If you’re looking for the most Instagrammable places in New York then look no further. Here’s our Instagram spots guide.
1. Top Of The Rock
Located at the top of the Rockefeller Center, Top of the Rock is a three-tiered observation deck. Each deck offers spectacular, 360 degree views over New York City.
The observation deck is entirely outdoors, with glass screens to keep visitors safe. (Don’t worry though, there are camera-sized gaps so the glass won’t ruin your snaps!)
The third observation deck, on the 70th floor, is completely open air. It’s almost like a raised plinth for uninterrupted views across the New York skyline.
Top of the Rock operates on a timed ticketing system and you can book your Top of the Rock Observation Deck Ticket in advance.
The vistas from Top of the Rock will take your breath away at any time of the day. However, watching the sun going down, followed by the city lighting up, is truly spectacular.
This is definitely one of the most Instagrammable places in New York and the below photo has become extremely popular on social media.
It’s trickier than it looks to capture though as tripods are not allowed.
So we asked a stranger to snap this from the top deck whilst we ran down to the lower deck.
For all tourists visiting New York we recommend purchasing either the New York: Go City Explorer Pass with 95+ Tours & Attractions or the New York CityPASS®: Save 40% at 5 Top Attractions.
These are a great way of saving money when visiting multiple tourist attractions during your stay in New York.
2. Grand Central Terminal
Located in Midtown Manhattan, the famous Grand Central Terminal is one of the largest train stations in the world.
Ranked as one of the ten most visited tourist attractions in the world, it is definitely very grand!
As well as the stunning architecture, make sure you don’t miss the famous installations. Including, the Information Booth Clock, the Whispering Gallery, the Tiffany glass clock and the celestial ceiling of the main concourse.
Don’t expect to get a clear shot with no people in the back, as this is a working train station.
Explore this iconic NYC building with a local guide and discover its many secrets on The Secrets of Grand Central Terminal tour.
Hailed as one of America’s greatest architectural achievements this is building is stunning.
3. SUMMIT One
Sitting atop one of the tallest skyscrapers in Manhattan and covering 3 levels, SUMMIT One Vanderbilt is an immersive, multi-sensory viewing experience.
From a room with mirrored ceilings, walls and floors, to floating balls, this unusual viewpoint in New York is fascinating.
Additional experiences include Levitation, transparent glass-enclosed skyboxes that extend out over 1,000 ft above Madison Avenue.
As well as Ascent, a sensory defying, all-glass elevator reaching SUMMIT’s highest elevation (1,210 ft) above Midtown.
As with everything in New York, we recommend booking your SUMMIT One Vanderbilt Experience Ticket in advance.
It can be difficult to grab a shot at one of the most Instagrammable places in New York, as the crowds and sunlight play a major factor.
We ended up going with the iPhone shot and hoping for the best.
With three floors of experiences and the stunning views across New York city, a visit to SUMMIT One Vanderbilt is well worth it.
4. Central Park
This famous park is one of New York’s star attractions and welcomes over 42 million visitors each year.
Spanning a massive 843 acres between West and East of Manhattan, its the most frequented urban park in America.
Home to gardens, forests, lakes, historical sites, statues, fountains, bridges, performance facilities and much more, Central Park has it all.
Not forgetting the famous Central Park Zoo and Wildlife Centre making it one of the top things to do in New York.
It’s impossible to see everything the park has to offer in one day. However, some of the top spots are Belvadere castle, Conservatory Water, Bethesda Fountain, Literary Walk and of course the Zoo.
Visiting this urban oasis in the midst of one of the busiest cities in the world is definitely enjoyable.You can even book onto a Highlights of Central Park Bike Tour if you wish!
5. Times Square
Formed at the junction of Broadway, Seventh Avenue and 42nd Street, Times Square is an entertainment centre and commercial area.
Surrounded by Broadway theatres, restaurant and shops and lit by digital, flashing billboard displays, this area constantly buzzes with activity.
It’s a great place to people watch or be entertained by the many street performers.
If you love bright lights, high energy, hustle and bustle and mixing with diverse people, then this is an absolute must on your New York Itinerary.
Another of the most Instagrammable places in New York, you won’t feel foolish pulling your camera out here!
There are so many different things to do in Times Square that I’ll leave you to look through the Times Square Tours.
6. Broadway Show
There are more than 40 Broadway theatres currently operating in New York City. With an amazing variety of shows, you are sure to find something you would like to see.
From Hamilton to Harry Potter, and Moulin Rouge to Macbeth the different genres and choice of shows is vast.
We opted to see the fabulous Lion King, at the Minskoff Theatre, in the heart of Times Square.
We hadn’t thought about taking a photo, especially as cameras aren’t allowed inside the theatre.
Although upon exiting the building we grabbed this snap with our Lion King attire and it made it to the Instagrammable places in New York list!
We recommend booking NYC: The Lion King Broadway Tickets as far in advance as possible as shows do sell out!
You can also check out the rest of the Broadway Shows available.
Just being inside the theatre itself was an amazing experience. We loved the gold-leaf sculpted tableaus on the interior walls, showcasing the theatre’s panoramic views of Broadway.
7. Empire State Building
Arguably the most famous of the Instagrammable places in New York.
The iconic Empire State Building is a 102 storey skyscraper located in Midtown Manhattan. Probably most famous for featuring in the 1933 movie ‘King Kong’.
Inside the Empire State Building you will find shops and cafes/restaurants on the ground floor. As well as the observation decks you can visit on the 80th, 86th and 102nd floors.
You will find lots of fascinating films, exhibits, displays and interactive experiences as you move around the building.
Again, we recommend booking your Empire State Building General & Skip-the-Line Tickets in advance.
With everything it has to offer, topped off with the observation decks, a trip to the iconic Empire State Building is a must!
8. Helicopter Tour
For a totally different perspective of the ‘Big Apple’, why not try taking to the skies in a helicopter. From here you will get a birds-eye view of New York City’s breathtaking skyline.
Some of the iconic sights you can see are the Statue of Liberty, Ellis Island, and most of Lower Manhattan.
With a live on-board commentary, you are certain not to miss any of the famous New York City sights. So don’t forget your camera because you will get some amazing and unique photo opportunities during the tour.
One of the more quirky spots on the Instagrammable places in New York list, it is harder than it looks to get a good shot.
So make sure you travel buddy has patience and is ready to snap away.
9. Statue Of Liberty
The Statue of Liberty is one of the most famous and instantly recognisable symbols of the United States of America.
Located on Liberty Island in New York Harbour, the Statue of Liberty is only accessible via Statue Cruises ferries.
As with everything in New York, we recommend booking your Statue of Liberty & Ellis Island Tickets in advance.
If going up to the pedestal of the statue, you have nearly 200 steps to climb. However, the views of Manhattan, once up there, are definitely worth the climb.
Access to the crown on the Statue of Liberty is limited, due to safety and accessibility requirements. It was not open on the day we visited but is apparently worth the 315 steps when it is open.
In terms of this photo, we headed round the outside of the walkway where you’ll find lots of crowds (and photographers). However, there is plenty of space for everyone to get their photo.
10. One World Observatory
One World Observatory is an observation deck at the top of the One World Trade Center.
This is the tallest building in New York City and the Western Hemisphere.
The deck is completely enclosed in glass, so you have stunning 360 degree views across the city. Including views of the Hudson River, Brooklyn Bridge, the Statue of Liberty, New York Harbour and all of Manhattan.
As with everything in New York, we recommend booking your One World Observatory: Skip-the-Line Ticket in advance.
One World Observatory is definitely worth a visit for the spectacular views. Also, the brilliant use of technology makes it a great immersive experience for all the family.
Apart from the spectacular views, how great to be able to say you have been to the highest point in New York City!
11. Brooklyn Bridge
Spanning the East River, between the boroughs of Manhattan and Brooklyn, the famous Brooklyn Bridge is a suspension bridge that is just over 1 mile/2 km long.
One of the most popular ways to see the bridge is via the NYC: 1-Hour Cruise Around Statue of Liberty & Ellis Island.
If you’re more of a adrenaline junky then the New York City: Manhattan Helicopter Tour is a huge bucket list tick!
From the skyline of Manhattan, with the distinctive Woolworth Building and One World Trade Center, to the sweeping views across Brooklyn Heights to Red Hook, there is plenty to see.
This is possibly the busiest place for photographers, especially at the main entrance to the footpath.
We recommend walk further down past the crowds in order to get a clearer sighting.
As well as the amazing scenery you also have the changing views of the iconic Brooklyn Bridge itself as you walk across it, with its sweeping cables and soaring suspension towers with Gothic arches.
12. Friends Apartment Building
In the famous TV show, the Friends cast supposedly lived in New York’s Greenwich Village neighbourhood in downtown Manhattan.
All of the interior shots for the show were actually filmed in a studio. However, the exterior of the building that was seen in the show is a real location that you can view at 90 Bedford Street.
There are no signs telling you that you are in the right place (although lots of people taking photos is a bit of a giveaway) but if you are a fan, you will easily recognise the exterior of this iconic building.
At the base of the building you will find a cafe, like in the show, but this one is called Little Owl not Central Perk!
For the hardcore Friends fans you’ll likely want to visit the New York City: The FRIENDS™ Experience.
One of the more recent Instagrammable places in New York to appear!
Forming an extraordinary spiral structure of connected staircases between buildings, Vessel is the stunning centrepiece of Hudson Yards.
Soaring 16 storeys high and designed to enable people to enjoy new perspectives of the city from different heights, angles and vantage points this structure is truly unique.
Unfortunately, Vessel has been closed to the public since January 2021 after several people used the structure to commit suicide. Access to the ground-level base is still open and free to the public.
Even without climbing the staircase, this unique structure is worth seeing as a stand alone, amazing piece of architecture.
It is hoped that Vessel will open again soon, once measures are in place that will reduce the risk of any further tragedies.
In the mean time there is the New York City: High Line & Hudson Yards Walking Tour available.
Opened in March 2020, the Edge is a triangular shaped, observation deck jutting out from the 100th floor of 30 Hudson Yards, a super tall skyscraper in the west side area of Manhattan.
As well as a glass floor, the Edge also has glass panel sides that lean away from the suspended deck making it feel like you are floating in the sky.
Standing on this observation deck, you will have amazing, 360 degree views across New York City, from the tip of Central Park to the Statue of Liberty and beyond, making for some awesome photos.
As with everything in New York, we recommend booking your Edge Observation Deck Admission Ticket in advance.
The only downside to this magnificent spot is that people will queue to take a photo in the Instagrammable corner.
If you’ve got time and want the shot, you can queue. However we just took this cool photo where nobody was hanging around.
15. Bar 54
With literally hundreds of really great rooftop bars in Manhattan you are spoilt for choice. We visited Bar 54 in Times Square.
Located on the 54th floor at the Hyatt Centric Times Square, Bar 54 is one of the highest in New York City and offers stunning views of Times Square and the whole of Lower Manhattan.
As well as the amazing views, Bar 54 has an extensive drinks menu including a collection of really delicious sounding cocktails, wines, beers, spirits and some light food snacks.
With its intimate indoor area and larger outside terrace, Bar 54 has a really nice relaxed vibe and although not cheap, is well worth a visit.
It wasn’t very busy at all when we visited, so we were the only ones outside taking photos.
Wondering about the name Dumbo? It’s actually an acronym for Down Under Manhattan Bridge Overpass; this is the neighbourhood where the view point is located.
Not to be confused with Brooklyn Bridge, it covers two sections.
One located between the Manhattan and Brooklyn Bridges, which connect Brooklyn to Manhattan across the East River, and another that continues east from the Manhattan Bridge to the Vinegar Hill area.
The steel bridge rises up out of the East River, with the Empire State Building visible in the background, the red brick warehouses and cobbled streets in the foreground thus making for some stunning photo opportunities.
We will warn you in advance, this spot gets crazy busy throughout the day.
So if you want it to yourself we recommend getting up for sunrise. Otherwise you’ll have to be patient to get a decent photo.
This was one of the photos we’d seen hundreds of times recreated on social media, but we had to tick it off our Instagrammable places in New York list.
Where To Stay In New York
This Manhattan hotel in Midtown overlooks Central Park and is within walking distance of Fifth Avenue and Rockefeller Center.
Free cable and a bathrobe are provided in every room at the New York Central Park Ritz-Carlton. All rooms are elegant, with wood furniture and light colors. Many rooms also include a city or park view.
La Prairie Spa at the Ritz-Carlton New York Central Park offers massage and facial services, as well as a sauna. Guests can also work out in the state-of-the-art fitness center.
The 57th street subway station is just 2 blocks away, providing easy access to the city. Radio City Music Hall and the Broadway Theatre District are also both within 1 mile of the hotel.
Located right in the heart of Manhattan, this hotel is just 1 minute’s walk from Times Square. It’s also within 5 minutes’ walk of Central Park and Columbus Circle.
A flat-screen TV and a small refrigerator with free water are available in citizenM’s rooms. Bathrooms include Hansgrohe rain showers and oversized bathroom amenities.
With the room iPad, all guests can control room lights, black-out blinds, curtains and temperature. As well as TV and radio channels.
Free high-speed Wi-Fi and express check in are on offer at citizenM New York Times Square.
Three outdoor terraces are provided at the New York Times Square citizenM. They feature a state-of-the-art fitness centre with yoga facilities.
After working out, guests can relax with drinks and sweeping views of the city on the exclusive rooftop bar.
Located in New York City’s Upper West Side, this hostel is a block from the 86th street underground station and 2 blocks from Central Park. It offers Wi-Fi and staff-organized events.
A shared kitchen, café area, and spacious lounge with a flat-screen TV are part of the facilities at the FIT Hotel. Lockers are also provided in the dormitory rooms and luggage storage is available.
The front desk of this New York City hostel is open 24 hours a day. It features daily housekeeping and free linens.
Times Square is only 10 minutes via underground journey.