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Ellis Island Immigration Museum

3,129 Reviews

Ellis Island Immigration Museum

3,129 Reviews
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Battery Park, New York City, NY 10017
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South FerryNew York City Subway5 min
Whitehall St – South FerryNew York City Subway5 min
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New York Catacombs by Candlelight

1,028 reviews
Perfect for history lovers, this tour of the historical Basilica of St. Patrick’s Old Cathedral in Lower Manhattan invites you into the catacombs, allowing you to see its pipe organ and venture to parts of the building that are normally closed to visitors. Beat the crowds on this tour and enjoy a personal encounter with this New York landmark.
US$37.00 per adult
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hrobinson1114 wrote a review Apr 2021
Hopkinsville, Kentucky2122 contributions196 helpful votes
I don’t use the phrase “must do” often, but it applies to Ellis Island. If you browse my profile, you’ll see I’ve reviewed a lot of NYC attractions. This one is up at the top for me, along with AMNH and the Tenement Museum. The island starts with magnificent views of Manhattan. Then the inside has a three story museum full of well done exhibits. The displays aren’t too wordy, so you don’t get overwhelmed. There are many direct accounts from immigrants. There is a an honest timeline about how immigration occurred in America, including colonization of native land. The displays are large and beautiful and easy to read. The photos are from their archives, so you’re seeing real people with real stories. You learn who people are, why they came, and if they got to stay. You get to see their personal effects/luggage. You see immigrants’ personal papers. You learn about the process for deciding if an immigrant stays. You learn about the medical exams they endured. The architecture inside is gorgeous! And I recommend getting to the Island when it first opens and found there first, while everyone else goes to the Statue of Liberty. You can appreciate the vastness of the hall and take some great photos. I also took the hard hat tour, run by “Save Ellis Island.” A regular ferry ticket is about 20 bucks. The hard hat tour is about 80. It’s worth it! You get to see some of the partially restored parts (they call it arrested decay). The buildings are stabilized and cleaned up, but not restored to the extent of the main hall. There you see amazing architecture and can really FEEL what immigrants went through when they were sent to the island hospital. It was a small group, only seven of us, and the guide was knowledgeable and invested in the cause. Tons of info and great photo ops. There is also an art installation in the medical buildings by a French artist named JR. The museum is a must see, and the hard hat tour makes it even better. We are all immigrants.
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Date of experience: April 2021
1 Helpful vote
MS2026 wrote a review Sep 2020
New York City, New York37 contributions52 helpful votes
Highly recommend the free guided tour provided at the Museum. Helps understand what immigrants experienced coming into the US through Ellis Island. The ranger shared interesting stories and provided good context. Tour timing are posted at the entrance hall and at the information booth. The cafe/ restaurant has a nice outside patio to have a relaxing meal or coffee while taking in the sights of lower manhattan
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Date of experience: October 2019
2 Helpful votes
Andrés Blanco wrote a review Sep 2020
Carteret, New Jersey504 contributions109 helpful votes
This was the first stop on our tour before visiting Liberty Island. This museum is very informative and rich in history. I would recommend this to anyone interested to know how the immigrant community in United States began to rise. Very clean facilities and friendly staff.
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Date of experience: February 2020
2 Helpful votes
Lane the English traveller wrote a review May 2020
Huddersfield, United Kingdom535 contributions376 helpful votes
As part of the SOL ticket, we came to Ellis hoping it would be an interesting museum. Sadly, I found it a bit boring. I was hoping to see true stories and experiences but alas no. Did read quite a few things and then wanted to leave. My partner felt the same way. We decided to sit outside in the sunshine, as the day was lovely and wait for the next boat to arrive. Maybe it wasnt as exciting because the SOL museum was so good.
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Date of experience: September 2019
3 Helpful votes
Philip M wrote a review Mar 2020
London, United Kingdom759 contributions190 helpful votes
We were so pleased to be able to visit this "five star" museum - we were there just before NYC virtually closed down due to the covid-19 pandemic. This is a place that must not be missed when visiting NYC. Access is by Statue Cruises which also visits Liberty Island and I get the impression that many tourists consider Ellis Island just an add-on to the Statue of Liberty, it should be the other way around. Do not miss this Museum. From 1892 until 1924, Ellis Island was the main immigration centre on the East Coast and the museum, housed in the main immigration hall building, tells the story of immigration into the USA from the earliest times until the present. The ground floor - the original baggage hall - is partially set out as a baggage hall and there are excellent permanent displays in two sections. The first concentrates 16th century until the end of the 19th Century. The other concentrates on modern immigration. There is lots of reading associated with the displays. The second floor has the famous enormous Registry Room together with the immigration court rooms that I knew nothing about before. Then there are very moving display rooms concentrating on the late 19th/early 20th century immigration. Some of the medical and health displays are very moving. This museum, I consider, to be one of the most essential tourist sites to visit when in NYC. Do schedule at least three hours to appreciate this site.
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Date of experience: March 2020
2 Helpful votes
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