Best Places to Propose in New York City

Planning a proposal in New York City is full of choices, and no matter what you decide, it’s bound to be perfect in the Big Apple. But, if you need a little help, here are the top places to propose in the city that never sleeps.

By Rachel Varina

Places to Propose in New York City
Photo by Little But Fierce Photography

The First Look ✨

  • For lovers of art and beauty, The Metropolitan Museum of Art is a wondrous spot for an NYC proposal.
  • The Empire State Building is the mecca of meeting places for on-screen lovers, so consider taking in the views for your NYC proposal.
  • For a proposal full of whimsy, the historic Jane's Carousel is a magic, and Central Park hosts a variety of proposal options, from renting a rowboat on the lake to visiting the Belvedere Castle.

If you’re planning a proposal in New York City, chances are that you’re swimming in options. While there are beautiful spots, delicious dining options, and endless locations ideal for a proposal, there are a few that are so iconic that they’re celebrated not only by couples, but by film and literature, too. Whether you’re a city dweller or just visiting The Big Apple, here are some surefire spots to pull off a sensational New York City proposal.

Best Places to Propose in New York City | Zola Photo Credit // Konrad Brattke Photography

The Metropolitan Museum of Art

Not only is The Met one of the world’s most popular epicenters for art and beauty, but it provides countless spots for a one-of-a-kind proposal (and likely won’t set off any alarm bells hinting at a proposal). After exploring the galleries, head up to The Roof Garden Bar where a beautiful garden and lounge provides sweeping views of Central Park (visit at sunset for a truly spectacular sight). If you don’t find a specific exhibit that feels right to propose, head to the northern location called The Cloister Center of Medieval Art, where castle-like architecture, regal art, and gorgeous courtyards make for a dreamy European-style proposal in the Big Apple.

Times Square

While it might seem like tourist central (and yeah, it kinda is), it’s also the stuff of rom-com dreams. Consider renting a billboard in the famous, bustling center and getting down on one knee as passersby watch and admire. Since this is bound to be a very public proposal, make sure that your SO is comfortable with being the center of attention. While you’re making plans, don’t forget to hire a photographer to capture the moment, so that you can look back on it for years to come.

The New York Public Library

Home to the greatest love stories of all time (and the spot where Carrie Bradshaw’s ill-fated wedding to Mr. Big was supposed to take place), the New York Public Library is the third largest library in the world, and, thus, is a stunning spot for a literature lover’s proposal. If you or your SO are fans of novels and history, there’s no better spot in the city to begin the next chapter of your story than at this famous spot. Propose on the iconic front steps or make your way down the hallowed aisles to a spot in front of his or her favorite book genre.

New York Botanical Garden

Beautiful flowers, tranquil waterways, and shaded arbors make New York Botanical Garden a romantic retreat in the city that is perfect for a swoon-worthy proposal. The 250-acre escape is full of a variety of dreamy spots, so take some time to find the perfect place on your own before the big event. When the day arrives, take a stroll with your SO among the lilies, roses, and cherries until you come to your selected, bloom-filled spot to propose.

The Empire State Building

The Empire State Building is one of the most well-known beacons of New York, and, with its sweeping city views, it makes for one very dazzling proposal. If you’re lovers of the city (or cinema, since The Empire State Building has long been a meeting point for on-screen lovers as seen in “An Affair to Remember,” “Sleepless in Seattle,” and “Gossip Girl”), this spot is especially meant-to-be. Additionally, the 86th Floor Observatory hosts a saxophonist Thursdays through Saturdays from 10 p.m. to 1 a.m., and you can even make a song request to set the mood.

Jane's Carousel

If you want a proposal full of wonder and whimsy, take a trip to the East River in Brooklyn Bridge Park for a visit to Jane’s Carousel, one of the most amorous, yet playful places to propose in New York City. The antique carousel was built in 1922 and is housed in a gorgeous glass pavilion to protect the historic 48 carved horses and 2 chariots adorning the ride. At night, the ride spectacularly lights up, and if you really want to kick things up a notch, you can rent out the entire carousel for a truly unique proposal.

Grand Central Station

One of the most epic places to propose in New York City, Grand Central Station is the definition of old world romance. As the spot where thousands of people come and go, few spaces are better for a New York City proposal than the renowned rail station. Seen in countless movies, artwork, and shows, Grand Central’s astounding architecture and symbolism (your relationship is a journey, you know?), not to mention the plethora of people milling around, which ensures that the moment gets lots of attention, makes it one of those “it’s almost too romantic to believe” proposal spots. Consider snagging tickets for a trip to a romantic destination to celebrate your newfound engagement after the big moment.

Central Park

Central Park hosts a wide variety of New York City proposal spots, from romantic waterside to castle options. Rent a rowboat from the Central Park Boathouse for a dream proposal on the water, or lace up your skates for a proposal in the middle of Wollman Rink, which has stunning city views any hour of the day or night. If your SO is a fan of regality, Belvedere Castle’s gothic architecture and panoramic Central Park views are hard to beat. Finally, if you’re planning an autumn proposal, Bow Bridge offers a spectacular setting with it’s classical Greek design and abundance of foliage that lovers have been frequenting since its inception in 1862.

Coney Island Boardwalk

One of the most iconic spots in the country, the Coney Island Boardwalk was built in 1923 and is home to amusement park rides, carnival-style food, miles of sandy beaches, sports courts, and games. The fun and famous boardwalk is an exciting and lighthearted space for a proposal. If your relationship centers around being silly, having fun, and cheering each other on through good times and bad, the iconic spot is a wonderful place to start your engagement. Consider proposing as the sun sets, and then celebrating the moment with cheap beer, corn dogs, and kisses on top of the Ferris wheel.

Rockefeller Center

One of the most well-loved spots in New York City, Rockefeller Center has it all, no matter the proposal you’re picturing. Amble along Channel Gardens, one of the most beloved green spaces in the heart of the city, head up to Bar SixtyFive, the historic Rainbow Room bar with 30-mile views, or rent out the space at 620 Loft where a private, rooftop English garden with views of Saint Patrick’s Cathedral awaits. If you plan to propose around the holidays, visit the renowned 100-foot tree that decorates Rockefeller Center come December, or take a twirl around the ice rink open from mid-October. Additionally, the rink offers a variety of proposal packages (such as playing your song and clearing the rink for the big moment) to personalize your proposal even more.

Best Places to Propose in New York City | Zola Photo Credit // Little But Fierce Photography

Wherever you decide to propose in the Big Apple, with a city full of unique spots and well-loved haunts, the options are endless. As long as it’s a location that feels true to your relationship, you’re sure to create a memory that you’ll both cherish for a lifetime.

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