Having been obsessed with American tv shows growing up, I’ve always loved New York City. A cultural wonderland, it’s filled with stunning architecture, fantastic restaurants and beautiful stores. It has a buzzing city life and this amazing atmosphere – one unrivalled by most places I’ve visited! Everywhere you look, you’ll find gorgeous NYC Instagram spots. My New York-flooded feed is definitely proof of that.
I visited last year, and managed to cram an awful lot of sights into a short 3-day itinerary. My feet killed, but the experience (and the photos!) were definitely worth it. I’m looking forward to returning; I still have a long list of places I’d love to visit. This post details the places, restaurants and views that I recommend visiting for the best Instagram spots in NYC.
Want to jump ahead?
- 1 Upper West Side
- 2 Upper East Side
- 3 Midtown
- 4 Lower Manhattan / Greenwich Village
- 5 Downtown
- 6 Brooklyn
Upper West Side
Quite possibly one of the most instagrammable streets ever, there’s no missing the houses on the Upper West Side. For total Gossip Girl vibes, and great backgrounds for outfit photos, this is the place to go.
Location: West 96th St, New York, NY 10025
Upper East Side
Sprinkles Cupcakes ATM
One of the ultimate NYC Instagram spots – look how ridiculously cute this is! Delicious cupcakes on tap, 24 hours a day? Yes, please. Not all Sprinkles Cupcakes’ stores have an ATM so, if you make the trip, make sure you go to one that does.
Location: 780 Lexington Avenue, New York, NY 10065
Did you even make it to New York City if you don’t come here? It’s such a beautiful area, as expected when it’s been in basically every romantic movie ever, plus there are loads of street artists and musicians for you to enjoy. There are three places that I recommend you visit:
- The Mall: Framed by trees, this street will make you feel like you’re straight out of a rom com! Location: The Mall, New York
- The Ravine: Escape the concrete jungle and feel like you’re on a tropical holiday. The city skyline is hidden, and a stunning waterfall drowns the bustle of the city – perfect for those who want some nature in their city breaks! Location: 103rd St, New York, NY 10025
- Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis Reservoir: It’s quite far into the park, but definitely worth the trip. It offers stunning views of the city across the reservoir – beautiful all year round. Location: Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis Reservoir, New York, NY 10128
- Bow Bridge: If you’re looking for NYC Instagram spots that don’t make you feel like you’re in a concrete jungle, you’ve found it! Ridiculously beautiful and beautifully romantic, this bridge is a must-visit spot. Location: Bow Bridge, New York, NY 10024
Rockefeller Centre & the Top of the Rock
How can I make a travel guide of the most Instagrammable places in NYC, and not include the stunning skyline view you’ll have seen all over Instagram? In the purpose of full disclosure, there are two amazing ones in NYC: The Empire State Building and the TOTR. The latter is $20 cheaper, and you get skyline views of the city that include the beautiful Empire State Building – easy choice! I recommend coming a little before sunset so you can see the city in daylight, as the sun sets, and at night.
Surrounded by energetic, buzzing crowds and the bright lights of digital billboards, there’s no beating the atmosphere of Times Square. Head there at night for some truly Insta-worthy photos.
Location: Theatre District, New York, NY
Twice a year, the setting sun aligns perfectly with the city’s grid streets. It creates a sunset framed by concrete and glass skyscrapers – possibly one of the most magical you’ve ever seen. The crowds can be intense, but the experience and the photos are undoubtedly worth it. And don’t forget: although the sun only sets directly in the middle of the street twice a year, you can still get a gorgeous photo of a centred setting sun at a few days either side of Manhattenhenge.
Location: Tudor City Place, New York, NY 10017
Apparently, the best cross-streets for an Instagrammable view are 14th, 34th, 42nd and 57th. They’re wide streets framed with architecturally beautiful buildings. Get as far east of New York as you can for the best photo.
Head to the top floor of the Mandarin Oriental (or stay there, if you’re really invested in the perfect Instagram feed), for a stunning view of the city. See the point where the concrete jungle meets Central Park, and get some gorgeous long exposure shots as the taxis drive by. It’s the perfect place to enjoy a cocktail (or two!), or you could visit their Asiate restaurant for brunch with a view!
One of the most beautiful places in Midtown to get a great shot of the sunset or sunrise. Check out this website to time your entrance well. In the summer, you can take some stunning shots if you sit at the fountain, or the statue, looking west.
Location: Bryant Park, New York, NY 10018
The High Line
Is there any better way to spend an afternoon than in an elevated park with stunning views? I didn’t think so. Check out NYC’s infamous High Line for a fun and instagrammable afternoon. I recommend staying until late to catch some stunning sunset views and gorgeous golden hour shots. This guide is great for inspiration on things to do, where to eat and places to go.
Location: The High Line, New York, NY 10011
Lower Manhattan / Greenwich Village
The Flatiron building has become such an iconic landmark of Lower Manhattan, the entire area is now referred to as the Flatiron District. It’s one of the best Instagram spots in NYC because the entire area in front of the building is blocked out – you can take as much time as you need to get the perfect photo! I recommend framing it with flowers (if it’s the right season) for a stunning Insta-worthy shot. And, if that makes you hungry, I recommend stopping by Eataly for some brilliant Italian food!
Location: 175 5th Avenue, New York, NY 10010
The Friends building
If you’re a fan of the hit US-sitcom, Friends (which you totally should be – it’s hilarious), then this is a must-visit location for you! It’s not where they actually filmed each episode, but instead is the outside of the building that they frequently showed on the show. It’s iconic, and makes for such an Instagrammable photo!
Location: 90 Bedford St, New York, NY 10014
Barneys (7th Ave)
Barneys itself, and almost certainly everything inside it, is gorgeous. But a great Instagram spot in NYC is inside the store, on the third floor – a view looking down the white spiral staircase. It’s worth browsing and taking some cute photos with the gold displays and blush pink velvet armchairs. Let’s be honest: the whole store seems like it was made with Instagram in mind.
Location: 101 7th Avenue, New York, NY 10011
Possibly one of the most beautiful hotel entrances I’ve ever seen, I can’t even begin to imagine what this place looks like from the inside! Alongside a gorgeous seating area, they have a stunning vine-laced archway entrance which lends itself to some ridiculously beautiful photos. Don’t be embarrassed about taking photos here: I think most of the stayers have already done it themselves..
Location: 9 Crosby St, New York, NY 10013
Bar Hugo / Hotel Hugo
For beautiful views over the Hudson River, Freedom Tower and Statue of Liberty, check out the 20th floor of Hotel Hugo in Soho. They have an incredible rooftop bar which is just has to make my list of the most instagrammable places in NYC! Stay for sunset to capture some stunning views.
Location: 525 Greenwich St, New York, NY 10013
Possibly the most instagram-worthy clothing store I’ve ever seen, check out this Parisian flower-embellished shop front. Not only is it ridiculously gorgeous, but doesn’t it just scream “spring” to you?
Location: 254 Elizabeth Street, New York, NY 10012
Statue of Liberty
Naturally, this had to make the list. Did you even go to New York City if you didn’t Instagram a photo of this picturesque statue?! My favourite view is from the Staten Island Ferry – the journey is free (don’t get tricked into joining one of those travel guide boats!), and you can see the statue as it was meant to be seen. I actually made the trip twice: once during the day, and again at sunset / night. It was stunning, and I have no regrets!
Home to the financial district of NYC, you’ll find world-famous landmarks and beautiful architecture. Don’t miss the New York Stock Exchange, or the charging bull and fearless girl statues. The latter two tend to get incredibly busy during the day, so go early if you want a good photo!
Location: Wall Street, New York, NY
One of the most insane and architecturally-amazing train stations I’ve ever seen, the Oculus is a definite Instagram location in New York. It’s apparently designed to look like a winged dove but, standing inside of it, it feels more like the inside of a whale. Pretty cool, nonetheless. Head up to the top floor and take a picture of the stunning skylight for your Insta feed!
Easily one of the most Instagrammable places in NYC, it wouldn’t be a true travel guide unless I included this world-famous bridge. It links Brooklyn and Manhattan and, if you’re into architecture, you’ll love it. You’ll get the best photos if you take the time to walk across it, but do be warned that it’s ridiculously crowded. I recommend going as early in the morning as you can bear to wake up, or there’s no chance you can take photos without crowds in the background.
Top Tip: This links to the location where you can start walking across the pedestrian part of the bridge. If your itinerary is too tight to do a full trip across, I recommend going part-way across, taking the photos and then walking back – this will probably take you about 35 minutes (if it’s busy).
It stands for ‘Down Under the Manhattan Bridge Overpass’ and refers to a whole area of Brooklyn rather than just one specific place. There are a few streets where you can take stunning photos, but Washington St is a photographer’s dream and arguably one of the best instagram spots in NYC. You can see the bridge framed by two streets and, if you get the angle just right, you can capture the Empire State Building right beneath the bridge.
Location: DUMBO, Brooklyn, NY 11201
The Bushwick Collective
Everyone loves a good Instagram photo posing in front of a gorgeously painted walls. LA’s angel wings are a great example of this. Head to the Bushwick Collective to find amazing street art and ridiculously instagrammable walls.
Head to the promenade for Insta-worthy views of Lower Manhattan’s skyline and the New York harbour. This would be a great place to watch the sunset or catch an entirely new view of the city.
And that’s it! The ultimate guide to the most instagrammable places in NYC. If you’re heading to New York, and looking to get some Insta-worthy shots, then hopefully you’ll find this guide useful. I’ll be working on keeping it updated whenever I see or hear of anything new, but make sure to comment below if you have any suggestions. I love to hear them!
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