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The best helicopter tours in NYC
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The best helicopter tours in NYC

Get an exhilarating view of the city's stunning skyline aboard one of the best helicopter tours NYC has to offer

Written by
Time Out contributors
Dan Q Dao
Annalise Mantz
Rhys Thomas

For the ultimate panoramic view of this incredible city's iconic skyline, you'll probably want to book yourself on to one of New York’s best helicopter tours. Because what could be better than gazing out across the best city in the world? Of course, vistas aren’t in short supply in this town - and you can always marvel at the cityscape from one of the city’s best rooftop bars - but you’ll need to get a little bit higher for that picture-perfect wide-angle of the best New York attractionsfrom the Empire State Building to Central Park. Whether you want to jump on a quick 20-minute flight or take it all in over two whole hours, our list of the best helicopter tours in NYC has the perfect chopper for you. Time to take to the skies, people! 

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Best helicopter tours in NYC

It's no surprise that in the city that never sleeps, the best helicopter ride takes place after dark. Head down to South Street Seaport and climb aboard a luxury chopper for a flight around a dozen sights and landmarks, including Central Park, the Brooklyn Bridge, the Chrysler Building and the Empire State Building. After you’ve landed, finish off the night in style with a 45-minute guided cruise along the New York harbor, complete with a Champagne toast in front of Lady Liberty.

This budget-friendly whistlestop tour is perfect for those visiting New York for the first time. In just 15 minutes, you can get up close to loads of major attractions. Flights depart daily from the Downtown Manhattan Heliport, taking passengers all the way to the George Washington Bridg via the Empire State, Woolworth, Chrysler, Met Life and World Financial buildings. Headphones are provided so you can hear commentary from your pilot while taking in those spectacular, Instagram-perfect views.


This 25-minute, ultimate sightseer’s tour gives passengers the chance to take in killer views of Manhattan, Brooklyn and the Bronx. The trip starts with a jaunt around popular downtown sights such as the Statue of Liberty and Ground Zero before passing all the city’s major bridges - Queensboro, Brooklyn and Williamsburg - on its way up to the Bronx for a unique view form high of the impressive Yankee Stadium.

From Coney Island to the New Jersey Palisades to Grant’s Tomb, this far-ranging helicopter tour lets you see it all. Your flight gets going with the iconic landmarks of lower Manhattan: the Freedom Tower, the Statue of Liberty, the Chrysler Building and the Empire State Building. Next, the flight climbs all the way to the very top of the borough for incredible views of Columbia University, Harlem and the Yankee Stadium. The trip back heads south over the Verrazano Bridge for views of Staten Island and even a glimpse of the roller coasters at Luna Park.


Whatever you do, don’t forget your camera on this tour. And no, your smartphone probably won't do these views justice. City Skyline Experience choppers zoom north along the East River, cut across Central Park, then fly down the Hudson River for the ultimate panoramic look at Gotham’s skyline. Along the way, the pilot points out all the key NYC attractions such as the Empire State Building and the Brooklyn Bridge, plus some further afield locales like Citi Field in Queens.

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