While getting in amongst the hustle and bustle in a city is a great way to get a feel for life in the metropolis, there are some cities that just have to be seen to be believed. One way to really get an idea of the scale, beauty or uniqueness of a city is to take an aerial view.
Helicopter tours are becoming more popular and give visitors to get a totally different view on the city they are visiting. If you want to know the cities where it’s best to take flight and get a bird’s eye impression of the sprawl below, look no further than our top five guide to the best cities for helicopter rides.
1. New York City
One of the most iconic skylines in the world, New York has often been seen from above in news and movie footage through the years. However, there’s nothing to beat seeing it with your own eyes and it gives you a spectacular view of Manhattan to circle the island by helicopter.
Helicopter tours are very popular in the city and you’ll find no shortage of providers offering you the chance to take to the air and see New York from above. Pick a tour that takes in the things that you particularly want to see.
2. Rio de Janeiro
The Brazilian capital of Rio de Janeiro is a city unlike any other and one uniquely appreciated from the air. The iconic beaches of Ipanema and Copacabana contrast dramatically with the Sugar Loaf towering over the city with Christ the Redeemer standing benevolently over the congregation below.
As well as the beauty of the city, the tour will allow you the chance to appreciate the sheer urban density and sprawl of the city. The Rocinha shanty town is thought to have some 300,000 inhabitants alone. Having been built largely without permission from whatever materials came to hand, the shanty town is a mishmash of colour running down the side of the mountain towards the sea.
A helicopter ride over Japan’s capital city really puts the vastness of the city into perspective. Densely packed but opening out towards the water, a helicopter ride around the city will circle around the Tokyo Sky Tree dwarfing the sprawling city below it.
Taking a tour at night will really bring the experience to life as lights illuminate the main streets through the city and mark out the different sectors down below. More than anything, the flight gives you the chance to get a real feel for the sheer scale of the city and how many people are living and working in such a tightly packed space.
Compared to Rio and Tokyo, London is a relatively small city but one that has its fair share of aerial attractions that make it a great spot for helicopter tours.
From the skies over central London, you can see some of the unmistakeable sights of the city including the Houses of Parliament and the tower of Big Ben, the Thames river snaking through the city and see for yourself the way in which the Great Fire of London and Second World War shaped the architecture and shape of the city below.
5. Las Vegas
Tours over Sin City itself aren’t all that spectacular in themselves, although you can take a tour over the strip at night to see the glittering lights of the city. However, the surrounding desert and the amazing scenery make Las Vegas a perfect place to take a helicopter tour to see some stunning sights.
Tours from Las Vegas give you the opportunity to see some sights of outstanding natural beauty and feats of incredible engineering ingenuity. The Grand Canyon and Indian reservation in the nearby national park make for stunning viewing from above. You can also take in the mammoth Hoover dam and see some of the best of human engineering at work.
Helicopter tours give a completely different perspective on cities than that gained from walking amongst the buildings. Get a different point of view and take a flight over one of these amazing cities.
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