easy to visit both on the same day. Each feature famous monuments worth exploring in their own right. Having them so near each other makes seeing both a no-brainer.

Map infographic of Statue of Liberty ferry route from Battery Park

For that, you want a combo Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island Tour. If you take our tour, it’s only a slight upcharge from just the Statue of Liberty Express Tour, even though it’s two additional hours of guiding. On this tour (ranked the No. 1 cultural experience by Tripadvisor travelers), you’ll see everything you would on the express tour as well as Ellis Island, including the national museum of immigration.

OK, so what if neither of these is exactly what you want to do? Maybe you want a helicopter tour over Liberty Island. Or a private boat tour through the Hudson. These can be fun ways to get a different view of the islands and the Statue of Liberty, but note that the helicopter won’t land and the boat won’t dock at Liberty or Ellis island. The only way to get to the statue is via the ferry, shown below.

Liberty Island Ferry

In fact, we have a blog post all about this, appropriately titled: The Only Way To Reach the Statue of Liberty. But that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t do a river cruise or helicopter tour. The most important part of choosing your tour is choosing what you want.

As you’re figuring out how you want to see Liberty Island or Ellis Island, keep in mind that there are a lot of websites out there that will try to sell you on where to buy tickets for the Statue of Liberty but not really include a visit to Liberty Island itself. Be aware of what you’re purchasing. Only Statue Cruises ferries can take you to Liberty and Ellis islands. A reputable tour company should clearly state that your roundtrip ferry ticket is included with your tour.

If you’re already in New York City — specifically if you’re already in Battery Park — there’s a good chance you’ll see plenty of people trying to convince you to purchase last-minute Statue of Liberty tour tickets. My best advice is to ignore all of these people. Many of them are a scam. They’re either trying to overcharge you for a Statue Cruises ferry ticket, or they’re trying to sell you a ticket for a boat that’s not actually going to the Statue of Liberty. 

Where to buy Statue of Liberty tour tickets

Statue of Liberty

Chances are, you’ll be buying your Statue of Liberty tour tickets online in advance. And you should!

The Statue of Liberty is a popular destination, and many of the popular tours can book up during busy seasons, so you’ll want to plan ahead. We always advise booking as soon as your plans are confirmed. We understand the need for flexibility when traveling, so we offer rescheduling and refunds up to 24 hours before your tour.

There are a couple places you might find tours online. One is third-party travel agencies like Viator, TripAdvisor, or AirBnB. All of these sites will have some form of Statue of Liberty tour available, which you may choose to book if you’ve been using them throughout your vacation or want to read reviews and information all in one place. 

You may also choose to book directly from a tour company, like us, for example. 

By going this route, you don’t have a middle man in the booking process, and you know exactly who you’re working with. This makes things like rescheduling easier, and you can vet the company a bit easier than you can on a site that only shows you reviews from travelers who booked on that site.

To buy Statue of Liberty tour tickets with us, it’s easy:

  1. Visit our Statue of Liberty Tour website.
  2. Choose the tour you want to book.
  3. Check availability. 
  4. Select the number of people you’re booking for
  5. Pick the date and time.
  6. Fll in your info and click to purchase. 

Don’t forget — your ticket includes your tour and your roundtrip ferry ticket, so no need to book anything else! 

Remember to read the reviews

If you’re anything like me, you don’t do anything without reading the reviews first. Lucky for you, our tour comes highly rated. We’re currently rated 5 stars out of 4,525 reviews on Tripadvisor — and that number is climbing every day as more and more people join us for our tours.

Here are some of our favorite reviews that highlight important things you should look for, such as quality guides, good customer service, and value.

  • Sean our guide was the best of the best!! His narrative stories and historical knowledge are just incredible! What an excellent tour!
    — Clint, March 2024
  • We originally scheduled for the longer tour but thought we should change to the shorter tour as I travelled with young kids, and the company was very accommodating in making the change.
    — Emily, December 2023
  • A stunning historical visit that shows how different it was then to immigrate. We had a great guide! Highly recommend this tour if you visit NYC.
    — Suzanne, June 2023
  • I honestly got so much more out of my visit to the Statue and Ellis because we chose to take this tour instead of just figuring it all out for ourselves. In the midst of a week of visiting museums, looking at exhibits, and taking in everything in NYC, it was a treat to have someone entertaining and charming (John F) to just tell us the story of how the monument and island came to be and bring things to life.
    — Rachel, September 2022
  • We decided to spend our last morning in the city for this tour, and it was an awesome decision. This is not my first time getting a guided tour to visit these islands, and Chris was by far the best and most interesting one so far.
    — Jay, August 2021
  • If you want a guided tour of the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island, I highly recommend this one. Our tour guide, John, was friendly, informative and helpful. Absolutely worth every penny!
    — Dody, March 2020
  • Steven was an awesome guide! He was full of information and presented it well (kept our kiddos, ages 6 & 9, interested). We were thankful we picked the tour over going at it alone.
    — CM Jones, December 2019

Your tour guides are great for more than just telling you about Liberty Island and Ellis Island, though. As multiple reviewers point out, your guide has great advice for the best places for photos and is happy to snap photos for everyone in the group. Don’t be afraid to ask!

Statue of Liberty Tour Group

If you’re bringing your family along with you, look through the reviews to find other families who have made the trip. Plenty of reviewers rave about how the tour guides kept their kids surprisingly entertained throughout the day! 

Visit with a tour guide

Though you can do an audio tour at the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island, it doesn’t stack up to doing a guided tour with a local New Yorker. And doing a walking tour on your own certainly doesn’t. When you have one of our professional tour guides showing you around, you get all their knowledge of the history of the islands and New York as a whole.

Statue of Liberty Tour Group

Our tour guides aren’t just here to pop off a bunch of NYC history facts though. They’re storytellers. 

They treat every tour like it’s the most important one — because it is for you, our guest — and their goal is to make sure you have the best trip ever. That can be sharing the secrets of Lady Liberty or giving you the scoop on where to grab a great meal downtown. If you want to know something about our beautiful city, just ask!

Happy travels

I hope you have so much fun when you do a Statue of Liberty tour on your next trip to New York. 

While there’s so much to see and do in the city, seeing Lady Liberty is absolutely a must (along with grabbing a slice of New York pizza and seeing a Broadway show). 

If you take one of our tours, which I highly recommend, make sure you leave us a review to help future travelers plan their trip. Till then, safe travels and we hope to see you soon!