Are you looking for the best Central Park photo spots?
Central Park is one of the most iconic parks in the world, and definitely one of the muse-see attractions in New York City. If you’re heading there soon, you might be looking for information on the Central Park photo spots to ensure you stop by the most picturesque parts of this beautiful park!
Make no mistake – Central Park is huge! So going in with a map of where to find the best photo spots in Central Park is definitely a good plan of action! I’ve actually made my own map below with my favourite Central Park photo spots, so you can easily follow my map and find the best places to take photos in Central Park.
You don’t necessarily need to visit all the Central Park photo spots I’ve listed below, but these will definitely give you a good idea of where to find the best photo spots in Central Park – so you can take some amazing photos during your visit! Just find the number on the map, and the coordinating number on the list below – and you’ll see I’ve also included a photo taken from each photo spot below too – so you can see exactly what’s there and what to expect!
Central Park Photography Spot #1 – The Pond
First up on my list of Central Park photo spots, The Pond.
The little pathway that leads you in Central Park from the 5th Avenue entrance, will naturally take you right by The Pond. If you walk up to Gapstow Bridge, there is a great pathway that runs alongside The Pond, and gives you some great views of the water and Gapstow Bridge. You can see the pathway on the photo below, the path is quite long so there’s plenty of space to take shots and loads of photo opportunities. You can also great great shots of Gapstow Bridge from along there too.
The photo below of The Pond, was actually taken from Gapstow Bridge (which is the next photo spot). So for photos of The Pond, stand on Gapstow Bridge, and for photos of the Gapstow Bridge, walk along The Pond pathway. I hope that’s not too confusing!
Central Park Photography Spot #2 – Gapstow Bridge
Gapstow Bridge is one of the most photographed bridges in Central Park (probably second to Bow Bridge… which is further down this list of photo spots in Central Park!).You’ll probably recognise Gapstow Bridge from lots of films and movies too! Gapstow Bridge is a gorgeous place to take photos – from the bridge you can get wonderful photos of the NYC skyline across the greenery of the trees. The bridge itself is also extremely photogenic of course! Definitely one of the most popular Central Park photo spots – don’t miss it!
Central Park Photography Spot #3 – Viewing path near Wollman Rink
This photo spot doesn’t have an ‘official name’ (trust me… I looked!) – but you’ll find it a short walk from Gapstow Bridge, if you follow the pathway up and to the left. It’s on the way to Wollman Rink and this gorgeous photo spot actually over looks the Wollman Rink area. It’s one of the most stunning and panoramic views of the city skyline, and it’s a pretty lovely place to just relax with a coffee and a book.
Central Park Photography Spot #4 – Random park areas!
Next up on my list of Central Park photo spots, just random areas! There are some lovely random views in the middle of the park (half the fun is just following the pathways and seeing where they take you). One of the nicest ways to explore the park is by horse and carriage or by a bike – and you’ll discover so many lovely little photo spots in Central Park just by exploring this way.
I really recommend booking a horse and carriage ride using Get Your Guide – as you pay a fixed price and you can pay in advance. Sometimes the Central Park horse and carriage rides can be a bit unreliable with their fees and charges, so paying in advance means you don’t have to worry (and you’ll only need to tip at the end).
Central Park Photography Spot #5 – Lounging Rock and Playmates Arch
Lounging Rock is one of the biggest rocks in Central Park and it’s a great place to snap a photo of the skyline! You can climb up the rock pretty easily (getting down is often the hardest bit) and if you find a comfortable spot up there it’s a nice place to sit and watch the world go by too. You’ll find great photo opportunities from up there, with the skyline glistening in the background and the trees and park in the foreground.
Central Park Photography Spot #6 – Columbus Circle pathways
Next on my list of Central Park photo spots, it’s the areas leading from Columbus Circle. If you enter the park from Columbus Circle, there are a few pathways that will lead you into the heart of the park from there. These offer some gorgeous views as you walk towards the middle of the park, and you get to see a slightly different angle of the skyline than the 5th ave entrance.
Central Park Photography Spot #7 – The Aviary Bar
The Aviary Bar isn’t actually inside Central Park, but it has to be classed as one of the best Central Park photo spots. The view from this bar (located inside the Mandarin Oriental Hotel) is INCREDIBLE! You have to visit in daylight to enjoy the views of the park, as there’s not much to see if you visit once the sun goes down, but the views truly are amazing. The price of enjoying this Central Park photo spot is the cost of a drink inside the bar (so between $10 – $20). Not bad for access to a great view, and also a nice drink in a fancy bar!
Central Park Photography Spot #8 – The Lake
This is one of my favourite photo spots in NYC hands down! The Lake is one of the most beautiful spots in the park, and for me, it’s just everything about Central Park in one photo. You have the gorgeous trees and greenery, the beautiful lake, people boating, a stunning bridge and even skyscrapers in the distance. I love walking alongside the lake and snapping photos – and I make sure we visit this Central Park photo spot every time I’m in Central Park.
Top tip! A good way to tick off loads of the Central Park photo spots on this list, is actually by booking a Central Park walking tour. I recommend the tour with Get Your Guide (click here to book) because they’ll guide you through the park, to a lot of these key locations, and you’ll have plenty of opportunities to snap amazing photos too.
Central Park Photography Spot #9 – Bow Bridge
Bow Bridge is one of the most romantic photo spots in NYC. Everyday you’ll see people popping the question here, and seeing people down on one knee with an engagement ring is something you’ll definitely see! It’s a beautiful photo spot in NYC and it’s a classic (and iconic) place in the city too.
Central Park Photography Spot #10 – Bethesda terrace
Bethesda Terrace is a wonderful place in Central Park, and it’s so ornate, detailed and beautiful. Bethesda Terrace is basically an underpass that runs through the centre of the park, but it’s an underpass with a difference. It’s tiled to perfection, it’s colourful, it’s beautiful. Look at those archways, the symmetrical tiles… how can you not fall in love!? This is definitely one of the best Central Park photo spots.
Central Park Photography Spot #11 – Conservatory Water
Next on my list of Central Park photo spots, it’s Conservatory Water. Conservatory Water is one of the less busy bodies of water in Central Park, and it’s actually more popular with locals than tourists. I love the symmetry here, and I love capturing photos of the reflections from the skyscrapers in the water. It’s just gorgeous and such a peaceful place in the city too.
Central Park Photography Spot #12 – Oak Bridge
Oak bridge is a little wooden bridge hidden away at the far end of The Lake. It’s one of my favourite Central Park photo spots to walk up to on a nice day, as you get to walk past lots of the other photo spots on the way! You’ll get a gorgeous view of the skyline peeping out between the trees, and it’s just a wonderfully framed photo opportunity. Bear in mine, to get this shot, you’ll need to visit on a clear day!
Central Park Photography Spot #13 – Belvedere Castle
Next on my list of Central Park photo spots, did you know there’s a castle in Central Park? It’s surprising, but it’s there! Belvedere Castle is nestled about halfway down Central Park and it’s definitely one of the most surprising and beautiful photo spots in Central Park! You can stand in the castle ground and get some great shots of the skyline surrounding it, but you can also stand across the way from the castle and get a lovely photo like the one below, looking towards the castle.
Central Park Photography Spot #14 – Jacqueline Onassis Reservoir
Last on my list of Central Park photo spots, it’s the Jacqueline Onassis Reservoir. This amazing Central Park photo spot is situated further down Central Park than most tourists get to, but it’s definitely worth the walk. It’s one of the biggest bodies of water in the park, so you get these lovely expansive views over the water – perfect for taking photos.
Read more about NYC: The Ultimate NYC Bucket List
Top tip for photography lovers….
If you’re interested in photography and you’re in NYC – one of the best activities you can do is a photography tour. It’s a great way to learn some new techniques, find the best photo spots in NYC, and meet interesting people too. I’ve done a few photo tours in the city and I’ve enjoyed it every time.
Here are a few of the photography tours I recommend: