Most Instagrammable places in Edinburgh

Edinburgh is renowned for its picturesque views and whimsical architecture-the pictures speak for themselves! I'm here to give you a leg up when it comes to finding the perfect shot.

Before you head off on your photo adventure, here are our top tips to follow to get the most out of your day of capturing memories!

  1. Wear colourful clothes: Although Edinburgh provides beautiful architecture, it doesn’t provide much colour. To ensure that you stand out against the muted backgrounds, wear something bright!
  2. Prepare for bad weather: Scotland is known for its slightly gloomy weather. So don’t forget to bring along an umbrella or raincoat! This also means that if you don't get a sunny day, you might want to consider increasing the exposure of your photos.

Most Instagrammable places in Edinburgh 2023

(in no particular order)

  • Dean Village
  • Ross Fountain
  • Royal Botanic Gardens
  • Circus Lane
  • The Vennel Steps
  • Ramsay Garden
  • Victoria Stree
  • Arthur's Seat
  • Calton Hill
  • The Writers Museum
  • The National Museum of Scotland
  • White Horse Close
  • Holyrood Park
  • Tollbooth Tavern

Dean Village

Take a step back in time to old Edinburgh. Best known for its architecture, river and walk over the old stone bridge, Dean Village has become a hotspot for photographers. At the heart of the village is Well Court.

This iconic building was built in the 1880s and housed local water mill workers. You can also enjoy a lovely walk beside the river, along the Water of Leith Walkway

Ross Fountain

You can find Ross Fountain inside the Princes Street Gardens. Its aqua and gold design makes for a beautiful foreground, perched in front of the mighty Edinburgh Castle. This timeless fountain looks stunning at any time of the year, in the summer you may find flowers around the fountain, and in winter you may find that the fountain has completely frozen over!

Originally made in Paris in the 1860s, the fountain was brought to the U.K in 1862. The design includes cherubs, mermaids, walrus and lion heads and four female figures representing science, arts, poetry and industry, can you spot them all?

Royal Botanic Gardens

If you like a leisurely stroll while discovering plants that are over 350 years old, the Royal Botanic Gardens are worth a visit. Although there is an entry fee for the Glasshouses, they are easily the most picturesque parts of the garden to photograph. The giant Water Lily pond is a crowd favourite. 

Founded in 1670 as a physic garden growing medicinal plants, the Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh has plenty of remarkable architecture, flora and fauna to feast your cameras on.

Circus Lane

This quaint, cobble-stoned lane is known as one of the prettiest streets in Edinburgh. With greenery and vines woven around the tiny mew houses, it has big faerie vibes. Circus Lane is the perfect place to get the money shot!

It was built in the early 1800s as part of the second phase of Edinburgh's New Town. However, when visiting, remember to be respectful as these are people's homes!

The Vennel Steps

Another brilliant view of Edinburgh Castle from a different perspective. The Vennel Steps, doesn't come up on google maps, but the easiest way to get there is to start at the top of Laurieston Pace, turn right down Heriot Place and walk down the steps.

The stone architecture and decorative lamps make for a lovely picture. This is also a popular spot for wedding photos.

Ramsay Garden

Ramsay Garden is home to a small block of Scottish Georgian style houses. They stand out for their unique red and white exteriors. 

It gets its name from the famous poet, Allan Ramsay the Elder who in 1733, was the first person to build there. It was also sometimes called Ramsay Hut, or Goose-pie Lodge because of its octagonal shape!

Victoria Street

If you’ve ever seen any photos of Edinburgh, this street is bound to have been one of them. Victoria Street is colourful and full of restaurants and independent shops. The curve of the street makes for an interesting photograph and many people like to stand at the bottom of the road to get the big shot (be careful though, there are still cars!) It is well known for inspiring Diagon Alley in Harry Potter.

You can also take the stairs to a second level of shops, for a bird's eye view of the street.

Arthur's Seat

If you fancy a wee walk, Arthur’s Seat is the perfect place to get a full panoramic view of the city. You're walking up an ancient Volcano, so there are some parts of the hike that are fairly steep. It’s recommended to bring your walking shoes. 

As they say, it’s all about the journey, so allow plenty of time to stop and take pictures along the way. You will get the best sunset pic from the peak of the mountain, especially if you keep your camera on a lower exposure to capture the full spectrum of glow!

Calton Hill

Take your pick for a pic! Whether it's a shot of Edinburgh City from above, or the Athenian acropolis, Calton Hill gives you the options. A peaceful retreat from the city and a great view of the sea.

The walk to the top is paved and can be done without breaking a sweat. The collection of historical monuments contrasts beautifully with the green landscape

The Writers Museum

Just off of the busy Royal Mile, The Writers Museum looks like an illustration from an old Fairytale. The museum really captures the fantastical yet gloomy essence of Edinburgh. 

It can be tricky to crop the building into a square, so a portrait will be more suitable.

National Museum of Scotland

Free of entry, the photo opportunities are limitless in the National Museum of Scotland. Prepare to be wowed by the symmetry of the architecture, especially in the Grand Gallery. Don’t forget to head up to the roof terrace for a stunning skyline view.

The museum can also be a great place for shelter while the rain passes.

White Horse Close

You can find the White Horse Close at the bottom of the Royal Mile, around the corner of the Scottish Parliament, The close was once used as horse stables for Holyrood Palace. Nature softens and frames the unusual stone architecture and cobblestone driveway. 

The building is believed to have been built in 1632.

Holyrood Park

Holyrood Park is at the base of Arthurs Pass. It's the best place to get your frockling in the long grass shot, breathtaking landscape shot or if you want to create a unique stone frame for your photograph.

You will also be able to spot some old remains from St. Andrews Chapel, which really stand out in the soft and rugged landscape.

Tollbooth Tavern

If you're looking for a medieval shot, the Tollbooth Tavern is the answer! Dark and a bit spooky, the Tollbooth Tavern was built in 1591. Grey weather matches as the perfect backdrop for the Tavern, probably one of the only times you’ll be hoping for gloomy skies!

If you have a bit of time it's worth going inside to check out the unique Scottish grub and wash it down with a pint!

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