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London has its fill of awesome spots for Instagram and photography. Ranging from beautiful and historical landmarks, colourful exteriors, breathtaking views and lots more. In this post, you’ll find the best locations, as well as some tips and techniques to help you capture the best photographs. The majority of these Instagrammable locations are free to access and you’ll find the best times for taking pictures, whether it’s free or not and the address with each suggestion. Visit Top Picture Spots Around London at Christmas for festive locations. And finally, at the very end there’s a link to a post suggesting some of the best London Instagram photographers, as well as thanks to various people that have helped me find a few of these spots. You may also want to see some of our other Instagram and photography guides.

Here is an ultimate guide to over 30 of the best and must-visit Instagram and photography spots in London.

1. Neil’s Yard

Neil’s Yard is perfect for those that like lots of colours in their photos and is almost a secret photography spot in London. You should head here early before it gets too busy. To get to Neil’s Yard get off at Covent Garden underground station and then it’s only a short walk.

Best time for pics: Day
Cost: Free
Location: Neal’s Yard, London WC2H

Neils Yard
Neils Yard

2. Tower Bridge

Some people thought I was being brave when I posted shots like this on Instagram, but this composition is actually taken from an island in the middle of the road (so it’s totally safe). Try using a tripod, long exposure and taking pictures at night for a similar result to below.

Best time for pics: Blue hour/night
Cost: Free
Location: Link on Google Maps

Lights Trails and Tower Bridge, London
Lights Trails and Tower Bridge, London
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3. St Paul’s Cathedral

Below is one of the classic St Paul’s Cathedral shots that you may often see on Instagram. Another great place for photography at this location is to take the elevator (which is behind in the image below) to the top where you’ll get some high views. Try coming to this location at sunset for much better light.

Best time for pics: Anytime
Cost: Free
Location:: 1 New Change, London EC4M 9AF

St Pauls from One New Change
St Paul’s from One New Change

4. Leadenhall Market

This picturesque interior and marketplace is in London’s financial district, hence why it looks a bit posh. When taking photographs try using a wide-angle lens so that you capture as much as possible.

Best time for pics: Day
Cost: Free
Location: Leadenhall Market, Gracechurch St, London EC3V 1LT

Leadenhall Market
Leadenhall Market

5. View from the Shard

Definitely my favourite viewpoint in London. Options at the Shard are to go to the viewing platform on the top floor or stay in the amazing Shangri-La hotel. Both will present you with spectacular 360 views of the city. The Shard is also a good spot for sunset and blue hour pics.

Best time for pics: All times
Cost: Ticketed
Location: The View from The Shard, Railway Approach, London SE1 9SG

TIP
Click here to book your ticket to the Shardview observation deck through getyouguide.com.
View from the Shard, London
View from the Shard

6. Kings Cross Light Tunnel

Kings Cross has this awesome multicoloured light tunnel and is very Instagrammable. You’ll find this on the underground walkways that connect St Pancras to Kings Cross station. The interior of the waiting hall is also good to photograph as it has an amazing ceiling.

Best time for pics: Anytime
Cost: Free
Location: Google maps link

Kings Cross Light Tunnel
Kings Cross Light Tunnel

7. Heals of London

Heals of London is a furniture shop along Tottenham Court Road. Towards the back of the store is this staircase which is one of the prettiest interior photo spots in London. I believe people often go into the store just to take pictures of this staircase.

Best time for pics: During opening hours
Cost: Free
Location: 196 Tottenham Court Rd, Fitzrovia

Staircase in Heals Department Store, London
Staircase in Heals Department Store, London
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8. Natural History Museum

The Natural History Museum has incredible architecture, in particular in the main hall. Try using a wide-angle lens or a GoPro to get a picture like below.

Best time for pics: Day
Cost: Free entry – ticketed for exhibitions
Location: Natural History Museum, Cromwell Rd, Kensington, London SW7 5BD

Natural History Museum - London
Natural History Museum

9. Notting Hill and Portobello Road

There are lots of colourful streets around Notting Hill which make for wonderful pictures. Your best bet is to get off at Notting Hill Gate station and then walk towards (and along) Portobello Road. Another aesthetic place in London is on the other side of the city around Hillgate Place and Campden Hill Road. Even if you don’t take photographs it’s still lovely walking around this area.

Best time for pics: Day
Cost: Free
Location: Portobello Road and Hillgate Place

Notting Hill London
Notting Hill Londo

10. The Churchhill Arms

Probably the most decorated pub in London, this pub makes for an awesome photo (or drink). As it’s located close to Notting Hill Gate you could pop here before, or after, exploring the other areas. For an image such as below it’s best to visit in the warmer months when it has all the plants and flowers seen below.

Best time for pics: Day
Cost: Free
Location: 119 Kensington Church St, Kensington

Churchhill Arms
Churchhill Arms

11. Piccadilly Circus

Piccadilly Circus is awesome at night, but also quite hard to photograph due to the bright screens against the dark surroundings. Use HDR for a good exposure. Also, use puddles and reflections in your pictures if it’s rained. Another technique that may work is to increase your ISO slightly when taking photographs at night as a long exposure doesn’t really work very well on the screens as they constantly change.

Best time for pics: Blue hour/night
Cost: Free
Location: Google maps link

Piccadilly Circus, London
Piccadilly Circus

12. Queen’s House

This cute little museum in Greenwich is perfect for those that love architecture and spiral staircases. These kind of shots are often popular on Instagram. Try over-exposing your image slightly for a brighter photograph. To do this on a phone click on the darkest point on the screen. This sometimes makes the software change the exposure and brighten the picture.

Best time for pics: Day
Cost: Ticketed
Location: Queen’s House, Romney Rd, Greenwich, London SE10 9NF

Queens House Staircase, London
Queens House Staircase
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13. Painted Gallery

Close to the Queens House is the Painted Gallery in the Old Royal Navy College. The ceiling has impressive paintings on the ceiling and the entire room is just stunning. In the main room keep an eye out for reflections to use in your photographs such as below.

Best time for pics: Day
Cost: Ticketed
Location: Painted Gallery, King William Walk, London, Greenwich SE10 9NN

Painted Gallery, London
Painted Gallery

14. Girl and Dolphin Statue and Tower Bridge

On the north side of the River Thames close to The Tower Hotel is where you will find this stunning statue created by artist David Wynne. This may be one of my favourite angles to take photographs of Tower Bridge. Visit this Instagrammable place around sunset for great light and into the blue hour.

Best time for pics: Sunset-night
Cost: Free
Location: Link on Google Maps

Tower Bridge at Sunset
Tower Bridge at Sunset

15. Houses of Parliament

The Houses of Parliament (Palace of Westminster) is, of course, one of the most popular buildings to photograph for Instagram. For some of the best spots go directly opposite and take pictures in this little archway and also the steps above that lead from Westminster Bridge down to the walkway. The best bet for good photographs is to get here around sunset for the golden hour as the sun often sets behind the building. It is also common to see wedding photographers here doing a photoshoot with brides and grooms.

Best time for pics: Anytime
Cost: Free
Location: Link on Google Maps

Framing of Big Ben
Framing of Big Ben
Westminster at Sunset
Westminster at Sunset

16. Canary Wharf

When taking pictures around Canary Wharf you may have security come up to you and ask what you’re doing. This is quite normal so don’t worry too much. When taking pictures of Canary Wharf one of the best spots is from Cabot Square seen below. Consider adding a human element or bright clothing to add an interesting element to your image.

Best time for pics: Anytime
Cost: Free
Location: Canary Wharf

Canary Wharf
Canary Wharf – Model: @thebowlerman / @byrnephotography

17. London Bridge Station

The London Underground has so many good spots and stations for taking Instagram worthy photographs. Here is one of my favourites at London Bridge. Introduced to me by Neil who is an awesome London based photographer.

Best time for pics: Anytime
Cost: Subway fare
Location: 21 Duke St Hill, London SE1 2SW

London Bridge Station
London Bridge Station
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18. Westminster Bridge

Big Ben/ Elizabeth Tower is seen in countless photographs, and from Westminster Bridge you’ll find some great spots to capture pictures. You could try something different and use ND filters and a tripod to get a slightly different long exposure shot such as below. This particular location is also great to take night photographs of London with light trails from buses going past.

Best time for pics: Anytime
Cost: Free
Location: Westminster Bridge

Big Ben in Westminster with typical London Buses
Big Ben in Westminster with typical London Buses

19. Canary Wharf

Near Canary Wharf is a patch of water called Blackwall Basin which is one of the best places to take photographs of Canary Wharf such as this. If you come here when there’s no wind you may get perfect reflections.

Best time for pics: Blue hour/night
Cost: Free
Location: Link on Google Maps

Canary Wharf at Night
Canary Wharf at Night

20. Millennium Bridge

Another very famous location for photography is Millennium Bridge, but taking pictures from here isn’t as easy as you’d think. It gets very busy so make sure you come early before the crowds, or when taking photos at night with a tripod try increasing your ISO, as this will hopefully reduce the chance of camera shake from the flow of people on the bridge.

Best time for pics: Sunrise and night
Cost: Free
Location: Millennium Bridge, Thames Embankment, London SE1

St Paul's Cathedral and Millenium Bridge at sunrise
St Paul’s Cathedral and Millenium Bridge at sunrise

21. Burlington Arcade

This arcade is pretty lush with beautiful shops lining the sides. During the main opening hours it can be quite busy, but if you are patient or go at night you should be able to get a clean shot.

Best time for pics: Morning or evening
Cost: Free
Location: Burlington Arcade, Mayfair, London W1J

Burlington Arcade
Burlington Arcade

22. British Museum

Most of the museums in London are free to visit including the British Museum seen below. This hall is huge, so to really capture it you would need a wide-angle lens. I actually used a GoPro for this particular shot.

Best time for pics: Day
Cost: Ticketed
Location: British Museum, Great Russell St, London WC1B 3DG

British Museum, London
British Museum
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23. Embankment Station

The tunnels of Embankment station are very picturesque and have this wonderful tiled pattern. Try using a wide-angle or a fisheye lens for some cool effects, or put a model in the photo to add a human element.

Best time for pics: Anytime
Cost: Subway fare
Location: Villiers St, London WC2N 6NS

Embankment Station, London
Embankment Station

24. The London Eye

A night the London Eye is great to photograph and from the angle below you may run into other Instagram photographers. The London Eye is often moving (but slowly), so if you want an image showing motion then use a long exposure. If you want to have detail in the wheel and pods, then use a faster shutter speed, increase your ISO or wait for it to pause (or close).

Best time for pics: Night in the winter.
Cost: Free
Location: London Eye, Lambeth, London SE1 7PB

TIP
If you’d like to also visit the London Eye then book yourself a priority queue ticket through getyourguide.com to save yourself time.
The London Eye
The London Eye at night

25. Waterloo Station

Waterloo has some great platforms to get Tube/subway photographs. This picture was from the Bakerloo platform which has a nice bendy platform. Try waiting for people to go and set your shutter speed a bit slow for some motion.

Best time for pics: Anytime
Cost: Subway fare
Location: Waterloo Rd, Lambeth, London SE1 8SW

Waterloo Station
Waterloo Station

26. Tate Modern observation deck

Tate Modern is a great museum to visit for those interested in art. It is now also home to a top observation deck located on the 10th floor. This is even free to access. From this lookout, you can enjoy views to the East, North and West. As sunset is often across the river this makes it one of the best places to go in London for sunset as well as into the blue hour.

Best time for pics: Sunset-blue hour
Cost: Free
Location: Bankside, London SE1 9TG

View from the Tate Modern Observation Deck

27. Tate Britain

This angle in Tate Britain is taken from a members lounge, but if you ask nicely they may let you up. Even if you don’t get to this exact angle this museum still has lots of other aesthetic architecture you could take photographs of.

Best time for pics: Day
Cost: Ticketed
Location: Tate Britain, Millbank, Westminster, London SW1P 4RG

Tate Britain, London
Tate Britain
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28. St. Pancras Renaissance Hotel – Grand Staircase

This stunning hotel has one of the most impressive staircases I’ve ever seen. Technically you should be a guest to enter so maybe ask for permission first. For nice pictures look for leading lines, shapes and patterns, or also consider adding someone into your photograph.

Best time for pics: Anytime
Cost: Night at the hotel or ask for permission
Location: Euston Rd, Kings Cross, London NW1 2AR

St. Pancras Renaissance Hotel - Grand Staircase
St. Pancras Renaissance Hotel – Grand Staircase

29. Sky Garden

The Sky Garden is one of London’s newest places to go. At the Sky Garden you’ll get panoramic views of the city and you can also stop for food and drink. You have to book a ticket in advance to visit but it’s free. Head to skygarden.london for more info. Also note this location can be very busy and you should aim to book your tickets well in advance (weeks) to guarantee you’ll get in.

Best time for pics: Anytime
Cost: Free
Location: 1 Sky Garden Walk, London, EC3M 8AF

The Sky Garden London
The Sky Garden

30. Buckingham Palace

Buckingham Palace is potentially the most famous and popular attractions in London. Often during the day, there are large crowds of visitors admiring the landmark and taking photographs. If you wanted a quiet shot such as this your best bet is to arrive early in the morning. When taking pictures consider using the fountains and even an ND filter for a long exposure such as below.

Best time for pics: Morning
Cost: Free
Location: Buckingham Palace, London SW1A 1AA

Buckingham Palace mornings
Buckingham Palace mornings

31. Changing of the Guard

The Changing of the Guard performance is extremely enjoyable and a top thing to experience while in London. I’ve seen it a few times and believe the best spot is at the back near the gardens on the left-hand side facing the Palace. Then when the guards leave they should then be marching directly towards you.

Best time for pics: Late morning
Cost: Free
Location: Same as above

Changing of the Guard, Buckingham, Palace
Changing of the Guard, Buckingham, Palace

32. Gants Hill Station

Slightly out of London is this fantastic station which is great for photography due to the patterns and shapes. To get here take the Central Line eastbound. I thank my friend Neil for introducing me to this cool station.

Best time for pics: Anytime
Cost: Subway fare
Location: 369 Eastern Ave, Ilford IG2 6UD

Gants Hill Station
Gants Hill Station
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33. Albert Hall

The Royal Albert Hall is a beautiful concert Hall close to Knightsbridge. Both the front and back make for good photographs and also look out for reflections and puddles on the ground.

Best time for pics: Evening
Cost: Free
Location: Albert Hall, Kensington Gore, Kensington, London SW7 2AP

Royal Albert Hall at night
Royal Albert Hall at night

34. Camden Town

One of the cities coolest neighbourhoods. Along the high street, many of the buildings have unique protruding designs as seen below. Also at Camden Market is amazing street food so this place is great for lunch.

Best time for pics: Day
Cost: Free
Location: Camden Town, London NW1

Camden Town London
Camden Town London

35. Waterloo Bridge

Waterloo Bridge provides a great photography spot allowing you to capture postcard-perfect pictures towards the Houses of Parliament and the London Eye. For a good square Instagram worthy photo try zooming in to compress the different elements together.

Best time for pics: Blue hour/night
Cost: Free
Location: Waterloo Bridge, A301, Lambeth, London SE1 8

London Skyline at night
View of London from Waterloo Bridge

36. St Jame’s Park

Walking around Green Park and St Jame’s Park in the morning is a wonderful experience. It’s so calm and peaceful and when you have the beautiful light such as below it is just perfect. Considering staying at the awesome Sheraton Grand London Park Lane where you’ll find these amazing parks on your doorstep.

Best time for pics: Sunrise
Cost: Free
Location: St James Park

St James Park, London
St James Park at sunrise

37. Parliament Square

The classic London shot with the red telephone boxes. It can get very busy here so take a long exposure (so people disappear), or get here early morning. You could also consider using traffic in your photo such as local elements including the red double-decker buses, taxis or take a long exposure for light trails.

Best time for pics: Blue hour/night
Cost: Free
Location: Parliament Square, London

Red Telephone Boxes and Big Ben in London
Red Telephone Boxes and Big Ben in London
Tours and Activities

London Photography Tips

  • Keep an eye out for puddles and other reflective objects. As well as making the picture look cool, the reflections also help frame the picture square or portrait for Instagram.
  • Use a tripod for night photography, but of course be wary of pedestrians and traffic.
  • You can walk between many of the suggested spots, such as if you start at London Bridge and the Shard and then walk along the River.
  • Try going out early to avoid the crowds and potentially get amazing light.
  • Scout out your sunset spot. The sun often sets north of the river.
  • Use a long exposure for day photographs if you wanted to create a sense of motion with traffic and people.

More travel photography tips and techniques.

Recommended Camera Equipment

Canon 6D Professional DSLR Mefoto Travel Tripod Canon Compact Camera

Special thanks

A special thanks to @mumhad1ofthose – @meletispix – @jstaffordphotos – @oliverzcohen – @peppyhere for helping me discover some of these locations during my many visits to London over the years.

Other photography and Instagrammable posts in London

There are plenty more wonderful places in London for photography, but hopefully this comprehensive guide will get you started. Read some travel photography tips, or check out one of our other Instagram guides.

Need a hotel in London?

Book our recommend or find a deal on booking.com:

Recommended hotel: Shangri-La At The Shard Hotel – Offering some of the best views of London, and with beautiful rooms and facilities the Shangri-la would be a top choice for anyone visiting London. For other luxury hotels visit 10 Beautiful Luxury Hotels in London.

Mike Clegg

Editor-in-chief at travelanddestinations.com
Mike is the primary author of Travel and Destinations. He is from the UK but spends most of his time travelling to new places and then shares his pictures and experiences through Instagram and this blog... [Read full bio]
If you would like to write a guest article so as to raise your profile then please get in touch.
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