Ellis Island
Ellis Island
4.5
Historic SitesPoints of Interest & LandmarksHistory 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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Neighbourhood: Ellis Island
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  • Sarah F
    32 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Hard Hat Tour
    I thoroughly enjoyed the Hard Hat Tour, which takes you around the abandoned Ellis Island hospital, otherwise not open to the public. Cheryl, our tour guide, was great, and clearly has an enthusiasm for this unique place. There are very few sites like this left in New York, so it’s rare to find something not restored, knocked down or developed. The buildings are fairly vast and it’s easy to imagine the stories of the patients here. There are old photographs projected onto the walls as part of an art installation, and this, together with information from Cheryl, really helped to bring this forgotten place to life again. Highly recommended!
    Visited April 2023
    Travelled with family
    Written 12 April 2023
  • Arthur M
    Hamilton, Canada1,044 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    What a comprehensive exhibit dedicated to immigration!
    The exhibits are totally informative from the beginnings of immigration from Europe to the modern day immigration from around the world and their challenges and pushback from Americans. The hall upstairs looks pretty iconic too even though it is not actively in use, it still looks pretty grand to me! A lot of people only go to Liberty Island and only see Ellis Island as an afterthought, but it in itself is New York's iconic sites as well!
    Visited April 2023
    Written 18 April 2023
  • Lalo765
    San Antonio, Florida301 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Loved the Island - hated the ferry experience
    I cannot recommend the ferry experience, which was absolutely horrible (reviewed at Statue City Cruises) however, Ellis Island is well worth it - if only there were some other way of getting. The exhibits are well done and interesting. The arrival building has been stunningly restored - so impressive. There are beautiful views of the Statue of Liberty and and Manhattan from the waterfront behind the museum.
    Visited April 2023
    Travelled as a couple
    Written 22 April 2023
  • Lonnie G
    45 contributions
    4.0 of 5 bubbles
    Worth the stop!
    Nice place to visit and hang out. Spent time int he facility and exhibits but also enjoyed having a bite to eat and resting in the park like setting. Facility should get 5 stars. Excellent. Prepare to spend alot of time waiting on the ferries. Not enough running and you will spend much of your day in line. Ferries get 1 star.
    Visited June 2023
    Written 23 July 2023
  • Siena
    43 contributions
    4.0 of 5 bubbles
    Our history and today’s issue
    Great experience, very educational. 2 hours just fly by. So much to observe. As We are facing immigration issues today, we can all revisit here Ellis island to see how our country was formed and know what your great grand parents experienced. Be educated, be smart and compassionate. My 18 years old daughter spend much time just learning how USA formed by immigrants from all over the world. She says what she learned in school finally connected, and able to deepen her understanding of this country. After visit here, you can go back to Manhattan with fresh pair of eyes to see everyone’s life and being. Wished cafeteria offers different types of food, commemorate different ethnic foods.
    Visited August 2023
    Travelled with family
    Written 30 August 2023
  • A Midlife Adventure
    Dursley, United Kingdom1,350 contributions
    4.0 of 5 bubbles
    The Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island are a must do experience but allow the best part of 4-6 hrs to do it justice
    We caught the ferry across from The Statue of Liberty at about 11 am. It wasn’t too crowded and you basically off load straight into the museum We picked up an audio guide to ensure we learnt everything we could and didn’t miss anything. For us this was the end of a longer journey having visited the Red Star Line Museum in Antwerp where a lot of the European immigrants bought passage to the New World. We didn’t really learn anything new and to be honest found the museum in Antwerp far more informative. Every American should visit to understand that the Native Americans are the only true real Americans. Everyone else is descended from an immigrant and as such should perhaps have more compassion for those seeking a better life in the current age. We were there for several hours and finished our day by taking the ferry back to Battery Park.
    Visited August 2023
    Travelled as a couple
    Written 13 October 2023
  • SylviaTourstein
    1,210 contributions
    4.0 of 5 bubbles
    NPS - Ellis Island Museum ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ Sylvia 4-star = amazing
    Stepping into the Ellis Island Museum is a step into history. This is a very emotionally engaging place to visit. The pictures are not always joyous and neither are the tales. Be prepared with an open mind and open heart. Kids also may get bored of all the walking as there are lots of words and explanations. There are some interactive places where kids can pull back windows to learn facts. Our favorite was the music wall and to see how much American music has been influenced by the songs and instruments of other countries. Look out the windows. The museum provides curious views of the Statue of Liberty and the Manhattan skyline. Take a moment to enjoy the scenery and reflect on the historical significance of the place. Take your time. There is a lot of historical information.
    Visited October 2023
    Travelled with family
    Written 1 November 2023
  • Kdawg282
    Doylestown, Pennsylvania1,303 contributions
    4.0 of 5 bubbles
    Stop by once!
    Stop by a see it once after visiting the Statue of Liberty. A quick visit to scroll through some of the grounds and info is all you need unless you have history here from your family that you want to look into yourself. I enjoyed the visit but most of my family came other means, no need to spend a ton of time here.
    Visited September 2023
    Travelled as a couple
    Written 3 November 2023
  • Megan
    New Zealand6 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Hard hat tour - totally worth it!
    Would highly recommend the hard hat tour! We got to see the hospital where people were cared for on the island. Irwin was our guide and he was really great. Had so much passion and a personal connection to the island. His knowledge was awesome, he gave us a great overall rundown of the island and afterwards we did a tour of the museum but Irwin had covered most of it in the tour!
    Visited November 2023
    Travelled with family
    Written 4 November 2023
  • joseph w
    Newcastle upon Tyne, United Kingdom103 contributions
    4.0 of 5 bubbles
    A must visit.
    Regular ferry service with snack bar on boat. Great way to see New York City skyline. Staff were very nice . The museum well laid out and informative. Nice Cafe on site. Very Interesting place well done.
    Visited December 2023
    Travelled with family
    Written 14 December 2023
These reviews are the subjective opinion of Tripadvisor members and not of TripAdvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Most Recent: Reviews ordered by most recent publish date in descending order.

Detailed Reviews: Reviews ordered by recency and descriptiveness of user-identified themes such as waiting time, length of visit, general tips, and location information.

Popular mentions

4.5
4.5 of 5 bubbles7,322 reviews
Excellent
4,284
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2,092
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marianne08rey
Puerto Galera, Philippines104 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Mar 2024 • Friends
Ellis Island, located in New York Harbor near the Statue of Liberty, served as the United States' largest immigration station from 1892 to 1954. Named after its 18th-century owner, Samuel Ellis, the island was expanded over time by landfills.

Before it became an immigration station, Ellis Island was used for various purposes by the U.S. government, such as serving as a munitions arsenal during the War of 1812. The federal government bought the island in 1808 and it was used as a fort during the Civil War.

On January 1, 1892, Ellis Island replaced Castle Garden (located in Battery Park, Manhattan) as the main immigration center for the United States. The first immigrant to pass through Ellis Island was Annie Moore, a 15-year-old girl from Ireland who arrived with her two younger brothers to join their parents in New York City.

From 1892 to 1924, more than 12 million immigrants passed through Ellis Island in search of a better life in America. Most of these immigrants were from Europe, escaping poverty, religious persecution, and political unrest.

The processing of immigrants at Ellis Island involved a series of medical and legal inspections to determine if they were fit for entry into the United States. Those who failed these inspections could be sent back to their home countries.

In 1924, the Immigration Act was passed, which greatly reduced the number of immigrants allowed entry into the United States and effectively ended mass immigration to America. After this, Ellis Island was mainly used as a detention and deportation center for immigrants.

The island was closed as an immigration center in 1954 and declared surplus federal property. It was neglected for many years until it was restored and turned into a museum and national monument. The Ellis Island National Museum of Immigration opened in 1990 and today, it attracts millions of visitors each year who come to explore the history of American immigration.
Written 27 March 2024
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Farwriter
London, UK125 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Mar 2024 • Solo
For me, Ellis Island is a must-see for anyone interested in social history. I just really wish there was another way to get there which wasn't via the awful Statue Cruises experience and wasn't lumped in with a visit to Liberty Island. However, it is worth enduring the lengthy queues and aggressive security to see the place where so many thousands of people first entered New York between the 1880s and 1920s. There are actually lots of buildings on the island although only the main building is open to visitors. I spent over five hours here and could easily have spent longer. I was one of the first people into the building in the morning so managed to see the beautiful registry hall completely empty. The displays explaining the process of medical and legal checks the immigrants would have endured were so interesting and moving. Other displays look at the countries where immigrants came from and their reasons for leaving, and attitudes to immigration over the years. Some very interesting anti-immigration cartoons from various points throughout history. On the top floor there is a display about the history of Ellis Island itself, showing the growth of the island and its various uses and when all the buildings were added, and another exhibition shows artefacts from some specific families who entered through Ellis Island. I also really enjoyed seeing some photographs taken of Ellis Island when it was derelict in the 1980s - I wished there were more of those. So eerie and atmospheric. There are also some exhibitions about pre-Ellis Island immigration and about immigration up to the present day. I had to skip these because my brain was full but they looked interesting!
Written 21 March 2024
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

F G
8 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Oct 2023 • Couples
I’ve always wanted to visit Ellis Island and walk the floors my grandfather walked when he came to the US from Poland. This was very heartwarming and very meaningful and memorable. This museum is extremely immaculate, and so much to see and learn. I could’ve spent hours and hours here. The self guided audio tour was amazing and very informative. I hope someday I can go back again. I highly recommend Ellis Island, especially if you have a family history there.
Written 8 February 2024
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Kevin B
Mount Juliet, TN2,327 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Jun 2023 • Couples
Visiting here was an amazing and humbling experience. As a descendent of immigrants (some of who came through here), my wife and I loved touring every aspect of Ellis Island, from seeing just how the evaluation process occurred once they got here to learning more about the people who risked everything on the American Dream. The facility is quite large and it has numerous exhibits to view. We came here after touring The Statue of Liberty and it was an amazing day filled with American History.

It takes more guts than you can ever imagine to leave everything you know and hope things will work out in a distance and unfamiliar land. We are both so grateful to our ancestors and this place for helping them accomplish that dream.
Written 26 January 2024
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

SMiriah
Oldham, UK203 contributions
3.0 of 5 bubbles
Jan 2024 • Couples
If you pay for the cruise to liberty island this is usually part of that. It’s worth visiting as the buildings are beautiful and the history from it is great to learn about. However it is a museum and nothing else on the island. There’s a lot shut off
Written 22 January 2024
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

joseph w
Newcastle upon Tyne, UK103 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Dec 2023 • Family
Regular ferry service with snack bar on boat. Great way to see New York City skyline. Staff were very nice . The museum well laid out and informative. Nice
Cafe on site. Very Interesting place well done.
Written 14 December 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Megan
New Zealand6 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Nov 2023 • Family
Would highly recommend the hard hat tour! We got to see the hospital where people were cared for on the island. Irwin was our guide and he was really great. Had so much passion and a personal connection to the island. His knowledge was awesome, he gave us a great overall rundown of the island and afterwards we did a tour of the museum but Irwin had covered most of it in the tour!
Written 4 November 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Kdawg282
Doylestown, PA1,303 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Sept 2023 • Couples
Stop by a see it once after visiting the Statue of Liberty. A quick visit to scroll through some of the grounds and info is all you need unless you have history here from your family that you want to look into yourself. I enjoyed the visit but most of my family came other means, no need to spend a ton of time here.
Written 3 November 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

SylviaTourstein
1,210 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Oct 2023 • Family
Stepping into the Ellis Island Museum is a step into history. This is a very emotionally engaging place to visit. The pictures are not always joyous and neither are the tales. Be prepared with an open mind and open heart. Kids also may get bored of all the walking as there are lots of words and explanations. There are some interactive places where kids can pull back windows to learn facts. Our favorite was the music wall and to see how much American music has been influenced by the songs and instruments of other countries. Look out the windows. The museum provides curious views of the Statue of Liberty and the Manhattan skyline. Take a moment to enjoy the scenery and reflect on the historical significance of the place. Take your time. There is a lot of historical information.
Written 1 November 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Erin J
3 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Oct 2023 • Family
I was with my 76 year old mother and 14 year old son so I wanted to be sure we had a pleasant experience and were not waiting in line like cattle for too long. We booked the Pedestal and Ellis Island hard hat tour for a Monday morning (the first hard hat tour is offered at 11:30). We arrived to Battery park at 08:30 as suggested on the tickets. There was already a long line and when I showed our tickets with the timed entry the staff member said it did not matter what time was on the ticket, to just wait in line with everyone, I still do not understand the purpose of the timed tickets? We did manage to get on the 09:00 ferry but we were among the last to get on that first boat. Despite feeling very crowded on the boat, walking up to the pedestal and around the statue of liberty did not feel overcrowded. When I asked a park attendant how much time we should allow to get to Ellis island he recommended the 10:35 ferry to Ellis Island and to start waiting in line at 10:20. I am glad we did this as the ferry to Ellis Island was very full (many guests coming from NYC did not get off the ferry at the statue of liberty meaning less space for those guests trying to get from the Statue of Liberty to Ellis Island). I imagine that later in the day or on an even more crowded day you might have to wait for a 2nd ferry so do keep that in mind with timing. I would have liked to explore more around the Statue of Liberty but there was not time for that. We arrived to Ellis Island at 10:55 and checked in for our hard hat tour (signing some papers) and were told to be back at 11:25. We had a quick bit at the cafe as the tour is 90 minutes and there is no food allowed nor bathrooms available. The tour was amazing and well worth it, very informative and interesting, both my mom and my son enjoyed it very much and the 90 minutes flew by. It was a beautiful day but I imagine it could be quite cold on a rainy or windy day so be prepared. When the tour was over we noticed that there was already a large line for the ferry back to NYC. We did not want to wait to get back to NYC as we had plans for the late afternoon so we did a 10 minute run around the immigration museum and then got in line for the ferry. My mother and son were content, however I would really have loved time to explore the museum. It is a shame that you feel stressed to get the ferry knowing that you may have to wait standing ni line for another 25 minutes for another boat if you are not able to get on the next one and I wish they had a better system for reserving times instead of cramming everyone in.
I also do not understand the ticketing system. You have to buy separate tickets for the Pedestal/Crown and for the Hard Hat tour so if you do both, you are buying 2 x the ferry from Battery Park to the Statue fo Liberty? There should be a way to buy the ferry then add on the tours as they are sold on the same City Experience website?? One of the top tourist attractions in NYC (one of the most technologically advanced cities in the world) and they have not figured out a better way to sell tickets or make the entire experience smoother?!
Written 29 October 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

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Ellis Island - All You Need to Know BEFORE You Go (2024) - Tripadvisor

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