Capture the historic charm of Edinburgh through your camera lens with our round up of the most Instagrammable places in the Scottish capital. From Arthur’s seat, the medieval architecture of the Old Town to funky photo-worthy bars, you’re pretty much sorted on where to go to upgrade your Insta feed with the coolest travel pics. We love each and every place featured in this article and heading to them will make your Edinburgh adventure one to remember.
Calton Hill is one of Edinburgh's main hills, set right above the heart of the city. You can walk there easily from the city centre, and in return you’ll get an incredible panoramic view once you’re there. It’s part of the city’s UNESCO World Heritage sight, with an Athenian acropolis that makes photos even more Insta-worthy. A peaceful escape from the bustle below.
Victoria Street lies in Edinburgh’s Old Town - and it’s probably the most photographed road in the entire city. The pretty street is lined by colourful shop fronts that form a gentle curve, the perfect photo backdrop!
Fun fact: Did you know Victoria Street was the main inspiration for Diagon Alley in Harry Potter? JK Rowling used to reside in Edinburgh and there are many parts of the city where she took inspiration for the books
ROYAL BOTANICAL GARDENS
See the flora in full bloom at one of the finest Botanical Gardens in the world. The Royal Botanical Garden in Edinburgh is beautiful and impressive housing over 13,000 plant species, plus a giant water lily pond. The photo ops are endless.
We had to include Edinburgh castle, the most famous tourist attraction in the city. The historic fortress actually sits on an extinct volcano called Castle Rock that hasn’t erupted for 700 years. I wonder what they named first, the hill or the castle.
Fun fact: Head to the castle at 1pm to see the 'One O'Clock Gun' fires be shot from the castle
Holyrood Park’s dramatic hills and jagged shape make for seriously cool landscape shots. It’s just a short walk from Edinburgh’s Old Town and it’s an interesting archaeological site, as well as home to Arthur’s Seat.
Fun Fact: Holyrood Park is in fact a Royal Park. On the edge of the park lies the royal residence, Holyrood Palace. The Queen stays here when in Edinburgh. This was once home to Mary Queen of Scots.
These quaint little streets in Edinburgh’s city centre are lined with pretty red brick houses with colourful doorways. The perfect location for a photoshoot.
Find this picturesque view at the bottom of Hawthornbank Lane if you don’t mind climbing down to the edge of the river!
A trip to Edinburgh isn’t complete without a hike up the beautiful Arthur's Seat.
Fun fact: Legend has it that the rock is actually a sleeping dragon. The old tale says that a dragon used to fly around eating all the livestock and scaring the locals until it eventually ate so much, that one day it lay down, went to sleep and never woke up again.
If it’s a medieval shot of Edinburgh you’re after, Tolbooth Tavern will give you just that! The traditional Scottish pub is picture-perfect on the outside, but they serve up a pretty good haggis tower, too.
PRINCES STREET GARDENS
While you're in Edinburgh, be sure to take a walk through the pretty Princes Street Gardens in the centre of town. From here, you’ll see Scotts Monument, a Victorian Gothic building dedicated to Scottish author Sir Walter Scott. It is the largest monument to a writer in the world. It also had a major presence in Edinburgh's skyline.
VIEW FROM THE ROOFTOP OF THE NATIONAL MUSEUM OF SCOTLAND
Not that many people are aware of the rooftop on the National Museum of Scotland but it really is a hidden gem. Head up to the top and you’ll get panoramic views of Edinburgh from the very heart of the city.
Believe it or not, this street is just a pretty in real life as it is on Instagram.
See Edinburgh Castle from another perspective. The Vennel is a small street in between Edinburgh University and the Grassmarket.
EDINBURGH NEW COLLEGE
This has got to be one of the most Insta-worthy universities ever, don’t you think? No wonder so many people want to study in Scotland! Edinburgh University in the sixth oldest university in the English speaking world.
GRASSMARKET, EDINBURGH OLD TOWN
Fun fact: Back in 1477, the Grassmarket was a huge market in Edinburgh with most of it trading cattle and horses. This is apparently where the name Grassmarket originated as the western end of it was where the animals’ grass was kept.
THE DEVIL’S ADVOCATE
A bar equipped with charm and sophistication. This old Victorian pump house in the historic part of the city has been converted to a chic, cosy bar in Edinburgh’s Old Town. For cocktail enthusiasts and whiskey drinkers, The Devil’s Advocate is all about quality. The drinks here are picture perfect!
A narrow tunnelled pathway in Edinburgh’s Old Town that looks over the rooftops of the city.
HAGGIS AT THE SECRET ARCADE BAR
Let’s be honest. Haggis is probably one of the least photogenic foods in the world - which is annoying because you have to get a snap of haggis at least once while in the city. Well, there’s one place to try it in Edinburgh where it actually looks beautifully presented. The Secret Arcade Bar!
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WHITE HORSE CLOSE
A pretty residential courtyard at the foot of the Royal Mile. White Horse Close is quaint collection of eight beautiful looking five-bedroom homes - and they attract plenty of photo attention for just how cute they look!
HOOT THE REDEEMER
Our favourite underground bar in Edinburgh brimming with cool, unique photo opportunities with colourful drinks and fun shaped bottles. Walk down the narrow staircase and push open the mysterious door masked by a fortune teller's booth, and enter the funfair of all bars! The vintage interior will make you feel like you’ve stepped back into the 50s - and it’s brimming with a cool young crowd.
SEE EXACTLY WHERE YOU CAN FIND EACH OF THESE SPOTS ON THE MAP BELOW
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