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Taking a helicopter tour over New York City was one of the best experiences I had in NYC. While we opted for this doors-off helicopter tour, there are several other amazing helicopter rides to choose from.
That’s why, in this guide, I’ll share the 6 best helicopter rides over NYC, ranging from quick flights over Manhattan to lavish couples’ packages with champagne. This way, you can find an NYC helicopter tour to suit your budget and preferences.
If you have your hesitations about flying over New York City, that’s understandable! I’ll tell you that it’s one of the most unique things to do in NYC, not to mention an amazing way to see this city from a different viewpoint. Besides, the tours are run by experienced and knowledgeable pilots who adhere to strict safety regulations.
After reading about the best New York City air tours, I’m sure you’ll be convinced to give it a try!
1. Manhattan Island Helicopter Tour, the best cheap helicopter ride over NYC
If you’re looking for a quick NYC helicopter tour, this flight over Manhattan is a perfect choice. The ride lasts 15-30 minutes, depending on which option you select, and includes in-flight narration.
When you book this tour, you can choose to focus on the main attractions in Manhattan, or you can opt for a more zoomed-out tour of the city. Either way, you’ll board a helicopter with huge windows granting you a great vantage point of the skyscrapers, rivers, and streets below.
Your guide will point out iconic landmarks like the Statue of Liberty, the Empire State Building, and Central Park. Seeing all these attractions from a birds-eye view is one of the best things to do in Manhattan, so you won’t regret it!
Moreover, this is one of the cheapest helicopter rides over NYC, so if you want to fly over the city but don’t want to break the bank, it’s a perfect balance.
- Price: $194+
- Duration: 15-30 minutes
- Highlights: Central Park, Hudson River, Rockefeller Center, Empire State Building, Statue of Liberty
2. Nighttime Flight, a great helicopter tour over NYC at night
This nighttime tour is another moderately-priced helicopter ride over NYC, and an excellent choice if you want to see the Big Apple after dark. You’ll depart from New Jersey’s Linden Airport and enjoy 30 minutes soaring over the skyscrapers, rivers, and bridges of New York City.
Doing an NYC helicopter tour at night is an awesome experience because you get an exclusive look at Manhattan’s landmark attractions. The glittering facades of the skyscrapers and the evening traffic filtering between the buildings create a glowing landscape that you can’t see any other way.
Witness the illuminated side of NYC, including Yankee Stadium, Times Square, and the Statue of Liberty before returning to the airport in New Jersey. Without a doubt, this is one of the best things to do in NYC at night, especially with friends or your partner.
- Price: $240+
- Duration: 30 minutes
- Highlights: Columbia University, Yankee Stadium, Hudson River, George Washington Bridge, Statue of Liberty
3. Doors Off Experience, the perfect sightseeing helicopter tour in New York City
If like us, you enjoy photography, then you’ll love this doors-off heli-tour, which gives you beautiful photo opportunities while flying over Manhattan.
Buckle up for an exhilarating journey over Liberty and Ellis Islands, Battery Park, the Brooklyn Bridge, and other New York landmarks. This is the tour we took, and it was one of the coolest things we did during our trip. Without a doubt, it’s one of the overall best tours in New York City.
If a doors-off NYC helicopter tour sounds scary to you, don’t worry because they adhere 100% to the safety protocols. During the flight, your guide will point out famous locations from TV and film, and you’ll be able to capture one-of-a-kind photos of New York Harbor and other iconic sites.
- Price: $250+
- Duration: 16 minutes
- Highlights: Perfect photo opportunities of Statue of Liberty, Ellis Island, Battery Park, Governors Island, Brooklyn Bridge, Verrazano-Narrow Bridge, Lower Manhattan
4. Couples Package, the most romantic helicopter tour in NYC
For those who are looking for something to do in NYC as a couple, consider a romantic helicopter ride over NYC. For example, this private tour is perfect for date night, an anniversary, or another special occasion.
This flight departs from the Westchester County Airport in White Plains, New York, and you can choose from a daytime, sunset, or evening tour. Also, to make things easier, you can set up a transfer from Manhattan, although you can also get there via rental car or public transit.
I prefer the sunset option since you can see the city during golden hour. That said, this deluxe New York City helicopter tour is a beautiful experience any time of day. If you go at night, you’ll see famous attractions like the Empire State Building and Chrysler Building sparkling below you.
- Price: $730+
- Duration: 30-45 minutes
- Highlights: Sunset views of Central Park, Yankee Stadium, the Manhattan skyline, Empire State Building, Chrysler Building, East River
5. Flying Lesson, an unforgettable helicopter ride over New York City
Ever thought about trying your hand at being a pilot? Well, this unique heli-tour is your chance! The one-hour tour includes 30 minutes of on-the-ground instruction before joining an expert pilot in the cockpit, who will hand over control of the aircraft so you can perform simple flying maneuvers.
You’ll be in the air for about 30 minutes during this exciting, once-in-a-lifetime ride. Along with the fantastic views, you’ll learn about the technology and physics behind flying a helicopter, as well as proper safety protocols and how to use the control panel.
This NYC helicopter lesson and tour depart from Westchester County Airport in White Plains, New York. While the flight doesn’t go directly over Manhattan, you’ll be able to see NYC from the air, as well as the New York – Connecticut border and the Hudson River.
- Price: $510+
- Duration: 1 hour
- Highlights: Professional instruction and 30-minute ride over the Hudson River and the New York-Connecticut border
6. Helicopter Proposal Over New York City, the ultimate deluxe helicopter tour in NYC
Finally, this romantic air tour is the ultimate NYC helicopter tour for two, especially if you’ve been thinking about tying the knot. This tour allows you to plan out the night and collaborate with an engagement photographer and pilot to create an unforgettable marriage proposal.
The package includes a private transfer from your Manhattan hotel to Westchester County Airport in White Plains, New York, where you’ll board a private helicopter. Then, take off and soar over Manhattan, just you and your sweetheart (and the pilot!)
As you prepare to land, your partner will see an illuminated “Marry Me” sign as you pop the question. A professional photographer will meet you on the ground to capture the special moment. This romantic helicopter ride in NYC also includes champagne and roses; just don’t forget the ring!
- Price: $2,400+
- Duration: 30-45 minutes
- Highlights: Flight over Manhattan, professional engagement photos, proposal sign upon landing
Helicopter tour NYC price
Now that you’ve read about the top New York City air tours, here is a comparison chart to help you decide which one is the best fit for you. Compare each NYC helicopter tour’s price, duration, departure point, and highlights below.
Downtown Heliport at Pier 6, Manhattan
Flight over Manhattan
Linden Airport, NJ
Flight over Manhattan at night
FLYNYON Kearny, NJ
Flight over Manhattan in a doors-off helicopter
Westchester County Airport, NY
Private flight over Manhattan
Westchester County Airport, NY
Professional instruction and 30-minute ride over the Hudson River and the New York-Connecticut border
Westchester County Airport, NY
Private flight over Manhattan, professional engagement photos and proposal sign upon landing
BEST HELICOPTER TOURS IN NEW YORK CITY
My experience flying over New York City
During one of our trips to New York, we took this doors-off helicopter tour, and it was a photographer’s dream.
Being able to see and photograph some of the most emblematic sights in Manhattan was something I’ll never forget. Plus, the tour gave me a sensation of floating above the city since there weren’t any doors and our feet could dangle. The ride was an adrenaline rush, but I felt safe the entire time because the pilot and crew went over all the safety protocols before we boarded the helicopter.
Our heli-flight over NYC only lasted 15-20 minutes, but it was a breathtaking experience, and it was well-priced. We flew over New York Harbor and saw the full scope of Manhattan while our guide pointed out important landmarks. Seeing huge skyscrapers like the Empire State Building and One World Trade Center from above was awesome and provided a unique viewpoint that we wouldn’t get any other way.
I also saw just how large Central Park is, and I captured incredible views of Battery Park, the waterfront, and Liberty and Ellis Islands. Seeing the different bridges connecting to Manhattan all at once from above was an awe-inspiring experience, too. If you’re looking for a VIP helicopter tour in NYC, I highly recommend this one!
That’s it from me! Hopefully, one of these New York City helicopter tours appeals to you. If you have any questions about flying over New York City, leave me a comment and I’ll do my best to help you out. Until then, happy flying, and have a safe trip!