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Ellis Island National Immigration Museum

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The Ellis Island National Immigration Museum tells the moving story of immigration to the United States. Located on the island that once was the gateway to America for millions of immigrants, the museum offers a unique insight into the diversity and richness of American immigration history. This immersive experience leads visitors through the highs and lows of the immigrant experience, from arrival at Ellis Island to integration into American society. Perhaps you will also discover one of your ancestors on the American Immigrant Wall of Honor?
Hannah Gottlieb-KettlBy Hannah Gottlieb-Kettl
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Tickets

Don't miss the opportunity to visit the Statue of Liberty on your tour!
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New York City: Statue of Liberty & Ellis Island with Ferry
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Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island Ticket: Ferry from Battery Park
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Statue of Liberty & Ellis Island: Entry + Tour
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Combo Tickets

Do you want to experience more? With a special ticket, you can make your day even more varied!
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New York City: Statue of Liberty & Ellis Island Guided Tour
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Entry Tickets to the Statue of Liberty & Ellis Island with Ferry Transfers
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New York: Statue of Liberty & Ellis Island Tour
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Small-Group Downtown, 911 Memorial, Wall Street Tour
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4 tips for visiting the Ellis Island National Immigration Museum

Main entrance | Photo: Hannah Gottlieb-Kettl
1
Visit Lady LibertyTickets for Ellis Island and the Ellis Island National Immigration Museum are usually available as a combination ticket with Liberty Island and a visit to the Statue of Liberty. Don't miss this great opportunity and also pay a visit to the Statue of Liberty! With a Reserve with Crown Ticket, you can even climb up to the crown and view Ellis Island from a bird's-eye perspective.
View of Ellis Island from the ferry | Photo: Hannah Gottlieb-Kettl
2
Observe the security regulationsBoth large bags as well as backpacks and trolleys are prohibited inside the museum. Please also note that there is a Security Check when boarding the ferry and there are no luggage storage facilities at the piers in New York and New Jersey.
3
Get an Audio GuideTo immerse oneself deeper into American history and not miss anything, a free audio tour is recommended. This allows you to explore the museum at your own pace and linger longer at interesting spots. The audio tours are available in 12 different languages.
4
Become a Part of the FlagIn the museum, you will find a huge, interactive installation that assembles portraits into a mosaic in the shape of the American flag. The flag represents the diversity and history of American society. Following the motto ‘Out of many, one’, you too can become part of ‘Portraits of America’ with a donation of $50!
Immigrants | Photo: New York Public Library

Ellis Island National Immigration Museum

Until 1954, Ellis Island was the location of New York's immigration authority for immigrants. The Ellis Island National Immigration Museum now presents their history. It was opened in 1990 and offers visitors the opportunity to follow in the footsteps of the many men and women who placed all their hopes and dreams in the hands of the USA.

The USA as a Country of Immigration

At the end of the 19th century, the USA became a popular destination for immigrants. At Ellis Island, there were sometimes up to 500 employees at work as they had to process between 400 and 500 applications daily. On April 17, 1907, a record-breaking 12,000 immigrants were registered who wanted to live the American Dream.

In the Footsteps of the Immigrants

The Ellis Island National Immigration Museum is housed in the main building of the original immigration complex. Visitors can walk in the footsteps of the immigrants of that time. The exhibition leads through the former grand hall, the dormitories, and the baggage room. You can experience the history of the people up close.

An island with many names

Ellis Island had many different names over time. While the island was called Oyster Island (‘oyster island’) by Dutch settlers in the 17th century due to the abundance of shellfish, it was later known for a while as Gibbet Island, where pirates were hanged. It was not until 1861 that Ellis Island was named after its former owner Samuel Ellis, although the island was still used as a public picnic place until 1807. It only became part of New York's Immigration Station after 1890.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is the museum wheelchair accessible?

The museum and the ferries are wheelchair accessible. Read more.

Is WiFi available in the museum?

Free WiFi is available in both the Statue of Liberty Museum and the Ellis Island National Immigration Museum. Read more.

How much time should I plan for a visit?

Since you can explore both the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island on your own, it depends on your personal pace. Visitors typically spend an average of between two and four hours in total. Read more.

General information

opening hours

The museum is open daily from 9:45 am to 5:30 pm.

Please note that the last ferry leaves Ellis Island at 5:15 pm!

tickets

Adult tickets cost $23.50, seniors (62+) $18.00, and children from 4 to 12 years old $12.00. Children under 3 years visit the museum for free.

Every admission ticket includes the round-trip ferry ride, entry to the Statue of Liberty Museum, and audio guides.

address

Ellis Island National Museum of Immigration
Jersey City
NJ 10280
United States

how to get there

Access to Ellis Island is only possible by ferry, with journeys included in the ticket. The ferry departs from the Battery Park (New York) or Liberty State Park (New Jersey) stations. The Battery Park station can be reached by the 7th Avenue Line subway (Station South Ferry), the Lexington Avenue Line subway (Station Bowling Green), as well as the bus lines M15 (Station South Ferry) and M6. The Liberty State Park Station can be reached by taking the Hudson-Bergen Light Rail (HBLR).
Hannah Gottlieb-Kettl
Written byHannah Gottlieb-KettlHannah is an enthusiastic globetrotter. Her love of discovering new places has taken her to almost every continent on our planet. Hannah now shares this great passion with the world as a content creator. In her writing, she provides impressive insights and combines her travel experiences with lots of useful tips.
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