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Instagram Guide to Edinburgh: 10 Top Photo Spots in Edinburgh

Last Updated on 16th April 2023 by Sophie Nadeau

Instagrammable Edinburgh is right around the corner if only you know where to look for it. Here’s a complete Instagram guide to Edinburgh and where to find the top photo spots in the Scottish capital! After all, this UNESCO world heritage literary city is packed with historic landmarks, beautiful panoramas, and days worth of exploring to uncover…

Instagram guide to Edinburgh : 10 Top Photo Spots in Edinburgh, photography locations such as Dean Village, Grassmarket, the vennel etc in Edinburgh, Scotland.

Most Instagrammable Photo Spots in Edinburgh

Calton Hill

Located on the end of Princes Street, Calton Hill offers one of the best panoramic views of Edinburgh. Best-seen at sunset or sunrise when candy colours dance across the sky, highlights of Calton Hill include plenty of monuments and follies which commemorate various achievements of former residents from over the years.

On a warm summer’s day, this green space is the ideal place not only to snap photos, but to enjoy a picnic among friends! Indeed, visiting Calton Hill is one of the best free things to do in Edinburgh.

Free things to do in edinburgh, Scotland: Calton Hill

Dean Village

Picture perfect and pretty as a postcard, Dean Village first started out as a settlement on the fringes of the city where local millers would live. Once upon a time, eleven mills donned the river, driven by the water’s current.

Now, the former mills and millers’ houses make up some of the most prime real estate in Edinburgh. Today, a small stream babbles by while birds sing in the overhead trees, easily making this one of the most instagrammable spots in the city.

Dean Village, a pretty hidden gem in Edinburgh, Scotland

Arthur’s Seat

For the very best panoramic view of Edinburgh, you simply must climb the steep ascent that is Arthur’s Seat. Located pretty close by to the Palace of Holyroodhouse, the Queen’s official residence in Edinburgh, this now extinct volcano is a place of incredible natural beauty.

The summit of Arthur’s Seat is around 250 metres above sea level, meaning that it’s even higher than the adjacent Edinburgh Castle. While hiking Arthur’s Seat, be sure to check out the ruins of St Anthony, a small and abandoned 14th-century that’s thought to have ties with the nearby remains of Holyrood Abbey.

Read more: Hiking an extinct volcano in Edinburgh!

Hiking Arthur's Seat: Climbing an Extinct Volcano in Edinburgh, Scotland


To the base of Edinburgh Castle, the flat historic market area and event space is known as Grassmarket and is actually located below the water table.

Although in the past, this Edinburgh district was used for executions, today the Grassmarket is Filled with unique and quirky pubs. This spot of the city is perfect if you want to grab a bite to eat, catch up with friends, or simply want to snap some street shots.

Read more: A long weekend in Edinburgh itinerary you’ll want to copy

best scottish local beers

Harry Potter Locations

If you’re in search of some magic and inspiration, then you most certainly must take yourself on a Harry Potter self-guided tour of the city.

It’s well known that during much of the creation of the wizarding world, JK Rowling lived in Edinburgh. And she even finished the world-famous book series in the Balmoral Hotel!

Highlights of the mystery and magic that is the world of potter include the Elephant House (a coffee shop which is self-proclaimed to be the birth of Harry Potter) and the Writer’s Museum (a delve into the city’s literary past).

Not only will you find some of the best Potter spots in the city, but you’ll also find plenty of photogenic and very instagrammable places in Edinburgh.

Read more: Harry Potter tour of Edinburgh

writer's museum Edinburgh Scotland

Edinburgh Castle

Of course, you can’t visit Scotland and not see a castle or two! Edinburgh’s main castle is conveniently located in the very heart of the city upon Castle Rock.

Presiding over the city, it’s thought that there has been human habitation on site, which is home to an extinct volcano, for well over three millennia. Today, this historic fortress is open to the public, can be visited for a fee, and is fun for all ages.

Read more: Best castles in Edinburgh!

Best Castles in Edinburgh, Scotland: edinburgh castle

Cramond Island

Though not strictly in Edinburgh proper, Cramond Island is a beautiful tidal isle characterised by its leafy vegetation and rugged nature.

Twice a day, the waves roll in, rendering this piece of land a complete tidal island. During low tide, it’s possible to walk to the island where you’ll find spectacular views onto the glittering sea, as well as onto Scotland mainland behind.

Read more: An easy day trip from Edinburgh to Cramond Island

cramond island day trip from Edinburgh, Scotland

The Vennel

If you’re looking for the most iconic photography spot in Edinburgh, then you simply must head to The Vennel, a pedestrianised and stepped side street which leads away from the Grassmarket. The meaning of the word ‘vennel’ itself relates to a passageway which leads between the gables of two buildings.

That in Edinburgh features in the film ‘The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie’ and is best visited in the early morning when the light is at its best. After all, within this Instagram guide to Edinburgh, this is probably my favourite photo spot of them all!

Read more: Quirky and unusual secret spots in Edinburgh!

harry potter in edinburgh scotland

The Royal Mile

Edinburgh’s main thoroughfare is so called because it stretches roughly a mile between Edinburgh Castle and Holyrood Palace. Populated by stores, taverns, and all manner of quirky museums, a wander along this road while in the Scottish capital is an absolute must!

Read more: A free & self-guided Edinburgh walking tour

25 amazing free things to do Edinburgh, Scotland!

Circus Lane, Stockbridge

For a different side of Edinburgh, you need to visit Circus Lane, a pretty area in the Stockbridge district. If you’ve ever spent any time looking at Instagram photos of Edinburgh, then you’ll likely have seen this street.

Once there, you’ll find terraced mews houses, trailing greenery, and plenty of photo opportunities. Circus Lane itself is situated behind St Stephen Street and isn’t far from the impossibly picturesque Dean Village.

Enjoyed reading about the most instagrammable places in the Scottish Capital within this Instagram Guide to Edinburgh? Pin it now, read it again later:

Instagram guide to Edinburgh : 10 Top Photo Spots in Edinburgh, photography locations such as Dean Village, Grassmarket, the vennel etc in Edinburgh, Scotland.

Sophie Nadeau loves dogs, books, travel, pizza, and history. A fan of all things France related, she runs when she’s not chasing after the next sunset shot or consuming something sweet. She currently splits her time between Paris and London. Subscribe to Sophie’s YouTube Channel.

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Sunday 6th of October 2019

Hey, really liked your post. I agree, Dean village had to be the most instagrammable spot! During my trip i didn't get to go to Arthurs seat, was so disappointed.

I did a similar post, would love to hear what you think of it :)

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