There’s no shortage of views in Edinburgh, and so, it seems there’s no shortage of go-to spots to shoot Instagram shots. If you live in the city, you might get a little tired of seeing Circus Lane and Dean Village back to back to back. But if you’re visiting, and you want to see behind the scenes of the city so often Instagrammed, it can be hard to find a guide on these special spots! So here are the top 5 most Instagrammed spots in Edinburgh. A back to basics, no funny business, best of the best, classic list.
Ah, a street by many names. Victoria Street, the West Bow, Diagon Alley and, of course, Edinburgh’s Most Instagrammed Street. Obviously at top of the most Instagrammed spots in Edinburgh list, Victoria Street is in the heart of Old Town and easy to get to. From the Royal Mile (facing towards the Castle… uphill) turn down George IV Bridge and take the first right. You’ll be met with a verrrrrry colourful street full of people taking pictures. But be warned! Most days, cars still barrel up the road. Beware when taking your shot!
The Vennel + Grassmarket
At the bottom of Victoria Street is a square known as The Grassmarket. If you walk left past Biddy Mullligans all the way to Cold Town House you’ll be greeted with my favourite view of the castle. From this angle, it actually looks like one building, one castle! This is the same view you find in the Vennel. To find the Vennel itself – a path that leads back towards George Heriot’s school, (and runs along the old borders of the city of Edinburgh) walk towards Mary’s Milk Bar. The entrance to the Vennel is just to the right of Mary’s, so maybe grab a cone of gelato and head up the steps, it’s worth it on both accounts.
One of the most recognised shots in Edinburgh’s Instagram tag is a cobbled street (they’re actual setts but whatever), with mews houses and a church in the distance. This, is Circus Lane. It’s a small street in Stockbridge, an adorable neighbourhood with some of my favourite spots like I.J. Mellis, the Pastry Section and Golden Hare bookshop. Off the main road, it’s easy to find, just know that to find ‘the shot’ you have to walk down the lane a bit. You’ll know it when you see it.
Closeby Circus Lane is another Instagram favourite: Dean Village. It always reminds me of Beauty and the Beast, and it was the one place I looked for when I moved to Edinburgh after seeing it online. It’s an old village with a quaint and medieval feel. It runs just along the Water of Leith, and it’s easy to walk to from New Town – your phone’s map can give you directions if you just type in ‘Dean Village’. But… once you get there, turn right and follow the Water of Leith until you see steps up to a road – go up them and keep heading straight on and you’ll get to Stockbridge! Take a break in a coffee shop and then go right to Circus Lane. There’s two off the list!
Princes St/Princes St Gardens
Beautiful in all seasons is Princes St Gardens. In the summer, it’s full of blossoming trees and people soaking in any sun. As Autumn rolls around, the trees turn every different shade and bloom into a kaleidoscope of brilliant colours! Then, as the days get shorter and colder, the ever bright Christmas Market moves in. By spring, those trees start to blossom again. Princes St Gardens offers amazing shots of the castle, and the popular baby blue Ross Fountain. Princes St itself is never beautiful, always packed with cars, buses, trams and tourists. But, it offers a great photo-op with Edinburgh Castle as your back drop! Beware: you’ll have an audience.
Maybe not the top most instagrammed spots in Edinburgh, the following places are up and comers:
the pitt – a food market in Leith open all weekend full of delicious nibbles,
the Shore – also in Leith, the shore is where the city meets the sea in a beautiful clash
Milnes Court – a popular shortcut to get out of Old Town, Milnes Court offers a lovely panoramic view of New Town that stops a lot of people in their tracks
the galleries and museums – the national gallery, the portrait gallery, the national museum, pretty much each and every gallery/museum in Edinburgh offers unique architecture that you’ll often spot on Instagram