If you’ve been following me on Instagram or YouTube you probably already know this, but last summer I was lucky enough to spend a month studying in New York with EBS, and managed to snap a few insta-worthy pictures in between all the cocktail making and recipe studying. So I have put together for you a list of my Top 7 Instagrammable Spots in New York City!
I have even included a map for you at the end of this post so that you can find and save these places easily if you’re thinking of visiting New York City anytime soon. Have a look and get your outfit ready, because you might want to strike a pose at some of these spots! 😉
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1. Brooklyn Bridge
I mean, what’s a visit to New York City without a stroll through Brooklyn Bridge? It’s one of the most iconic vistas in the city, and not only it’s pleasing to the eye… it also looks great on Instagram!
Pro tip: Remember that this bridge gets pretty crowded, so if you don’t want any tourists in the background you might have to get up nice and early to be the first one there – Otherwise you can do like me and just wait it out until there’s an empty spot amongst the crowd 😉
No, I’m not talking about Disney, as much as I love to!
DUMBO stands for Down Under the Manhattan Bridge Overpass and it’s basically the area by the end of the Manhattan bridge (on the Brooklyn side of the river). This area is great to go for a stroll, very calm and full of nice restaurants and cafés… but there’s one specific street where the tourists conglomerate – Washington Street!
This is where you can find the iconic view of the Manhattan Bridge in between the buildings. It’s one of the most instagrammable spots in New York, and possibly one of the most beautiful sights too!
Pro tip: There will be a queue (literally) of tourists waiting to take this photo, so if you don’t want anyone in the background you have two options – get there super early, or use a wide angle lens so that you can get closer to the end of the road while still fitting the entire bridge in the picture!
3. Top of the Rock
Classic as they get, the Rockefeller Center is one of those places you must see when you visit New York. In my opinion, this is the best view of the city you can get, as the Empire State building will be right in front of you!
The first time I went up the Top of the Rock it was around 11am on a cold winter day and I had the entire deck pretty much to myself (miracle? who knows!) but I visited again just before sunset last July and the place was CROWDED. It was almost impossible to take a photo (I had to be very patient just to get the ones above!)
Pro tip: If you want to be able to take decent pictures from further away, avoid sunset and peak times at all costs! The observation deck opens quite early in the morning, so if you’re the first one there you can get that awesome morning light and the whole place to yourself, as well as a cheaper ticket (yay!)
Price: From $39
You can book a flexible ticket at the best price online here
4. Long Island City
Sitting by the East river at the end of Long Island City is Gantry Plaza State Park. This is one of my favourites places in New York as you can stroll through the park while admiring the river and the Manhattan skyline.
Here you will also find the famous “Long Island” sign and a viewing area by the river.
The streets of Manhattan are also a perfect backdrop for your photos – full of lights, yellow taxis and tall buildings. My favourite is 42nd street, where you can witness the “Manhattanhenge” or “Manhattan Solstice”, an event during which the Sun sets between the buildings (like in Stonehenge… get it?) as you can see on the second photo below.
This only happens a couple of days each year (in spring and summer), so it might be worth checking out if you’re in the area on the specific days when it happens.
I happened to be there during Manhattanhenge last year and it was indeed a very interesting thing to see – not only for the beautiful light and scene (can’t deny it was pretty awesome) , but also because it felt like a scene of Black Mirror – there were literally thousands of people blocking the road and taking pictures with their phones… spooky!
Considering this, if you want to get a photo where you don’t have hundreds of people (and phones) in the background, maybe try any other day or street in Manhattan.
6. Coney Island
This is by far my favourite thing to see in New York. It had been in my bucket list for years!
I have a thing for old amusement parks – their decadence and aesthetic makes me feel like I’m living in a scene of The Notebook. I can’t stop looking at the faded colours and lights and wonder what it must’ve been like in the old days. Finally wandering through its streets gave me such an eerie but satisfying feeling at the same time, it’s hard to explain (although I’m sure you’ll understand if you also feel quite interested in this kind of places).
Coney Island is only a short metro ride from Brooklyn and it actually has a few different amusement parks. The most famous one being Luna Park, although you might want to visit others – like the famous Wonder Wheel. Entrance to most parks is free and you only have to pay for the rides.
However, amusement parks aren’t the only thing you’ll find in Coney Island. There’s plenty of bars and shops matching the aesthetic, and you can’t miss Nathan’s , which serves some of the most famous hot dogs (can’t vouch for that, I’m a pescatarian… but the scampi were nice!) and even holds a hot dog eating contest every summer. America at its best, amirite?
Another famous building in New York City, which you probably wanted to see anyway.. turns out to be a pretty damn good backdrop for your instagram photos. Just make sure you’re quite far away and have a wide angle lens to hand if you want to fit the entire thing in the shot!
All the locations:
That’s it! Those are the Instagram locations you can’t miss in New York City according to… well, me!
I created this cool little map so you can find all of these locations on your next trip. (Just click the little star by the title to save it to your Google Maps places for future reference!)
I hope this post was somewhat helpful, thank you for reading and see you really soon!
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