Alternative Visual Guide to London – Top Instagram Spots
London instagram community is one of the largest in the world, so there are lots of London-based instagram accounts you can follow for inspiration.
Since the task of finding the best accounts and spots can be a bit daunting, especially if you’re a tourist in London with no more than a week to spend in the city, I’ve compiled a list of my favorite instagrammable places in London that can be seen during a 6 days trip.
The research was pretty extensive (6 months), and that’s because my initial plan was to visit London during the autumn of 2016, but had to postpone that trip last minute, until last spring (March 2017).
Photography always begins with research, especially if you want to have some original shots, so that’s why I do it before each trip, no matter the destination.
It’s also good to know that taking photos in London is a pretty hard job, if you want to get some creative captures, and that’s because most angles have already been done by tens or maybe hundreds of instagramers.
Sure, that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t do your best and get creative, even in a city like London. Sometimes, you’ll take a unique photo and sometimes you won’t (and that’s ok).
In this endeavor, I find that limits ignite creativity, and as a tourist in London, time will be your primary constraint.
So let’s find out what are the top instagrammable places in London that can be seen in a 6 days trip (+ Map)!
*I’ve also added some generic spots (like pubs) because time is of the essence, and there’s no point in searching for very specific places when any place of a particular type will do just fine.
Top Instagram Worthy Places in London *19 photo spots
1. Notting Hill
There’s no doubt that Notting Hill is the favorite instagram place in London for locals and tourists alike. It might be the colorful streets, the flower adorned mews in the area or the pretty shop corners, or maybe a combination of all these three.
One thing is certain though – it will be the most crowded photo spot in London, so prepare to patiently wait for the right time to take your photos.
Some of my favorite photo spots in Notting Hill are:
Lancaster Road, home to the most colorful houses in London, and a difficult place to find, if you don’t know its name. I found it thanks to A Lady in London’s blog.
St. Luke’s Mews, famous for being a movie set (“Love Actually”), and a place that doesn’t look like much at the first sight, but has these three instagrammable facades that make it worth the trip.
Portobello Road Market is also a part of it, but I’ve dedicated a special entry to the instagram spots here.
2. Portobello Road Market
The second most instagramed place in London has to be Portobello Road Market.
All the colorful streets and alleys around it, the vintage items on display, and the atmosphere of this unique place can warm the heart of any instagramer.
Alice’s Portobello Shop is the place I liked the most because it feels like stepping in your grandma’s attic, where each item carries the story of a bygone era.
One thing you should be aware of is that some vintage items sellers will not be happy about your passion for photography, so it’s better to ask for permission first (like the old books seller).
My tip is to go beyond Portobello and wander the many streets and alleys around it because that’s where you’ll find the instagram-worthy spots.
3. Neal’s Yard
One of my favorite spots in London is Neal’s Yard because of its numerous photo opportunities. That many charming corners and colorful details can only make for good photos, at least in my book.
It’s a great place to have a coffee or lunch, so it can be crowded at times. Still, the vibe of this place is pretty special, making it to my top 5 photo spots in London.
4. London Mews
Oh, the Mews!
These adorable candy-like houses were the stables and abodes of the 17th and 18th centuries, so I find it a bit funny how pastel-colored paint has turned them into top instagram spots in London.
I think their beauty lies in the simplicity of the architecture, the colorful paint and the abundance of flowers, so paying a visit to some of them will reveal a different side of London.
Luke’s Mews is the favorite among the tens of London Mews, but I found others really peaceful, with nobody around but us. They felt more authentic and I managed to get some off the beaten path type of photos.
The striking white facades and columns of Chelsea are best visited during spring, when magnolias bloom in front of many houses. There’s this elegant vibe that makes Chelsea a unique place in London and a great instagram spot.
6. Fleet Street
My friend Sarah, which I’ve met through instagram, took me on a walk along Fleet Street, where I found lots of photo opportunities in the gorgeous architecture, monuments, and hidden corners of this emblematic London street.
Fleet Street is a staple of British National Press, but it also has a long history you can dive into on Wikipedia. The houses, the monuments, the inner courtyards of churches make great photo spots, especially during spring.
7. Victoria & Albert Museum, London
London Museums are some of the best in the world, and they’re mostly free or pretty cheap. I’ve visited a few, and V&A Museum made quite an impression on me.
The centerpiece of the entrance hall is the most beautiful glass sculpture I’ve ever seen.
It’s the artwork of Dale Chihuly, a famous American sculptor, who designed this art piece for Victoria & Albert Museum back in 2001.
8. Spiral staircases at Tate Britain Art Gallery
Tate Britain might not have the famous paintings of National Art Gallery London, but it does have some artworks worth the visit, at least for an art aficionado.
On the instagram side, Tate Britan has two gorgeous spiral staircases, the favorite being the black and white one, pretty difficult to capture without a wide angle lens. Still, give it a try, if you happen to visit.
9. Spiral staircase at Somerset House
Somerset House is an art venue, also known for holding some of the highly regarded fashion and beauty events.
This Neoclassical building is no doubt instagrammable, but there are also some hidden corners worth exploring.
One of its hidden treasures is the magnificent spiral staircase bordered by pistachio colored walls. Love this one, even if it took some wandering around to find it.
10. The Arch at Westminister Bridge
Here’s one place in London that doesn’t need an introduction!
The most instagrammable spot here has to be the arch below the Westminister Bridge that provides one of the best framing of Big Ben, the bridge and the British Parliament – Palace of Westminster.
This is another London photo spot where you’ll need to exercise your patience. Apart from tourists, there are lots of photographers and models around, so you have to wait your turn and a good moment to capture the right character in your frame.
This girl walked into my frame naturally and I found her boyish look very charming.
Happy to say this photo was selected for my first photography exhibition this summer.
London’s architecture is so diverse that it’s hard to tell which building style I like best.
Still, I found the charming brownstones of Kensington to be some of my favorites, especially the brownstone complex near the High Street Kensington metro station. Now that’s an instagram worthy spot!
12. Brownstones behind Royal Albert Hall
Another gorgeous spot for architecture lovers, similar to the brownstones of Kensington, is just downhill from Royal Albert Hall. The geometry of this street is stunning!
13. Vintage London pubs
Old London Pubs have such a charm about them and they’re so emblematic of London that they must be included on every travel photographer’s list of London photo spots.
Since I didn’t get to see the most beautiful pubs during this trip, I tried to find others just as pretty, but closer to my travel itinerary in London. If you can, try visiting The Churchill Arms – it’s the best looking pub I’ve found during my photo research.
14. St. Paul’s Cathedral, London
St. Paul’s Cathedral is another favorite spot among London instagramers and tourists. In terms of churches, its photo fame might only be surpassed by St. Peter’s Basilica in Vatican.
The point of view from Millennium Bridge is the main photo spot for instagramers, but you can also try to take a more creative and closer approach to capturing St. Paul’s Cathedral.
I used a glass ball, bought from a Soho shop, but any photo prop will help you get a creative capture of this magnificent building.
15. Pretty Shop Corners in London
Pretty shop corners are one of the most appreciated instagram themes, and London does provide lots of photo opportunities.
The most eye-candy shops in London, also popular on instagram, are:
Biscuiteers – a black and white graphic facade like this doesn’t go unnoticed for long, especially by instagramers. There aren’t many angles here, but I’ve somehow come up with the idea of a pink flamingo –shaped biscuit to get a fresh perspective on this.
Alice’s Portobello Shop – the vintage items on display tell a story on their own, so it’s an easy and beautiful photo that also captures the essence of Portobello Road Market.
Peggy Porschen Cakes – this flower adorned pink shop is a magnet for instagramers. I didn’t get the chance to see it, but maybe you will.
16. National History Museum
The main hall of National History Museum was closed for renovation at the time of my visit (March 2017), but that’s another favorite photo spot for local and travel instagramers.
The place is pretty amazing to visit, even without seeing the main hall. From what I’ve read, the main hall is open again to the public (since June 2017).
17. Borough Market
For food and styling instagramers, Borough Market might be a good photo place during early mornings, when the deli shops open.
My friend Sarah took me on a short tour and I found it very inspiring. A small French boutique and an inviting cheese shop, both pretty instagrammable, were the best of our short tour (not many open at 9 a.m., on a work day).
18. Soho London
Soho didn’t impress me much, but I have to admit that it has some lovely instagram spots – beautiful architecture, cute little shop fronts and intricate streets worth exploring.
19. Spring in London – Flowers & Architecture
Magnolias, Cherry Blossoms and Wisteria are some of most instagrammable flowers, but when they bloom in the pretty neighborhoods of London, they become irresistible to igers, myself included.
Spring in London, whether it’s March or April, is the most rewarding time for a photographer or instagramer. In March, I got to capture some amazing magnolia blossoms in Chelsea, Portobello and City of Westminster.
If you enjoyed these places or have others to add, please let me know in the comment section, since I’ll be visiting London again.
Top Instagram Spots in London – Map
I’m sure that there are many other instagram worthy places in London, but these are the ones I managed to see during my 6 days trip, besides visiting London’s top attractions, museums included. Nevertheless, I hope you’ll search for more and uncover other London gems.
London Trip | March 2017 | All Photography ©Ana Matei > Follow me on instagram: @MateiAna
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