Where to Find those Photogenic Spots
No matter where in the city you go, and no matter what time of day it is, and now matter what time of year you visit, New York City will surprise you with a plethora of visual stimulation and inspiration. Whether it's the people, the buildings, the parks, the monuments, the museums, the markets, the bridges, or that beam of light that cuts through the skyscrapers at the exact moment you turn the corner to illuminate that special spot... New York City is waiting for you to take its picture.
We've assembled some of the best places in New York City for photographers looking for that special moment, or for anyone interested in Instagrammable places in this city that never sleeps. So, let's get started. Don't forget your camera!
Photographic Spots in New York City
New York City is a photographer's dream. With an endless array of opportunities to capture the city's beauty, it's no wonder so many visitors are constantly taking pictures around the city. With notable and famous attractions such as the Empire State Building, the Statue of Liberty, and Times Square at the top of everyone's list for decades, plenty more Instagrammable spots have popped up in recent years. For example, the Vessel at Hudson Yards, the One World Trade Observatory, the High Line, and the Meatpacking District are all fairly new spots to capture some amazing pictures. Below are more exciting spots.
Edge Observation Deck
Located at Hudson Yards, this viewpoint sticks out from the 100th floor of one of the tallest buildings in New York, and offers views of all of Manhattan, as well as a glass floor area so you can look down at the streets below (if you have the courage). Enter on the 4th floor of the shops and restaurants at Hudson Yards opposite of the Vessel. And don't forget your camera!
Hudson Boulevard at Hudson Yards, Manhattan, New York City, New York
Prospect Park is located in Brooklyn and is a family-friendly place to explore with a carousel, a zoo, and Greenmarket. There's plenty of grassy areas and green space where you can enjoy a picnic or meet some friends at the ball fields for a pick-up game. During the warmer months you can also catch some outdoor music or even a show at the Prospect Park Bandshell.
Empire State Building
The iconic Empire State Building has long been a symbol of New York City. It's one of the most famous skyscrapers in the world and the Art-Deco tower has been called one of the Seven Wonders of the Modern World by the American Society of Civil Engineers. The Empire State Building was the tallest building in the world from 1931 to 1970 and, at 102 stories, it is currently the 2nd tallest in New York City.
A highlight for many visitors to New York is the ride and view from the Top Deck observatory, which offers breathtaking views in every direction.
20 W 34th St, New York, NY, 10001
Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum
This world-class museum opened in 1959 and is recognized not just for its impressive collection of modern art, but also for its architectural design, created by the famous Frank Lloyd Wright. The inverted ziggernaut breaks the mold from the typical clean square museum style of the time. This price is steep ($25 for adults), so make sure you allow yourself plenty of time to fully enjoy the experience.
1071 5th Ave, Upper East Side, New York, NY, 10128
The Flatiron Building
This triangular shaped building received its name because it looks like an iron. The surrounding area is named the Flatiron District, after this iconic building.
The Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum
The Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum is an American military and maritime history museum. It has an impressive collection of museum ships and they also offer planetarium shows as well as Astronomy Family Nights. The museum is located at Pier 86 at 46th Street, along the Hudson River, in the Hell's Kitchen neighborhood on the West Side of Manhattan.
Pier 86, W 46th St, Upper West Side, New York, NY, 10036
Spanning the East River, the Williamsburg Bridge connects the Lower East Side of Manhattan to the Williamsburg neighborhood in Brooklyn. It was built between 1896 and 1903 and is made of steel towers and four steel cables. At the time of its completion, the Williamsburg Bridge was the longest suspension bridge in the world.
Today the bridge has 3 subway lines, a bike path, a walkway, and eight lanes of traffic that go across it. This is also a popular photography spot in the city.
Brooklyn Bridge Park
Sitting on the edge of the water between DUMBO and Brooklyn Heights, this park offers a number of great facilities and recreational activities. There's a bouldering wall, a roller skating rink, a pop-up pool during the summer months, and bocce courts. This is the perfect park to enjoy a run or a bike ride. The park also offers stunning views of the Manhattan skyline as it meanders along the waterfront, with the most spectacular spot being by Jane's Carousel, between the Brooklyn Bridge and the Manhattan Bridge.
The Metropolitan Museum of Art
This world-class museum has one of the most in depth collections of art, spanning more than 5,000 years and representing cultures from around the globe. This is one of the largest museums in the world and it features a wide variety of topics. Everything from fashion to photography, and ancient times is represented. For the best price and the least crowds, visit the museum early on a weekday.
1000 5th Ave, New York, NY, 10028
Trinity Church Wall Street
At one time this church was the tallest building in New York. With 23 bells in the tower, it can be heard throughout midtown Manhattan. The historical building is worth a visit to see the gorgeous architecture along with the story of how it has been modified over the centuries.
75 Broadway, New York, New York, 10006
Staten Island Ferry
The Staten Island Ferry travels between downtown Manhattan and Staten Island. Along the route it offers breathtaking views of the Manhattan skyline and the Statue of Liberty. The ride is free, and it's particularly nice at sunset when the colors are bright and the setting is stunning.
One World Observatory
One World Observatory is located at the top of the One World Trade Center building. It is an observation deck that makes up the 100, 101, and 102nd floors, 1776 feet above the city. The glass building is a beautiful sight and the elevator ride to the top offers a changing scene of how New York City has changed and grown over the years.
NYC, New York, 10048
One of many quaint bridges in Central Park, this one offers great views, nice pictures, or a romantic spot for a couple.
Central Park, New York City, New York, 10153
Bethesda Terrace & Fountain
In the heart of Central Park sits the Bethesda Fountain and the Terrace which overlooks it along with the lake. This scenic spot has appeared in multiple films and TV shows over the decades, and it's a very popular spot with tourists and locals alike.
Central Park, NYC, New York
Brooklyn Botanic Garden
The Brooklyn Botanic Garden was created in 1910 and is situated in the Prospect Park neighborhood. Here you can find a number of special plant collections a s well as the Steinhardt Conservatory which is home to the Bonsai Museum. Also in the Conservatory are several themed areas featuring various climates, a glass aquatic plant house, plus an art gallery. While admission is not free, a huge number of visitors enter every year making this a popular and well-visited destination. They host events, children's activities, and classes, too. While an admission fee is usually charged for entry, it's free
on Tuesdays, Saturday mornings, and a few other days of the year, too.
1000 Washington Avenue, Prospect Heights, NYC, New York, 11238
Once a private estate with a beautiful garden dating back to 1843, this home is now owned by the city and is open to the public, and listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Visitors can tour both the gardens and the house for a small admission fee. The gardens consist of a variety of flora along with a few spots with magnificent views over the river. Also on the premises is an art gallery and gift shop. An entry fee is normally charged, but it's free before noon on Saturdays and Tuesdays.
665 West 252nd Street, Riverdale, New York, New York, 10471
Grand Central Station
First opened in 1913, this beautiful and large train station is one of the transportation hubs of New York City. It's also a popular place to take a picture. Several shops and restaurants are in and around the station as well. In the center of the main hall of this historic building, visitors can find the famous 4-sided clock. The tall arched ceiling and arched windows create a grand ambiance to the entire space, too.
89 East 42nd Street, NYC, New York, 10017
The High Line
This popular urban walking trail is located high above the city streets on an old rail line. It's a linear public park that has been lined with plants and trees that are particularly beautiful during the spring months. There are also benches and art work that give the trail a fascinating atmosphere. From the park there are impressive views of the city and access is available at various points along the route.
The High Line, NYC, New York, 100014
New York Botanical Garden
Located in the Bronx, this 250-acre site is on the list of historic landmarks in addition to housing a huge and gorgeous collection of flora and stunning landscapes. Open every day except Mondays, this destination in of itself draws large crowds, especially in the warmer months. It also operates molecular labs, educational programs, cooking classes, kid-friendly events, art exhibitions, and other events to bring in crowds. The building itself is architecturally significant, as it combines a historical beauty with a practical approach to protecting and growing the plants. (Admission on Wednesdays is free
Belmont, NYC, New York
The Vessel at Hudson Yards in Manhattan was completed in 2019 as part art installation and part observation tower. The elaborate honeycomb-like structure rises 16 stories and offers views from the top of the surrounding area, along with some amazing views from within the structure itself. With 154 flights of stairs, 2,500 steps, and 80 landings for visitors to climb, there's an interesting view and photographic angle from every platform. Even though it's only been around for a few years, it has quickly become one of the most interesting and visited sites in New York. Tickets are free the first hour of opening, and then an admission fee is charged for the rest of the day.
20 Hudson Yards, New York, New York, 10017
Coney Island is a classic, old-school amusement park and entertainment area that offers visitors a glimpse into the past. The park is just over an hour outside of Manhattan and it has several classic thrills including a wooden roller coaster, an aquarium, and a boardwalk. The island also has a beach and a chill atmosphere that makes a strong contrast to the vibe in the city.
1218 Bowery Street, West Brighton, NYC, New York, 11224
How much does it cost to visit the most photographed places of New York City?
Prices for activities, things to do, and tours range from $55 to $5,500. The average cost for a tour or tickets is $637. A few of the best options are below.
Where to Stay in New York City