How to See the Statue of Liberty for Free

This post lists the best places to get a view of the Statue of Liberty starting off with 4 free options, including the Staten Island Ferry and many more.

 

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STATEN ISLAND FERRY 

This free commuter ferry travels very close to the Statue of Liberty. You will want to have your camera out and ready to go, as the ferry passes Lady Liberty at a fairly fast speed. 

 

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Still, without a doubt, this is the best view of the Statue of Liberty you can get for free. In fact, riding the Staten Island Ferry is one of the very best things you can do for free in NYC.

You will also get stunning views of Lower ManhattanBrooklyn Heights, and a distant view of the Brooklyn Bridge

To learn more, check out our post on the Staten Island Ferry, and be sure to download our free Staten Island audio tour to accompany you on the cruise.


BATTERY PARK

This park is at the tip of Lower Manhattan and has expansive vistas of the New York harbor including a view of the Statue of Liberty.  

You can walk along the waterfront or sit on one of the benches that look out on the water. Our guide to Battery Park lists other things you can see and do in the park.

 

View of Statue of Liberty from Battery Park

Click here for a 360-degree view

TIP: Our pay-what-you-wish Lower Manhattan Tour visits Battery Park where your guide will point out the Statue of Liberty in the distance and tell you about the statue’s history.

If you can’t make our live tour, you can try our Lower Manhattan Audio Tour that can be taken at any time of the day or night.  

Here is a sample. 

 

GOVERNORS ISLAND

Governors Island is a small island in the East River less than one mile from Lower Manhattan. Its location affords visitors spectacular views of the Statue of Liberty.

 

Statue of Liberty from Governors Island

 

For unparalleled views of the Statue of Liberty, New York harbor, and the city skyline, head to Outlook Hill, which is 70 feet tall and accessible via a winding path.

Our post on Governors Island details how to get there, when to visit, and what activities exist. 


LIBERTY STATE PARK

This waterfront park in New Jersey is just across the river from Lower Manhattan. This park offers the closest free view of the Statue of Liberty from the land. 

 

Statue of Liberty from Liberty State Park

 

You can get there easily by public transportation. There is a ferry that departs from Lower Manhattan. Our post on how to ride NYC ferries includes information on this ferry.

You can also take the PATH train (New Jersey’s version of the subway) from Manhattan, followed by a light-rail ride and a short walk to the park.

If you have a pay-as-you-go MetroCard, you can use your card on the PATH system.


OTHER OPTIONS

This section lists ways to get great views of Lady Liberty that are not free, but we believe are worth the money. 

Some of these options may already be on your list of things you want to do in NYC. Most of these options are included in for free when you purchase certain NYC tourist discount passes.

Below we briefly explain these money-saving passes. For in-depth information, read our post on New York tourist attraction discount passes.


Visit the Statue of Liberty

Of course, going to Liberty Island offers you the closest view possible, but you must purchase a ferry ticket to get there. The ferry ride also includes a trip to Ellis Island.

Fortunately, ferry tickets are affordable and there are ways you can save money on the already reasonable price. 

For example, Statue of Liberty ferry tickets are included for free with the purchase of most tourist discount passes.

 

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For more information about ticket prices, discounts, ferry schedules and more, read our in-depth post on how to visit the Statue of Liberty.

TIP: The Statue of Liberty ferry departs from Lower Manhattan. If you visit the statue in the morning, you can join us for our 2 pm pay-what-you-wish Lower Manhattan Tour.


Take a Sightseeing Cruise

There are numerous sightseeing cruises you can take in NYC, including those that offer very good, if not excellent, views of the Statue of Liberty. 

For example, Circle Line’s Liberty Cruise takes you past the Statue of Liberty, as well as Ellis Island, and the World Trade Center.

 

 

In addition to the up-close views, the cruise features entertaining commentary about these sights. This Cruise is included for free with several tourist passes and the Big Bus Tours Adventure Pass.

Learn about other cruises that feature the Statue of Liberty on their route by reading our post on NYC boat tours.


Go to the One World Observatory Observation Deck

The observation deck at One World Observatory (the ‘Freedom Tower’) offers breathtaking views of New York Harbor, including the Statue of Liberty.

 

Statue of Liberty from One World Observatory

 

Though you do have to buy tickets (and they aren’t cheap), a visit to One World Observatory is an unforgettable experience.

Read our post on One World Observatory to find out about getting tickets, the best times to visit and other helpful tips.


Take a Helicopter Tour

Given the steep price of these tours, we don’t recommend you take one just to get a view of the Statue of Liberty! 

But if you are already considering a helicopter tour of NYC, the Statue of Liberty is one of the highlights of the awesome aerial views you will get from the sky.

For more information, see our post on helicopter tours of New York City.


Purchase a Tourist Attraction Discount Pass 

If any of the above activities are of interest to you, consider getting an NYC tourist discount pass to save money.

In addition to covering the price of a ferry ride to the Statue of Liberty, tourist passes also often include the following activities and attractions at no extra cost:

  • Statue of Liberty Tall Ship Cruise
  • Hop-on-Hop-off Bus Tour
  • Brooklyn Bridge Bike Tour
  • 9/11 Memorial & Museum
  • Rockefeller Center Tour
  • One World Observatory
  • Empire State Building
  • Circle Line Cruises
  • Top of the Rock
  • And more!

 

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Depending on which pass you choose and how you use it, you could save anywhere from 20% – 50% off ticket prices for some of the most popular NYC attractions, including the activities listed above.

For more details, read our post on New York tourist attraction discount passes.


HONORABLE MENTIONS

Brooklyn Bridge

From the Brooklyn Bridge, one gets an incredible 360-degree view of New York City. Looking south over the water, you can see the Statue of Liberty off in the distance. 

 

Statue of Liberty from Brooklyn Bridge
Click here for a 360-degree view from the Brooklyn Bridge.
 

See our guide to walking the Brooklyn Bridge or download our GPS-enabled Audio Tour of the Brooklyn Bridge.


High Line 

Just north of the Overlook, at the “10th Avenue Square”, look south out onto the Hudson River. Though Lady Liberty will look very small, the view makes for a nice photo.

See our self-guided tour of the High Line for a map of the park. 


Ikea Ferry 

On the weekends you can ride this ferry for free from Wall Street to the Ikea store in Brooklyn and back again. The ride is relatively short, but the views are outstanding.

 

View of Statue of Liberty from the Ikea Ferry

 

Not only will you see the Statue of Liberty, but you will also see the Brooklyn Bridge nearby and the skyline of Lower Manhattan.

To find out more about the Ikea ferry, read our guide to NYC ferries.

 


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About the author

Courtney is a lifelong New Yorker fascinated with the city’s history, culture and cuisine. She loves exploring the world, as well as sharing her travel expertise with others.

She joined the Free Tours by Foot team in 2011, first as a guide and then as a writer. She has a law degree, a teaching degree and a worn-out passport. Her motto is “Have backpack, will travel”.