The Best Helicopter Ride Over New York

Your Personalised Helicopter Ride Recommendation

By Steffen, 8. February 2017
3 ratings

Best Helicopter Ride Over New York - Tino & SteffenWe 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. 

Which is the best helicopter ride of New York?

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.

Helicopter flight over Manhattan at night

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 harbour. 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!

Check prices for October РMarch

Where to start a ride and which route do they fly?

New York City has four main providers of helicopter rides. You can recognise them by their different colours:  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.

The routes the helicopters fly are illustrated for you in this map

Manhattan Sky Tour
Big Apple Helicopter Ride
best value
Manhattan Scenic Helicopter Ride
Complete New York Tour
Grand Island Tour

Manhattan Sky Tour Helicopter Ride

Big Apple Helicopter Tour

Manhattan Scenic Helicopter Ride

Complete New York Helicopter Ride

Grand Island Helicopter Ride


Certificate of Excellence Helicopter Ride

Certificate of Excellence Helicopter Ride

Certificate of Excellence Helicopter Ride

Certificate of Excellence Helicopter Ride

Certificate of Excellence Helicopter Ride

12 minutes
15 minutes
18 minutes
20 minutes
25 minutes


Average rating
Statue of Liberty

Times Square

Empire State Building

Chrysler Building

Rockefeller Center

Brooklyn Bridge

Ground Zero / One World Trade Center

Ellis Island

Chelsea Piers

USS Intrepid

George Washington Bridge

Manhattan Bridge

Central Park

Yankee Stadium

Palisades of New Jersey

Colombia University

Coney Island

Northern tip of Manhattan

Verrazano Bridge


Bottom line: The best helicopter ride

New York helicopter rides are best categorised 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 favourite choices.

This is how you book a helicopter tour online.

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 Р2 weeks in advance Рyou will have a fairly accurate weather forecast by then!

How to buy your tickets online:

  1. 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.
  2. Next choose the date and your general departure time (morning, afternoon or evening) ‚Äď Note: you will choose an¬†exact departure time later on.
  3. Follow the remaining steps to complete your booking. At this stage you will receive a confirmation of your purchase ‚Äď if you don‚Äôt see it, check your junk mail folder.
  4. The confirmation email will contain the contact information of the respective operator. Confirm your flight by responding to their email.
  5. You will then receive another confirmation of your exact flight time and departure details in the form of a PDF voucher.
  6. You can either print the PDF or take it with you on your phone. Done!
  7. Be at the¬†Downtown Manhattan Heliport 45 minutes prior to departure and present your PDF voucher at check in‚Äď Enjoy your helicopter ride over New York City!


Review Helicopter Flights

Changing the date of your helicopter ride

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.

Helicopter tour routes

See the different routes you can fly below. Choose between a short, medium, or long helicopter ride.

Pictures of New York City helicopter flights

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.

The Best Helicopter Ride Over New York
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Do you have availability for 2 people for a helicopter tour on Friday 30th December in the morning?


Hi Lee, yes – there are some flights available: please check here! Have fun ūüôā

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