Best NYC Instagram Spots: 21 Locations With Map
Last Updated on March 7, 2022 by Dana Berez
The Best NYC Instagram Spots: 21 Locations With Map
New York City is one of the most famous cities in the world. From the iconic skyline to the Statue of Liberty, the photo options here are pretty much endless. And when you are traveling to NYC, you’re more than likely to post your pictures on Instagram! I am going to list out the best NYC Instagram spots you can’t and give you some insider photo tips for when you visit.
I’ve also included a handy map at the bottom of this post that shows you the exact location all of these places are so you can easily plan your visit. Let’s get into the post.
Pre-book your tickets on these Instagram-worthy locations:
1. Dumbo Brooklyn
Starting off this list is Dumbo Brooklyn. Just a short ferry or train ride from the city. A common question that people ask is, “what does Dumbo stand for? It is short for “Down Under the Manhattan Bridge Overpass” is a trendy neighborhood filled with cobblestone streets, restaurants, and epic views of Manhattan.
The most famous place to take a photo is Washington Street. You’ll be able to catch the Manhattan Bridge peeking out behind the industrial buildings. And if it’s a clear day, you can see the Empire State Building in the same view.
Tip: This location is normally packed with people. I would suggest arriving early for less of a crowd and beautiful lighting. Otherwise, you will just have to be patient.
Don’t end your trip to Dumbo just on Washington Street!
Be sure to check out the waterfront for views of both Manhattan and the Brooklyn Bridge. Some favorite locations are Pebble Beach where you can get an epic view of the New York City skyline and Jane’s Carousel, a turn of the century restored wooden carousel for a fun photo op.
Nothing says New York City more than the Brooklyn Bridge, am I right? Getting a photo here is a must when coming to NYC, and it’s a classic NYC Instagram spot. Even being a local new yorker, I can’t help but admire this beautiful 19th-century landmark.
Now getting a photo here can become somewhat tricky because of two things.
- It’s one of the most iconic things to do in NYC, so naturally, it is crowded at all times of the day.
- Fun fact: There is a bike path on the Brooklyn Bridge. You’ll find active bikers riding across from Manhattan and Brooklyn, and they are not shy to ring their bell or yell when you step in their lane. It is clearly marked, so be sure to keep on the pedestrian side.
So with the crowds and bikers, you will still be able to capture the moment. It will just take some patience.
When to Take photos on the Brooklyn Bridge: The best time to avoid crowds would be in the morning. Sure, you’ll have bikers and runners but theft majority of tourists won’t be there.
Lighting: The lighting for photos on the Brooklyn Bridge is gorgeous during sunrise and sunset. If you are lucky, you can witness an epic pink sunset on the bridge (most likely in summer)
Summer Shooting: there is literally zero shade on the Bridge, especially if you visit during mid-day. So please don’t forget some water.
How to get on the Brooklyn Bridge:
From Manhattan: Take the 4 5 6 Train Brooklyn Bridge City Hall Station. From there you’ll be right by the bridge entrance. And remember, the best photos spots are towards the center of the bridge. You’ll be in for a 15-minute walk uphill before you reach it.
From Brooklyn: To access the Brooklyn Bridge on the Brooklyn side the access point is on Tillary and Brooklyn Bridge Promenade. This location is near the 2 3 Borough Hall Subway Stop, and the N R W Jay Street Metro Tech subway stop.
The Oculus in New York City’s latest modern transportation hub and has the most interesting architecture. Designed by Santiago Calatrava, this $4 billion sparkly marble transportation hub is sure stunning to look at. It is one of the more unique Instagram spots in NYC.
Inside you will find access to the majority of Subway lines, New Jersey Transit trains, and over 100 stores and services.
Delmonico’s is one of the first fine dining restaurants in America and is iconic to the New York City restaurant scene. It is famous for the Delmonico steak. The location at 56 Beaver Street has a beautiful historic architecture that is perfect for photos.
Be sure to explore just one block south and walk down Stone Street. There you will find over a dozen restaurants with outdoor seating on a cobblestone street. This area of New York is the oldest part, so there is lot’s of history to be uncovered.
5. Fulton Street
Head downtown to Fulton and Willam Street for the best view of the Freedom Tower. This spot is super photogenic, and it’s an under the radar location that won’t be too busy!
6. Grand Central Station
Undoubtedly, the most classic and beautiful transportation hub of New York since 1913, Grand Central offers a stunning location for photos. Head over to the ledge overlooking the main floor for a beautiful shot and don’t forget to look up to see the design of the constellations.
Tip: If you’re trying to get an empty photo with no people, I would recommend coming late at night around 10 pm-11 pm. There are usually no trains coming in and so it’s less crowded.
7. Central Park
What’s a trip to NYC without a Central Park Photo! There are so many beautiful Vignettes here, most of which you can find yourself.
- Bethesda Fountain
- The Mall
- Bow Bridge
- Gapstow Bridge
- Belvedere Castle
- The Metropolitan Museum of Art
Tip: Central Park is huge. No really, it is. The best way to navigate it is to bookmark the places you want to see ahead of time and make a route. Otherwise, there is no way you can walk the entire thing without tiring out.
If you’re really adventurous I would rent a bike and ride through the entire park taking breaks for photos. In fact, did you know there is a public pool in Central Park?! I wouldn’t have known this if I didn’t bike it!
8. The High Line
Set above ground on an old subway track, the High Line Park is a beautiful park that runs from the Meatpacking district to 34th Street at Hudson Yards.
- Overlooking 14th Street
- 17th street in the ’10th Avenue Box” My personal favorite such a classic NYC feel looking at all the traffic go by from above.
Tips: Ideally this can be enjoyed most during temperate weather when the flowers start blooming, however, expect larger crowds, I mean hoards of people. Going in the cold is tough but you’ll practically have the place to yourself.
9. The Vessel
The Vessel at Hudson Yards is the latest tourist attraction to open in the New York City scene. This honeycomb structure is actually made up of 154 interconnecting staircases with just about 2,500 individual steps. It has been dubbed an interactive sculpture.
You can make your way to the top to get different viewpoints from NYC. There is also an elevator so everyone can take advantage of the views. The best part? It’s a FREE attraction.
Here is how to get The Vessel Tickets:
Visit the Vessel on-site the day as soon as they open. Tickets are distributed on a first come first serve basis as well as online. Depending on how busy it is, your ticket may have a time slot later in the day. However, you will be able to experience the vessel.
The last time I visited, my wait was less than 30 minutes. Of course, if there is a long wait you can check out the Shops and Restaurants at Hudson Yards. My personal recommendation is Mercado Little Spain, a Spanish-style Mercado with food and drinks from Chef José Andrés and the Adría Brothers. The croquettes & patatas bravas are my go-to!
10. Flatiron Building
Enter 23rd Street and you’ll be struck with the awe-inspiring view of the Flatiron Building. Built-in 1902, it remains an iconic New York City structure due to it’s illusion to the eye- they don’t call it Flatiron for anything. For the classic shot head to 23rd street and Broadway.
Tip: Head there early morning or dusk to avoid the harsh lighting of noon. Otherwise, an overcast day is your best bet!
While you’re in the area, don’t miss out on some fun things to do:
- Right across the Flatiron is Shake Shack’s first location, which is Shake Shack Madison Square Park. Thankfully since they have more locations in the city, this one no longer has a line. Order a classic Shack Burger, a sweet treat (I’m obsessed with their cookie shake), or even a glass of wine and sit in the park with their outdoor seating! It is a perfect way to relax after touring the best places to take Instagram photos in NYC.
Read more about iconic things you can’t miss in NYC.
- Another favorite is Eataly Flatiron. If you need an Italian pick me up, Eataly is perfect for that. They have a few interior restaurants including an Eataly flatiron rooftop restaurant called Serra by Birreria a.k.a Serra Fiorita that they change seasonally with the decor and menu.
Pro Tip: they have a (clean) public bathroom which is hard to find in the city. I also change outfits if I am taking photos in the area. Shh, don’t tell anyone.
My favorite neighborhood for photos featuring the stunning cobblestone streets and industrial-style buildings. SoHo, short for South of Houston Street, was a famous artsy neighborhood in the ’70s and ’80s. And still to this day has the same artistic vibe.
There are so many things to do in SoHo! You’ll find galleries, luxury stores, and boutique shops, along with cafes and decadent bakeries- don’t miss the Cronut from Dominque Ansel Bakery.
Because there are so many photographic locations in Soho NYC check out my top Soho Instagram Spots!
Some Notable Locations:
- Greene Street has stunning lofts, cobblestones, and shops.
- Head to Kenmare and Lafayette for your classic La Esquina shot.
- West Broadway is less crowded than Broadway and has a boutique feel.
- Head to the Nomo Hotel on Crosby Street for the stunning entrance.
Add a little unique flavor to your photos with shots from NYC’s Chinatown. Once you pass Canal Street you will be transformed into a different world. You will find all sorts of things like unique fruit, fresh seafood, markets, and many great restaurants.
- Doyer Street, Pell Street, & Mott Street: These streets have unique designs and are worth checking out in Chinatown.
Tips: Chinatown will always be bustling so there isn’t really an ideal time to go. Patience will be key to this location.
13. Tudor City Overpass
One of my favorite NYC Instagram spots. Tucked away in a quiet residential neighborhood, Tudor City Bridge offers the most stunning view of 42nd Street that includes the Chrysler Building.
This is also a famous location to catch bi-annual Manhattanhenge when the sun sets perfectly on the horizon. While it is an amazing sight to see, don’t be too bummed if you can’t make it on these two days. Photographers set up tripods hours before the sunset to secure their spot.
Instead, you can head there anytime and witness the beautiful view alone!
Note: This street is elevated from 42nd street. On 1st avenue and 42nd street you’ll find steps that will lead you to this bridge.
14. Times Square
While Times Square is famous for Broadway, the lights and crowds bring such an energy that is so fun to photograph. Even though it can be hectic, Times Square is so unique to New York that you have to take some photos. It is classicly one of the most famous Instagram worthy places in NYC. You are probably wondering “Where is Times Square?” It is from 42nd street to 47th and Broadway to Seventh Avenue.
It’s not dangerous, but just be sure to keep an eye out for your belongings. With the crowds, it’s an easy place for pickpockets.
Some locations worth noting:
- Times Square steps on 47th Street and Broadway
- Subway Entrance on 42nd Street and Broadway
- 45th Street and Broadway Street View
15. Hudson River Park
I haven’t seen too many people take advantage of this picturesque pier off of Manhattan’s West Side, which makes it very quiet and peaceful. This park offers unobstructed views of Manhattan’s financial district with the iconic 1 World Trade as its centerpiece.
The best angle is on Pier 34. Arrive just before sunset for some golden tones to your photos, then watch the sunset over the water! Also, Pier 25 has some beautiful views as well.
How to get to Hudson River Park: This pier is located right off the West Side Highway. If you ride a bike, there is a convenient CitiBike dock on the West Side Highway. Or if you prefer to walk, take the C E train to Spring Street, or the 1 train to Canal. From there it will be about a 10-15 minute walk.
16. Washington Square Park
Add a little Parisian inspiration to your photos with the Washington Square Arch. Modeled after the Arc de Triomphe in Paris, this smaller New York replica is a stunning feature off of 5th Avenue and Waverly Place.
This park is most frequented by NYU students or locals in the neighborhood. You’ll most likely hear some live music coming from a saxophone, skateboarders, and people just walking by. It is one of the best areas in NYC to people watch!
Fun/ Creepy Fact: Back in the late 1700s this park was used as a potter’s field, and allegedly now this area is haunted. You can take haunted ghost tours from this location to learn more about it! I took this tour in October and learned so much about the creepy history of NYC.
17. East Village
The East Village has an iconic street that is perfect for photos on 10th & Stuyvesant called the Abe Lebewohl Triangle. I especially love this area during the fall because the trees look beautiful.
The great part about this location is that it’s rarely busy! Because it’s a residential neighborhood you won’t find many tourists here.
While you are there, there are so many things to do in the East Village, be sure to explore around. East Village has amazing restaurants, cutest cafes in NYC, and vintage shops.
- For unique clothing & jewelry shops: walk on 9th Street between 1st & 2nd Avenue
- Coffee Shops nearby: Mud Coffee, Porto Rico Coffee, Third Rail Coffee
- Restaurants you can’t miss: Cafe Mogador, Veselka, Thursday Kitchen, Momofuku Noodle Bar, Ippudo
18. Top of the Rock
The Top of the Rock is the place to capture the most amazing view of the Empire State Building and Manhattan. I’ve included this location on my top Empire State Building Photo locations, and also had to share it here.
For this location, I would highly recommend visiting during the opening hours. It won’t be as busy, and you won’t have to worry about a lot of people being in your photo.
However, I must say the observation deck is quite large with two levels, indoor and outdoor areas, and plenty of viewfinders. Even if it’s slightly busy, you’ll be able to spread out on the deck.
Details on Visiting Top of the Rock:
The entrance of the observation deck is on 50TH Street between 5th and 6th Avenues. Open daily from 8 am – Midnight (last elevator up at 11 pm).
Top of the rock tickets start at $38 for adults and $32 for children. I highly recommend purchasing your ticket in advance. I made the mistake of trying to buy the tickets day of, only to realize that the time slot I wanted to be in was already booked up. Don’t make my mistake! Plan this location in advance if you can!
19. Radio City Music Hall
I just love the art deco vibes Radio City Music Hall brings to Sixth Avenue. This theater was built in 1932 and still has the original facade. If you are in New York during the holidays, the Radio City Rockettes have to be on your list to see the Rockettes Christmas Spectacular! The inside of the theater brings you back in time with the classic New York decor.
Photo Tip: Head here at night for a dramatic photo because the neon lights will be on!
20. Empire State Building
Another amazing observation deck on the list, the Empire State Building is a classic New York City experience. They also went through a $165 million dollar renovation that covered the 1st, 2nd, 80th, and 102nd floors with an all-new entrance.
For an elevated experience, be sure to get tickets for the 102nd floor. It’s the highest point of the building and the 360 views can not be missed.
21. The Edge
Located right next to the Vessel at Hudson Yards, the Edge NYC is New York City’s latest brand new observation deck. It’s the highest outdoor sky deck in the Western hemisphere, that gives you the feeling that you are floating in the sky!
The photo-ops here would be stunning and is a can’t miss on your New York Itinerary. Click here to skip the line tickets.
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Hope you enjoyed this list of the best NYC Instagram Spots! Be sure to follow me on Instagram for the latest finds around NYC!