New York City has taken holiday celebrations to a whole new level over the last couple of years. They are more mindful of safety and allow for traditions to continue. All visitors from all over the globe find NYC a special place. Here are my top NYC photo spots for dreamy shots if you’re planning to visit the city during holiday season.

Sometimes, we are lucky enough to get snow before Christmas Day. This makes any holiday extra magical. The weather is generally cold, but it’s still manageable. To enjoy beautiful photos in the city, dress up. For those magical night shots, I recommend packing light gear such as a tripod or travel bag. Be sure to check the opening times at every location. Some don’t have lights on all night. Last but not least, make sure you have comfortable shoes for walking around the city. Let’s now get to the NYC photo spots.

Rockefeller Center Tree

This is the most famous spot during the holiday season. On the Wednesday following Thanksgiving, the tree lights up. There are thousands of tourists from all over the world who gather to see the tree. It is possible to photograph it from close up or from 5th Avenue. This gives you a sense of space, and allows you to capture the full splendor of the lights. Personally, I love to watch the professional ice skaters at the rink below the tree. It’s a great spot to watch while enjoying hot chocolate and watching the professionals ice skate. Keep in mind that the tree goes out at midnight every night.

Saks 5th Avenue & Shops That Lead to Park Central

The Saks 5th Avenue flagship store mirrors the Rockefeller Tree. One of NYC’s most famous Christmas lights is Saks 5th Avenue. Each year, they release a new theme to go with their beautiful window displays that celebrate a variety of designers. It is best to capture the light show at night when they are in full contrast.

You will find the Cartier store and Bergfdorf Goodman just a few blocks away. The stores feature unique decorations and are a short walk from Rockefeller Center.

The Peninsula Hotel

The decorations at The Peninsula Hotel are my favorite. It is located near Central Park, on 5th Avenue, on the southwest corner 55th Street. The hotel offers holiday perks to guests, including decorations in their rooms and walking tours of the town’s windows. The entrance decor is very well lit and easy to photograph. You must also see the candy shop and rooftop!

Radio City Music Hall

Radio City Music Hall was built in 1932. It is part of the Rockefeller Building at the corner of 1260 Avenue of the Americas. If you are able to visit, the Christmas Spectacular will be one of the most popular performances. The beautiful facade at Christmas is a favorite of mine. I also love to photograph the mirroring blocks, including the UBS bank and fountain on the corner 6th Avenue/50th Street. They make a great backdrop, and are not as crowded during Christmas as the Rockefeller Tree.

Hudson Yards

Everyone is talking about this newcomer’s beautiful decor and iconic location, The Vessel. It is open 24/7, and it is a beautiful spot to photograph during the holiday season. There are many viewpoints and plenty of space amongst the crowds.

Lotte Palace NYC

My favorite is the iconic Tree at Lotte Palace. Unfortunately, it won’t go on display this year. But it will be there next year. It is located right next to St Patrick’s Cathedral’s private courtyard, which is accessible to the public. This makes it a unique and intimate spot for photographs. This is the ideal spot to create your holiday card if you are lucky enough to get snow. This is the ultimate holiday card spot.

Rolf’s Restaurant

This famous holiday restaurant is open throughout the year. The decor in this German restaurant is stunning and you’ll need to make reservations. To get the best photos, I recommend that you go during the day. Although the space will still photograph the same, you’ll be able capture it with fewer people once they open at lunchtime.