Most Instagrammable Places in NYC From a New Yorker
NYC is easily one of the coolest and instagrammable cities in the world! After living in New York for over 12 years, I have spent plenty of time seeking out the most instagrammable and photo-worthy places in NYC you should visit!
I continue to update this NYC photoshoot list with my favorite Instagram spots since New York City is forever changing!
BTW- most of them are Free NYC places to visit!
*Disclaimer: This post may contain affiliate links where I might make a small commission at no cost to you.
TABLE OF CONTENTS
- Most Instagrammable Places in NYC From a New Yorker
- 1. Top of The Rock
- 2. Radio City Music Hall
- 3. Times Square
- 4. Central Park
- 5. The NYC Hudson Yards Vessel
- 6. The Edge, NYC
- 7. Flatiron Building
- 8. Washington Square Park
- 9. The Oculus
- 10. Pietro Nolita in Soho
- 11. Soho Flower Mural
- 12. NYC L’Appartement Sézane Storefront
- 13. Brooklyn Bridge and Dumbo, Brooklyn Photo Spots
- 14. Grand Central Station, NYC
- 15. Flushing Meadows Park
- 16. M Tea Flushing
- 17. Summit One Vanderbilt
- 18. Stuyvesant Street
- 19. The Brooklyn Botanic Garden
- 20. The Morgan Library and Museum
- 21. The MET Steps
- 22. The Guggenheim
- 23. Lillie’s Victorian Establishment
- What to Know Before Visiting these Instagrammable Places in NYC
- NYC Most Instagrammable Places Wrap-up
1. Top of The Rock
Top of The Rock is probably one of the most iconic places to take instagrammable photos in NYC! It’s also one of my favorite places since the views from Rockefeller Center are seriously unmatched.
Make your way to the top of the 3 observation decks on the 67th, 69th, and 70th floors for panoramic views that include the Empire State Building!
When visiting Top of The Rock, make sure to get your tickets ahead of time. You can order them online at their website and pick a timeslot. Make sure to get there on time so you don’t lose your spot.
For the best photos at the Top of the Rock, I would recommend planning your photoshoot early in the morning to avoid crowds or closer to sunset. NYC has pretty epic sunsets making for an epic Instagram photo.
NYC Top of the Rock Photo tip: The best places to take photos at the Top of the Rock are inside the window with the Empire State building in the back and if you are with a friend, have them go on the top deck with you on the lower deck. It makes for a really cool NYC perspective!
Address: 30 Rockefeller Plaza, New York, NY 10112
2. Radio City Music Hall
While you’re in the area of Rockefeller Center, walk over to Radio City Music Hall for another Instagrammable must for all your NYC photoshoot needs!
To be honest, I’ve never been inside, but I’ve passed this location more times than I can count.
Additionally, if you are visiting NYC during the holidays, you will find the giant ornaments here along with the giant candy canes and whatever else the city decides to add as a pop-up! This makes this NYC location a must for photoshoots during Christmas time!
Radio City Music Hall Photoshoot Tip: For the best Instagram photos, I’d recommend the corner diagonally across to get the full sign. Also, be careful of your time of day. The lighting mid-day can be harsh, taking away from your photo.
Address: 1260 6th Ave, New York, NY 10020
3. Times Square
Times Square is one of those places all local New Yorkers avoid like the plague. However, as a photographer, or if you have never been, it’s a must-visit and one of the most instagrammable places in NYC.
It is almost impossible to take photos without people in Times Square, but I think the chaos kind of makes the photo.
In my opinion, the best time to visit Times Square is during the week to avoid the craziness of the weekend!
If it’s a nice day, you can walk here from Radio City Music Hall. If not, jump on the NYC subway. The best Subway line to take to Times Square is the Red Line (1,2,3).
Times Square Photography tip: Try to get the camera down low and looking up to get a really cool NYC photo with the skyscrapers and billboards!
Address: Start around 42nd Street and 7th Ave
4. Central Park
Another staple of New York City is easily Central Park. Covering over 800 acres, you can a handful of NYC Instagram spots!
If you are limited on time, the top Central Park places to photograph are Bow Bridge and Bethesda Terrace, and Fountain. I would recommend starting your photoshoot at the famous NYC Bow Bridge and then heading to the Bethesda Fountain next.
If you are visiting NYC during the fall, also check out “The Mall” which is the famous walk path you will see all over social media!
Additionally, if you are visiting Central park during the Spring, you will be able to see cherry blossom season throughout the park.
Have more time in Central Park? Other Central Park Instagrammable places include Gapstow Bridge, on the Rocks by Gapstow Bridge, and Views of the Belvedere Castle.
Central Park Instagram Tip: If possible, I suggest planning your Central Park photoshoot on an early Saturday or Sunday morning around or before 8:30 AM. I have found that there are fewer crowds making better NYC photo-worthy captures!
Address: Bow Bridge, New York, NY 10024
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5. The NYC Hudson Yards Vessel
Welcome to one of NYC’s newest attractions! Located in Hudson Yards, The Vessel has gotten tons of attention, especially across Instagram for its unique Bee hive-like shape.
The Vessel is no longer climbable. However, even if you can’t climb the Vessel, there are still a lot of really cool angles to photograph this NYC attraction.
Plus the Hudson Yards is the new hot spot in the city, so you won’t want to miss visiting! Furthermore, if you visit during the holidays, they decorate the inside and outside of Hudson Yards!
NYC Local Tip: While in the area, take a walk down The Highline (next to Hudson Yards) down to the Chelsea Market for a bite to eat and experience New York like a local.
Address: The Shops and Restaurants at Hudson Yards, New York, NY 10001
6. The Edge, NYC
The Edge is probably NYC’s newest Instagrammable spot and with good reason! Their Skydeck is now the highest outdoor Skydeck on the western hemisphere standing at 100 stories.
I was meant to visit the Edge when it first opened in 2020, but we all know how that went. sigh.
The Edge is open again and you can buy tickets to the Edge here! If Instagrammable places are your thing, the NYC Edge would be on top of my list!
Other rooftop decks you might want to consider visiting are the Empire State Building Skyview deck and the One World Trade Center deck.
All the NYC decks have a price associated with them, so personally the Edge and top of the Rock would be my top two for me since they really have the best photo-worthy views.
Address: 30 Hudson Yards, New York, NY 10001
7. Flatiron Building
Did you know the Flatiron Building is one of the most photographed buildings in NYC? There are a couple of angles you can shoot this iconic building from.
Some fun photoshoot ideas include next to the big gold clock to the right of the building, in the middle of the median, or to the left by the blooming trees (in Spring).
While you are in the area, head to Madison Square Park or Eataly NYC Flatiron for delicious food and even some more NYC photo spots!
Address: 175 5th Ave, New York, NY 10010
8. Washington Square Park
During my first year in college (and before Instagram), we would walk down to Washington Square Park just to hang out. Over 8 years later, I still love Washington Square Park for people watching and of course taking photos.
The park is packed at all times, so the best time to photograph the arch is early in the morning! During the winter the fountain is off, giving you some additional photo opportunities.
*** Taking photo’s in the middle of the street is at your own risk. We came very early when few cars were on the road. ***
Address: 1 Washington Square New York, US
9. The Oculus
Located by One World Trade Center Observatory, the Oculus is another one of NYC’s unique instagrammable places. This transit center hosts tons of shops including a farmers market inside its white dome.
NYC Instagram photos are popular inside and outside the Oculus.
Take note that it can be tricky to get a photo using a Professional Camera. Supposedly it’s prohibited, but you can take photos with your phone without any problems!
While here, you can also visit the 9/11 memorial and even go to the Observation Deck of One World Observatory. (I would recommend The Top Of The Rock over this observation deck though).
There is also an Eataly nearby! Can you tell I’m obsessed!
10. Pietro Nolita in Soho
Soho has tons of Instagrammable spots (which I would need a whole separate post for), but my new favorite is outside of Pietro Nolita! If you know me, I love finding pink locations and this super cute pink corner is no exception.
Pietro Nolita is actually a restaurant boasting an equally photo-worthy inside if you have time to eat! Just make sure to have reservations.
Address: 174 Elizabeth St, New York, NY 10012
11. Soho Flower Mural
Soho, NYC has tons of Instagrammable spots in general from cobblestone streets, pretty building facades, and murals. One of my favorite Soho murals is this fun flower mural by Jet Martinez. The Soho street featured below is Greene Street which has all the epic photo-worthy aspects you could hope for in NYC!
Other Instagram-Worthy Murals in Soho and around Soho NYC include:
Audrey Hepburn Mural: 176 Mulberry St, New York City, NY 10013
Color Factory Wall Mural (also Instagrammable inside the Color Factory Museum): Address: 251 Spring St, New York, NY 10013
Museum of Ice Cream is not exactly a mural but it is in the Soho area and is basically made for taking Instagram photos.
Address: Mulberry & Prince Street
12. NYC L’Appartement Sézane Storefront
Love Instagrammable cafes and storefronts? L’Appartement Sézane easily has one of the most Instagrammable storefronts in NYC. It is basically screaming photograph me!
They do tend to change decorations throughout the season which makes this Nolita location fun to come back to throughout the year.
Address: 254 Elizabeth St, New York, NY 10012
13. Brooklyn Bridge and Dumbo, Brooklyn Photo Spots
Okay, technically Dumbo, Brooklyn is not Manhattan, however, they are all a part of NYC and hold some of the most instagrammable places you should not miss, therefore it’s on my list!
Walking Across the Brooklyn Bridge
From the City, you walk fully across the Brooklyn Bridge right over to Dumbo, Brooklyn. The best time to take photos on the Brooklyn Bridge, IMO is super early in the morning before 8 AM on a weekend!
The Bridge has Instagram-worthy photo shoot locations at all angles, but don’t spend all day here, so you can make it to Dumbo for the famous Manhattan Bridge photo! The bridge is just over a mile long.
Brooklyn Bridge Entrance From Manhattan
From Manhattan, you can take the 4, 5, or 6 trains to the Brooklyn Bridge/City Hall stop. You can also take the J or Z trains to the Chambers Street stop which is closest to the Pedestrian Walk Way.
Brooklyn Bridge Entrance From Brooklyn
From Brooklyn, you can enter from Washington Street between York Street and Prospect Street. This will lead you to the walkway itself.
Brooklyn Bridge Park
Once you’re in the Brooklyn neighborhood, Dumbo, to the left and the right of the bridge is Brooklyn Bridge Park.
From here you can see epic views of Manhattan, and the instagrammable photo spots are endless! I especially like the view from Janes Carousel and pebble beach.
If you make your way down the pier where the bridge is now on your right side, you will also find my second favorite view from Brooklyn Bridge Park where the pylons stick out of the water. From here you can see the Manhattan skyline and the Statue of Liberty from a far.
If you decide to stay in Brooklyn, the 1 Hotel Brooklyn Bridge is known to have the most Instagrammable rooms and views!
Famous Manhattan Bridge Photo Spot in Dumbo Brooklyn
If you made it to the Brooklyn Bridge, it’s totally worth making it over to the cross-sections of Waters Street and Washington Street for the Instagram-worthy photo of the Manhattan Bridge.
This particular intersection is probably the most instagrammable spot in Dumbo, Brooklyn.
Because of this, the street becomes packed with people while also being an active street that cars are driving down. For the best photo opportunity, it is best to arrive here around 8 AM.
By 10:30 AM you will see a huge difference in the number of people.
NYC Insider tip: DUMBO stands for Under the Manhattan Bridge Overpass! For some really amazing pizza, head to Ignazio’s Pizza right under the Brooklyn Bridge. Their pizza is amazing… seriously!
14. Grand Central Station, NYC
Besides being a great place to just experience in NYC, Grand Central Station is also a great photoshoot location. Having been the backdrop to countless movies, photoshoot or not, Grand Central Terminal needs to be on your NYC list! Please note that you may not be able to use a tripod while here.
15. Flushing Meadows Park
Looking to get out of the City and explore Queens? Then check out Flushing Meadows Corona Park, especially in the spring! This park is the 4th largest park in NYC and was a part of the 1939 New York World Fair.
My two favorite Instagram spots here include the giant Globe and during the spring (cherry blossom season), there are a ton of blooming pink trees that resemble cherry blossoms!
Additionally, you might recognize this was the filming spot for Men in Black 2.
Address: Between Grand Central Pkwy and, Van Wyck Expy, 11354
16. M Tea Flushing
If you make it out to Queens, NYC, then you should most definitely check out this instagrammable cafe bubble Tea spot called M Tea!
Not only do they have good food and drinks, but they have also decorated the inside specifically for having really fun photoshoots! This includes this very cute air balloon, swings, and decorated walls.
Address: 36-56 Main St, Flushing, NY 11354
Hours: Monday- Sunday 11 AM-9 PM
Phone: (718) 886-2566
17. Summit One Vanderbilt
This epic observatory just opened in 2021 and it has people lined up to experience it! This epic observatory is truly unique from NYC making it an epic Instagram spot. From glass elevators, floor-to-ceiling glass windows, and mirror rooms, you will definitely want to add Summit One Vanderbilt to your NYC Instagram list!
Address: 45 E 42nd St, New York, NY 10017 Entrance located on the Main Concourse of Grand Central Terminal
18. Stuyvesant Street
Another great photo spot is at Stuyvesant Street. It is actually one of the oldest streets in NYC. For the perfect Instagram photo, stand right by the light post!
19. The Brooklyn Botanic Garden
Located near Prospect Park, the Brooklyn Botanic Garden offers a plethora of photo opportunities! One of my favorite times to visit the garden is during the spring when they have Cherry Blossom season and tulip season!
NYC Insider tip: Try to go just before their Cherry Blossom festival and very early in the morning when they open for those Instagram-worthy photos!
Address: 990 Washington Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11225
20. The Morgan Library and Museum
This local and hidden gem is not only an absolutely beautiful library to visit, but it is also very photo-worthy. It is one of my favorite places to take people!
NYC photo tip: I would recommend a wide angle lens with a low aperture since the lighting is difficult.
21. The MET Steps
This one is for all those Gossip Girl Fans! Don’t hate me, but I have never watched the show. Can we still be friends? Although the steps don’t necessarily speak to me, I couldn’t not add these iconic steps to my NYC Instagram spots!
If you are visiting New York, you should definitely take a peek inside this museum though!
Address: 1000 5th Ave, New York, NY 10028
22. The Guggenheim
Another museum that makes the NYC Instagram list is The Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum. This museum houses modern and contemporary art. So what makes this museum Instagram-worthy? The unique architecture which brings Instagrammers and tourists alike!
23. Lillie’s Victorian Establishment
If you are visiting during the holidays, Lillie’s Victorian Establishment has one of the best NYC Christmas displays that is super Instagrammable in Union Square! Inside they are a bar with tons of additional decorations.
What to Know Before Visiting these Instagrammable Places in NYC
Wondering how many days you need to check out these Instagram Spots in NYC? I’d say you can hit most of these photo locations with 4 days in NYC.
In general, I’d say anywhere from 3-5 days gives you a good amount of time to see most of New York City and even explore outside the city a little.
However, please note, the city is forever changing with new pop-up shops, murals, street art, and so on, so while I do my best to keep this list up-to-date, things could change.
NYC has tons of additional photoshoot opportunities during the holidays. I cover most of them in this Holiday NYC Itinerary.
The best way to get around NYC to these instagrammable places is by walking and public transportation. Here is an NYC Subway guide! If it’s really cold during your visit, you can also use Uber or Lyft.
Getting around the city by car can take longer, however.
Lastly, if this is your first time in New York, you might find this guide on things to know before visiting NYC helpful!
NYC Most Instagrammable Places Wrap-up
This covers my favorite Instagram spots in NYC! As you can see, NYC has tons of Instagrammable places to get that perfect photo! Have any New York City photography spots you think should be added to this list? Let me know in the comments below!