Few places spark wanderlust quite like New York. The lure of Central Park, the charm of the iconic skyline and that feeling of magic when you walk through the streets, discovering hidden gems around each corner. I fell in love with New York the second I caught a glimpse of it from the plane window, itching to get out and explore immediately. Being such a huge place it can be hard to narrow down what you want to see and do while you’re there, condensing it into one itinerary. To help you get inspired, here are my tips on the most Instagram-worthy spots New York has to offer.
1. The Met Fifth Avenue
Take a trip to The Metropolitan Museum of Art (Met) and check out the rooftop garden for stunning views of New York that’ll capture your heart. It’s open seven days a week, but for those dreamy golden hour shots, try visiting on a Friday or Saturday when it’s open later.
2. The Flatiron Building
No trip to New York is complete without a visit to the iconic Flatiron Building. You’ll recognise it from films like Godzilla, Spiderman and The Usual Suspects as well as a tonne of photos of New York.
3. Central Park
Spend a few hours wandering through Central Park, soaking it all in. Trust me, it takes a minute or two for it to register in your mind that you’re actually there. If the weather is good, grab some lunch, sprawl out on a picnic blanket and soak in the wonder of New York while you watch the world go by. It’s time well spent.
4. The Brooklyn Bridge
Take a stroll along the Brooklyn Bridge at golden hour for dreamy shots of the sunset and to soak in the beauty around you. Don’t forget to get shots from different angles, not just on the bridge looking off.
5. The Oculus Mall
The incredible Westfield World Trade Centre or Oculus Mall is quite the beauty to behold, both from the inside and outside. The bright white, spikes facade makes it looks like a majestic, futuristic space station/deep sea creature and it’s all kinds of Instagram wonderful.
6. The Subway
If you love street photography and photos with a raw edge to them, be sure to capture a few shots of New York’s famous subway system. The underground stations are great spots to snap gritty shots with pops of colour, movement and life. Then, share an eye-catching Instagram story with the help of this awesome Instagram story maker.
7. As seen from above…
For an unforgettable experience, splash some cash on a helicopter ride over the Big Apple. There are a tonne of companies running scenic flights over NYC and, honestly, if you’ve got the money to spare, it’s one of those unique experiences you will most certainly never forget.
8. Sunsets and the City
There’s this pretty magical thing that happens on a gorgeous, sunny afternoon in New York. As the sun sets, it floats bright golden light down certain streets. This makes for an incredible golden-hour photoshoot, affording you the opportunity to capture New York’s iconic streets and buildings with gorgeous golden light shining through.
9. The Empire State Building
You’ll definitely want to find yourself a great vantage point to soak in views of NYC’s famous skyline. Most people tend to make a beeline for the Empire State Building, forgetting that once you’re at the top, you can’t see it! Uh-Oh. You can avoid this by taking yourself to the Top of the Rock instead! You’ll be treated to gorgeous views of the Empire State Building as well as Central Park – stunning.
10. Little Italy
Make sure you include a trip to Little Italy on your NYC itinerary and send a few hours exploring the streets, looking for bright and bold street-art, quaint cafes and restaurants and fascinating locals enjoying a meal.
11. Explore the streets
Discover your own new spots by following your instincts down local streets and laneways, snapping bright pops of colour and interesting locals. New York is famous for being iconic and inspiring with its easily recognisable building and shop fronts all across town. I found myself taking photos of everything and anything, because it was all beautiful!
12. The High Line
An unused, elevated section of the New York Central Railroad has been converted into a pretty amazing stretch of park, perched above the city. The High Line is a great spot to get some great photos looking down on the streets below and see the city from a different angle.
Useful travel resources for your next adventure!
If you found this post useful, I’d be grateful if you used the affiliate links below. I’ll make a small commission at no extra cost to you. Rest assured, these are the products and services I love and use. Thanks for your support! – Matt
Read the disclaimer for more information.
Agoda – hotels
Booking.com – hotels
Cover-More – insurance
Motorhome Republic – RVs
RentalCars.com – rentals
SimsDirect – SIM cards
Skyscanner – flights
Surfshark – VPN
TourRadar – tours
Uber Carshare – rentals