Filled with ancient architecture, narrow passageways, and one pretty amazing castle, it is no wonder Edinburgh is one of the most photogenic places in the world. The moment we stepped foot in the city we reached for our camera. It is one of those places where you do not want to miss anything. If you are short on time though you might be wondering where some of the best spots to take photographs in Edinburgh are? Or even the most Instagrammable places in Edinburgh. Well read on as we list some of our favourites.
Located near the Grassmarket area in Edinburgh is the Vennel. It is basically a passageway that joins the Grassmarket to Heriot Place. If you are arriving from the Grassmarket side, you need to walk up the stairs. Don’t forget to look behind you though, as you will find one of the best spots to take photographs in Edinburgh. The view of the castle peeping above the old houses and gas lamps creates the perfect environment for a photo. The best thing is that this is sort of a best kept secret in Edinburgh. It is probably one of the only parts in the city that includes a view of the Castle that isn’t swarming with tourists and is by far one of the most instagrammable places in Edinburgh.
Located in the old town, this is probably one of the most photogenic streets in Edinburgh. You fill find it just off the Royal Mile and it leads all the way down to Grassmarket. What makes it perfect for photos are the colourful buildings and the way the street curves allowing you to get a great shot. There are a lot of independent and quirky shops along here, so once you have finished snapping away, give yourself some time to explore. And apart from being one of the most instagrammable places in Edinburgh, Harry Potter fans will be impressed at finding their very own Diagon Alley. There are also some pretty cool pubs along here so certainly worth popping in for a pint or two and watching all the people as they walk by.
So despite the fact that the Kirkyard is rumoured to be haunted by the MacKenzie Poltergeist, it is still a really beautiful place to go and take a photo. There is something oddly beautiful about the crumbling gravestones standing in the shadows of Edinburgh Castle. And gruesome history aside, it can feel like an oasis in the middle of the bustling city. It really does serve as a nice break from the hustle and bustle of Old Town Edinburgh. You get some great views of the Castle here. Make sure you have a walk around to find a great spot to take a photo of the ancient graves with the Castle in the background. As you walk within the Kirkyard, it can feel like you’ve taken a journey back in time. You almost expect to see some Burke and Hare style grave robbers lurking around.
Located on the stretch of the Royal Mile near Holyrood, the Cannongate Tolbooth is another location said to be haunted. It really is an incredible building to photograph. One of our favourite features has to be the clock and conical spire. It was built all the way back in 1591 as, you guessed it, a tollbooth. These days it serves as a pub/ tavern and you can go in for a pint and a delicious meal.
Arthur’s Seat is the name for one of the main peaks on a group of hills in Edinburgh. It is also the top of an extinct volcano, which is a really amazing thought. It certainly is a huge tourist attraction and provides one of the best views over the city. The rocks are jagged and the grass is unkempt, but the walk is absolutely beautiful. Apparently you can walk to the top in 30 minutes. But for the less then fit among us it probably takes an hour realistically. Also as it is so pretty you want to stop every few minutes to take photos. Or pretend to take photos as you catch your breath anyway. The walk certainly is worth it. The views are incredible and the photo ops are plentiful.
Ok so this is another hill, but nowhere near as strenuous as Arthur’s Seat. Up here you get some incredible panoramic views over the city, which makes it one of the best spots to take photographs in Edinburgh. I have also been told by friends that this is one of the best places to see and photograph the sunrise in the city. The hill has a few monuments on top including the National Monument that people seem to love to climb. One thing I will say is if you do go, think about the location of the sun, because we went around lunch time and it was hard to get some amazing shots due to the position of the sun. Where are the clouds when you need them?
The Royal Mile
The Royal Mile is the perfect place to take photos. In fact is it made for photos. You have bright red phone boxes, amazing architecture, and cobbled streets. Which for us makes for the perfect picture. Believe us when we say you will not want to put your camera down.
Royal Mile Alleyways
Whilst we are on the subject of the Royal Mile make sure you take some time to explore the Alleyways and Closes. These can act as the frame for some lovely pictures. There are so many to walk down (or up) and get lost in.
Hopefully this guide to the best spots in Edinburgh to take photographs has given you some inspiration to get out there and explore the city. If you have any other recommendations please add them in the comments.
Lizzie is one half of Wanderlust and Life. Usually the voice behind the blog posts she holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Mass Communication (Public Relations & Advertising). She has lived in Australia, Canada & England, and is pretty travel obsessed. She is also a crazy cat lady in the making.