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12 Best Instagrammable Places in Edinburgh and Scotland

In this post, you’ll find 6 Instagrammable places in Edinburgh and 6 Instagram spots throughout Scotland.

Scotland is a beautiful country full of lush valleys and vibrant lakes. With its many castles and scenic routes, there’s tons of Instagrammable places in Edinburgh and Scotland to fill your days there with the most epic content creating.

Here are my favorite spots for taking Instagram photos in Edinburgh and around Scotland along with a couple that I wish I had time for but just couldn’t make it to.

Good to Know: Before we begin, I just want to point out that I have a Google Maps link under each location. You can Star that location and access the map even if you don’t have wifi or data.

Check out this post if you want to learn how to use Google Maps without wifi or data to save all these photo spots in Scotland!

Besides the Google Maps link for each location, I have an aggregate Google Maps at the end so it’ll be easier for you to see where all of these locations are in relation to each other.

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Instagrammable Places in Edinburgh

There are many beautiful Instagrammable places in Edinburgh because of its ornate and distinct architecture. Plus, you’ll generally get a great viewpoint of the Edinburgh Castle in the background making your photo jawbreakingly cool for a lack of better words.

The Vennel

the vennel, one of the most Instagrammable places in Edinburgh
Dress from ASOS

Vennel is a term for a passageway between two buildings. It is similar to the terms “alley” or lane”.

In the case of this famous Vennel in Edinburgh that leads down to the Grassmarket, there’s a marvelous view of the Edinburgh Castle in the background!

This is one of the most Instagrammable places in Edinburgh that you cannot skip! It’s a quintessential Edinburgh photo.

Timing Tip: We came here on a Thursday around 6:00PM, and there were little to no people.

Google Maps


Armchair Books

Armchair books, one of the most Instagrammable places in Edinburgh

Armchair Books is an adorable used bookstore with patterned rugs lining the floor, and of course, endless books filling the walls.

Important Tip: This is a place you MUST ask to take photos. Even though we asked and I bought a Calvin & Hobbes comic book, the bookstore manager did not seem happy with how long we were taking to grab a photo.

So here are my best tips to be super polite about this:

  • Ask to take a picture.
  • Buy something to support the store since they’re lending it to you for your photo opportunity. My book only cost £3,99 and brought me back to childhood.
  • Make it quick!

Google Maps

Hotels to Stay At: Luxury – the Edinburgh Grand; Mid Range – the Claremont Guest House; Budget – Baxter Hostel

Victoria Street aka Diagon Alley

Victoria street, one of the most Instagrammable places in Edinburgh

Victoria Street is a colorful street lined with bright colored stores. There are so many Instagrammable places in Edinburgh for Harry Potter fans and this is one!

It’s supposedly the street that inspired Diagon Alley so if you’re a Harry Potter fan, this street is a must-visit for both a photo opp and fun Harry Potter stores.

Timing Tip: We went here around 7:00PM on a Thursday, and we had to watch out for cars often, but found little pockets in between.

Make sure to be safe, and watch out for the cars!

Google Maps

Hotels to Stay At: Luxury – the Edinburgh Grand; Mid Range – the Claremont Guest House; Budget – Baxter Hostel

The Printing Press

The Printing Press, one of the most Instagrammable places in Edinburgh

The Printing Press is a modern restaurant that serves rustic Scottish fare, but the real charm here for your Instagram is the floral display they have.

Photo Tip: It is best to bring a wide-angle here because more likely than not, there may be a car parked out in front of the restaurant.

If there is a car, then you may just have to cut off part of the floral display like I did!

Google Maps

Hotels to Stay At: Luxury – the Edinburgh Grand; Mid Range – the Claremont Guest House; Budget – Baxter Hostel

Ross Fountain at the Princes Street Gardens

Ross Fountain, one of the most Instagrammable places in Edinburgh

The Princes Street Gardens are two parks that lie side by side to each other! It’s full of lush greenery and fun activities for kids.

Of course, there’s a gorgeous fountain and perfect view of the castle, which makes this one of the picturesque places to photograph in Edinburgh.

Google Maps

Hotels to Stay At: Luxury – the Edinburgh Grand; Mid Range – the Claremont Guest House; Budget – Baxter Hostel

Old Town in Edinburgh

Old Town, one of the most Instagrammable places in Edinburgh

There are plenty of charming places to photograph in Old Town, Edinburgh simply because the architecture is rich with history.

You can’t go wrong with simply wandering around this part of Edinburgh and grabbing a photo when something catches your eye.

This photo was taken around The Real Mary King’s Close.


Where to Stay in Edinburgh

While you’re taking photos at Instagrammable places in Edinburgh, you might want to stay at the Edinburgh Grand, which is a luxury serviced apartment with beautiful attention to design and service.

I loved it because the tram from the airport stops one minute from the hotel making it super convenient to get to.

But if you’re more on a budget, try the Baxter Hostel, which also focuses on great design, or the Claremont Guest House, a no-frills, clean and comfortable three-star hotel.


Instagrammable Places in Scotland

Of course there’s more to Scotland than just Edinburgh. In fact, some of the best Instagrammable places in Scotland are outside Edinburgh in the countryside. You won’t have a shortage of landscape photography moments too.

Between the lush landscape and charming castles, you may have a hard time deciding where to go first! It’s that beautiful.

Cairngorm Reindeer Centre

Cairngorm reindeer centre, one of the most Instagrammable places in Scotland, best places for landscape photography in scotland

Cairngorm reindeer centre, one of the most Instagrammable places in Scotland, best places for landscape photography in scotland

Fancy a 15-20 minute hike to see a free ranging herd of reindeers? You’ll get to meet beautiful reindeers brought to Scotland in 1952 by Mikel Utsi and his wife Dr. Ethel Lindgren after he learned they were indigenous to Britain but became extinct about 800 years prior.

Hang out with them, feed them, and of course, grab a photo with them. Even better, if you have a special connection with one, you can adopt him/her to help maintain their amazing life in the Cairngorms Mountains.

Timing Tip: There are one to three guided hikes a day. But to get tickets, show up an hour before a visit. There are limited spots daily.

Google Maps


Still Art Installation

Click on the Instagram image and swipe left to see an unedited vide of this amazing view from this art installation!

This art installation was one of the Instagrammable places in Scotland I didn’t have on my list prior to going. My husband found it!

Still, the name of this art installation, was designed by Glasgow-based architects Angus Ritchie and Daniel Tyler. This box-like structure has mirrored interior walls that reflect the landscape that can be seen from two open ends of the installation. It is truly stunning during sunset.

It’s located on the Snow Roads Scenic Route in Cairngorms National Park in Scotland, and my best guess for the location is at this GPS location. You might drive past it so when you get to this GPS point, look out for a parking lot that has a trail up a hill.

Being up high on the hill makes it one of the best places for landscape photography in Scotland!

Hotel to Stay At: While exploring Cairngorm National Park, we stayed at the Cairngorm Guest House, which is a cozy three-star bed and breakfast.

To get here, we rented a car from Budget.

Dunnottar Castle

girl at dunnottar castle in scotland united kingdom, best places for landscape photography in scotland

dunnottar castle in scotland united kingdom, instagrammable places in scotland

Dunnottar Castle is a 13th century fortress set along the seaside of Scotland. Between the sky, sea and plants, there’s many different viewpoints you can get of this castle, which makes it another great place for landscape photography in Scotland.

Parking Tip: The parking lot may be full when you first arrive but just circle around until it frees up again.

To get here, we rented a car from Hertz but I enjoyed my rental from Budget better from the first part of my trip.

Google Maps

Craigievar Castle

Craigiever Castle, one of the most Instagrammable places in Scotland, best places for landscape photography in scotland

This Instagrammable pink castle in Scotland is the castle that inspired Disney’s Sleeping Beauty. It’s easy to see why!

Note: If you want to actually go into the castle, they only allow small groups of 10 for guided tours and no photos inside. Also, you will have to pay for parking outside with a machine so bring coins.

To get here, we rented a car from Hertz but I enjoyed my rental from Budget better from the first part of my trip.

Google Maps

Glenfinnan Viaduct aka Harry Potter Bridge

Girl at base of the Harry Potter bridge in Scotland, one of the most Instagrammable places in Scotland, best places for landscape photography in scotland
Girl looking at the Harry Potter bridge in Scotland, one of the most Instagrammable places in Scotland, best places for landscape photography in scotland

The Glenfinnan Viaduct is the Harry Potter train in Scotland. Not only is it exciting to see this beautiful bridge, but the landscape around it is just stunning, which is why going here is recommended as one of the best road trips in Europe.

To get here, we rented a car from Hertz but I enjoyed my rental from Budget better from the first part of my trip.

Google Maps

Fairy Pools

The Fairy Pools is a place with multiple waterfalls and natural pools to swim in although it’s quite cold even in summer. It is rich in blue and green hues!

This is one of the places I really wanted to go to but couldn’t make it to because of how far it is. You’ll definitely need a car to get here.

Google Maps

Other Beautiful Places to Photograph in Scotland

For other beautiful photography locations in Scotland, check out this Google Maps with all the places I named above and more.

The places listed in this post are in pink while the other ones I didn’t visit but researched ahead of time are in blue.


Photography Gear I Used for Thes Instagrammable Places in Edinburgh and Scotland

For taking these photographs in Edinburgh and Scotland, I shot with a Canon 6d, which is a full-frame camera.

It is the lesser expensive option of their full-frame camera ranges but still does a fantastic job of taking photos. It is the main camera I have on me while traveling.

As for my lenses, I used the kit lens that came with the camera and also this 16-35mm with a low aperture value of 2.8. This is a really great versatile wide-angle lens that makes your subject clear and background blurry.

Taken with the Geekoto Tripod

Last but not least, when I was getting photos of both Christine (@tourdelust) and me, I used this Geekoto tripod. I’ve tested and gone through about five tripods and love this one for traveling.

You can get it on Amazon here, or head to this blog post to see why I chose the Geekoto tripod for traveling.


Google Maps of these Instagrammable Places in Edinburgh and Scotland

In this Google Maps are all the Instagrammable places I visited in pink.

There are other places I researched and wanted to visit to but just didn’t have time to go to. They are in blue.

Make sure to Pin this post for later or share this with friends so they too can visit Instagrammable places in Edinburgh and Scotland and have this handy map!

If you find this map to be helpful, please consider buying me a cup of coffee.


How to Get Around Scotland

To get to the Instagrammable places in Edinburgh, we either walked because the city is a manageable size or grabbed an Uber.

Uber is a ride service hailing app, and the prices are relatively inexpensive in Scotland. For the time it would take us to walk to a tram and then pay for two tram rides, we opted to take Uber since it saved time and didn’t cost much more. Click here for $5 off your first ride.

Our Free Upgrade with Budget by Chance

To get around these Instagrammable places in Scotland, we rented a car from Budget and then Hertz on two different occasions because I first did a trip with Mike, my husband, and then a content creating trip with Christine (@tourdelust).

I enjoyed the car rental with Budget much better as they gave us a free upgrade, and the car was much nicer than what we got with Hertz. That being said though, this might’ve just been a one off thing so can’t guarantee that it would happen to you.

I highly recommend renting a car over taking public transportation. Taking public transportation to these places is very inconvenient if you plan on going off the beaten path. It is a possibility but would take twice as long.

Cost of renting a manual car was about $90 USD for three days and $70 USD for gas. We declined Budget’s insurance since we booked on our credit card, which has basic car insurance.

To save money, it’s a good idea to check with your own credit card company if they have car insurance if you book with your credit. It will save you a good amount of money!

Budget or Hertz? I’d suggest renting a car from Budget today before options run out and prices go up.


Important Tips for Driving in Scotland

Driving in Scotland is pretty similar to driving in any Western countries except for these notable items.

  • Drive on the left side of the road.
  • You may want GPS in your car since there’s no service in parts of the countryside.
  • The Biggie– There are no speed limits listed anywhere but it’s generally 20-30mph in Urban areas, 60mph in Single carriageways and 70mph in Dual carriageways. Check the symbols here.
  • Apple maps (not Google) will show you the current MPH but still, watch out for signs and don’t rely on the app.
  • There are electronic cameras that note if you are speeding so maintain the speed limit!
  • Instead of intersections, there are roundabouts. Give right of way to those coming from the right.

Good to Know: There are no toll roads around Scotland! Hooray!


Where to Stay in Scotland

Scottish breakfast at Cairngorm Guest House
Enjoying breakfast at Cairngorm Guest House

Hotel to Stay At: While exploring Cairngorm National Park, we stayed at the Cairngorm Guest House, which is a cozy three-star bed and breakfast.

We had the most lovely homemade Scottish breakfast here so you can check off two items on your list of things to do: get accommodation and experience a Scottish breakfast.

fish and chips from Happy Haggis aviemore scotland

Also while in Aviemore, don’t miss out on Happy Haggis for fried fish. It was the best fish and chips I had in Scotland!

Bonus: Happy Haggis is only a 15-minute walk from the Cairngorm Guest House.

Book a room at Cairngorm Guest House today.


Instagrammable Places Related Posts

If you love taking Instagram pics around the world, you might also like my guides to:


Thanks for making it all the way down to the end of the post. I’d love to connect. Come say hi to me my Instagram @sarchetrit, especially if you found any part of this post to be helpful, and DEFINITELY TAG ME IN YOUR INSTAGRAM POST if you go to any of these locations. I’ll give your post lots of love!

Till then, thanks for stopping by, and have a great day!

xo,
Sarah


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12 Instagrammable Places in Edinburgh and Scotland

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