A Ride On The Staten Island Ferry Will Get You A Statue Of Liberty Experience Without The Steep Price

Seeing the Statue of Liberty is one of those excursions while visiting New York City that tourists flock to. After all, Lady Liberty is on a lot of the NYC merch. But, like most tourist attractions in The Big Apple, seeing the big green lady comes at a price. The Statue of Liberty website notes that Statue City Cruises is the only official ferry vendor for transportation to Liberty or Ellis Island. A ride with them starts at nearly $25. The Statue of Liberty website notes that additional tickets aren't needed for either the Statue of Liberty Museum or the Ellis Island National Museum of Immigration.

Still, this could end up being almost $100 just in transportation for a family of four. You can save a few dollars per person with the Circle Line Liberty Midtown Cruise. The ride is one hour and costs $21-$23 per person for standard seating. You don't get off the boat to see the statue up close, but you will see it. According to New York Sightseeing, you'll see the Statue of Liberty as well as Ellis Island, Freedom Tower, and the World Financial Center. Another plus is that the tour is multilingual.

Even still, there is yet another option to see the Statue of Liberty without paying top dollar for a tour. It's an option many locals take every day without batting an eye which could save you money for pizza slices and more NYC adventures.

Hop on the ferry

If you don't mind seeing the Statue of Liberty from a distance, Free Tours by Foot explains that hopping aboard the Staten Island Ferry is the best way to see her. Not only is the ride on the commuter ferry free of charge, but it's also a way to get some iconic views of Lady Liberty. Free Tours by Foot notes that the ferry moves pretty quickly, so you should have cameras ready when you want to capture the moment.

Additionally, the Staten Island Ferry gives you access to some uncommon views of the statue because it's always running. New York Sightseeing states that the ferry runs 24 hours a day over New York Harbor. With this freebie option, you could easily get sunrise, high noon, sunset, and nighttime photos of the statue if you're feeling particularly adventurous.

The Better Vacation notes that the ferry is also referred to as Liberty's Free Ferry and is a great option if you're traveling with a large group or with kiddos. While the outlet acknowledges that the Statue Cruises option is the best way to see the statue and Ellis Island, it's also the costlier choice. The site also states that the ferry ride is only about 25 minutes from Manhattan to St. George in Staten Island.

Get a good spot

Although you can always ask the employees on the boat for the best place to stand to see Lady Liberty, plenty of folks online have a consensus on where to be. According to Pack Me To, if you're coming from Manhattan, you should stand on the right (starboard) side and do the opposite coming back from Staten Island to see the statue. The site also notes that the ferry operates more frequently during weekdays with departures every 30 minutes. In addition to Lady Liberty, the trip also offers fantastic views of Manhattan.

Uncovering New York suggests avoiding the ferry during afternoon and morning rush hours since the boat will be more crowded. The site also recommends checking out the areas around the terminals if you have time. Per Uncovering New York, you could visit the 9/11 memorial, lots of shopping at Empire Outlets on Staten Island, and a bunch of little eateries.