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 residents of this massive American metropolis 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
This post is in partnership with B&H Photo/Video on our trip to New York City for the Photo Plus Expo!
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.
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 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.
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.
Many fashion models and stylists will have studio spaces in this area of New York City. You are also likely to see photo 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.
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.
NYC Photographer’s Tip: This bridge is extremely busy at pretty much all hours of the day. 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!
5. Brooklyn Bridge Park
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 spots in 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 (Current under construction in later 2019)
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.
Photographer ideas: This is an ideal spot to capture the city lights at night for a long exposure.
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
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!
8. Brownstones In Brooklyn
The most quintessential local New York 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:
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 Station
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 the few places in New York City where lots of crowds are encouraged!
It’s a protected historical landmark (thanks Jackie Kennedy!) which means it will be one of the best Instagram spots in NYC, forever!
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11. Coney Island
Closest Subway Station: Coney Island – The Last Stop On The F Train (West 8 Street-New York Aquarium)
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!
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.
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)
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!
13. Central Park
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.
Other instagrammable 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)
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14. The Metropolitan Museum
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!
For amazing Instagram spots at The Met, grab a picture of the main lobby ceiling, the grand staircase, or the facade of the front of the building at night.
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.
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. (btw DUMBO stands for “Down Under Manhattan Bridge Overpass”).
This street perfectly centers the Manhattan Bridge for a photo 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!
Photo 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
The Statue of Liberty was a gift from France that arrived in New York City and was unveiled in 1886. It is a national symbol of freedom and opportunity for all who enter the United States.
To capture the beauty of this instagrammable spot in New York City, we suggest photographing it from a distance.
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!
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!
If you are cheap (like us) and want to get a close look at Lady Liberty, skip the Ellis Island tour and just zip past it and back on a free ride!
17. Javits Center
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
The High Line is a 1.45-mile long park that was built on an elevated freight train line. 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.
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.
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!
20. A Helicopter Flight Above The City
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
More Instagram Spots In NYC
We were total goofs to think that we could cover all of New York City 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 (Empire State Building)
- China Town
- Guggenheim Museum
- Doyer’s Street, Chinatown
- Grand Central Station
- Washington Square Park
- Chelsea Market
- Little Italy
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!
What are some of your favorite Instagram spots in NYC? There are so many more spots that we didn’t cover in this post, so tell us your favorites in the comments below!
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