Everyone has their way of exploring a city, my favorite is to find its most picturesque spots. I’m not into museums, but I’m in love with architecture — the older and more colorful the better. I rarely book tours, but I do search for the best views in any city and the top places to see the sunset.
I love just walking the streets and finding unexpected little nooks that give each city its charm. If you see it like me, and you’re looking for the best NYC photo spots (and beyond) then you’ll love this list I made.
Best Photo Spots in NYC
A little background- I’ve been visiting New York City almost yearly since 2007. I’ve explored many of its neighborhoods and have learned and loved its quirks. As I mention below, all of the areas in Lower Manhattan are my favorite to explore. But NYC has an abundance of beauty to offer so I hope this post helps you find some of the best spots.
Stone Street in the Financial District
They say it’s the first paved street in NYC, how cool is that? This little cobblestone gem is filled with bars and restaurants, and a perfect place to enjoy a summer day. Another bonus is that it’s not normally crowded (probably more so in the summer) so I’d say it’s one of the best places to photograph in NYC.
William Street (next to Stone Street)
We came down this street when looking for Stone, and I had to jump out! It looks like a tiny part of Europe right in the middle of NYC.
Souvlaki Gr Restaurant
A restaurant?! Haha, yes! When it looks like Greece in NYC, it’s worth a stop. I came across this place while I was walking to get pancakes from my favorite spot in the whole wide world (Clinton Street). I fell in love with the decor and had to try the food later that week. Not only is this place adorable, but the food is DELICIOUS! So go for the picture, but stay for the gyros and Greek fries.
If you want more unique NYC photography spots, stop by the Washington Mews. I love it when there are areas in the city that don’t seem to belong. Washington Mews is near Washington State Park and serve as housing and offices for NYU. It’s a gated area but open to the public during the day. I couldn’t stop taking pictures. Doesn’t it look like a completely different town?
Manhattan Bridge over Chinatown New York
If you’re coming from Chinatown, start heading up the bridge, and near the entrance, you’ll find this lovely little spot or plenty of other street shots you can take.
Top of the Rockefeller Center
Of course, I had to include this view! You’ll find the top of the rock on many lists, but that’s because it gives you some of the best views of NYC and Central Park. It’ll cost you $38+ per ticket to get up to the outdoor viewing deck. I’m linking a flexible ticket here that’s a few dollars more but won’t lock you into a specific date. Make sure to buy your ticket online beforehand, especially if you want to be up there during sunset.
Brooklyn Bridge Photo Spot
This bridge is mega crowded but perfect for pictures. The only way we were able to find it this empty is by waking up before New York did. Seeing the sunrise on the Brooklyn Bridge is worth putting on your list.
Brooklyn Bridge Park
I love the view of Manhattan from this park!! This is another great place to catch the sunset and some of the best angles of the city. Hands down one of my favorite spots in New York.
Washington Street in Brooklyn
Who wouldn’t want that background? Great spot for pictures!
Street Art in Little Italy and Nolita
I know there’s art all over NYC, but I saw so much of it in these specific areas. Little Italy and Nolita are fantastic NYC photography spots.
The Charm of Lower Manhattan
I couldn’t narrow this one down, but if you stroll through my favorite neighborhoods of Soho, Greenwich Village, and the West Village you’ll be sure to find plenty of great architecture, charming nooks, and just some of the best photo spots in NYC.
With visiting NYC as much as I do, I’ll surely be working on a “Best Places to Stay” and best eats blog post soon. But my top tip for anyone visiting NYC (plus the reason I keep returning) is to go to Clinton Street Baking Company for blueberry pancakes. They will make your knees buckle! Best pancakes in the world. You won’t regret it.
As far as where to stay, I always choose places on the lower side of the city. If you prefer something a little more private than hotels, be sure to check out an Airbnb. I love staying at Airbnb’s when possible. I always filter my searches to “superhost” and choose “entire place” to make sure I have the privacy and hosting that I’m paying for.
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