Tour Ellis Island’s South Side

Visit the un-restored Ellis Island Hospital Complex on a 90-minute “Hard Hat Tour”

Reserve your “Hard Hat Reserve Tickets” through Statue Cruises, the ferry concession to the monument.

Buy tickets today

Tours are available seven days a week – Sunday through Saturday

Daily Tour Schedule:

  • 10:30 a.m. to 12 noon
  • 11:00 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.
  • 12:30 p.m. to 2:00 p.m
  • 1:30 p.m. to 3:00 p.m.
  • 2:30 p.m. to 4:00 p.m.

Guided 90-minute tours will take you to select areas of the 750-bed Ellis Island Hospital. Visit the Laundry Building, with much of its original equipment still in place, where over 3000 pieces of laundry were washed and sanitized daily, infectious and contagious disease wards, kitchen, staff housing, autopsy room and more. As part of the tour opening, an art exhibit, “Unframed – Ellis Island,” by renowned artist JR will be on display throughout the hospital complex. The exhibit features life size historic photographs of Ellis Island immigrants installed on 16 interior walls. JR, the recipient of the prestigious TED Prize, is known throughout the world for his “Pervasive Art” exhibitions which are designed to raise questions. Don’t forget to bring your camera. You may even catch a ghostly image looking back. This experience is one you won’t want to miss! The “Hard Hat Tour” is a program developed and administered by Save Ellis Island, Inc. All proceeds from the tour will go to the restoration and preservation of the unrestored historic south side buildings.

Important information about the tour:

  • All participants must be 13 years of age or older. Participants under the age 18 years old must be accompanied by a parent or legal guardian at all times during the tour.
  • These un-restored buildings do not comply with Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) requirements at this time. Participants must be able to climb stairs. We regret that visitors with wheelchairs or scooters are not permitted on the tour at this time.
  • Wear comfortable, closed-toe shoes. Sandals, flip-flops, open-toed shoes and high heels are not permitted.

Unframed by JR

Visiting Ellis Island

Today the Ellis Island Immigration Museum is part of the Statue of Liberty National Monument and is under the care of the National Park Service.

Ellis Island Tickets, Hours and Ferry Service

Statue Cruises - Ferry Service to Ellis Island Ellis Island Immigration Museum is part of the Statue of Liberty National Monument and is under the care of the National Park Service. For many, Ellis Island is one of the most meaningful historic sites in New York. Visitors can easily spend hours here learning about America’s immigration history and the varied roles the island has played since the nation’s early years. The Immigration Museum tells the stories of why so many people chose to come to America and what became of them after they arrived. When visiting the monument, be sure to stop at the Information desk in the Immigration Museum to visit with the Save Ellis Island volunteer staff. Liberty Island Ferry to Ellis Island

Hours of Operation
First ferry from mainland 9:30am
Last ferry from mainland 3:00pm
Closing Ferry – from Liberty Island 5:00pm

***Visitors on last mainland ferry will only be able to visit one island. **Liberty Island closes 15 minutes prior to final departure of 5:00pm.

Visitors arrive and depart Ellis and Liberty Islands, located in New York Harbor, via ferries operated by Statue Cruises. These ferries leave from two locations: Battery Park at the southernmost tip of Manhattan, and Liberty State Park in Jersey City, New Jersey. Private vessels may not dock at either Ellis or Liberty Islands.

Getting to the ferry

Battery Park, lower Manhattan, New York City: Visitors boarding ferries in lower Manhattan should use public transportation whenever possible. For those who are driving or carpooling, parking can be both expensive and difficult for those who are not familiar with traffic in New York City. Liberty State Park, Jersey City, New Jersey: Driving and parking at Liberty State Park is easier, but even here, visitors have options for public transportation.


Liberty State Park in Jersey City, New Jersey: Google Maps NJ View the interactive map Those who board the ferry at Liberty State Park can not only visit Liberty and Ellis Islands, but can also visit lower Manhattan as well. Take the New Jersey Turnpike Extension to Exit 14B. Follow the signs to Liberty State Park/Ferry to Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island. Ample parking is available at Liberty State Park for a fee. GPS Address: 1 Audrey Zapp Drive, Jersey City, NJ 07305 Wheelchair/Handicapped-Accessible Parking to get to the ferry: Designated spots for those with official placards are available. There are level walkways to the ferry boarding area. Handicapped-accessible rest rooms are located within the Central Railroad of New Jersey Terminal at Liberty State Park.


Battery Park, New York City: Where to get tickets for Ellis Island View the interactive map Take the East Side Drive (FDR Drive) south to Battery Park and State Streetor the West Side Highway/West Street/Route 9A South to Battery Park Place. Designated parking is not available. Privately operated parking lots are located along West Street and South Street (beneath the FDR Drive) and may be used for a fee. Because parking is limited, it is best to arrive early or, better yet, to take public transportation. GPS Address: 1 Battery Place, New York, NY 10004 Wheelchair/Handicapped-Accessible Parking to get to the ferry: Official placards are required in order to park in designated public parking spaces available in New York City. The closest metered parking spaces to Battery Park are on Battery Place. Private parking lots are available as well. Handicapped-accessible rest rooms are available in Castle Clinton National Monument and ferry ticket counters are handicapped accessible.

A national treasure and rewarding destination

It is a place where visitors can spend hours learning about Ellis Island’s history before, during, and after its use as America’s immigration station.

Ellis Island main hall - Immigrant museum

Visit Save Ellis Island Volunteers at the Information Desk in the Immigration Museum for information on our tours and education programs. See Save Ellis Island Programs for information on additional tours, education programs and events. Visit Ellis Island - tourist destination in New York City

Your visit to Ellis Island

If you’re already visiting Liberty Island, the ferry ticket includes transportation to both Liberty and Ellis Island as well as a return trip back to your original departure point. You can elect to make your final return trip back to the opposite departure point from where you started. There is no need to purchase a second ticket! Be sure to purchase your tickets in advance to guarantee your chance to experience this national treasure. Eating on Ellis Island - Food on Ellis Island Ellis Island: View of Manhattan NYC Ellis Island was severely damaged during hurricane Sandy. However, The National Park Service has made great progress to repair the damages caused by the storm. While almost every exhibit is now open to the public, the museum’s artifacts remain in off-site storage. Your Membership Keeps Ellis Island Alive, donate now at campaign to Save Ellis Island

From 1892 to 1954, over 12 million immigrants entered USA through the portal of Ellis Island in New York Harbor

We are part of America's story

Ellis Island tells the story of the journey of millions of men, women and children from around the world who sought a new future on these shores.

Walking around these buildings we're not just talking about history-visitors are able to touch, feel, and understand in a way that connects them to the past. As we rebuild parts of Ellis Island, we are rebuilding its legacy and revitalizing living landmarks to a world gone by. Save Ellis Island is working to create a destination that echoes the beacon of hope that it once was for nearly twelve million immigrants and continues to be for the nearly two million visitors each year.

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Our Supporters

The Save Ellis Island website is made possible by a generous donation from Heidi Liebi Root in memory of her father Fred Liebi