How to See the Statue of Liberty for Free.

Would you like to know how to see the Statue of Liberty for free? There are several ways you can see the iconic Lady Liberty in New York City without paying for admission.

New York City is my favourite city outside of London, and my most recent visit was in summer 2022. In this post I will guide you through 7 different ways to see the Statue of Liberty completely free of charge.

the statue of liberty is shown against a blue sky.

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Please note there is no way to get onto Liberty Island or Ellis Island without paying a charge. All of the free ways to see the statue involve travelling to various different Statue of Liberty viewpoints.

How to see the Statue of Liberty for free.

Here is a list of 7 of the best places to see the iconic Statue of Liberty for free:

  1. Staten Island Ferry
  2. Governors Island
  3. Liberty State Park
  4. Battery Park
  5. IKEA ferry
  6. Brooklyn Bridge
  7. The High Line

Read on to get more details about these locations, along with the pros and cons of each option and a photo of each viewpoint.

1. Staten Island Ferry.

The Staten Island ferry is the best way to see the Statue of Liberty for free. The ferry operates every half hour during the day (and every hour at night) and it is completely free of charge. Onboard you’ll get a great view of Lady Liberty standing tall with her crown and torch.

a yellow ferry boat in the middle of a body of water.
Staten Island Ferry

Not only does this ferry provide some of the closest views of the statue you can get without paying, it also provides plenty of opportunity for photos of the Manhattan skyline too. Here is a photo I took from the ferry in summer 2022.

a view of NYC city from the water.
View of Manhattan from Staten Island Ferry

Pros & Cons of the view of the Statue of Liberty from the Staten Island Ferry

Pros: Free ferry ride. This is the best option with the best view of the Statue of Liberty. It also has great views of Manhattan too.

Cons: If you just miss the ferry, you will have to wait half an hour for the next one. You may also have to spend half an hour on Staten Island before you can board the next ferry back to Manhattan.

2. Battery Park.

Located on the southern tip of Manhattan, ‘The Battery’ (formerly known as Battery Park) is a 25 acre public park with views of the Statue of Liberty, Ellis Island and Governors Island. The park also contains other monuments such as Castle Clinton and the Seaglass Carousel.

an aerial view of a city with a river running through it.
The Battery

This is also the place where you can get the Staten Island ferry and the Governors Island ferry from. Getting there is easy using public transportation; simply hop on the subway or take a free ferry service from nearby Brooklyn Bridge Park. The ferry terminals are well signposted.

a view of a body of water through some trees.
View of the Statue of Liberty for free from Battery Park

Pros & Cons of the view of the Statue of Liberty from Battery Park

Pros: You can go when you want, there is no need to follow a ferry schedule. There are no boats involved (this is a pro if you don’t like boats!) and there are other things to see at the Battery too.

Cons: The statue faces Brooklyn and so does the park, so you won’t get a front-view. It’s also not very close.

3. Governors Island.

Governors Island is located in Upper New York Bay, just 800 yards from Lower Manhattan. It’s completely free to visit Governors Island if you can take the ferry on a Saturday or Sunday before midday. At other times, the ferry trip costs $4.

a view of a city from a hill.
A view of Lower Manhattan and the Hudson River from Outlook Hill on Governors Island

Governors Island is popular with the locals, and it gets very busy at peak times. There are various attractions to see, including Castle Williams, and other activities such as bike rentals, art installations and birdwatching.

There are also free tours offered by National Parks Service Rangers who share stories about Governors Island’s past and present, highlighting its role in America’s immigration story as well as its role during both World Wars I & II.

a couple of trees sitting next to a large body of water.
Statue of Liberty view from Governors Island

Governors Island offers a great vantage point for the Statue of Liberty and is a wonderful place to spend a day away from the city.

Pros & Cons of the view of the Statue of Liberty from Governors Island

Pros: Quite close to the statue. Front-view of the Statue. Great views of Lower Manhattan. The island is a lovely place to spend a day

Cons: It gets very busy in summer. You have to travel in the morning if you want it to be free.

4. Liberty State Park.

Liberty State Park in Jersey City is another destination offering views of the Statue of Liberty for free. The southeastern corner of the park contains a waterfront promenade which has views of the statue along its whole length, and also a designated Statue of Liberty observation point too. There is also a science museum in the park.

a bench sitting on the side of a road next to a body of water.
Liberty State Park in New Jersey

Pros & Cons of the view of the Statue of Liberty from Liberty State Park

Pros: Dramatic views of Manhattan. Closest view of the statue from land. The park also contains other things to do.

Cons: The statue faces Brooklyn, and so does the park. New Jersey is quite a journey if you’re staying in NYC.

the statue of liberty is in the distance behind a park bench.
View of the Statue of Liberty for free from Liberty State Park

5. The IKEA ferry.

Many people don’t even realise there is a free IKEA ferry service on weekends!

The free IKEA ferry is a public ferry service that runs between Manhattan and the IKEA store in Red Hook, Brooklyn. While it’s primarily designed to transport shoppers to and from the IKEA store, the ferry is also popular among tourists who want to see the Statue of Liberty and other landmarks from the water.

a yellow boat in the water near a statue of liberty.
Photo credit Michael Newman on Flickr

The ferry runs on a limited schedule, with departures from Manhattan’s Pier 11/Wall Street and the IKEA store in Red Hook. There is also a free shuttle bus to take passengers to the pier. Make sure to check the schedules before planning your trip, or download the app. The trip takes about 10 minutes each way.

Pros & Cons of the view of the Statue of Liberty from the IKEA ferry

Pros: Free of charge. Free app. Shuttle bus service. Ferry sails right past the Statue so you get a great view.

Cons: Only free on weekends. Limited ferry times.

6. Brooklyn Bridge.

These next two entries are pretty far away from the Statue of Liberty, but you can still see it. The Brooklyn Bridge takes about an hour to take a leisurely walk across, and is free. You can see the Statue of Liberty from the bridge by looking south across the water.

a large bridge spanning over a large body of water.
Brooklyn Bridge

The Brooklyn Bridge is an iconic vista in NYC, definitely one for your list if it is your first time visiting New York City. You can walk over the bridge, or hire bikes and cycle across.

a large bridge spanning over a large body of water.
Brooklyn Bridge, Manhattan Bridge and the Statue of Liberty

Pros & Cons of the view of the Statue of Liberty from Brooklyn Bridge

Pros: Brooklyn Bridge is an iconic place to visit in NYC. It is free to walk on.

Cons: Not a very close view of the statue. There is a lot of loud traffic below you!

7. The High Line.

The High Line is an elevated park that runs along Manhattan’s West Side from Gansevoort Street to 34th Street, offering visitors free access to unique art installations and lush greenery.

If you look south at the 10th Avenue Square, just North of The Overlook, you can see the Statue of Liberty in the distance.

a tall brick building with a statue of liberty on top of it.
Statue of Liberty view from high line (zoomed in)

Pros & Cons of the view of the Statue of Liberty from the High Line

Pros: The High Line is a beautiful place to visit in NYC. Lots of other attractions in the park.

Cons: Not a very close view of the statue. Gets busy in peak season.

FAQs for how to see the Statue of Liberty for free.

How can I see the Statue of Liberty without paying?

There are several ways to view the Statue of Liberty for free. The Staten Island ferry offers a free round trip service from Battery Park in Lower Manhattan with views of the Statue on its way across New York Harbour. Another choice is to go to any of the numerous open parks that give clear perspectives, like Liberty State Park in New Jersey.

How do you get a close-up view of the Statue of Liberty?

The best way is to take a paid cruise with Statue Cruises. This is the only way to get to Ellis Island and see the statue up close. Statue Cruises is the only ferry line authorised to take visitors to the Statue of Liberty. If you are in NYC for a few days, I recommend purchasing a Go City Pass – which includes entry into a number of NYC attractions in one price.

Are there any free tours of the Statue of Liberty?

There are no free tours of the Statue of Liberty. The only way to get to the Statue is by booking one of the paid Statue of Liberty tours with Statue Cruises. This boat tour will also give you access to Ellis Island, the Statue of Liberty Museum and the Ellis Island Immigration Museum too.

You could also see the Statue if you paid for entry into the One World Observatory, or if you purchased a New York pass. There is an extra cost to visit the top of the pedestal or do the crown tour.

the statue of liberty stands in the middle of the water.

Map showing the Statue of Liberty free options.

The below map shows the Statue of Liberty, along with the other locations mentioned in this post. You can click the blue icons to see more information about each place. Click the star to add to your own Google Maps. 

Where to stay in Manhattan.

If it’s your first visit to New York City, you’ll probably want to stay quite central. Here are my top picks for Manhattan hotels on Booking.com:

  • Best luxury hotel: 33 Seaport Hotel is a 5 star hotel right next to Wall Street and the Financial district. 10 minute walk from Brooklyn Bridge subway station.
  • Best budget hotel: Hotel St. James is a 2 star hotel in the theatre district with a guest library, business centre and free wifi.

You can see the current hotel deals in Manhattan here.

I recommend reserving your room immediately to get the best price. It’s usually free to reserve on Booking.com. You can always cancel later on.

General travel advice for your trip to NYC.

Climate in NYC

The rainy season starts in April and goes on till June, with an average temperature of 11C / 51F. It gets warmer from May and the rain starts to ease off. The hottest and driest month is July, with an average high of 28C / 84F. January and February have the highest chance of sow.

Tourist seasons in NYC

The low season is January to March, which is when hotels are the cheapest and the crowds are the lowest. The rest of the year can be considered high season. December is the most expensive month to visit.

Money

The currency is the US dollar ($) and it comes in banknotes up to $100, although I don’t recommend using $100 notes. $50 notes are usually the highest notes used. Be careful because all the notes look similar and it is easy to get them confused.

Credit cards are accepted everywhere (including taxis) and they are generally used more than cash. If you don’t have a credit card (or you want to pay in dollars) you can request a free Revolut Debit Card here. You can use it immediately with Apple or Google Pay.

VISAs for NYC

Non-US citizens need to apply for a VISA, or an ESTA if eligible and staying for less than 90 days. Apply for your ETSA here.

NYC Subway

The New York subway is an efficient way of getting around. Be aware it gets very busy at peak times. One trip costs $2.50 or you can buy a 7 day Metrocard for $29. You can pick one up in any subway station.

Click here to download a PDF of the New York City MTA Subway Map.

Car rentals

I don’t recommend hiring a car if you are staying in Manhattan. The traffic is very congested and the parking is hard to find, and expensive. You can easily hail yellow cabs, or use Uber if you prefer (it’s cheaper).

You might still want to hire a car if you intend to take a trip out of town, for this I recommend the car comparison site Discover Cars. In the USA they drive on the right.

NYC Passes

I recommend the NYC Go City pass if you plan on seeing any tourist attractions. All the big attractions are included, plus lots of small ones too. You can also use it for food options, boat rides, ferry crossings and bicycle hire. Purchase your Go City NYC Pass here.

Conclusion for how to see the Statue of Liberty for free.

The Statue of Liberty is a most iconic symbol of freedom that has welcomed millions of immigrants to the United States over the years. While there are some paid options, you can also see the statue for free by taking advantage of these six spots listed above.

From the Staten Island Ferry and Battery Park to Governors Island, Liberty State Park and Brooklyn Bridge or High Line – each offers its own unique perspective on this iconic monument.

Thank you for reading my post on how to visit the Statue of Liberty for free. I hope it has helped you to plan your New York City trip.

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