We have tested a lot of helicopter flights over the past few years. Now we can proudly present to you the complete comparison of the best 5 helicopter rides over New York City. Find prices, length and attractions you can see covered below.
If you are planning to book a New York City helicopter ride, you will want to know what routes you can take and what you will see along the way. As there are 5 different flight routes over NYC, we have separated each helicopter ride over New York by its flight time.
Short helicopter ride New York
The shortest helicopter ride over New York is the Manhattan Sky Tour. This helicopter ride is approximately 12 minutes long and will give you a birds-eye view of some of the cities most impressive sites. This NY helicopter ride gives you a great view of the Statue of Liberty, the Empire State Building, the Chrysler Building, Times Square, Rockefeller Center, The Brooklyn Bridge and Ground Zero. During your helicopter ride you will have a unique opportunity to photograph these sites from above and get an amazing view of the bustling city underneath you. We highly recommend this tour if your budget is tight! Keep in mind however that time flies – especially when you are having fun and taking in the amazing sights of the skyscrapers underneath you.
Cheapest option: Manhattan Sky Tour
This tour is perfect for those who want to keep an eye on their travel expenses. The Manhattan Sky Tour helicopter ride provides a great overview of the sights in New York without breaking the bank. The chopper will fly over sights like the Empire State Building, Rockefeller Center, and Brooklyn Bridge. Plus you can admire One World Trade Center and Ground Zero from a perspective that you won’t get from an observation deck. At a comparatively low-price point you can a great impression of Manhattan that you won’t be forgetting any time soon.
The available medium length helicopter rides over NYC are The Big Apple Helicopter Tour and the Manhattan Scenic Helicopter Tour, lasting 15 and 18 minutes respectively. As with the short helicopter rides, these will give you the opportunity to view New York City’s most famous landmarks from above. The medium length helicopter rides in NYC include the same landmarks as the short ones, giving you a unique viewing angle of Governor’s Island (the birthplace of NY), a face-to-face meeting with the statue of liberty, and a flight past the tallest building in the western hemisphere: the Freedom Tower. Most importantly the medium length tours also include a flight over Central Park, giving you a view of the contrast between concrete jungle and nature in the park – a must-see from above! If on top of this you are a baseball fan, the view of the Yankee Stadium will take your breath away.
Long helicopter ride New York
If you would like to spend between 20-30 minutes in a New York helicopter ride, the Complete New York Tour, Grand Island Tour or the Coney Island Tour may be more suited to you. These give you a lengthy impression of New York City by helicopter, as you fly past The northern tip of Manhattan, the Verrazano Bridge as well as Coney Island. These are included on top of the sights covered by the shorter tours. The longer helicopter rides in New York also allow you to gain an impression of the Bronx, Queens, and Brooklyn. With more time to take pictures from above, as well as the inclusion of even more sights, the 20-30 minute NY helicopter ride is a truly amazing experience that guarantees you going home with some unforgettable images in mind, as well as on your camera.
If you want to see the whole of NYC from above, we recommend the Manhattan Scenic Helicopter Tour. This New York helicopter ride also includes the same attractions as the other plus more. Given that this tour is 20 minutes long however, your helicopter will fly a much broader loop over Manhattan. Central Park, the Yankee Stadium in the Bronx and the amusement park on Coney Island are also sights you will get to admire from above. This complete tour of NYC from the sky is definitely the best value helicopter ride New York has to offer.
Can I book my helicopter ride with my New York Pass?
Yes, however you can only do so once you are in NYC. Not only do you run the risk no helicopter flights being available, the prices are also more expensive in comparison to booking online. It is therefore highly recommended that you plan your helicopter tour in advance and book your tickets here. You can find instructions below on how exactly to book your tickets.
When do I need to be there?
Please be at the Downtown Manhattan Heliport 45 minutes before your scheduled departure time for a compulsory safety induction.
Where do the helicopter rides leave from?
All NYC helicopter rides leave from Downtown Manhattan Heliport. Please be sure to have your tickets with you and arrive 45 minutes prior to your scheduled departure time.
Is there a weight limit?
No. However, all passengers weighing over 300lbs (136kg) will need to pay for an extra seat. This can be paid to the provider at check in.
Can I choose my seat?
Due to the need for the weight on both sides of the helicopter to be balanced, you will not be able to pick your seats. However, you can voice your seating preferences during the process and the staff will try to accommodate your wishes with this in mind.
How many people will I be flying with?
Depending on the helicopter, 4 – 6 people will be on one flight.
What can I can not take on board?
Only items that can be kept on your person are allowed on board, such as a cell phone, camera, or sunglasses. Any larger items (e.g. water bottles or oversized cameras that can block the view) need to be left at the heliport. Should you need to leave things behind, there are small lockers available for ($2).
What do I need to bring?
Please make sure to bring your tickets as well as a valid photo ID for every passenger (this also includes children). Also don’t forget your camera!
Is there anything not included in the NYC helicopter ride ticket price?
A security/heliport fee of $30 per person is not included in the ticket price. Also not included are the tip (optional), as well as hotel transfers.
Online reservation of your helicopter ride in New York
Buying tickets for your helicopter ride online allows you to make sure that the extremely popular tickets don’t sell out before you get to New York. Additionally booking online generally means lower prices. To make sure you are happy with the helicopter ride you have booked, make sure that you inform yourself about the different flight lengths and prices.
Our tip: book your tickets 1-2 weeks in advance so you have a more accurate weather forecast for the day.
How to buy your tickets
Select the helicopter ride you would like to purchase. To see the differences again you can use the handy table we created at the top of the page.
Next choose the date and your general departure time (morning, afternoon or evening) – Note: you will choose an exact departure time later on.
Follow the remaining steps to complete your booking. At this stage you will receive a confirmation of your purchase – if you don’t see it, check your junk mail folder.
The confirmation email will contain the contact information of the respective operator. Confirm your flight by responding to their email.
You will then receive another confirmation of your exact flight time and departure details in the form of a PDF voucher.
You can either print the PDF or take it with you on your phone. Done!
Be at the Downtown Manhattan Heliport 45 minutes prior to departure and present your PDF voucher at check in– Enjoy your helicopter ride over New York City!