Times Square Blog

3 Excellent Ellis Island Tours

Although Ellis Island no longer bustles with immigrants seeking the promise of a better life in America, it's packed full of history, events and activities that take you back to its heyday. A tour is a wonderful way to experience the essence of Ellis Island, and there are three basic tours to choose from. We'll give you the information you need to decide which one is best for you.

  • Self-Guided Tour Enjoy a self-guiding tour of the Ellis Island Immigration Museum. A detailed brochure leads you through the three floor museum. To fully explore the museum, you'll want to set aside two hours or more. Brochures are available in a number of languages, including: English, Chinese, French, German, Italian, Japanese, and Spanish.
  • Ranger-Guided Tour A ranger-guided tour gives you a first-hand peek into island's history, and the immigrants it served. This tour offers a fantastic overview of the Island. Stop by the Information Desk to inquire about the tour schedule. Tours are free and last 45 minutes.
  • Audio Tour An audio tour is an easy way to enjoy a narrated tour at your own pace. The Ellis Island audio tour will help you explore the Ellis Island Immigration Museum, and directs you to first hand immigrant accounts of their experience. There is a special audio tour for children ages 6-10. The one hour adult audio tour is currently available in nine languages: Arabic, English, French, German, Italian, Japanese, Mandarin, Russian, and Spanish. Cost: $8.00

Ellis Island is open every day of the year (with the exception of Christmas, December 25th) from 9:30 a.m.-5:00 p.m. Buy tickets. Hotel Mela makes an ideal home base for your Ellis Island exploration. This boutique NYC hotel is modern yet quaint, hip yet comfortable. Egyptian cotton sheets, earth toned rooms, and service galore is just a peek at what you can expect. Bonus: Hotel Mela offers Saju, a convenient on-site French restaurant.