Travel Tips

Capture the New York City Aesthetic with These Picture-Perfect Places

Ready to take striking vacation photos with maximum NYC style? Read on

The Vacationeer
A woman in an orange dress poses in Central Park, New York, skyscrapers visible behind her

New York, New York is one of the most photographed places on the planet, thanks to iconic landmarks like the Empire State Building, Times Square and the Statue of Liberty. However, if you’re looking to snap unique photos of the Big Apple, you may be interested in the other impressive sights the city has to offer. After all, New York City is a hotspot for photographers, professionals and amateurs alike.

With some research and planning, you can find the best places to take photos with maximum NYC style. Because New York has so much to offer, we’ve collected some of the top spots for photography based on your vacation style.

Traditional Tourist

New York City's skyline and Brooklyn Bridge at sunset 

Don’t be afraid to visit New York’s tourist attractions and snap away. There’s a reason these are highly photographed locations. You can’t go wrong with the classics, such as these five places every NYC traveler should visit at least once.

If you want a scenic shot of the Manhattan skyline, visit Brooklyn Bridge Park. In addition to waterfront views of the city, it’s a beautiful green space with plenty of outdoor activities, like birding, basketball and bouldering.

Make your way to the Top of the Rock Observation Deck at the Rockefeller Center for a truly panoramic view. You’ll see the city in 360-degrees, with all the shopping and dining in Midtown just an elevator ride away.

Foodie Photographer

If your Instagram is dedicated to food pictures, New York City has one of the world's best and most diverse food scenes. Whether you prefer street vendors, Michelin-starred restaurants or everything in between, here’s our list of 10 Midtown Manhattan restaurants worth visiting.

Black Tap in SoHo is where to go to satisfy “your fear of missing out” on a colorful milkshakes stacked high with ice cream, sprinkles and entire slices of cake taking over social media. They also serve equally photogenic burgers that will make anyone drool.

Nom Wah in Chinatown serves both great food and vintage vibes. Nom Wah is the oldest dim sum restaurant in NYC, open since 1920. The exterior may not look like much, but the cozy interior and food are worth the trip.

Insider tip: Look for bars and restaurants with worthwhile views so that you can enjoy the skyline over drinks. Check out these four spots for drinks with a date.

Art Admirer

A couple holds hands and crosses the street in New York City, skyscrapers visible behind them 

New York is also the capital of art and culture. Most art-savvy travelers add the Metropolitan Museum of Art to their bucket list, but shutterbugs should be aware that flash photography is prohibited in the museum.

However, if you make your way to the Cantor Roof Garden Bar, you’ll be treated to views of Central Park. Plan to visit the Guggenheim Museum and snap a picture of the inside of the iconic building, designed by Frank Lloyd Wright.

If you’re interested in open-air art, check out the Bushwick neighborhood, an industrial area turned outdoor street art gallery. This Brooklyn neighborhood offers endless photography opportunities with the vibrant murals.

You can also see New York style and fashion at its finest. Start at 5th Avenue and 57th street, and wander with your camera. This spot is a busy thoroughfare where you can see fashionable New Yorkers going about their day. Stay at West 57th Street, a Hilton Club, just a few blocks away with incredible city views.

Plan Ahead With These Insider Tips

  • Plan to go out during the best lighting conditions, specifically golden hour (early morning and late afternoon), dusk and night. For people-less photos, venture out before sunrise.
  • Try a photography tour or workshop where local photographers help you level up your vacation photos if you're limited on time.
  • Don’t let rain or snow cancel your plans. New York is full of wintery sights, sounds and tastes.
  • Want to perfect your social media #foodstagram game? Aim for natural lighting with a neutral background. You can also play with angles outside of the above-the-plate shot.
  • Find a hotel with a stunning view and close to street scenes. The Quin, a Hilton Club, has easy access to Manhattan’s Billionaire’s Row, Central Park, Carnegie Hall and Times Square.
  • It’s easier than ever to take tons of photos since smartphones come with cameras. However, don’t feel pressure to photograph everything at once. Keep your camera accessible if the perfect shot does present itself, but don’t forget to enjoy your trip too and see what New York shows you.
  • For expert advice on taking better vacation photos, check out these 9 tips.

Read “3-Day New York Itinerary” for a Hilton Grand Vacations Owner’s insider guide to making the most out of a long weekend in New York City.

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The Vacationeer

The Vacationeer is a collective of Hilton Grand Vacations storytellers whose goal is to inspire travelers to go further. We're always on the lookout for new destinations to explore, useful travel tips, and unique ideas to help you plan the most memorable vacations possible.

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