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  • July 23, 2021
  • 18 min to read

The 30 Best Places to Take Photos in New York

The 30 Best Places to Take Photos in New York

New York City offers a fascinating mix of places to take outdoor photos. Here are some of the best locations you will find to take pictures in one of the world’s most iconic cities. 

1. Roosevelt Island Hospital Ruins

Perhaps the eeriest place on the list, this New York City landmark once housed smallpox victims that were kept away from the public. Today, it’s the home to beautiful, urban ruins. 

2. Times Square at Night

The locals might not like it, but a visit to New York City wouldn’t be complete without a visit to Times Square at night. To take the best images, get here right after sunset. That’s when the sky is just dim enough that the lights begin standing out. 

3. Bethesda Fountain at Central Park

The beautiful focal point of the Bethesda Terrace, this is one of the most massive fountains in New York measuring 26 feet high by 96 feet wide. Also known as the Angel of the Waters, the fountain features an eight-foot bronze angel that stands above four small cherubim representing health, purity, temperance, and peace.

4. Brooklyn Bridge

Here’s another great place to take New York City photos at sunset. Walk the bridge from Brooklyn to Manhattan and start snapping. 

5. Yankee Stadium

The newest Yankee Stadium opened in 2009 and includes replicas of some design elements from the original stadium. Take photos near the corner of 161st Street and Macombs Dam Bridge, shooting up from the ground level.

6. Henry C. Frick Collection Museum

This impressive museum is the home to 16 galleries and is located in New York City’s Upper East Side. Bonus: ask to visit the “secret” bowling alley, which was built in the cellar of the mansion in 1914.

7. One World Trade Center

The tickets are pricey, but the view is worth it at this, the tallest building in New York. The observation deck is located on three levels (100, 101, and 102). Here, you can see the city that never sleeps from various angles. Hint: the elevator ride up is also impressive. 

Once you are done on the observation deck, find the Oculus underground for more photo-taking. 

8. Vinegar Hill

Quaint cobblestone streets and homes built in the 1800s welcome you in Brooklyn’s Vinegar Hill. Visit to appreciate the architecture of old. 

9. Liberty Helicopters

Another pricey New York City adventure that’s worth it, Liberty helicopters will take you for a bird’s eye view of the city. 

10. Statue of Liberty from the Staten Island Ferry

Touristy, yes, but also full of history. Before getting to the statue, take lots of photos from the Staten Island Ferry. 

11. 5 Pointz

Known as “graffiti mecca,” 5 Pointz is located at 45 to 46 Davis Street. A former industrial complex, the graffiti here is legal and welcomes artists from around the world. 

12. Empire State Building

One of the most well-known and iconic buildings in the world, the 102-story Art Deco skyscraper known as the Empire State Building rests on Fifth Avenue in Midtown Manhattan.

13. 520 Madison Ave.

At this location, you can see a piece of the Berlin Wall, that once separated East and West Berlin. It’s located around the corner from the Museum of Modern Art. 

14. The Whispering Spot at The Grand Central Terminal 

At this location in front of the Oyster Bar & Restaurant, you’ll find an archway. You and a friend should stand at opposite ends and start talking to the wall and listen to what happens. This spot is one of the most popular in the city for marriage proposals. 

15. Macy’s at Herald Square

With over 2 million square feet of retail space, Macy’s at Herald Square was the largest department store in the world for nearly 85 years. Today, it’s still a great place to take pictures, and people watch. Each November, this is the ending spot for the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade.

16. Rockefeller Center’s Rooftop Garden

Hidden atop this iconic landmark is this impressive rooftop garden that’s viewable on the official Rockefeller Center Tour (see below). You can rent the place too.

17. Top of the Rock Observation Deck

Seventy floors up you’ll find an incredible open-air view of New York City. See the Empire State Building and Central Park on a bright day from above without a glass or metal enclosure like at other locations around the city. 

18. Morgan Library

A short walk from Grand Central station, the Morgan Library is a hidden gem in New York and one of the most beautiful places in the city. The former library of J.P. Morgan, the location houses an impressive collection of historical artifacts and manuscripts from original Mozart compositions to the original Gutenberg bibles.

19. High Bridge

Connecting the Bronx and Manhattan, this oldest bridge in New York City hasn’t been used since 1970. Nonetheless, it features a brilliant pedestrian walkway that serves as a gateway to must-see green forests outside of the city. 

20. Red Hook Grain Elevator

This abandoned refinery factor is 12 stories high and offers a unique view of the New York City skyline. Although many of the nearby industrial era buildings have been demolished, this one remains.

21. Whitney Museum of American Art 

Although you should certainly come here for the artwork, there’s another reason to visit. Venture to the terrace for one of the most magnificent views of the city. 

22. Staten Island Boat Graveyard

Located at 2453 Arthur Kill Road in Staten Island, here you’ll find boats in a family run salvage yard known as the Staten Island Boat Graveyard. If you’re willing to make the trek to take a peek, you’ll be granted a creepy look into the past and the opportunity for some eerie and incredible images. 

23. Battery Park

Located at the southern tip of Manhattan, The Battery is a 25-acre park that faces New York Harbor. It’s the perfect place to walk and appreciate the historic feel of the Big Apple. 

24. The Arches

Central Park is the home to over 20 arches. Each is unique and worth checking out. If you only have time to visit one, consider the Glade Arch located west of 5th Avenue and 79th Street.

25. Strawberry Fields

This 2.5-acre landscaped section in Central Park was designed by architect Bruce Kelly and serves as a memorial to former Beatle, John Lennon. The location is near The Dakota, the imposing New York City apartment building where Lennon lived and was murdered outside of in 1980. 

26. The Loeb Boathouse

Considered a New York City icon, the Loeb Boathouse is a great location to snap photos in Central Park. Enjoy a drink at the outside terrace bar and then explore to take pictures of the boathouse, nearby lake, and the 55 Central Park West building, a.k.a. The Ghostbusters’ building. 

27. Flatiron Building

One of the city’s first skyscrapers, the Flatiron Building will forever be loved for its beauty and unique look. To avoid the crowds for your shot, walk up Fifth Avenue toward 26th Street. 

28. Chinatown

Manhattan’s Chinatown neighborhood offers crowded streets and colorful storefronts, restaurants, and street signs. Photographing at night is ideal here. 

29. Pod39

The Pod 39 Hotel is located in the Murray Hill neighborhood of Midtown Manhattan. Ideally situated to avoid the hustle and bustle of the city, the hotel is nonetheless mere steps away from Grand Central Terminal and the Empire State Building. Visit the rooftop bar for some beautiful shots. 

30. Washington Square Park

A visit to New York City isn’t complete without a quick stop at the entrance of Washington Square Park. Find the Washington Square Arch and nearby Washington Square Foundation to take photographs and plan your next visit. 

These are just 30 of the best places to take photographs in New York City. There are almost certainly 30 more worth exploring too. Where are your favorite locations in the city?

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