Instagrammable Spots in London - Best places to take photos in London - a guide to London's best photography spots

#Instagrammable: The 25 Best Places to Take Photos in London

Contrary to what some people believe, London is an absolutely beautiful place. It doesn’t sound like the most photogenic place when it’s referred to as ‘The Big Smoke’, but London has some prime photo spots. The secret to discovering the best places to take photos in London is really just to wander down random streets and alleys, but there are some popular London photo spots worth knowing before you go. If you look up these spots, and see what existing photos look like (90% of them look the same), you can approach the location at your own angle and truly make your photo your own. That originality in these stunning photo spots results in total #instagrammability!

We consider ourselves to be very knowledgeable when it comes to London. We live here, and we occasionally leave our house and go out and about here. But even when we do not, I am always perusing TimeOut and The Nudge for the latest and greatest openings in London – and the prettiest spots in our city. From pretty cafes and restaurants to quintessentially English streets, these are some of the top photo spots in London.

25 Instagram-Worthy Photo Spots in London

Whether you’re popping through London on an epic Eurotrip or moving here to study/work, this is your guide to getting the best photos of London. Don’t forget to get a photo of yourself while you’re here, too! (More ideas in our guide to photos to get on every trip).

Best Places to Take Photos of London Attractions

There’s a high likelihood that if you’ve ever read about, heard about, or thought about London, you already know what the following places look like. That means it’s especially difficult to get a unique photo. I’ve chosen some of my favorites from Instagram to give you an idea of where to start. The best thing to do, though, is get there, walk around, and find the angle that you love!

1. Big Ben & Houses of Parliament

Talk about one of the most iconic photo spots in London! Ever since Two Drifters visited London, I’ve been obsessed with this mini photoshoot they did, and will probably always reference it when discussing photos of Big Ben & the Houses of Parliament. I love the way they went across the bridge, to a quieter area, where they could take their time taking photos – the photos they took are stunning!

A Westminster walking tour is a great way to see all of the sights of Westminster while learning about London’s history in the process. But, although it’s tempting to get as close to Big Ben as possible, consider walking away a bit to get a better angle.

 

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Essential Information:
  • Closest Tube Station: Westminster

READ NEXT: Visit the Churchill War Rooms & Westminster

2. The British Library

Books on books on books. In case you didn’t know, the British Library is MASSIVE – in fact, it’s the second largest library in the world. If you’re a book lover, this is the perfect place for you to take some photos. However, photos of books can be taken anywhere (i.e., in some of London’s beautiful bookshops). Try to get some of the magic of the British Library in your shot as well – the happenings at the library, the people.

 

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Essential Information:
  • Closest Tube Station: King’s Cross or Euston
  • Opening Hours: Mon-Thurs 9:30-20:00; Fri 9:30-18:00; Sat 9:30-17:00; Sun 11:00-17:00
  • Admission: Free
  • Website: www.bl.uk

3. The Natural History Museum

I find museums extremely difficult to photograph, or at least get a decent photograph of. A lot of times, you’re just taking photos of things – art, artefacts, etc. The Natural History Museum is different, though, and easily one of the best indoor photo spots in London. The interior is b-e-a-utiful! I feel like I could honestly look at the same shot of it all day because it’s just that cool. Make sure you capture the commotion going on – tourists coming and going. Tourists, school children, locals – they’re like a museum exhibit themselves!

If you need some photography inspiration, be sure to check out the Wildlife Photographer of the Year exhibit at the Natural History Museum, open from 19 October 2018 – 30 June 2019.

 

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Essential Information:
  • Closest Tube Station: South Kensington
  • Opening Hours: Open daily 10:00-17:50 (last entry 17:30)
  • Admission: Free, some exhibits require a ticket
  • Website: www.nhm.ac.uk

4. Tower Bridge

The best view of Tower Bridge (in my opinion) is from the water; however, not everyone has a chance to do a Thames River Cruise. If that’s not on your itinerary, try to get a photo of Tower Bridge from afar, featuring something else iconic – perhaps City Hall? Alternatively, a head on shot crossing the bridge is pretty incredible, too!

 

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5. The London Eye

The London Eye offers stunning views over London, making it one of the best places to take photos in London. Most tourists will have two iconic shots: the London Eye straight on, and a photo of them in a pod from the London Eye. Our beautiful little wheel is gorgeous when it’s all lit up, but I personally think the morning/day time shots are the best. Aim to get the Eye (or a pod) at a different angle to make your shot unique.

 

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Essential Information:
  • Closest Tube Station: Waterloo
  • Opening Hours: Check here for the most up to date hours
  • Admission: From £24.30 – book here
  • Website: www.londoneye.com

6. St. Paul’s Cathedral

St. Paul’s Cathedral is one of my favourite views in London, but it’s extremely difficult to photograph up close without a bunch of things/people getting in the way. Don’t fret, though! There are plenty of hidden views of St. Paul’s all around London, and if you wander around the City, you’re bound to find a perfect view. Mix some other aspects of London into your shot, such as a bridge or a building (modern or historic!).

 

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Essential Information:
  • Closest Tube Station: St. Paul’s, Mansion House or Bank
  • Website: www.stpauls.co.uk

London Neighbourhoods to Photograph

Each of London’s neighbourhoods has so much to offer its visitors – they all have their own attitude and charm. Each is also photogenic in it’s own way, but these are some of London neighbourhoods we see photographed most often.

7. Kynance Mews

You might recognise Kynance Mews from our Day Out in South Kensington post. I think it is literally the most photographed mews in London, and it’s easy to see why! Try to capture the little details in your shot, whether that is the color changing leaves, a row of flowers, or a special door that caught your eye.

 

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Essential Information:
  • Closest Tube Station: Gloucester Road
  • Note: This is a residential street. Please be respectful of the residents.

READ NEXT: A Day Out in South Kensington

8. Coloured Houses of Notting Hill

People love Notting Hill, so whether you’ve seen the movie or not, you’ll probably recognise these adorable houses as one of the most popular photo spots in London. Each street in Notting Hill is different, but pretty much all of them are beautiful. Whether you photograph a whole row of houses, or just two side by side, definitely try to get some contrast in your shot. If all the houses look the same, it could be any London neighbourhood!

 

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Essential Information:
  • Closest Tube Station: Notting Hill Gate, Holland Park or Labroke Grove
  • Popular streets to photograph in Notting Hill: Portobello Road, St. Stephens Mew’s, Ledbury Road, Hillgate Street

9. Hampstead

Hampstead is another neighbourhood that not only has gorgeous houses, but incredibly charming shops, cafes, and hidden pathways. Plus, there is so much greenery you could almost forget you’re in London! Seriously, take a walk through Hampstead Heath and you might actually forget you’re in the city.

To get the best shot in Hampstead, you honestly just need to walk…and walk…and walk, until you find something that sticks out to you. Let your personality shine in this one, and I’m sure the photo will be incredible!

 

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Essential Information:
  • Closest Tube Station: Hampstead or Belsize Park
  • Not sure where to start? We love The Spaniards Inn

10. Shoreditch/East End Street Art

If you enjoy street art, or simply looking to do something different, Shoreditch and its surrounding areas are the place to be. I recommend doing a tour like this one if you want to see the best of the best, but you can see plenty just walking around on your own. Look up, down, and all around – you never know what unique angle you might find! Also, there are plenty of foodie friendly destinations in Shoreditch so keep your tastebuds out, or check out this post for some ideas.

 

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Essential Information:
  • Closest Tube Station: Old Street (Shoreditch), Aldgate East (Brick Lane), Shoreditch High Street

London Restaurants, Cafes, & Shops Worth Photographing

People say English food is bad. Pfft! Afternoon Tea? Brilliant concept! Fish & Chips? Incredible! English beer? Usually pretty good! London food? Not defined by English food! London is a melting pot and its restaurants reflect that in so many ways. There are endless options for truly incredible meals, beautifully displayed cakes and cookies, and tasting menus with the perfect presentation. If you like photographing restaurants and food, London is a pretty good place to start! Here are some of my favourite photo spots in London for foodie pics:

11. The Churchill Arms

The Churchill Arms is one of the photography locations in London that excites me the most, mainly because I fell in love with it before I realised how popular it was for bloggers/vloggers/Instagrammers. Why, you ask? The food is amazing! The pub is gorgeous year round – covered in flowers or, at Christmas, Christmas trees! But most people never bother to go inside – they have incredible Thai food and there’s even a secret garden in the back.

So, yes, take a photo of the Churchill Arms on the outside. But, then, go in! Buy a pint, order some food. Do something to thank them for maintaining such a beautiful pub!

 

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Essential Information:
  • Closest Tube Station: Notting Hill Gate or High Street Kensington
  • Opening Hours: Mon-Wed 11:00-23:00; Thurs-Sat 11:00-0:00; Sun 12:00-22:30
  • Website: www.churchillarmskensington.co.uk

12. Sketch

Well, first off, everything at Sketch is pink. Second, the bathrooms are epic. I don’t think I know anyone who has been to Sketch and not ‘grammed a pic, so it’s no shock that this is one of the best places to take photos in London. Every detail at Sketch has been thought through, so make sure you capture some of them. Of course, you can take a photo in the egg/space ship bathroom, but it’s been done before! (Do it anyway, just take other photos, too!).

 

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Essential Information:
  • Closest Tube Station: Oxford Circus
  • Opening Hours: Mon-Fri 7:00-2:00am; Sat 8:00-2:00am; Sun 8:00-12:30am
  • Website: sketch.london

13. A Classic London Tea Room

For this one, I recommend Fortnum & Mason’s, Kensington Palace’s Orangery, and the Conrad St. James. But, there are plenty of opportunities for beautiful afternoon tea photos around London. After all, it’s pretty china and cake. Really, that’s all people want to see from your afternoon tea experience. Go for a flat lay of your table – yes, it’s cliche, but I’m sure you’ll find a way to make it your own! Plus, #flatlay is all the rage right now.

 

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Recommended Afternoon Tea Spots:

14. London Shops

London is home to some of the most beautiful shops – whether you’re an interior design nut or just like to look from the outside. Wandering around London, it’s almost impossible not to pass a lovely little storefront or a beautifully decorated boutique.

From The Old Curiosity Shop to Alice’s to the interior of The Liberty Store, there is no shortage of inspiration and beauty (Daunt Books is another blogger fave). However, shops can be hard to photograph. Don’t wait around for the perfect moment to get an empty shopfront or a store with nobody in it. Instead, make the people of London work to your advantage – again, the people of London make London, and they can make your photo as well!

 

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15. A Traditional English Pub

If you visit London – or anywhere in the UK for that matter – without stopping in at least a couple of pubs, I really don’t know what to do with you. This is coming from a local who probably frequents a few too many pubs, but still. It’s part of the English experience!! Photographing a pub can be tricky, but when they’re done right the images are magical.

Try to get a shot of the exterior of the pub (if it’s attractive); alternatively, in older pubs, I love shots of the beer taps. A million bonus points from A Pair of Passports if you manage to get a good photo of a dog in a dog-friendly pub. Check out Pub Dogs of London for inspiration! Our photos range from Giorgio lying on the pub floor to Giorgio resting his head on the pub table – can you tell we’re in a pub? Barely. But we love those shots more than anything!

 

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As a bonus, here’s a photo of our little Giorgio in the pub:

 

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17. The London Skyline

What I’m about to say is a bit unfair, but I just have to say it. Helicopter shots win this one every time. However, not everyone can squeeze a helicopter ride into their time (or budget) in London. The good news? There are plenty of other places to get incredible shots of London’s skyline. Head up one of the buildings in Canary Wharf to get a good shot of all of London’s uniquely shaped buildings; if you want something a bit closer up and are okay with The Shard not being in your photo, heading up The Shard is a great alternative!

We also love Sky Garden and Aviary for great shots of London’s Skyline!

 

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Recommended Views of London’s Skyline:

18. Leadenhall Market

I consider this to be one of the lesser known photo spots in London, but am always surprised when people visit and have no idea what it is. I absolutely love Leadenhall Market and the fact that it’s just a place for everyday City workers to grab their cup of coffee in the morning or drink after work. It’s such a normal place, but it’s so beautiful!

As one of the oldest markets in London, it has both beauty and history on it’s side, so it’s well worth a visit. In terms of photographing Leadenhall Market, go first thing in the morning, before everyone arrives for work. This will allow you to really focus on the gorgeous architecture.

 

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19. Richmond Park

This is, without a doubt, the BEST place to take wildlife photos in London. So, if that’s your jam, this is your place! The deer are the main attraction, but there are plenty of other animals. If you’re a pet owner living in London, Richmond Park also makes a great backdrop for photos of your furry friend. Richmond (& Richmond Park) are also great for a day out of London – if you’re getting a bit tired of the hustle and bustle, head out there for a different experience.

Kew Gardens is another great place to visit if you love nature, though it involves an entry fee. Click here to book tickets. We love Kew Gardens at Christmas, but it’s beautiful year round.

 

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Essential Information:
  • Closest Tube Station: Richmond

20. Albert Bridge

If you stick to the tourist spots in London, you’ll likely never see or cross Albert Bridge. But, as a local, there is nothing that makes me happier than coming home late at night after a weekend away and crossing over the lit-up bridge, letting me know that we’re almost home. Albert Bridge is a special place, and any fairy light lover’s dream! For the best shots, go at night – the lights are magical and, if you can capture (or edit) a good shot of the reflection, the photo will definitely catch a lot of attention.

 

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Essential Information:
  • Closest Tube Station: Sloane Square or Battersea Park (Overground)

21. Columbia Road Flower Market

With the cute shops and stunning flower stalls, it’s easy to see why Columbia Road Flower Market is one of the best places to take photos in London. The market takes place every Sunday and, while we don’t make it there often (Sundays are reserved for laziness in our household), we are always pleased when we do.

Everyone at Columbia Road Flower Market will be photographing in the flowers, but try to catch a bit of what is going on behind the scenes as well, or a completed bouquet shot that highlights your personality. We love photos of people with the bouquets that they’ve hand selected!

 

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Essential Information:
  • Closest Tube Station: Old Street
  • Flower Market Hours: Sunday 8:00-15:00

22. A Red Phone Box

I don’t know anyone who has come to London without at least thinking about taking a photo in a red phone booth. They are quintessentially London, after all, and if done right can be a lovely keepsake. Try to find a clean photo booth – some are just covered in crap – but you don’t necessarily need Big Ben or another massive tourist attraction in the background; let the phone box be the focus of the photo. You’re in London, after all!

However, do pay attention to the scenery around the phone box – you can find some beautiful backdrops for your lovely red box! If you do a day trip to places like Greenwich or Oxford, it could be the perfect opportunity to get the photo without worrying about cropping out passersby.

 

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23. Neal’s Yard

I really like Neal’s Yard because I really like Homeslice, the pizza & prosecco spot in Neal’s Yard. But it’s also a cute and colourful spot that can make for a great Insta photo. Try to shoot when the businesses are open – the signs they put out help make Neal’s Yard as cute as it is. Also, a grey day can often make the colours of the buildings really pop!

 

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Essential Information:
  • Closest Tube Station: Covent Garden

Iconic London Signs

The photography locations in London that give you the most flexibility in terms of making your shot your own are those that are located all over London – aka signs. From “mind the gap” messages to “XX lived here” messages posted all around London, signs are often informative and attractive. These signs, though, are the most iconic and fun to photograph (in my opinion):

24. London Underground Sign

There are some beautiful Underground signs, located both above and below ground. My favourites are the antique looking ones that also have a stunning backdrop. As more tourists start to ditch the tube and rely solely on Uber to get around London, take a moment to photograph the way it’s been done for decades.

 

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25. London Street Sign

As an American, I’m used to pretty plain looking street signs. So once I finally learned where to look to find them in London (not on the corner of the street, but rather up on a building or down on a railing near the start of the street), I fell in love. The signs are so pretty and also extremely useful – the fact that the first half of the post code is provided is extremely helpful in figuring out exactly where you are. That is, after you learn the London post code system!

 

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Tips for Photographing London

One of the best things about London is that it gets so many tourists that each provide their own take on photos. So, there are so many different photos that are all great for different reasons.

But, if you’re looking to explore some of the best places to take photos in London, I highly reocmmend these tips. They’re my general tips for taking photos in London. These tips apply for all of the London photo locations mentioned above, as well as just for general London photography.

Get there early

The most popular photo spots in London are, well, the most popular photo spots in London. They’re crowded. All the time. Get there early if you want to have the time to get a perfect shot, and if you want to deal with less tourists in the process! In the summer, the sun rises ridiculously early here, so go out early one morning to shoot your subjects. London is quite magical in the mornings – I’m sad I don’t get out and enjoy it more often.

Don’t try to cut out all of the people – London’s people are what make it so great!

I can’t count the number of times I’ve sat around and waited for a human-free frame in order to get the “perfect” photograph. In London, this is a) pointless because there are people EVERYWHERE all the time, and b) pointless because London’s people are pretty awesome!

As I said above, London is a melting pot, which means even it’s locals are extremely diverse and culturally aware and pretty cool. Add on the number of tourists that come through each year (18.6 Million in 2015 and growing every year) and the people in town for business for the day and there are a lot of really cool and smart and pretty and worldly people in London at any given moment. Don’t spend hours trying to crop them out – they make London what it is!

Keep your eyes on your gear, especially around the tourist attractions

As with any large city, there are pickpocketers out there. London is a minefield for them because it is full of tourists. My friend literally had his phone stolen out of his hand while walking one evening – what do you even do in that situation!? When you’re walking around, with camera gear especially, just be aware of where all of your stuff is and what is going on around it.

Consider photographing on a meh day

If you wake up one morning, look outside, and go meh, it’s likely a great day to get out and hit up all of the popular photo spots in London. There will be less people out and about, and there’s something really cool about grey, gloomy pictures of London. People always talk about how it’s grey and raining all the time, but that’s part of what makes it so great! Plus, if you’re heading somewhere colourful – Kynance Mews, Neal’s Yard, etc. – a grey day can sometimes make the colour pop in ways you couldn’t imagine.

Our Favourite Accessories for Photographing London


I didn’t expect this to be such a mammoth of a post, but I do hope my tips help you make the most of your Instagram experience in London. Lots of people say that London has nothing on the beauty of Prague or Greece or those fairytale villages in France or Germany, but I think it’s special in its own way. There’s an incredible mix of new and old, traditional and modern, international and domestic influence. And there’s a lot to find if you just go out looking! Let us know when you photograph one of the best places to take photos in London – we’d love to check out your photos!

Do you have photos from any of these photo spots in London? Share them in the comments below! And follow us on Instagram to see which spots we choose to capture.


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7 thoughts on “#Instagrammable: The 25 Best Places to Take Photos in London

  1. Scarlett says:

    Thanks for the inside scoop guys! I will be heading here in about two weeks and I’ll be sure to check out more than a few of these 🙂 My husband will love the British Library!

  2. Danial says:

    I’m going to London in April and I’d love to explore more of its interesting neighborhoods like Kynance Mews, Hampstead, Shoreditch and off-beat places like Leadenhall Market. Really good curation of photos!

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