A NYC Sightseeing Free Ride on the Staten Island Ferry

If you’re visiting New York City, you may have heard the Staten Island Ferry is a great, money-saving activity. It costs absolutely nothing to ride and you get gorgeous views of the Manhattan skyline and the Statue of Liberty. When you look at the $50+ tickets of most NYC harbor cruises, it seems like a no brainer. You don’t even need a ticket! You just walk on!


Experience one of the very few legitimately free things NYC has to offer! Take the Staten Island Ferry!

Staten Island Ferry NYC view

Before I lose you New York locals, I know what you’re asking: why would a New York Manhattan snob dweller like me EVER visit Staten Island? I wasn’t playing tourist with a visiting friend, no. I was visiting Staten Island because the Staten Island Planned Parenthood has available appointments weeks before any other location in NYC! It’s great! Just a 5 minute walk from the ferry terminal and the staff are super nice! Quick, go and get your birth control while you still can…

Staten Island Ferry selfie

Most picturesque trip to the gynecologist in the history of recorded time….

Back to STATEN ISLAND FERRY advice for New York visitors! Or hey, locals who are looking for a perfect NY cliché adventure!

The Staten Island Ferry leaves from the Manhattan Terminal at the most southern tip of the island. Right next to two of my favorite NYC sights: the Seaglass Carousel and the Governor’s Island ferry. The best way to get there is to take the 1 train or the W/R trains. Get off the subway and NYC makes it really easy to know where you’re going for once. STATEN ISLAND FERRY is written out in huge letters.

Staten Island Ferry terminal nyc

Enter the building, go up the escalator, and just follow the crowds! The terminal gives out very clear communications of what door the next ferry will leave from, but it’ll be even more obvious thanks to the crowd that forms. Ferries generally leave every half hour, occasionally more frequently at rush hour. Check out the schedule HERE.

Staten Island Ferry inside

Once you’re on the ferry, don’t fall into the trap of following the crowds! A lot of people go get a seat and take in the ride through the large glass windows. The view out the windows is ok, but the glass is not any stretch of clean.

Staten Island Ferry skyline view

Want a view like this? Yeah, ya do! Don’t stay inside the Staten Island Ferry! Go to the back and get outside!

The best place to go to is the back of the ferry where, weather permitting, they open the small outdoor area. This is the place for great photos.

Staten Island Ferry outside

Tourists on the outside, local commuters sitting on the inside: there is a very obvious separation and it’s kinda funny to see! I definitely got mistaken for a tourist by a local Staten Island guy who offered to take my photo.

Staten Island Ferry Manhattan views

Statue of Liberty to the left of me, Manhattan to the right
Here I am. Stuck the ferry with you…

Don’t get too smitten by the perfect skyline view because coming up in the west will be a great view of the Statue of Liberty!

Staten Island Ferry ride

Yep, Lady Liberty is pretty close to the Staten Island Ferry route!

Staten Island Ferry Statue of Liberty

Photo ops all the way. Plus you can post all over social media that you got the perfect #NewYorkCliche shot FOR FREE! Doesn’t get better than that!

You might miss out on a couple things an expensive guided tour would tell you like, “Hey that’s the Verrazano Bridge!”

Staten Island Ferry verazano bridge

It was the largest suspension bridge when it was build in 1964 but no longer claims that title. It’s also where the New York Marathon starts!

Also “Hey, that’s Governor’s Island! It just opened for the season last week and is one of Mary Lane’s favorite places to go in the summer! You can read lots of posts about it on her blog!”

Staten Island Ferry governors island

Hi Governor’s Island! Can’t wait to visit you ASAP!

The Staten Island Ferry ride is about 25 minutes each way.

They will make you get off the ferry when you dock in Staten Island, but the Staten Island Terminal is actually nicer than the Manhattan one! It has very elaborate fish tanks!

Staten Island Ferry SI terminal

If you are super, super adventurous, get off and explore Staten Island! They’re building the area up, some day (current estimation is 2018) there will be a New York Observation Wheel attraction… For now, I heard there’s a pretty sweet farmers market on the weekends?


Have you ever visited Staten Island? Have plans to visit NYC and think this ferry ride sounds awesome? Are you a New Yorker who is super frustrated at how hard it is to get an appointment at the Manhattan Planned Parenthood and this post just changed your reproductive life? Leave a comment below! And thanks so much for reading!

Statue of Liberty Staten Island Ferry

About New York Cliche

NYC lifestyle blog by Mary Lane. Events, adventures, epic mistakes, dating, life, humor. A 20-something trying to make it (and make out) in the city of dreams.

3 thoughts on “A NYC Sightseeing Free Ride on the Staten Island Ferry

  1. Your pictures are amazing! I have been to New York and I am sure I have been to Staten Island before coz I remember taking a ferry and it was not the other island… but don’t know why, I can’t remember anything! This post is great! brings back memories! xx corinne
    Corinne & Kirsty recently posted…How to live with peopleMy Profile

  2. I can’t believe I’ve never been on the Staten Island Ferry, because 1) I love free things and 2) look at that view of Manhattan! I’ve also never been to Staten Island. It’s unbelievable that the Planned Parenthood put there is so much less busy!

    Thoroughly Modern Emily recently posted…Dogwood L’amourMy Profile

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