The Most Instagram-Worthy Spots in New York City

December 15, 2016

The Most Instagram Worthy Spots in New York City

After nearly 6 years in New York, I’ve done my fair share of eating, drinking and exploring this city (have you checked out my guide?) and yet I still never run out of fun spots to see or new places opening that I want to check out pronto! In today’s post, I’ve rounded up the most Instagram-worthy spots to check out.

For those of you who live in this city or are planning a trip soon, I hope this guide will show you a few of NYC’s most picturesque spots! (And for you New Yorkers – any spots I missed!?)

Updated January 2020 – I’m excited to add a few new spots from the original post, particularly new locations I’ve found since moving to Brooklyn! 

The Most Instagram-Worthy Spots in New York City

Sites

The Plaza Hotel

The Most Instagram Worthy Spots in New York CityIt’s hard not to stop and stare at this famed New York hotel. The chateau-style architecture pulls at my francophile heart strings and photographs well close up and from afar. Snap a picture of the front from Grand Army Plaza or venture into Central Park for an equally grand view. 768 Fifth Avenue, 10019

Bethesda Fountain

The Most Instagram Worthy Spots in New York City

Hidden right in the middle of Central Park, Bethesda Fountain is one of my favorite spots in the park. There really isn’t a bad angle to snap a shot of the Fountain – the arches and terrace behind it are picturesque and view from the stairs of the lake is perfect as well. Stop here to enjoy the many street performers before heading over to The Boathouse. Terrace Drive, 10024

Flatiron Building

The Most Instagram Worthy Spots in New York City

This NYC classic is best seen during the day and photographed straight on. Hop up onto a chair in the little plaza across the street for a shot sans people or traffic. 175 Fifth Avenue, 10010

The Central Park Boathouse

The Most Instagram Worthy Spots in New York City

Take in the view of The Boathouse from one of their paddle boats as you explore the lake in Central Park (you’ll surely spot gorgeous city views as well). Then don’t miss a stop into the restaurant (open year round) for brunch or a glass of rosé and enjoy the view of the lake. While it might be a little chilly for a boat ride during the holidays, their décor is a perfect excuse for a visit. East 72nd Street and Park Drive North, 10021

Brooklyn Bridge

The Most Instagram Worthy Spots in New York City

You may remember the shoot I did here earlier this year and while the 6AM wake up call was brutal, the photos on an almost empty Brooklyn Bridge were worth it. Get here early in the morning to avoid the crowds and make your way across for gorgeous shots of the bridge and the New York City skyline. 10038

Grand Central

The Most Instagram Worthy Spots in New York City

Grand Central Terminal is Insta-worthy from the inside out. Wander the main terminal snapping the arched windows, intricate ceiling and bronze faced clock. Then step out to 42nd Street because the facade of the train station is just as gorgeous. Stop by at night and you might just catch the Chrysler Building lit up in the background of your pictures. 89 East 42nd Street, 10017

Central Park Reservoir
The Most Instagram Worthy Spots in New York City

You’ll be hard pressed to find a bad view of the skyline from the 1.6 mile walking path that surrounds the Central Park Reservoir. My recommendation: enter the park at 90th Street on the east side during sunset when the views of Midtown and the Central Park West high rises are magical. 85th Street to 96th Street, 10028

Top of The Rock

The Most Instagram Worthy Spots in New York City

While the top of the Empire State Building is the most famous lookout point in New York, I prefer the Top of the Rock for stunning 360 views of the city. Look to the the south from the 70-story Observation Deck to see all the way down to 1 World Trade and the Statue of Liberty or to the north for the most incredible views of Central Park. There’s pretty much no bad time of day to see this view of NYC but first thing in the morning or on the last trip up at 11:15PM will guarantee less crowds. 30 Rockefeller Plaza, 10111

Temple of Dendur

The Most Instagram Worthy Spots in New York City

Venture into The Metropolitan Museum of Art’s Egyptian Art section to The Temple of Dendur and be ready to be amazed. The Temple itself is quite impressive but the wall of windows that look out onto Central Park is the real stunner in this wing of the museum. Rumor has it that the windows were designed so Jackie O. could see in from her 5th Avenue apartment. 1000 Fifth Avenue, 10028

The Met Indoor Courtyard

The Most Instagram Worthy Spots in New York City

The Indoor Courtyard at The Met is another spot that deserves a visit to take in the light, windows and grandness of the museum. Make your way up to the top floor and look down on the sculpture garden for the best view. 1000 Fifth Avenue, 10028

The Carlyle

The Most Instagram Worthy Spots in New York City

This classic hotel with a very uptown address has an equally uptown feel to it and is home to Bemelmans Bar. With a piano man tickeling the ivories, Ludwig Bemelmans murals adorning the wall and some of New York’s greatest cocktails, you’ll find yourself wishing you were sipping your drink in the corner in the 1920s. 35 East 76th Street, 10021

Oculus

The Most Instagram Worthy Spots in New York City

A new addition to downtown Manhattan, this might be the most photogenic mall in America. The all white interior and towering ceiling are a sight to see – head to either end of the space to get the full effect and take a few pics. 185 Greenwich Street, 10007

The Bow Bridge

The Most Instagram Worthy Spots in New York City

Another treasure hidden away in Central Park is the Bow Bridge. (Did you catch it during fall in yesterday’s post?!) Try to get there early as this is another spot that can great crowded with photographers and head to the west side of the bridge for the best views. Or take to the water in a rowboat for a different perspective of this Central Park staple. 10024

The Vessel at Hudson Yards

The Vessel at Hudson Yards
A striking bronze structure, The Vessel is the centerpiece of Hudson Yards. Enjoy walking up and down the stairs snapping pictures from all different angles of the piece designed by Thomas Heatherwick. Hudson Yards, 10001 (Image via @thevesselnyc)

Domino Park

Domino Park

Located right under the Williamsburg Bridge, Domino Park recently opened in Brooklyn and is home to green space, a taqueria, a great waterfront view of the city and of course many an Instagrammable moment. 300 Kent Avenue, 11249 (Image via @carlyahill)

Roxy Hotel

Roxy Hotel

The marquee out front the Roxy Hotel in Tribeca is such a fun backdrop for a fun photo shoot. 2 6th Avenue, 10013

TWA Hotel

TWA Hotel

I’m super excited to make a little staycation out of a night at this new spot near JFK. Not only are the retro interiors IG-worthy, the pool looking out over the runways would make a fun snap. JFK Airport, 11430 (Image via @carlyahill)

Food & Drink

Ralph’s

Ralph's

I’ve always been a fan of Ralph’s and was so sad when they closed their location near Central Park. Lucky for me, they opened a new spot within the Ralph Lauren store on the Upper East Side and it is just as delightful as I hoped. 888 Madison Avenue, 10021

Lemon’s

Lemon's

This is a recently opened spot on the roof of the Wythe Hotel and the name says it all. The yellow decor is too darling and a great photo opp! 80 Wythe Avenue, 11249 (Image via @carlyahill)

The Water Tower Bar

The Water Tower Bar

The Water Tower Bar has an incredible, photo-worthy views of Manhattan. The Westlight is another rooftop worth a visit. 96 Wythe Avenue, 11249 (Image via @thewatertowerbar)

Pilot

Pilot

A sister spot to Manhattan boat bar Grand Banks, the striped yellow shades are second best only to the views of lower Manhattan. Found at Pier 6 in Brooklyn Bridge Park, grab a glass of rose, some oysters and of course a shot for the ‘gram. Pier 6 Brooklyn Bridge Park, 11201

Island Oyster Bar

Island Oyster Bar

Another favorite summer spot, Island Oyster Bar is located on Governors Island (which on its own has a very photogenic view). Grab a spot at the bar and snap a story of your oysters & rosé. Governors Island, 11231

Felix Roasting Co.

Felix Roasting Co.

I’ve been meaning to stop by this coffee shop located in Midtown. The interiors are so gorgeous and even their to go cups are picture perfect. 450 Park Avenue South, 10016 (Image via @felixroastingco)

RH Rooftop

RH Rooftop

The restaurant on the rooftop of the Restoration Hardware store in Meatpacking is a beautiful indoor/outdoor space that surrounds you with greenery, chandeliers and elegant interiors. 9 9th Avenue, 10014

Bluestone Lane

The Most Instagram Worthy Spots in New York City

It’s like the Aussies know how to design a spot for an Instagram, I tell ya! Bluestone Lane has grown rapidly across Manhattan and offers both delicious caffeinated treats like Flat Whites and good ol’ staples like avocado toast. The spaces are bright and usually full of natural light making them the perfect spot to get your social media breakfast snap.

Sprinkles Cupcake ATM
The Most Instagram Worthy Spots in New York City

Skip the line at Sprinkles and grab one of their delicious cupcakes from the perfectly pink ATM where you can find most of their flavors, restocked throughout the day. Have your camera ready to snap a video of the ATM serving your cupcake or hold up your cupcake and use the pink backdrop for a colorful image. 780 Lexington Avenue, 10065

Grand Banks

The Most Instagram Worthy Spots in New York City

Located on a historical fishing boat docked on the Hudson River, the yellow awnings and waterfront views make Grand Banks a summer hotspot. Grab a photo from the pier before you step on board or stage your oysters and rosé (available on tap!) for the perfect #EEEEEATS Insta. Pier 25, 10013

Cha Cha Matcha
The Most Instagram Worthy Spots in New York City

This spot is so fun! While I wasn’t a fan of matcha in the end (I’ll stick to my usual black coffee with a drop of milk to get my buzz on), this spot is perfectly pink and green and a visual wonder. You’ll also find matcha pastries and can pick from a variety of matcha inspired beverages. See more of this spot here. 373 Broome Street, 10013

Dimes

The Most Instagram Worthy Spots in New York City

Stop by Dimes for their colorful acai bowls which is easily styled with their bright pink table tops and retro décor. 49 Canal Street, 10002

Mr. Purple

The Most Instagram Worthy Spots in New York City

This rooftop restaurant and bar on the 15th floor of Hotel Indigo Lower East Side has all the ingredients for an Instagram worthy establishment: eye catching and colorful art throughout, a perfectly positioned pool with Empire State Building views and downtown Manhattan has a backdrop. You won’t know what to Instagram first! 180 Orchard Street, 10002

Maman

The Most Instagram Worthy Spots in New York City

I’ve instagrammed these beautiful toile cups more times than I care to admit but seriously, how pretty are they!? Maman now has two outposts in Manhattan but I recommend the one in Tribeca for more natural light to #getthatshot and while you’re there do yourself a favor and order an almond croissant. It is to die for. 211 West Broadway, 10013

Pizza Beach

The Most Instagram Worthy Spots in New York City

With one step into this Lower East Side restaurant, you are transported from the gritty streets of NYC into a bright, beachside cafe. Grab the first weekend brunch reservation for the best shots of the twinkling lights, colorful seating and hanging plants sans diners. 167 Orchard Street, 10008

Pietro Nolita

The Most Instagram Worthy Spots in New York City

If Barbie had a go-to cafe, Pietro Nolita would be it. It’s like Barbie’s Dream House decided to open a restaurant in here! Pink barstools, pink tables, pink lights…this place is too cute but their food is also delicious. Coffee waffle for breakfast anyone!? It’s a very small spot so skip brunch and book your next breakfast meeting here! 174 Elizabeth Street, 10012

Out and About

Grove Court

The Most Instagram Worthy Spots in New York City

One of NYC’s hidden treasures, Grove Court is a private courtyard surrounded by 19th century townhouses nestled on Grove Street in the West Village. An iron-gate blocks visitors from entering the court but you can still get a nice shot of the white-shuttered, red building from the street. 13 Grove Street, 10014

The Little Owl

The Little Owl

Does this picture look familiar to any other Friends fans? At the corner of Grove and Bedford Streets in the West Village is The Little Owl (a delicious Mediterranean restaurant) and also home to the apartment building used as the exterior for the Monica & Rachel’s apartment in Friends! 90 Bedford Street, 10014

MacDougal Street Homes

The Most Instagram Worthy Spots in New York City

I love wandering along MacDougal Street in the summer and fall. Head south of Houston for all of these dreamy colorful facades remind me so much of charming spots in Europe. Rumor has it Anna Wintour lives in one! MacDougal Street, 10012

View from the Ferries

View from the Ferries

When I moved to Brooklyn, I started to take ferries a lot more often and in addition to it being a much calmer option than the subway, the views of the skylines and bridges is unmatched. Throughout NYC

DUMBO Waterfront

DUMBO Waterfront

This is one of my favorite areas to spend time in Brooklyn and it’s impossible to not snap a photo of the Manhattan Bridge and NYC. 11201

Washington Street

Washington Street

You have more than likely seen a shot from Washington Street in DUMBO on Instagram and for good reason. It’s a great shot across the Manhattan Bridge. Get there super early in the AM to avoid the crowds. Washington Street, 11201

Mulberry Street Murals

The Most Instagram-Worthy Spots in New York City

A few color murals are spread through Soho and Nolita. All by the same artists and they’re always a fun snap while in the neighborhood. Mulberry Street, 10013 (Image via @pketron)

Tribeca Skybridge

New York is full of unique architecture but this skybridge that connects two buildings is Tribeca is a favorite of mine. Being off the beaten path, its usually pretty easy to snap a picture without too many people around. Jay Street & Staple Street, 10013

This is just a start to all of the visually stunning spots in New York City, especially with all the unique and fun exhibits that make their way to the Big Apple (remember this one or this museum?) through the year.

What are your other must see locations around the city?

p.s. don’t miss my most Instagram-worthy spots in Paris and a New York staycation at one of my favorite hotels.

[Photography by Meghan Donovan & Kate Scott]

9 comments on “The Most Instagram-Worthy Spots in New York City”

  1. Oh man – I have a lot of new food spots to hit up the next time I’m in NYC. So many great spots to photograph in Brooklyn, including Jane’s Carousel at the Brooklyn Bridge Park, Washington St. in DUMBO for a shot of the Manhattan Bridge, the exteriors of the Brooklyn Museum and Brooklyn Library (Central Library) and Grand Army Plaza. 🙂

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