Skip to Content

125 Perfect New York Instagram Captions | Inspiring NYC Quotes, Lyrics, Sayings, + More

Looking for some ideas for your New York captions? From NYC quotes, lyrics, sayings, and more, here are 125 ideas for perfect Instagram captions!

New York City is one of the most inspiring and photogenic cities in the world – there’s just something truly magical about it. There are a million photo ops, everywhere you look. If you need ideas for the perfect New York captions to go along with your Instagram photos from the Big Apple, then you’ve come to the right place.

There has been plenty that has been said about NYC over the years, and it’s been the inspiration behind countless books, movies, TV shows, and songs. These are all perfect material when you are looking for ideas for the perfect NYC Instagram captions.

This is the kind of city that inspires dreams, hope, and love – Alicia Keys said it best when she described it. as“concrete jungle where dreams are made of.” The city has been a source of inspiration for many, and there are plenty of inspirational NYC quotes out there.

It’s also a city that inspires a bit of Christmas magic (which makes sense because the holiday decorations and vibes are INSANE y’all)!

From the best quotes, lyrics, sayings, and more, here are 125 ideas for amazing New York captions!

Inspirational New York Captions

There is just something about NYC that makes you feel like all of your dreams can come true. It’s a special kind of city, and plenty has been said about this “anything is possible” feeling that being in the city stirs up. Here are the best inspirational New York Instagram captions:

“Even if it ain’t all it seems,
I got a pocketful of dreams. 
Baby I’m from New York, 
concrete jungle where dreams are made of. 
There’s nothing you can’t do. 
Now you’re in New York. 
These streets will make you feel brand new. 
Big lights will inspire you.
Hear it for New York, New York, New York.”
Alicia Keys, “Empire State of Mind” 

“London is satisfied, Paris is resigned, but New York is always hopeful. Always it believes that something good is about to come off, and it must hurry to meet it.” – Dorothy Parker

“The great city of New York wields more of the destinies of this great nation that five times the population of any other portion of the country.” –Malcolm S. Forbes

“So I went to New York City to be born again. It was and remains easy for most Americans to go somewhere else and start anew. I wasn’t like my parents. I didn’t have any supposedly sacred piece of land or shoals of friends to leave behind. Nowhere has the number zero been of more philosophical value than in the United States…. and when the [train] plunged into a tunnel under New York City, with its lining of pipes and wires, I was out of the womb and into the birth canal.” – Kurt Vonnegut, Bluebeard

“My advice for aspiring writers is go to New York. And if you can’t go to New York, go to the place that represents New York to you, where the standards for writing are high, there are other people who share your dreams, and where you can talk, talk, talk about your interests. Writing books begins in talking about it, like most human projects, and in being close to those who have already done what you propose to do.” – Walter Kirn

“There is something in the New York air that makes sleep useless.” – Simone de Beauvoir

“One’s life and passion may be elsewhere, but New York is where you prove if what you think in theory makes sense in life.” – Miuccia Prada

“In New York the opportunities for learning, and acquiring a culture that shall not come out of the ruins, but belong to life, are probably greater than anywhere else in the world.” – Thomas Wolfe, Of Life and the River

“As for New York City, it is a place apart. There is not its match in any other country in the world.” – Pearl S. Buck

“Make your mark in New York and you are a made man.”- Mark Twain

“People go to LA to ‘find themselves,’ they come to New York to become someone new.” – Lindsey Kelk, I Heart New York

“The only credential the city asked was the boldness to dream. For those who did, it unlocked its gates and its treasures, not caring who they were or where they came from.” – Moss Hart, Act One

“‘New York!’ he said. ‘That’s not a place, it’s a dream.’” – Ralph Ellison

“I had enough electricity in my booty to jump-start the whole of New York City.” – Colum McCann

“Anything is possible. This is New York.” – Carrie Bradshaw, Sex and the City

“Probably everything in my life comes back to a feeling of abandonment, and this city never abandons you.” – Ann Douglas

“New York is really the place to be; to go to New York, you’re going to the center of the world, the lion’s den.” – Zubin Mehta

“This is the city of dreamers and time and again it’s the place where the greatest dream of all, the American dream, has been tested and has triumphed.” – Michael Bloomberg

“I … still had the sense, so peculiar to New York, that something extraordinary would happen any minute, any day, any month.” – Joan Didion

“Only in a crowded, diverse place like New York, surrounded by strangeness, do I come home to myself.” – Jonathan Franzen, How to Be Alone

“New York City’s the place where they said, ‘Hey, babe, Take a walk on the wild side’” – Lou Reed

“I go to Paris, I go to London, I go to Rome, and I always say, ‘There’s no place like New York. It’s the most exciting city in the world now. That’s the way it is. That’s it.’” – Robert de Niro

“If you follow your heart just right, it will get you to New York City.” 

“When I was younger, I had wanted to be at the very center of all the action in New York, but I slowly came to realize that there is no one center. The center is everywhere – wherever people are living out their lives. It’s a city with a million centers.” – Elizabeth Gilbert, City of Girls

“The city was different back then–poor and crumbling–kept alive only by the gritty determination and steely cynicism of its occupants. But underneath the dirt was the apple-cheeked optimism of possibility, and while she worked, the whole city seemed to throb along with her.” – Candace Bushnell

“It’s pretty cliched, but Times Square is just incredible. You really feel like you’re in the capital of the world.” – Timothy F. Cahill

“More than anything else New York is a city of superlatives, a place where the best, the brightest, the biggest is the norm.” – Marilyn J. Appleberg

Magical New York Captions

New York City is a city like no other – the lights, skyline, and flurry of activity are magical. It is the city that truly never sleeps. There is something magical about it, and here are the best NYC quotes that sum up this feeling:

“I look out the window and I see the lights and the skyline and the people on the street rushing around looking for action, love, and the world’s greatest chocolate chip cookie, and my heart does a little dance.”- Nora Ephron, Heartburn

 “The city seen from the Queensboro Bridge is always the city seen for the first time, in its first wild promise of all the mystery and the beauty in the world.” – F. Scott Fitzgerald, The Great Gatsby

“I would give the greatest sunset in the world for one sight of New York’s skyline. Particularly when one can’t see the details. Just the shapes. The shapes and the thought that made them. The sky over New York and the will of man made visible. What other religion do we need? And then people tell me about pilgrimages to some dank pesthole in a jungle where they go to do homage to a crumbling temple, to a leering stone monster with a pot belly, created by some leprous savage. Is it beauty and genius they want to see? Do they seek a sense of the sublime? Let them come to New York, stand on the shore of the Hudson, look and kneel. When I see the city from my window – no, I don’t feel how small I am – but I feel that if a war came to threaten this, I would throw myself into space, over the city, and protect these buildings with my body.” – Ayn Rand, The Fountainhead

“Curtains forcing their will against the wind, children sleep, exchanging dreams with seraphim. The city drags itself awake on subway straps; and I, an alarm, awake as a rumor of war, lie stretching into dawn, unasked and unheeded.” – Maya Angelou

“I get out of the taxi and it’s probably the only city which in reality looks better than on the postcards, New York.” – Milos Forman

“Sometimes, from beyond the skyscrapers, the cry of a tugboat finds you in your insomnia, and you remember that this desert of iron and cement is an island.” – Albert Camus

“All over the city lights were coming on in the purple-blue dusk. The streetlights looked delicate and frail, as though they might suddenly float away from their lampposts like balloons. Long twirling ribbons of light, red, green, violet, were festooned about the doorways of drugstores and restaurants–and the famous electric signs of Broadway had come to life with glittering fish, dancing figures, and leaping fountains, all flashing like fire. Everything was beautiful. Up in the deepening sky above the city, the first stars appeared white and rare as diamonds. – Elizabeth Enright, The Saturdays

“At night… the streets become rhythmical perspectives of glowing dotted lines, reflections hung upon them in the streets as the wistaria hangs its violet racemes on its trellis. The buildings are shimmering verticality, a gossamer veil, a festive scene-prop hanging there against the black sky to dazzle, entertain, amaze.” – Frank Lloyd Wright

“One belongs to New York instantly, one belongs to it as much in five minutes as in five years.” – Tom Wolfe

“One can’t paint New York as it is, but rather as it is felt.” – Georgia O’Keeffe

“Pull up the shades so I can see New York. I don’t want to go home in the dark.” – O. Henry

“New York City is where specks of dust aspire randomly with all their cunning to become grains of sand.” – David B. Lentz in The Fine Art of Grace

“And New York is the most beautiful city in the world? It is not far from it. No urban night is like the night there…. Squares after squares of flame, set up and cut into the aether. Here is our poetry, for we have pulled down the stars to our will.” – Ezra Pound

“I didn’t know the city at all, but I was so happy to be in New York I cried. I was so excited.” – Greta Gerwig

“Practically everybody in New York has half a mind to write a book — and does.” – Groucho Marx

“The city is like poetry; it compresses all life, all races and breeds, into a small island and adds music and the accompaniment of internal engines.” – E.B. White

“When I’m in New York, I just want to walk down the street and feel this thing, like I’m in a movie.” – Ryan Adams

“He fell in love with Manhattan’s skyline, like a first-time brothel guest falling for a seasoned professional. He mused over her reflections in the black East River at dusk, dawn, or darkest night, and each haloed light-in a tower or strung along the jeweled and sprawling spider legs of the Brooklyn Bridge’s spans-hinted at some meaning, which could be understood only when made audible by music and encoded in lyrics.” – Arthur Phillips, The Song Is You

“Each neighborhood of the city appeared to be made of a different substance, each seemed to have a different air pressure, a different psychic weight: the bright lights and shuttered shops, the housing projects and luxury hotels, the fire escapes and city parks.” – Teju Cole, Open City

“New York had all the iridescence of the beginning of the world.” – F. Scott Fitzgerald

“So many lights you’d think we were living in a constellation.” – Jodi Lynn Anderson, Midnight at the Electric

“New York has a thousand universes in it that don’t always connect but we do all walk the same streets, hear the same sirens, ride the same subways, see the same headlines in the Post, read the same writings on the walls. That shared landscape gets inside of all of us and, in some small way, unites us, makes us think we know each other even when we don’t.” – Jay Z

“The skyline of New York is a monument of a splendor that no pyramids or palaces will ever equal or approach.” – Ayn Rand

“When I had a look at the lights of Broadway by night, I said to my American friends: What a glorious garden of wonders this would be, to any who was lucky enough to be unable to read. “ – G.K. Chesterson

“In New York the sky is bluer, and the grass is greener, and the girls are prettier, and the steaks are thicker, and the buildings are higher, and the streets are wider, and the air is finer, than the sky, or the grass, or the girls, or the steaks, or the air of any place else in the world.” – Edna Ferber 

Quotes About New Yorkers

New Yorkers are a truly special kind of people. Many people say there’s no place quite like New York to call home, and that the city changes you after you live in it. Here are some of the best quotes abotu NYC that sum up the experience of living in the Big Apple:

“I believe in New Yorkers. Whether they’ve ever questioned the dream in which they live, I wouldn’t know, because I won’t ever dare ask that question.” – Dylan Thomas

“There’s something so romantic about being broke in New York. You gotta do it. You have to live there once without any money, and then you have to live there when you have money. Let me tell you, of the two, the latter is far better.” – Amy Poehler

“New York is an ugly city, a dirty city. Its climate is a scandal, its politics are used to frighten children, its traffic is madness, its competition is murderous. But there is one thing about it – once you have lived in New York and it has become your home, no place else is good enough.” – John Steinbeck

“I love New York City. The reason I live in New York City is because it’s the loudest city on the planet Earth. It’s so loud I never have to listen to any of the shit that’s going on in my own head. It’s really loud. They literally have guys come with jackhammers and they drill the streets and just leave cones in front of your apartment; you don’t even know why. Garbage men come; they don’t pick up the garbage, they just bang the cans together.” – Lewis Black

“There is no place like it, no place with an atom of its glory, pride, and exultancy. It lays its hand upon a man’s bowels; he grows drunk with ecstasy; he grows young and full of glory, he feels that he can never die.” – Walt Whitman

“My favorite thing about New York is the people, because I think they’re misunderstood. I don’t think people realize how kind New York people are.” – Bill Murray

“The true New Yorker secretly believes that people living anywhere else have to be, in some sense, kidding.” – John Updike

“Yet, as only New Yorkers know, if you can get through the twilight, you’ll live through the night.” – Dorothy Parker

“I love New York. You can pop out of the Underworld in Central Park, hail a taxi, head down Fifth Avenue with a giant hellhound loping behind you, and nobody even looks at you funny.” – Rick Riordan

“Every true New Yorker believes with all his heart that when a New Yorker is tired of New York, he is tired of life.” – Robert Moses

“It is often said that New York is a city for only the very rich and the very poor. It is less often said that New York is also, at least for those of us who came there from somewhere else, a city for only the very young.” – Joan Didion

“New York is the meeting place of the peoples, the only city where you can hardly find a typical American.” – Djuna Barnes

“A hundred times have I thought New York is a catastrophe, and fifty times: It is a beautiful catastrophe.” – Le Corbusier

“New York has a trip-hammer vitality which drives you insane with restlessness, if you have no inner stabilizer…. In New York I have always felt lonely, the loneliness of the caged animal, which brings on crime, sex, alcohol and other madnesses.” – Henry Miller

“By comparison with other less hectic days, the city is uncomfortable and inconvenient; but New Yorkers temperamentally do not crave comfort and convenience—if they did they would live elsewhere.” – E.B. White, Here is New York

“If you want to become a real New Yorker, there’s only one rule: You have to believe New York is, has been, and always will be the greatest city on earth. The center of the universe.” – Ellen R. Shapiro

“New York is made up of millions of different people, and they all come here looking for something.” – Lindsey Kelk

“I love that about New York: You just dress the way you want to dress and feel really comfortable because nobody is judging. You can just be yourself, and it’s perfectly normal.” – Henrik Lundquist

“New York is cold, glittering, malign. The buildings dominate. There is a sort of atomic frenzy to the activity going on; the more furious the pace, the more diminished the spirit. A constant ferment, but it might just as well be going on in a test tube. Nobody knows what it’s all about. Nobody directs the energy. Stupendous. Bizarre. Baffling. A tremendous reactive urge, but absolutely uncoordinated.” – Henry Miller

New York Captions About Love

There is just something about New York City that inspires love – whether it’s romantic love, or falling in love with the city. Here are some of the best quotes about New York and love:

“I love New York, even though it isn’t mine, the way something has to be, a tree or a street or a house, something, anyway, that belongs to me because I belong to it.” – Truman Capote, Breakfast at Tiffany’s

“If Louis was right, and you only get one great love, New York may just be mine. And I can’t have nobody talking shit about my boyfriend.” – Carrie Bradshaw, Sex and the City

“Quite simply, I was in love with New York. I do not mean ‘love’ in any colloquial way, I mean that I was in love with the city, the way you love the first person who ever touches you and you never love anyone quite that way again.” – Joan Didion

“I can’t with any conscience argue for New York with anyone. It’s like Calcutta. But I love the city in an emotional, irrational way, like loving your mother or your father even though they’re a drunk or a thief. I’ve loved the city my whole life — to me, it’s like a great woman.” – Woody Allen 

“It is ridiculous to set a detective story in New York City. New York City is itself a detective story.” – Agatha Christie 

“…as I pass O Manhattan, your frequent and swift flash of eyes offering me love,
Offering response to my own—these repay me,
Lovers, continual lovers, only repay me.”
Walt Whitman

Humorous New York City Quotes

Looking for some New York captions that are funny? Some of these are ha-ha funny, while others have a bit of sarcasm and irony. Either way, here are the best humorous NYC quotes:

“You can try to change New York, but it’s like Jay-Z says: ‘Concrete bunghole where dreams are made up. There’s nothing you can do.’” – Liz Lemon, 30 Rock

“Cities have sexes: London is a man, Paris a woman, and New York a well-adjusted transsexual.” – Angela Carter

“On a New York subway, you get fined for spitting, but you can throw up for nothing.” – Lewis Grizzard

“New York is the only city in the world where you can get run down on the sidewalk by a pedestrian”. – Russell Baker

“Anytime four New Yorkers get into a cab together without arguing, a bank robbery has just taken place.” – Johnny Carson

“New York is a city that plays hard to get. You want me? You better work for it.” – Rony Vardi

“New York City is a tourist trap I don’t mind being in.”

“The flag of New York City should be someone with four bags opening a door with their shoulder.” – Alex Baze

“When its 100 degrees in New York, it’s 72 in Los Angeles. When its 30 degrees in New York, in Los Angeles it’s still 72. However, there are 6 million interesting people in New York, and only 72 in Los Angeles.” – Neil Simon

“After sightseeing all day, I’m Central Park-ing myself down for the rest of the night.”

A trip to NYC can be very taxi-ng on your wallet.

New York Captions About the Seasons

Perhaps one of the best things about New York City is how it changes with the seasons – the flowers blooming in the spring, the summer twilight, the autumn foliage, and the festive lights of the Christmas season. Here are the best NYC Instagram captions that capture the magic of the seasons:

“Don’t you love New York in the fall? It makes me wanna buy school supplies. I would send you a bouquet of newly sharpened pencils if I knew your name and address.” – You’ve Got Mail

“I remember walking across Sixty-second Street one twilight that first spring, or the second spring, they were all alike for a while. I was late to meet someone but I stopped at Lexington Avenue and bought a peach and stood on the corner eating it and knew that I had come out of the West and reached the mirage. I could taste the peach and feel the soft air blowing from a subway grating on my legs and I could smell lilac and garbage and expensive perfume and I knew that it would cost something sooner or later — because I did not belong there, did not come from there — but when you are twenty-two or twenty-three, you figure that later you will have a high emotional balance, and be able to pay whatever it costs. I still believed in possibilities then, still had the sense, so peculiar to New York, that something extraordinary would happen any minute, any day, any month.“ – Joan Didion

“New York is strange in the summer. Life goes on as usual but it’s not, it’s like everyone is just pretending as if everyone has been cast as the star in a movie about their life, so they’re one step removed from it. And then in September, it all gets normal again.” – Peter Cameron

“Autumn in New York, why does it seem so inviting? Autumn in New York, it spells the thrill of first-nighting.” – Billie Holiday, “Autumn In New York”

”I love New York on summer afternoons when everyone’s away.” – F. Scott Fitzgerald, The Great Gatsby

NYC Instagram Captions from Song Lyrics

Many songs have been written about NYC over the years, attempting capturing the energy and magic of the city. The lyrics from some of these songs make perfect New York captions – here are some of my favorites!

“Walkin’ through a crowd, the village is a glow, kaleidoscope of loud heartbeats undercoats, everybody here wanted somethin’ more, searchin’ for a sound we hadn’t heard before and it said Welcome to New York it’s been waitin’ for you..” – Taylor Swift, “Welcome to New York

“Well nobody came to bug us,
Hustle us or shove us
So we decided to make it
Our home
If the man wants to shove
Us out
We gonna jump and shout
The Statue of Liberty said,
John Lennon

“Just listen to the music of the traffic in the city. Linger on the sidewalk where the neon signs are pretty. How can you lose? The lights are much brighter there. You can forget all your troubles, forget all your cares.” – Petula Clark, “Downtown”

“Start spreading the news
You’re leaving today (tell him, friend)
I want to be a part of it, New York, New York
Your vagabond shoes, they are longing to stray
And steps around the heart of it, New York, New York”
Frank Sinatra, “New York, New York

“Hey, I’ve got nothing to do today but smile.
Da-n-do-da-n-do-da-n-do here I am,
The only living boy in New York.
Half of the time we’re gone but we don’t know where,
And we don’t know where.”
Simon & Garfunkel, “Only Living Boy in New York”

Short and Sweet NYC Instagram Captions

Sometimes you just want an Instagram caption that says it all but keeps it short and sweet. These New York captions capture the essence of the city, in the fewest amount of words:

“New York is the only real city-city.” – Truman Capote

“Give me such shows — give me the streets of Manhattan!” – Walt Whitman

“For me, New York is comfortable, not strange.” – Karl Lagerfeld

“The glamour of it all! New York! America!” – Charlie Chaplin

“Skyscraper National Park.” – Kurt Vonnegut

“I left my heart in New York City, where I could dream and nights were long.”

“Uptown things and downtown dreams”

“I’d rather be in New York”

“You can take the girl out of New York but you can’t take the New York out of the girl.”

“New York is always a good idea”

“New York is not a city – it’s a world.” – Iman

“You can not paint the way New York is, but the way it looks.”

“All you need is love and skylines.”

“I left my heart in New York.”

“The city that never sleeps.”

“A bad day in New York City is still better than a good day anywhere else.”

“Times Square can’t shine as bright as you.” – Plain White T’s, “Hey There Delilah

“I’m in a New York state of mind.” – Billy Joel, “New York State of Mind”

“If London is a watercolor, New York is an oil painting.” – Peter Shaffer

“I’m just a little apple in the Big Apple.”

What are some of your favorite New York captions?

You might also like:
30 Amazing NYC Photo Spots
20 Best NYC Desserts

Best Christmas Decorations in NYC
NYC December Travel Guide

More Travel Quotes:
100+ Dreamy Paris Quotes
100+ Magical Italy Quotes

Liked these New York captions? Save on Pinterest for later!