Discover the BEST Instagram spots in Edinburgh! Save the included Google Maps and get ready for some epic photo opportunities.
Edinburgh one of my favorite cities in the world. It’s actually been on my list of top 5 favorite places for almost a decade. A big part of why I love Edinburgh so much is how picturesque and breathtaking it is.
Cobblestoned streets, medieval charm in Old Town, Georgian luxury in New Town, narrow stairways and hidden tunnels, cozy pubs, and an imposing hilltop castle. Add the friendly locals with their wee accent and welcoming smiles…you’ll find yourself loving this city even if the weather outside cloudy and wet.
Though Edinburgh may be compact and smaller in size than other tourist cities, it's bursting with gorgeous backdrops. It's easy to arrive and quickly become overwhelmed by all the Instagrammable spots and photo opportunities. If you haven’t been to the Scottish capital before and only have a few days to explore, you’ll need a plan of what areas you want to take pictures in.
I’ve collectively spent about a month in Edinburgh, so I’ve had plenty of time to scout out the most Instagrammable places in Edinburgh. I’ve even saved everything in Google Maps so you can save this list on your phone and jet from spot to spot without having to second guess a thing!
1. Victoria Street/Bow Street
One of the most Instagrammable places in Edinburgh for color and depth
Victoria Street is one of the most famous streets in Edinburgh. It’s said to have inspired J.K. Rowling for Diagon Alley…and you’ll see why. The curved cobblestoned street is lined with colorful and multistoried buildings. The height, depth, and color make this one of the most Instagrammable spots in Edinburgh.
There are a few areas to snap some amazing photos along this street. Start at the base by the cute little French café, La Barantine. Then go up to the top and take a photo facing down the street by Howies. Go up to the second level, called Upper Bow, to take some pics from above.
As always, go early because this street is packed during the day with people walking up and down.
2. Cockburn Street
One of the best photo spots in Edinburgh for medieval vibes
Cockburn Street is similar to Victoria Street in how it’s curved and has those charming cobblestones and tall buildings. This street feels a bit more medieval with the uniform natural stone color.
Walk down Warriston’s Close Stairs to get there as those steps are a good photo opportunity. The area at the base of the stairs, across from The Milkman (one of my favorite coffee shops in Edinburgh), is a very Instagrammable photo spot capturing the curve of the street. Also, go to the top of the street by La Locanda to grab a photo from another perspective.
3. Calton Hill
One of the best Instagram spots in Edinburgh for city views
Calton Hill is an icon of Edinburgh and all over marketing materials and social media accounts featuring the city. The most picturesque monument on the hill with the city of Edinburgh in the background is the Dugald Stewart Monument. The Old Observatory building is just above this monument and is the perfect place to set up your camera and get a shot of the Dugalt Stewart Monument below.
Go in the early morning to not only to bypass the crowds but to get better lighting. Because this is on a hill, the afternoon sunlight can get pretty harsh.
Stop at Fortitude or Wellington Coffee while you’re in New Town. Wellington Coffee has the BEST scones!
See my other Edinburgh blog posts:
4. Princes Street Gardens
One of the best photo spots in Edinburgh for a nature backdrop
The Princes Street Gardens are easily one of the best photo spots in Edinburgh. Lush green space and an outstanding view of the Castle above. The staircase by the “Floral Clock” is one of the most Instagrammable spots in Edinburgh as you’ll be able to fit the castle and all the greenery around it in a vertical frame.
Be sure to spend time and walk around the gardens as it is very peaceful in the morning and the ideal spot for an afternoon picnic when the weather is nice.
5. The Vennel
one of The best Instagram spots in Edinburgh for unique castle views
Another outstanding view of the castle. The Vennel is one of the best Instagram spots in Edinburgh because it offers a unique view of the castle. Instead of getting a shot where it’s just the castle, the Vennel will showcase the castle at the end of a narrow stairway with stone buildings on each side.
I also love this picture spot because not everyone knows about it or goes up these stairs, so it’s fairly easy to enjoy with zero to minimal crowds.
Bonus: Dean Village
One of the most Instagrammable places in Edinburgh for a charming village backdrop
Dean Village is the bonus Instagram spot on this list. It’s not in the heart of the city, which is why it wasn’t included on the 5 most Instagrammable photo spots in Edinburgh. About a 20-minute walk from New Town you'll find charming Dean Village. If you have time, it’s well worth leaving the city center to explore this area.
Not only is the village usually quiet and empty, but it’s also beyond picturesque. It makes for the perfect escape if Edinburgh is particularly crowded one day. The walk to Dean Village is quite serene as you’ll pass through forested areas and along a river. It’s easy to forget you are in a major tourist city when you enter Dean Village.
Now you know the most Instagrammable places in Edinburgh. Grab your camera, save the Google Maps I created for you and hit the ground running. It’s absolutely doable to visit these top Instagram spots in Edinburgh in one very hectic day or two normal paced days. These are all areas that you will be sightseeing around anyway, so outside of Dean Village, you won’t have to go out of your way to visit these Edinburgh photo spots.
Whether you’re looking for the perfect Instagram shot or the most beautiful places in Edinburgh to admire and take in, these places are sure to stay in your memory for a lifetime.
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Have you been to Scotland? Share your favorite and the most Instagrammable spots in Edinburgh in the comments below!
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