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This post will explain how to get Statue of Liberty pedestal tickets, including last minute or sold out tickets, security, and other tips on planning your visit.
There are three different ticket options available for the Statue of Liberty:
Both ground and pedestal access are the cheapest options offered by Statue Cruises, while crown access is a bit more expensive.
In addition, there are a limited number of tickets available for both pedestal and crown access.
Ground Access tickets give you access to both Liberty and Ellis Islands but not to the statue’s pedestal or crown.
Ground Access tickets are general admission and don’t technically sell out.
Note that ALL three ticket types include free admission to the Statue of Liberty Museum (see below for information).
Each ticket to the pedestal includes ferry service to/from the landmark, access to both the Ellis Island Museum and the Statue of Liberty Museum, and an audio guide of the grounds.
The second option costs $6 more, but you also get a company official to meet you and guide you to the security and ferries.
NOTE: Some tour companies provide a pedestal ticket for free with their guided Statue of Liberty tours.
Although crown tickets can be sold out for anywhere from 1-2 weeks at a time (sometimes up to 4-6 weeks during summer), the good news is that pedestal tickets are a little easier to get.
Even so, you should plan on purchasing your tickets at least a few days ahead of schedule to make sure you can visit the Statue of Liberty pedestal when you want.
Early morning tickets (when we recommend you should go) can be sold out weeks in advance.
Podcast Episode: Listen to tour guides Lori and Katherine discuss visiting the statue and Ellis Island on an episode of our NYC Travel Tips podcast.
If you’re looking for tickets on short notice, make sure to check our last minute tickets section.
Pedestal tickets are what are called priority reserve tickets, which means that you will have a designated time of arrival.
In other words, this isn’t necessarily an activity you can enjoy on a whim; it will be important to plan out your trip beforehand.
There are flex tickets (open-ended tickets) available for general admission ground access, but again, these tickets don’t give you access to the statue’s pedestal, museum, or crown. Click here for information on flex tickets.
Flex tickets are what you get for free with tourist passes. In order to gain access to the pedestal, you may need to purchase these tickets separately or you will need to show up first thing in the morning to request pedestal access. It’s a first-come-first-served basis.
If you are reading this, then you are probably planning on visiting during the high tourist season and are learning that pedestal tickets are indeed limited. There may still be hope.
The screenshot below is from October 5th, and as you can see, pedestal tickets are basically sold out for more than 2 weeks in advance.
If you want early morning tickets (which we highly recommend), plan on purchasing them even sooner than that.
These early tickets can be even more difficult to obtain, so it will be important to plan on getting them well ahead of time.
You will pay $5-$6 more per ticket, but you will also get some on-site concierge guidance, something you won’t get with the official purchase.
Pedestal tickets are also included as a part of the many guided tours available to you from private sightseeing companies.
It may be possible to get same-day tickets for the Statue of Liberty pedestal, but you will need to show up on-site and hope that they have a few available.
To be perfectly clear, it is not easy to get same-day tickets for either the pedestal or crown tickets.
From time to time, Statue of Liberty’s pedestal tickets will be canceled and refunded and returned to the online calendar.
Make sure to keep an eye on the Statue Cruise pedestal tickets calendar. You can also call them directly at 1-877-523-9849.
All priority reserve pedestal tickets must be purchased at least 24 hours ahead of time from their website.
Especially in the summer, expect tickets to be sold out for 1-2 weeks in advance.
During the slow season, we recommend purchasing your tickets at least 2-3 days in advance for the best possible results.
Visitors with a Statue of Liberty pedestal ticket will face 2 levels of security and lists of prohibited items.
If you have any of the following items with you, they may be confiscated during the security check before getting on the ferry.
Do not expect any confiscated items to be returned to you.
There are no locker facilities at either departure points for Statue Cruises.
Check our post about where to store bags in New York City if you need to find a locker or somewhere else to keep your belongings. There are a few locations around Battery Park for just $6/item.
Additional Security Check for Pedestal Access
The following items will not be allowed inside the Statue of Liberty.
If you need to bring any of these items to the island, there are lockers on Liberty Island where you can store these items at a rate of $2 for 2 hours and $1 more for each additional hour.
This service is only available for visitors with either pedestal or crown tickets.
These lockers only take single $1 bills, so you will need to have cash on hand to use them. There is a cashier on-site and an ATM on the island if you need money for the lockers.
Strollers have their own storage site on the island. Upon storing a stroller, you will be given a ticket to retrieve it later on.
In 2019, the new Statue of Liberty museum opened on Liberty Island. Admission is included in the price of your ferry ticket, regardless of which kind of ticket you purchased.
This spectacular museum is nearly 26,000 square feet (2,415 square meters) and is an architectural gem. You should definitely plan to spend some time in this fascinating museum.
When you enter, you pass through a space dedicated to donors who contributed $2 million or more to this museum which cost over $100 million to construct.
After that, you enter the first gallery called Immersive Theater. It is a seatless theater where you can wander through the space while a 10-minute film plays on a loop.
The film is about the Statue of Liberty’s construction and also its status as a symbol of hope and freedom.
The next gallery is the Engagement Gallery which brings to life the 19th-century Parisian workshop of the statue’s sculptor Frédéric Auguste Bartholdi.
There are recreations of his models for the statue as well as a scale-size replica of the statue’s copper foot.
The last space is the Inspiration Gallery that has digital kiosks where visitors can take photo self-portraits with backdrops of images that symbolize liberty to them.
These photos are added to a growing collage of inspirational images to an ever-growing digital experience called Becoming Liberty.
The last space you pass through holds an especially moving object. The original 3,600-pound copper flame that sat atop the torch, which was replaced in 1984.
The Statue of Liberty Museum is highly recommended. Plan time into your visit to Liberty Island as you will not want to miss this special museum.
Although crown tickets will give you a higher vantage point, you can take in the New York City skyline much more easily from the base of the statue.
Another factor to consider is that the viewing platform on the pedestal is actually much larger and a bit more comfortable than you’ll experience from the crown.
There isn’t much room at the top of Lady Liberty, and your view will be limited to what you can see from small windows.
Visitors who choose to get pedestal tickets will have access to an open-air viewing platform with space to move around. This is a definite advantage over visiting the crown!