Best photo spots in NYC
New York City is the largest multitasker in the United States. It’s famous for just about everything, and you can experience everything the Big Apple has to offer for a lifetime. Famous buildings like the Flatiron Building, Chrysler Building, Empire State Building and more make up this iconic skyline, and as you walk through bustling Manhattan, you’ll see the magic of New York and make every visit unforgettable. If you’re looking for the best photo spots in New York City, we’ve rounded up the must-see photo spots in the city into a walking tour just for you, put on your most comfortable shoes and go!
1. Central Park
“Visit Central Park any time of the day and take a stroll as you like. The famous park has endless attractions, but I’d say Bow Bridge is one of my favorites.”
The 840 acres of sprawling nature, along with the surrounding skyscrapers, is perhaps one of the best photo spots in New York City. The iconic Bethesda Terrace and Bethesda Fountain are the heart of the park, and you can’t miss the Metropolitan Museum of Art (“Metropolis” for short) along Fifth Avenue. But what’s the best way to enjoy Central Park like a New Yorker? Just relax with a picnic under the trees and enjoy the view – one of the few places in “The City That Never Sleeps” where time seems to pass more slowly.
2. Gapstow Bridge and Skyline
There is a picturesque stone bridge in Central Park with stunning views of the Manhattan skyline. You’ll see iconic New York buildings like the Plaza Hotel, and terrifyingly tall modern skyscrapers built right before your eyes. As the rest of the city grows and changes, the bridge feels frozen in time, making for particularly magical photos.
3. Times Square and Rockefeller Center
“Visit the top of Rockefeller Center at sunset or at night! It’s known to be less crowded later in the evening. Most people choose to go up to the Empire State Building, but I always prefer going up to Rockefeller Center for the best view of the Empire State Building Landscape.”
For those who love high-altitude cityscapes, this is one of the biggest decisions on this trip: Empire State Building or Top of the Rock? We always recommend the latter because, as our local experts say, the best view is the Empire State Building, not the Empire State Building! As with most beautiful places, get there early for a great view…plus, we love the bonus of morning coffee and bagels after waking up early!
4. High Line
“The High Line is a unique way to walk and see some really interesting and great apartments along the way! This old elevated railway line sits above the road and is now a beautiful green space.”
The city turned lemons into lemonade and turned this old railroad track into a public park above ground. Art installations, city skyline views, and dining options create the most relaxing walking experience in the city. Then, walk from the High Line to the Chelsea Market Food Hall, which serves dishes and ingredients from around the world – at your fingertips!
5. Greenwich Village
Washington Square Park, located in Lower Manhattan, is the cultural center where the worlds collide. The meeting point of youth and inner youth, you’ll find NYU students, musicians, skateboarders, chess experts and business people on a break in classic New York style. It’s one of those iconic neighborhoods that’s easy to fall in love with. You’ll even see these streets and parks in many movies, and don’t miss the photo of the Empire State Building perfectly framed in the arches of Washington Square. (Local tip: it’s pronounced “gren-itch”, not “green-witch”…or you can just call it “the Village”.
One of the hippest neighborhoods in lower Manhattan is SoHo, an acronym for “South of Houston Street.” This is New York’s premier shopping district, so keep your wallet full (or opt for some drool-worthy window shopping . Boutique hotels, independent designers and luxury stores line the sidewalks, so this is the place to wear your coolest outfits. You might even be inspired to order Manhattan after a long day of shopping!
7. Brooklyn Bridge and Dumbo
“Cross the Brooklyn Bridge and enjoy Ample Hills ice cream at Brooklyn Bridge Park! Sunset is a great time to walk and capture beautiful scenery.” – Marilyn, flight photographer
Is there anything more iconic than a sunrise walk across the Brooklyn Bridge? We recommend starting on the Manhattan side so you can end the walk at DUMBO (stands for Down Under the Manhattan Bridge Overpass) with views of the Manhattan waterfront, including One World Trade Center. This popular Brooklyn neighborhood has transformed from its industrial roots to a hotspot for dining, leisure, and shopping. Pebble Beach is our favorite photo spot on the East River!.
A short hop on the L train from Manhattan, this trendy neighborhood is a hip haven, with live music, craft stores and galleries bringing creative cool vibes to every neighborhood. Local produce reigns supreme here, and this is a walkable neighborhood. You might find holes in the wall you won’t find on any blog or street art on Instagram, that’s the beauty of Williamsburg!
Piper’s New York City Travel Tips
We highly recommend watching a comedy show at the Comedy Cellar. Book in advance, grab a slice from Artichoke Basille’s Pizza around the corner, and enjoy the show! We also recommend you if you want a surprise or can’t decide which Broadway show to see. Bought tickets through Broadway Roulette. We got a great seat to watch a show we wouldn’t have chosen, but absolutely enjoyed it when we were there, surprises are half the fun! Do yourself a favor, and Marilyn Book a Flytographer shoot together! Not only will you have the best photos to commemorate your trip, but you’ll spend time with the sweetest people you’ll ever meet.” – Piper (above)
Read more: 19+ Insanely Useful Travel Tips for NYC
9. Prospect Park and Brooklyn Botanic Gardens
Central Park may be New York City’s most famous park, but it’s certainly not the only sprawling green space in the city to enjoy. Prospect Park in central Brooklyn is another beautiful place to immerse yourself in nature, and it’s certainly less crowded than the more popular parks. Don’t miss the art installations, fun activities, and of course the beautiful flowers at the Brooklyn Botanic Garden!
10. Staten Island
“Take the Staten Island Ferry! It may seem overwhelming, but it’s 100% free and gives you a great view of the Statue of Liberty! When people commute to work, skip rush hours like early morning and instead Drive at noon or late in the evening.” – Marilyn, flight photographer
Viewed from Manhattan, the famous Statue of Liberty can be…well…disappointing. Get even better views from the water as you take a public ferry to New York City’s greenest borough. Beaches, nature preserves, botanical gardens and Yankees minor league games are some of the activities on a day trip to Staten Island.