Updated post: 22/03/19 | March 2019
As one of the world’s most photogenic destinations, London has no shortage of Instagrammable locations. But where are the best places to create photos that will be the envy of your friends back home?
As a proud Londoner and an avid shutterbug, I consider myself a local expert guide to photographing the best of London. Therefore, to help you, I have rounded up my favourite 16 Instagrammable places in London, broken down into areas. Also included are a few tips on how to get that perfect photo, as well as how to find the location.
So whether you are after that Instagram-worthy park, building or red telephone box here’s your essential guide to the best photo spots in London. Happy snapping!
Instagrammable places in London: Central
1. The British Museum
With its world-renowned collection of treasures including the Rosetta Stone, Elgin Marbles (ahem!) and Egyptian mummies, the British Museum (BM) deserves its place as the most visited tourist attraction in the UK. However, one of its best treasures is its stunning Great Court. On a sunny day, light streams across the atrium, casting extraordinary shadows from its domed glass ceiling.
British Museum photo tip: For the best viewpoint, walk up to the gallery area above the main entrance.
How to find The British Museum: The main entrance to the BM is on Great Russell Street. The nearest Tube stations are Tottenham Court Road or Russell Square.
2. Hyde Park
The former hunting park of Henry VIII, Hyde Park is home to a number of Instagrammable attractions. One of my favourites is the Italian Garden.
Hyde Park photo tip: Hyde Park is enormous. Therefore, you need to focus on a spot that takes your fancy.
How to find Hyde Park: The park is served by the following Tube stations
- Lancaster Gate
- Marble Arch
- Hyde Park Corner
3. St James’s Park
St. James’s Park photo tip: Head to the Blue Bridge for the best views
How to find St. James’s Park: This park is served by a number of tube stations:
- St. James’s Park (District and Circle Line)
- Charing Cross Station (Northern & Bakerloo lines)
- Westminster (Jubilee, District and Circle Lines)
- Green Park (Piccadilly, Victoria and Jubilee Lines)
- Victoria (Victoria & Circle and District lines)
4. St Paul’s Cathedral
St Paul’s is one of London’s most iconic sights and should be an essential addition to your Instagrammable London list. Designed by Sir Christopher Wren in 1736, it has dominated the capital’s skyline for over 300 years.
St. Paul’s Cathedral photo tip: There are lots of different angles from which you can capture St Paul’s. My favourite is a low angle shot from the Millennium Bridge, connecting St Paul’s to Tate Modern on the other side of the river. Another great place to take a photo from is One New Change, a shopping mall adjacent to the cathedral. If you are lucky you can get some great reflections of St Paul’s in the mall’s windows.
How to find St. Paul’s Cathedral: You can photograph St Paul’s from either side of the river. The closest Tube station to the cathedral is St Paul’s.
5. Big Ben & the Palace of Westminster
The Palace of Westminster, better known as the Houses of Parliament, is gloriously overblown Gothic splendour. Its Clock Tower is home to Big Ben, the most famous clock in the world.
Big Ben & the Palace of Westminster photo tip: Sadly, Big Ben is being renovated and will be hidden under scaffolding for the foreseeable future. This means that the classic shots of Big Ben and the Houses of Parliament will lose a bit of their zing. So why not photograph it at sunset or dusk, when it will appear in silhouette, making the ugly scaffolding less prominent?
How to find Big Ben & the Palace of Westminster: The nearest Tube station is Westminster.
6. The London Eye
The Eye, another instantly recognisable landmark, is just across the river from the Palace of Westminster.
The London Eye photo tip: There are many choices of angles from which to photograph The Eye. Walk around it to see which one takes your fancy.
How to find The London Eye: The nearest Tube station is Waterloo.
7. No 10 Downing Street
Well. Sort of. Let’s see how many people you can kid. Great for bragging rights.
Photo tip: The doorway actual belongs to 10 Adam Street.
How to find it: Adam Street is off The Strand. It’s a short walk from Charing Cross time station.
8. Tower Bridge
Yes, I know. Most images of this location will be of the bridge complete with a London bus or two travelling over it and deservedly so. But I rather like this one looking down on Tower Bridge from above.
Tower Bridge photo tip: This image was taken when visiting the glass floor walkway at Tower Bridge.
How to Tower Bridge: Tower Bridge is a short walk from London Bridge tube station
Instagrammable places in London: North
9. St Pancras International Station
An £800 million refurbishment, completed in 2007, has restored the once run-down St Pancras station to its former architectural glory. It is also home to several items of art on public display at St Pancras, including this bronze statue of the poet John Betjeman, gazing upwards in apparent wonder.
St. Pancras Station photo tip: The exterior of the St Pancras Renaissance Hotel, adjacent to the station, is also very Instagrammable, especially on a sunny day with clear blue skies.
How to find St. Pancras Station: Unsurprisingly, the nearest Tube station is Kings Cross St Pancras
Instagrammable places in London: South
10. The Queen’s House, Greenwich
This former royal residence, dating from the 17th Century, is in the heart of Greenwich, downriver from the City of London. Designed by the renowned Inigo Jones, it is famed for its architectural splendour, the art collection is house and its Tulip Staircase.
The Queen’s House Photo tip: If you have a wide-angle lens for your camera, this is the time to use it!
How to find The Queen’s House: Greenwich is served by mainline stations (Greenwich or Maze Hill) of the DLR (Cutty Sark). However, why not travel along the Thames? A great way to reach Greenwich is by riverboat to Greenwich Pier.
Instagrammable places in London: East
11. Street Art
London’s street art scene has thrived in recent years and you can spend a very pleasant few hours hunting down the best that the capital can offer
London street art photo tip: The epicentre for street art is the area encompassing Brick Lane and Shoreditch.
Where to find London street art: Convenient Tube stations are Old Street, Aldgate East and Liverpool Street
Instagrammable places in London: West
12. A mews street
Quintessentially London, the mews that once housed stable blocks are now home to narrow cobbled streets lined with pretty houses.
London mews street photo tip: Although these streets are scattered across London, good hunting grounds are Chelsea and South Kensington. Well-known mews are St.Luke’s Mews, Bathurst Mews, Lancaster Road and Kynance Mews
Where to find a London mews street: For starters, get off the Tube at South Kensington station and wander around the area near the museums.
13. Kew Gardens
It does not really matter if you are that keen on gardens; Kew Gardens is one of the best open spaces in London. With The Hive, a structure exploring the story of the honey bee, the Treetop Walkway and the newly restored Temperate House there are plenty of Instagram opportunities
Kew Gardens photo tip: Kew has plenty of great photo stops. Just take your pick.
How to find Kew Gardens: Kew is served by Tube (Kew Gardens) and mainline rail (Kew Bridge).
Instagrammable places in London: Everywhere
Finally, let’s snap a few images of London icons that can be found across the city.
14. Telephone boxes
Sadly, the iconic telephone boxes are an endangered species. But you can still spot some great examples across the city. I spotted these examples near The Royal Opera House in Covent Garden. Another popular place to photograph them is at the top of Whitehall, near Big Ben.
Red telephone box photo tip: Try to get a clear shot of these boxes without any distractions
Where to find red telephone boxes: This row of telephone boxes can be found at Broad Court, between Covent Garden and Holborn tube stations
15. A Tube station
Take your pick. Architecturally, many are a delight. In central London, I like Westminster; to the south, Canary Wharf is stunning. But for my money, Baker Street is the winner by a whisker.
London Tube station photo tip: Focus either on the architecture of the station or try to capture an image with people or trains in motion.
Where to find Tube stations: All over London!
16. A London bus
What is more iconic than a red double-decker bus? If you can, try to capture an image of one of the old Routemaster buses (the ones where the driver sits in a separate cab). A good place to spot these is around Trafalgar Square.
London bus photo tip: A bus passing a London landmark makes for a great image
Where to find London buses: A good place to spot the Routemaster buses is around Trafalgar Square. The nearest tube stations are Charing Cross or Leicester Square.
These are just a handful of great Instagrammable places in London. Perhaps you have some favourite photo spots that you would like to share in the comments section below?