Posted: 3/24/2023 | March twenty fourth, 2023
I really like New York City. I’ve spent a lot time visiting and residing right here. To me, it’s the beating coronary heart of the world. There isn’t a language spoken or meals eaten which you can’t discover right here. And there’s a never-ending stream of things to see and do. You’ll be able to by no means be bored on this metropolis.
At any time when I desire a deeper dive into a spot, I take a strolling tour.
And in relation to strolling excursions, NYC has all of it.
Free excursions, historical past excursions, pub crawls, meals excursions, ghost excursions — there are a ton of walking tours around town.
My favourite firm — in NYC and overseas — is Walks. They started in Italy in 2009 however rapidly expanded to different nations and cities in Europe. Then they made the leap over the Atlantic, providing guided excursions in New York Metropolis, Niagara Falls, New Orleans, Chicago, Boston, and Washington, DC.
Whereas their excursions aren’t free, they’re tremendous insightful and steadiness having enjoyable with studying.
In New York, they run a handful of choices, together with a tour to Ellis Island to see the Statue of Liberty.
As somebody who studied historical past in school (enjoyable reality: household got here to America by way of Ellis Island) this tour was particularly attention-grabbing to me.
And, after taking it, right here’s my evaluate:
Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island Tour Evaluate
“Welcome to the actual door to America,” our information mentioned when he opened up the entrance door to the huge Registry Room. Right here, as much as 6,000 immigrants per day obtained their first style of their new life in America.
Between 1892, when the 27-acre island first opened in New York Harbor, and 1954, when it closed, the Registry Room obtained over 12,000,000 immigrants, who rapidly grew to become new People.
The tour group met at 8:15am on the southern tip of Manhattan. There have been 14 of us plus our information, Nicola, an Italian-born former prison lawyer who mentioned he had been combating the mafia in his native Florence earlier than he properly selected a profession change. He quickly shepherded us towards the ferry for our half-day stroll round Liberty Island, residence to the enduring Statue of Liberty, and Ellis Island.
As we walked there, Nicola regaled us with tales in regards to the founding of New York Metropolis, how it ping-ponged between the Dutch and the British, and the way 35 p.c of Manhattan right now is on landfill.
Once we obtained to the ferry in decrease Manhattan, there was an enormous line to board the boat. However Nicola led us across the military of vacationers, a lot to their annoyance, and we obtained proper to the entrance of the road. I don’t know if Nicola was simply being a seasoned and daring information or if it has one thing to do with the truth that Walks and the boat firm Hornblower are each owned by Metropolis Experiences — maybe giving Walks the additional privilege of skipping the traces.
Regardless of the case, having to not wait with the lots to board the boat was value the price of the tour.
As soon as on the ferry, Nicola directed us to sit down in a really particular spot, which we had been capable of get due to the truth that we had been the primary folks on the boat. This gave us an superior view of the NYC skyline.
After about 20 minutes, you get off the ferry on Liberty Island and stroll the entrance of the Statue of Liberty the place, when the climate is sweet, you get to study in regards to the historical past of the enduring statue and the way it got here to be positioned right here.
Once we had been on Liberty Island and Ellis Island, Nicola was a wealth of data. He talked about this was his 1,144th tour of the islands. He dropped some wonderful details that I’d by no means heard earlier than, together with these three gems:
- The statue, which was formally erected in 1886, was initially being thought-about for Battery Park on the southern tip of Manhattan. However then somebody with a way of imaginative and prescient for the longer term realized that Manhattan’s rising skyline would at some point utterly dwarf the statue and eclipse its majestic presence. After contemplating inserting it in Central Park, they finally selected the island that might later be named Liberty, partly as a result of you’ll be able to see it from numerous factors round New York Harbor.
- When the statue arrived from France in 1885, there was one vital facet they’d not thought-about: a pedestal. After scrambling to search out funding and a designer — they went with the identical architect who designed the Metropolitan Museum of Artwork — the pedestal was prepared a 12 months later and, quickly sufficient, Woman Liberty was standing tall.
- On Ellis Island, they not solely needed to register the 6,000 or so new immigrants per day but additionally display them for ailments. There have been solely two medical doctors on employees at one time on the island, so you’ll be able to think about how lengthy it took.
After that, you get about 40 or so minutes by yourself to wander the island, try the Statue of Liberty Museum, have a espresso or chunk to eat on the island’s cafeteria, and browse within the reward store.
Total, this tour to be the proper primer in regards to the island, immigration throughout this time, and the Statue.
Ought to You Take a Guided Tour of Ellis Island & the Statue of Liberty?
Even if you happen to’ve been to NYC and despatched the statue from afar, probably the most spectacular sights within the metropolis is seeing the statue shut up. You get a unique angle and perspective on the statue and the one placing factor you’ll discover whereas on Liberty Island is that the statue isn’t standing tall; she’s truly strolling, “Marching towards the longer term,” as our information mentioned.
Now, you are able to do a self-guided, DIY tour of the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island by yourself for the value of admission ($31.50 USD). And that’s effective if you happen to simply need to stroll round by yourself, have a look at issues, and never precisely know the importance of them.
However, if you wish to stroll away with a deeper information of Liberty and Ellis Islands, this Walks tour is invaluable. Its value begins at $69 USD, however may be very a lot definitely worth the worth.
Whereas it’s wonderful to see the statue up shut, the actual spotlight of the tour was our information. There was simply a lot nuance and context his experience added, which made all of the distinction by way of worth.
I’ve lengthy been a giant advocate of guided strolling excursions. And I’ve additionally lengthy been a fan of Walks and have taken a lot of their excursions in Europe and past. The Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island tour didn’t disappoint.
It additionally reaffirmed for me how significantly better of a journey expertise one has when opting to fork out a bit more cash for a guided tour. You study extra. You stroll away extra appreciative of the place. You set cash within the pocket of an area tour information. And also you would possibly simply meet some pleasant vacationers alongside the way in which.
Ideas for Your Ellis Island & Statue of Liberty Tour
Listed here are a number of fast suggestions to make sure you take advantage of your go to to Ellis Island and the Statue of Liberty:
- Put on snug footwear. You’re going to be in your ft for at the least 4 hours. Make sure that your sneakers are snug and appropriate for strolling round.
- Verify the climate. If it’s going to be chilly, convey a jacket and scarf. If it’s going to be scorching and sunny, convey a hat and water. Wet? Don’t overlook an umbrella!
- Keep away from the weekends. All the things is busier on the weekend, so attempt to go to mid-week if you happen to can.
- Ask questions. Your information is a wealth of data. Benefit from it by asking any and all questions you’ve gotten. There aren’t any unhealthy questions on these excursions!
New York City has an infinite abundance of points of interest and issues to do. It’s additionally a dear metropolis. However you probably received’t remorse spending slightly extra for a guided tour. You’ll go residence with a number of extra attention-grabbing tales and details to inform and have a way more insightful, memorable expertise.
Get the In-Depth Finances Information to New York Metropolis!
For extra in-depth recommendations on NYC, try my 100+ web page guidebook written for price range vacationers such as you! It cuts out the fluff present in different guides and will get straight to the sensible info you have to journey within the metropolis that by no means sleeps. You’ll discover prompt itineraries, budgets, methods to save cash, on- and off-the-beaten-path issues to see and do, non-touristy eating places, markets, bars, security suggestions, and way more! Click here to learn more and get your copy today.
E-book Your Journey to New York Metropolis: Logistical Ideas and Tips
E-book Your Flight
Use Skyscanner to discover a low-cost flight. They’re my favourite search engine as a result of they search web sites and airways across the globe so that you all the time know no stone is left unturned!
E-book Your Lodging
You’ll be able to e book your hostel with Hostelworld as they’ve the largest stock and finest offers. If you wish to keep someplace apart from a hostel, use Booking.com as they constantly return the most affordable charges for guesthouses and low-cost accommodations. Three of my favourite locations to remain within the metropolis are:
In the event you’re on the lookout for extra locations to remain, here my complete list of favorite hostels the city. Moreover, if you happen to’re questioning what a part of city to remain in, here’s my neighborhood guide to NYC!
Don’t Neglect Journey Insurance coverage
Journey insurance coverage will shield you in opposition to sickness, damage, theft, and cancellations. It’s complete safety in case something goes fallacious. I by no means go on a visit with out it as I’ve had to make use of it many occasions prior to now. My favourite firms that provide the most effective service and worth are:
Searching for the Finest Firms to Save Cash With?
Try my resource page for the most effective firms to make use of while you journey. I checklist all those I take advantage of to save cash once I’m on the highway. They’ll prevent cash while you journey too.
Want a Information?
New York has some actually attention-grabbing excursions. My favourite firm is Take Walks. They’ve professional guides and may get you behind the scenes on the metropolis’s finest points of interest. They’re my go-to strolling tour firm!
Need Extra Data on NYC?
You should definitely go to our robust destination guide on New York City for much more planning suggestions!
Leave a Reply