helicopter tours in New York City

Famous for its museums, vibrant nightlife and thriving entertainment sector, there is a huge variety of fun things to do in New York City to make sure you have a memorable trip. But if you are looking for a magnificent bird’s-eye view of Manhattan Island, you need to book yourself on to one of the best helicopter tours in New York City.

This article provides an overview of the various helicopter tours in New York City, including what tour fits best your needs, how much it costs, how to book online and get discounts, what is the best time to fly and much more.

Marvel at the stunning skyline of New York, get up close to sights like the Brooklyn Bridge and Empire State Building, or even fly over Central Park. There are plenty of brilliant options to help you explore the sky in style.

Get unbeatable prices and insider tips on the best helicopter tours in New York City. Have a safe flight and enjoy the view!

Don’t feel like reading ahead? Book your helicopter tour in New York City right now.

Which helicopter tour should I choose?

helicopter tour over Manhattan in New York City
credit to Headout

There are a lot of different helicopter tours to enjoy NYC:

  • The Big Apple: this tour lasts between 12-15 minutes and costs 215 $. This is one of the most popular helicopter tours as visitors admire the most important attractions of New York City from the top. The tour allows you to see Ellis Island and the Statue of Liberty, Freedom Tower, Empire State Building, Chrysler, Woolworth, MetLife Buildings, USS Intrepid, and Central Park.
  • New York, New York: this tour lasts between 18-20 minutes and costs 299$. This tour is very similar to “The Big Apple”, but it includes some other attractions like the Brooklyn Bridge, the Manhattan Bridge, the Verrazano Bridge, the George Washington Bridge, the Yankee Stadium, and the MetLife Stadium.
  • The New Yorker Tour: this tour lasts between 12 to 15 minutes and costs 194$. This tour flies over the Hudson River, the iconic landmark of Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island, the Chrysler Building, the Empire State Building, the Freedom Tower, the Chelsea Piers, the USS Intrepid, and the Space Museum.
  • The Ultimate Tour: this tour lasts between 18 to 20 minutes and costs 244$. It is very similar to the “New Yorker Tour”, but it includes some other attractions such as the Yankee Stadium, Central Park, Columbia University, and the George Washington Bridge.
  • The Deluxe Tour: this tour lasts between 25-30 minutes and costs 314$. This tour includes all the attraction of the “Ultimate Tour” and also Coney Island, Brooklyn and New Jersey, Grant’s Tomb, the Northern edge of Manhattan, and the Verrazano Bridge.
  • VIP – Air & Sea Tour: the tour lasts between 12 to 15 minutes and costs 274$. This helicopter tour is the same as the “New Yorker Tour” but also includes a trip of one hour on a water taxi that rid by the Statue of Liberty with your own guide, a champagne toast, and a cash bar.

How much do helicopter tours in New York City cost?

The cost of a helicopter tour depends mainly from the duration of the tour, the comfort provided by the helicopter company and if it is a private or shared flight. Usually helicopter tours cost between 200$ up to 700$.

When booking your helicopter tour, make sure if the heliport fees are included or not in the price. If not, you will need to pay an extra 40$ at the heliport.

There are many travel websites where you can book helicopter tours in New York such as Viator, Getyourguide, Headout, Musement to name a few. Use TourScanner’s search options to compare all the deals available.

What are the best companies to book a helicopter tour?

helicopter tour over Central Park in New York City
Credits to Headout

Most of the companies providing helicopter tours in New York City are based at the Downtown Manhattan Heliport like HelyNY, Manhattan Helicopters, Liberty Helicopters, New York Helicopter, and Zip Aviator.

You may book directly with one of those companies or book with an online travel agency such as Viator, Getyourguide, Headout or Musement to name a few. Prices are very competitive and discounts are offered on a regular basis.

Read more: Best NYC city tours

What is the best time to fly?

helicopter tour over Brooklyn in New York City

You can book a helicopter tour all year round even though helicopter tours are very popular during Summer and Spring, the clear weather ensuring the best visual of New York City.

The best time of the day to book a helicopter tour is during the afternoon. Around 2 or 3 pm you will avoid the sun exposure that may not allow you to enjoy at most your tour.

Please note that most of the helicopter companies in New York City do not fly on Sundays.

How long does a helicopter tour last?

The duration of the helicopter tour depends on the type of tour you choose. The tour can last from 15 minutes up to 1 hour depending on the attractions you decide to see during your flight. There is the possibility to book a private tour and decide the duration and what to see.

From where do the helicopter tours depart?

Manhattan heliport
Crtedits to GetYourGuide

Mostly, helicopter departs from Downtown Manhattan Heliport. The main way to get to the heliport are:

  • the line W of the metro and get off at Whitehall St [1,2,N,R] and have a 5-minutes walk
  • the line 2 and get off at Wall St [2,3] and have a 10-minutes walk
  • the bus M55 and get off at State St/Whitehall St and have a 5-minutes walk

Please note that some special helicopter tours include hotel pick up.

Are there any discounts available?

Yes of course! You can find online discounted tickets and special promotions. Use TourScanner search to compare all the deals and choose your ideal tour!

Can I cancel my booking before the starting date?

Cancelations policies differ according to the helicopter company you choose. Usually you may cancel your booking 72 hours before departure and get fully refunded. If you wish to cancel your helicopter tour 48 hours (or less) prior the scheduled departure time, you may need to pay a fee per passenger. If you cancel less than 24 hours prior the departure, you won’t get any refund. Always double check the cancelation policies of the tour before booking.

May I pick my seat before the booking?

You will not be able to pick your seats. That’s because in the helicopter the weight must be distributed (in fact you have to tell your weight when you book the tour). However, you can voice your seating preferences during the process, and the staff will try to accommodate your wishes before the start of the tour.

What do I need to bring during my tour?

New York City

You can’t bring a lot of things inside the helicopter. All the passengers (children included) must bring their booking confirmation and a valid photo ID. You are allowed to keep with you a camera or a phone to capture all the memorable moments during the tour. Any other items can be left in the lockers of the heliport.

How many people are allowed inside a single helicopter?

Most of the helicopters have a capacity of a maximum of 5 or 6 people in total (plus the pilot). Remember, you have to tell your weight in order to avoid overcrowding! It is also possible to book a private helicopter tour to make sure that you enjoy the best of your tour!

What do I do in case of bad weather?

Have a look at the weather forecast before scheduling. In cases of extreme fog, poor visibility, lightning, extremely gusty winds, or heavy rain, your flight may be canceled. Helicopter comnpanies will offer you a full refund or the possibility to change your date.

Are children allowed inside the helicopter?

Of course! Children are allowed to join a helicopter tour. If your baby is younger than one year old, he/she may sit on an adult’s lap. Over 2 years old, children have to pay for their seat as a regular adult.

Travel tips

New York City by night

  • In Sunday there are no helicopter tours.
  • If a passenger weight over 300 lbs he/she may have to pay an extra seat (it depends on the flight) to the provider at check-in.
  • You will need to be at the heliport 45 minutes before the departure for security checks.
  • If you ask for a guaranteed window seat, you may need to book a private tour.Wishing you an excellent helicopter tour in New York. Fly safe and enjoy the view 😉
Born in Paris, Guillaume Picard has spent years immersing himself in diverse cultures, living everywhere from Asia's hubs like Singapore and Bali, to European destinations such as Portugal and Italy. Now, as the CMO of TourScanner, he's at the helm of a platform that echoes his passion for travel. Guillaume oversees the content, particularly the blog, offering readers firsthand insights and tales from his global escapades.