25 Most Instagrammable Places in NYC You Can’t Miss

With skyscrapers, observatories, and beautiful pockets of greenery, there are hundreds of Instagrammable places in NYC. Visiting the Big Apple is a dream come true for photographers, content creators, and Insta-addicts as it feels like every inch of the city is calling out for a photoshoot.

To help you make the most of your trip, I’ve created a guide to the best places to take pictures in NYC. As well as sharing the top 25 spots, this list also explains how to reach each attraction or landmark, what time to visit, and whether there are any costs involved.

*Disclosure: This post contains a few affiliate links, which means I may receive a small commission, at no cost to you, if you make a purchase through my link.*

Most Instagrammable Places in NYC – Observatories

The following 4 Instagram spots in NYC are the observatories that provide 360-degree views of the city. If your budget permits you might want to visit all of them as they provide completely different experiences.

Otherwise, choose your favorite and consult my guide to the best observatories in NYC for all the lowdown on what to expect. 

1. Top of the Rock

The Top of the Rock sits atop the Rockefeller Center and replaces an older observatory. The platforms are located on the 70th floor and comprise both indoor and outdoor decks on two separate levels – a general admission ticket permits access to all three.

The 360-degree view from the Top of the Rock is extraordinary as it provides a bird’s eye view of Central Park and the Empire State Building. There are dozens of photo opportunities and this is one of the best places to take pictures in NYC from the sky.

If you’re shooting outdoors, make sure to ask your photographer to stand on the higher platform while you’re standing on the lower one, this way you can get an amazing view of the New York City skyline. Also, there is a window inside that frames the Empire State Building perfectly, make sure to not miss it!

Location on Google Maps: Top of the Rock

How to get there:

The main entrance to the Top of the Rock is on 50th Street between Fifth and Sixth Avenues. Look out for the red carpet on the sidewalk and you’re in the right place. 

The closest subway stations are 47-50 Sts-Rockefeller Ctr and the 5 Avenue-53 St Station which are both only a 5-minute walk away. Alternatively, bus routes M2, M3, M5, M7, and M50 all stop within walking distance. 

Best time to go: Opening time to beat the crowds or sunset for a spectacular experience.

Cost: General tickets start from $40 (express tickets and VIP tickets are also available). Since it’s one of the most popular tourist attractions in the city, make sure to book your tickets in advance!

View of the Manhattan skyline with Empire State Building in the middle from Top of the Rock
View of the Lower Manhattan and Midtown Manhattan with the Empire State Building from the Top of the Rock
View of Central Park from Top of the Rock
View of the Central Park from the Top of the Rock

2. Empire State Building

Constructed in 1930, the Empire State Building is the ultimate emblem of the Big Apple which naturally means it’s now one of the top Instagrammable places in NYC.

There are two decks open to the public: one is on the 86th floor while a second occupies the 102nd floor and requires a different ticket. The upper level is fully enclosed but you can still see as far as 80 miles (128 km) on a clear day thanks to the floor-to-ceiling windows.

If you want to shoot with the Empire State Building in the background then you’re actually best heading to the Top of the Rock as you’ll score the perfect view. But this timeless icon of the city is worth visiting too!

In case you want to get a full-body shot on the outdoor observation deck, make sure to have a wide-angle lens with you as the platform itself is pretty narrow.

Location on Google Maps: Empire State Building

How to get there:

Access to the Empire State Building Observatory is from the visitors’ center on 20 W. 34th St.

33rd Street, 3​​4th Street – Penn Station, and 34 St – Herald Sq subway stations are a 5-minute walk away. Tonnes of buses stop right outside the landmark, including the M34-SBS, QM10, QM12, QM15, QM16, QM17, QM18, and QM24 routes. 

Best time to go: Opening time to beat the crowds or in the evening to catch the sunset.

Cost: General admission starts at $42 to visit the 86th floor or $75 to visit the 102nd floor as well. Upgrades are available. 

Panoramic view of the NYC skyline from Empire State Building
View of Midtown and Upper Manhattan with Central Park from the Empire State Building
Panoramic view of the NYC skyline from Empire State Building
View of the Chrysler Building, Roosevelt Island, and Queens from the Empire State Building

3. SUMMIT One Vanderbilt

One of the coolest Instagram spots in NYC is also one of the most innovative. SUMMIT One Vanderbilt is the most recent addition to the observatories in New York as it just opened up in October 2021.

The observatory runs over 4 floors and pushes the limit of modern technology. You have everything you need for a successful photoshoot: mirrored rooms (in Transcendence), hundreds of floating silver balloons (in Affinity), and an amazing view of the New York City skyline.

The whole space is designed to provide an interactive experience that inspires you to connect on a different level and it’s full of wonderful photo opportunities.

You can also step into Levitation, a succession of transparent skyboxes suspended 1,000 feet (305 meters) above the Manhattan streets. Heads up that you can only shoot there for like 60 seconds, so you need to figure out your angles and poses before you step into the box.

As I mentioned, SUMMIT One Vanderbilt is still pretty new, therefore it receives huge attention. The chances of having the whole observatory for yourself are pretty slim, and it’s generally quite hard to shoot there because of the mirrored surfaces and the crowds.

However, if you have patience and you’re determined enough, you will end up with super unique photos!

Location on Google Maps: Summit One Vanderbilt

How to get there:

SUMMIT One Vanderbilt is conveniently located next to Grand Central Station – access to the attraction is via the Vanderbilt Passage on the Main Concourse Level.

The station is well-connected via local bus, with the M101, M102, M103, M1, M2, M3, M4, Q32, and M42 lines all stopping right outside. 

Best time to go: As with the previous observatories, aim to get the first slot of the day or visit at sunset for a magical setting.

Cost: General admission is $39 during the day or $49 in the evening. Again, add-ons are available such as riding the glass elevator or having a cocktail at the observatory bar. 

Mirrored rooms inside SUMMIT One Vanderbilt in New York
The reality behind the gram: This is the kind of crowd you can expect!

4. The Edge

Another newest arrival to the NYC observatory scene, Edge is the highest outdoor sky deck in the Western Hemisphere. The platform protrudes 1,100 feet (340 meters) in mid-air and is engineered so that it gives you the sensation of floating.

The panels are uniquely angled to help you survey the surface down below. You can visit the main platform for epic photos but one of the most exciting New York Instagram spots also features the highest open-air building ascent in the world.

City Climb invites you to scale the tower and then lean out over the streets far below. If you dare!

As far as photography goes, most people are taking photos at one of the edges, which is definitely the most Instagrammable spot in the observatory. People usually form lines so everyone can have the edge to themselves for a few minutes. In case you want to take your photos there, you can expect to stand in line for a while.

You can either ask your photographer to stand right behind you (like on the first photo below), or for a more unique angle, your photographer can shoot from the inside while you’re standing at the edge (second photo below).

Just a heads up: In case you want to shoot from both angles, you’ll need to stand in line twice. Unfortunately, the lighting and the reflections were terrible for the inside shoot (we were there in the morning) so we just took a test shot and gave up. But I’m leaving the test photo down below for reference!

If you don’t want to stand in line, you can also experiment with other angles both outside and inside. Check out the third and fourth photos below for inspiration!

Location on Google Maps: Edge

How to get there: The Edge is located at the Hudson Yards shopping mall and you will find the entrance on Level 4. Hudson Yards has its own subway station but the M34-SBS, M12, and M11 buses stop just outside.

Best time to go: Opening time to avoid the crowds or to coincide with sunset.

Cost: General admission is $36 (online) and $38 (at the venue). Premium tickets are available to mark a special occasion. 

Panoramic view of the New York skyline from the Edge
The outdoor viewing platform at the Edge with the view of Lower Manhattan

Best NYC Instagram Spots on the Brooklyn Side

This batch of Instagrammable places in NYC is located on the Brooklyn side of the city. If you are staying in Manhattan then you can organize your New York itinerary so that you visit all of these at the same time to maximize your stay in the city.

5. Brooklyn Bridge 

Soaring over the East River and connecting Manhattan with Brooklyn, Brooklyn Bridge has been immortalized in art, photography, and movies. Naturally, it’s also one of the most Instagrammable places in NYC!

This iconic suspension bridge has featured on the New York skyline since the late 19th century. The best way to experience Brooklyn Bridge is to spend some time walking across it shooting from the bridge and then taking some shots from the Brooklyn side of it with Manhattan in the background.

It takes around 30 minutes to walk across it and there are pedestrian lanes to ensure you stay safe.

In case you’re stuck with your captions when posting your photos to Instagram, make sure to check out these amazing quotes about Brooklyn and these stunning Brooklyn Bridge quotes & captions for Instagram!

Girl in red skirt on Brooklyn Bridge in New York

Location on Google Maps: Brooklyn Bridge

How to get there: Fulton Street is the nearest subway station on the Manhattan side while it’s High St and York St on the Brooklyn side. Bus B25 is the closest option on the Brooklyn side.

Best time to go: Sunrise for an incredible photoshoot with fewer people to contend with.

Cost: There is no cost associated with visiting Brooklyn Bridge which makes it one of the best free things to do in NYC.

6. Pebble Beach

Pebble Beach is a rocky cove at the base of Manhattan Bridge that provides some of the best views in the city.

This is one of the best places to take pictures in NYC of the Brooklyn Bridge with the Manhattan skyline and regardless of what time of day you visit, you’ll walk away with photos to treasure.

Location on Google Maps: Pebble Beach

How to get there: York St is the closest subway station. The B67 bus stops outside the subway on Manhattan Bridge. 

Best time to go: Any time works but it’s particularly special for sunset!

Cost: Free.

Sunset in New York from Pebble Beach, Brooklyn
View of Lower Manhattan and the Brooklyn Bridge at sunset from Pebble Beach
New York skyline lit up at night from Pebble Beach
View of Lower Manhattan and the Brooklyn Bridge at night from Pebble Beach

7. Jane’s Carousel

Sandwiched midway between the Brooklyn base of Brooklyn Bridge and Pebble Beach, Jane’s Carousel is a restored fairground ride that dates back as far as 1922.

Considering that it’s now 100 years old, the attraction is still going strong and you can take a spin on one of the splendid flying horses.

Even if you don’t go for a ride, the carousel is beautifully photogenic and it gives an amazing view of Manhattan on the green in front of it. This is one of the most Instagrammable places in NYC for photographers and content creators of all ages.

Jane's Carousel in Brooklyn, New York
Jane’s Carousel
Girl in yellow skirt in front of the New York skyline at Jane's Carousel, Brooklyn
The promenade in front of Jane’s Carousel with the view of Lower Manhattan and Brooklyn Bridge in the background

Location on Google Maps: Jane’s Carousel 

How to get there: High St subway station is a 10-minute walk away while bus route B25 stops moments away on Water Street. 

Best time to go: Any time.

Cost: $2 if you want to go for a ride, free to visit outside.

8. Time Out Market New York 

Located right next to Jane’s Carousel and Pebble Beach on the Brooklyn side of the bridge, Time Out Market New York is a waterside dining and drinking hub.

It has a great vibe and with a backdrop of the bridge and Manhattan, you can get some cool photos here, especially at the roof terrace.

You might want to grab a drink at the roof terrace but you can even just visit it to take photos if you prefer. But save yourself for dinner – I have just the place to grab a bite, next on my guide to Instagram spots in NYC.

Location on Google Maps: Time Out Market New York

How to get there: Exactly the same as Jane’s Carousel: use High St subway station or take bus B25. 

Best time to go: Anytime, but it’s particularly amazing for sunset.

Cost: Free unless you spend money on food or drink.

9. Dumbo – Manhattan Bridge View

Dumbo (meaning, Down Under The Manhattan Bridge Overpass) is a neighborhood in Brooklyn that has loads of places to eat, drink, and take incredible photos!

Visit the viewpoint as marked below and you’ll get a unique view of Manhattan Bridge flanked by industrial-era buildings on either side. It’s kind of off-grid but has developed some traction as one of the coolest Instagrammable places in NYC so be prepared to share the space.

And if you want to eat in this neighborhood, there are heaps of restaurants to choose from, serving contemporary American fare. Head to Westville Dumbo if you need some inspiration.

Location on Google Maps: Dumbo – Manhattan Bridge View

How to get there: High St and York St subway stations are both a 10-minute walk away while bus line B25 stops close by on Front Street.

Best time to go: Early morning to catch the best light and beat the crowds and traffic. 

Cost: Free. 

10. Manhattan Bridge

Not to be outdone, Manhattan Bridge is just as much a spectacle as its neighbor and warrants a spot as one of the best Instagram spots in NYC. Completion of the bridge was in 1909 and the bridge is known for its ornate portal.

As well as snapping it from the viewpoint above, I recommend shooting from the Manhattan Bridge Lookout in John Street Park which is marked below.

Many people don’t know it but you can actually go up to the bridge itself! It’s definitely one of the off-the-beaten-path photography spots in New York but it grants one of the best panoramas ever. There is a pedestrian path that allows you to safely walk across the river while taking photos.

Location on Google Maps: Manhattan Bridge Lookout

How to get there: York St subway station is a 10-minute walk from the lookout and bus line B67 stops outside the station. If you want to walk onto the bridge, York St is the closest station on the Brooklyn side and Grand St on the Manhattan side.

Best time to go: Any time. 

Cost: Free.

View of Lower Manhattan with the One World Trade Center from the Manhattan Bridge
View of Lower Manhattan with the One World Trade Center from the Manhattan Bridge
View of Lower Manhattan and the Brooklyn Bridge from the Manhattan Bridge
View of Lower Manhattan and the Brooklyn Bridge from the Manhattan Bridge

11. Old Pier 1 at Brooklyn Bridge Park 

Located across the East River from Manhattan Island and providing an unobstructed view of the glittering skyline, Old Pier 1 marks a disused area of docks and warehouses that have long been out of use.

The view from here of Lower Manhattan is exquisite but it’s made all the more atmospheric due to the decaying pier supports that are still fixed within the water.

The pier is located within the Brooklyn Bridge Park which has plenty of other photo ops but you really shouldn’t miss swinging by Old Pier 1.

Location on Google Maps: Old Pier 1

How to get there: Clark St and High St subway stations are each a 10-minute walk from the park. The closest bus stop is on Old Fulton St and you can use the B25 service.

Best time to go: Any time.

Cost: Free. 

12. Squibb Park Bridge

Squibb Park Bridge is an elevated walkway that connects Columbia Heights with Brooklyn Bridge Park. The bridge itself isn’t remarkable but it provides a wonderful view of Manhattan across the East River.

It’s one of the best photo spots in NYC during fall when the trees are golden and they provide a perfect frame for your photos but it’s pretty magical any time of the year.

Girl in pink dress standing on the Squibb Park Bridge in Brooklyn, New York

Location on Google Maps: Squibb Park Bridge

How to get there: Squibb Park Bridge is situated right next to Old Pier 1 so you can follow the same directions as above and visit these two spots together.

Best time to go: Any time.

Cost: Free.

Best Instagram Spots in NYC on the Manhattan Side

The next cluster of New York Instagram spots is dotted around Manhattan Island, which is where I recommend you stay if this is your first time visiting NYC.

This gives you a chance to see all these iconic buildings, installations, and green spaces! 

13. Rockefeller Center 

We’ve already gone over the Top of the Rock but make sure you visit its host even if you refrain from visiting the observatory.

The Rockefeller Center is a mega-complex in Midtown Manhattan that contains businesses, shops, leisure facilities, and TV studios.

Rockefeller Center is one of the most magical NYC Christmas photo spots once the tree is up and the ice rink is open but throughout the year there are always sculptures and pop-ups to add to the atmosphere.

Plus, it’s an icon – you’ll not want to skip it! The best place to take photos is from the Channel Gardens, a seasonal landscaped garden located right in front of the Rockefeller Center.

Location on Google Maps: Channel Gardens at Rockefeller Center

How to get there: The most convenient subway stations are 47-50 Sts-Rockefeller Ctr and 5 Avenue-53 St Station. The bus routes M2, M3, M5, and M7 stop along W 50th St and 6th Avenue.  

Best time to go: Early morning before the complex gets busy.

Cost: Free.

14. Radio City Music Hall

Radio City Music Hall, also known as the “Showplace of the Nation”, is the home of the legendary precision dance company the Rockettes.

The concert venue is an extension of the Rockefeller Center and is a beautiful example of Art Deco architecture with giant neon lettering and a lavish main auditorium indoors. You’ll get the best view of the hall from across the street on Sixth Avenue.

Radio City Music Hall is another of the best photo spots in NYC at Christmas once it’s decorated for the season, but it’s still worth visiting year-round.

Location on Google Maps: Radio City Music Hall

How to get there: It’s less than a minute walk from Rockefeller Center and the same travel directions apply. 

Best time to go: Any time.

Cost: Free, unless you decide to catch a show.

15. Times Square

Times Square is a huge intersection at the heart of the NYC theater district that is emblazoned with giant billboards, bright lights, and ads. There are always streams of yellow cabs passing by which you can try to get in your background.

The area is brimming with shops, restaurants, and bars in case you want to linger here. With so much to shoot and explore, Times Square is definitely one of the most Instagrammable places in NYC.

Location on Google Maps: Times Square

How to get there:

Times Sq – 42 St and 49 St subway stations are each a 1-minute walk away.

Dozens of buses stop on the streets around Times Square, including the 195, BM2, M42, M7, Q32, QM10, QM18, QM20, and QM24.

Best time to go:

Any time works, it ultimately depends on what you want to evoke.

Visit early in the morning for a quieter shooting experience or go in the afternoon to capture a sense of the NYC frenzy!

By night the square is illuminated so that works if you have decent night photography gear. 

Cost: Free.

16. Central Park

Breaking up the skyscrapers and concrete, the vast Central Park provides 843 acres of New York Instagram spots comprising trees, lakes, meadows, sculpture, and architectural points of interest.

As the park is massive, you will need to plan in advance which bits you’ll visit.

The best spots to take pictures in Central Park are Belvedere Castle, Bethesda Terrace, Bow Bridge, and Central Park Lake which are conveniently located in a cluster in the central part of the park. Bow Bridge provides a particularly beautiful view of Manhattan.

Bow Bridge in Central Park, New York
The beautiful Bow Bridge in Central Park

Location on Google Maps: Central Park

How to get there: Take the subway to 81 Street – Museum of Natural History as this brings you closest to Belvedere Castle. Or, if you want to start at the lake, alight at 72 St. Bus route M10 stops at regular intervals on Central Park West.

Best time to go: Early in the morning to avoid the crowds and have the best lighting conditions.

Cost: Free.

17. Oculus Center 

The Oculus Center is an airy shopping center that opened in 2016 and became the largest shopping complex on Manhattan Island. Designed by the architect Santiago Calatrava, the exterior resembles a white dove about to take flight.

It features a skylight that runs along the spine of the dove which permits natural light to flood the shopping space below. The Oculus is a stunning testament to contemporary architecture and it’s worth visiting even if you’re not planning to shop.

Besides, the center sits alongside the 9/11 Memorial, One World Trade Center, and Ground Zero so you might want to tap on a visit to the Oculus to coincide with seeing these landmarks.

You shoot both inside and outside, and you can even include the One World Trade Center in your shot together with the Oculus Center.

Location on Google Maps: Oculus Center

How to get there: The World Trade Center and WTC Cortlandt subway stations are right next to the shopping mall. Bus lines QM7, QM8, QM11, and QM25 stop outside. 

Best time to go: Any time.

Cost: Free, unless you decide to shop, eat, or visit the adjacent memorial and museum. 

18. Little Island 

Little Island is a serene public park floating atop the Hudson River comprising 2.4 acres of plants, trees, and flowers.

The park is supported by 132 concrete pillars that resemble orchids and the complex features an amphitheater and a large playground for children.

It straddles the remnants of a disused pier and provides overlooks out across the river. Only open since May 2021, Little Island is one of the newest Instagrammable places in NYC and is perfect for flower and nature lovers. 

Little Island in New York

Location on Google Maps: Little Island

How to get there: A 10-minute walk away, 14 St / 8 Av is the closest subway station. The M11, M12, and M14D buses stop outside along 14th Street and 10th Avenue.

Best time to go: Anytime. However, at certain seasons you might need a reservation to enter the island during the weekend. It’s best to check their current policy on their website before visiting.

Cost: Free. Events in the amphitheater carry a fee.

19. The High Line

Running through the Chelsea district and connecting the Meatpacking District with the Hudson Yards shopping complex, the High Line is an elevated walkway designed as a park.

It occupies a disused railroad that was facing demolition until the local community intervened in 2003 with the proposal to transform it into a lush green space.

The walkway covers a length of 1.5 miles (2.5 km) and ends at Hudson Yards, where you can find a couple more Instagrammable places in New York City.

View from the High Line in New York

Location on Google Maps: The High Line

How to get there: You could walk the High Line after visiting Little Island. In that case, use the same travel directions as above; the entrance is right next to the Whitney Museum of American Art. If you want to start in the north, you can use the entrance at Hudson Yards shopping mall.  

Best time to go: Any time. It takes 30-45 minutes to walk the full route.

Cost: Free. 

20. Vessel

The Vessel is a radical piece of sculpture that marks the centerpiece of the Hudson Yards commercial complex. It was created by the British designer Thomas Heatherwick whose studio is also responsible for Little Island.

The honeycomb-shaped structure measures 150 feet (46 meters) and comprises 16 floors of connected staircases and 80 landings that are usually open to the public.

At the moment, you can only access the base level. But you can still take fantastic photos of the structure and you shouldn’t miss it if you’re already going to Hudson Yards to visit the Edge.

A little heads up that this is probably the windiest part of the whole city. Seriously I’ve been there like 5 or 6 times and the wind was crazy every time we visited, while the other parts of the city were pretty much calm. So make sure to hold onto your hats and scarves!

Location on Google Maps: Vessel

How to get there: Unless you walk along the High Line, access is via the 34 Street-Hudson Yards subway station. Bus routes M11 and M12 stop outside the shopping complex. 

Best time to go: Any time but early morning works best before it gets busy.

Cost: Free.

21. Pier 17 

Down in Lower Manhattan’s Seaport District, Pier 17 is a massive events venue and dining destination that hosts large-scale concerts. As it looks out over the East River you can score sensational views and photo moments from Pier 17.

You can either visit it and just walk around the pier or you might want to treat yourself to a fancy meal in one of the prestigious restaurants. The pier walkway is often decorated with seasonal pop-ups that embellish one of the best photo spots in NYC.

The last time we visited, we saw this cute arch made of pumpkins – perfect for fall content! You can also wander around the adjacent Pier 15 and 16 if you have more time.

Location on Google Maps: Pier 17

How to get there:

Wall Street and Fulton Street subway stations are each a 10-minute walk from Pier 17.

The Free Downtown Connection bus (the only complimentary bus line in NYC!) stops outside Pier 17 on South Street.

Bus lines QM7, QM8, SIM5, SIM15, and SIM35 stop close by on Water Street. 

Best time to go: Any time.

Cost: Free, unless you decide to have a bite to eat or a drink.

22. 28th Street Metro Station

It might sound a little odd that a subway station has made this list of NYC Instagram spots but hear me out!

The station features a beautiful sequence of floral murals by local artist Nancy Blum, displaying redbuds, giant magnolias, daffodils, and camellias.

Some of the mosaics have benches conveniently placed alongside them to help you capture the perfect photo for your feed. 

Girl in pink skirt sitting under a Flower mural at 28th Street Subway Station, New York

Location on Google Maps: 28 St Station

How to get there: Take the subway straight to the station to see the mural (make sure to take the Downtown direction).

Best time to go: Any time but avoid peak hours when the station is likely to be packed. 

Cost: The mural is located right next to the platform where you board the subway so you’ll need a valid ticket or a MetroCard to get there.

Other Best Photo Spots in NYC

Wrapping up the guide with the final 3 Instagrammable places in NYC, these last spots are a little further out.

If you are planning on spending longer than a weekend in New York then you should definitely add this to your agenda!

23. Statue of Liberty

The Statue of Liberty is a colossal sculpture that was gifted to the United States by France and has become as emblematic of NYC as the likes of the Empire State Building and Brooklyn Bridge.

It’s located on Liberty Island and you can see it from parts of Lower Manhattan but if you want to see this neoclassical statue up close and learn about its history then you’ll need to plan an excursion out to the outlying island.

The island also features a huge stretch of park and a museum, so you will need to devote at least half a day to visit – with plenty of time to take your photos and tour the exhibitions.

Plus, the next spot on this list of New York Instagram spots is included in your day out as well!

Location on Google Maps: Statue of Liberty National Monument 

How to get there:

Ferries to Liberty Island depart from Battery Park in Lower Manhattan (or Liberty State Park in New Jersey, if you happen to be coming from that side of the city).

Bowling Green, Whitehall St, and South Ferry Station are all a 5-minute walk from the ferry so you can choose whichever one suits you the best.

Best time to go:

It’s best to arrive as early in the morning as possible to avoid the huge crowds. Try to catch the earliest ferry available!


It’s free to visit Liberty Island and the statue but you need to pay for the ferry.

You can purchase round ferry tickets for the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island and leave you to explore at leisure with an audio guide.

You can also upgrade to a pedestal ticket if you want to access the pedestal of the statue.

24. Ellis Island

Seeing as your ferry ticket out to Liberty Island also includes a stop at Ellis Island, you might as well explore them both as part of the same trip!

Ellis Island used to be the dominant immigration station in the United States, with millions of immigrants passing by.

The island has a rich history to uncover and the park is one of the best places to take pictures in NYC of Lower Manhattan.

Make sure you check out the Ellis Island National Museum of Immigration which displays the names of the immigrants on its Wall of Honor along with other records and historic artifacts. 

Location on Google Maps: Ellis Island

How to get there: Your ferry ticket to Liberty Island includes a stop at Ellis Island. 

Best time to go: Any time.

Cost: As above. 

25. Roosevelt Island

Roosevelt Island is a narrow island that floats in the middle of the East River between Manhattan and Queens.

In the past, the island has been used as a base for a prison, asylum, and a smallpox hospital. Nowadays it’s one of the coolest recreation areas outside Central Park.

You’ll find one of the best Instagram spots in NYC on the tree-lined pedestrian walkway that runs alongside W Loop Rd. This is particularly special if you visit during spring as you might catch the cherry blossoms but it’s also glorious during autumn when you catch all the fall foliage.

Follow this promenade all the way down to the Franklin D. Roosevelt Four Freedoms State Park in the southernmost tip which provides serenity and killer views. 

Part of the park was still under construction when we last visited in October 2021 but I believe it’s fully ready now.

Sunset from Roosevelt Island

Location on Google Maps: Roosevelt Island

How to get there: The most exciting way to get there is via the scenic Roosevelt Island Tram. Board at the station on 59th Street and 2nd Avenue in Manhattan’s Upper East Side and the ride takes 5 minutes. Alternatively, you can visit using the Roosevelt Island subway station.

Best time to go: The park is awesome for sunset! Try and plan your visit so that you spend the afternoon exploring the island and then catch the sunset from as close to the Franklin D. Roosevelt Four Freedoms State Park as you can. It closes at 5 pm. 

Cost: Free.

Map of the Most Instagrammable Places in NYC

I created a custom map for you that contains all the most Instagrammable places in NYC with their exact location.

How to use this map: This map is fully interactive, so you can move around, zoom in/zoom out, and click on the icons. If you want to see a larger map, click on the bracket in the upper right corner. To see more details and the different layers, click on the tab in the upper left corner. If you want to save it for later, click on the star icon next to the name of the map. Then simply open Google Maps either on your desktop or phone, go to ‘Saved’/’Maps’, and open the map whenever you need it.

Where to Stay in New York City

Since the majority of the most Instagrammable places in NYC are located in Manhattan, more specifically Midtown Manhattan, I would start looking at hotels in that area. If you don’t mind spending more time commuting, you can also stay in Lower Manhattan or in the Upper East Side or Upper West Side.

As you can see on the above map, you’ll find plenty of amazing Instagram spots in New York on the Brooklyn side as well. However, I wouldn’t actually recommend staying in that area, especially if you’re visiting New York for the first time.

If you want to be close to both Brooklyn Heights and Midtown Manhattan and you still want to stay on the budget side, your best bet is Lower Manhattan.

In case you’re interested in knowing more about the neighborhoods in NYC, be sure to check out my guide about the best areas to stay in New York City which includes 10 amazing neighborhoods with lots of useful tips and information about each area.

Oh, and if you want to take your vacation to the next level, check out these incredible NYC hotels with the best views!

For people running short on time and looking for an immediate solution, below you can find my top picks for where to stay in New York.

Hyatt Centric Times Square
The view from Hyatt Centric Times Square

Planning a trip to New York City?

Then you might want to take a look at all our other travel guides about NYC. I promise, they are just as awesome as this article was!

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