Looking for some of the most Instagrammable places in NYC?
I don’t blame you.
I mean, New York City is one of the greatest cities in the entire world (not that I’m bias or anything) and is home to some of the most famously, photogenic attractions on the planet.
It becomes essential for anyone with a camera, and a pulse, to understand where to find the top Instagram spots in New York City.
But that’s not enough.
Because truthfully, everyone and their brother knows that they need to get a pic of the Flatiron Building before they leave NYC.
That little tid bit of information is shocking to no one.
You’ll want to get all my super secret, local tips on how to take insane photos of some of New York City’s most iconic attractions.
This post not only details all the super cool New York City Instagram spots that locals love but shows you how to take the best photos of New York City possible.
And since I’m not some sort of all knowing, all seeing eye that constantly has amazing photos flying out of her camera, I’ve asked a few of my favorite bloggers to share their top Instagram spots in NYC and tips for taking exquisite photos in each of these locations.
So without further adieu:
Onwards and upwards, to a list of New York City locations that will surely lead to Instagram fame and glory…
Kidding! No way can I make a guarantee like that.
But please, read on anyway!
This post may contain affiliate links. Please see my disclosure for more information. As an Amazon Associate, I earn a small commission from qualifying purchases.
1. Pier 25 at Hudson River Park
By: Sarah Vanheel of Cosmopoliclan
Hudson River Park is a 4.5-mile-long, waterfront, green space that sits along Manhattan’s beautiful North River.
And with an assortment of different piers to visit:
This park is the perfect place for visitors, and locals, to escape the overwhelming crowds of New York City.
My favorite place is Pier 25, located in the ever cool neighborhood of TriBeCa, a former industrial area in Manhattan that is characterized by converted warehouses and cobblestone streets.
Because it stretches out into the Hudson:
The tip of Pier 25 has an assortment of Instagram-worthy viewpoints to choose from, making this one of the best Instagram spots in NYC.
So whether you’re after a panoramic shot of the New Jersey skyline or an enchanting view of Liberty island or a memorable snapshot of the historic, Grand Bank schooner, with its luxurious oyster bar, Pier 25 at has it all.
Just make sure that you visit about an hour before sunset, on a nice, warm summer evening.
Once you arrive::
Don’t point your camera towards the setting sun. Instead, turn around and capture the whimsical display of lights reflecting off the Freedom Tower and the surrounding buildings.
NYC doesn’t get any more colorful than this – and neither will your Instagram gallery.
2. The Oculus
By: Heather Trimm of Trimm Travels
One of my favorite Instagram spots in NYC is the Oculus, a spot I discovered during my first solo trip to NYC.
Worth four billion dollars:
This structure was designed by my favorite architect, Santiago Calatrava, and is the transportation hub of the entire World Trade Center.
The Oculus is one of the best photo spots in NYC since you can capture the beauty of this iconic New York City landmark from both the outside and inside, as well as during the day and night.
I love to photograph the interior of the Oculus at night since the starkness of the white interior contrasts magnificently with the people milling around below
To get the best shot:
Enter the Oculus from Ground Zero and go up the steps, to an expansive landing where you’ll be treated to a grand overlook of the entire complex.
Try to visit a bit later in the evening, when fewer people are around to compete with you for a coveted middle spot.
This is also the perfect place for a time lapse photo!
3. Pebble Beach
By: Katie Ackerley of Real World Runaway
New York City is an amazing place but first time visitors are often so caught up in the magic of Manhattan (not that I can blame them!) that they miss out on the charm of the other boroughs.
Full of incredible bars and restaurants:
Brooklyn is my favorite place to spend an afternoon in NYC, just relaxing. And a walk along the waterfront is an absolute must for anyone who loves photography.
Just step across the Brooklyn Bridge (a fab Insta spot in itself), grab an ice cream, and take a stroll along the river, taking in Manhattan’s /iconic skyline.
It’s much more peaceful than Manhattan and has some to it’s own awesome quirks too.
This picture was taken at Pebble Beach in Main Street Park, but the entire waterfront has beautiful skyline views that are worth capturing.
There was even a wedding going on just meters away from where I was sitting!
So clearly I’m not the only one who thinks this is a
4. The Highline
View this post on Instagram
This weekend, like most weekends, I was in a New York State of mind. I walked along the Highline, drinking in the views around me. So many lives, so many people, so many different paths, and so many people who are so close yet so far apart. Sometimes, it feels like the whole of the world is in New York City. And it can be daunting. I wonder where my place is and what my future will be and if my place is in this city at all. That’s why I come to the park. I come here to stop, breathe, and let the world go by. I remind myself that I don’t need to have all the answers. I just need to be the best version of myself. That’s the moment when the life that is meant for me will come my way. Where do you like to go to think and find a bit of peace in this chaotic world? #girlwiththepassport
Would this really be a list of top Instagram spots in New York City without a mention of the Highline – AKA the coolest park in all of New York City?
Yeah, I think not!
To get here, just hop on the 7
Located on the west side of Manhattan:
This reclaimed railway track has been converted into an elevated, pedestrian walkway that snakes through both Chelsea and the Meatpacking District, providing visitors with amazing views of the city along the way.
But it gets better!
Along the way, you’ll find intriguing pieces of street art to enhance your journey through this eclectic mixture of natural and man-made beauty.
The Highline is about a mile and a half long and has a ton of amazing places to stop along the way and take photos.
Be prepared for this epic level of awesome and bring extra batteries and memory cards with you on this photographic journey.
I love to go early in the morning when no one else is there.
Not only is the lighting amazing at this time of day, but you can get great shots of yourself walking down the Highline, without 5 billion, selfie stick-wielding tourists walking through your shot.
I’m not a morning person but a little sleep deprivation is
***Feeling a bit hungry after taking all these photos? Then stop by Artichoke Basille’s pizza, at 10th Avenue, or exit the Highline and explore the infamous Chelsea Market.***
By: Liliane Fawzy of My Toronto, My World
New York City is arguably THE city to be in for Instagram.
From the buildings to the food, to the murals, to the streets, there is no shortage of Instagrammable shots and places in this magnificent city.
One of the most stunning and photogenic pieces of architecture in New York City has to to be the Manhattan Bridge at DUMBO.
You’ve seen pictures of it since it’s almost impossible not to.
Which makes sense since this place is incredibly grand from pretty much any angle imaginable.
One of the most iconic shots of the Manhattan bridge is to capture it framed by these two buildings in DUMBO.
And no, I’m not talking about the flying elephant.
DUMBO actually stands for Down Under the Manhattan Bridge Overpass and is a specific neighborhood in Brooklyn with lots of cute little shops and places to eat.
One of the many reasons why people come to DUMBO is to take this exact picture of the Manhattan Bridge.
To get this very cool shot:
Walk over to the intersection of Water Street and Washington Street in DUMBO.
To avoid the crowds though:
Go first thing in the morning because there will be dozens of people waiting to take the exact same shot!
And nobody wants hordes of random people in their Instagram shot.
6. Grand Central Terminal
Next stop in this Instagram guide to NYC?
Not shockingly, Grand Central Terminal.
Now, growing up just outside of New York City:
My family and I always took the train into the city because yeah, no one wants to drive in the city.
And every single time:
Our final destination would be the ever-enchanting, Grand Central Terminal.
Between the star-studded ceiling glistening with constellations, the iconic glow of the central information desk in the grand hall, and the magnificent architecture of the exquisite exterior, there are so many amazing photo spots, it’s hard to know where to start.
I tend to avoid a shot of the ceiling since the constellations never seem to come out well in photos.
I also skip the immortal shot of the information desk because it has been done so many times.
I opt for a perfect shot of the building’s exterior. To get this shot, just exit the building at 42nd Street and walk up Park Avenue until you hit either East 41st or 40th Street.
Walk to the middle of the road and stand on the island in the center of the street to snag a uniquely amazing picture of Grand Central Terminal.
Not a fan of the traffic in the shot?
Then visit early in the morning when hardly anyone is on the road.
***Grand Central Terminal also runs fantastic pay what you wish tours every Sunday at 10 am. The tour lasts about two hours and is super informative but you will need to make a reservation.***
7. Top of the Rock
By: Yuki Maloney of Finding Yoki
For many visitors:
A trip to New York City is not complete without seeing the city from the Top of the Rock!
Located in midtown Manhattan, and surrounded by an array of exciting stores, restaurants, and shows, the Top of the Rock offers visitors the most breathtaking, panoramic views of New York City.
You’ll find three separate viewing platforms. The first is an indoor deck, on the 67th floor, where you can enjoy the city view through big, glass window panes.
This is the most crowded floor, so it is difficult to take photos.
The 2nd deck is on the 69th floor and allows
I recommend continuing
You can enjoy unobstructed views of the Empire State Building and Central Park, without big glass panes.
The top floor is also the least crowded of the three viewing platforms. But it can still get crowded at times though so just be patient and remember that you can stay as long as you want!
To enter the Top of the Rock:
Tickets are $36 for adults, $30 for children (6-12 years old), and $34 for seniors (62+years old).
Entry during peak, sunset hours costs an additional $10 per ticket since this is the most popular time to visit.
Before you go:
Be sure to check the weather forecast and avoid visiting on a cloudy day, or during the weekends and on holidays, when the Top of the Rock is most crowded.
8. Bethesda Terrace and Fountain
View this post on Instagram
I hate the heat and humidity of an NYC summer, but I love how alive everything feels. It’s like you can see, feel, and experience all the life that this city has to offer. And that’s why I love Central Park. It is the perfect fusion of the best that both the city and nature have to offer. And everytime I visit, I am able to see things a little differently, like Bathesda Fountain. A truly enchanting place that feels more like the garden of a grand estate than New York City. Then someone flips you off and whacks you with a selfie stick and then you remember exactly where you are. Lol. Have you been to Cebtral Park? If so, what’s your favorite spot? #girlwiththepassport
In case you didn’t get the memo, Central Park is HUGE.
It puts the ass in massive. So if you’re looking for that iconic location where everyone seems to take those insanely gorgeous photos of a majestic, Central Park fountain, with rowboats seamlessly gliding along a quaint pond in the background, then Bethesda Terrace and Fountain
And no, you’re not the only one since One Fine Day, Home Alone 2, and Enchanted were all filmed here.
To see what all the fuss is about:
Walk up Fifth Avenue until you hit East 72nd Street. Then turn right and continue until you see the fountain and terrace on your right.
You’ll see the immortal Angel of the Waters fountain as you look out over Central Park lake and woods.
And while this shot is possibly the most classic:
I suggest descending one of the two staircases on either side of the fountain and exploring the exquisite architecture beneath the terrace.
I also enjoy playing with the angles of my photos here and shoot the fountain from the left side, as opposed to straight on.
Whatever you do though:
Try and get here as early as possible since this architectural landmark’s fame means that it gets incredibly crowded, making a fantastic photo difficult to come by.
This is a great place to stop before visiting the Metropolitan Museum of Art, which is right down the street.
9. New York Harbor
By: Megan Hamilton of Wandertoes
It’s so hard to choose, but I think one of my favorite Instagram spots in New York City is actually on the water.
In truth though:
I had been visiting NYC for years before I ever decided that we should try a harbor cruise.
I always thought that it would just take too long. And I just wasn’t willing to sacrifice my precious time in New York City for a “boat ride”.
But boy was I wrong!
When we finally did book a harbor cruise, I was amazed by the stunning views we saw during our Circle Line Tour; a tour that departs from Pier 83 several times a day.
During the tour
You’ll get fantastic views of the Statue of Liberty, the Brooklyn Bridge, and the New York City skyline, which when viewed from underneath is both textured and classic.
If you can:
Try to book a sunset or night cruise so that you can see the New York skyline all lit up against the dark night sky.
Do this and not only will you take amazing photographs but you’ll come away with an unforgettable experience too.
10. Brooklyn Bridge
And that has absolutely nothing to do with this post. I just happen to really love the Beastie Boys.
Back to the immortal Brooklyn Bridge and taking pretty pictures.
There are a thousand places to snag a photo of this historic suspension bridge from afar.
But to really appreciate the engineering beauty of this exquisite, historic structure, you need to get up close and personal.
Like right under the bridge towers personal, And besides:
A walk across the Brooklyn Bridge, from lower Manhattan and into DUMBO, is an essential, New York City experience anyway.
Just take the 4, 5, or 6 lines down to City Hall and TADA! You made it.
And I don’t really have any insanely insightful photography tips. Just the usual, get up really early to avoid the crowds since everyone and their uncle visits the Brooklyn Bridge.
Try to visit at sunrise, since the way the sunlight dances across the bridge is about as close to magic as I’ve ever come.
11. Flatiron Building
I don’t pretend to be some sort of photography wizard.
So it should come as no surprise that when I first tried to photograph the Flatiron building, I made a total mess of it.
I photographed this iconic building straight on, and accordingly, it was a total disaster.
From that angle, you can’t really appreciate the unique shape of the building, which is kind of the whole point of the photo.
I recommend taking a photo from the left of the Flatiron building (when facing the building) and as far away as humanly possible,
Well, have you ever taken an amazing photo, only to have the wonky dimensions of Instagram totally distort and destroy it?
Yup, I’ve been there.
And it’s pretty easy to do here since the Flatiron building is incredibly slender and tall, making it natural to take a vertical photo that will get completely cropped off by Instagram.
Keep the dimensions of Instagram in your mind and take a horizontal, distance photo that, once edited, will still have the entire structure in the shot.
There is nothing more disheartening then taking an amazing photo of this building, only to have half of it cropped off while fitting your awesome new pic into the dimensions of Instagram.
12. Washington Square Park
View this post on Instagram
One of my favorite people.watching spots. I love sitting there with my Molly's cupcake and my Do cookie dough and watching all the college kids. They seem so happy and carefree and full of promise. And I love that feeling of hope and possibility that youth provides. It inspires me to be hopeful and to do the seemingly impossible in my life. That and I'm.also reminded of how totally clueless I was at that age. I was totally lost and had no idea what direction I wanted my life to go in. I just kind of did what other people told me to because I didn't have a better idea. But as I got older, I began to realize that the only person that I need to make happy is myself because the people who matter will be happy if I'm happy. I mean, I told my dad I was blogging and he just shook his head in disapproval. LoL. I actually don't think he knows the url or name of my site. But I am totally okay with this because it's not for him.but for me, That and I get to prove him wrong! #girlwiththepassport
Modeled after the eternally amazing Arc de Triumph in Paris:
Washington Square Park is a great place to hang out, even if you’re not doing a mini Instagram photo sesh.
Located literally right down the street from NYU and Greenwich Village:
This park is teeming with life. Therefore, all you really need to do is sit back, relax, and people watch until your eyes fall out since there are artists, musicians, performers, and chess players EVERYWHERE!
Or you can do this until your stomach rumbles, which is more likely in my case.
Molly’s Cupcakes has the BEST cupcakes ever and is a hop, skip, and jump away.
Just another reason to haul ass to this part of NYC.
My favorite way to photograph this New York City landmark is to frame the Empire State Building with the Washington Square Ach as you point your camera up Fifth Avenue.
I visited a bit too late in the day and so I had to make do with a more up close and personal shot of this iconic monument.
13. Coney Island
By: Meghan of Meghan Ramsey of The Traveling Teacher
Coney Island is not only a fun place to visit, but it’s also a fantastic place to take pictures.
From the art murals to the rides:
The beautiful colors in this amusement park give you plenty of photo ops to choose from.
While you’re here:
Take a picture with the famous Nathan’s Hot Dog sign, whirl through the air on an assortment of rides, and soak up some rays while relaxing on the beach.
There are a ton of funky photo ops along the boardwalk too.
My favorite spot for a picture is in front of the arches at Luna Park, the famous amusement park that sits on the boardwalk.
The colorful signs and fantastical rides make it the perfect spot for a fun, Instagram photo op.
14. Temple of Dendur at the MET
The proverbial holy grail of Museums in New York City, the MET is one of my favorite museums in the entire world.
And a total Instagrammer’s paradise.
Even if admission is no longer pay what you wish, unless you have a NY, CT, or NJ resident ID (sobs in corner).
But for insane photo ops that will make even the most ardent, Instagram hater swoon:
You can head to the enchanting rooftop bar for gorgeous views of Central Park and well, the entire city.
You can visit the infamous, Temple of Dendur, pictured above.
This Egyptian period temple (a whole temple literally plopped right into the City) is one of the most photogenic places in all of New York City.
So you definitely do NOT want to miss it.
Just try and beat the crowds by visiting as early as possible on a weekday or weekend morning (the light in the morning is the best for photos anyway).
If the crowds here are too intense, you can also take a lovely photo by having someone stand with their back to the temple, pointing their camera to the left, so that they can take a shot of the enormous glass windows as you walk by the indoor pool here.
I’ve done this shot and it’s really lovely, especially when there are hordes of tourists all over the place.
15. New York Public Library
View this post on Instagram
What fascinates me most about libraries is that there is so much knowledge in one place. Knowledge I can’t even fathom and a vast number of books that I could never read in one life time. And just like that, I am in awe. That and when I used to wear my glasses people thought I was a librarian. Lol. Wasn’t funny at the time but is now and maybe explains my library love. Do you have a fave library? #girlwiththepassport
I know this is a slightly vapid and shallow post about Instagram and taking photos to get a certain level of validation from total strangers.
I just want to say that I love the New York Public Library. and libraries in general.
Not only is this building a beautiful place to take photos but it’s home to one of my favorite things in the world…BOOKS!
This Insta monger loves books and their enchanting ability to forever and always make the impossible, possible.
I dare to dream because dreams are forever coming true, a notion that helps me get through the sometimes dull monotony of daily life, at least when I’m not traveling.
This building is just a wonderfully dynamic edifice where you can easily take any number of fantastic photos of the exterior as well as the interior.
But if you’re never been here:
Definitely venture inside and explore the second-floor reading room on your left.
I stood in the back to take this photo and capture the beautiful ceiling pictured above.
Just be aware that during the summer:
The New York Public Library doesn’t open on Sunday until 1 pm.
So don’t try and get here early to beat the crowds, at least on Sundays, since you won’t be able to get inside and will have woken up early for nothing.
Been there, done that, and it’s distinctly un-fun.
The Morgan Public Library is right down the street and another amazing place to take pictures, even though admission is not free.
16. Times Square
I feel like Times Square is a total hole and devoid of anything even remotely culturally significant.
That being said:
I understand why visitors to New York City want to see and photograph this part of the city.
The glitz and glam of the flashing lights and Broadway shows are pretty awe-inspiring if you’ve never been to New York Coty before.
But do yourself a favor and go for a photo sash as soon as the sun comes up if you want to avoid the crowds.
Other than that:
Snap away because there really
Avoid all those creepy characters who want to horde in on your photo fun. It’s a scam and they only want to be in your picture so that they can charge you.
So back away from the Hello Kitty and all will be right with the world.
17. The Bushwick Collective (or NYC street art in general)
View this post on Instagram
"Spread your wings and fly" Cheesy AF but still true because no matter what, you owe it to yourself to follow your dreams. Even if you fail, even if it all blows up in your face, you were brave enough to try when many people aren't. Plus, following your dreams is the gift of a lifetime, a gift you can give yourself!! So look fear in the eye, punch it in the face, and be the sassy and a little badassy lady (or guy) that I know you are! Tell me, what is one life motto that you live by?
The Bushwick Collective is my favorite place to photograph street art in NYC (you can also stop at the Bagel Shop for a rainbow bagel on the way there), but fantastic street art is literally around every corner.
You don’t need to go all the way to the Bushwick Collective if you don’t want to. But you should because it’s awesome.
Once you get there:
Just walk out of the subway and you’ll be bombarded by a diverse array of murals that proliferate the walls of this quirky, and a little grungey, neighborhood.
Everywhere you look you’ll find amazing murals that reflect the current political and social issues that plague New York City.
Have your camera at the ready and take your time exploring the fabulous artwork here.
Because at the Bushwick Collective:
There are just so many pictures to take and so little time.
18. Avocado Appétit Café
By: Viola Wang of The Blessing Bucket
View this post on Instagram
Everything I've AVO wanted…The cutest little brunch spot in lower Manhattan. It's avocado themed! Seriously. The avocado toast with smoke salmon I had was absolutely delicious. Who else is an avocado fan? (The number of times I've said "avocado" in this caption is ridiculous. Oops AVO done it again.) • • • • • #manhattan #newyorkcity #ny #newyork_instagram #what_i_saw_in_nyc #instagramnyc #nycprimeshot #ig_nycity #avocadotoast #icapture_nyc #made_in_ny #newyorker #topnewyorkphoto #nbc4ny #iloveny #bigapple #foodgasm #seeyourcity #newyorknewyork #wildnewyork #newyork_ig #nycdotgram #nyloveyou #forkyeah #eeeeeats #foodietravel #nycbrunch #brunchgoals #brunch? #avocado?
If you love avocados (who doesn’t seriously?), you have to find this ridiculously adorable brunch spot in lower Manhattan.
Fully committed to their love of all that is avocado:
Avocado Appetit actually has avocados painted all over the walls and throw pillows with cute AF illustrations and messages like “Let’s AVO-cuddle”.
The food is equally Insta-worthy (not to mention delicious), like the colorful Atlantic Lox Toast, which definitely deserves the hashtag #forkyeah!
But The best part?
This avocado cafe is still relatively undiscovered by the Insta crowd.
So hurry up and visit before a mob of hungry photographers shows up!
19. Doyers Street, Chinatown
View this post on Instagram
Chen Dongfan’s “The Song of Dragon and Flowers”, a 4800 square-foot asphalt mural on Doyers Street (work in progress) as part of the Doyers Seasonal Street Public Art Program. The artist was inspired by the immigrant experience and how they perceive this neighborhood as home. Doyers Street, Chinatown, Manhattan, New York City #gramoftheday #gotd_2002
The great thing about Chinatown?
This one, relatively tiny, NYC neighborhood, has about 10,000 places where you can take amazing Instagram shots.
Between Freeman’s Alley (great for brunch in NYC), Mott Street, Pell Street, Sweet Moment (Cutest Latte ever), Taiyaki (unicorn ice cream), and the Bowery Street mural, you might actually need a second camera just to capture all these epic photo ops.
And while all of these places are amazing:
Doyers Street is my absolute favorite place to take photographs in Chinatown (also go to Tasty Hand Pulled Noodle while you’re here because it’s insanely delicious).
This street captures the true essence of Chinatown with its vibrant colors, unique smells, frenetic signage, eclectic shops, and delicious food.
And while you may be tempted to, “go early and avoid the crowds”, don’t bother.
Chinatown is always crazy, no matter the time of day.
Take your time here because patience will help you
20. Guggenheim Museum
Clearly, Frank Lloyd Wright knew what he was doing because there is literally an amazing photo opportunity around every corner of this modern art museum.
Located on NYC’s Upper East Side:
The Guggenheim is a true, modern art mecca and home to an astounding number of Impressionist, Post-Impressionist, early Modern and contemporary art paintings.
But more than that:
The museum itself is a fantastic piece of art.
Designed as a cylindrical building that is wider at the top than at the bottom, the entire museum was modeled as a “temple of the spirit”; a concept that is reflected in the ramp-like, art gallery that swirls up and around the outer edges of the building.
One continuous spiral that culminates in an enchanting, ceiling skylight.
So when you visit:
Be sure to bring extra memory cards because you really can take thousands of amazingly unique photos here.