Ellis Island

Ellis Island, New York City: Hours, Address, Ellis Island Reviews: 4.5/5

Ellis Island
4.5
Historic Sites • Points of Interest & Landmarks • History Museums
9:00 AM - 4:00 PM
Monday
9:00 AM - 4:00 PM
Tuesday
9:00 AM - 4:00 PM
Wednesday
9:00 AM - 4:00 PM
Thursday
9:00 AM - 4:00 PM
Friday
9:00 AM - 4:00 PM
Saturday
9:00 AM - 4:00 PM
Sunday
9:00 AM - 4:00 PM
About
Visitors can retrace the steps of their ancestors at this famous landing point that welcomed millions of immigrants to the United States.
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The area
Address
Neighborhood: Ellis Island
Popular mentions

4.5
7,223 reviews
Excellent
4,224
Very good
2,068
Average
703
Poor
177
Terrible
54

Seung C
1 contribution
Ellis Island Hardhat Tour
Oct 2021
Is it worth it? If you love history and architecture, it's worth every penny. My group was 10 people. I'm not sure the largest group size. Tour guide was incredibly prepared and made the entire time 90 mins go very fast. It was also fun being on parts of the island which the general public did not have access to. Also, a significant part of your fee goes the Save Ellis Island organization.

Ticket price includes (as of 10/17/21) ferry ride to both Ellis Island and Liberty Island. I parked on the New Jersey side (there is NYC side - Battery Park). Parking at that park is $7.00, though they do have a free 2 hour parking area if you don't have any desire to get on the ferry. Great view of the NYC skyline.

Your ticket will show 2 times. First time is the time to get in line for the TSA security check point. Not a strict as an airport, but I had to take off my belt and empty my pockets. They did allow water bottles. 2nd time is the actual start time of the tour (2pm was my tour time). My ticket instructed me to be in line by 11am, in reality the line opened around 1115, and I would say you had until 1115-1130. Before you enter the TSA station, your tickets will be scanned. This is the only time my ticket was scanned. It is about a 5 min + walk from the parking lot to the TSA line. Google Ellis Island Ferry Schedule, as times may change from when I post this. The Ferry left at 11:50 am sharp.

The NJ Ferry goes to Ellis Island first. Pay attention. For whatever reason, after they docked they didn't make any announcements (which they normally do). If you don't get off on Ellis Island, the next stop is Liberty Island. Many of the people did not get off at Ellis Island... My guess, they had no clue they could. When you exit the ferry, you'll see the main building in front of you go. Go into the main lobby, and go to the left where you will see a ranger information stations. They will verify you are on the tour, and ask you to fill out a waiver. At that point, you have to kill a bit under 2 hours. They ask that you show up about 5-10 mins before you tour start time. Lots of good things to see/learn, or go get some over priced food. They offer free audio tours.

The tour last about 90mins. This is where I got into a bit of trouble. The tour ran a few mins long. It was over around 335. The NJ Ferry (not the NYC ferry), departs at 340 for Liberty Island (Statue of Liberty). It is easily a 5 min walk from the end of the tour back to the Ferry line. We had missed it by 1 min, This caused 2 issues. One, that was the last Ferry for the day to Liberty Island, and two, the next Ferry (also the last Ferry back to NJ), wasn't until 515. My friends and I didn't actually get to go "see" the Statue of Liberty and we were sitting around for an hour.

Tips/Notes
If you go to Liberty State Park, where the NJ Ferry sails out, the GPS will get your there, but follow the posted the signs.

The main road, into the park is a cobble stone road. The paid parking will be on your right about a 1/2 mile down. You will see signs. The free 2 hour parking is down a bit further on your left.

There are restrooms near the parking lots, but also nicer ones in the main building, which use to be the old train station (I think)

There is a really nice 9/11 memorial in the park.

If you have any questions, ask any park ranger, or person working behind a ticket counter.

If you get easily sea sick, while the ferry ride is maybe 5 mins tops, but the waiting to depart may mess you up a bit. So be prepared.

The Ferry has 3 decks. Top deck is wide open, mid deck is enclosed and has a large open area, the main deck is completely enclosed and has a food stand. You can get some great photos of the NYC skyline from the Ferry.

Dress for the weather.
Written October 18, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Gafilpoo
Bluffton, OH383 contributions
Perfect on time Performance for the Ferry
Oct 2021
Recommend leaving from the Newark, New Jersy dock. Follow the directions carefully to get to the right parking lot ($7) for the ferry to Ellis Island. Suggest going on the first ferry out. The 9:00 boat actually opens for screening at 9:00 and departs at 9:30. Not full, so we didn't really need to reserve our tickets ahead of time online. The ferry then takes you to the Statue of Liberty and back to the parking lot.
Written October 17, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

730Tom
Falls Church, VA9 contributions
Hard Hat Tour - Ellis Island
Oct 2021
We booked the 90 minute "Hard Hat" tour on Ellis Island in October 2021. Basically, you get access to the non-renovated hospital buildings on the island. It's mildly interesting but not worth the cost nor do you need to spend 90 minutes taking this tour. Other than the shells of the buildings, there's little to nothing to actually see and our tour guide offered very little in the way of commentary to spice the experience up. I'd recommend staying in the developed buildings taking the free audio tours available. Much better value and use of time.
Written October 5, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

jv50
Beloit, WI734 contributions
Very informative and awe inspiring
Sep 2021
Beautifully kept up. Easy access and friendly staff. We took the ferry from Liberty Park in New Jersey. Great group of people. To think my ancestors and I walked the same grounds 200 years apart! Makes you wonder what their thoughts were arriving in America.
Written September 27, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Alex S
Long Valley, NJ318 contributions
Great experience as always!
Sep 2021 • Family
Great experience as always! I always enjoy visiting the island and the museum. The purpose this trip was to see for the forts time our family name in graves in the wall of honor. I would like to thank The Statue of Liberty- Ellis Island Foundation for giving the opportunity to families to inscribe their names and celebrate families’ heritage.
Written September 24, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Travon M
14 contributions
Good experience
Aug 2021 • Family
Had got tickets to go to the statue of liberty and you got to go to ellis Island to that was a good experience ellis Island is the building where the imagination had to go to get checked out before they can enter the United States/ New York
Written September 7, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

blairkk25
New Jersey2,469 contributions
Great experience - get the first ferry
Aug 2021
I visited Ellis Island in August 2021. I bought my ferry ticket online the night before. I took Exit 14C on the New Jersey Turnpike and arrived at the parking lot at about 7:20 am. Parking costs $7. The ferry building opens at 7:30 am and the security line for the first ferry opens at 8:30 am (the security is very strict and airport-like). I took the 9 am ferry to Ellis Island. There were only 20 people onboard and the trip takes about 10 minutes. I then visited the Ellis Island Immigration Museum for 3 hours (a separate review). I recommend starting out early as it is less crowded. Later on in the day it was very crowded. I also wish they did a better job of enforcing the mask requirement during the ferry trip. Anyway, it was a great experience.
Written August 20, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Jennifer B
Detroit, MI5,563 contributions
Beautiful stop on the tour!
Aug 2021 • Family
This is a must-do while visiting Statue of Liberty.

A lot of people recommend to visit this before Statue of Liberty, and I did not do it first, but I would definitely agree. That is if you want pictures with less strangers in them.

But it was never super crowded in there or outside.

We paid for the middle tour, which did not grant us access to the other buildings. That is called the Hard Hat tour and you get to see things that the lower tours do not let you see.

I would still say it was a very good time as it was phenomenal to be able to see exactly what the immigrants saw when they first got here. And it's crazy to learn about all the other buildings and what they were used for.

It's hard to understand exactly what it must have been like for people coming here for a better future until you're actually in a place where they came for that better future.

The immigration museum is full of beauty from the architecture to the layout on the inside, to the landscaping.

Very easy to get around.

Definitely think that you should pay for the tour that includes Ellis Island, even if you don't pay for the most expensive tour.

Written August 14, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Travelfarbarbie
Delaware163 contributions
The Statue of Liberty & Ellis Island
Jul 2021 • Family
Excellent time for our family (12 & 9 year old boys). You can just buy a ticket and go to the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island but we choose to book a tour with Get Your Guide. So
lucky we had Sara L. She told such excellent stories through the entire excursion that kept both of the kids interested. She provided excellent tips as to which side of the boat to sit on for the best pictures (right side when you are leaving Battery Park).
Written August 14, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

roj1281
Houston, TX377 contributions
Great museum and lots of history to learn about
Jul 2021
I really enjoyed going through Ellis Island. There is a place where you can look up your ancestors to see if they came through Ellis Island, it is paid but worth it if you are interested. The exhibit that showed what it was like for an immigrant to come through Ellis Island was amazing. They have an exhibit on what immigration is like today, which I thought was lacking but overall there is a lot to learn and see at this museum, don't miss it.
Written August 11, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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Frequently Asked Questions about Ellis Island

Ellis Island is open:
  • Sun - Sat 9:00 AM - 4:00 PM
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We recommend booking Ellis Island tours ahead of time to secure your spot. If you book with Tripadvisor, you can cancel up to 24 hours before your tour starts for a full refund. See all 98 Ellis Island tours on Tripadvisor