Need something a bit more exciting than a mirror selfie to post? New York City has no shortage of aesthetically pleasing Instagrammable spots, if you know where to look. Whether you’re an NYC local or a first-time tourist, there are plenty of big-city sights and scenes to make your social media posts stand out.
For our ultimate Instagrammable list, we’ve come up with the perfect combination of classic NYC sites, along with some refreshingly new content to bless your followers’ feeds. Keep reading if you want to learn how to reach a new level of likes.
The 15 Most Instagrammable Spots in NYC
Check out our complete list of the best Instagram spots in NYC.
1. Pebble Beach
Located in DUMBO (Down Under the Manhattan Bridge Underpass), Brooklyn, Pebble Beach is the perfect place to capture some Instagram-worthy photos. The beach is easy to access and provides stunning views of the city, Manhattan Bridge, Brooklyn Bridge, and Jane’s Carousel. It’s the one-stop shop of NYC photoshoots.
While you’re in the area, head over to Water and Washington Street to capture the picturesque Manhattan skyline with the Empire State Building perfectly framed within the legs of the bridge. This vantage point of the city has become wildly popular in recent years, so either arrive early in the morning, or bring something to do while waiting in line.
2. Coney Island
Another Brooklyn staple, Coney Island is a visual wonderland dripping with nostalgia. With its vibrant colors and carnival atmosphere, Coney Island is a treasure chest of Instagrammable moments. From the beach to the boardwalk and all its amusement park attractions, you’ll have more Instagram-worthy pics than you know what to do with after spending time at Coney Island.
If you do make it to Coney Island, be sure to snag a photo of the Cyclone. This classic wooden rollercoaster and National Historic Landmark makes for a great photo backdrop. Other can’t-miss backgrounds around Coney Island include Wonder Wheel — the famed Ferris wheel — and the Nathan’s Hot Dogs mural.
3. Top of the Rock
True, Top of the Rock is an extremely touristy thing to do, but it’s also one of the most Instagrammable activities in NYC. It’s the only way to get one of the best views of the city, along with some iconic pictures from the observatory deck and the large window overlooking the skyline. Even if you’re a local, you must see it at least once. We tend to lean toward Top of the Rock rather than the Empire State Building because it allows you to capture the Empire State Building in your photos, but it’s a matter of preference.
Because Top of the Rock is such a big draw, make sure you buy your tickets ahead of time and show up right when it opens to snap some pics before it gets too crowded. You can get Top of the Rock Experience tickets for $45 here. And if you’re interested, you can also get tickets for a full Rockefeller Center tour.
Still relatively new to the city, Vessel is the crown jewel of Hudson Yards. As an elaborate, soaring spiral staircase shaped like a beehive, Vessel gives visitors unrivaled vantage points of NYC from various heights, angles, and perspectives. With 154 interweaving flights of stairs, this interactive landmark offers breathtaking views of the city and river, spanning 2,500 individual steps and 80 different landings.
Along with its striking city views, this modern architectural marvel is worthy of the ‘gram in and of itself. Be sure to take plenty of pics of Vessel’s stunning structure from the ground level, either before or after your climb. Although Vessel is free to walk around, you need to book a ticket, which you can do here.
Tired of the cliche Empire State Building shot? Be one of the first to capture the skyline from Edge, a brand-new outdoor sky deck known for being the highest in the Western Hemisphere. The tip of Edge offers a one-of-a-kind 360-degree view of New York City. From Edge, you can peer down 100 stories through its glass floor or lean over its angled glass walls.
Edge’s unique design gives visitors the illusion of floating in midair. As a bonus, Edge is near enough to Vessel that you can hit both in the same day. General-admission adult tickets for Edge are $36 each, but the view — and the photos — will be worth it.
6. NoMo SoHo
Who doesn’t love a green archway? NoMo SoHo, a boutique hotel, has a bar and restaurant with an entry arch that’s all too Instagrammable. While the archway is incredibly beautiful during the day, its aesthetic elevates to the next level when the shimmery string lights come on at night. Your twinkling tunnel photos will make it look like you’ve left the concrete jungle and entered a faraway fairyland.
Although NoMo SoHo is a hotel, you don’t have to be a registered guest there to take a few photos. And unlike other touristy spots, you won’t have nearly as much trouble waiting to snap a people-free pic. If you have time, don’t be afraid to check out the hotel’s visually striking lobby.
7. Central Park
Central Park offers enough Instagrammable spots to last you a lifetime. The park’s natural beauty — plus its fun statues, bridges, arches, fountains, and buildings — gives you a ton of backdrops to work with. Depending on the time of year, you’ll be able to capture blossoming cherry trees, bustling butterfly gardens, or a crowded ice skating rink. Remember, Central Park is a busy place, so if you want pictures without people in the background, you’ll have to go early in the morning when the park is at its quietest.
While the most popular Central Park photo ops include Bethesda Terrace, the Mall, and Belvedere Castle, there are plenty of hidden gems to uncover, like the Blockhouse, Vanderbilt Gate, and Huddlestone Arch. To mix a little water in with your greenery, try to get a shot by the Lake with the San Remo building in the background. There are also secret waterfalls inside the park near the Pool and along the Loch — think of all the clever “chasing waterfalls” caption possibilities!
8. The Metropolitan Museum of Art
If you’re already near Central Park, you might as well go to the Met — the nation’s largest art museum. The Met is so massive that you could spend a whole week exploring it and just as long taking pictures of it. Even though the Met is a classic NYC tourist destination, there are enough angles and backgrounds to play around with that you can score a unique photo. We recommend checking out the Temple of Dendur wing for some exquisite lighting and intriguing reflections.
The price of admission to the Met depends on where you live. For New York residents and New York, New Jersey, and Connecticut students, you get to decide the cost of your ticket. For everyone else, adult tickets are $25, and student tickets are $12.
9. Greenwich Village
Ever dreamed of appearing on your favorite sitcom or being a movie star? We can’t hand you a leading role, but we can tell you how to make it look like you’re on the set of your favorite show — visit Greenwich Village! Greenwich Village is one of the most popular places to find brownstone houses, the famous townhouses with the big front steps that you see on shows like “Sesame Street.”
After you’ve posed on some classic brownstone stairs, spend some time walking around Greenwich Village to discover more famous scenes like the apartment featured in “Friends” and Carrie Bradshaw’s stoop from “Sex and the City.” Greenwich Village has also served as a filming destination for movies like “13 Going on 30,” “P.S. I Love You,” “Mickey Blue Eyes,” and more.
10. Washington Square Arch
While you’re in Greenwich Village, stop by Washington Square Park to see its spectacular arch. Made from white marble, the Washington Square Arch is a strikingly regal structure situated right by a fountain, practically begging you to take its photo. Make sure you get the money shot of the Empire State Building framed between the arch’s piers.
Once you’ve secured your Washington Square Arch pics, stick around Washington Square Park to find some other awesome Instagram opportunities. This naturally beautiful park typically teems with activity mixed with that unmistakable NYC energy, so you never know what you might catch on camera. Sit on a bench, sip on some coffee, and stay a while.
11. Pietro Nolita
If you’re all about the pink Instagram trend, you need to go to Pietro Nolita. From the sidewalk tables to the interior decor, everything at Pietro Nolita is pink. This adorably tiny Italian restaurant will draw you in with its 1980s purely pink motif and keep you with its delightfully pink cocktails.
Keep in mind that Pietro Nolia is a petite eatery with a no-reservations policy, so you’ll need to show up early or expect a wait. We recommend going early on a weekday if you want a shot at having the place to yourself for a while to pixelate as much pink as you can. If you can’t stay for a meal, at least be sure to get a few pics at one of the pink benches outside the restaurant.
12. L’Appartement Sézane
After dining at Pietro Nolita in Nolita, go from Italy to France by paying a visit to L’Appartement Sézane. The storefront of this incredibly chic French boutique always features a beautiful flower arch that changes with the seasons. Usually, a vintage bicycle also sits by the entrance to complete the classic Parisian vibe — NYC street photography at its best.
The L’Appartement Sézane staff are warm and welcoming, so feel free to browse the shop and bask in the sophisticated French atmosphere. If you’ve never been to France before, this is the next best thing. Make sure you snap a pic of the “Bonjour New York” tiled floor.
13. The Flatiron Building
The Flatiron Building is an NYC icon for a reason — it’s an architectural wonder! This thin, triangular building, resembling a cast-iron clothes iron, is unlike any other skyscraper in the city. The building’s shape also means there’s plenty of fun angles to try to capture it from. Get creative with your photos by making creative use of the surrounding benches, zooming in for some close-ups, or snapping an action shot mid-walk across the street.
Because the Flatiron Building is so well-known and positioned along a major intersection, you might have trouble finding a time when it’s not busy. If you get tired of the crowds, the original Shake Shack sits just around the corner as a place to chill out and fuel up. This flagship location of the international burger chain keeps it classy with cute outdoor seating and string lights, so make sure you take advantage of this photo op, too.
14. The Oculus
As soon as it opened its doors in 2016, the Oculus became an Instagram-worthy hotspot. Practically speaking, the Oculus is the centerpiece of the World Trade Center Transportation Hub that replaced the PATH train station destroyed on 9/11. But aesthetically, it’s a masterpiece.
Designed by the renowned Spanish architect Santiago Calatrava to look like a dove in midflight, the outside of the Oculus can serve as a beautiful background for any photoshoot. The interior of the Oculus consists of white steel and glass, making it equally as magnificent and modern as its exterior. The white, symmetrical walls within the Oculus will provide an ideal contrast to your other your NYC photos.
15. Live Axe Throwing
Complete your day of Instagram-worthy activities in NYC with some one-of-a-kind shots showing off your adventurous side at Live Axe. Thanks to its thrilling Viking theme, custom modern art pieces, and exciting axe-throwing environment, Live Axe is one of the most Instagrammable bars in NYC. For those on the hunt for a truly unique pic to post, Live Axe features a wall of 200 life-sized skulls — where else can you find that in NYC?
From the axe-throwing cages to the industrial-chic communal spaces, there are plenty of photo ops at Live Axe. It’s a great place to go purely for the atmosphere, but if you want to try your hand at axe throwing, make sure you book a time in advance with Live Axe to secure a throwing session with a coach. Live Axe does take walk-ins, but they fill up quickly, so your best bet is to make a reservation.
Contact Live Axe today to find out more about how to release your inner Viking and wow your Instagram followers with a daring photo of you nailing a bullseye.