New York City is one big, busy place. And it can be easy to let time slip by in pursuit of exploration.
To save you the trouble of researching it all yourself, I partnered with Uber to let you in on the best places to photograph in New York City.
I lived and worked here for 5 years before I left to go travel the world. I’ve just gotten back from an 11 month trip across 14 countries, and I’ll be the first one to tell you — that there is nothing like being back here — the energy, the speed, the people, the list goes on.
Yes, it’s easy to find inspiration along any street in NYC, but there are only a few places that are guaranteed to give you the best photographs. Some are off the radar and some places are written about in dozens of blogs – but they are all absolutely worth going to.
1. Dumbo, Brooklyn
Journey your way to Dumbo, Brooklyn for a beautiful neighborhood renovated and re-done in the past decade, located right on the waterfront overlooking downtown Manhattan. It’s the neighborhood that’s located at the Brooklyn entrance of the Brooklyn Bridge, and it’s worth exploring.
This street is the source of one of the most iconic photos you’ve probably seen on the internet – and if you’re standing in the right place, the Empire State Building will line up perfectly through the Manhattan Bridge.
2. Brooklyn Bridge Park
Brooklyn Bridge Park is one of the places I love to frequent, not only for the amazing view – but also the serenity that surrounds the area. It’s in the Dumbo neighborhood (above), and it’s right on the waterfront. Stay for sunset for a view like below, or through the night for a view like above. You get to see downtown Manhattan, the Brooklyn Bridge and the Manhattan bridge all in one place.
3. Brooklyn Bridge
Walk or ride your bike across one of the most beautiful bridges in the entire world. It doesn’t matter how many times you’ve been here – you’ll always appreciate being back.
4. Flatiron District
The Flatiron District is one of my favorite neighborhoods because it really has it all. It’s easy to get to from all of the major subway lines and the best part about it is that it’s relatively less crowded than other major parts of Manhattan. It’s also home to the iconic Flatiron Building. There are loads of shops, boutiques, restaurants, bars and anything else you could ask for. And the photographs you take will always come out magical.
5. Top of the Empire State Building
There’s a reason why people brave the winds at the top of the Empire State Building. You get a view like this. You can see most of the iconic buildings we know from a birds-eye view, and you can even see into New Jersey. Being on top of the Empire State makes you realize how small we really are – especially when the Statue of Liberty looks like an ant.
You may have to wait in a bit of a line, but the view is certainly worth the wait.
6. Top of the Rockefeller Center
The view from the top of the Rockefeller Center is actually better (in my opinion) than the view from the top of the Empire State Building. Why?
Because at the Top of the Rock, you can actually SEE the Empire State Building in your skyline. And it’s constructed so that the Empire State Building is situated perfectly in the middle of your view. My advice is to go a few hours before sunset, and stay to watch the colors of the sky and city change right before your eyes.
7. Central Park
The best time to go to Central Park is when there is a massive snowstorm. There will probably be no one else there but you and the brave friend you’ve convinced to come with you. The situation can be difficult (not so much as long as you wear the right clothes), but the photographs will come out absolutely magical.
8. Columbus Circle
Head up to the cafe at the top of the Mandarin Oriental for a view of Columbus Circle below, and Central Park in the distance.
Soho is a neighborhood that can only be discovered on foot. Home to unique boutiques and hidden eateries scattered around the cobblestone streets – it’s a place where you can get spend the entire day and never get bored.
10. Financial District
The financial district becomes dead quiet after the work day ends — it’s interesting to witness the madness of Wall Street calm into a stillness. It’s a serene spot in the city that is surrounded by skyscrapers — the best one being the World Trade Center, shining brightly and always serving as a reminder to come together, despite our differences.
11. West Village
Carrie Bradshaw knew what she was doing when she moved here. The West Village is an absolute gem – conveniently located downtown on the west side of Manhattan – and similar to Soho, it’s an area that you can explore for days and never stop finding something new. It’s filled with boutiques and restaurants – but the brownstone buildings expose their true beauty when the tree-lined blocks come alive in the springtime.
12. Williamsburg Bridge
The Williamsburg Bridge often goes unnoticed, but that’s what makes it so beautiful to me. The colors of the bridge have faded into a shade of pink – a feminine shade that makes the contrast of the industrial architecture that much more interesting. It’s filled with graffiti and more people bike over this bridge than any other in New York. You may also be one of the only tourists to journey here – which may make your photographs that much better.
13. Bushwick, Brooklyn
The street art surrounding the Bushwick area of Brooklyn will bring the artist out of you. The Bushwick Collective is an organization that brings international artists to Brooklyn to paint the walls around the neighborhood. Every corner you turn, there is something new to see.
Hip, up-and-coming, and still a bit under the radar, Bushwick is an area filled with local bars, vintage shops and incredible food.
14. Inside an Uber
One of my favorite places to take photographs + get inspiration, is from the inside of a moving vehicle — specifically an Uber. When the windows are rolled up and we’re moving throughout the streets of the city, I feel like I’m watching a movie. It’s a great way to avoid the cold, and still get those amazing photos from a different perspective.
I ride with Uber because it’s safe, easily accessible, and cheaper than a New York City taxi.
You can also expect a higher quality of a ride. Uber’s app provides the driver’s name, vehicle number and let’s you share your ETA with friends + family. So I’m not worried about my safety when hopping in to explore New York City.
I made a quick video exploring some of my favorite spots (some mentioned above) around New York City with uberPOOL (click to learn more). It’s basically the ride-share that they offer, for cheaper rates and the opportunity to ride along with new people! Watch the video and walk with me. 🙂
Thank you so much for reading this post. If you liked it, give it a share. It helps us a lot. 🙂
This post was inspired + sponsored by Uber. As always, all opinions are my own.