If you traveled to NYC, but didn’t take a photo on top of the Red Stairs, did you even go at all?

With this new age of technology and social media, it’s common practice to catalog the highlights through photographs. Some of the newest phones come equipped with incredible photo taking technology and there is an entire business dedicated to creating specialized lenses for smartphones. Other seasoned travelers might opt for expensive DSLR cameras. And others might prefer the nostalgic touch of the Polaroid. Whether it is a selfie, a city scape, or a food-gram, there are plenty of opportunities to take inspired snapshots of your time in the city.

  1. Times Square — Any native New Yorker will tell you that Times Square is a place to avoid. Every New York stereotype is true here, specifically that everything is expensive and we WILL let you know if you’re walking too slow. Here, you’ll find New York legend, Naked Cowboy and his Grandma counterpart. Street performers and characters abound, but know that that snap will cost you! Be sure to check out the Red Stairs, but don’t expect to be able to sit down. I think you need to reserve a spot 2 years in advance.
  2. Central Park — Let the amazing greenery and the fresh scent of horse manure guide you through this lovely landscape. Have a picnic at Sheep Meadow and snap a few shots of yourself flying some intricately designed kites or doing acro-yoga. If all else fails, rent a rowboat and a parasol to recreate a vaguely romantic, old-fashioned scene.
  3. One World Observatory/Top of the Rock — Both of these locations requires a bit of a climb (elevator will help), but once you get there, prepare for the view of a lifetime. You’ll feel like you’re floating as you stand over the city with just a panel of glass holding you back.
  4. Chinatown/Little Italy — Always bustling, always colorful, always the right balance of gritty and beautiful. These two neighborhoods lay next to, on top of, intertwined with each other. You won’t be able to capture the noise or the smells, but maybe that’s for the best. Show everyone how cultured you are by taking a snapshot amongst Chinatown’s bright shops and markets. Take a walk down Doyers Street to see why they call it the “Bloody Angle.” A stroll through Little Italy will get you rows and rows of colorful cannoli.
  5. Raclette — There are tons of snap-worthy foods in NYC, but right now we’re all about the Raclette. At this French bistro, they will heat up a giant half wheel of cheese and scrape it onto your plate of potatoes and meat. This one will require a video, guys. And a really strong stomach.

Of course, this is no definitive list of the best places to photograph in NY; it doesn’t even begin to scratch the surface. But get a few snaps of these and you’ll be Insta-famous in no time!