In February 2020 my boyfriend and I flew from Amsterdam to New York City. One of our most precious travels ever. What makes this journey extra special is the timing. Just a couple of weeks after our return, the entire world was under the spell of the coronavirus. One country after another went in lockdown. Such a blessing that we were able to travel such a great distance in 2020. If we had booked a couple of weeks later it would have been a complete 360. That just goes to show how much can change in only a short matter of time… Fortunately the world is healing! The USA even reopened their borders for vaccinated travelers! That means a trip to New York is in the cards again, yay!
One of the things I religiously do during my orientation phase is spotting photo worthy places. I suffer from a
mild case of FOMO. When I realize later on that I missed a beautiful photo opportunity I want to punch my head into a wall. That’s why I never leave anything to chance. I thoroughly search Pinterest, Instagram and Google to assure myself I’m aware of all the hotspots (and hidden gems) of this particular destination.
“I thoroughly search social media to assure myself I’m aware of all the hotspots!”
My trip to The Big Apple was no exception. Among the first things I Googled was: New York Instagram spots. So are you planning to go to New York anytime soon? Save yourself the hassle of searching for picture worthy places in NYC yourself. All you need to do is to save this blog post: 28 Most Instagrammable Places in New York!
TIP: Check the map below or click here to save my list of NYC Instagram Spots in Google Maps!
Brooklyn Instagram spots
We’ll start in Brooklyn, where some of the most popular Instagram spots in NYC are located. The biggest reason is the amazing view of Manhattan. But the borough itself has a lot to offer too. Brooklyn once was a great industrial city. This history is still notable, which gives the area an edgy vibe.
#1 DUMBO Instagram spot with Manhattan Bridge
One of the top Instagram places in New York is at the crossing of two streets in DUMBO, Brooklyn. This location offers a beautiful view of the Manhattan Bridge. The redbrick buildings that frame the street are the icing on the cake. As it’s One of the top Instagram places in New York is at the crossing of two streets in DUMBO, Brooklyn. This location offers a beautiful view of the Manhattan Bridge. The redbrick buildings that frame the street are the icing on the cake. As it’s one of New York’s most Instagrammable spots, it can get very crowded. So my advice would be to get there as early as possible. Beat the crowds. We decided to use our jetlag to good advantage and went there on our very first morning in the city. We arrived at 8.30 (in February, so the sun just rose) and there already were a few other photographers present.
Address: The corner of Washington and Water Streets in DUMBO, Brooklyn
#2 Perfect Brooklyn Bridge backdrop
Got the famous Manhattan Bridge picture from #1? Great! Now walk around the corner and you’ll get treated with another amazing photo opportunity. One of the pillars will rise in front of you. On the left side you’ll see beautiful old warehouses. This place wasn’t crowded at all when we were there! We only saw a few joggers and people walking their dogs. Definitely one of the best places to take Instagram photos in New York.
Address: 45 Water Street, Brooklyn Bridge Park
#3 Brooklyn Bridge from the Brooklyn side
Another top Instagram spot in New York is the iconic Brooklyn Bridge. The sight of this gothic style bridge makes you travel back in time. Make sure to get a photo showing the wooden walkway and/or steel wires. I recommend taking your picture from the Brooklyn side. This way the Manhattan skyline will function as your backdrop. The Brooklyn Bridge can get very crowded as well. So again try to come early. On a sunny day an orange hue will cast over the city. A phenomenal sight!
Address: At the intersection of Tillary Street and Boerum Place, Brooklyn
Lower Manhattan Instagram spots
At the financial heart of the city you’ll find lots of great New York City Instagram spots too. The highest buildings of the city are located here. Plus it’s home to Battery Park, from which the ferry to Liberty and Ellis Island leaves.
#4 Statue Cruises
At Battery Park you can take the ferry to Liberty Island and Ellis Island. As the name already gives away, Liberty Island is where the Statue of Liberty is located. For just $22,25 you can visit both islands plus go inside the crown! A regular ticket – without access inside the statue – costs $19,25. If you’re not claustrophobic I can totally recommend the crown ticket though. It’s too narrow for a good selfie, but still a great ‘regular’ photo opp. Getting a shot of Manhattan framed by parts of the crown is priceless. There are plenty of other great New York City Instagram spots to be found here though. The first one is on the boat approaching the statue (you won’t be the only one going for ‘the shot’ though). Another great location for a statue selfie is from the path that goes around the statue. Ellis Island is also great for Instagram photos. I got a really cool shot posing with retro binoculars and the Manhattan skyline on the back.
Address: Castle Clinton National Monument, Battery Park
#5 The Oculus, World Trade Center Station
The Oculus is mentioned in most New York photo spots guides. Unfortunately we arrived when it was already dark outside. Plus the boyfriend was hangry. He didn’t want to wait until no other people were photobombing my photo. These two factors make my photo not very Instagram worthy. But I know it could have been a good one. So I’m sharing this spot with you anyway. Want your photo to actually be worth posting? Come during daylight and have some patience. And feed your Instagram hubby, lol.
Address: Church St, near Ground Zero.
#6 SeaGlass Carousel
Unfortunately the SeaGlass Carousel was closed when we were there, but I didn’t want to keep it from you. There’s a very special carousel located in Battery Park. It’s a beautiful aquarium themed carousel with magical lights. Also there’s no center pole, so it looks like riders are actually floating. I’ll definitely go there when I’m back in NYC!
Address: Water St &, State St, Battery Park
Downtown Instagram spots
A lot of cool Instagram places in NYC can be found Downtown. It’s where SoHo – Manhattan’s hipster area – is situated. SoHo is home to lots of concept stores and cool boutiques. Greenwich Village is also located Downtown. This is where your favorite 90s TV characters lived. Downtown is also where Chinatown is located.
#7 Carrie’s house on Perry Street
Admitedly I was too young to be watching Sex And The City when it was on air. That doesn’t mean I didn’t watch though. My parents watched SATC (my dad would hate me for spilling these beans) and probably thought I didn’t understand the ‘dirty scenes’ anyway. They were quite right. I didn’t think much of those parts, but I did love the storyline! But most of all I loved the way Carrie Bradshaw dressed. I think she was one of my first girl crushes. And since your first crush will always have a special place in your heart, I just had to visit her apartment while in New York. Truth be told, her house specifically was quite a downer. The steps were blocked with a rope. The owner probably doesn’t like all the SATC fans sitting on his/her porch. I understand, but I also wonder if this person didn’t know this when he/she bought the place. Anyway, the street houses other beautiful mansions. So it still is a very instagrammable street. Just pick another house.
Address: 66 Perry Street, Greenwich Village
#8 The Friends apartment
Talking about childhood crushes. I also had a thing for Joey from Friends: “How you doin’?” *melt*. It wasn’t just for Joey that I watched this show. I loved all the characters and the story. Friends definitely is my all time favorite show. I lost count on how many times I rewatched all the episodes. So obviously I also had to pay a visit to The Friends Apartment, which is conveniently close to Carrie’s house.
Address: 90 Bedford Street, Greenwich Village
#9 The original Magnolia Bakery from SATC
This once small cupcake bakery in New York’s Upper West Side owes its fame to a few cameos in Sex And The City. The TV show made the bakery – and cupcakes in general – a mega hit. Nowadays the Magnolia Bakery has over 30 stores around the world. Although you can find the brand all across the world, nothing beats the original: The West Village store. So grab yourself a cupcake, sit on the bench in front of the store and recreate that famous SATC scene.
Address: The corner of Bleecker Street and West 11th Street, West Village
#10 Washington Square Arch
There are a few places I unfortunately didn’t get to visit during our trip. New York simply is so big! I still wanted to share these spots with you though. Judging from other people’s Instagram feeds these are great photo opps. One of them is the Washington Square Arch. It’s a marble triumphal arch in – you guessed it – Washington Square Park. One of the top Instagram places in NYC if you want to go for that Paris chic vibe.
Address: Washington Square Park, Greenwich Village
#11 L’Appartement Sézane
Talking about Paris; the next Instagram spot is a French store. I’m talking about the Sézane boutique in the heart of Nolita. This is another place I didn’t visit, but definitely will next time! Not just for the beautiful clothes, but also for the Instagrammable store front: A vintage bike, beautiful flower arch and parisian bistro set. C’est magnifique!
Address: 254 Elizabeth Street, Nolita (North of Little Italy)
#12 Stuyvesant St & E 10th St (Renwick Triangle)
Another Instagram worthy New York spot I didn’t make is the corner of East 10th & Stuyvesant streets. This spot is also known as the Renwick Triangle, named after the architect (James Renwick Jr.) that designed this group of houses. These well-preserved 19th century houses are a feast for the eye. Especially the house on the corner with its beautiful bay windows. Along with the lamppost, fence and the ivy green growing up it’s a picture perfect spot! When I’m back in The Big Apple, I will make sure to visit this spot. I’m sure it’s one of the best Instagram spots NYC has to offer!
Address: 12 Stuyvesant St & E 10th St, East Village
#13 Flatiron Building
Out of all famous New York buildings, this one has always intrigued me the most. It’s height isn’t impressive for New York standards, but the shape is. It’s shaped like – you guessed it right – a flatiron. It’s original name is the Fuller Building, but everyone calls it the Flatiron Building now. Unfortunately the Flatiron Building was under construction during our visit. It was covered with green cloth. Just my luck! When it’s not under construction I bet it’s one of the most beautiful Instagram spots New York has to offer though.
Address: 175 5th Ave, Flatiron District
#14 The Highline
We also weren’t very lucky when it came to visiting The Highline. We planned to walk The Highline during our last day in the city. Unfortunately it was so windy that it was closed. The Highline is an elevated park created on a former railroad. It’s located on the west side of Manhattan. The Highline offers some very unique views over the city. You can either enter the park at Gansevoort Street, 23rd Street, or 30th Street.
Address: Gansevoort St. To W. 30 St. bet. Washington St
Midtown Instagram spots
The most Instagrammable places in New York can be found at the heart of the city: Midtown. From flashy Times Square to the iconic Rockefeller Center.
#15 The Vessel
Right near the entrance of The Highline at 30th street you’ll find The Vessel. This relatively new (2019) building is the centerpiece of Hudson Yards. It’s design resembles a honeycomb. The Vessel is 16 stories high and consists of 154 flights of stairs. You can use the Vessel as your backdrop or take photos inside. Because of the wind that day we decided not to enter. My photos in front of the Vessel didn’t turn out great either because of my wind-swept hair, lol. Unfortunately The Vessel turned out to be a ‘popular’ spot for suicide attempts. Therefore it’s (temporarily) closed. They also changed the free admission policy to $10 per ticket.
Address: 20 Hudson Yards, Midtown West Side
#16 The Edge
One of the newest Instagram photo spots New York has to offer is the Edge. Sadly The Edge was still under construction during our stay in New York. But if we ever go back, I’ll make sure to pay a visit to The Edge: The highest outdoor skydeck in the Western Hemisphere. The angled glass walls allow you to lean out over the city below. Plus you can see the city right below your feet by standing on the glass floor. Awesome Instagram shots guaranteed!
Address: 30 Hudson Yards, Midtown West Side
#17 Times Square
One of the most popular places to take Instagram pictures in New York is the famous Times Square! Although the lights might be more impressive at night, I’d take the photo during daylight. It will be really hard to capture both yourself and the billboards at night time. I took my best photo right outside the Disney store leaning into a pole. I also love the more subtle photo I took a bit further down the road leaning into a traffic light post.
Address: The intersection of Seventh Avenue, 42nd Street, and Broadway
#18 Top of the Rock
Unfortunately I didn’t get to visit Rockefeller Center’s famous observation deck. It’s considered one of the best instagram places in New York though. My boyfriend was dead set on visiting the One World Observatory, The Freedom Tower’s observation deck. Don’t get me wrong. The Freedom Tower was amazing! Being the highest building of the American continent it offers some impressive views of the city. It’s awesome for taking ‘regular’ photos. It’s not great for posing though. The buildings are quite far away, so your body will just block the view. Rockefeller’s observation deck is more aligned with the other buildings. The top of the Empire State building will be right behind you. Plus they’ve got the retro binoculars, which is great for posing. Both decks are quite expensive to enter though, so we decided to visit only one of them. Next time we’ll go to the Top of the Rock!
Address: 45 Rockefeller Plaza, Midtown Manhattan
#19 Grand Central Terminal
If you watch a lot of TV, Grand Central Terminal must look familiar to you. This chique train station is featured in many films and TV shows. Gossip Girl for example! In the very first episode this is where Serena van der Woodsen arrives. Such an iconic place just screams for an Instagram photo! Unfortunately I didn’t get to do a full blown photo session, since we were in a hurry. But I did find some great examples of other IG’ers.
Address: The corner of Washington and Water Streets in DUMBO, Brooklyn
Uptown Instagram Spots
“You know you love me. xoxo, Gossip Girl”. 99% of this famous show about the scandalous lives of Manhattan’s elite takes place on the Upper East Side. Serena van der Woodsen, Blair Waldorf, Nate Archibald, and Chuck Bass all live in this posh part of the city. Not surprisingly it’s also where famous jewellery stores like Tiffany & Co and Harry Winston (Blair’s favorite) are located.
#20 Breakfast At Tiffany’s
Put on your most luxurious black dress and wrap your hair in a classic bun. Now grab a coffee, buy yourself a croissant and head over to Tiffany & Co. Stare into the window and there you have it: the perfect Breakfast at Tiffany’s recreation. Unfortunately my boyfriend wasn’t equally thrilled about this plan, so I didn’t get the chance to channel my inner Audrey Hepbun. Bummer! Other girls on the gram had more luck with their Instagram husbands. Below you’ll find a few of the best Holly Golightly recreations I could find.
Address: 6 E 57th Street, Upper East Side
#21 The MET steps + inside
Remember the steps Blair Waldorf and her possy used to sit? The stairs actually belong to the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Take a seat on the MET steps and pretend like you’re Queen B herself. Funny story: When I tried to get the perfect photo, there was a girl copying my every move. She was constantly behind me. In the end I managed to get one shot without my ‘fan’, but you can read the frustration from my face. I had more luck inside the MET. The museum’s collection is incredible! All the beautiful art installations make for beautiful backdrops. I especially loved the classical part with all the Greek and Roman sculptures.
Address: 1000 Fifth Avenue at 82nd Street, Upper East Side
#22 Sprinkles New York – Cupcake ATM
Besides the Magnolia Bakery there’s another popular cupcake-themed spot in New York. I’m talking about an actual cupcake ATM! The Sprinkles cupcake ATM is all pink, very Instagrammable. You swipe your card and for $4.25 you can choose from over 20 flavors. It gets restocked several times a day to ensure the cupcakes taste fresh. The machine works 24/7. So do you have a huge cupcake craving in the middle of the night? This is your spot! Unfortunately I didn’t manage to try it myself, but I definitely will next time!
Address: 780 Lexington Ave, Upper East Side
Central Park Instagram spots
Of course Central Park should not be missing from this New York for Instagrammers guide. Central Park is so big and full of photo worthy spots, it deserves a category on it’s own. I do recommend you to go in summer if you’re very interested in Central Park though. We were there in February, which obviously isn’t a great time of the year if it’s that green vibe you’re going for. If you’re specifically interested in tip #26 – the rink – winter is the time to come.
#23 Bow Bridge, Central Park
One of the most popular New York photo spots is the Bow Bridge in Central Park. The bridge was built during the Victorian-era, an era known for its romantic architecture. This bridge is no exception! The interlocking circles banister, planting urns and wooden walkway are very idyllic. The cherry on top is the view of the Fifth Avenue skyline. The bow bridge is a very popular spot for wedding proposals. It also featured in tons of movies and TV shows. Enchanted, Made of Honor and Spiderman 3 to name a few.
Address: Bow Bridge, Central Park
#24 Lounging Rock, Central Park
The Lounging Rock is a huge rock in Central Park you can easily climb up on. As the name suggests, it’s a great place to sit and relax. But it’s also a great photo spot! Especially during summer. The trees on the front and the skyline on the back form a great contrast. I was there on a foggy winter day. Not the best circumstances, but I still like how my photos turned out.
Address: Near 59th Street–Columbus Circle (Eighth Avenue Line), Central Park
#25 Bethesda Fountain, Central Park
This famous fountain is situated on the Bethesda Terrace overlooking the Central Park Lake. You can totally skip this one if you’re coming in winter. The fountain will be off and the whole thing looks a bit sad. I therefore didn’t take any photos here. I saw photos of people visiting in spring and summer though and it looked magical! Just like the bow bridge the Bethesda Fountain is featured in many movies and TV shows. Home Alone 2, Enchanted (again) and The Avengers to name a few.
Address: 72 Terrace Dr, Central Park
#26 Wollman Rink in Central Park
The only advantage of visiting Central Park during winter time is the Wollman Rink. I was very-very much looking forward to this. Unfortunately it had been raining really bad when we planned to go ice skating, causing the rink to close. The ice was covered with puddles, so it was impossible to skate. Such a bummer! Definitely a reason to go back in winter! If we do so, I’ll plan a visit to the Wollman Rink on one of the first days. That way we can always visit a day (or more) later if it’s raining.
Address: 830 5th Ave, Central Park
I couldn’t really fit these last photo opportunities into one of the categories above. So I’m calling these last two ‘bonus tips’.
#27 The hot dog cart photo
New York is famous for its hot dog carts. Therefore a selfie with one of the carts is a must. Unless you’re a vegetarian like me of course. They’re scattered all across the city, so finding one won’t be hard. I think I saw the highest amount of hotdog stands in the financial district. Which makes sense, since I can imagine lots of businessmen grabbing a hotdog for lunch or in between meetings.
Address: Zuccotti Park, New York
#28 The Helicopter selfie
There’s no better way to see New York than from above. And the best way to do that is by helicopter! I speak from experience. We booked a helicopter tour with FlyNYON. This company is known for its Doors-Off flights. I thought long and hard about whether to book a Doors-On or Doors-Off flight. Doors-Off would be way better for photos. This allows you to take an awesome shoe selfie. Since we were there in winter time I figured it would be way too cold though. So we opted for the Doors-On flight. I obviously couldn’t do the shoe selfie, but I still managed to take some great selfies!
Address: 78 John Miller Way, Kearny
That’s it! I hope you enjoyed my New York Instagram Guide. Have you got a trip to New York planned? Great, click here and save my list of most Instagrammable places in New York in Google Maps. Or have you already been to New York? If so, I’d love to know the best NYC Instagram spots according to you. Drop your tips in the comments below! Oh, and don’t forget to follow me on Instagram @redreidinghood and check out my New York vlog!