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Did you really visit NYC if you didn’t post it on Instagram? Well, yes.. but that doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t be checking out all of the best Instagram spots in NYC. These locations are perfect for snapping your next shot for the ‘gram.
Despite having lived in New York (a true New York local) for over 20 years, I can never get over how incredible the Brooklyn Bridge is and visit often.
What to Know: The bridge is just over a mile long and can be crossed in approximately 25 minutes. Make sure to take your time though, appreciating the skyline views. You can start at either end, however the views walking from Brooklyn to Manhattan are more scenic in my opinion.
How to Get Here: The Brooklyn Bridge is easily accessible by subway, but which subway is going to depend on which side you’re starting at. For those starting on the Manhattan side take the 4/5/6 subway to Brooklyn Bridge – City Hall. If you’re starting the walk from the Brooklyn side you can take either the F to York Street or the A/C to High Street – Brooklyn Bridge.
Tip: The bridge gets very busy! Come at sunrise for a calmer (and truly magical) experience of the bridge.
The Flatiron Building has always been one of my favorite Instagram spots in NYC. Constructed in 1902 right at the foot of Madison Square Park, this building is a true NYC classic.
How to Get Here: The Flatiron Building is super centrally located, with tons of nearby subway stations. The closest subway, however, is the 23rd St station which is service by the N/Q/R/W lines. Walk just a block over and you’ll find the 6 train.
Tip: Stand across the street from the building, preferably up on one of the chairs or concrete blocks, with your photographer crouching for the best angle.
The High Line
Not only is the High Line one of the best Instagram spots in NYC, it is also my absolute favorite place to recommend to anyone visiting the city.
What to Know: Running just under 1.5 miles long, the High Line was originally an elevated rail line designed to reduce the number of deaths occurring from pedestrians crossing 10th Avenue. Today, the High Line is an elevated park featuring 500+ species of plants and trees, artwork, food vendors, and tons of fun activities.
How to Get Here: The High Line runs from Gansevoort St all the way to 30th St, with a number of entrances along the way. An easy way to reach the High Line is to take the A/C/E or L to 14th Street.
Tip: There are so many great photo opportunities along this elevated park. Bring a picnic along for lunch – perfect for your shot and for a nice break once you’re done shooting.
What to Know: DUMBO actually is quite a literal description of this spot, standing for Down Under the Manhattan Bridge Overpass. The spot shown above is clearly one of the most famous, iconic NYC, however there are so many shots to get in DUMBO. Wander down left by the rocks or snap a shot from the outside seating area of the cafe for a great bridge view.
How to Get Here: The exact address of this spot is Washington St between Water St and Plymouth St. You can take the F to York Street Station or the A/C to High Street – Brooklyn Bridge Station, which is just a few minutes further.
Tip: This street is busy all the time. Try coming when it’s raining to get a unique, less crowded photoshoot opportunity.
Shooting in Central Park deserves a full post of it’s own, but I’ll highlight just a few of my favorite spots for you.
Best Instagram Spots in NYC Central Park:
Gapstow Bridge + The Pond
There are a number of great photo opportunities right here by the park entrance, making it one of the best Instagram spots in NYC. Make your way over the bridge and around The Pond to capture the park in all its glory. The large rock by the south side of the pond offers a great view.
How to Get Here: Take the N/R/W lines to 5 Avenue Station or the F to 57 Street Station
Bow Bridge + Bethesda Fountain
Quite easily the most famous part of Central Park, this area is a must for snagging an awesome shot. If you have the time you can rent a boat from The Loeb Boathouse for just $25!
How to Get Here: Take the A/C or B to 72nd Street Station on the West side or the 6 to 68 Street Station if you’re coming from the East side.
A less crowded, more secluded pond, The Pool is the perfect spot for your autumn foliage shots.
How to Get Here: Take the A/C or B to 96th Street Station and enter via the 97th St Traverse and walk north.
Chinatown is definitely one of NYC’s best neighborhoods, and one of the best Instagram spots in NYC as well. Go for the photo op, but stay for the dumplings!
What to Know: Navigating Chinatown can be a bit stressful, with street vendors trying to sell you everything from dried fish to knock of Chanel bags. Embrace the hectic nature of the area, and take time to embrace the different cultures around you.
How to Get Here: Take the subway to Canal Street Station (serviced by just about every subway line in Manhattan).
Washington Square Park
Best known for it’s famous arch, honoring George Washington, Washington Square Park is a true NYC local hangout. You’ll often find street performers, live music, sunbathers, and herds of NYU students stationed at the park on a beautiful day.
How to Get Here: You have a few options for getting to Washington Square Park. Head to West 4 St – Washing Square Station on one of many lines including the A/C/E and B/D/F or take the N/Q/R/W lines to 8 Street Station.
Tip: Arrive early to soak up the morning light in the park. Shoot uptown to capture both the fountain and the arch in your shot.
Coney Island is definitely one of the more unique options on my list of the best Instagram spots in NYC. You can relive your younger days with ferris wheels and cotton candy, plus a Nathan’s hot dog from the famous stand.
What to Know: Coney Island’s Luna Park is a NYC staple, where locals flock for some time in the sun and a carefree afternoon.
How to Get Here: Getting to Coney Island can be quite the trek, so I recommend making a day or half day trip out of it. Take the D/F or N/Q to Coney Island – Stillwell Ave Station.
Tip: Arrive early before many of the rides have opened to have time to shoot without the crowds (and cotton candy covered kids) running around. If you’re visiting during the summer then try to visit during the week for fewer crowds.
Gantry Plaza State Park
Living in Queens myself at the moment, I couldn’t resist throwing a local spot onto the list. Long Island City definitely offers the most underrated best Instagram spots in NYC to shoot at!
What to Know: This waterfront park has tons of photo opportunities, from this NYC skyline view to the Pepsi Cola sign. It is also a fun spot to spend the day with a book on a blanket by the water.
How to Get Here: Take the 7 to Vernon Blvd/Jackson Avenue Station or get adventurous and take the ferry over to the Long Island City Ferry Stop
Tip: There are tons of breweries in the area, so make sure to take some time to explore after you’re done shooting. Rockaway Brewing Company is a fun afternoon stop for a beer flight.
Okay, so “cute restaurants” isn’t exactly a location, but I didn’t think a list of the best Instagram spots in NYC was complete without a list of some of the most Insta-friendly restaurants. I’ve included three of my favorites below, as well as some information on how to get to them and what to order (since you should always order something at a restaurant if you’re going to shoot there).
How to Get Here: There are a number of Tacombi locations but this particularly cute one is locate on Bleeker Street. Take the A/C/E or B/D/F to West 4th Street – Washington Square Park.
What to Order: All the tacos are great but the black bean and sweet potato is a personal favorite.
How to Get Here: Located on Orchard Street in the Lower East Side. This bright blue exterior is a perfect backdrop for your next ‘gram. Take the F to 2nd Avenue Station.
What to Order: Pizza, pizza, pizza. The Rockaway is a must.
How to Get Here: Just down the street from Pizza Beach you’ll find this Greek gem on Stanton between Ludlow and Essex. Take the F or J to Delancey St – Essex St, or just walk over from Pizza Beach.
What to Order: Cheap and delicious, make sure to try their feta cheese covered fries!
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