New York City is home to many great photo spots, from iconic landmarks to hidden gems. Here are some of our favourites.

1. Manhattan Bridge Viewpoint

View of Manhattan Bridge – Photo by Kristofer Liljeblad

New York City’s most famous Bridge is the Manhattan Bridge. This suspension bridge crosses the East River between Lower Manhattan and Midtown Manhattan. For photographers, taking pictures of it can be a real challenge, and finding just the right angle isn’t always easy. But, an area known as DUMBO (Down Under the Manhattan Bridge Overpass) is a fantastic place to take photos. The light is better in the evening as the stark rays of the sun light the bridge from the west.

2. The Oculus

Oculus-Photo by Yoav Aziz

The Oculus in NYC is stunning inside and out. A master stroke of innovative architecture, the soaring soft curves seem frozen in time as the body of some alien creature. A transportation hub in the middle of the city, the Oculus was constructed in 2008 as part of the World Trade Centre Transportation Hub on the site of the fallen former World Trade Centre Towers. Designed by Santiago Calatrava, the building represents a bird taking flight from the hands of a young child. The Oculus represents New York City’s resilience in the face of adversity. The result, however, is masterful. Few architectural highlights in NYC rival the minimalist beauty of the Oculus. Photographers will find almost endless shooting opportunities as outstanding shares, forms, and design details can be found throughout the building.

3. Coney Island

Coney Island | Photo by Cami Talpone

Coney Island is a historic entertainment destination in Brooklyn. The location has been prominent in popular culture for decades, a blend of modern and retro amusement rides. For photographers, it is a delight to explore with original hand-painted signs, Ferris wheels, and all the light, sound and excitement you would expect from this famous fairground. Street photography at Coney island is among the best in NYC, and there are ample opportunities to capture photos of people as they mill about and enjoy the entertainment. We recommend going for the afternoon on a sunny day and staying into the evening when Coney Island comes alive with beautiful neon, lighting and excitement. When packing your photo gear, a light mirrorless and even lighter tripod is an excellent idea to bring. The tripod will be essential to capture the magic after the sun sets.

4. Chinatown NYC

Chinatown NYC Viewpoint-Photo by Lerone Pieters

As New York City’s first foreign settlement, Chinatown has been home to immigrants since the mid-1800s. It was established as an area where Chinese immigrants could live and work without fear of discrimination. Today, it remains a vibrant community with its own unique culture and cuisine. There are plenty of things to do there, including shopping at the famous stores along Mott Street, eating delicious food at local restaurants, and exploring the historic sites. Photograph the bright colours, unique culture, and urban beauty of this part of the city. Another great place in NYC for street photography, the sights, sounds and smells of Chinatown are a must visit for any travelling photographer.

5. Flatiron Building

Flatiron Building by Christopher Czermak

Few buildings in New York City are as iconic as the Flatiron Building at the foot of Madison Square Park in Manhattan. Erected in 1902, it is a stunning piece of turn-of-the-century architecture. The unique shape and location make it extremely photogenic and is lovely to photograph from almost any angle. The building was the work of Daniel Burnham and, when built, was one the tallest in the neighbourhood. The Flatiron Building is often said to have gotten its famous name from its similarity to a household appliance, but this triangular region of the city was known as “Flat Iron” before the building’s construction. When it was first built critics often called it “Burnham’s Folly” because many thought it would just collapse because of its peculiar shape. However, the Flatiron building has endured and remains one of the most photographed and photogenic spots in NYC.

6. Morgan Library and Museum

Morgan Library and Museum - Photo by Rob Shenk

The Morgan Library and Museum is a beautiful hidden gem for photographers in New York City. It is one of the world’s most important libraries, housing over 1 million books, manuscripts, prints, photographs, maps, and other documents from around the globe. In addition, the collection includes rare books, fine art, decorative arts, and more. The Morgan Library & Museums collection also contains many unique objects, including Rembrandt, Van Gogh, and Picasso paintings. The library was founded in 1883 by Henry E. Huntington, who donated his collection of nearly 100,000 volumes to the city of New York. In addition to its vast collection of books, the museum also holds some of the world’s finest examples of early printing technology. It is open Monday through Saturday from 9 am to 6 pm and Sunday from noon to 6 pm. Admission is free.

7. NYC Skyline Viewpoint

New York City Skyline-Photo by John Cunniff

Few NYC Skyline locations rival the view from Brooklyn Bridge Park. This waterside location is free to access and open year round. This photo location is the perfect place to capture iconic images of the New York cityscape with and without the landmark Brooklyn Bridge in the photo. New York’s skyscrapers soar to the sky across the East River, and the buildings reflect in the water on calm days. The park covers a series of piers, letting photographers get right up to the water’s edge. There are many piers to pick from, but we think Pier 1 and 2 have the best views. As a bonus, the park is east of the city, so this place is magical when there is a brilliant sunset.

8. Top of the Rock

Top of the Rock-Photo by Pedro Kummel

Speaking of great places to capture the New York City skyline, the only place that might be better for photographers than Brooklyn Bridge Park is the Top of the Rock. The top of the Rock is an observation floor of the Rockefeller centre with a retro steamship design, but the real attraction is the view high above NYC. Three observation decks offer stunning city views, and we think they are best at golden hour. Photographers will want to schedule their visit and buy tickets in advance. Tripods are not permitted for safety reasons. However, a bean bag or a high-sensitivity camera will make long-exposure imagery possible.

9. The Unisphere

The Unisphere - Photo by entyessid

The Unisphere is an iconic landmark in NYC that has been featured in numerous films and media like Men in Black and Marvel movies. Once a highlight of the 1964 World’s Fair, the landmark sits n Flushing Meadows–Corona Park and remains a must-visit NYC photo spot for photographers. The fountains and parks that surround the Unisphere are a fantastic setting to explore and a great place to spend an afternoon taking pictures.

10. Times Square

Times Square - Photo by James Ting

No list of great places in New York City to take pictures would be complete without mentioning Times Square. The city’s heart, Times Square, is alive with bright lights and an overwhelming number of screens and is filled with people at all hours of the day. Photographers will have to visit this famous landmark during their visit and capture at least one photo of this NYC landmark. A slow shutter speed and a wide angle lens are essential when photographing here, and late in the evening is probably best to reduce the number of people in your shot unless you want to capture that aspect. Keep an eye out for the Red Steps, which also offer a slightly elevated shooting location for visiting photographers.

Explore More New York City Photo Spots

So, that concludes our top picks for the ten best photography spots in New York City. What do you think? Do you agree or disagree with our choice? Have a shooting spot in the Big Apple we don’t have yet? Upload it to the collection and have a chance to win prizes in the PIXEO Photo Challenge! Also, explore New York City on our exclusive New York State Photo Map! We have hundreds of photo locations to explore.