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Top sights in New York City
Ellis Island was the most active American immigration inspection station from 1892 to 1954 making it the first piece of land millions of immigrants set foot on in their new home. Today it remains a landmark where that hope for a better tomorrow remains.
Getting there is half the fun! A $18 ticket will take you on a humbling cruise through the Upper New York Bay to both Ellis Island and Liberty Island.
Bonus: head to the information desk for a complimentary tour at the top of the hour for a guided tour, no ticket required.
Take the ferry a little further north to visit Liberty Island and experience the nation’s symbol of freedom, the Statue of Liberty, up close and personal.
Dive deeper into the experience of arriving at Ellis Island with a 90-minute hard hat tour of the Hospital Complex. Purchase tickets in advance.
Did you know, for example, that a 1998 ruling by the Supreme Court determined that most of the island belongs to New Jersey, not New York?
You can get to Ellis Island by taking a ferry operated by Statue Cruises from either Communipaw Terminal in Liberty State Park or Battery Park on the southern tip of Manhattan in New York City. Reserving your tickets ahead of time is recommended.
Generally you won’t need more than a couple hours to take in these sights, but you can set your own pace visiting Ellis Island and Liberty Island - the ferries depart every 20 minutes.
The $18 ferry ticket grants access to both of the islands.
- When should I visit?
- Hours vary throughout the year, so make sure you plan ahead and note the first and last ferries! Closed Christmas.
- Is it expensive?
- Adult tickets start at just $18 and go upwards depending on tour packages and perks.
- Will I need a guide?
- A guide is a great idea to help you understand the historical context of this iconic American monument.
- How to get there
- Public transportation to the ferry departure points at Battery Park and Liberty State Park is recommended!
- Additional information
- Visitors and their belongings are subject to screening before boarding the ferry.
- A limited number of wheelchairs are available to borrow for the visit on a first come, first service basis.
What people are saying about Ellis Island
I'm glad that I booked this tour instead visiting the Statue of Liberty by myself. It's easy to find the gathering place, the staffs there will arrange everything for you after showing them the QR-code or booking confirmation. As for my experience, our tour guide (07/16 morning guy) is passionate, telling us the stories in an intriguing way and helping us take some nice pictures on the island. The time was a little bit hurry due to the schedule but didn't influence so much. Highly recommend.
Booking the trip was very easy and smooth. The staff at the meeting point were very helpful and provided adequate information for my trip. It was a very informative visit to the Liberty and Ellis islands. The weather on our visit did not help as it was very hot with lots of humidity. Therefore, we had to spend most of our visit times in the indoor museums.
Obviously a popular destination, with the tickets we purchased ($27 pp) this was a solid deal. Instructions were easy. You can get the guided tour but not needed since you get the little audio things for free once you're on liberty island. Ellis island was great also (and air conditioned). If you're a go-at-your-pace person, get this deal. Great time!!
What a professional tour service! Our tour guide, Jenn, turned a 4 hour tour into a wonderful and touching journey! She was courteous and knowledgeable, and so enthusiastic, we were sad when it was over. One of my favorite parts of the tour was when Jenn recited The Great Colossus by Emma Lazarus. I was in tears!
Book a guide every time. Our guide Nina filled our minds with so much information. My son and I are still talking about our first day in New York. Without Nina, it would of been impossible to take in all that Liberty and Ellis Island had to tell us.