From observation decks to street-level spaces, here are some of the best places to snap a pic while staying in the Big Apple.
Want to score social media-worthy pics that will wow your friends and followers? Discover the best spots—from cool new attractions to iconic scenes—where you can capture the spirit of New York City during your stay.
Washington Street in DUMBO
Head to Brooklyn’s DUMBO neighborhood to snap a shot at the intersection of Water and Washington Streets. From here, you’ll be able to capture the classic cobblestone street and an iconic view of the Manhattan Bridge with the skyline and Empire State Building framed in the background.
The Brooklyn Bridge
Stroll along the bridge’s pedestrian walkway to take in panoramic views of the city, as well as the structural elements of the landmark bridge, including its symmetrical cables, which make for an interesting photo composition. To get the perfect shot, head there early to avoid getting the large crowds of tourists and locals in your pics.
The New York Public Library
Situated just steps from Park Terrace Hotel, New York Public Library has one of the largest book collections in the world. The main entrance of the library is home to two iconic stone lions, nicknamed Patience and Fortitude, that guard the building. After your photo op at the entrance, head inside to the recently renovated Rose Reading Room for more stunning sights.
Top of the Rock
Considered by many to offer better views than the Empire State Building, the Top of the Rock viewing platforms are located at the top of Rockefeller Center in Midtown Manhattan. From here, you can see north to Central Park and south to downtown.
Bryant Park’s Carousel
Le Carrousel in Bryant Park, which was specially created to complement the park’s French classical style, features 14 whimsical animals—replicas of traditional carousel creatures—that revolve to the sounds of French cabaret music. It’s tucked into the leafy canopy of the park’s London Plane trees, making it a playful location for photos, particularly during the warmer seasons or when the leaves change color in the fall.
Grand Central Station
Instantly recognizable even to those who haven’t been to New York City, Grand Central has appeared in countless movies and TV shows thanks to its photogenic atmosphere. While you’re there, snap a picture of its iconic exterior as well, which perfectly captures the essence of the bustling city.
Jackie Kennedy Onassis Reservoir
Walk along the perimeter of the Central Park Reservoir, which stretches from 86th to 96th Streets, to get one of the best views of the city. Take in the New York City skyline against the reflective water for a magical moment that is truly picture-perfect.
This impressive viewing platform, located 100 floors above Manhattan in the Hudson Yards neighborhood, provides some of the best photo ops in the city. It’s the highest outdoor sky deck in the Western Hemisphere with 360-degree views of New York City and a glass floor, so you really feel like you’re standing on the edge of the world.
Washington Square Park
Visit Washington Square Park to get photos of the landmark arch and the Empire State Building in the background. It’s also a great spot for people watching and street photography, especially in the warmer months.
Staten Island Ferry
The Staten Island Ferry is a wonderful and free way to capture epic shots of the skyline from the water. Jump on one of the iconic orange ferries, which are a photo op in themselves, to see some of the best views of downtown Manhattan and the Statue of Liberty.
SUMMIT One Vanderbilt
One of the newest observation decks in New York City, One Vanderbilt is located over 1,000 feet above Manhattan between the 57th and 59th floors, offering unparalleled views of the cityscape. Book a ticket for late afternoon before sunset to experience the best lighting for your pics.