10 NYC Locations That Are Perfect For Photo-Ops

Whether you’re a full-time resident of New York City, a frequent visitor, or a first-timer, you’ll most likely be capturing some pictures during your stay. New York is the landscape for many famous photographs, so it’s no wonder people want to indulge in all of the photo-capturing opportunities NYC has to offer. From the beautiful foliage in Central Park to the historic brownstones of the West Village and all that’s in between, you’re sure to find some photo inspiration anywhere you go.

Disclaimer: all photos that aren't from Instagram are my own.


1. Brooklyn Heights Promenade

This is a very peaceful spot in the city, and the view is absolutely breathtaking. As you stroll along the promenade, you can look to your left and see the historic, beautiful brownstones that line the walkway, or you can look to your right and see the skyline of downtown Manhattan. You’ll definitely see people taking pictures here, especially if you go at sunset (which is the best time to go, in my opinion).

2. The Metropolitan Museum of Art

Ahh, The Met. The famous hangout spot of Serena van der Woodsen and Blair Waldorf, the location of the annual Met Gala, and the home of numerous beautiful pieces of art. If you're a NY, CT, or NJ resident/ student, you pay by donation for admission, which is very convenient for people on a budget. Taking pictures in The Met is really enjoyable because the building is ginormous, and there are endless hallways, alcoves, and other fun rooms to escape to. Pro tip: if the weather is nice, head up to the rooftop garden for some spectacular skyline views (and drinks, if you’re 21).

3. Nomo Soho

The Nomo Soho Hotel is pretty well known specifically for it’s beautiful entryway. There’s a tall, arc-shaped trellis garnished with ivy and fairy lights, making it the perfect photo op, especially if you want a spot that’s not super touristy. 

4. The Subway

The subway is one of the best places to take Instagram pictures, especially if you catch a train that isn’t crowded. Obviously it’s a little difficult to take good pictures on a heavily populated train, but you can get some good shots if you catch a train at the right time of day. For some really unique shots, you can go to the NYC Transit Museum in Brooklyn and take pictures in subway cars from different decades.

5. Top of the Rock

The top of Rockefeller Center is said to have one of the best views of the NYC skyline in the city. It’s a very popular tourist attraction, so it is typically pretty crowded, but you can get some stunning views of the city regardless. The only downfall is that it’s a bit pricey, but if you have the money to splurge on a ticket, it’s definitely worth it.

6. The High Line

The High Line is a public park that was built on an abandoned train track, and it’s now one of the most popular public destinations in the city. The High Line is especially nice in the warmer months of the year because they have vendors, all of the plants are in bloom, and it's more fun to walk around when the weather is nice. Also, it’s totally, 100% free to walk The High Line. Score. 

7. The Oculus

Want to keep up that monochromatic white Instagram aesthetic? Be sure to head to The Oculus, located in downtown Manhattan (right next to the World Trade Center.) Not only does this building have some of the most innovative architecture in the city, it also has lots of great shops and restaurants. So when you’re done taking your pictures, you can get some food (Eataly is my favorite!) or shop at their large assortment of stores. 

8. Washington Street

You know the street in Brooklyn with a view of the Manhattan Bridge right smack in the middle of it with the cobblestone streets and beautiful brick buildings? That street. You know the one. Need I say more?

9. Pietro Nolita

This place is an Instagram blogger's heaven. Sometimes, there's is literally a LINE to wait to take pictures in front of this restaurant because it’s so aesthetically pleasing. The line is worth it though; the pictures you can get posing in front of this building are great. The whole exterior of the restaurant is painted millennial pink, and if that doesn’t scream “Instagram aesthetic” then I don’t know what does. 

10. Any Residential Street in the West Village

I’m a bit biased about this one because the West Village is my favorite area of the city, but you’ll find that it’s a really great area to take pictures, and to hang out in general. Coffee shops, restaurants, and stores adorn the main streets (Houston, Bleecker), but you can venture to some less crowded side streets (my favorite is Cornelia Street... the Cornelia Street Cafe is THE BEST) to get some shots of the brownstones and other residential buildings. 

You truly could walk around anywhere and find places to take pictures… seriously, you could take a picture in front of a city trash can and it would look decent (with some editing, of course.) However, now you’re an NYC photo-taking expert, and next time you go to the city you can impress your friends with your keen eye for photo locations.