Post Summary: The Best Instagram Spots In NYC, and Juicy NYC Photography Tips
If you have been or are planning a trip to New York City, you know it’s a constant quest to see it all – especially to find all those perfectly curated Instagram spots in NYC!
From Times Square to the Brooklyn Bridge, you’ll likely find yourself walking 10+ miles a day, every day, in order to make the most of your trip.
Even New York City locals have admitted to not seeing everything!
To cut down on time spent buried in Google Maps, we’re giving you a guide to the best photography spots in NYC, and the quickest ways to get to them. You’ll be coming back home with months worth of content.
It’s easier than you think to see beautiful places in New York City. Let’s get started.
- Amazing Instagram Spots In NYC
- We Made Like-Film Presets!
- 1. Flatiron Building
- 2. Soho
- 3. Brooklyn Bridge
- 4. Pebble Beach
- 5. Brooklyn Bridge Park
- 6. The Brooklyn Promenade
- 7. Prospect Park
- 8. Brownstones In Brooklyn
- 9. Hole-In-The-Wall Local Eats (And Instagrammable Ones!)
- 10. Grand Central Terminal
- 11. Coney Island In One Of The More Unique NYC Photography Locations
- 12. Times Square
- 13. Central Park Is One Of The Most Iconic Instagram Spots In NYC
- 14. The Metropolitan Museum and The Met Steps
- 15. DUMBO
- 16. Statue Of Liberty and Ellis Island
- 17. The Javits Center Is A Hub For NYC Photography (Especially During Photo Plus Expo!)
- 18. The High Line In One Of The Newest Instagram Spots in NYC
- 19. The Oculus
- 20. A Helicopter Flight Above The City Can Snag You Some Amazing NYC Photography
- 21. Top Of The Rock
- More Instagram Spots In NYC
- Map of the Most Instagrammable Places In NYC
- EXPLORE MORE CITIES
Amazing Instagram Spots In NYC
This post is in partnership with B&H Photo/Video on our trip to New York City for the Photo Plus Expo!
We Made Like-Film Presets!
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1. Flatiron Building
Closest Subway Station: 23rd St Station
This 22-story steel-framed building built in 1902 was a groundbreaking skyscraper in its time. Today, it’s easily one of the most photographed buildings in NYC.
The Flatiron Building (originally named the Fuller building) got its nickname for resembling a wedge shape, like an iron used for laundering clothing.
This symbol of New York City is the perfect backdrop for an Instagram shot. Here are some NYC photo shoot ideas:
- Hail a classic yellow taxi on the busy streets.
- Sip coffee in the Flatiron Public Plaza, which is free for all visitors.
- Photograph it between the trees at Madison Square Park.
- Pose in front of the Golden Clock located in the public plaza
Fun Fact: Eataly Flatiron is next door in the shopping mall if you’re craving some pizza, pasta, or a pick-me-up espresso.
Closest Subway Station: Canal Street, Spring Street, or Prince Street Stations
Soho is a neighborhood in Lower Manhattan known for its trendy boutiques and cast-iron buildings. It’s one of the best Instagram spots in NYC if you love to show off your fashion!
Many fashion models and stylists will have studio spaces in this area of Manhattan. You are also likely to see NYC photography shoots going on in the cobblestone streets that cover the many blocks here.
Popular Tip: Make sure to stop by Nomo Soho, a covered green archway with twinkling lights for the perfect instagrammable location in NYC!
3. Brooklyn Bridge
Closest Subway Station: High Street Station (Brooklyn Side), Brooklyn Bridge/City Hall Station (Manhattan Side)
The Brooklyn Bridge is a famous New York landmark that can’t be missed. It’s one of the most iconic Instagram spots in NYC!
The bridge is known for its drop-dead gorgeous views of the Lower Manhattan skyline and the connector to one of NYC’s hippest boroughs – Brooklyn.
Grab some coffee on either side (One Girl Cookie and Round K are our fave spots!) and take the morning to walk the entire bridge. The Brooklyn Bridge Pedestrian Walkway starts at the intersection of Boerum Place and Tillary Street.
NYC Photography Tip: This bridge is extremely busy at pretty much all hours of the day, given it’s one of the most picturesque spots in NYC. It is said that 4,000 pedestrians cross this New York landmark every single day!
Come 30 minutes before sunrise to get the city lights still twinkling at dawn and fewer crowds. Just make sure to watch out for bikers, commuters, and runners on the bridge in the early hours.
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4. Pebble Beach
Pebble Beach is beachfront on the Brooklyn side of the East River. It’s situated between the Manhattan and Brooklyn Bridge, which means you will get incredible views from every angle!
At night or during sunset, you can also get a spectacular view of the Manhattan skyline! It’s also an ideal spot for a summer picnic, watching the sunset, or taking an evening walk.
5. Brooklyn Bridge Park
Brooklyn Bridge Park is one of the best NYC photography locations for shots of the East River, Manhattan Skyline, and the Brooklyn and Manhattan Bridges of course!
Make sure to visit the several boardwalks along the river for different perspectives of Lower Manhattan. Our favorite views are from Jane’s Carousel!
Other notable Instagram spots in NYC the Brooklyn Bridge Park area include:
- Empire Fulton Ferry Park (and Jane’s Carousel)
- Main Street Park
- The Greenway
- Pier 1
- Squibb Park and Bridge
6. The Brooklyn Promenade
The Brooklyn Heights Promenade is a raised pedestrian walkway spanning 1,826 feet in length.
For the entire length of the platform, visitors can experience incredible views of yet another gorgeous perspective of Lower Manhattan and the New York Harbor.
NYC Photography: This is one of the best Instagram spots in NYC to capture the city lights at night for a long exposure. Bring a tripod and stay a while to capture a crisp and clear scene!
We also saw some people helping set up for what looked like a potential marriage proposal. Kudos to that guy for choosing the most beautiful location in NYC!
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7. Prospect Park
Closest Subway Station: Prospect Park Subway Station
Created by the same architect that designed Central Park, Prospect Park is Brooklyn’s perfect escape into nature.
From baseball games to lawn picnics to fall foliage strolls, you’ll find endless opportunities to breathe in that fresh air. Pack a picnic and escape New York for a while in this amazing and beautiful park!
Here are some notable places to check out in Prospect Park:
- Lefferts Historic House
- LeFrak Center (for some winter ice skating!)
- The Long Meadow
- The Carousel
NYC Photographer Tip: Make sure to stop by the Grand Army Plaza to pretend like you’re at some European landmark, like the Arc Du Triomphe in Paris! It’s a perfect place to capture a photo if you like architect Instagram spots in NYC!
8. Brownstones In Brooklyn
The most quintessential local New York photography experience is probably wandering through the tree-lined streets of a brownstone neighborhood.
Brownstone buildings, specifically in the New York City area, are common residential buildings with historic and architectural beauty.
Make sure to get lost in Brooklyn Heights, Cobble Hill or Park Slope to discover some local architectural gems.
9. Hole-In-The-Wall Local Eats (And Instagrammable Ones!)
Food in New York is notoriously expensive but think of it as paying for the entire experience. Not only the food but the novelty, atmosphere, everything. Here are some commonly famous places to eat in New York City:
- The Bagel Store (rainbow bagels)
- Ivan Ramen
- Milk Bar (Cereal Milk Ice Cream)
- Tiny’s & The Bar Upstairs (an adorable pink hole-in-the-wall building)
On the other hand, we encourage you to get lost in a local neighborhood and get local food tips.
You’ll be surprised at how good the local cuisine is, and be relieved with cheaper prices and fewer lines too! Here, we’re eating at Smiling Pizza, in the Park Slope neighborhood in Brooklyn – a local favorite from our friend Betsey.
10. Grand Central Terminal
Main Entrance located on the corner of Park Avenue and 42nd Street
Built in 1913, Grand Central Station is a bustling commuter terminal in Midtown Manhattan for trains and subways. This is one of most classic photo spots in NYC! It’s been seen in many photo shoots, movies and TV shows, like the opening scene in Gossip Girl.
This beaux-art style (aka academic style) terminal was built in 1913 and serve 750,000 visitors every day. One of it’s best features? We think it’s the astronimocal mural painted in 1912 by Paul César Helleu.
It was designated a National Historic Landmark in 1976 (thanks Jackie Kennedy!) which means it will be one of the best Instagram spots in NYC, forever!
Photography Note: There are NO tripods allowed in Grand Central Terminal. Bring a friend to help you with any images!
11. Coney Island In One Of The More Unique NYC Photography Locations
Closest Subway Station: Coney Island – The Last Stop On The F Train (West 8 Street-New York Aquarium)
Looking for Instagram spots in NYC with a little bit of culture and flair? Coney Island has it’s own unique twist on beach culture, all-inclusive with TONS of people-watching opportunities!
Coney Island is a neighborhood in South Brooklyn that contains a long boardwalk, amusement park rides, and plenty of beachside attractions.
This is a popular destination for tourists and locals alike in the summertime. Come for some classic photographs with fair food, twinkling lights, and colorful backdrops.
Before you plan your trip out to Coney Island, make sure to check the opening dates. We didn’t do this and arrived to see all the rides and attractions closed.
We made the most of it, however, and loved capturing the ‘abandoned’ feel of the park – especially in spooky October!
Pro Tip: Come to Coney Island during an event for some extra fun and festivities. You can check out their event calendar here. Traveling with your gear? Keep your items safe with some of our favorite travel photography accessories and recommendations.
12. Times Square
Closest Subway Station: 42nd St Subway Station
When you think of photography spots in NYC, it’s likely you’ll instantly think of Times Square with its huge billboards, neon signs, and interesting characters.
The huge commercial screens, Broadway shows, and entertainment opportunities are hard to pass up, especially if it’s your first time in the city!
If you’re wanting to capture the color and energy in this section of Midtown Manhattan, come in the early morning for fewer crowds. (~8:00am) However, if you are here for the New York City street photography, grab your film camera and your favorite 35mm color film, and enjoy the interesting people that pass by!
Also, be wary of the “characters” that try to pop into your photos – it’s a scam so don’t accept their offer to be in your picture. It’s fun to go during the crazy busy times, but be aware of pick pockets too.
You may also like to read: How To Store Film Negatives (Before, During, and After Processing) + 11 Tips to Travel Safe In Big Cities
13. Central Park Is One Of The Most Iconic Instagram Spots In NYC
Central Park is an 843-acre park in the smack middle of New York City’s Manhattan. Many New York-based films will use locations in the park for scenes in their movies and it hosts a handful of NYC instagram spots all in one place.
There are many ways to enjoy Central Park, depending on what season you visit New York City it can look very different!
If you are visiting central park during spring, you can expect to see lots of cherry blossom trees. If you are visiting central park during the fall, that’s the best times for fall colors on the trees. In the summer, grab a picnic blanket and enjoy a meal in the park to experience New York like a local.
Other photography locations in Central Park are:
- Bethesda Fountain (pictured below)
- Gapstow Bridge (many proposals happen here!)
- Belvedere Castle
- Bow Bridge
- Columbus Circle
- Conservatory Water (Model Boat Sailing Area)
- Sheep Meadow (Great for picnics)
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14. The Metropolitan Museum and The Met Steps
Located at: 1000 5th Ave, New York, NY 10028 // Closest Subway Station: 85th Street Lexington Ave Station
Located on the east side of Central Park, The Metropolitan Museum of Art is one of the most beautiful photography spots in NYC!
Its gorgeous halls are filled floor to ceiling with historic art, statues, and exhibitions and will leave you in awe all day. It’s also the fifth most visited museum in the entire world!
Also, make sure to capture a picture in your favorite art wing – there are so many to choose from! We also hear that there is a beautiful view of the city from the roof, but it was closed when we went to visit.
For amazing Instagram spots at The Met, grab a picture of the main lobby ceiling or the facade of the front of the building at night. For a free way to snap pics, head out to the Met Steps and relish in Blair Waldorf’s favorite lunch stop. You Gossip Girl fans will love this one!
Note: If you are an NYC/NJ/CT resident, admission is pay-what-you-want! For the rest of us, regular admission price is $25.
Likely THE most popular Instagram spot in NYC right now is this little cobblestone street in the DUMBO neighborhood of Brooklyn. You can find this spot in the cross-sections of Waters Street and Washington Street.
(By the way, DUMBO stands for “Down Under Manhattan Bridge Overpass”.)
This street perfectly centers the Manhattan Bridge for an NYC photography opportunity that can’t be passed up!
This specific location is on Washington street, but beware! It’s a functioning street, and New Yorkers can be impatient.
If you are visiting here, make sure to watch for cars, snap a pic, and get out of the way of traffic!
New York City Photography Tip: Because of its current popularity, this place is teeming with visitors all days of the week.
To increase your chances of getting it to yourself, come on a weekday in the very early morning! These shots were taken right after sunrise on a Tuesday.
Make sure you pack the right lenses for this photo spot in NYC. Read our full travel gear list here.
16. Statue Of Liberty and Ellis Island
The Statue of Liberty was a gift from France that arrived in New York City and was unveiled in 1886 for the 100-year anniversary of America’s independence. It is a national symbol of freedom and opportunity for all who enter the United States. She stand 151 feet tall and made of copper that has oxidized into a green color over the years.
Yes, you can visit the island itself (tickets are inexpensive but the reservation list is long!), but you may end of taking a photo that’s too close to the statue! To capture the beauty of this iconic symbol of NYC, we suggest photographing it from a distance, like on a ferry.
Some suggestions for photographing it are with a zoom lens (like a 100-400mm) from Battery Park or on a scenic flight around NYC!
Free Tip: The Staton Island Ferry is absolutely free and goes right next to the Statue of Liberty on her route!
17. The Javits Center Is A Hub For NYC Photography (Especially During Photo Plus Expo!)
Closest Subway Station: 34th Street Hudson Yards Station
If you’re coming to New York City for a convention or large gathering, you’ll likely be visiting the Jacob K. Javits Center.
Now, I know what you’re thinking – “a convention center for an Instagram post, are you crazy?” Well, yes and no!
For architecture photographers, this place is a dream! With floor to ceiling glass walls, a green roof, and beautiful outside landscaping, this place is a hidden gem in NYC for photos.
Bonus points if you actually attend a trade show here – you’ll probably meet a ton of other photographers like yourself! (Pictured below is when we attended Photo Plus Expo with B&H and played with all the Canon lenses!)
Love Photography? Check out our full travel photography gear list here!
18. The High Line In One Of The Newest Instagram Spots in NYC
The High Line is a 1.45-mile-long park that was built on an elevated freight train line, one of the newer NYC photography locations compared to some of the older, more historic buildings and landmarks. This train line used to service the west side of Manhattan but became out of service in 1980.
After it became out of commission, the surrounding neighborhoods came together and recreated the track into a long park, bringing this space back to life. It also goes by the names of The Chelsea Highline.
Now, locals and tourists alike will walk the length of the park and enjoy the perfect mix of nature and solitude, all while being surrounded by tall buildings in the center of Manhattan.
One of the most Instagram-worthy spots on the High Line is called the “10th Avenue Square“. Here, you can see down the street from the small amphitheater and people watch from above.
You can find a list of all the beautiful stops on the High Line here!
19. The Oculus
The Oculus, also known as the World Trade Center Station, is a state-of-the-art centerpiece in lower Manhattan. Shaped like an enormous white, abstract spine, it’s hard to miss!
The Oculus is a hub for transportation, shopping, dining, and entertainment. It is located underground near the One World Trade Center. It connects to the subway lines in NYC, making this a convenient stop on your tour around NYC.
For the perfect Instagram spot in NYC, enter the Oculus from either side and take a picture from one of the stairway platforms.
The people below will look like tiny ants, and you’ll get a kind of modern version of Grand Central Station!
Why is it called the Oculus? “Oculus” is the Greek word for “eyes” and it looks like an eye when viewed from above!
20. A Helicopter Flight Above The City Can Snag You Some Amazing NYC Photography
Why waste your time planning your entire schedule with photo spots in NYC when you can see them all at once? If you are brave enough, FlyNYON provides scenic helicopter rides around the city…with the doors off!
Many helicopter rides will cater to what you want to see, whether that’s Central Park, the Brooklyn Bridge, Lower Manhattan, or even the Statue of Liberty!
Make sure to bring your camera, kick your feet out over the side, and get some incredible shots of New York City.
Coming Soon: More Photos From Our Helicopter Tour Above NYC
21. Top Of The Rock
If you’re looking for the best places to take pictures in New York City, look no further than Top of the Rock. (Note that this is NOT the top of the Empire State Building!)
With its stunning views of the cityscape, Top of the Rock is one of the best places to capture the essence of New York City.
Whether you’re taking in the skyline from the observation deck or getting up close and personal with some of the city’s most iconic landmarks, Top of the Rock is a must-visit for anyone looking to get great photos of New York City.
Tickets range from $40-$60 depending on the time of year. Opening hours are from 9:00 am to 11:00 pm. We recommend coming during sunset when the glittering lights are coming into the frame!
More Instagram Spots In NYC
We were total goofs to think that we could cover all of New York City photography locations in our recent short one-week trip.
While we did see a lot, there are still so many beautiful photography locations in NYC we missed. Here are some more locations to add to your NYC bucket list!
- Top Of The Rock
- China Town
- Guggenheim Museum
- Doyer’s Street, Chinatown
- Grand Central Station
- Washington Square Park
- Chelsea Market
- Little Italy
- The Charging Bull Statue
- World Trade Center Memorial Reflecting Pools
Map of the Most Instagrammable Places In NYC
When you visit a new city, what’s the first thing you do? For us, we immediately pull up Google Maps and start to get our bearings for where places are.
However, with a huge metropolis like New York City, it can be overwhelming to figure out where to go, what to see, and where the heck everything is!
Below, we’ve marked some notable locations below in our NYC map, to help you plan your next trip!
Note: If you go back through the post, we’ve marked the nearest subway station to each of these beautiful New York City locations!
Click here to save our list of favorite Instagram spots in NYC on google maps!