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Picture perfect: The most Instagrammable spots in Edinburgh

Welcome to the land of bagpipes, haggis and Mary Queen of Scots. Far few places are more charming and cute than Edinburgh. So you’ve arrived, probably planned a few places you want to see but are still deciding where to go to capture Instagram-worthy photos. Here are the most Instagrammable locations in Edinburgh. 

The Vennel 

Vennel, which literally means secret passageway, is an alleyway near Grassmarket that has a clear view of Edinburgh Castle. This is one of many great alleys and narrow streets in the city filled with surprises. 

The Vennel – meaning secret passageway – overlooks Edinburgh Castle. CC: Sabrina Russello

Victoria Street

The colorful street is the inspiration for Harry Potter’s Diagon Alley and is the most popular road in Edinburgh gathering foodies, tourists and photographers alike. I suggest you attempt to capture a photo sans people either around sunrise or sunset.

Victoria Street is the most colorful and popular streets in Edinburgh. It connects to Grass Market, a lively area for restaurants and cafes. CC: Sabrina Russello

The Scott Monument

The gothic-style monument pays homage to Scottish poet and author Sir Walter Scott. Scott was born in Edinburgh in 1771. The monument is the pillar connecting Old Town and new parts of the city. You can schedule a visit to walk up to the top. I personally have not been to the top, but I imagine the 360 view is incredible.

Scott Monument CC: Sabrina Russello

Calton Hill

The hill itself is home to a contemporary art gallery and the unfinished National Monument. Other monuments include the Dugald Stewart Monument, Nelson’s Monument, the Old Royal High School, Robert Burns Monument, Political Martys’ Monument and also the City Observatory. Lots of cool places to get a picture atop the hill, but the most popular is the one that overlooks the city.

Calton Hill overlooking the city CC: Sabrina Russello

Arthur’s Seat, surrounding area

Start your day on the east side of the city with a stroll along the Royal Mile and down to Holyrood Palace. Just south of the palace is an area of rolling hills and green space. Walk up to Arthur’s Seat — you’ll see the signs — a trek that takes about 90 minutes one way.

Arthur’s Seat is the tallest curve of this hillside. Adjacent to it, you can hike up to the top of the hill, which looks onto the city and ocean. CC: Sabrina Russello

If you don’t want to go that far, when you get to a fork in the road (you’ll see it, it’s at the beginning of the walk) take a right and forge your own path up the hill. When you get to the top you’ll have a great view of the city.

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Old Town

The old city is hauntingly beautiful at night. Think Frankenstein and vampires – but a bit less scary. And something special happens with Edinburgh where the city doesn’t fully get dark after sunset in summer.

This particular inclined street is the entrance to Old Town. You’re likely to get sweaty on the trek up so take your time. CC: Sabrina Russello

Circus Lane

If you’re moving to Edinburgh, Circus Lane is primetime real estate in my opinion, and it has nothing to do with the houses. Bended cobblestone streets, climbing vines and flowers, painted front doors all leading to a church that peeks out over the top of the lane of houses on one end, it’s hard not to love.

A residential street on the city’s north side. There’s nothing particularly special about the area surrounding this street but the area makes for a great photo. CC: Sabrina Russello

Holyrood Palace

There’s always one tourist attraction in every city that I always return to, and Holyrood Palace is that place for me in Edinburgh. I’m obsessed with Mary Queen of Scots and her story along with other female monarchs who reigned from a young age, including Queen Elizabeth I and Marie Antoinette.

The palace isn’t overly grand. In fact, it’s fairly modest as far as castles go, but the history of the castle is the real gem. Queen Elizabeth II stays at the royal residence whenever she’s in town.

Before you go inside, give your best Queen impression and strike a pose. No photos are allowed inside.

Holyrood Palace CC: Sabrina Russello

Dean’s Village

Thank you Google for helping me discover this tiny community within the city. Dean’s Village is off the beaten path is a neighborhood held together by a river. Anyone would be lucky to call this part of Edinburgh home.

A tiny neighborhood tucked away in an area of the city. CC: Sabrina Russello

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