Get the camera out, we’re going on a photoshoot to majorly Instagrammable locations in New York City.
Of course, NYC isn’t all glitz and glamour when the social media bubble has been popped, but for a short while we’re going to pretend it is. This post will be right up your street if you want a list of aesthetic places in NYC to spice up your gallery. Mark my words, the photos will be dripping in fire emojis on your next upload.
Photos aren’t just for social media though, they’re visuals into your core memories or physical prints for your walls. That’s why it’s helpful to know where to go. Free ride to catch the ‘Statue of Liberty’? Sounds picturesque. How about a spot where you’re surrounded by floating silver balloons with skyscraper views? Tempting.
To make things easier for first-time visitors, we’ve included destinations which help you see the best of New York, whilst on your quest for pics. Only 2 of the suggestions require an entrance fee, but if you’re specifically after more affordable routes, have a browse on my post dedicated to free or cheap things to do in New York.
If you’ve got the location sorted, but need help packing the all-important outfits, my guide on the essentials for a travel capsule wardrobe might help. After all, I did NYC with just hand-luggage, so feel I know a thing or two on the topic!
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Aesthetic Places In NYC You Won’t Want To Miss!
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The convenient thing about New York is that every corner has something to explore, or something of interest, when you’re a visitor. That street with tall skyscrapers? Photo opportunity. The notorious yellow taxi in the middle of Times Square? Photo opportunity. The tempting ‘$1 Pizza’ signs? Photo opportunity. However, let’s go into aesthetic places in NYC for YOUR photos. In most of these Instagrammable locations, you’ll be the landmark. Everything else will simply be a bonus.
A Free Ferry To Staten Island To Catch A Magical Scene.
Spotify, play ‘Empire State Of Mind’ as we’re passing The Statue Of Liberty on our free ride to Staten Island. It’s up there with one of the very best recommendations for free or cheap things to do in New York.
Things To Know Before You Take A Ride:
-Think you’ll be snapping pics the whole way? Nope. The outdoor deck gets more windy than you might expect, meaning taking photos without looking windswept is quite the challenge. Having your hair down is out the question.
-If you’ve got time, opt for a ferry ride at night. In addition to sunset hour that is, if you can’t catch both on the same journey.
-When you reach the Staten Island port, you’ll be asked to exit even if you plan on heading back to mainland New York. However, this is not a hassle at all, as you can just loop round to the departures lounge and get back on, what will probably be, the same ferry.
More information related to the Staten Island Ferry over here!
Get Right In Front Of The Bleachers At Times Square.
Name a more iconic setting.
Prior to even deciding what I was going to do on my first day in New York, I trekked down to Times Square. It was pretty early, on a random weekday. So early, in fact, that the distinct red bleachers were still closed off with rope. However, that didn’t matter as I had my eyes on the section directly in front. I knew that this exact spot could capture the commercials in full glory, to get that real ‘Times Square’ vibe.
Arriving to Times Square at the crack of dawn isn’t only advantageous from a photography perspective though. You’ve also got to consider safety. It’s far more comforting to whip out your phone, in the middle of one of the world’s busiest locations, when there’s virtually nobody around.
Make Your Way Into A Futuristic Version Of NYC At Summit One Vanderbilt.
Summit One Vanderbilt is a non-negotiable if you’re after the most Instagrammable locations in New York City.
This experience feels like it was designed with photos in mind. Every little detail seems perfectly-crafted for the lens of a camera. Yes, even the elevators.
In Summit One Vanderbilt, you’re surrounded by objects which provoke the senses. Floating silver helium balloons? A room full of differently-sized mirrors? The option to see yourself as a 3D cloud? You’d be forgiven for thinking this is what Mars would be like. Then you look out towards the thick glass windows and realise you’re front-on with skyscrapers and recognisable landmarks. Ones which confirm you’re, indeed, in New York City.
Things To Know Before You Visit Summit One Vanderbilt:
-Despite having an entrance time on your ticket, once you’re inside there’s no limit on how long you can stay for. Endless roaming never sounded so appealing.
-There’s no need to put on your best footwear. You’ll be given plastic shoe covers to wear around the venue. However, it might be a good idea to wear black shoes if you plan on taking full-length photos. The shoe covers become significantly less noticeable.
Summit One Vanderbilt New York Address: 45 E 42nd St, New York, NY 10017, United States.
Venture Outside Grand Central To Vanderbilt Avenue.
Once you’re done with Summit One Vanderbilt, the fun doesn’t stop.
As the location is right by the legendary Grand Central station, you’ve got plenty of space to snap away in zones which give off major New York City vibes. Like I mentioned at the start, every corner you turn has something to explore when you’re strolling around touristy areas.
Although, there’s a bit of a catch with this suggestion. You need to brush away your fear of taking photos in public, if you have one, for this spot. Naturally, the streets by Grand Central are full of passers-by. However, as I swiftly discovered, everyone is focused on their own destination. Few people will actively pay attention to your efforts during a spontaneous photoshoot.
The results? Some of my favourite photos from the whole trip.
Dribble-Worthy Lunch Anyone? Try Rubirosa Pizza.
Instagrammable locations in New York City but food edition? You’ve got it.
Rubirosa has a cult-like following. Think about this, the restaurant opened at 11am, but tables were fully booked by 11:30. As in, 30 minutes later.
A visit would be something you could label ‘lunch with a view’. However, it’s important to make one thing clear. Rubirosa is not one of those ‘popular for photos’ joints. Far from it. Instead, the aesthetic pictures come through unintentionally and organically.
Things To Know Before Eating At Rubirosa:
-There’s a generous set of options for gluten-free visitors. I’d highly recommend the addictive fried-risotto-balls-and-tomato-sauce combo. You’ll be spooning the sauce. Bet on it.
-Ask to go with bar seating. You’ll get a nice backdrop, let’s put it that way.
Rubirosa Address: 235 Mulberry St, New York, NY 10012, USA.
Ready To Do Heart Eyes At Radio City Music Hall And Rockefeller Centre?
Various Instagrammable moments in one spot? A content creator’s dream.
You already know that Radio City Music Hall and Rockefeller Centre will be the place to go if you’re keen to batch-create. You’ve got everything from a highly-photographed ice-rink, to distinct signs which indicate ‘NYC’ in a heartbeat, to references from some of the greatest performances of all time. And that’s just a fraction of it.
Insider scoop though. One of the best views of Radio City Music Hall can be found across the road, directly from the MLB flagship store. It’s very epic.
Radio City Music Hall Address: 1260 6th Ave, New York, NY 10020, United States.
If You Want To Be Fed Whilst Taking Pics, Run To The Museum Of Ice-Cream.
How does unlimited ice-cream while you take pictures sound?
If we’re talking Instagrammable locations in New York City, ‘The Museum Of Ice-Cream’ needs to be mentioned. Pink walls, pink props, pink ice-cream cups. Pink everything. I predict a rise in ticket sales following the latest Barbie release…
This museum is definitely more of a novelty photo location, however that’s exactly what pop-ups like these are made for. Don’t get me wrong, you’ll be entertained by interactive features and satisfied with the ice-cream samples, however the vibe might not suit all Instagram feeds…
Things To Know Before Visiting The Museum Of Ice Cream
-There’s probably about 4 ice-cream stands dotted around the museum, each featuring 2 different options. Taste as many times as you can physically handle.
Museum Of Ice Cream NYC Address: 558 Broadway, New York, NY 10012, United States.
Something Which Translates To Good Vibes? Madison Square Garden Needs To See You.
If you can time a visit to Madison Square Garden during an event, you’ve basically hit the jackpot.
However, even if you aren’t able to get tickets to an upcoming show I suggest wandering down to Madison Square Garden regardless. The eye-catching exterior is certainly something to get excited about.
Madison Square Garden Address: 4 Pennsylvania Plaza, New York, NY 10001, United States.
Views Of NYC From Above? Board The Cable Car To Roosevelt Island.
Roosevelt Island should be a priority stop, if you want nice photos.
You see, the island serves as an escape to city life for locals, so you’ll gain access to many hotspots without an influx of crowds. Should you head towards the riverside to view Manhattan and Queens simultaneously, be sure to capture the skyscrapers from a low angle. The water makes for perfect reflections.
How To Get To Roosevelt Island By Cable Car:
It’s pretty smooth to hop onboard a cable car. Just head to the entrance at 2nd Avenue and 60th Street, swipe your MetroCard and you’re good to go!
Let The Phone Eat First At Lafayette Bakery.
What do you call a donut/croissant/pastry combo? I’m not sure, but if that doesn’t intrigue you enough then I don’t know what will.
One of the most Instagrammable locations in New York City right now is Lafayette bakery, where the circular ‘pastries’ have had a bit of a viral moment on socials. And rightly so. The way the filling oozes out the very moment you take your first bite really makes for worthy footage. Yes, you could probably find similar baked goods in multiple locations, but Lafayette stands out for many more reasons than just the aesthetics. To put it simply, the experience is a treat for both your eyes and stomach.
Things To Know Before Visiting Lafayette Bakery:
-You’ll see a considerable line of people before you stumble across the giveaway blue exterior, so there’s definitely some waiting involved. What’s that saying of nothing good ever comes easy? Let’s apply it here.
-Is it even worth it? You might think 10 dollars is pretty steep for a pastry, but this isn’t your normal snack! The baked good is incredibly filling, given the sheer amount of substance stuffed inside, making the price point slightly more forgiving. Lafayette is perhaps not an everyday destination, but once in a while you’ll crave the sweet scent of this donut hybrid.
Lafayette Address: 380 Lafayette St, New York, NY 10003, USA.
Additional Entries For Most Instagrammable Locations In New York City
Want a few more suggestions to squeeze into your trip? I’ve got you.
If you’re after more content though, I think you’ll like my vibe-y inspo posts on Instagram. I’ll catch you over there.
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