The island in New York Harbor is still a popular destination for tourists from around the world who visit New York City and want to see this historic place. Annually, the national monument attracts up to two million tourists a year. And while parts of the historic facility have fallen into disrepair, Ellis Island has lost none of its charm and is definitely a destination to consider when visiting New York. Especially if you have relatives in the USA who or whose ancestors came to the country via Ellis Island. The months of May and June are considered the best time to visit the island. Then the temperatures are most comfortable.
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The buildings on Ellis Island are divided into four sections. In addition to the main building with the museum, the reception building and two other building blocks can also be found on the island. The main building is north of the landing basin, the reception building at the head of this basin.
Ellis Island National Museum of Immigration
The main attraction on the island is of course the museum. The museum is located in the main building of the former collection point and tells the moving story of the 12 million immigrants who came to America through the golden door of Ellis Island. The building, designed in the style of the French Renaissance, offers an audio tour with more than 120 hours of content. A family-friendly tour is also offered, which answers many questions and provides knowledge about this historic place.
Exhibitions here can relate Ellis Island’s role in the history of immigration to the United States through numerous artifacts, photographs, prints, interactive displays, narrated stories, and temporary exhibitions.
It also provides information on migration patterns around the world, research into the people who arrived in the United States before the Ellis Island era, and immigration from 1954 to the present day.
You can also use the American Immigrant Wall of Honor® or the American Flag of Face ™ Honor your family when you have ancestors who once arrived in America via Ellis Island.
Immigration Archives on Ellis Island
Do you have relatives in the United States and have you always wanted to learn more about your family history? Then you should definitely do that American Family Immigration History Center® pay a visit. An extraordinary collection of immigrant information data is offered here, either directly in the archives or can be searched online. There are almost 65 million arrival dates available here.
Guided tours of Ellis Island
- Registration Room Tour: National Park Service staff and dedicated volunteers offer free tours. The tours last approximately 40 minutes and cover the history of the island during the busiest immigration years between 1892 and 1924. Tours begin at the information desk on the hour, with the number of tours varying daily.
- Tour through the hospital complex: So-called hard hat tours are offered through the hospital complex, in which 750 beds were once available for those in need of treatment. As part of the 90 minute tour, see the laundry building, infectious and contagious disease stations, kitchen, staff rooms, autopsy room, and more. The tour also includes a visit to the “Unframed – Ellis Island” art exhibition by the renowned artist JR. The exhibition shows life-size historical photographs of immigrants on 22 interior walls. The tours are chargeable.
Two birds with one stone – Ellis Island and Liberty Island
The visit of Ellis Iceland with the National Museum of Immigration can be excellently with a visit to Liberty Iceland join, where the world famous Statue of Liberty, better known as the Statue of Liberty is. Visiting the islands is basically free for the public. However, the ferry to the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island is chargeable.
Arrival to Ellis Island
Ellis Island with its National Museum of Immigration is open to the public every day, as is Liberty Island with the Statue of Liberty. Exceptions are the fourth Thursday in November (Thanksgiving) and December 25th. Depending on the weather, the ferries to the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island can also be canceled.
The ferries to the Statue of Liberty on Liberty Island or to Ellis Island leave from Battery Park in Lower Manhattan or Liberty State Park in Jersey City. It is recommended to start no later than 1pm if you plan to visit both islands. You should plan around five hours for both islands. The ferry runs every 20 minutes. The return trip from Ellis Island offers the most beautiful view of the Manhattan skyline.
Warning: Statue Cruises is the ONLY ferry service authorized by the National Park Service to sell tickets for transportation to the islands. It is highly recommended to only buy tickets there! To cross over to the islands with one of the ferries from Battery Park or Liberty State Park, a strict security check must be passed through. You are not allowed to take large bags, strollers, rucksacks and other large items with you to the islands.
What is the cost of visiting Ellis Island?
When visiting the island, only the price of the ferry ticket applies. The price for a ticket is currently around US $ 20 for people aged 13 and over. Ranger and audio tours are included. Additional fees apply for the tour of the hospital complex.