Edinburgh offers virtually endless opportunities for Instagrammable snapshots whether you're looking to capture the local history, brilliant natural features or quaint side streets. Many prominent buildings have impressive architecture dating back centuries, but sometimes simple natural features like the Water of Leith can be inspiring. A collection of modest homes on a side street can create a picture just as beautiful as one depicting the queen's royal residence in Scotland. Check out the best Instagrammable places in Edinburgh to capture memories to last a lifetime.


    Calton Hill

    Visit the spot that inspired the panorama

    Calton Hill is a central hill and UNESCO World Heritage Site that offers scenic views of Edinburgh along with numerous iconic monuments of its own. The view from Calton Hill is so legendary that it inspired the world's first panorama, created by Robert Baker in the 18th century. On the hill itself, you can take photos on the steps of the National Monument, an unfinished architectural icon that was meant to look like the Parthenon in Athens. You can also climb the Nelson Monument for even greater views of the surrounding area. The hill is located near the center of town, with the Scottish Government building at the foot.

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    Location: Edinburgh EH7 5AA, UK

    Open: 24/7


    Dean Village

    Visit an old milling village

    Dean Village is a historic milling village that lets you explore historic millstones, stone plaques and buildings that showcase alluring old-world charm. Most of the area dates back to the 19th century, with the Well Court being the most iconic building in the village. Located right in the heart of the village, you can take satisfying pictures by it and easily access the rest of the area. This region of Edinburgh is also located by the Water of Leith, so you can add an aquatic element to your pictures if you like, as access is easy. You'll find Dean Village a convenient 5 minutes away from Princes Street on the edge of Dean Gardens.

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    Location: Dean Path, Edinburgh EH4 3AY, UK

    Open: 24/7


    Water of Leith Walkway

    Stroll a lovely footpath

    The Water of Leith Walkway is a scenic footpath that runs alongside the Water of Leith and stretches from Balerno to Leith, where you'll find extensive opportunities for photography. Along the path, you'll find yourself next to the water and extensive vibrant greenery. The path is 12.25 miles long, and it goes downhill if you start in Balerno, although the incline is so slight that many visitors don't notice it at all. As you traverse the path, you'll find yourself near several other sites that may catch your eye, such as the Dean Gallery and the Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art. You'll find the path's entrance by Balerno High School, with the other side around the Leith docks.


    Victoria Street

    Visit a charming street

    Victoria Street is a bustling and charming street that features multicolored buildings and a design aesthetic that inspired the famous Diagon Alley from the Harry Potter series. While most of the buildings constructed in the same time period have neoclassical elements, Victoria Street buildings sport an Old Flemish style. The shops on this street can make for a few fun pictures with unique offerings. You can see it all for yourself in Old Town, just a short walk southwest from St Giles' Cathedral.


    Dunbar's Close Garden

    Explore a 17th century-style garden

    Dunbar's Close Garden is a lovely oasis in Edinburgh reminiscent of gardens from the 17th century and featuring well-maintained greenery and walking paths. When you visit this garden, it's easy to find incredible photo opportunities among the colorful flowers and brilliant hedge work with manicured shrubbery. Birds are quite common in this garden, so you can capture a bit of the local wildlife as well. You can find this garden hidden in plain sight on the Royal Mile right next to Canongate Kirk.

    Location: 137 Canongate, Edinburgh EH8 8BW, UK

    Open: Daily from 7 am to 4.30 pm

    Phone: +44 (0)1315 295151


    St Giles' Cathedral

    Visit a 14th-century cathedral

    St Giles' Cathedral is a monumental building with structures dating to the 14th century that let you capture a Romanesque design with a few unique traits. The original church here was likely founded in the 12th century, but only ruins remain of that structure. Instead, you'll find impressive arches and a complex nave that has gone through serious alterations. Among the exterior and interior, you'll find a variety of different statues and carvings hidden among the framework, including a grotesque face from the 12th century and the famous statue of John Knox. You can find this cathedral in Old Town by the National Library of Scotland.

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    Location: High St, Edinburgh EH1 1RE, UK

    Phone: +44 (0)1312 260674


    Circus Lane

    Stroll down a quaint street

    Circus Lane is a popular spot for photographers, thanks to its modest houses, cobbled street and extensive collection of flowers growing in the area. When you visit, you'll find yourself away from the hustle and bustle of the city with room to capture some of the calmer parts of Edinburgh. This is a residential street, but it's typically calm during weekdays since everyone's off to school or work. Even so, it's best to arrive early in the day to avoid any disturbances from traffic. You'll find this street a short walk east from Stockbridge Market.


    Princes Street Gardens

    Explore a set of parks

    Princes Street Gardens are 2 adjacent parks with large open green neighborhoods, walking paths and intricately designed statues to see. Whether you visit the east or the west side, you'll find plenty of photo opportunities on grassy fields with vibrant trees. Impressive monuments are available on both sides of the gardens. You can see the Gothic Scott Monument in the east and the cast-iron Ross Fountain in the west. You'll find it all just steps away from Edinburgh Waverley railroad station in between Old Town and New Town.

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    Location: Princes St, Edinburgh EH2 2HG, UK

    Open: Daily from 7 am to 10 pm

    Phone: +44 (0)1315 297921


    Palace of Holyroodhouse

    Explore the monarch's official residence in Scotland

    The Palace of Holyroodhouse is a massive royal residence dating back to the 17th century where you can see a magnificent exterior and detailed apartments inside. Inside, you'll find a Baroque ceiling and Italian paintings on the wall, one of which dates back to 1550. On the grounds, you'll find additional sights to explore, like the statue of Edward VII. One of the most iconic aspects of this palace is the intricately designed Forecourt Fountain. You can see it all on the Royal Mile on the opposite side from Edinburgh Castle.

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    Location: Canongate, Edinburgh EH8 8DX, UK

    Open: Thursday–Monday from 9.30 am to 4.30 pm (closed Tuesday–Wednesday)

    Phone: +44 (0)3031 237306


    Salisbury Crags

    Catch a scenic view from the cliffs

    Salisbury Crags are cliffs that look down on Edinburgh, granting scenic views of virtually the entire city and making it the perfect place to capture this town as a whole. While it's a bit of a hike to reach the cliffs, it's not a difficult one, thanks to a paved track to the top dating back to the Radical War. This cliffside is also where you'll find Arthur's Seat, the main peak that rises nearly 251 meters in height, with truly stunning views of Edinburgh and its surroundings. You can experience it all for yourself on the west side of Holyrood Park.


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