Whether you're a total photo fanatic or wish that the world could just put their cameras and phones away, you've got to admit that selfies have become a phenomenon - and they're not going anywhere any time soon. Most of us have a tendency to get a bit snap-happy from time to time, whether we just want to show off our totally on-point makeup or are taking a selfie at an important or exciting event. It's a quick and easy way to capture a moment or a memory — or to just show off your contouring skills.
One of the most frequent reasons why we photo-lovers snap a selfie is to "prove" that we've visited a particular place. You know the drill: unless you take a photo of it, it didn't happen, right? Of course, this means that every major town or city has a number of popular "selfie spots" that every tourist has to visit. New York City is no exception! As a city full of landmarks, tourist haunts, artistic areas, and nature-filled spaces, it's the perfect candidate for every city-breaker out there to get that perfect selfie. Here are just some of the places in NYC where you can go to get that perfect shot - and to just generally enjoy yourself, of course!
If you want an NYC selfie spot that's bursting with historical class and amazing architecture, getting a shot on the steps of the New York City Library will be right up your street.
This building's huge stone columns and towering archways make the perfect backdrop for either casual or more professional-looking photos.
Plus, if you're a bookworm who wants to have a photographic memento of the library's stunning interior decor, you could even take a shelfie! (ba-dum-chhh!) Just make sure not to disturb your fellow readers while you're having your sly — you don't want to be that one noisy person...
Come rain or shine, the Brooklyn Flea Market is a great place to spend a day out — and another great spot to take that all-important NYC selfie! Every Sunday in the warm, summer months, the market takes place outdoors by the Manhattan Bridge Archway.
On Saturdays, you can catch the indoor market in Industry City, 37th Street. The indoor Flea takes place in a building crammed with stunning architectural features, and when this venue is crammed with the wares of the flea's sellers, it creates an explosion of color that's the perfect selfie backdrop. Of course, the outdoor version has its photography perks, too — you've gotta love that natural light!
When it comes to a location for a great NYC selfie, the Brooklyn Heights Promenade has really got it all. Not only is the promenade itself pretty beautiful, it also gives great views of the Lower Manhattan skyline, the New York Harbor, and the East River.
It's lined with trees and greenery for the perfect mix of man-made and natural aesthetics.
Plus, you should see that view at night! While even during the day you're guaranteed to get a great selfie in front of that iconic skyline, the twinkling lights of Lower Manhattan at night are really something else. Who wouldn't want to grab a snap of that?
It may be a somewhat obvious choice of selfie location, but you can't ignore the top of the Empire State Building when you're talking about incredible NYC photo spots. Who could say no to that 360-degree view of the New York City skyline? From just one landmark, you can take dozens of unique photos of some of the greatest views that the city has to offer.
Plus, if you plan your trip carefully, you could end up on the Observation Deck at sunset. Imagine how much more incredible this already amazing view would become! You could always indulge in your inner Meg Ryan or Tom Hanks, of course, and visit the building at night á la Sleepless In Seattle.
New York City is full of iconic landmarks to snap a selfie in front of, but the Rockefeller Plaza has to be one of the most popular photo spots of all.
There are so many options for angles and backdrops!
You can get a skyline snap from the top of the Rock, a picture in front of the iconic building, or a photo in the gorgeous plaza with its leafy green decorations. The possibilities are endless, but the results will definitely be stunning. Bonus points if you go in December and get a selfie with the iconic Rockefeller Christmas tree!
If your Instagram tends to have a more artistic theme, go and take a snap with the murals at Kenmare and Mott. There's a range of beautiful pieces of artwork adorning the buildings in the area, including the iconic "wings" mural that everyone and their mother has taken a photo with. You might as well get in on it too!
You can get a pic of yourself standing in front of a crowd, with cartoon characters, in front of some colorful pop art... The possibilities are endless! If you're looking for a non-traditional selfie, this is seriously the spot in NYC to visit.
Yeah, we know; the classic "Statue of Liberty Selfie" is a bit overdone. Still, if you haven't yet grabbed a photo with this iconic landmark, it's definitely worth doing — no matter what your approach is! You could go for a simple selfie with the statue in the background.
You could try one of the hilarious poses that make it look like you're patting Lady Liberty on the head!
You could get a selfie from a boat on the harbor, from one of the many viewing points across the city, or on Liberty Island itself. Whatever the case, it would be remiss of you to leave NYC without grabbing a Statue Selfie.
Let's be real: no fans of the classic sitcom Friends can go to New York City without taking a selfie in front of the famous apartment block from the show. Why would you pass up that opportunity?
This iconic Greenwich Village spot is a pretty easy building to get to, being just a ten-minute walk away from the West 4th Street Subway junction. You've got no excuse to miss Ross, Rachel, and the gang's haunt out of your grand NYC journey, and it would be rude not to take a snap with it. Could it BE a better photo spot?
Could there be a bolder, more colorful spot in all of New York City to take a selfie than in Times Square? There are a ton of exciting billboards to get in the background of your shot.
And if you're lucky, there'll be plenty of famous NYC yellow taxis in the backdrop too!
You can buy selfie sticks in Times Square itself, making your photo-taking endeavors a whole lot easier — although try not to stand in the middle of the pavement while you're trying to get the perfect snap. The permanently busy crowds traveling through the Square probably won't thank you for it!
One of the most remarkable things about New York City is the fact that you can find pockets of greenery dotted all around this urban jungle. If you're looking for a selfie backdrop with a blend of both the urban and the natural, the High Line is the perfect place for you.
This 1.45-mile-long walkway built on the former site of a historic railway line is basically one long, extended park that also gives great views of NYC's diverse array of buildings. You can go for a leisurely stroll through the West Side of Manhattan, and grab some great photos while you're at it.
Let's be real here: every single inch of Central Park is an ideal selfie spot. The plant life! The lakes and ponds! The Manhattan skyline in the background!
It's all totally stunning, and perfect photo material.
However, if you're looking for a really special spot for a next-level selfie, go and seek out Gapstow Bridge.
This stone structure standing provides one of the best views of the Manhattan skyline in the entire park and is a gorgeous backdrop no matter what time of year it is. Whether you get that spring blossom, the summer sun, autumn leaves, or a picture-perfect snowscape, you'll be taking a photo to remember.
If you're looking for a slightly more adventurous Central Park selfie, why not try snapping one from the middle of the park's iconic lake? Hiring a rowboat is just one of the many attractions the park has to offer, and it provides a great opportunity to find some unique, water-based backdrops for your photo.
Still, this option might be a bit of a risky one, so be careful! You don't want to be dropping your phone in the lake — or, even worse, end up falling in yourself after stretching your selfie arm just that little bit too far! Make sure to stay safe.
If you're a bit of a flower fanatic or love getting up close and personal with nature, you should definitely head over to the Brooklyn Botanic Garden. This 52-acre garden has dozens of unique areas that showcase different types of fauna, including the Rose Garden, the Japanese Hill-And-Pond Garden, and the Cherry Esplanade.
If you want to capture some gorgeous plant life in the background of your selfie, this is the place for you.
Make sure to pop back to the Garden at different times of the year to catch lots of different seasonal plants in bloom! There's something new to see each month.
Another iconic New York City landmark, another incredible selfie opportunity. The Flatiron Building is one of the city's more unusual buildings architecturally and wasn't always as popular as it is today. In fact, it was originally nicknamed Burnham's Folly, after its architect, Daniel Burnham.
Still, to the modern eye, it's something of a masterpiece! The building looks particularly stunning when the sun is setting and rising, bathed in all of that orange light. Even during the day, though, it's a great selfie spot. It's also right opposite Madison Square Garden, where you can sit and relax after taking the photo of your dreams with this famous triangular building!
If you're looking for a selfie backdrop that will quite literally frame your face, the Washington Square Arch is your landmark. Can you imagine how great that photo composition would be if you managed to angle your face right in the middle of the arch?
It's an opportunity that's just too good to pass up.
Plus, the Arch itself is a pretty darn beautiful structure. It features some impressive stonework and no less than two statues of George Washington. Plus, if you're looking for a slightly more atmospheric selfie, check out the Arch at night — it looks stunning all lit up!
Disclaimer: while getting the Brooklyn Bridge in the background of one of your selfies is a pretty good idea, actually scaling the bridge itself is not. As the NY Post reported in 2016, one Tennessee college student actually ended up serving jail time after he trespassed on the road section of the bridge in his quest to get the perfect shot.
Instead of breaking the law to get your Brooklyn Bridge selfie, we'd recommend sticking to the walking route! No photo is worth risking your life — nor the lives of others. Still, a totally legal snap of the bridge is likely to be one awesome shot!
Just like every Friends fan should really take a selfie outside the iconic apartment building, every Gossip Girl fan should take a snap outside the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Blair and her pals regularly spent time on the steps of this building, which happens to be a pretty beautiful selfie backdrop.
Even if you've never seen an episode of 'Gossip Girl' in your life, it's worth a visit!
This building is classy, iconic, and architecturally stunning. Those imposing stone columns and gorgeous steps make any selfie look immediately flattering. Plus, you can feel like a celebrity on their way to the Met Gala. Ideal!
If you're looking for a chilled-out bar that will also double as an amazing selfie spot, Electric Room will tick all of your boxes. It's not the cheapest place in the world, but its interior decor is totally stunning. We're talking wood paneling, classic fireplaces, intriguing artwork, some very squishy-looking sofas...
There's a mix of classic style, and some more modern, rock-and-roll vibes. If you want to look like one of the coolest kids in town, get a snap of yourself in here. That's if you can get in, of course: it's a popular hotspot, especially with the rich and famous.
The Washington Square Arch isn't the only feature of the Washington Square Park that's worth a visit for some selfie inspiration. The entire area is pretty gorgeous! It boasts stunning fountains, plenty of greenery, and lots of interesting statues and monuments to capture in all of their glory.
Plus, areas dedicated to dogs are scattered around the park.
Who doesn't love taking selfies with adorable dogs? As long as you get the owner's permission first, of course... Anyway, Washington Square Park has plenty to offer and looks especially beautiful when it's coated in a thick layer of snow. Give it a visit the next time you're in town!
A railroad terminal might not seem like the most obvious choice for a selfie location, but hear us out on this one! The interior of Grand Central Terminal is totally stunning, and if you have a few minutes of rest before catching your next train, you should totally take a photo there. Like, that ceiling! Those windows! Those columns!
The architecture is a dream, and since this is possibly the most iconic train terminal in the country, it deserves a spot in the selfie location Hall of Fame. Just don't get in the way of any frazzled commuters while you're taking your picture!
References: NY Post