Looking for the best photo spots in NYC? We have a list of the best spots in the city.
For the last few months, we searched every corner of the city to come up with a list of the most instagrammable places in NYC.
There’s no city quite like New York City. No matter your interest, you can never run out of things to do. Every time we cross off something on our NYC bucket list, we end up adding 5 more.
It’s also true with restaurants closing and opening and new pop ups appearing weekly, many of them made just for Instagram.
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Last Updated: March 21, 2023
27+ Most Instagrammable Places in NYC
Nowadays, it’s common to use Instagram and Tiktok for travel inspiration. And although we prefer slow travel rather than hopping from place to place, we know everyone travels differently.
If you have limited vacation days, it makes sense that you may want to see everything as efficiently as possible. That’s why we put together NYC’s instagrammable spots all in one place so you can easily plan your trip.
We also featured a few murals near the bottom, but since murals are constantly being painted over, we tried to focus on the spots that are going to stick around long term
30 Rockefeller Plaza, 10112, map
Yes, it’s touristy, but it’s still one of our favorite views of the city. We’ve been twice already, and dragged our friend, Debbie, who was born and raised in NYC and she agrees. Funny how if you’re born and raised, you never visit any of the tourist attractions. You can see more photo inspiration on IG here.
Since we left NYC, a few more viewpoints have opened up in the city. We’ll check them out on our next visit and update you guys here.
Local Tip: Sunset gives you the best views and photos since it doesn’t open anywhere near sunrise most of the year.
1000 5th Ave, 10028, map
The Met is the largest art museum in the US. It’s massive and you can easily spend several days here. Our favorite photo spot and where we take a breather is in the Temple of Dendur wing. It’s beautifully lit with the floor to ceiling windows. We especially love the reflections you get.
Local Tip: It’s no longer pay as you wish for visitors. If you have a NY, NJ, or CT ID, it’s PAYW. If you’re a local, it’s the perfect time to get your ID NYC.
1071 5th Ave, 10128, map
The Guggenheim’s unique architecture makes the building fun to photograph inside and out. The exhibits change throughout the year, but the architecture is the highlight for photos anyways.
Local Tip: Take home the best souvenir from your trip to New York from Capture. It’s the easiest way to book a New York City Vacation Photographer. Visit JoinCapture.com or download their iPhone app to book your session.
89 E 42nd St, 10017, map
Watch people come and go through one of the most beautiful train stations in the world. Get different perspectives from the ground level, up the stairs, and don’t forget to look up at the ceiling too.
Local Tip: While you’re there, stop by the food hall to get some banana pudding from Magnolia’s and coconut creme donuts from Doughnut Plant. Oftentimes, you can get served here faster than their other locations.
Central Park, map
You can make an entire list of photo spots with Central Park locations alone. Some of the most popular spots are Bethesda Terrace and the Mall. We even found some secret waterfalls.
Our favorite times of year are spring when you can find cherry blossoms, and fall with all the leaves changing colors. It’s also magical when there is fresh snow!
45 E 42nd St, map
This is one of the newest observation decks in NYC with our favorite city views. It has so many photo opps compared to other observatories, and you see all the iconic landmarks like Empire State, Chrysler, One World Observatory, and Central Park. Many observatories only give you one or two landmark views, or they are partly obstructed.
There are 3 floors, the first two are indoors, and each floor has 3 different areas/rooms. You can move between the 3 areas, but once you ascend to the next floor, you can’t backtrack. The first observation floor has a room with a Yayoi Kusama Clouds exhibit. At night, the whole first and second floor look like an infinity room, except with hundreds of people mixed in.
The top level is outdoors, but it was already dark and crowded when we made it up there, so we left after the first two floors.
We went at sunset, which was extremely packed. Next time we visit, we plan on going in the morning to avoid crowds. Check out our reel with 7 tips for visiting Summit one Vanderbilt.
Local Tip: Bring sunglasses or borrow one of theirs. Just do it! When the sun is shining into the room, it’s blinding. I had my eyes closed for most of the first hour until I remembered I had sunglasses in my bag. Oops.
Bonus: Flatiron Building in Flatiron
175 5th Ave, 10010, map
This is one of the most iconic buildings in the city. It’s an extremely busy area with cars and people constantly flowing through, which can make it tough to shoot photos. I’ve never had the patience to get the photo on the crosswalk, but we’ll make it happen. I’m just waiting for the next big snowstorm when it will be completely empty.
Gansevoort St and Washington St, map
They did a lovely job building this urban park on an old rail line 30 feet above street level. You get a mix of city and river views. It gets extremely crowded on weekends and holidays, so if you’re going here for the green space to find your zen, be sure to visit early in the morning.
8. Edge NYC →
66 Hudson Blvd E, map
When it comes to amazing views, NYC has no shortage of them. Edge NYC is the highest outdoor sky deck in the Western Hemisphere. It is suspended mid-air, making it feel like you’re floating 100 stories high.
It was especially windy the day we went, and my hair went super Saiyan at one point. We also witnessed an engagement up here. See our reel here.
9. Barneys New York in CHelsea
101 7th Ave, 10011, map
The beautiful white spiral staircase at the downtown Barneys is an IG fave. You may get a few dirty looks if you don’t intend to buy anything.
Pro Tip: Don’t forget your wide angle lens.
254 Elizabeth St, 10012, map
This french clothing store is usually decorated with flowers or other seasonal decor. While we were living in NYC, we noticed it switched a few times over the course of the year. Sometimes they put a bicycle outside decorated in flowers too.
174 Elizabeth St, 10012, map
I’m not sure when pink became the official favorite color of IG, but it’s no wonder that it’s one of the most instagrammable places in NYC. Pietro Nolita’s interior and exterior is pink AF. You’ll find people stopping by to snap photos with the bench outside.
Local Tip: The food wasn’t bad but nothing to rave about either.
Doyers St, 10013, map
Do you recognize this Chinatown street from movies and tv? It’s famous for the sharp bend. We got lucky and captured some photos while the street was painted as a large dragon.
Local Tip: Stop by Taiwan Pork Chop House for some delicious cheap eats (it’s cash only). There are other great cheap eats options too.
373 Broome St, 10013, map
Cha Cha Matcha not only has pretty drinks and dessert, but they don’t taste half bad.
Note: They recently got some bad publicity for their owners being racist and their unfair treatment of employees. We went a few times early on, but haven’t gone back since. No judgment here if you do, but it’s always good to stay informed.
16. Brownstones of Greenwich Village
Greenwich Village, map
Brownstones are those classic homes you see on TV shows and the movies. Think Sesame Street and the stairs that lead up to the front door. Greenwich Village is one of the most popular spots people like to go to find them, but they’re practically everywhere. The photo below was taken in Williamsburg (Brooklyn).
The Shops and Restaurants at Hudson Yards, New York, NY 10001, map
This is one of the newest and most popular spots in NYC. As the centerpiece of Hudson Yards you can take photos of this unique structure from outside or from the different levels as you explore all the shops and restaurants.
Note: The vessel has been closed for a while after a 14-year-old jumped. You can still visit the ground floor but you cannot walk up until they find a solution.
Church St, 10006, map
The Oculus instantly became a favorite photo spot as soon as they opened its doors. There are often seasonal events in the main hall and even some pop-up concerts. We randomly happened to pop in during a free Christmas concert with Nick Jonas.
Brooklyn Bridge, 10038, map
Whether you start on the Manhattan side and head over to DUMBO or vice versa, take the chance to walk across Brooklyn Bridge and shoot photos along the way.
Local Tip: Remember that when you’re standing in the middle for photos, one half of this is a bike lane. People use it to commute back and forth, so to avoid getting run over or pissing people off, be aware of your surroundings.
Washington St & Water St, map
This is easily one of the most popular photography spots in NYC even long before Instagram. When we had our wedding photography biz, we saw so many engagement sessions shot here. We finally visited on a rainy day for thinner crowds.
In case you were wondering, DUMBO is a neighborhood of Brooklyn and stands for Down Under the Manhattan Bridge Overpass. There are a few more photo spots in this area, so give yourself some time to explore the area.
Update: They blocked off this area post-pandemic with seating. I’m not sure if or when it will return to being a functioning street, but watch out for traffic if it does. New Yorkers do not like to be inconvenienced (Psst. read our NY travel tips and how not to piss off New Yorkers).
4-09 47th Rd, 10007, map
Many of the best views of the Manhattan skyline are from outside of the city. Just across the East River, you’ll find Gantry Park. It has a large Pepsi-Cola sign from where the old factory used to be and it tends to be quieter than the riverside parks in Brooklyn since it’s mostly locals.
Instagram Murals in NYC
Though most the murals are changing over constantly, there are a few still worth mentioning.
- Audrey Hepburn Mural (176 Mulberry St, 10013, map) – This one seems to be sticking around.
- Bowery Mural (76 E Houston St, 10012, map) – it will be different every time you visit, but there’s always something interesting there. Below is when Banksy made a comeback in Mar 2018 to protest the imprisonment of Zehra Dogan. It was tagged a week later.
- Yes Mural (York Street & Jay Street, 11201, map)- They are on both sides of the bridge, with the black and white mural on one side and the colorful one pictured below on the other side.
Instagram Dessert and Food
- Eggloo (60 Mulberry St, map) – Ice cream in a bubble waffle cone
- Taiyaki (119 Baxter St, map) – Ice cream in a fish cone
- Flour Shop (177 Lafayette St, map) – the rainbow cakes don’t taste very good, but they’re pretty and it’s a cute spot for rainbow photos.
- Bibble & Sip (253 W 51st St, map) – cutest Totoro macarons
- Pizza Beach (167 Orchard St, 10002, map) – Interior
- Citizens of Chelsea (401 W 25th St, map) – Photos of brunch and Interior
- The Corner Deli (106 Kenmare St, 10012, map) – The exterior. Also, go next door to Eileen’s cheesecakes for the fluffiest cheesecakes you’ll ever find.
- MTea (36-56 Main St, Flushing, 11354, map) – Brand new boba shop that is absolutely made for photo ops. It’s all pink! See the photo below.
Map of NYC INstagram Spots to Help You Get Around
More Instagram Spots in NYC
Have more time? Here are some more instagram spots to check out.
- Armani 5th Ave (717 5th Ave, New York, NY 10022, map)
- Radio City Music Hall (1260 6th Ave, 10020, map)
- Love Statue (W 55th St & 6th Avenue, 10019, map)
- Belvedere Castle (Central Park, map) – currently under construction and can’t be accessed.
- Delmonico’s (56 Beaver St, 10004, map) – currently under construction and completely covered in scaffolding.
- Manhattanhendge (Seasonal)
- Brooklyn Botanic (990 Washington Ave, 11225, map) – During Cherry Blossom season. More Cherry Blossom spots here.
Check Out the Video
Most Instagrammable Hotels in NYC
There are multiple room options, but we loved the room with a balcony, so you get a view. Check out our room tour here.
There is also a bar and lounge area in their lobby, which we would often use to decompress after a long day of running around the city.
Note: If you visit during the turn of the season as we did (the first week of October), the building hadn’t switched on the heat yet (which happens with older buildings). Ask for extra blankets.
How many of these have you been to? Do you use Instagram to plan your trips?
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“Discovery consists not of seeking new lands but in seeing with new eyes” – M. Proust
Esther + Jacob
Esther and Jacob are the founders of Local Adventurer, one of the top 5 travel blogs in the US. They believe that adventure can be found near and far and hope to inspire others to explore locally. They explore a new city in depth every year and currently base themselves in Las Vegas.