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10 Helicopter Tours in NYC That Offer Breathtaking Views of the City

Take in unbelievable aerial views of the Big Apple with an NYC helicopter tour!

Manhattan is best seen from above, and the companies that offer helicopter tours in NYC all offer unparalleled views of the panoramic skyline. Whether you want to see New York Harbor, the Statue of Liberty, and Ellis Island or fly uptown to Central Park and the George Washington Bridge, and the northern tip of Manhattan, there's a tour for you! And, obviously, don’t forget to take pics of this truly Instagram-worthy NYC experience. Here are the best NYC helicopter tours to choose from.

TOP 10 ATTRACTIONS TO VISIT IN NEW ...
TOP 10 ATTRACTIONS TO VISIT IN NEW YORK | Scott and Yanling

The 10 Best NYC Helicopter Tours

1. Helicopter Flight Services Tours

Make your visit to the Big Apple truly unforgettable with a helicopter tour of NYC! Helicopter Flight Services offers three different aerial tours of NYC. The shortest tour includes flying past  the Statue of Liberty, Ellis Island, One World Trade Center, the Chrysler and Empire State buildings, Chelsea Piers, Times Square, the Intrepid, and Central Park. The Ultimate Tour goes a little further north, taking you past Columbia University, the Palisades, and George Washington Bridge to the tip of Manhattan. Want to see a little more of NYC? The Deluxe tour extends south and east to the Verrazzano Bridge and Brooklyn. While these helicopter tours of NYC all depart from Pier 6 in Manhattan, if you want to see an aerial view of the city lit up at night, you’ll have to make your way over to New Jersey for HFS’s City Light’s Experience.

Flight Time: New Yorker: 12-15 minutes; Ultimate: 17-20 minutes; Deluxe: 25-30 minutes
Departs From: 6 East River Piers, Financial District
Hours: Monday-Saturday, 9am-5:30pm
More Info: 212-355-0801heliny.com

2. Liberty Helicopter Tours

Since 1990, Liberty has been offering spectacular views from modern of NYC's most famous landmarks on its Manhattan Tour, including Statue of Liberty, Empire State Building, Central Park, Times Square, and more! For spectacular views of even more NYC landmarks, opt for the Big Apple or Empire tours, which include Yankee Stadium (except on game days), the Palisades, the tip of Manhattan, and Brooklyn.

Flight Time: Manhattan: 12-15 minutes; Big Apple: 17-20 minutes; Empire: 25-30 minutes
Departs From: 6 East River Bikeway, Financial District
Hours: Monday-Saturday, 9am-5pm
More Info: 212-786-5751libertyhelicopter.com

3. Helicopter New York City

See the classic city sights from above on a 15-, 20-, or 30- minute tour with Helicopter New York City. You’ll fly over the city’s most famous bridges, including the George Washington Bridge, the Brooklyn Bridge, the Verrazzano Bridge, an the Manhattan Bridge, and you’ll see classic landmarks, like Central Park, Lady Liberty, One World Trade, and Yankee Stadium (except on game days). Note: Exact landmarks on your tour vary depending on which one you choose.

Flight Time: New Yorker: 15 minutes; Ultimate: 20 minutes; Deluxe: 30 minutes
Departs From: 6 East River Piers, Financial District
Hours: Monday-Saturday, 12-5:30pm
More Info: 212-747-9282helicopternewyorkcity.com

4. ZIP Aviation

Taking off from Pier 6 in the East River, you’ll fly past the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island, then head north to see the sights of NYC along the Hudson River to the Upper West Side with the Liberty Harbor tour. The Big City tour follows the same route but takes you a little further north to the George Washington Bridge. And if you want to see even more of NYC from above, check out the Grand Island tour. It takes you to the northern tip of Manhattan and even further south to the Verrazzano Bridge and Brooklyn. Looking for an evening flight to take in an aerial view of the city lights? Zip Aviation offers an NYC Night Skyline Tour, but you have to make your way over to New Jersey for takeoff.

Flight Time: Liberty Harbor: 15 minutes; Big City: 20 minutes; Grand Island: 30 minutes
Departs From: 6 East River Piers, Financial District
Hours: Monday-Friday, 9am-4:30pm; Saturday, 9am-6:30pm
More Info: 212-422-1700zipaviation.com

5. Charm Aviation

Take in spectacular views of NYC’s most well-known landmarks with these Charm Aviation’s NYC helicopter tours. With the Manhattan tour, you’ll fly along the Hudson River and see views of Lady Liberty and Ellis Island, One World Trade Center, the Chrysler and Empire State buildings, Chelsea Piers, Times Square, Central Park, and the Intrepid. See a little more with the Big Apple, which also includes Yankee Stadium (except on game days, the Palisades, and the northern tip of Manhattan. Or choose the Empire tour, which goes as far north as the tip of Manhattan and as far south as the Verrazzano Bridge and Brooklyn.

Flight Time: Manhattan: 12-15 minutes; Big Apple: 17-20 minutes; Empire: 25-30 minutes
Departs From: 6 East River Piers, Financial District
Hours: Monday-Saturday, 9am-5pm
More Info: 212-786-5751flycharmny.com

6. Manhattan Helicopters Tours

Take your New York visit to the next level with Manhattan Helicopter's narrated sightseeing tour experience. Flight times depend on which of the three tours you choose, but all tours fly along the Hudson River and feature jaw-dropping aerial views of the 9/11 Memorial, Empire State Building, Times Square, Central Park, the Statue of Liberty, and more. 

Flight Time: Classic: 12-15 minutes; Deluxe: 18-20 minutes; VIP: 25-30 minutes
Departs From: 6 East River Piers, Financial District
Hours: Monday-Friday, 9am-4:30pm; Saturday, 9am-6:30pm
More Info: 212-845-9822manhattanhelicopters.com

7. FlyNYON

Looking for something a little different in a helicopter tour of NYC? FlyNYON offers doors-off helicopter tours of the Big Apple. That means you’ll have nothing between you and the aerial sights! Just be aware that the minimum age for doors-off flights is 12. If you’re a little hesitant about flying doors-off, FlyNYON also offers doors-on tours, so there’s something for everyone. This tour company also offers special holiday flights to see the July 4th fireworks, the New Year’s Eve ball drop from a different angle, or the Thanksgiving Day Parade from above! These helicopter tours all take off from Kearny, NJ, so you’ll have to either drive over, take the NJ Path train to Journal Square in Jersey City, or take NJ Transit to Newark Penn Station, then take an Uber or taxi to the hangar.

Flight Time: Doors On: Intro: 15-18 minutes; VIP: 28-30 minutes; Grand: 37-40 minutes. Doors Off: Experience: 16-19 minutes; Classic: 30-33 minutes
Departs From: 78 John Miller Way, Kearny, NJ
Hours: Monday-Friday, 11am-9pm; Saturday-Sunday, 9am-10pm
More Info: 1-855-696-6247flynyon.com

8. New York Helicopter Tours

Another NYC helicopter tour that takes off from Kearny, NJ (see above for directions on how to get there from the city!), this company offers three tours, running from 12-25 minutes depending on which one you choose. These helicopter tours will show you all the classic NYC sights, as well as Governors Island, the South Street Seaport, Wall Street Financial Center, Brooklyn and Manhattan bridges, and more.

Flight Time: Taste of NYC: 12-15 minutes; NYC Skyline: 17-19 minutes; Ultimate NYC: 20-25 minutes
Departs From: 78 John Miller Way, Kearny, NJ
Hours: Daily, 9am-7pm
More Info: 212-480-8300newyorkhelicopter.com

9. HeliFlights

Though it began as a flight school, HeliFlights offers helicopter tours of NYC out of Linden, NJ. You can select a doors-off tour if you’re feeling extra adventurous, or a doors-on tour if that’s more your comfort level. And if you’re looking for an extra-special way to pop the question, HeliFlights offers Proposal Flights for two, where you can ask your sweetheart to marry you in the most unforgettable way! 

Flight Time: Statue of Liberty: 15-18 minutes; NYC 360º: 25-30 minutes; Manhattan: 30-35 minutes
Departs From: Hanger 400, 1101 W. Edgar Road, Linden, NJ
Hours: Tuesday-Sunday; flight times vary, so check the website
More Info: 732-788-6022heliflights.us

10. Wings Air

Want to take a helicopter tour that focuses on the sights of upper Manhattan? Wings Air might be what you’re looking for. Just know this tour of NY takes off from Westchester County (you can book a roundtrip car service from Manhattan to Westchester when you book a tour). The 30-minute tour takes you as far south as Midtown, while the 45-minute tour takes you down to the Statue of Liberty before circling back to Westchester County Airport. 

Flight Time: 30-45 minutes
Departs From: Westchester County Airport, Ross Aviation West, 67 Tower Road, Harrison
Hours: Daily, 10am-8:30pm
More Info: 866-471-5810wingsair.net

About the Author

Katelin E. Walling has been writing about parenting, fun things to do in NYC and the surrounding area, health, finance, education, and more for nearly 10 years. She graduated from the University of Maine in 2011 and attended the NYU Summer Publishing Institute during the summer of 2011. To unplug in her free time, she can often be found reading, knitting (or general crafting), or whipping up a vegan treat—all with a cup of coffee nearby.

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