The Best FREE Instagrammable Places In NYC For Visitors

Your trip to New York City needs to be memorable. The best way to capture those memories is by taking pictures of all the beautiful spots in NYC.

April 6, 2023

The Best FREE Instagrammable Places In NYC For Visitors

Your trip to New York City needs to be memorable. The best way to capture those memories is by taking pictures of all the beautiful spots in NYC. From popular attractions to New York’s skyline, there are many instagrammable places in nyc to visit. Getting to the best list of instagrammable spots in nyc is hard. There are attractions, restaurants, rooftops and so many interesting art sculptures that create the perfect background, its hard to choose. The places we listed in this blog are FREE instagrammable places in nyc that anyone can visit and take pictures of. 

Depending on what you want to do in NYC, deciding when to go to these places takes some planning. We know that everyone’s travel plans are different. To get a tailored plan that includes the best instgrammable places in nyc based on your trip plan, request a tailored plan. Our team tailors plans for travelers based on the activities they love most. Tell us your must-see attractions, favorite foods, and the number of days you’re in New York City, and our team will build a hand-crafted plan that matches your profile.

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Ok ... on to the list ...

1. The Brooklyn Bridge

If you haven't yet had the chance to visit the Brooklyn Bridge, I highly recommend it. It's one of the most popular spots in NYC and for good reason. Watching the sunset from a viewpoint with a clear view of the Brooklyn Bridge is one of the most beautiful experiences you can have in the city. If you're looking to see the bridge from a new perspective, take a stroll along the Dumbo waterfront. From here, you can admire the bridge's architecture from a different angle, and capture stunning photos of the bridge and Manhattan skyline.

2. Times Square

As one of the most iconic destinations in New York City, Times Square, or the "Crossroads of the World," is a must-visit location for any traveler. Its vibrant neon lights and bustling crowds make it a top spot for snapping the perfect Instagram photo, and not just for tourists, but for locals too. If you want to avoid the crowds and take advantage of the best lighting, consider visiting late at night or early in the morning. Additionally, consider exploring the surrounding areas, such as the bustling Broadway theater district or the quieter Bryant Park, which offer their own photo opportunities.

3. Grand Central Station

As one of the world's most famous train stations, Grand Central Terminal has a lot of features to photograph. Its astronomical ceiling mural and Beaux-Arts style clocks and lighting fixtures are just a few examples. Take your time exploring and find the perfect shot that captures the essence of this National Historic Landmark. To avoid the crowds and get the best shot, consider visiting during off-peak hours or finding a unique perspective, like shooting from one of the balconies.

4. Washington Square Park

Washington Square Park is a historic and beloved public park located in the heart of New York City, providing a wonderful spot for families and friends to enjoy some time together. The park is filled with beautiful public art, including the iconic Washington Square Arch, and boasts a diverse array of lush trees and greenery, making it an ideal spot for capturing some stunning Instagrammable photos. As the oldest public park in NYC, Washington Square Park has a rich and storied history that’s worth checking out during your visit.

5. Hudson Yards Vessel

Designed by Diller Scofidio + Renfro, The Vessel is a 150-foot-tall interactive sculpture located in Hudson Yards that consists of 80 landings and nearly 2,500 steps. Despite the fact that you can no longer climb to the top, The Vessel continues to be a popular attraction for visitors to the city. You can still explore the structure's interior and the surrounding plaza, which offers an abundance of Instagrammable angles and views of the surrounding buildings.

6. Flatiron Building

The Flatiron Building and surrounding neighborhood is a must-see for anyone visiting New York City, and the building itself has become an iconic landmark of the city. To capture the perfect shot, it’s best to get as close to 23rd street as possible to fully appreciate its triangular shape. With its distinctive design and gold clock, there are many angles and spots around the building to take unforgettable photos, such as the nearby trees in full bloom during the spring.

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7. Washington St. In DUMBO

Washington Street in DUMBO is a destination in itself for photography enthusiasts and tourists visiting New York City. The stunning view of the Manhattan Bridge Overpass framed by the brick buildings and the cobblestone streets creates a timeless and charming aesthetic that has made it a popular backdrop for countless photoshoots. However, with its immense popularity comes large crowds, so it's important to arrive early in the morning or on a weekday to avoid the hustle and bustle. 

8. The Highline

If you're looking for an incredible view of the city without breaking the bank, head to the High Line in Chelsea. This 1.5-mile elevated walkway was built on a former train line and features a perfect blend of art, architecture, and nature. To avoid crowds and take the best photos, try visiting during off-peak hours or on weekdays. Don't miss out on the top photo spots, including the West 15th Street Skybridge, Sam Falls's Untitled (Four Arches) installation, and the 10th Avenue Square and Overlook.

9. The Met

If you're a fan of Gossip Girl, you won't want to miss the chance to take some photos on the Met Steps! Made famous by the show (and the Met Gala), these steps make a perfect backdrop for a stylish photoshoot. Even if you're not a fan of the show, the Met's entrance is a stunning piece of architecture that's worth capturing on camera. Don't forget to dress up in your best outfit to really make the most of this iconic location!

10. Central Park

If you're short on time in Central Park, don't miss the chance to photograph two of the park's most iconic locations: Bow Bridge and Bethesda Terrace and Fountain. Begin your photo session at the world-famous Bow Bridge, then head to the magnificent Bethesda Fountain. But if you have more time, don't miss out on other Instagram-worthy spots like Gapstow Bridge, the rocky outcropping near Gapstow Bridge, and the views of Belvedere Castle. These hidden gems provide one-of-a-kind perspectives and breathtaking views of the park's natural beauty.

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11. The Plaza Hotel

The Plaza Hotel is an iconic landmark in New York City, and it offers many great photo opportunities. Besides capturing the hotel's grandeur from across the street, you can also take advantage of its prime location adjacent to Central Park. From the steps of the Plaza Hotel, you can snap a photo of the park's lush greenery and the bustling city in the background. Or, head into the park for a different perspective and capture a shot of the hotel towering over the trees.

12. Radio City Music Hall

To capture the best Instagram-worthy shots of the Radio City Music Hall marquee, head to the public plaza directly across the street from the theater on the west side of 6th Avenue. For the full marquee sign, I recommend taking your photo from the corner diagonally across from the marquee, specifically the southwest corner of 50th Street and 6th Avenue. Just keep in mind that the lighting can be harsh during mid-day, so consider visiting during golden hour for a more flattering glow.

13. Flushing Meadows Park

Flushing Meadows Corona Park is a great place to escape the hustle and bustle of the city and enjoy some nature. As the fourth largest park in New York City, it offers plenty of space to explore and relax. If you visit in the spring, you'll be treated to beautiful blooms and a colorful landscape. The park is also steeped in history, having been built for the 1939 New York World's Fair, and you can still see remnants of that time today, including the iconic Unisphere. Don't miss the chance to snap some photos with this 140-foot representation of the earth as your backdrop.

14. Tudor City Bridge

If you're looking for a picturesque spot in New York City, the Tudor City Bridge is a must-visit. This pedestrian bridge is located near the Midtown Tunnel and is a popular location for taking stunning sunset photos. During certain times of the year, the sun aligns perfectly between the skyscrapers, creating a unique and breathtaking shot. Not only that, but the bridge also provides great views of the iconic Chrysler Building. Be sure to bring your camera and arrive early to secure the best spot for capturing the perfect shot.

15. The Oculus

The World Trade Center Transportation Hub is a must-visit for any Instagram enthusiast. Designed by Spanish architect Santiago Calatrava, the exterior of the hub is modeled after a winged dove, while the centerpiece is the stunning Oculus - a white steel and glass structure that plays with light and space. The hub serves as a transportation hub for the subway and NJ Transit PATH trains, as well as one of the city's largest shopping centers. To capture the perfect shot, head to the platform at the Church Street entrance for the best views.

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16. Coney Island

If you're searching for a fun and unique location for your next photoshoot in NYC, consider taking a trip to Coney Island and exploring its historic boardwalk. Don't miss the opportunity to capture some amazing shots of the Wonder Wheel, you can photograph it from the boardwalk or while riding the wheel. Additionally, make sure to stop by the Coney Art Walls on Stillwell Avenue. This outdoor museum of colorful murals and street art offers a fun and quirky backdrop for your photos and is a must-see for any art lover.

17. Liberty State Park

If you're looking for a beautiful and peaceful spot to take in stunning views of the Manhattan skyline, then Liberty State Park is a great destination to consider. Located in Jersey City, this park is situated at the mouth of the Hudson River and offers some of the most spectacular vistas of the city's skyline. One of the park's main attractions is the Empty Sky Memorial, which is a moving and poignant tribute to the New Jersey residents who lost their lives in the September 11th attacks on the World Trade Center.

18. Rockefeller Center

Rockefeller Center is a must-visit destination in Midtown for those looking to capture some amazing shots. You'll find plenty of opportunities for Instagram-worthy photos between the famous Prometheus and Atlas statues, the skating rink, and 30 Rock itself. For the best views, head to Rockefeller Plaza and Fifth Avenue between 49th and 50th Streets.

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19. Stone Street

This short stretch of cobblestone road between Wall Street and Broad Street in the Financial District was once a popular haunt of the city’s colonial settlers; in fact, it was formerly home to the first brewery in North America. Today, the pedestrian-only street is a great place to capture the charm of the city’s historical side, as many of the buildings date back to the 1800s. For those looking to capture some unique shots, Stone Street provides a great opportunity to showcase the city's rich history and architecture.

20. Doyers Street

Doyers Street, nestled in the heart of Chinatown, is a small and crooked street that offers a unique glimpse into New York City's fascinating history. Despite its violent past, today the street is home to a number of popular restaurants and bars, as well as some of the city's best dumpling spots. For an unusual photo opportunity, make sure to visit the narrow alleyway known as “The Bloody Angle" and snap some shots of the street's unusual architecture and hidden corners. Don't forget to check out the stunning rainbow-colored mural by Chilean street artist Dasic Fernández that has transformed the pedestrian-only street into a true visual wonderland.

21. Arthur Avenue

For foodies looking to up their Instagram game, a visit to The Bronx is a must-do! Arthur Avenue in the borough's Belmont section is a hidden gem and one of the best spots in NYC for capturing delicious culinary delights. As the center of Bronx's Little Italy, this street is home to some of the city's best Italian restaurants, bakeries, markets, and shops. The Arthur Avenue Retail Market is especially worth a visit, with its vibrant displays of fresh produce, meats, and prepared foods and artisan cigar rolling.

22. Staten Island Ferry

The Staten Island Ferry is a great way to capture stunning views of the Statue of Liberty and the New York City skyline, all for free! The ferry runs between St. George Terminal on Staten Island and Whitehall Terminal in Lower Manhattan, offering passengers an up-close look at Lady Liberty and panoramic views of the city's iconic skyline. It's a great option for those who want to see the statue and enjoy some great photo opportunities without paying for a ticket to the island itself.

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Custom NYC Trip Plans

24. NYC Subway Car

Riding the subway in NYC is a quintessential experience that captures the essence of the city, and it's also a great opportunity for unique and cheap Instagram photos. The subway system is home to a vast collection of public art, including murals, mosaics, and sculptures, that are sure to add a touch of creativity to your feed. Plus, the subway cars themselves can be an interesting backdrop for your photos, whether you're capturing a candid moment of a commuter or a reflection of the passing cityscape in the train windows.

25. Carrie Bradshaw's Apartment

Exploring the neighborhoods of NYC to find buildings that have been featured in popular TV shows and movies can be a fun and unique outdoor activity. One popular destination for TV and film buffs is the West Village, where you can see the apartment building featured in the Friends intro (90 Bedford St) and the iconic front steps of the building portrayed as Carrie Bradshaw’s Upper East Side apartment in Sex and the City (64-66 Perry Street). Planning a self-led walking tour with Khonsu is an affordable way to experience the city's culture and history, while also capturing some great Instagram shots.

26. Yankee Stadium

If you're a fan of baseball and classic Americana, a trip to Yankee Stadium in the Bronx is a must-do activity. The stadium has a great old-fashioned feel and is full of history and tradition, with plenty of opportunities to snap some great photos. Whether you're taking in a game or just touring the stadium, you'll love exploring the famous ballpark and learning about its storied past.

27. Queensboro Plaza

Queensboro Plaza is a bustling transportation hub in the Long Island City neighborhood of Queens, New York City. It connects various subway lines and serves as a transfer point between Queens and Manhattan. The plaza is known for its impressive elevated station with steel and glass canopies, as well as its views of the nearby Queensboro Bridge. It's a great spot for capturing some unique photos of the city skyline and experiencing the energy of this less popular but still vibrant area.

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Custom NYC Trip Plans

Now that you have the list, you have the basic ingredients to find a great place to take beautiful pictures in New York City. If you'd like asssitance working these into your trip plans, so you're going to them at the best times of day and are not wasting time navigating public transporation contact our team. Our team of trip consultants builds tailored plans for travelers from around the world visiting NYC. We’ve built a wide range of plans for family trips, anniversaries, birthdays, and other special occasions, even for solo travelers treating themselves. Each plan is built with a 3-step process: 

Step 1: Bucket your must-see attractions 

Step 2: Add in restaurants, rooftops & other hidden gems 

Step 3: Create a custom map and provide transportation tips, so you know the best way to navigate the city. 

Click here to have our team tailor your New York trip itinerary today or check out a few of our sample plans here.

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