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Staten Island Travel Guide

Looking for an in-depth Staten Island travel guide?

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Staten Island is the least-visited of New York City’s five boroughs, often overlooked by tourists and flying under the radar even for many NYC locals. But Staten Island is a borough worth visiting, especially if you have a long trip to New York planned or you’re a return visitor or a local.

Although it may be the smallest borough by population with less than 500,000 residents, Staten Island is large in area and packed with plenty of things to do. From hidden gem museums to beautiful parks, you can easily spend a full day or more exploring Staten Island.

While Staten Island has more of a quiet, suburban feel than the other boroughs, it is easily accessible from the rest of the city, and just a short ferry ride away from Manhattan.

Keep reading to dive into resources that will help you with planning a trip to Staten Island in New York City.

Note: This Staten Island visitor’s guide contains affiliate links to trusted partners!

Staten Island Map

Use this Staten Island tourism map to begin planning your trip to this incredible destination!

Staten Island map

Click here for an interactive Google Map version of the above graphic.

New York City Travel Tips

Best Tours On Staten Island

Explore local culture with a Staten Island tour guide through these unique NYC excursions:

Click here for a full list of New York City tours.

How To Get To Staten Island

The best way to get to Staten Island from the other New York City boroughs is the free Staten Island Ferry, which offers the added perk of providing a front row view of the Statue of Liberty. It’s hands down one of the best free views in New York City!

Alternatively, you can reach Staten Island by car. There are four bridges that connect Staten Island to other destinations, including:

  • Verrazano-Narrows Bridge (links Staten Island to Brooklyn)
  • Outerbridge Crossing (links Staten Island with Perth Amboy, New Jersey)
  • Goethals Bridge (links Staten Island with Elizabeth, New Jersey)
  • Bayonne Bridge (links Staten Island with Bayonne, New Jersey)

Getting Around Staten Island

Once on Staten Island, you can get around by car, taxi, or ride sharing service like Uber or Lyft.

Staten Island has a much more suburban feel than the rest of NYC, so it’ll be much easier to find parking if you’re traveling by car.

That being said, you can always use the SpotHero website or app to snag super discounted parking spots. This is especially recommended if you end up driving into Manhattan, where finding parking is a nightmare, or if you try to park near the Staten Island Ferry — which can get crowded.

Additionally, Staten Island has a variety of public transportation options, including the public bus or the island’s own railway system (SIR). Staten Island is not connected to the New York City subway.

Hotels On Staten Island

Click here to browse the best hotels on Staten Island!

Prefer self-contained stays?

Click here to check out unique local rentals!

You can also use the map below to search for local stays. It’s set to St. George, which is the neighborhood the Staten Island Ferry/St. George Ferry Terminal is in, but you can easily change the location to your specific destination.

Staten Island Travel Insurance

When visiting Staten Island — or anywhere else in the world — make sure to get travel insurance to protect your health and safety.

In my opinion, the best travel medical insurance for travelers is SafetyWing as they’ve got a large network and offer both short-term and long-term coverage — including coverage if you’re traveling for months as well as limited coverage in your home country).

Additionally, SafetyWing is budget-friendly and offers $250,000 worth of coverage with just one low overall deductible of $250.

With coverage, you’ll have peace of mind as you embark on your Staten Island travel itinerary.

Click my referral link here to price out travel insurance for your trip in just a few clicks.

Staten Island Travel Guide FAQ

Below, find answers to frequently asked questions about traveling to Staten Island.

Q: Why is it called Staten Island?

Interestingly, Staten Island is named after the Staten-Generaal — or States General — of the Dutch Republic, who named it when they first came to the island. At the time, it was spelled “Staaten Eylandt”. It wasn’t until the English took over that it was anglicized to Staten Island.

Q: Is Staten Island safe for tourists?

Staten Island is very safe for tourists. In fact, it ranks as the safest borough in New York City.

Although New York as a whole is safe for tourists, Staten Island is even safer. Some of the biggest things you have to worry about in New York are pickpocketing and petty theft in crowded tourist areas, and since Staten Island doesn’t have many of those, it’s very safe.

As with anywhere, you should keep your wits about you and avoid walking around in unfamiliar areas alone at night, but overall, Staten Island is extremely safe.

Q: What is Staten Island famous for?

Staten Island is famous for its beautiful parks, museums, and historic buildings. Although it may not boast as many famous attractions as Manhattan or the other boroughs, there are many hidden gems in Staten Island that are worth a visit.

It’s also great to visit if you’re looking to explore non-touristy things to do in NYC.

Q: What are some top places to visit on Staten Island?

Some of the best places to visit on Staten Island are the borough’s great museums. For instance, the Staten Island Museum houses impressive collections on natural science, art, and history.

Moreover, Snug Harbor Cultural Center is a museum in a historic home, with stunning landscaped gardens.

Some quirkier museums include the Jacques Marchais Museum of Tibetan Art and the National Lighthouse Museum.

And for kids, the Staten Island Children’s Museum is a must-visit.

Q: What are the top things to do on Staten Island?

If the weather is nice, one of the top things to do on Staten Island is spend an afternoon in one of the borough’s many parks. Clove Lakes Park is a favorite due to its miles of walking paths and scenic picnic spots.

Military buffs will enjoy visiting Fort Wadsworth, one of the oldest military installations in the country. It’s located in the shadow of the Verrazzano-Narrows Bridge, which connects Staten Island to Booklyn.

And finally, one of the top things to do on Staten Island is go shopping at Empire Outlets. This is the only outlet mall in New York City, and shoppers can score great deals on designer brands.

Q: How do I spend a day on Staten Island?

To start your day on Staten Island, take the Staten Island Ferry from Manhattan. It’s free, and the 30-minute journey offers great views of the New York Harbor and Statue of Liberty.

Once you arrive on Staten Island, you may want to stop at the National Lighthouse Museum, which is right around the corner from the ferry terminal.

The rest of your day can be spent exploring the Snug Harbor Cultural Center, checking out one of Staten Island’s parks or another museum, and grabbing a bite to eat somewhere. Denino’s Pizzeria is said to have the best pizza in the borough.

Q: How far is Staten Island from NYC?

Staten Island is actually located within New York City! It’s one of NYC’s five boroughs along with ManhattanQueens, Brooklyn, and The Bronx.

Q: How far is Staten Island from Manhattan?

It takes about 30 minutes to reach Manhattan from Staten Island via the free Staten Island Ferry.

Q: How can I see the Statue of Liberty from Staten Island?

While tours of the Statue of Liberty depart from Manhattan and New Jersey, the free Staten Island Ferry offers incredible views of the Statue of Liberty right from the boat.

Q: How much spending money do you need for a week in New York City?

The average traveler spends about $240 per day in New York City on accommodations, transportation, food, activities, and other travel expenses.

That being said, there are certainly ways to save money in the city — like staying in hostels, considering Couchsurfing, cooking your own meals, sticking to public transportation, and enjoying some budget-friendly NYC activities.

Q: How long can a tourist stay in New York?

Most visitors from abroad who are allowed to enter the United States — the country New York State is located in — can stay for up to six months. Entry requirements and allowances vary depending on where you are from, so definitely check the US government website.

Q: Do I need a travel visa for New York?

Visa requirements vary depending on where you are from. You can visit the US government website to see if you need a visa and what type.

Q: Where is Staten Island?

Staten Island is one of the five boroughs of New York City, which is located in the southeastern part of New York, a state located in the United States. It sits in the New York Harbor, south of Manhattan and between New Jersey and Brooklyn. It is only accessible via ferry or bridge.

Q: Are credit cards accepted on Staten Island?

Credit cards — particularly Visa and Mastercard — are widely accepted around Staten Island, though it is always wise to carry some cash for street stalls and in case of emergency.

Q: Can you drink the tap water on Staten Island?

Yes, the tap water is safe to drink on Staten Island.

Q: What is the local currency in New York State?

The local currency in New York is the US Dollar (USD).

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