The 15 Best Instagram Spots in NYC
Discover The 15 Best Instagram Spots in NYC!
“New York was no mere city. It was instead an infinitely romantic notion, the mysterious nexus of all love and money and power, the shining and the perishable dream itself.” – Joan Didion
Is your Instagram feed clogged with stale images and clichés documenting the uninspired frozen dinner you ate last night, an “adorable” pet, the clouds from an airplane window, workout selfie, bland inspirational quote or favorite Starbucks beverage? Fortunately, New York City is full of countless fascinating Instagram shots (including the best views of Manhattanhenge 2021) just waiting for you to capture as you revitalize your Instagram feed. From the stunning Manhattan skyline and incredible globally recognized landmarks such as Grand Central Terminal, the Brooklyn Bridge and Flatiron Building to the colorful street art and murals spread throughout all five boroughs, NYC is truly an Instagrammer’s paradise. So, are you ready to take your Instagram feed up a notch and make your followers green with envy? Head out for a grammable day trip or get ready to snap some weird things to do in NYC at night as you check out the 15 best Instagram spots in NYC:
1 | DUMBO and the Brooklyn Bridge Park | An Instagram tour of NYC is not complete without a visit to DUMBO (aka Down Under the Manhattan Bridge Overpass) at Washington Street between Front and Water streets in Brooklyn. By framing your shot just right between the signature red-brick warehouses, you will capture a spectacular view of the Washington Bridge with the Midtown Manhattan skyline in the background (also make sure to frame the Empire State Building between the legs of the bridge for the perfect Instagram photo). Then stroll over to the scenic Brooklyn Bridge Park, which lies directly under the Brooklyn Bridge for some additional Instagram-worthy shots. By the way, DUMBO features prominently in Sergio Leone’s epic gangster flick, Once Upon a Time in America (1984), as well as many other notable films over the years such as Killer’s Kiss (1955), The French Connection (1971) and Vanilla Sky (2001).
WHERE: Washington and Water Street, Brooklyn, NY 11201 | VIEW ON GOOGLE MAPS
2 | Central Park | With more than 840 acres of spectacular greenery and a multitude of eclectic attractions and landmarks, Central Park in Manhattan provides endless Instagram opportunities such as the Bethesda Terrace and Fountain (with its stunning Angel of the Waters statue), The Mall and Literary Walk, The Pond, Belvedere Castle, The Ramble, Central Park Boathouse, Hallett Nature Sanctuary, Sheep Meadow, Strawberry Fields and Imagine Mosaic (John Lennon memorial), Azalea Pond and Bridge, Central Park Zoo and Metropolitan Museum of Art, among others. Designed by Frederick Law Olmsted and Calvert Vaux and first opened to the public in 1858, Central Park has been designated a National Historic Landmark and is on the tentative list for UNESCO World Heritage Sites. It is currently managed by the Central Park Conservancy.
WHERE: From 59th Street to 110th Street between Central Park West and Fifth Avenue, New York, NY 10022 | VIEW ON GOOGLE MAPS
3 | Grand Central Terminal | Simply one of the world’s most beautiful (and busiest!) train stations, bustling, Beaux-Arts style Grand Central Terminal (frequently but inaccurately referred to as Grand Central Station) first opened to the public in 1913, is ideally located in Midtown Manhattan East, hosts 750,000 visitors a day and offers some great Instagram-worthy shots. Highlights of Grand Central Terminal, which has been designated a National Historic Landmark, include the giant Zodiac Ceiling, the four-faced Information Booth Clock (the “crown jewel of Grand Central,” according to the official Grand Central Terminal website), Whispering Gallery, Grand Central Market, Tiffany Clock and Park Avenue Viaduct, The Campbell Bar, Jackie Kennedy Onassis Foyer and Vanderbilt Hall. By the way, the iconic Grand Central Terminal has served as the backdrop for several classic films, including Spellbound (1945), North by Northwest (1959), Superman (1978), The Untouchables (1987), Carlito’s Way (1993) and Unbreakable (2000), among others. And as if there weren't enough instagrammable snap zones nearby, there's also a beautiful bevy of hotels near Grand Central Station in NYC you'll want to check out, starting with the iconic Westgate New York Grand Central (formerly the Tudor City Hotel).
WHERE: 89 East 42nd Street, New York, NY 10017 | VIEW ON GOOGLE MAPS
4 | Washington Square Park | Known for its majestic Washington Square Arch (which was designed by architect Stanford White and honors George Washington) and spectacular fountain, 9.75-acre Washington Square Park is surrounded by New York University (founded in 1831) in the heart of Greenwich Village in Manhattan. A colorful gathering place, Washington Square Park offers pure Instagram nirvana with its daily influx of NYU students, artists and musicians, street entertainers, chess enthusiasts and tourists alike. Historically, the area surrounding Washington Square Park has served as a Native American village, farmland for freed slaves, execution site (don’t miss a chance to view the so-called Hangman’s Elm, which at approximately 340 years old is allegedly Manhattan’s oldest tree), public burial ground (an estimated 20,000 bodies lie beneath Washington Square Park) and military parade ground. In addition, Washington Square Park hosted the first public demonstration of the telegraph by Samuel Morse in 1835. Also, the so-called “Folk Riot” (aka “Beatnik Riot”) took place here in 1961 after the attempted suppression of street musicians at Washington Square Park.
WHERE: Fifth Avenue, Waverly Place, West 4th and MacDougal Streets, New York, NY 10012 | VIEW ON GOOGLE MAPS
5 | Brooklyn Bridge | Designated a National Historic Landmark, the incredibly scenic, 5,989-foot-long Brooklyn Bridge, which stretches across the East River linking Brooklyn with Manhattan (and was completed in 1883 as the world’s first steel-wire suspension bridge), makes for the perfect eye-catching Instagram photo. Take the Pedestrian Walkway for spectacular views of the Brooklyn Bridge’s majestic cabled arches, the glorious Manhattan skyline and the Statue of Liberty in the distance.
WHERE: Brooklyn Bridge, New York, NY 10038 | VIEW ON GOOGLE MAPS
6 | Street Art | New York City has no shortage of colorful street art, making the Big Apple an Instagrammer’s dream! Here is some of the best NYC street art to seek out:
Anthony Bourdain Mural by Bradley Theodore – 104 Delancey Street, Lower East Side | VIEW ON GOOGLE MAPS
Biggie Smalls Mural by Naoufal “Rocko” Alaoui & Scott “Zimer” Zimmerman – 1091 Bedford Avenue, Bed-Stuy, Brooklyn | VIEW ON GOOGLE MAPS
Audubon Mural Project by various street artists – Various locales throughout West Harlem | VIEW ON GOOGLE MAPS
Bushwick Collective by various street artists – St. Nicholas Avenue, Brooklyn | VIEW ON GOOGLE MAPS
Gandhi & Mother Teresa Mural by Eduardo Kobra – 18th Street and 10th Avenue, Chelsea | VIEW ON GOOGLE MAPS
East Village Walls by various street artists – 11th Street and First Avenue, East Village | VIEW ON GOOGLE MAPS
Coney Art Walls by various street artists – 3050 Stillwell Avenue, Coney Island | VIEW ON GOOGLE MAPS
Boy with a Hammer by Banksy – West 79th Street, Upper West Side | VIEW ON GOOGLE MAPS
Graffiti Hall of Fame by various street artists – 1587 Madison Avenue, East Harlem | VIEW ON GOOGLE MAPS
Houston Bowery Wall by various street artists – 76 E. Houston Street, Bowery | VIEW ON GOOGLE MAPS
Crack is Wack Mural by Keith Haring – 128th Street and Harlem River Drive, Harlem | VIEW ON GOOGLE MAPS
Audrey Hepburn Mural – 176 Mulberry Street, Little Italy (see No. 8) | VIEW ON GOOGLE MAPS
WHERE: Various Locations Above
8 | Audrey Hepburn Mural | A colorful and highly Instagrammable mural of legendary actress and humanitarian Audrey Hepburn (1929-93) created by Brooklyn-based artist Tristan Eaton graces a wall outside Caffe Roma in the heart of Manhattan’s Little Italy. Set against a red brick background, “Audrey of Mulberry” was painted as part of the L.I.S.A. (Little Italy Street Art) Project. One of Hepburn’s signature roles, of course, was that of troubled socialite “Holly Golightly” in Breakfast at Tiffany’s (1961), which was based on the 1958 novella of the same name by Truman Capote and has evolved into one of the most iconic New York City films in history. If you're looking for a great backdrop for a fashionable selfie shot, then throw on your best travel dress for fall (season permitting!) and snap a few crisp selfies to make your besties want to visit you at Tiffany's!
WHERE: 176 Mulberry Street, New York, NY 10013 | VIEW ON GOOGLE MAPS
9 | Coney Island | Photos of storied Coney Island – with its world-famous boardwalk, bustling beach and landmark amusement rides – have always been a hit among Instagrammers. Don’t forget to take some shots of the iconic Wonder Wheel, historic Cyclone Roller Coaster at Luna Park, Thunderbolt steel roller coaster, Coney Art Walls, Sideshows by the Seashore (“freaks, wonders and human curiosities!”), New York Aquarium and, of course, the original Nathan’s Famous hot dog stand.
WHERE: Off Ocean Parkway, Brooklyn, NY 11224 | VIEW ON GOOGLE MAPS
10 | The Oculus | Designed by Spanish architect Santiago Calatrava, the $4 billion (yes, that’s billion with a b!) Oculus in Lower Manhattan serves as the centerpiece of the state-of-the-art World Trade Center Transportation Hub. Although the exterior of the hub has been likened to everything from a “a dove with clipped wings” to a “beached whale carcass,” the interior’s futuristic-looking, rib-like skylight has become immensely popular with Instagrammers.
WHERE: Church Street, New York, NY 10007 | VIEW ON GOOGLE MAPS
11 | Stuyvesant Street | The row of historic, ivy-covered brownstone townhouses (including the 1861 Renwick Triangle) located where diagonal Stuyvesant Street (one of Manhattan’s oldest streets) meets East 10th Street in the heart of the East Village offers a great backdrop for the perfect Instagram photo. The majority of Stuyvesant Street lies within the St. Mark’s Historic District, which is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
WHERE: East 10th Street between 2nd and 3rd Avenue, New York, NY 10003 | VIEW ON GOOGLE MAPS
12 | Pietro Nolita | A casual Italian eatery entirely bathed in pink, Pietro Nolita has been described as everything from “a pink wonderland” to “an Instagrammer’s pink paradise.” The pink motif not only applies to the exterior, sign and walls of the restaurant, but to the tables, chairs and just about everything else (believe it or not, Pietro Nolita’s slogan is actually “Pink as F**k”)! According to Architectural Digest, Pietro Nolita, which is located in Lower Manhattan, “stands out for its contemporary décor, all in an eye-catching shade of pink.”
WHERE: 174 Elizabeth Street, New York, NY 10012 | VIEW ON GOOGLE MAPS
13 | Liberty State Park | Ideally located near the mouth of the Hudson River in Jersey City, Liberty State Park, which opened in 1976 and draws four million visitors annually, offers spectacular Instagram-worthy views of the Manhattan skyline, Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island. Highlights of 1,212-acre Liberty State Park include the “Empty Sky” 9/11 Memorial, two-mile-long Liberty Walk, state-of-the-art Liberty Science Center, 36-acre Richard J. Sullivan Natural Area, Liberty Landing Marina and the historic Central Railroad of New Jersey Terminal. Ferry service is available from Liberty State Park to both the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island. By the way, the infamous scene in The Godfather (1972) in which Paulie Gatto gets whacked (“Leave the gun. Take the cannoli.”) was filmed at the future site of Liberty State Park.
WHERE: 200 Morris Pesin Drive, Jersey City, NJ 07305 | VIEW ON GOOGLE MAPS
14 | L’Appartement Sézane | Billed as “a bit of Paris in the heart of Nolita,” this charming French lifestyle boutique in Manhattan’s East Village is an Instagrammer’s delight with its spectacular storefront that features colorful flower arches, striped awnings, an assortment of potted plants and even a retro bicycle. A quote on the boutique’s window from French artist Henri Matisse reads, “There are always flowers for those that want to see them.”
WHERE: 254 Elizabeth Street, New York, NY 10012 | VIEW ON GOOGLE MAPS
15 | Milk and Cream Cereal Bar | The delightful concoctions served up daily at the Milk and Cream Cereal Bar make for some classic Instagrammable photos. Start with your favorite cereal blended with ice cream and add some decadent toppings to the mix. With an “endless combination” of cereals (including Apple Jacks, Fruity Pebbles, Cocoa Puffs, Trix, Lucky Charms and many more) the Milk and Cream Cereal Bar, which is located in Manhattan’s Little Italy serves “nostalgia in every bite.” Just think of the possibilities!
WHERE: 159 Mott Street, New York, NY 10013 | VIEW ON GOOGLE MAPS
BONUS #1 | The High Line | For a unique NYC Instagram-inspired excursion, take a scenic stroll along the High Line, a 1.45-mile-long public park in Manhattan built on an elevated freight train line 30 feet above street level. Enjoy amazing views of the New York City skyline on the High Line, which has been universally praise as a prime example of successful contemporary landscape architecture. One of the most popular Instagram-worthy spots on the High Line is the 10th Avenue Square – “a grove of three-flowered maple trees [that] frames a spectacular view of the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island,” according to the High Line’s official website.
WHERE: Gansevoort Street to West 34th Street between 10th and 12th Avenues, New York, NY 10011 | VIEW ON GOOGLE MAPS
BONUS #2 | NoMo SoHo | One of the most popular Instagrammable locales in the funky Lower Manhattan neighborhood of SoHo is the dramatic entrance to Nomo Kitchen at NoMo SoHo with its “gorgeous tunnel of greenery and fairy lights,” according to the official website. The eatery itself, which specializes in globally inspired cuisine, boasts glass chandeliers, expansive skylights, golden curtains and plants everywhere. It’s the perfect spot to brighten up anyone’s Instagram feed. By the way, NoMo stands for “nostalgic and modern.”
WHERE: 9 Crosby Street, New York, NY 10013 | VIEW ON GOOGLE MAPS
BONUS #3 | Guggenheim Museum | Designed by legendary architect Frank Lloyd Wright (1867-1959) and opened in 1959, the instantly Instagrammable Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum in the Upper East Side of Manhattan features a stunning spiral rotunda and a majestic domed skylight. With typical bravado, Wright aspired to “make the building and the painting an uninterrupted, beautiful symphony such as never existed in the world of Art before.” After taking some Instagram-worthy photos (don’t miss the chance to get a few interior shots of the iconic skylight), spend some time browsing the cylindrical Guggenheim Museum – which boasts one of the world’s most influential modern art collections – housing the works of such influential artists as Edouard Manet, Paul Gauguin, Kazimir Malevich, Pierre Bonnard, Pablo Picasso, Paul Cezanne, Juan Gris, Paul Klee and Marc Chagall, among many others.
WHERE: 1071 Fifth Avenue, New York, NY 10128 | VIEW ON GOOGLE MAPS
Think You Know The Most Instagrammable Places in NYC?
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Feeling Up To Your Own Instagram Challenge?
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