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Come Prepared

Considering that the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island are hot tourist hubs, expect to comply with security guidelines once you are there. Further, make sure you have all you need with you to make your visit memorable and comfortable. Come prepared by keeping these points in mind.

Security Screening

If you will be using the ferry system, you must pass through security screening. It is similar to what you go through at airports. When planning your visit, consider that you need to put aside some time for the screening process. The wait can be over an hour long during high tourist seasons. After all, the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island are must-see New York locations.


Because of security reasons, there are a few items you cannot have with you on the ferry or at the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island. These prohibited items include knives, guns, mace, and potentially harmful dual-use devices. If you take any of them with you through the screening zone, they will be confiscated and not returned. If you have doubts concerning an item, it’s better that you leave it at your hotel or home. Further, you cannot bring large boxes, bags, and suitcases on the ferry or at Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island. Your belongings will be inspected. Be ready for this and set some time aside for the process.


The ferry terminals do not provide lockers for storage. There are lockers that accommodate small items at Liberty Island, however. Ellis Island does not have locker facilities either. You are not allowed to take strollers or backpacks inside the monument. You can take along handbags, cameras, and personal items that are small. Make sure you have all your items with you at all times.

Time Management

If you want to make your visit to the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island worthwhile, make sure you have set aside at least 5 hours for the visit. You do not only need to consider the time that would be spent on sightseeing, but also on the ferry ride and the lines. If you plan to climb to the top of the Statue of Liberty, you are looking for a longer wait. It might take two to three hours before you make your ascent. Climbing the 354 steps will take some time, as well. If you do not wish to climb to the top, you can always go on tours that are available at Ellis Island.


You can find concession stands on Liberty Island and on Ellis Island from where you can purchase ice cream, hot dogs, healthy snacks, drinks, and more. Some visitors pack a picnic and have it on the grassy areas around Liberty Island. If you plan to take food with you, remember that there are security guidelines when it comes to the size of the cooler. Large coolers will not be permitted. Therefore, plan accordingly in order to avoid ruining your visit to the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island.