Are you looking to see the city as you’ve never seen it before? Above in the sky with a birdseye view from a helicopter ride over NYC? Lucky for you, you can turn this dream into a reality! There are several incredible helicopter tours in NYC from night helicopter tours over NYC witnessing the city sparkling at night to private, romantic helicopter rides in New York!
Whether you’re looking to check off a New York City bucket list experience, celebrate a special occasion, enjoy one of the best NYC experiences, or get incredible photography from high in the sky – we’ve broke down a detailed guide to the best helicopter rides in NYC to help you pick which helicopter ride is best for you!
We cover everything from what you’ll see on your helicopter ride over NYC to where your tour starts and other essential information you need to know before choosing your heli ride in New York!
Helpful Tips Before Your Helicopter Ride Over NYC
Be sure to check each of these helicopter rides in NYC carefully as each company and each tour varies as they either have different aircraft they use, have different rules, their departing location could be out of the city, and more.
Keep in mind that some of these helicopter tours in NYC require you to pay an extra fee the day of the tour that goes towards helipad or airport fees, taxes, or security fees. When booking, see if this fee is already included in your price or you will be expected to pay the day of your heli ride in New York.
Be sure to also check the weight and age requirements as they vary by aircraft. Especially if you’re traveling with young children or a group. Keeping weight in mind, sometimes you won’t be able to choose your seat as they need to distribute weight carefully and will sit you according to weight distribution.
Keep in mind that not all of the helicopter rides over NYC actually depart from the city center or Manhattan, be sure to check and plan ahead as many of these tours depart from New Jersey or Westchester County north of Manhattan which both are easy to get to using the New Jersey Transit or Metro-North Rail.
Only a few of the helicopter tours provide hotel pick up and drop off and it usually costs an extra fee for the driver.
Be sure to check carefully how early you need to be at the airport or helipad before your helicopter tour! You don’t want to be late, especially if you’re having to travel to one of the outer locations. Many of the helicopter tours even have late fees if you don’t show up on time or are shared helicopters and will leave if you’re not there on time with no refund.
Some require arriving up to 90 minutes before your flight!
Speaking of checking in, most of these helicopter tours require an original issued government ID or passport to check in, even for children. Be sure to check each company’s rules before purchasing.
Many of the helicopters only allow you to bring certain items on to the tour. Most facilities either have complimentary lockers for passengers or a small fee to rent a locker to store the belongings that can’t make it on the flight.
All helicopter tours are subject to good weather and ideal flying conditions. If for any reason you have poor weather, most companies offer alternative tour times/days or refunds.
For those needing accessible helicopters, it’s best to check with each company individually if they are wheelchair accessible, many of the helicopter tours are. You’ll need to let the company know when booking you have accessibility needs so they can arrange the proper aircraft for your tour.
Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links.
Best Helicopter Tours in NYC
Manhattan Island Helicopter Tour
If you want a closed-door tour with a bird’s-eye view of some of the city’s most famous highlights, the Manhattan Island Helicopter Tour is perfect for you. Leaving from Lower Manhattan at the Downtown Heliport at Pier 6, this is a really convenient option that doesn’t require you to travel too far outside of the city!
Starting at just under $200 per person, this helicopter tour has many different meeting points to choose from so that you can decide how long your helicopter tour over NYC lasts. They have many different options; the tours vary from 12-30 minutes long!
Throughout the tour, the audio guide will narrate and explain the importance of the landmarks below! They also have audio guides that you can listen to in other languages. These landmarks include Central Park and the Hudson River.
If there isn’t excellent visibility, the tour will be rescheduled for everyone so that the views will be totally visible! In fact, this New York helicopter tour comes equipped with floor-to-ceiling windows that will allow you to get the best view and photos of the skyline possible.
Your ticket and flight come with a locker and a noise-canceling headset that will allow you to listen to the pilot with ease for the entire flight. If you want photos of the flight views for purchase, those are available as well. This is an excellent idea for anyone that wants to soak in the views without their phone but also be able to have photos that capture the experience! Book here.
Perks of this Helicopter Tour: departs from Lower Manhattan, airport fees already included (no extra charges), shorter flight options at a great price, large windows, complimentary locker, photos available for purchase
Things to be aware of on this Helicopter Tour: $50 rescheduling fee if you need to change your reservation
Iconic Landmarks Helicopter Tour (Doors Off Optional)
Another great helicopter tour that goes over Lower Manhattan is the Helicopter Tour of Iconic Landmarks. This helicopter tour goes over Lower Manhattan and its many landmarks, including the Statue of Liberty, World Trade Center, and Brooklyn Bridge.
This 15-minute flight gives you the option to do a doors-on or doors-off experience as an upgrade.
Keep in mind that this helicopter tour charges a boarding fee of $28.65 per person and is not suitable for anyone under the age of five. They ask that you arrive 75 minutes before your flight to go through the proper check-in and safety protocols departing from Kearny, New Jersey. Book here.
Perks of this Helicopter Tour: option to upgrade to a doors-off flight, short and affordable option
Things to be aware of on this Helicopter Tour: There’s a boarding fee per person on the day of the tour, they don’t allow children under 5 years old or pregnant women on their flights, need to arrive 75 minutes before your flight
Taste of NYC Helicopter Tour
Another great helicopter tour in NYC is the Taste of NYC Helicopter Tour. Starting at the range of just over $150 per person, this tour goes over the most famous sights in the city, including Ellis Island and the Statue of Liberty!
This flight starts in Kearny, New Jersey and is typically during mid-mornings lasting around 15 minutes.
Perks of this Helicopter Tour: airport and boarding fees already included, wheelchair accessible
Things to be aware of on this Helicopter Tour: no cameras allowed (phones are allowed), if you’re not at the departure point at least 45 minutes before your scheduled flight you’re subject to a $50-$100 late fee per person
Manhattan Helicopter Tour
This Manhattan Helicopter Tour is another fantastic option for anyone that wants an audio guide as they view the city from up above! This helicopter ride over NYC allows you to see some of the city’s most famous attractions, including Central Park, the Empire State Building, and the Statue of Liberty. You’ll also fly above the Brooklyn Bridge and see the lights of Broadway, which are known to be stunning at night!
This tour lasts anywhere between 15-20 minutes with a highly trained pilot and crew on board. You’ll also be able to purchase a video of your ride and locker rental as extra upgrades for a fee.
There is an additional helicopter and airport facility fee of $40 per person not included in your reservation or helicopter ride fee. One HUGE perk about this NYC helicopter ride is that it actually departs from Manhattan at the Manhattan Heliport located on Pier 6 of the East River – you know, just like the business big wigs or like in famous tv shows like Succession!
Not only does this helicopter tour allow you to see the fantastic view of NYC, but you’ll also be able to learn more about the city’s history and the story behind each iconic landmark. Book here.
Perks of this Helicopter Tour: Price includes airport and heliport fees already, departs from Lower Manhattan
Things to be aware of on this Helicopter Tour: Check-in starts at 45 minute before departure
HeliNY’s New Yorker Tour
Another great heli ride over New York is HeliNY’s The New Yorker Tour! This 12-15 minute helicopter ride over NYC is great for anyone who wants to sweep through the entire borough of Manhattan quickly including fly-overs at Central Park, the Empire State Building, and Statue of Liberty.
With large windows and the promise of a smooth ride, this New York helicopter tour is perfect for anyone who wants to see the city from above and you’ll even get a little extra added commentary from your pilot about each of the landmarks you’ll encounter.
Another perk to this heli tour in New York is that it departs from Manhattan, so no other excessive travel to get to your departure point! The meeting location is at 6 East River Piers, which is along the East River in Lower Manhattan. They also advertise as being wheelchair accessible.
This unique New York helicopter tour goes up close to the Statue of Liberty, over the New York Harbor, and above many other landmarks uptown including the Chrysler Building and Central Park. Then, the helicopter will turn around and head south to end on a fantastic note: right above the One World Trade Center! The views from above in this helicopter will surely beat any you can see from a skyscraper below. Book here.
OR upgrade your flight time to include more NYC landmarks for a 20-minute flight on the Deluxe Manhattan Helicopter Tour. This tour will go as far north to see Harlem and Yankee Stadium from above, which is further than most NYC helicopter tours go! Book here.
Keep in mind for all HeliNY tours there’s an additional $40 fee per person for the heliport.
Perks of this Helicopter Tour: upgrade options for length of tour, multiple departure time options, airport fees already included, departs and returns to Manhattan for a smaller commute, wheelchair accessible, infants welcome and can sit on lap of the parent
Things to be aware of on this Helicopter Tour: check with the operator to see how early you need to arrive before your flight
New York Helicopter Flight: Grand Island Tour
Another heli ride over New York that captures the great landmarks in the city is New York Helicopter Flight: Grand Island. Starting at $360 range (not including the $40 per person fees for the heliport), this helicopter tour lasts 25-30 minutes and goes over the iconic NYC landmarks, including Central Park, the Empire State Building, and Times Square to name a few.
In total, this helicopter tour will allow you to see 15 iconic spots from up above! As you fly over each site, the knowledgeable pilot will explain the history and tell you where to look to see the most fantastic view.
This New York helicopter tour departs from the East River Piers (yay, another convenient helicopter tour in Manhattan) and has a minimum of 4 guests and a maximum of 5 guests per tour. So if you want a private heli ride over New York for a group of you and four friends, this is a great option!
Be sure to arrive one hour before your flight with your government-issued IDs on hand and ready to be checked as a part of your onboarding process. That goes for children too. Book here.
Perks of this Helicopter Tour: Departs from Lower Manhattan for a shorter commute, infants are welcome to sit on parent’s lap, wheelchair accessible, service animals permitted
Things to be aware of on this Helicopter Tour: There’s an additional heliport/security $40 fee per person on the day of the tour, helicopters sit 4-6 people max depending on which aircraft you get, contact to find out how early you need to be before your departure
Private Romantic Helicopter Tour for Couples
Looking for something romantic to do to surprise your significant other or have a special occasion to celebrate together? One great heli ride over New York for couples is this Private Helicopter Tour for Couples!
Unlike many other tours, this tour provides an upgrade option that includes hotel pick up and drop off, making it the perfect all-in-one date night experience! In addition, this tour is offered in either 30 or 45-minute increments. It is also a great night helicopter tour in NYC for those who want to see the city lights at night!
See quintessential New York City landmarks like Central Park, the Empire State Building, and all the way up to Yankee Stadium! Choose between doing a day flight or an evening flight for a night helicopter tour over NYC.
This helicopter ride goes from Midtown to Upper Manhattan during the 30-minute flight. If you’re set on seeing the Brooklyn Bridge, be sure to get the 45-minute flight!
This heli tour in New York departs from Westchester Airport located north of the city which is accessible by the Metro-North Rail. If you don’t want to worry about this commute, it’s worth looking into the hotel pick up option from this tour, which charges based on standard car service rates.
Keep in mind there’s also an airport and service fee of $35 per person upon arrival. Book here.
Perks of this Helicopter Tour: upgrade option to include transportation from hotel to/from Westchester Airport for a fee, completely private tour, infants under the age of 2 can ride on parent’s lap
Things to be aware of on this Helicopter Tour: airport fee of $35 per person not included, the maximum height allowed is 6’3″
NYC City Lights Night Helicopter Tour
One incredible night helicopter tour in NYC is this NYC City Lights Helicopter Tour! If you want to see the NYC skyline from up above at sunset or at night, this tour is perfect.
Each tour lasts 25-30 minutes while a highly trained pilot flies over the Newark Airport toward the Manhattan skyline including great views of landmarks like the World Trade Center and the Empire State Building at night.
Additionally, you’ll be able to admire the illuminated landmarks such as the Statue of Liberty and the lights of Times Square! Although the standard option for this tour is the group tour, you can upgrade to a private tour for an extra fee! The upgrade includes ground transportation to and from Manhattan to the heliport at the Linden Airport in New Jersey.
This is one of the few helicopter tours where the price you pay at booking is all you have to pay as it already includes all airport and heliport fees as well as complimentary lockers to use for your personal belongings that can’t go on the flight. Book here.
Perks of this Helicopter Tour: upgrade options to include transportation to and from Linden Airport, free parking available if you’re coming by car, complimentary lockers, airport fees and taxes already included, children under the age of 2 can sit on parent’s lap
Things to be aware of on this Helicopter Tour: hats, food & drink, and bags are not permitted on flights (can use complimentary lockers if you have these items), only cameras and wallets permitted onboard, you will have to watch a brief safety video before departure
Completely Private Manhattan Helicopter Tour for Groups
This Manhattan Private Helicopter Flight is an excellent option for anyone that wants a private, exclusive tour with a group of friends!
You’ll have to book the entire value of the tour, so this is best done if you have the max number of riders to join you for up to five people total. You can choose between a 30-minute or 45-minute tour. This option is great for anyone that is celebrating a special occasion with friends or family!
This helicopter ride over NYC starts in Westchester at the Westchester County Airport in White Plains. This airport is easily accessible from the Metro-North rail departing Grand Central Terminal.
Once you take off from this airport, the helicopter will fly above the city’s major sights, including skyscrapers like the Empire State Building and Chrysler Building to other famous landmarks like Central Park and the bridges over the East River like Brooklyn Bridge. As you fly over the city, a live tour guide on board will narrate the entire flight!
Keep in mind, each person will have to pay a $35 per person airport and service fee. This flight has wheelchair-accessible options, you’ll need to let them know when you’re booking. Book here.
Perks of this Helicopter Tour: wheelchair accessible, multiple flight options throughout the day/night, hotel pick up/drop off is an option for an additional fee, free parking if you’re arriving by car
Things to be aware of on this Helicopter Tour: Price does not include $35 airport fee per person, max 5 people and you pay the total amount of the helicopter not per person.
FlyNYON’s Open Door Helicopter Ride
One of the best open-door helicopter tours in NYC is FlyNYON’s Doors-Off Helicopter Experience! During this tour, you’ll be able to fly over the Southern tip of Manhattan and see some of the most famous landmarks in the city, including the World Trade Center, Brooklyn Bridge, and Statue of Liberty!
Many people like taking this New York helicopter tour during sunset since it provides such a fantastic view of the city’s skyline!
The doors stay open throughout this entire 12-minute tour over the water, allowing you to really get that birdseye view of the city. Keep in mind that this tour does have an extra boarding fee, (~$30 per person), and children under five are not allowed. This helicopter tour starts in Kearny, New Jersey.
Perks of this Helicopter Tour: open door tour, affordable option (prices vary based on demand)
Things to be aware of on this Helicopter Tour: does not include $30 per person boarding and airport fee, no children under the age of 5 allowed,
The City Lights Night Helicopter Tour
The City Lights Skyline Experience is an excellent option for anyone that wants a nighttime helicopter ride over NYC. This helicopter tour goes over Rockefeller Center, Times Square, and many other exciting NYC landmarks that look stunning while lit up at night! In total, this helicopter ride over NYC goes over 17 stops!
This tour also has live commentary on board, floor-to-ceiling windows, and a climate-controlled cabin. In addition, for an extra fee of $17, you can get transportation to and from NYC! This tour takes off from the Linden Airport in New Jersey and lasts 25-30 minutes. Book here.
Perks of this Helicopter Tour: airport fees are already included in price, upgrade option to include transportation to and from the heli pad in Linden Airport in New Jersey, infants are permitted and will need to sit on parent’s lap, wheelchair accessible
Things to be aware of on this Helicopter Tour: contact the operator to find out how early you need to arrive before your departure
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