Looking for where the most Instagrammable places in NYC are? Check out this list for the best New York City photo spots!
Ahhh, New York City…aka “concrete jungle where dreams are made of” (one of the best NYC quotes). There’s just something magical about it, isn’t there? It is also one of the most photogenic cities in the world. Wondering where the most Instagrammable places in NYC are?
Well, here I am to the rescue. Here they are – the most Instagrammable places in NYC:
The Most Instagrammable Places in NYC
1. Top of the Rock
The best view in town, with sweeping panoramic views of the NYC skyline, Central Park, the Freedom Tower, and most importantly, the Empire State Building.
The latter might be the tallest and arguably the most iconic in New York City, but I mean…you can’t see the Empire State Building from the top of the Empire State Building. Just sayin’.
Be sure to snap a shot from the windowsill as you make your way up to the actual observatory – this is one of the top NYC photo spots!
Once you get out into the observatory, have your photographer shoot down from the upper deck to get an amazing shot of you with the most stunning panoramic view and the binoculars. To get this shot, go as soon as they open!
Seriously, though, can you argue with these views? Yeah, didn’t think so. Definitely one of the most Instagrammable places in NYC.
Address: 30 Rockefeller Center
Hours: 1pm-9pm, daily
Admission: from $38 – buy tickets here
2. The Brooklyn Bridge
One of the oldest bridges in the United States, and one of the most classic symbols of NYC. Definitely walk the entire span of the bridge for amazing views of the skyline.
Go early in the morning to beat the crowds to *really* enjoy the beauty of the bridge and to snap the best photos for your Instragram feed. Be aware that the runners and the cyclists can be super aggressive, so watch out for them to avoid a collision!
Address: Brooklyn Bridge, New York, NY 10038
3. Brooklyn Bridge Park
Right after you get off the Brooklyn Bridge, head on over to the Brooklyn Bridge park. This 85-acre park offers sweeping waterfront views of the Brooklyn Bridge and the Manhattan skyline. It is also magical at night, with all the buildings all lit up.
Address: 334 Furman Street
Yes, Dumbo is the name of a cartoon elephant, but it also stands for “Down Under the Manhattan Bridge Overpass.” The intersection of Washington Street and Front Street is another one of the most Instagrammable places in NYC because of it is where you find the most picture-perfect view of the Manhattan Bridge.
If you look closely, you’ll also find that the Empire State Building is also framed perfectly within the bridge!
This is one of the most popular NYC Instagram spots, so the earlier you can get here, the better! The shot above was taken at around 9am. On a return visit to NYC, we came in the middle of the afternoon and it was an absolute zoo here!
Address: Washington Street & Front Street, Brooklyn
Also check out: Best of Brooklyn Williamsburg Walking Tour
5. Audrey Hepburn mural
Street art, Audrey Hepburn, and bright colors are 3 of my favorite things so I was excited to see this wall in Nolita.One of the most Instagrammable murals I’ve ever seen, in NYC or elsewhere!
Note that this mural is on the outside wall of a cafe, and usually has a table in front of it. Go early if you want to pose in front of it (or you can grab a coffee at Caffe Roma and try to get that spot!).
Address: Caffe Roma, 176 Mulberry Street
Artist: Tristan Eaton
Also check out: Bushwick Street Art Walking Tour
The Oculus is the centerpiece of the epic World Trade Center Transit Hub, which cost nearly $4 billion make, and is designed by Spanish architect Santiago Calatrava. The steel and glass structure is supposed to resemble a dove being released out of a child’s hand.
The natural light streaming through the interior is gorgeous, along with the way the columns cast shadows in the most perfect ways. Truly a breathtaking sight, and one of the most Instagrammable places in NYC.
While you are in this area, you should definitely check out the 9/11 memorial – it is definitely somber, but also very moving and a powerful experience. I was on the verge of tears here because I was so overcome with emotion. The ground zero museum and tour are definitely worth checking out as well.
Address: 33-69 Vesey Street
One of the most hip and creative neighborhoods in New York City, SOHO is home to high-end boutiques, trendy cafes, and restaurants. Greene Street is one of the most Instagrammable streets in this neighborhood, with its cobblestone streets and beautiful buildings with those cast-iron stairs.
9. Barneys New York
Maybe you’ll be going to go to Barneys to buy that Chanel bag (if you are, then I really envy you). Or, maybe you’ll be going to admire this gorgeous spiral staircase at the new flagship location of the luxury department store chain, which is among one of the most Instagrammable places in NYC. Snap a shot of you walking down these stairs for a perfect photo for your Instagram feed.
Address: 101 7th Avenue
I’m not sure what I loved most about Maman…the pretty blue and white motif that they use for all their branding, the drool-worthy decor, or the drool-worthy cookies. Can I just say all of the above? Seriously though, this may be the most Instagram-worthy cafe in all of NYC (and there are a lot of them).
Address: 239 Centre Street
11. East Village Walls
NYC is full of great street art, and East Village is full of some awesome walls. Some of my favorites were the graffiti hearts by street artist Hektad. You can find his work all over the city, but I loved these two in East Village. Such perfect backdrops for your Instagram portraits!
Keep in mind that the murals in this area are constantly changing – but there are always some really cool ones! You might not see these two pictured above, but I promise you that you will find some super Instagrammable ones in the neighborhood anyway!
31 E 1st Street
400 E 11th Street
12. The Crown at 50 Bowery
NYC has an abundance of great rooftop bars that it’s hard to figure out where to go. But I guarantee you, you MUST stop by the Crown atop the 50 Bowery hotel to sip on some drinks at one of the most Instagrammable places in NYC!
This was a recommendation from Serena of Serena’s Lenses and it was definitely a perfect spot to enjoy some cocktails while watching the sunset – definitely one of the top NYC Instagram spots and one of the best rooftops in NYC!
That view of the Manhattan skyline and Empire State Building definitely makes this one of the most Instagrammable places in NYC. I loved it so much that I had to return on another trip to NYC.
Want more epic NYC rooftop views? Also check out the NYC rooftop lounge bar tour, which will help you see three more rooftop bars with more epic views (with cocktails included – cheers!).
Address: 50 Bowery Street
13. Grand Central Terminal
One of the most beautiful and busiest train stations in the world, as well as one of the most Instagrammable places in NYC. This is one of those iconic New York City locations that you absolutely cannot miss on your itinerary – and you must stop by to take some photos at one of the best Instagram spots in NYC!
Admire the amazing architecture, or just people watch and take in the flurry of activity in front of you. If you want a photo without any crowds, well, that may be challenging. I suggest shooting from the balconies with a wide aperture for best results.
I personally think shooting the crowds is super fun – for an even cooler effect, shoot at a slower shutter speed (something to steady your camera, i.e. a tripod is highly recommended) to capture the motion blurs from the flurry of activity here!
Grand Central was also made famous because of the opening scene from Gossip Girl, so you can also channel your inner Serena Van der Woodsen here. Want to see more sites from the classic TV show? You can check out this Gossip Girl sites tour!
Address: 89 E 42nd St, New York, NY 10017
14. Central Park
One of the largest, most beautiful urban parks in the world, Central Park is home to a number of amazing spots to snap that perfect Instagram photo. It is gorgeous year-round, but also absolutely magical in the spring and autumn.
One of my absolute favorite places in Central Park (and one of the top NYC photo spots) is the Bethesda Fountain. Just behind the fountain are these beautiful arches, with a tile ceiling. I absolutely must stop here every time I’m in NYC because it’s one of my favorite places in the city!
Some of the most Instagrammable spots in Central Park include: the boathouse (try renting a rowboat for some super cute and/or romantic shots!), the reservoir, Bow Bridge, Gapstow Bridge, and Umpire Rock. Taking a walking tour of Central Park will help you discover these and more spots in the park!
Perhaps the three most popular NYC Instagram spots inside Central Park are the Bethesda Fountain, Bow Bridge, and Gapstow Bridge. In order to get a photo without the crowds, you MUST show up early in the morning! We went to Bethesda Fountain at 8am to get the shot above.
We unfortunately were not able to shoot at Bow Bridge and Gapstow Bridge because we went to Bethesda Fountain first (we meant to go earlier, but got a late start) – by the time we went over to the bridges, there were already tons of people. Remember – the early bird gets the worm!
15. Times Square
Ok, so Times Square might be a total tourist trap and honestly kind of lame. But, all those bright lights and big city vibes totally make it one of the most Instagrammable places in NYC. So many photo ops with the giant billboards and constant flurry of activity – you just have to stop by to snap a few shots for your Instagram feeds.
16. Flatiron Building
One of the most well-known buildings in New York City, distinguished by its flat, triangular shape. Built in 1902, it was considered to be one of the most ground-breaking skyscrapers of its time. Today, it is one of the most iconic buildings in the city, and one of the most Instagrammable places in NYC.
If you happen to get those yellow cabs in your shot, you’ll get a super iconic NYC image. However, as we came to find out, it is FAR more difficult than it seems to capture this!
Between trying to time your shot correctly, and trying to get enough cabs in the shot for them to stand out (and because of the rapidly decreasing temperatures), well, we got a bit frustrated. But #forthegram, am I right?
Also be super careful of oncoming traffic while shooting here – you are in the middle of New York City after all!
Address: 175 5th Avenue
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You can’t help but love this super fun Mexican joint – are the colors just the best, or what? Definitely stop by for some tacos, cervezas, margs, and some super cute Instagram photos!
Address: 267 Elizabeth St
18. Pietro Nolita
There’s nothing quite as Instagrammable as millennial pink, and no one does it quite like Pietro Nolita – the entire establishment is covered in pink, from the outside to the inside! There’s even a cute pink heart mural outside. All that pink definitely makes this one of the most Instagrammable places in NYC.
Address: 174 Elizabeth St
19. The High Line
This elevated park was built on what used to be old railroad tracks and has given new life into this part of the city. It is also one of the most Instagrammable places in the NYC because of the greenery and the city views! The High Line spans 1.45 miles – walking the entire span is definitely worth doing, but if you’re limited on time, at least do part of it.
Address: Chelsea, near 10th Ave and Washington, between West 15th St and Gansevoort St
20. The Trash Can at Yumi Kim
Would you believe me if I told you that this photo was snapped in front of a trash can? I could hardly believe it either when I first stumbled upon this! This spot, which stands in front of the Yumi Kim boutique, is not only one of the most Instagrammable places in NYC, but probably *the* most Instagrammable trash can in the world.
Note: this one changes up colors based on season – you’ll find a pink floral design here currently.
Address: 105 Stanton St #1
Vessel, in Hudson Yards, is a 150-foot-tall honeycomb-like structure designed by architect Thomas Heatherwick. The steel-and-shining-copper edifice is a series of 154 staircases with 80 viewing platforms for stopping and snapping shots of your surroundings. Vessel is free to visit, but timed tickets are required to cut down on crowds. 📷: @alberto.penazzato #NewYorkCity #SeeYourCity #ILoveNY #ThisIsNewYorkCity
21. Vessel at Hudson Yards
One of the newest Instagram hotspot in the city, Vessel consists of a series of 154 staircases with 80 viewing platforms. The cool architecture here makes it one of the most Instagrammable places in the city! Construction of Vessel began in 2017, and was just completed in March 2019.
The Vessel is free to visit, but you must book a time slot in advance here in order to visit.
Address: The Shops and Restaurants at Hudson Yards, New York, NY 10001
23. Luna Park at Coney Island
What is it about ferris wheels that make them so photogenic? The Wonder Wheel at the Luna Park amusement park on Coney Island is probably one of the most famous in the world, and definitely one of the most Instagrammable places in NYC. It just screams fun and brings a bit of nostalgia, doesn’t it?
Make a day trip to Coney Island and spend a fun day bringing out the kid inside you and riding all the rides – you can get an all-day wristband for unlimited rides here.
Address: 1000 Surf Ave
24. Floral Mural
I’ve loved Jet Martinez’s work – his murals in San Francisco are some of my favorite. This floral wall in Lower Manhattan is one of my favorites of his! The wall has his signature floral design, but I love the colors here, which makes it one of the most Instagrammable places in NYC!
Address: Mulberry & Prince Streets
Artist: Jet Martinez
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New York City has no shortage of epic views, and the one from the One World Observatory, on the 102nd floor of the new World Trade Center, is among the best in the city.
Since this observatory is located on the lower side of Manhattan, it will give you a different perspective of the city than some of the other more popular viewpoints in the city.
26. Statue of Liberty
Seeing that the Statue of Liberty is one of the most iconic sights in America, it is definitely one of the most photographed places in both NYC and the country.
The best way to see it is to see it up close; however, if you don’t want to spend the day there, or you’re on a budget, you can also see a pretty good glimpse of it if you take the ferry to Staten Island, which is free!
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27. Empire State Building
The Empire State Building is arguably the most iconic landmark in the city, and honestly, there is no bad angle to photograph it (which is the reason it’s one of the most Instagrammable places in NYC)!
You’ll also get a birds eye view of the city from the top – it’s definitely one of the most famous views in the world. For a unique experience, get an AM/PM ticket, so you can see it once during the day and then return again at night.
Address: 20 W 34th St
Hours: 11am-11pm, daily
Admission: Starts at $36; buy tickets here
28. Iconic NYC Apartments
What is it about those iconic NYC apartments that make them so irresistible? From the walk-ups of the Upper West Side and Brooklyn, to these pastel-colored abodes in Greenwhich Village, the apartments of New York City are just super photogenic and supremely Instagrammable.
Definitely spend some time walking up and down the streets in the city to find some gems!
For best results, I highly recommend shooting with a wide angle lens to get as much of the facade as you can in your shot. You can also try shooting from across the street, but you might get some distracting elements (like this fire hydrant) in your photo.
29. Flour Shop
The rainbow walls inside the Flour Shop Bakery in SOHO will definitely make you and your camera happy – definitely one of the most Instagrammable places in NYC! Be sure to get a cake truffle and a rainbow push pop cake while you’re there.
Address: 177 Lafayette St
30. Sezanne L’Appartement
There is no argument here – the florals and bicycle were totally MADE for Instagram! This is definitely one of NYC’s most Instagrammable window displays.
The display changes depending on the season (so it might be different than what you see above), but it is always decorated to perfection, making it one of the most Instagrammable places in NYC. Also snap a photo of the tiled “Bonjour New York” floor at the entrance.
Address: 254 Elizabeth St
Best Photo Gear to Shoot at the Most Instagrammable Places in NYC
Wondering what gear you should have when photographing the most Instagrammable places in NYC? Read on for my favorite gear that will help you up your photography an Instagram game!
Best travel cameras for shooting at the best NYC Instagram spots: I currently shoot on the Nikon D7000 (which has now been updated to the Nikon D7500). The kit includes a 18mm-60mm f2.8-4 lens, which is a good starting point – you can also opt to get the camera body only and get a lens that suits your needs better. I’ve been a fan of Nikon for years and have shot on their cameras for almost 15 years now! The camera brand you choose is really a personal preference – to me, the colors on Nikon are super vibrant and their cameras always feel right in my hands. The D7500 is a good mid-range model – easy to use and figure out but has more controls and updated features compared to your standard entry-level camera and has better performance in low light, better focusing, etc.
If you’re on a budget, or are a complete beginner and don’t want all the extra bells and whistles, I’d suggest getting an entry-level dSLR like the Nikon D3500 or the Canon Rebel T7. They are easy to figure out and learn the basics of photography on, plus they still take amazing images, and you especially can’t beat the price!
Want the image quality of a dSLR but think they’re too heavy? Try a mirrorless camera! Sony is definitely the king of mirrorless, and you can’t go wrong with any of their models. Many of my travel blogger friends use and love the Sony a6000 – they all say that it’s lightweight, easy to use, and shoots amazing photos!
Best travel lenses for shooting at the most Instagrammable places in NYC: The lens that lives on my camera about 90% of the time is the Tamron 28-75mm f2.8 (for Nikon, Canon, Sony). If budget were not an issue, I would absolutely get the Nikon version of this lens, which many professional photographers use, and is known as one of the best all-around lenses (there are Canon and Sony versions of this as well). The Tamron version has similar specs, but is sold at at a fraction of the price. The 28-75mm range covers much of what I need while I’m traveling so I can get away with only binging one lens. The f2.8 means that it shoots well in low light AND gets that amazing bokeh, or blurred background in portrait shots.
For the best phone photos of the most Instagrammable places in NYC: I’m lazy AF so I actually end up taking a lot of photos with my phone. My currently phone camera is the iPhone XR – it’s known to shoot excellent images so you’d never know that they were shot on a phone! The newer iPhone 11 has an even better camera, so definitely look into it if you’re due for an upgrade. My boyfriend also has the Samsung Galaxy Note 10, which might be even better (shh don’t tell him that) because it has manual controls.
Other must-have gear for capturing the most Instagrammable places in NYC: I love this lightweight tripod, which is cheap, easy to set up, and not super annoying to carry around. I also use this selfie stick tripod to help me take self-portraits on my phone!
Have you been to New York City? What are your picks for some of the most Instagrammable places in NYC?
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