10 Best NYC Christmas Photo Spots for Instagram
Last Updated on February 8, 2021 by Dana Berez
Best NYC Christmas Instagram Spots
It’s the most wonderful time of the year, and a great time for NYC Christmas photo spots around New York City! I mapped out where the best NYC Christmas Instagram Spots are during the holiday season, including where is the best Christmas tree in NYC.
I’ve also added some tips on what to do in NYC during Christmas! Let’s get into the list.
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1. Lotte New York Palace
The Lotte New York Palace is a luxury hotel located in midtown Manhattan directly across from St. Patricks Cathedral, and it’s known for occupying a 19th-century mansion.
My favorite part of this hotel is the beautiful quiet courtyard that takes you away from the hustle of New York City. And during Christmas time, they have the most decorative tree in the center. And to be honest, it’s my favorite tree in NYC.
There is something so regal about this tree, that it remains a must-visit during the holiday season!
Fun fact: If you were a fan of Gossip Girl like me, this building courtyard was a huge part of the show. It was filmed numerous times during the early seasons as the Bass & Van der Woodsen home.
2. Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree
The ultimate classic NYC Christmas Instagram Spot: Rockefeller Center. The Rockefeller Christmas tree centers the square drawing people in from all around the world! Even the Rockefeller tree lighting is a whole televised event.
The Rockefeller Tree is lit the entire day, so you can come here whenever to see it shine. You can take photos next to the tree, but the courtyard area is always packed.
Your best bet is to take a photo from across the ice skating rink. To get to this ledge, head towards the ticket entrance for ice skating. You won’t have to buy a ticket, but that area is the best angle. Once you are done you can exit out without purchasing a ticket.
However, there is nothing more iconic than skating on Rink at Rockefeller Center. It’s on my list of the top things to do in NYC during Christmas.
Oh, and while you are next to Rockefeller Center, make your way to 6th Avenue and 49th Street for a sweet treat at Magnolias Bakery. They are famous for their banana pudding, but I always opt for a red velvet cupcake.
3. Cartier Window Display
Out of all the shops decorated on 5th Avenue, the Cartier store wrapped in a bow is a classic. Nothing screams an Instagram spot than a building sparkling in a bow. The Cartier stores around the world are always decorated to the T!
Tip: The Cartier Store is located on a busy corner on 5th Avenue. Your best bet is to get there before the morning office rush or try to go on a morning weekend.
While it will still be busy with shoppers, at least the people who work in the area won’t be around!
4. Saks 5th Avenue
Saks 5th Avenue is known for its epic window displays and having an interactive light-show at night on the building’s facade.
However, Saks is still beautiful during the day and is worth a stop day or night. If you have time for shopping check out the inside of Saks. They completely renovated the entire store, with a unique modern design. I personally I’m obsessed with the 5th Floor, which has women contemporary clothing and FIKA, a coffee bar. There even is a whole floor of shoes!
5. Bryant Park Ice Skating Rink
Is it me or does ice skating bring out the holiday spirit? There are numerous ice skating rinks in NYC, but I personally love taking photos at Bryant Park. From this location, you can see the Empire State building popping out from behind the buildings.
And this is the only ice rink that has FREE admission. But don’t get too excited, you’ll have to pay for your skate rental. Depending on your date, that can range from $18-$33.
The Rink at Bryant Park isn’t the only attraction here. Be sure to wander around the Winter Village at Bryant Park. You’ll find unique vendors selling everything from neat gifts to tasty treats. A great place to find an awesome gift!
6. Radio City Music Hall
Seeing Radio City Music Hall with a tree is just so festive, it deserves a spot on this list. If you are visiting NYC I highly urge you to see the Radio City Rockettes for a show!
Nothing will get you more in the mood for the holiday season. If not, walking by and snapping a photo will do!
Tip: This corner is very very busy. There will be people and busses blocking the view sometimes. Patience is key to this location.
7. NYC Christmas Tree Vendors
One of the best things about December in NYC is the tree vendors located on nearly every corner. The smell is fantastic and sometimes you can snag up some extra branches.
There is nothing like picking out a tree in NYC right of the street- so New York.
I have actually never bought a tree in New York (small apartment problems) But you can find these sellers all around the city, especially more residential neighborhoods.
This exact location was on 2nd Avenue between 10th and 11th streets.
8. Sixth Avenue Ornaments
Along 6th avenue are life-sized Christmas ornaments and lights making you feel so small! They also make great photo-op backgrounds. My favorite angle to have a more festive background is facing Radio City Music Hall.
Also, I didn’t find this location to be busy at all! So you can take your time here!
9. Washington Square Park
Another Christmas tree in NYC is located in Washington Square Park. This tree is a bit smaller than the rest, but it’s in one of my favorite locations in the city. I just love the way it frames the arch, which reminds me of Paris.
You can also see the Empire State Building from this location which is always a nice surprise.
10. Wall Street Christmas Tree
Last but not least is the Wall Street Christmas Tree! This tree is almost the same size as the Rockefeller tree, but it’ not as crowded. That makes this location a win-win. You can get an amazing photo here.
Tip: Be cautious before you sit. A doorman from one of the apartment buildings informed me that’s where all the dog’s pee.
Hope you enjoyed this list of Best NYC Photo Spots During Christmas! Save this to your Pinterest boards!