Best Place To Take Pictures in New York City

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Best places to take photos in New York City



From the brilliant lights of Times Square to the expansive calm of Central Park, from the imposing stature of the Empire State Building to the tranquil shores near the Brooklyn Bridge—NYC has it all. Each of these iconic New York locales pops up constantly on Instagram feeds and for good reason—they’re stunning.

Feeling overwhelmed? Let me guide you.

New York City’s vastness means a little planning goes a long way. After reading this, you’ll want to mark down your must-visit spots.

For those on a whirlwind visit to NYC wanting to maximize their time, I offer a streamlined one-day guide to the city’s most photogenic spots. If you’re looking to capture the quintessential NYC experience quickly, this guide is your shortcut.

Brooklyn Bridge Photo Spots

Brooklyn Bridge

As one of the oldest roadway bridges in the United States, the Brooklyn Bridge adds historical richness to any photo. Its distinctive Gothic arches and symmetrical cable patterns present an old-world charm contrasted with the modern cityscape. Throughout the bridge itself, you’ll find multiple angles and backgrounds to play around with.

Address: 63 Tillary St, Brooklyn, NY 11201, United States (Brooklyn side) or 55 Tillary St, Brooklyn, NY 11201, USA (Manhattan side)

Recommended photo location: Come in the early morning to avoid the crowds, or arrive an hour before sunset for an amazing view of the city lights. Be careful when sitting on the edge if you want to replicate the photo above.

Brooklyn Bridge City Hall

Brooklyn Bridge City Hall is a fusion of historical significance, urban energy, and architectural beauty. The area near City Hall provides a classic view of the Brooklyn Bridge. The mix of City Hall’s old-style architecture with the modern city skyline and the classic look of the Brooklyn Bridge really makes for some cool, eye-catching contrasts in photos. The bustling streets around City Hall capture the vibrant energy of the city.

Address: City Hall Park, New York, NY 10007

DUMBO Park

The park provides a breathtaking backdrop of the Manhattan skyline, showcasing iconic structures like the Empire State Building and the One World Trade Center. With its close proximity to the Brooklyn Bridge, you can capture this historic landmark from unique angles, perfectly framing it with the cityscape. And just steps away, you’ll find other photogenic spots like Jane’s Carousel, adding a touch of whimsy and nostalgia to your shots.

Address:  55 Water St, Brooklyn, NY 11201

DUMBO Photo Spots

Pebble Beach

It’s not as crowded as other places in NYC, so you can take your time and get your shots without a bunch of people around. The East River gives your photos a chill, watery feel that’s really unique in the city. You will also get a view of Manhattan’s skyline, Brooklyn Bridge and the beach itself. It isn’t your usual sandy type; it’s got all these pebbles that look really neat in photos.

Address: 65 Plymouth St, Brooklyn, NY 11201

Time Out Market

Not many people know about the rooftop and its stunning view, but if you get to the roof of Time Out Market, you’ll find a terrace with tables and weathered walls, offering a view of the Brooklyn Bridge from an interesting, unusual angle that you won’t get from the nearby park.

Address: 55 Water St, Brooklyn, NY 11201

Brooklyn Bridge Park Pier 1

Besides Dumbo Park, almost at the same location, there’s another spot – Brooklyn Bridge Park – that boasts an amazing skyline view with far fewer people around compared to most popular photo spots in NYC, including Jane’s Carousel. Here, you’ll see Downtown Manhattan as your backdrop, the Bridge itself, and a few ferries. The long promenade, a small park, and cute ice cream shops offer a variety of backgrounds for your photoshoot, all in one spot.

Address: 2 Furman St, Brooklyn, NY 11201

Washington Street Viewpoint


Last but not least in this area is the famous Washington Street with a Manhattan Bridge view. Easily accessible from any point in Dumbo, you’ll recognize this corner building from my favorite TV show, “Gossip Girl.” And you won’t miss this street, given the number of people trying to get a picture there every single day.

Address: 39-21 Washington St, Brooklyn, NY 11201

Soho Photo Spots

Tribeca

Tribeca, known for its industrial past and now celebrated for its hip, artistic flair, offers a blend of cobblestone streets and unique architectural styles. Photographers will find a rich tapestry of old-world charm mixed with modern sophistication. Perfect for street-style shoots, the area’s spacious lofts and classic iron fire escapes provide an authentic NYC backdrop.

Soho

Soho is a photographer’s dream with its fashionable streets, cast-iron buildings, and luxury boutiques. The neighborhood’s European flair and vibrant artistic scene make it ideal for both fashion and architectural photography. The blend of trendy storefronts and historic facades offers endless opportunities to capture the essence of New York’s trendy yet timeless spirit.

Central Park Photo Spots

Central Park, the most famous park in New York City, offers a tranquil retreat amidst the urban chaos. Its sprawling landscape is a mosaic of picturesque vistas, charming bridges, and lush greenery, perfect for diverse photographic themes.

Bethesda Terrace and Fountain

The Bethesda Terrace and Fountain are central features of the park, known for their intricate design and scenic views of the lake. They provide a romantic and historic setting, ideal for portraits and scenic photography.

The Bow Bridge

The Bow Bridge, with its elegant curves and stunning views of the park’s waterways, is a favorite for couples’ photography. Its backdrop of the city skyline adds a unique contrast to the natural beauty of the park.

Hudson Yards Photo Spots

Bryant Park Photo Spots

Bryant Park, nestled amidst the towering skyscrapers of Midtown Manhattan, offers a serene and picturesque setting for photography. Known for its lush green lawns, elegant French-style carousel, and the stunning New York Public Library backdrop, the park is a popular spot for both leisurely and professional photo shoots. Its diverse landscape, from manicured gardens to open plazas, provides a variety of stunning scenes.

The Lawn: The Green Heart of Bryant Park

The expansive Lawn at Bryant Park, surrounded by trees and urban architecture, provides a perfect green oasis for summer picnics and casual photos. Capture candid moments or planned shoots here, especially when the sun casts soft, golden hues in the late afternoon.

The New York Public Library

The majestic New York Public Library, adjacent to Bryant Park, offers a grand and historical backdrop. Its Beaux-Arts architecture, with grand marble steps and impressive stone lions, creates a distinguished setting for both fashion shoots and architectural photography.

Grand Central Photo Spots

Grand Central Terminal, more than just a bustling transportation hub, is a landmark replete with architectural splendor and history. Its Beaux-Arts design, featuring grandiose windows, intricate ceiling art, and vast halls, makes it a photographer’s delight. Capture the essence of New York City’s vibrant history and contemporary hustle in this iconic location.

The Main Concourse

The Main Concourse, with its celestial ceiling mural and famous four-faced clock, offers a bustling yet elegant scene. It’s ideal for capturing the energy of city life, as well as the grandeur of this historic space.

The Whispering Gallery

Located near the famous Oyster Bar, the Whispering Gallery is a lesser-known spot with a fascinating acoustic feature. Photograph the interaction of visitors as they experience the gallery’s unique sound characteristics, adding an intriguing layer to your images.

Long Island City Photo Spots

Long Island City (LIC), known for its stunning waterfront parks and striking views of the Manhattan skyline, is a treasure trove for photographers. This area blends industrial heritage with modern high-rises, offering diverse scenes from gritty urban landscapes to serene riverside vistas.

Gantry Plaza State Park

Gantry Plaza State Park provides breathtaking views of the Manhattan skyline, especially stunning during sunset. Its distinctive gantries, once used for loading and unloading rail car floats, now serve as unique industrial relics perfect for a dramatic backdrop.

MoMA PS1: Contemporary Art in an Urban Setting

MoMA PS1, a renowned contemporary art center, offers not just artistic exhibits but also an architecturally interesting space for photography. The building itself, a converted public school, combines historical architecture with modern art installations.

Financial District Photo Spots

The Financial District, at the southern tip of Manhattan, is a compelling blend of historic landmarks and sleek modern skyscrapers. It’s a place where the energy of global finance meets the rich history of New York City, offering diverse photographic opportunities, from towering buildings to historic streets.

Wall Street

Wall Street is synonymous with financial power and is a must-photograph spot. Capture the bustling activity, the famous Charging Bull sculpture, and the imposing architecture that define this legendary street.

Stone Street

Stone Street, with its cobblestone pavement and lined with historic buildings, offers a glimpse into old New York. It’s perfect for capturing the contrast between the old-world charm and the modern cityscape.

The Oculus

The Oculus, with its futuristic design, is not just a transportation hub but also a work of art. Its white, wing-like structure provides an excellent backdrop for both architectural photography and dynamic street scenes.

Battery Park

Battery Park, at the southern tip of Manhattan, offers a serene escape with stunning views of the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island. Its lush greenery and waterfront provide a unique contrast to the city’s urban landscape, ideal for capturing diverse and dynamic shots. The mix of historical monuments and modern art installations in the park adds to its photographic appeal.

Midtown Manhattan Photo Spots

Midtown Manhattan is a dazzling showcase of New York City’s urban splendor, featuring iconic landmarks, towering skyscrapers, and bustling streets. This area is a photographer’s playground, offering endless opportunities to capture the essence of the city’s energy and architecture.

Times Square

Times Square, known for its neon lights and billboards, is a symbol of the city’s vibrant nightlife and entertainment. Capture the dynamic energy of the crowds, the colorful advertisements, and the pulse of urban life in this iconic location.

Flatiron

The iconic Flatiron Building, with its unique triangular shape, is a favorite among architectural photographers. Located at the intersection of Broadway and Fifth Avenue, it offers compelling angles and a striking backdrop for cityscape photography. The nearby Madison Square Park also provides a natural frame with its beautiful greenery.

Williamsburg Photo Spots

Williamsburg is a vibrant neighborhood known for its indie music scene, hipster culture, and street art. Its eclectic mix of old factories and modern apartments provides a rich urban canvas for photographers. The area is especially known for its spectacular waterfront views of Manhattan and striking murals.