How to get the best shot on NYC

As one of the world’s most famous metropolises, New York City has long beguiled filmmakers, authors and photographers who strive to capture its beautiful architecture and indomitable spirit. While you might not be creating the next great cinematic ode to NYC, there’s a good chance you’ll be inspired to at least document your trip on social media.

Here’s our guide to 10 of the most iconic Instagram spots in the Big Apple, with a local’s tips on how to get images that will impress your followers and boost those likes.


1. Top of the Rock

Sure, you can go up to the top of the Empire State Building to get a sweeping shot of Manhattan in all directions, but there’ll be one key thing missing from your photo: the Empire State Building. For a far superior view, stroll 16 blocks north (about a 20-minute walk) to Rockefeller Plaza and get your ticket for Top of the Rock. Once you’ve reached the 67th floor, climb the stairs to the third-level observatory for a stunning vista overlooking Central Park in one direction and Lower Manhattan (including the Empire State Building) in the other.


2. The Oculus

Though the exterior of NYC’s newest PATH station and shopping hub is a bit contentious (not everyone loves its abstract shape resembling a winged dove), the Oculus by Spanish architect Santiago Calatrava makes for an undeniably striking image. But it’s the interior that has become beloved by Instagrammers, who head to the upper level of the mall to capture the futuristic rib-like skylight that makes up the ceiling.


3. Brooklyn Bridge

For a classic capture of the Brooklyn Bridge, head to Pebble Beach in the riverside Brooklyn neighborhood of Dumbo, which gives you an uninterrupted view of the length of the bridge with the Manhattan skyline as its backdrop. Sunset is the best time to snap your photo, with the glow of twilight behind the city, but be warned that you’ll likely be competing with a wedding party or two. If your style is more artistic, walk up onto the bridge itself for a picture of its magnificent cabled arches (just stick to the left-hand side of the walkway, otherwise you might get plowed over by a cyclist).