Where to take the best pictures of New York?

For photography amateurs, New York is the perfect city to take pictures: thanks to its famous skyscrapers, the New York architecture, and the different perspectives of NYC…
In this article, I try to give my best tips to take great photos of New York from different places. I’m not able to indicate all of them but those which draw my attention 😉

The view from the streets of New York

It’s fun to play with the architecture and places of NYC that looks like some movies.
A street with good light, some buildings in perspective, and some taxis and you will have the scenery for a perfect picture of New York.

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I recommend that you take a picture from the ground, it will be as original as below, in this Meatpacking District photograph.

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In the streets of New York, the best is to have a wide-angle lens, especially when the buildings are very tall or for very wide streets, as in the following picture.

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The view from a building or rooftop

New York is a city well known for its skyscrapers, so if you can take your photos from one of them, you will have some great pictures.

Take your photograph from a bar like the 230 Fifth Rooftop.

The following photos were taken from a balcony of an apartment in Soho:

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NY streets-NYCTT-photo

Another photo from a rooftop terrace of a building in which I had rented an apartment:

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Then some places cannot be missed, as the view from the Empire State Building:

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You can zoom in and take a picture of the Flatiron Building (the triangular building), Madison Square Park (left), and the 230 Fifth Rooftop (bottom right):

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The view from the Top of the Rock is also beautiful, towards the South you can see the Empire State Building and the Financial District:

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In NYCTT I give recommendations to know when it’s preferable to visit the ESB and Top of the Rock.

Taking pictures of New York from a boat

To take very nice photos of NYC from a ferry, you must take the Circle Line boat tour (included in the New York City Pass). You can also take the ferry to Staten Island, it’s free 😉

It’s interesting how Manhattan “goes away” slowly, with a different view every 30 seconds … look forward to taking many pictures 😉

The evening boat tours are very nice, but taking pictures is more difficult. Indeed, the boat is in motion and it is difficult to take a picture that is not blurry.

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The view from Central Park>

In Central Park, I suggest going to five places that have a nice view over the city.
First, go to the Belvedere Castle, where you see the Turtle Pond, the baseball fields, the park tracks…

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At the Southeast part of the park, there is a rock called “The Roc” from which you can take photos from. I love this photo of Gaëtan Habrand.

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>From The Pond, there is a small lake southeast of the park which is also a very nice place to take pictures. There is a stone bridge, it’s always beautiful in the winter with snow, in spring or summer with green trees, or in fall with its changing colors.

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The Reservoir is a perfect place to run … but also to take pictures!

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The Lake is another spot to take photos because you can see the boats and the buildings of the Upper West Side in the back. You can also have a break in this area for lunch at the Loeb Boathouse 😉

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The view from the High Line

The High Line is a visit that I strongly recommend in NYCTT. It is about 10 meters high so you will have a good perspective of the streets of NY and the surrounding areas.
A perfect spot above the streets of NY is one of the following pictures:

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From another perspective, when sitting on the bench:

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The view from the TKTS steps in Times Square

Times Square is a mythical place in New York.
The best is to sit on the red steps of TKTS, the company that sells tickets for Broadway musicals.

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The view from a helicopter

Photographing New York from a helicopter is one of the most exciting ways to take pictures. The flight over the city itself is a great experience, but above all, you’ll have an exceptional view of a picture of New York from the sky. It’s something I highly recommend.
For more information on the different flights, check this article in NYCTT.

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The view from the Tudor City Bridge

This bridge is located in Midtown, close to Grand Central. It offers a nice view of the street with the Chrysler Building at the bottom right and Times Square at the back.

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Photographing NYC during the Manhattanhenge

Twice a year, the sun sets right in the middle of the streets of New York. It is a phenomenon that cannot be missed because it looks amazing.
To see more information, read this post in NYCTT.

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The view from the Apple Store in Grand Central

Grand Central is one of the must-see places in New York. To see the main hall in one photo, you have to go to the Apple Store. Then you can get the large windows, the American flag, and people passing through the station in only one pic.

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The view from Brooklyn

The place that draws my attention is Brooklyn with the Brooklyn Brooklyn Heights Promenade: It’s a very nice walk of about 4.5 km with exceptional views of Manhattan, the Brooklyn Bridge, and the Statue of Liberty.
This place is easily accessible from Manhattan by subway or walking (F train to York St, then go under the Manhattan bridge, Washington St, and voilà!).

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You may go by night and by day, but if you have to choose one, I recommend that you go at night: the illuminated panorama looks amazing.

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NY streets-NYCTT-photo

From Williamsburg, you can take nice pictures, for example near the Flea Market and the ferry landing.
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Or from the rooftop of the Whyte Hotel, Whyte Hotel:

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The view from Queens

If you plan to visit the Queens, I recommend going to Gantry Plaza State Park.
It is a place that gives a nice view of the skyline and Midtown.

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The view from New Jersey

The walk on the riverbanks of Hoboken and Weehawken is very nice.
From Hoboken:
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From Weehawken:

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I also have a good tip for dinner at a restaurant in New Jersey here in NYCTT.

The view from the crown of the Statue of Liberty

It is one of the most famous landmarks in the world! You can visit the crown (see here) and take a picture like the one below. I also recommend having a wide-angle lens if you want to visit the crown and take pictures from there.

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The photo you can’t forget to take: New Yorkers taxis

What is more typical than the yellow cabs of New York?
You can take a picture of them from several points of view and play with their speed.
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“Street Photo” in New York

For those who want to get more original photos with the people of New York, you will see that you will be able to take many portraits.

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If you enjoy this kind of photo, you can buy the book Humans of New York 😉

Taking pictures at night in New York

A tripod or a good stabilizer is mandatory to photograph New York at night.
You can return to the places you liked during the day or go to one of the places that I recommended above.
You may have pictures like below:

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NY streets-NYCTT-photo

New york black and white

If you want to get original pictures, put your camera in black and white:
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Book a photo session in NYC!

Forget about the selfie, if you want a picture of you in New York City, book a photo session with a professional! We have your back with Johnny our photographer. Read more here in NYCTT.


The most important thing to know when taking pictures of New York

Take all the photos you can, you will never regret it because then you can delete the ones you don’t like so much.
Try to get unique and original photos and avoid having the same photos that other tourists have.
If you do not have all the necessary equipment, you can rent it at Adorama in NY.

The map of all those locations to take a picture of New York


I hope that now you know where to take your photos once in New York. I invite you to share your photos with the NYCTT community on Facebook, Twitter, especially if you find other spots or if you want to take your photo I Love NYCTT 😉


My fist trip to New York was in 2007 when I was working for an airline company. I was born in the US, I lived in Mexico, in Europe in between Belgium, Spain and France… Well, let’s say I know about travelling! I bring my experience of NYC to the blog, to provide the best travel tips you could imagine!

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Where to take the best pictures of New York?

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  1. Mike Birbeck says:
    Thanks for all your tips of good photo locations in NY. It has certainly whet my appetite. Street photography and architecture are two of my favorite subjects, and there seems to be no end to the opportunities.