We have often been asked which helicopter tour of New York is the best, and which operator we would recommend. As always, it is up to you to make the final decision as to which helicopter tour is best suited for you.
In order to make this decision a little easier, we have put together a chart of helicopter tours and the sights included in each flight. This allows for a quick comparison between tours so you can decide which one is best for you!
We did the helicopter ride too, which was an amazing experience with stunning views of Manhattan. You can find our report with a lot of pictures here.
Depending on what you are looking for, there are three categories of helicopter rides over New York City: Short helicopter rides, medium helicopter rides and long helicopter rides. Which one of these is best for you will depend on your budget and how long you want to spend taking in the sights of NYC from above. We have broken the helicopter flights down, below, in order to make your choice more straightforward.
A night flight or tour at sunset over New York is also truly something special. There is only one helicopter flight you can take over New York City at night, which is included in a VIP package for an evening boat cruise around NYC harbor. This is a great combination as you get to see New York’s sights from both the water and from above while the sun is setting over the concrete jungle. Find out more about the helicopter flight at night & cruise package below!
New York City has four main providers of helicopter rides. You can recognize them by their different colors: The red ones are New York Helicopter & Liberty Helicopter and the black helicopters are owned by HeliNY. Each of them have them same departure location (Downtown Manhattan heliport) however fly slight different routes over the city.
Manhattan Sky Tour
Big Apple Helicopter Ride
Manhattan Scenic Helicopter Ride
Complete New York Tour
Grand Island Tour
New York helicopter rides are best categorized by their flight time. In our opinion, the best helicopter tours are the ones in the medium category as these are the best value for your money. The Big Apple Helicopter ride and the Manhattan Scenic Tour are therefore our favorite choices.
The process is secure, easy, and convenient. We speak from experience as this is how we bought our own tickets. It’s cheaper to buy them online than in New York City and you are also guaranteed to find a flight that fits your schedule, which is not always the case if you leave it until you are there. This is due to the fact that helicopter tours over New York are very popular and often sell out. The only thing to keep in mind is that you might want to check the weather forecast before you book your tickets.
Our tip: book your tickets 1 – 2 weeks in advance – you will have a fairly accurate weather forecast by then!
It is entirely possible that your travel plans for New York change last minute. Don’t worry, this is not a problem with helicopter rides as these can be changed up to 24 hours prior to departure! All you need is your reservation confirmation and the phone number of the local operator. Your reservation confirmation has all the information you will need (e.g. your reservation number) to change your reservation.
See the different routes you can fly below. Choose between a short, medium, or long helicopter ride.
You’re still not convinced to book a ride in a New York helicopter? – Check out the pictures of one of the tours below. This is what you are going to see during your flight over Manhattan. Enjoy your view of the famous landmarks like the Statue of Liberty, Central Park, the Empire State Building, or the popular Yankee Stadium.