Visiting New York City is a bucket list for many and one way to make that once in a lifetime trip even more special, is by seeing the city from above. We recently visited New York for the first time and wanted to cram as much of the sights, movie scenes and bucket list activities in as possible. When we saw there was an option to book a helicopter tour over Manhattan we instantly knew it was an experience we both wanted to have.

We booked the ZipAviation Tour with Get Your Guide and in this article we will share our experience of the trip.

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Table of Contents

🏩 Where to Stay in New York

We stayed here during our trip to New York. Use the below search box to find your perfect accommodation.


📝 Planning Your Trip


We use the below booking platforms to plan our trips. We hope you find them useful too! 

We booked this trip with Get Your Guide and were given a small discount however this article was not compulsary to write and is all our own honest views.

💰 What to bring on the New York Manhattan Helicopter Tour?

You will need a passport when you check in for your trip. There is also an additional  boarding fee which costs $40 USD per passenger. You will not be able to bring any luggage onto the helicopter so you will need to pay $2 per small locker to store your belongings safely.

⬇️ This is the New York City Helicopter Tour that we did ⬇️

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🕰️ How long is the New York Manhattan Helicopter Tour?

The time varies depending on what option you book.

  • 15 minutes
  • 20 minutes
  • 30 minutes

We booked the 20 minute tour which we felt was a great amount of time for us to settle in to the trip and see a good amount of the city. You will be wearing a headset that will have a narrated tour guide telling you about parts of the city as you fly over them.

👧🏼 Can children go on the New York Manhattan Helicopter Tour?

Yes, the minimum age for the tour is 2 years old.

🚁 What to expect when you arrive at the New York Manhattan Helicopter Tour?

When you arrive at the check in terminal you will show your passport and stand on the weighing scales. There is a small waiting area where you will wait for your names to be called. We were taken earlier than our booking tine as we had checked in early and were just put with the next group. We had booked on the sunset helicopter and thankfully it didn’t look like we were going to get a cracking sunset anyway as we would have missed it when we were taken early. You will be given a life vest to wear during the flight and told how to open the life jacket if required.

🗽 New York Manhattan Helicopter Tour

When your group is called, you will follow the staff outside to our helicopter. Everyone is seated according to weight to balance out the flight but there is a panoramic window on the side to allow for great views. Our helicopter seated 5 people with one passenger sitting in the front next to the pilot.

From the heliport, the helicopter makes a loop around the Statue of Liberty, up the Hudson River towards Central Park. It was incredible to see the size of the buildings and Central Park from above, they are absolutely massive!

📷 New York Manhattan Helicopter Tour

Overall, the New York Manhattan Helicopter Tour is an expensive luxury activity in New York City, but in our opinion, it’s a once in a lifetime opportunity and well worth the money. 

Make sure you remember to charge up your camera batteries before your trip, you’re going to want it! 

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Before You Leave for New York

Before you set off on your way to New York, there are a number of things you will need to get organised to ensure a smooth and enjoyable journey. These include what to pack, where to stay and what is the best insurance for your trip. All of this is discussed in detail below.

How to Get to New York

New York has two airports, JFK and Newark. If you are flying internationally, you will most likely fly into JFK. Public transport is great in New York and you will be able to get an airtrain from any terminal and ride it to Jamaica Street or Howard Street. The air train is free and then you will pay for your onward train travel from there. The trains, buses and underground system are reasonably straightforward to navigate. 


What to Pack for Your Trip to New York

It really depends on the season you are visiting New York what you will need to pack. In summer the weather is hot and you will need short sleeves and suncream. However, in the winter it can be cold and snow so you will need plenty of layers. Visiting in spring and autumn, we prepared for all weather and had a variation of all seasons.

For our full list of items that we pack no matter where we go in the world, check out our full packing guides over here.

Given the beautiful sights and scenery that you are no doubt going to see around the New York, we highly recommend packing a good camera for your trip. If you want to read more about the cameras we use and why we love them, check out the link below.

You can read what else we keep in our camera bag over here.

What is the Best Travel Insurance for New York

I know travel insurance is the least enjoyable thing to purchase and look at when you’re planning a trip, however, you wouldn’t want to be without it in the event that something happened. Accidents can happen anywhere and the extortionate medical bills will ruin your trip if you are not covered.

To ensure you have a stress-free trip with no worries about potential medical bills, make sure you cover yourself when you travel. We can recommend using SafetyWing, a backpacker-friendly and cheap insurance company that provides good coverage and support. It is also nomad-friendly, unlike most other insurance companies, meaning you do not need to worry about being out of your home country for too long.

Get a quote for your travel insurance right here and get covered!

So there you have it, your guide to booking a Helicopter Tour in New York. If you are visiting this incredible city and have any other questions on what to expect, leave us a comment down below. We love to chat about this stuff! If you have already been, let us know how it was! Did you get visit a show? How many New York bagels did you eat? Let us know in the comments below!

Also, remember to share this with your friends and family that you are going to share this amazing experience with. Sharing is caring and we want to ensure that everyone is fully prepared to maximise their experience visiting this amazing city.

If you are planning a New York trip soon then check out our other North American content right here. Come and find us on social media to see where we are currently exploring. Tag us in your photos from your stay and we will share them with the rest of our community of explorers and backpackers.

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