Located south of Lower Manhattan and bordering the Financial District, Battery Park is one of the most beautiful parks in New York famous for its spectacular views of the Statue of Liberty.
However, contemplating "Lady Liberty" in the distance is not the only thing you can see and do. This park has a lot to offer! Don't miss these 10 ideas to get the most out of your Battery Park tour.
1. Enjoy the view of the Statue of Liberty from a bench
Sit on one of the benches in Battery Park for unobstructed views of the Statue of Liberty and New York Harbor.
It's a great place to take a break away from the hustle and bustle of the Big Apple streets and relax while watching the ships pass by on the Hudson River.
In addition, in the distance you can see several places of interest such as Governor's Island, the Verrazano Bridge, Ellis Island and Brooklyn, among others.
2. Or take a ferry from Battery Park to see it up close
If you're not satisfied with just seeing "Lady Liberty" from afar, then it's best to join a guided tour of the Statue of Liberty to see this world-famous icon of the United States up close and personal.
To do this you will have to take one of the ferries that sail from Battery Park, either by buying your tickets in advance or using one of the tourist cards that you can buy to visit New York that includes this visit.
Where do the ferries to the Statue of Liberty depart from?
- Ferry from Manhattan
- Departs from Battery Park
- Takes about 15 minutes
- Goes directly to Liberty Island
- Main pier
- Largest presence of tourists
- Ferry from New Jersey
- Departs at Liberty State Park
- Takes about 30 minutes
- Does not go directly to Liberty Island
- Alternative pier
- Less tourist presence
Whichever option you choose, my advice is to go first thing in the morning to the Battery Park pier because in order to board the ferry you will have to go through a thorough security check and this can take quite a while due to the long queues that form. Before boarding, I advise you to book your tickets in advance and take a look at the ferry schedules so you can better organize your visit.
3. Take a bike tour of Battery Park
One of the best ways to have a great time visiting a park like Battery Park (especially if you don't have a lot of time to explore it on foot) is to rent a bike and ride it quickly from end to end on a route that allows you to see the main sights while enjoying nature and the seascape.
In that sense, I recommend using Citi Bike, New York's public bike rental service, which is very cheap and easy to use! Around the park there are about 20 bike stations where you can take one, but first you will have to download the App on your mobile and register an account.
Other interesting options to consider if you are going on this tour with children under 16 (who can't use CitiBike) or if you prefer to do a traditional style guided tour on wheels are Blazing Saddles or Bike and Roll.
4. Ride the SeaGlass Carousel at Battery Park
When traveling as a family it is always a good idea to dedicate some time to activities for the kids to have fun too, and in Battery Park in addition to having outdoor space to run and play they can ride the SeaGlass Carousel, a peculiar merry-go-round made of fiberglass inspired by the ocean and its creatures.
It's located east of Battery Park (near the South Ferry Station where ferries leave for Staten Island) and admission for one ride is $5.
If you're planning a tour of Battery Park with the kids, this carousel might be a good place to take a break and let them have some fun riding giant fish in an atmosphere that evokes the underwater world thanks to LED lighting while music plays in the background. So you too can take a break from all that walking!
SeaGlass Carousel is open every day of the week from 11 AM to 9 PM in Battery Park.
5. Enter the Museum of Jewish Heritage
While booking your tour of Battery Park you can visit the west side of the park where the Museum of Jewish Heritage is located, a space dedicated to both honoring the victims of the Holocaust and keeping alive the history of Jewish immigrants who came to the country in search of a better future.
New York City is the largest Jewish community outside of Israel, which has had a great influence on the development of the city. In the museum you can put a face and learn the stories of thousands of people (mostly from Central and Eastern Europe) who crossed the Atlantic to start a new life while preserving their traditions and customs.
This visit is the perfect complement to the Immigration Museum at Ellis Island or the Tenement Museum (103 Orchard Street), both historical museums that allow you to learn more about the history of those immigrants who came to the United States from other corners of the planet. It can also serve as a small immersion in Jewish culture before visiting Williamsburg, New York's quintessential Jewish neighborhood.
Museum of Jewish Heritage ticket prices
- Adult: from 15 €
- Senior: from 10 €
- Children under 12: Free
6. Enjoy the sunset from Battery Park
Due to its excellent location south of Manhattan and in front of the New York Harbor, Battery Park is a highly recommended place to go to watch the sunset out doors and surrounded by nature while enjoying unique views of the city.
Watching the sunset from one of the dizzying skyscrapers of the Big Apple is always an appetizing plan but having the opportunity to observe this beautiful natural spectacle, from a place as privileged as this at the tip of the island without spending a single penny is a great experience. It will be a very special memory of your trip!
So get your camera ready because surely you will want to immortalize the moment from Battery Park with the Statue of Liberty in the background.
7. Have a picnic in Battery Park
If your stay in New York coincides with good weather, a great plan to do if you book a tour of Battery Park, taking advantage of a sunny day, is to have a small picnic surrounded by trees, gardens and flowers.
If you love picnics and you are looking for a good place to sit down and have a quiet lunch connecting with the relaxed atmosphere of the park, I recommend you to go towards the marina area because there you will find an area with picnic areas overlooking the Hudson River.
Some stores near Battery Park where you can buy some snacks to take to the picnic are:
- City Acres Market (70 Pine Street)
- Battery Place Market (77 Battery Pl.)
- Hudson Cafe & Grocery (50 West Street)
8. Find the monuments scattered throughout Battery Park
Walking in a city like New York is a pleasure because in any corner there is always something interesting to see. For example, within the Battery Park grounds there are plenty of monuments and memorials that you can discover while taking a pleasant stroll through the park.
So if after visiting the Financial District or the Statue of Liberty you feel like exploring a bit of the underbelly of Battery Park, turn on your camera as some of the monuments you can see along the route are:
- Netherland Memorial: this was a gift from the Dutch government to New York in 1926 to commemorate the Dutch colonization of New Amsterdam.
- Korean War Veteran's Memorial: This memorial pays tribute to the soldiers who fought in the Korean War between 1950 and 1953.
- Immigrant Monument: It is a sculptural ensemble erected in honor of all those immigrants who came to the immigration center located in Castle Clinton pursuing their dreams in America.
- World War II East Coast Memorial: It is a monument erected in memory of those missing U.S. servicemen who died during World War II in the Atlantic Ocean.
- Giovanni da Verrazano Monument: In honor of this Italian navigator and explorer who was the first European to reach New York Bay.
9. Cool off at The Battery Fountain on hot days
Near Castle Clinton is The Battery Fountain, a curious fountain whose water jets emanate from the ground and to which many New Yorkers often go during a stroll through Battery Park to cool off when the heat is on.
Summer in New York is sweltering, so spending some time in a park like Battery Park lying on the grass in the shade of the trees and cooling off in the water is a super-appealing plan and a great way to escape the high temperatures of the Big Apple.
If you are traveling to New York with your family, The Battery Fountain and The SeaGlass Carousel are sure to become your little ones' favorite places to have fun in Battery Park - don't miss out!
10. Visit Fort Castle Clinton
In the heart of Battery Park you will find this former fort and national monument that was built in the early 19th century to protect New York (or New Amsterdam as it was then known) from British attacks.
Throughout its history, Castle Clinton has had many different uses. It ranged from a military fortification, a theater and an aquarium to an immigration center that received foreigners here before the construction of the Ellis Island center.
Most tourists know it because it houses the ticket booths to get tickets to the Statue of Liberty but to know inside Castle Clinton there are also guided tours in English about 20 minutes conducted by park rangers.
If you are up for a visit, it is open every day (except Christmas) from 8:30 AM to 5 PM and the tour times are as follows:
- At 10 AM
- At 12 PM
- At 2 PM