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19 Fantastic NYC Instagram Spots for the Perfect Photo (2023)

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Are you looking for the best NYC Instagram spots? You’re in the right place!

No matter what you’re interested in, there’s an Instagram spot for it in New York City. From stunning parks to bustling shopping streets, the Big Apple offers countless places to capture a perfect photo.

Whether you’re a local or just visiting, these spots will definitely add some fascinating shots to your Instagram feed. Keep reading to explore the very best Instagrammable locations NYC has to offer! Here are all of the best NYC Instagram spots.

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NYC Instagram Spots


The Manhattan Bridge view photo spot in DUMBO, Brooklyn, is an iconic location in New York City that offers a view of the bridge, caught between the brownstone buildings with a glimpse of the Manhattan skyline in the background.

Located in the neighbourhood of DUMBO (Down Under the Manhattan Bridge Overpass) at the intersection of Water and Washington Street, this photo spot is easily accessible by subway from the nearby York Street Station.

You can also walk there from Manhattan via the Brooklyn Bridge, meaning you hit two awesome photo spots in one trip.

It’s almost impossible to get a bad photo in this spot, however, the tricky part is not having dozens of other people in your shot. The best way to do this is to go early in the day or take the photo form further up Washington Street so at least other people look smaller.

The best time to visit is during sunset or sunrise, when the soft golden light bathes the city and accentuates the bridge’s architectural details.

If you’re an experienced photographer, you can experiment with a wide-angle lens to capture the size of the bridge and skyline.

The Manhattan Bridge view photo spot in DUMBO is known as one of the best photography locations in New York City because, it offers a unique perspective of the Manhattan Bridge, with its distinctive steel structure and intricate cable work.

The juxtaposition of old and new with the bridge and city skyline vs DUMBO’s charming old warehouses and cobblestone streets creates a really special photo. It’s definitely a must visit for anyone travelling the East Coast.

Contributed by Kate from Kate Abroad

Flat Iron Building

One of the best NYC Instagram spots of them all has to be the Flatiron Building. 

After all, this iconic local landmark was one of the first skyscrapers in the city, is now a designated national historic site, and should be on everyone’s NYC bucket list

It also features a stunning triangular shape that is the the perfect addition to any Instagram feed. 

However, you cannot photograph this local landmark when looking directly at it. Do this and you won’t be able to capture the unique shape of the structure. 

Instead, try taking a photo from the left-hand side, as you are facing the building. This way, you can capture the building’s unique appearance.

Additionally, you’ll avoid getting run over by oncoming traffic and can capture the incredible shape of the building while you stand in the foreground. 

You’ll also want to take a horizontal shot since the Flatiron Building is very tall and slender, 22-storey building. 

Now, because this part of Lower Manhattan is extremely busy, I recommend getting here right at sunrise. That’s because this is the Financial District and people start arriving for work very early. 

So, arrive early and you’ll enjoy amazing light and won’t have 10,000 people walking into and out of your shot. 

Then afterward, be sure to grab an authentic Italian espresso at Eataly right across the street. If you have time, you can also check out the super Instagrammable rooftop bar here as well. 

It’s known as Serra by Birerra and has exquisite decor that changes four times a year to reflect the current season, whether it’s spring, fall, summer, or winter.

Contributed by Kelly of Travel New York Now

Brooklyn Botanic Garden

Close up of an orange flower.
Walkway leading through a garden.

If you love to capture the beauty of nature in your Instagram shots, you can’t skip a visit to the gorgeous Brooklyn Botanic Gardens (BBG). Depending on the season, the 52-acre garden is filled with fragrant flowering trees, colorful roses, and shady forest trails — all ideal locations when you’re looking for stunning snapshots.

Although the garden has something to offer year-round, the best time to visit is spring. Thanks to the flowering cherry trees, the gardens turn into a fragrant pink wonderland from late April through May. If you can’t make it in the spring, the summer is also a great time to visit as the garden’s most popular attraction, the Cranford Rose Garden, is in bloom. The rose garden is home to thousands of varieties — the garden is blanketed in a colorful display of formal flower beds, climbing lattices, and more. It’s one of the largest collections of roses in North America.

If you’re planning to visit at another time of the year, be sure to check out the BBG’s “What’s in bloom” page, they update it monthly with all of the floral highlights. Adult tickets to visit the garden are $18, seniors and students at $12, and children under 12 are free.

If you didn’t get your nature fix at the BBG, you can also head right next door to Prospect Park for even more nature shots, or for traditional Brooklyn brownstone shots, head to Park Slope — it’s also a unique neighborhood to stay in Brooklyn.

Contributed by Rebecca from Veggies Abroad


Close up of a building that says Guggenheim Museum.

Among the plethora of must-visit NYC photo spots, the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum stands out as one of the best in the city! Located at 1071 Fifth Avenue, on the Upper East Side of Manhattan, the museum is an architectural marvel that attracts photographers from all over the world.

Designed by the legendary architect Frank Lloyd Wright, the Guggenheim’s unique spiral structure and modernist facade make it a visual treat. The building’s exterior alone offers endless opportunities for creative compositions, with its striking contrast of white curves against the surrounding cityscape.

To get the perfect shot, consider using a wide-angle lens to photograph the full extent of the Guggenheim’s distinctive shape. Experiment with different angles and perspectives.

There are typically vehicles out front and sometimes crowds of people so shooting the museum from below and looking up using a wide angle crops out undesirable content. Also, you can try shooting from a distance to show the museum in its urban context.

Capturing the museum during golden hour or at dusk adds an extra layer of drama to your shots, as the soft light accentuates the building’s contours and casts intriguing shadows.

But don’t stop at the exterior! Inside the museum, the spiraling ramp and central atrium create a mesmerizing play of light, lines, and forms. It’s fun to try to capture the dynamic interplay between the building’s design and the artwork on display.

The Guggenheim is a standout gem that should be on every photographer’s bucket list because its captivating atmosphere makes it a testament to New York City’s artistic spirit.

Contributed by Heather Kasvinsky of This Noshtalgic Life

The Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis Reservoir – Central Park 

City skyline with tall buildings and a river in front of it.

Central Park is filled with incredible photo spots in New York City, but one of them stands out above the rest – the Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis Reservoir. Few tourists seem to head this way, but the reservoir is one of the most beautiful spots in Central Park and offers stunning views of the famous Manhattan Skyline.

The reservoir stretches from 86th Street all the way up to 96th Street. You’ll need to walk into the park a little bit before you find it, but it’s entirely worth the effort. There’s a 1.6-mile walking and running track that goes around the reservoir, and as you follow this, you’ll be rewarded with incredible views. 

For the best views, head up to the top of the reservoir. You’ll get views down through the park as the skyscrapers tower over. There’s also a great photo spot on the east side of the reservoir. Here, you’ll find arguably the best views of the famous El Dorado Apartments on the Upper West Side. It makes for a classic New York City photo. 

The reservoir is photogenic all year round and is particularly beautiful in the winter when it often freezes over. You can also head there in the evenings for a night-time view of the unforgettable skyline. 

The Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis Reservoir truly offers one of the best photo spots in New York City. There are not many places that capture the madness of the concrete jungle while also showing the peace and serenity Central Park can offer. 

Contributed by Emily from Journey by Backpack

High Line

The High Line in New York City offers a unique vantage point to immerse yourself in the cityscape and capture it with your camera. While exploring this elevated greenway, watch for notable landmarks and contemporary art installations punctuating the route.

To avoid the crowds, go early in the morning. Take your shots in the last hour before sunset to find warm golden light. 

For the perfect photo opportunities, start out at the Chelsea Market Passage. The area offers many unique eateries and shops. It is an ideal spot to capture shots of delectable food or quirky souvenirs. Frame your photo to include the colorful storefronts and bustling atmosphere, capturing the essence of this eclectic marketplace.

At 10th Ave, the semi-enclosed amphitheater is ideal for photographing architectural marvels. Find a seat and compose your shot to include the surrounding buildings, emphasizing their impressive designs and lines. On your walk, look for the colorful murals up close and in the distance.

Continuing north, be greeted by photographic views of the Hudson River and the Hudson Yards development. Take the opportunity to get a shot of the Vessel. This modern beehive sculpture offers a unique subject for your photos. Consider shooting from various angles to showcase its scale and futuristic design.

As you explore the High Line and its most Instagrammable spots, ensure your camera is ready to capture the blend of natural beauty, industrial remnants, and contemporary art that make this elevated greenway a true urban gem.

Contributed by Dawn from Culturefeasting.com

Times Square

Two guys smiling in the middle of a busy square.

The epitome of what New York City is all about must be Times Square. Located in the heart of the city, it is the most easily recognizable photo to have and one of the most photographed areas of New York City.

You must remember though that it is also one of the busiest areas, as every New Yorker and out-of-town visitor comes here at some point. If you are trying to get that quintessential shot for your photo album, there are some tips you need to follow to hit your goals.

First is planning what time you want to take the picture. The whole vibe is different between day and night when the lights come on. Another is to check the weather forecasts when you will be in New York. You can get excellent pictures of the city in the sun, rain, and snow. Each season can give people a completely different outlook on what New York is all about.

The last tip we can give is to be patient. You’ll be dealing with massive crowds and if you want that essential shot you may have to hunker down and wait. Yes, that could be frustrating especially if you are on a time limit but you don’t want to put half an effort into something you especially want.

Once again, plan and make sure you have enough time not only to get in some good pictures but to enjoy all that this area has to offer. Explore the shops, walk the neighborhoods, and embrace one of the most well-known cities in the world.

Contributed by Nick of The World Overload

Radio City

Cars driving on the road next to a building that says Radio City Music Hall.

Radio City Music Hall is a famous venue and theatre located in midtown Manhattan within the Rockefeller Center complex.   It is without a doubt one of the best Instagram spots in New York City because of its timeless charm and rich history.

This famous venue has been around since 1932 and has hosted many famous performances and events, including the annual Christmas Spectacular featuring the world-famous Rockettes.  The Rockettes are dancers known for their super high kicks, incredible routines, and gorgeous costumes.

A photo spot outside Radio City Music Hall is a must on any type of trip to NYC.   You’ll be able to capture the vibrant and bustling metropolis of New York City and showcase the beauty of the famous Music Hall.  The lights on the marquee outside also add to its charm.

Radio City Music Hall has an Art Deco design which makes it very grand with lots of intricate details.  Inside, you’ll find a stunning lobby with large chandeliers and gorgeous decorations. The staircase is very elegant, with beautiful murals on the walls.

So whether you’re taking a picture of the famous Rockettes, the stunning interior, or showcasing the Music Hall against the background of the bustling city of Manhattan, Radio City Music Hall is an essential stop for anyone looking to document their NYC experience on Instagram.

Contributed by Kim from Traveling Swansons

The Vessel

People standing around a unique metal structure.

Located in New York City’s up-and-coming Hudson Yards neighborhood, the Vessel is one of the coolest structures in the city and makes for a great Instagram spot.

The Vessel, which opened in 2019, was originally open for visitors to go inside and climb throughout the landings. The inside has since been closed, but you can still take photos outside of the 150-feet tall, beehive-shaped structure.

There was a lot of controversy surrounding the Vessel when it first opened, particularly regarding the photo copyright policy.

At first, the photo policy stated that Hudson Yards would retain ownership of all photos taken of the Vessel, and that they could use any photos taken for commercial purposes without paying royalties to the photographer.

That policy has since been modified, so you can now snap your Instagram pics without worry!

To get to the Vessel, head to the Shops at Hudson Yards. The Vessel is located in the courtyard area to the west of the shops.

In the courtyard, there are several spots where you can get your Instagram-worthy photos with the futuristic Vessel in the background.

Visiting the Vessel (as well as the surrounding Hudson Yards area) is a must for your New York City itinerary. Edge, the observation deck atop the Shops at Hudson Yards, is another great NYC photo spot to check out.

Contributed by Sydney from A World in Reach

Little Island

People sitting outdoors next to the water with a city skyline behind them under a sunset sky.

Little Island is a new public park in New York City on the site of the formerly damaged Pier 54. This NYC Instagram spot features a green landscape, winding pathways, and pot-shaped structures, with panoramic views of the Manhattan skyline.

Floating in the Hudson River, between 13th and 14th Streets, this small 2.4-acre area is designed to represent a leaf floating on water. It is an oasis that blends natural beauty with urban architecture, situated in one of the city’s most crowded areas.

For the best photos, visit during the golden hour when the sunlight is soft and warm. Facing the west coast, the NYC sunset illuminates the city’s skyscrapers, creating a magical golden glow for your pictures.

Use different angles and perspectives to capture the park’s unique design elements from outside the park. Finally, bring your wide-angle lens to capture as much of the skyline as possible.

Little Island welcomes visitors every day of the year, rain or shine. It opens at 6 am, and the closing time changes with the season. In summer, it closes at midnight; in winter, it closes at 9 pm.

The park is a great place to start exploring other famous New York City photo spots like the Vessel and the Highline.

Let me know if you need any changes and when your post is out as well!

Contributed by Catherine Xu from Nomadicated

Top of the Rock

City skyline from above under a grey sky.

Whilst the Empire State Building is absolutely a classic landmark, for top NYC Instagram spots, it’s hard to beat Top Of The Rock. That’s because it offers something you can’t get on the Empire State Building, which is a view of the Empire State Building itself!

And, unlike other observation platforms, from Top of the Rock, you get a symmetrical view of the Empire State Building: it appears centred in the middle of Manhattan, which is perfect for Instagram pictures and video.

Located in the Rockefeller Centre on 42nd Street and Fifth Avenue, the Top Of The Rock observation deck has views of New York City from two decks: one indoor and one outdoor. With panoramic views, there are actually lots of opportunities for Instagram shots. There’s the classic south-ward view, with the Empire State Building standing proud.  And on the other side, you have an epic view over Central Park – so you really feel like you’re seeing the best of Manhattan from this one location.

Even if you’re only spending three or four days in New York, you must check out Top Of The Rock. Tickets start at $34 for adults, but you could pay less if you have an NYC City Pass.

There’s also a great terrace restaurant on the ground floor by the fountains, if you want to grab a bite to eat afterwards. 

Contributed by Martha from MayCauseWanderlust.com


View of a city skyline under sunset.

Now this one technically isn’t in New York City, but it’s a great spot for a view of the Manhattan skyline. New Jersey runs parallel with NYC, so you’re able to get a ‘side-on’ view of the skyline making it an excellent alternative to the Brooklyn viewing points. You’ll also find less people at this NJ gem, so it’s the perfect location for your Instagram shots.  

Once you arrive at Hoboken Station, you have the option of walking north or south along the water – both options lead to excellent views. You’ll be able to see the Empire State Building, the Chrysler Building, the One World Trade Centre and the Statue of Liberty in the distance.  

Two of the best viewing platforms are from ‘Pier A Park’ and ‘J Owen Grundy Park’. Both are great spots to sit and enjoy a coffee, or if you’re looking to get some exercise on your holiday, the Hudson River Waterfront Walkway is a great place for your morning run. For the best photos, try to visit at sunrise or sunset.  

The best way to get to Hoboken is by catching the PATH train. It takes around 20 minutes on the train from mid-town Manhattan (Herald Square) and costs $5.50 return. There are a few different routes, so make sure to check Google Maps for the quickest transport from your accommodation. The trains are quick and easy to navigate so you’ll be on the other side of the Hudson River in no time! 

Contributed by Danni from The Solo Plan

Street Art in Williamsburg

Street art on a brick building of a girl.

Williamsburg is one of the lesser known places to visit in New York, but if you want to get out of the main tourist path you should include it in your New York itinerary. Part of Brooklyn, this part of the city was once a hub of artists and immigrants, but it steadily became a locally known spot for nightlife, food, and street art.

This is a unique and rather photogenic part of town, and one of the best – albeit a bit less obvious – Instagram spots in New York.

What you will find in Williamsburg are pockets of very local street life – think people crossing the characteristic pedestrian pink bridge to head back home after a day at work in Manhattan. But there’s more.

Williamsburg is a hub of street art, with beautiful murals covering the walls of many buildings. Among the most famous ones there’s the Mona Lisa of Williamsburg, which you can see on Broadway Avenue at the corner of Bedford Avenue, nicely framed between One World Trade Center in the distance in Manhattan and the Williamsburg Bridge.

This massive mural was painted following a collaboration between Colossal Media and the then teen photographer Steven Paul.

The mural is painted on a 4 stories high building, so if you want to photograph it in all its glory – and include the One World Trade Center and the Williamsburg Bridge in your photo, you will have to place yourself a bit in the distance. Having a good camera with a wide angle lens will also help. Try to get to the spot at odd hours to avoid car traffic.

Contributed by Claudia Tavani from My Aventures Across The World

The Museum of Ice Cream

Pink walls lit up with unique arch-shaped shelves.

The Museum of Ice Cream has evolved into a vibrant site for trendy Instagram-worthy photographs and all things sweet. Located in the heart of New York City, this museum is decorated with brightly colored innovative art installations. The Museum of Ice Cream provides unlimited ice cream and all sorts of ice cream-themed backgrounds for incredible photoshoot ideas.

The iconic Sprinkle Pool is the perfect place to get those dreamy shots of swimming in sprinkles. Such pictures are bound to rekindle everyone’s childhood fantasy. The Ice Cream Cone Room provides a variety of pastel-colored backdrops. The gigantic cones can also be used as the perfect props. 

The Banana Room is a perfect representation of modern art. Followers will be transported to a zone of chromatic bananas by seeing a photograph in this backdrop. The Rainbow Room, on the other hand, is perfect for a visually captivating shot. The blast of colors helps in getting attractive photographs on your feed.

Other interesting elements are here, such as the huge slide, gigantic sundae replicas, swings, bouncy pink rooms, etc., to enhance your pictures.

The Museum of Ice Cream, NYC is open all days from 9.30 am to 8.00 pm except Tuesday. Ticket prices begin at $22. Children till age two can enter without a ticket. The venue can also be booked for special occasions and events.

Contributed by Ruma from TheHolidayStory

The Statue of Liberty

Big green statue on an island surrounded by water.

One of the most iconic monuments of New York, located on the Statue of Liberty State Park is one of the best Instagram-able spots in NYC. Looking at history, it was actually a gift from France to the United States, and since then became the symbol of Freedom and democracy!

The statue was designed by French sculptor Frédéric Auguste Bartholdi and its metal framework was built by Gustave Eiffel, the engineer behind the Eiffel Tower!  It was dedicated on October 28, 1886. The statue is mounted on a pedestal, which houses the Statue of Liberty Museum. You can also take an elevator or climb a staircase to the observation deck in the pedestal which gives the best views of New York Skylines!

How to Reach the Statue of Liberty from New York:

Take the subway to Battery Park in Lower Manhattan, NYC. From here, Ferry leaves for the Statue of Liberty Island. Make sure to book your tickets in advance!

Once you reach Battery Park, you will have to wait in line to board the Ferry. Make sure to have enough water as there is no shade!

The ticket price of the Ferry also includes Ellis Island, which was once the primary immigration station of the United States from 1892 to 1954! You can visit the Immigration Museum and history of the immigration process back then!

Photo Tips :

The Statue of Liberty is one of the most visited and famous landmarks of the United States, which means it remains crowded! It is better you catch the first ferry at 9 AM in the morning & reach the statue as early as possible once you are at Liberty State Park to avoid many people from the frame!

Contributed by Mayuri from Fernwehrahee

The Edge

View of a city skyline from above with a park in the middle.

The Edge in New York City is a dramatic observatory deck that offers incredible skyline views of New York. With that in mind, this location is undoubtedly a fantastic spot to take unique photos and a must with 4 days in NYC, or even less!

You can find the deck at the Husdons Yard, which is located on the west side near Chelsea and Midtown. 

You’ll be glad to know that transportation in New York is very interconnected. You can get to the Edge by taking the subway and getting off near Penn Station. Penn Station is just two blocks away. 

Upon arrival, you will discover this building is home to the highest outdoor deck in the Western Hemisphere and is a shocking 1,131ft high. 

Take the lift to the top for adrenaline-inducing activity and step out onto the transparent glass floor. When here, you will be subjected to 360-degree views of New York. 

It goes without saying that this is the perfect viral photo opportunity location. Lean over the city for a fantastic New York skyline backdrop, or snap pictures of the scenery that surrounds you.

Arrive at The Edge as early as possible to avoid crowds and capture a photo with minimal people in the background. Plus, get here in time for the sunrise and elevate your photos even more. Sunset is also a great time to visit.

The Edge is one of New York’s most popular observatory decks, so you should book your tickets ahead of time to avoid long lines or not being able to get in.

Contributed by Sam Opp from Find Love and Travel 

Empire State Building

View of the city from above.

When traveling the world, New York City is one of the most popular cities to visit and a perfect place for photographers. One of the best instagrammable photo spots is the Empire State Building observation deck.

The observation deck is located on the 86th floor at a height of 380 meters and boasts a 360 degrees view of New York, Brooklyn, and beyond on very clear days. Sunset and sunrise at the Empire State Building observation deck are picture-perfect unforgettable moments you will not want to miss, but you can also visit the building during the day time.

The best time for your visit is just before sunset as you will be able to capture a day view of the city, the orange-tinted skies of the sunset against the city buildings, and stay to get a vibrant night view full of city lights.

You can also make a visit during the day and come back in the night as the deck is open until 2 a.m. Bring some wide angles lens to capture a stunning views of the city and some zoom lens to zoom into some of the New York landmarks and get an aerial view.

For your night photography unfortunately tripods are not allowed in the building so you will have to bring a camera or phone with a good automatic night mode. Selfies are also allowed and most of all do not forget to enjoy the experience.

Contributed by Pilar from Travel the World Pages

New York Transit Museum

A child walking inside a train.

The New York Transit Museum is a great spot to visit for those looking for an interesting and Instagram-worthy experience. Located in Brooklyn, the museum offers visitors a unique look at the history of public transportation in NYC.

The museum features vintage subway cars as well as exhibits that explore different aspects of metro transit such as fare collection, technological advances, architecture, and design. Visitors can explore the museum’s collection of historical artifacts and photographs that chronicle the evolution of transportation in New York City. 

The New York Transit Museum is full of excellent photo opportunities – from vintage train cars to old turnstile displays.  You can get so many photos throughout the museum which takes you through the history of the subway in New York City. 

Downstairs in an old subway station is a fleet of antique train cars dating back to 1908!  Each of the trains is accessible to enter and explore.  One of the best parts are the old advertisements placed on each of the trains that truly immerses you back in time.

Your best bet to get some good photos will be with a high-quality smartphone or a handheld camera.  The museum actually has a strict photography policy and requests that guests not hold staged photo photoshoots (professional or unprofessional) inside the museum. 

Even with this policy however, there are still so many opportunities to get some fun and inspiring NYC photos for your Instagram account.

Contributed by Julie from Family Trips and Travels

Grand Central Terminal

People walking around inside a train station.

For a great Instagram spot in NYC, head to the beautiful Grand Central Terminal.

The building everyone knows as Grand Central today was built in the early 1900s.  Construction began in 1903 and although it wasn’t fully completed, it opened to the public in 1913.  The way the building looks today is the restored and kept-up version of what it looked like in 1913.  It also has numerous restaurants, fast(er) food options, shopping, and more in addition to its train lines and transportation.  

One of the best places to take a photo of Grand Central is from on top of the stairs at either end of the main concourse. (A wide-angle lens may be helpful in capturing the shot.)  While you’re there, make sure to look up and appreciate the ceiling which is painted with a mural of constellations, and also makes for some beautiful photos.

Being a terminal that connects so many train lines to the most populated city in the US, you can only imagine that it’s busy around the clock. It’s a *little* less busy in the early, early morning and late, late evening, but there’s hardly if ever a time when there are *no* people present.

The best thing you can do is embrace the people in the background as part of your photos. Consider playing with the long exposure feature on your phone/camera if you’d like to try and blur the people in the background a bit.

Enjoy your photo ops at the beautiful Grand Central Terminal!

Contributed by Chelsea from Adventures of Chels

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Final Thoughts: NYC Instagram Spots

Well, there you have it! Now you know all about the best Instagram spots throughout New York City. We hope you have a great trip!

Explore more of New York City:

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