Ellis Island

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Ellis Island's Top 5 Tour Highlights

Ellis Island was the most active American immigration inspection station from 1892 to 1954 making it the first piece of land millions of immigrants set foot on in their new home. Today it remains a landmark where that hope for a better tomorrow remains.

  • Ellis Island Ferry

    1. Ellis Island Ferry

    Getting there is half the fun! A $18 ticket will take you on a humbling cruise through the Upper New York Bay to both Ellis Island and Liberty Island.

  • Ellis Island Museum

    2. Ellis Island Museum

    Bonus: head to the information desk for a complimentary tour at the top of the hour for a guided tour, no ticket required.

  • Statue of Liberty Tour

    3. Statue of Liberty Tour

    Take the ferry a little further north to visit Liberty Island and experience the nation’s symbol of freedom, the Statue of Liberty, up close and personal.

  • 4. Ellis Island Hospital Complex

    Dive deeper into the experience of arriving at Ellis Island with a 90-minute hard hat tour of the Hospital Complex. Purchase tickets in advance.

  • Fun History Facts

    5. Fun History Facts

    Did you know, for example, that a 1998 ruling by the Supreme Court determined that most of the island belongs to New Jersey, not New York?

Planning Your Visit

  • How to get there?

    You can get to Ellis Island by taking a ferry operated by Statue Cruises from either Communipaw Terminal in Liberty State Park or Battery Park on the southern tip of Manhattan in New York City. Reserving your tickets ahead of time is recommended.

  • How long does it take?

    Generally you won’t need more than a couple hours to take in these sights, but you can set your own pace visiting Ellis Island and Liberty Island - the ferries depart every 20 minutes.

  • How much does it cost?

    The $18 ferry ticket grants access to both of the islands.

Good to know

  • When should I visit?
    Hours vary based on time of year:
    March-May, Open daily, 8:30 AM-5:15 PM
    June-August, Open daily, 8:30 AM-7:00 PM
    September-October, Open daily, 8:30 AM-6:00 PM
    Holiday hours may vary
  • Is it expensive?
    Adult tickets start at just $18 and go upwards depending on tour packages and perks.
  • Will I need a guide?
    A guide is a great idea to help you understand the historical context of this iconic American monument.
  • How to get there
    Public transportation to the ferry departure points at Battery Park and Liberty State Park is recommended!
  • Additional information

    • Visitors and their belongings are subject to screening before boarding the ferry.

    • A limited number of wheelchairs are available to borrow for the visit on a first come, first service basis.

Other Sightseeing Options in Ellis Island

Want to discover all there is to do in Ellis Island? Click here for a full list.

What people are saying about Ellis Island

Overall rating

4.5 / 5

based on 10,572 reviews

It is so convenient to have a tour guide. Our tour guide Jerry was extremely knowledgeable and helpful which helped us save a lot of time and yet have a memorable experience.

Great value! Pleasant staff. Affordable on board snacks/drinks. Good boat and they even take a pic for you to take home for purchase, which was worth it!

Our tour guide was awesome! Very informative and helpful even directed us to the closest subway once the tour ended and other places to visit!

Ceaser was the ultimate guide. He never left anyone behind. He was full of information we would otherwise never have known.

I have family and friends coming from florida and this is a good idea to show them to see NYC. thank you. it was 7 of us