Hello! how are we all doing? Welcome back to Colour me in style and if you are new to my blog please visit the home page and check out all my other resources if that sparks your curiosity. As you might have guessed from my last post I visited Edinburgh recently and I have to say it is one of the most photogenic cities in the world. A city break after a 2 yr gap of staying home was scaring me but all the walking was worth it! So I am here today with a list of some of the most Instagrammable (is that even a word?) streets and spots in the city of Edinburgh, Scotland.
Just a point to note is that if you are visiting in August you should take into account the famous Edinburgh Fringe Festival. Every year during the month of August artists, actors, singers, and performers from all over the world come to Edinburgh to join the Fringe Festival. This festival does not require any auditions, if you can get a venue or a corner in the street (mainly on the royal mile or Princess street) you can perform at the festival. The beauty of it is that this is an unticketed event (mostly) and if you like a performance you pay a tip to the artist.
15 Most Instagrammable spots in Edinburgh, Scotland.
So do we have our pens ready? (Sorry I am old school!) I have curated a list of the best places in Edinburgh for a pretty Instagram feed or otherwise. I will let you know the time you should visit these spots for the best shot possible because who likes a busy street right?
1. Victoria Street
Victoria Street is one of the most photographed streets in Edinburgh. And if you want to get a good shot I would say get in there early around 8am or before. We took this picture before we went to see the Edinburgh castle roughly around 9am and the street already had a few delivery vans parked. So anyone wanting a good shot of the empty street you must get there sooner.
Victoria street is said to have been the inspiration for Diagon Ally in the Harry Potter books.
2. Upper Terrace of Victoria Street
While you are on victoria street do not, I repeat do not miss going to the upper terrace. The entrance to which is a set of steps that can be easily missed if you don’t look closely. These steps are right next to a store called Swish. But the views of the whole of victoria street are phenomenal if you stand by Scotts Kitchen on the upper terrace of Victoria Street.
This picture below however is further ahead right near the terrace steps which is a great place to shoot your content in the morning when it’s not that busy.
3. Circus Lane
Circus Lane in Edinburgh is one of the most picturesque little streets with its perfect cobbled streets, gorgeous flower beds, and hanging baskets. With some houses now worth almost a Million Scottish Pounds this little street is truly a beautiful sight. Built-in the 1760s and for the families of the stable workers who served the rich families of the new town area. The now colorful garages used to be the stables for the horses.
At the end of this beautiful street stands the St Stephen’s Church a grade A-listed building with a high tower about 49m tall. It is now used as a community venue.
If you wish to come here for your Instagram-worthy shot then you must remember that this is mostly a residential area with some offices nestled in between. So expect cars parked in the drive if you come really early or later at night. Afternoon or mid-day is the best time to visit and see the street empty.
However, there will always be tourist traffic and locals going about their day so be prepared to spend some time for your shot.
4. Stockbridge Market Arch
Welcome to the entrance of the old Stockbridge Market that used to run here in the 19th century.
The arch is no way near the new ‘Stockbridge Market’ in current times so if you wanted to see this spot I would suggest you combine the visit with circus lane, as this beautiful arch is one street behind Circus lane on St Stephens place.
5. Dean Village – Water of Leith walk
Escape the busy streets of Edinburgh to see this hidden gem – Dean village. This village used to be called the Water of Leith village years ago and has been a milling site for over 800 years.
With not a lot of tourist traffic to Dean Village, you are almost certain to get that good shot 📸
6. The School of Divinity – New College
The School of Divinity is located at New college which is part of the Edinburgh university. The building itself will make you feel like you were transported to Hogwarts.
Just a tip- you may need a wide-angle lens to capture all of these buildings or you will need to put your camera as further back as possible or as low as possible.
7. Calton Hill
Calton Hill is one of Edinburgh’s main hills located within the old town area with spectacular views of the city. There is a great view North of the cliffs of Salisbury Crags, Arthur’s Seat, and the undulating slopes of Holyrood Park.
What you see a lot of Instagrammers do is go past the rock I am sitting on below and take a picture on a stand-alone rock that sits at the edge. Great if you are not venturing out here with kids. So you will not see me doing the typical Instagrammer shot here.
Another great landmark here on Calton Hill is the Iconic Athenian acropolis poking above the skyline. The acropolis is in fact an unfinished monument – originally called the “National Monument”. The project was initiated in 1816, a year after Napoleon’s defeat at Waterloo, it was meant to be a replica of the Parthenon in Athens, as a memorial to those who had died in the Napoleonic Wars.
The building process actually began in 1822, but soon funds ran dry, and Edinburgh’s celebrated architect William Playfair only saw a single facade of his building completed. Later, it was dubbed “Edinburgh’s shame”, but is now a popular landmark.
I need to mention here that there is no proper access to climb up the giant steps of this monument and unless you have some help, forget about going up, it’s hard to actually get down from the monument. It had me wondering why I got up there in the first place (LOL). Never doing that again.
8. Royal Botanic Gardens, Edinburgh
Royal Botanic Gardens of Edinburgh is a free attraction. Even if you are not into plants the glasshouse below is the perfect Instagram spot. This spectacular glasshouse was completed in 1858, the Temperate Palm House is the tallest traditional Palm House in Britain, with a height of 21.95 meters.
It is The much-needed restoration of the Garden’s Grade A Listed Heritage Glasshouses is currently underway which is why you cannot go inside but you can still see them from the outside.
9. The Botanic Cottage
Another gorgeous spot within the Royal Botanic Gardens is the Botanic Cottage. The cottage originally stood at the entrance of a long-lost incarnation of the Royal Botanical Garden on Leith walk. This lovely cottage was built in 1764 as a home for the principal gardener, the main entry point for the staff and visitors was through the doors in the wing walls. There was also a classroom there for the medical students who were taught botany during the height of the Scottish Enlightenment.
In the early 2000s, the beautiful building was set to be demolished but it was saved by a huge community campaign that hatched a plan to save the building by dismantling it stone by stone and numbering each one, and moving it across the city.
In 2014 -15 the Botanic Cottage was rebuilt where it now stands. It was in 2016 it opened as a community and education center inspired by its original use.
With wildflowers and apple trees growing at the entrance of this beautiful cottage it is such a gorgeous little spot.
10. Edinburgh Castle
It would be a faux pas if you visited Edinburgh and didn’t visit Edinburgh Castle. The castle sits on a volcanic rock and had the best vantage point in its day. Today it has some of the best views of the city’s skyline. You should book your tickets in advance if you want to guarantee entry on the day. Morning slots seem to go quickly.
11. Princess Street Gardens
Some of the best views of the Edinburgh castle can be seen from the Princess street gardens just by the fountain. Isn’t it spectacular? Princess Street Gardens is really nice if you have children. There is a nice little play area, loads of benches to sit around. Also, a little cafe and ice cream place by the fountain with picnic benches around is just a perfect setting for a nice family day out. Plus the views are just fit for every Instagrammer’s feed!
12. The Vennel Viewpoint
I actually ran out of time to get to the Vennel Steps and took to enlist my fellow Instagrammer and friend Alex to show us the view of the castle from there because this post will be incomplete without it! Do check out Alex’s Instagram for some really pretty pink content.
As you can see The Vennel viewpoint gives you a great view of the castle and you will find loads of Instagrammers and photographers out there. So unless you are a pro at photoshop, getting in early should help. How amazing does Alex look in this shot?
13. Cold Town House, Grassmarket
This little corner of Grassmarket was something I sure would have missed if I didn’t actually spot the gorgeous flower installation from the bus. I later realised when I went there on my last day in Edinburgh that the Grassmarket area just by Cold Town house was another great spot for getting a great view of the castle and as I was shooting there, I had lots more people stopping to do the same after me. So I deem it another instagrammable spot.
14.Tolbooth Kirk – The Hub
The Tolbooth Kirk is the iconic black gothic church right on the Royal Mile. You can’t miss it when you walk towards the castle. It now houses the hub which is a public arts and events building in the center of Edinburgh. Located at the top of the Royal Mile, it is a prominent landmark as its tall gothic spire is the highest point in central Edinburgh, and towers over the surrounding buildings below Edinburgh Castle.
This area can get really busy after 10 am so again if you wish to have an empty picture like this you need to get in there before 10. This is literally 2 mins from Victoria terrace. So I would suggest getting to Victoria street around 9am and get your shots and then up the steps to the Royal Mile.
15. Edinburgh Meat Market
I think they loved their market arches back in the day because there are several of these arches spread all over the city. This particular Market arch is in the Fountainbridge area (new town west end) which we spotted on our walks to the bus stop into town. You can capture this arch from across the street right in front of Tollcross Primary School entrance.
So with this, I come to the end of my post about the most scenic and lovely spots for photography and instagrammability. Hope you enjoyed my post if you would like to help please pin the below image or any other image from this post to Pinterest it helps me get discovered.
I shall see you next week with more fun articles to read until then take care.