Scotland’s capital is a place that you’ll fall in love with at first sight, I guarantee.
It happened to me so I know what I’m talking about. The city is also the most photogenic city in the world so stick to this list of the best photography locations in Edinburgh to make sure you don’t miss any of the best spots.
Most beautiful and Instagrammable Edinburgh locations – and the best photography spots
If you love historic architecture, lots of greenery, Harry Potter, breath-taking dramatic views, artisan coffee, castles, highland cows, whisky… put Edinburgh on your bucket list NOW.
And be sure not to miss any of the best photography locations in the Scottish capital.
Why else do I love Edinburgh? Because it’s the most welcoming country in the world. I happen to be a Polish expat living in Edinburgh for 15 months now and I don’t think I could feel more at home anywhere else.
I started my new life here completely by myself, without a job, any friends or any solid plan. I just knew I loved photography and that there was something about this place that I wouldn’t find anywhere else.
People in Scotland are incredibly friendly, kind and open-minded, even though the weather doesn’t always work out in their favour!
There is also so much to see and so much to do.
Let’s take a look at the most interesting places to visit and photograph in Edinburgh.
Edinburgh Castle - most romantic photoshoot location in Scotland?
Edinburgh Castle is a famous Scottish icon, dominating Edinburgh’s skyline.
The castle is most-visited tourist attraction in Scotland, and no trip to Edinburgh is complete without a visit at the castle. Not everyone knows that Edinburgh Castle is also an active military base.
I recommend a visit, especially if you’re interested in history.
And who wouldn’t want to have a romantic photograph with the majestic Edinburgh Castle in the background?
The photograph below was taken in the Vennel, a staircase which will lead you from the Grassmarket to Lauriston Place. The Vennel offers the most breathtaking view of the Edinburgh Castle, it’s a place not to be missed!
Edinburgh Castle was built on the top of extinct volcano.
St Margaret’s Chapel is the oldest building in Scotland. It is now also used to host weddings; it can accommodate small ceremonies of maximum 30 people.
You can get married at Edinburgh Castle if you’re planning the ceremony or wedding reception between 1st October and 31st May! The Castle offers a few venues depending on how big your wedding will be. It’s also an amazing location for a secret proposal (I have photographed one at St Margaret’s Chapel, it was epic), but also anniversary and engagement photoshoots.
For wedding photoshoots or any other organised photography session a permit and fees may apply, you can find more information here.
The Vennel Steps
The Vennel is a beautiful alleyway in Grassmarket area of the Scottish capital. It is situated across the road from the Grassmarket area, a very lively area full of pubs and shops.
The steps will give you the best view Edinburgh can offer! Majestic, romantic and beautiful. A perfect place to sit down with ice cream bought from Mary’s Milk Bar at the very bottom of the steps.
I actually prefer the view offered by the Vennel Steps to the views from Edinburgh Castle, to be totally honest.
Did you know that a vennel in Scots language means a passageway between the walls of two adjacent buildings which in effect create a little alley?
Holyrood Park and the Arthur’s Seat – best photoshoot spots in Edinburgh
Holyrood Park and Arthur’s Seat are without a doubt the most popular photography location in Edinburgh, but it’s totally understandable.
Arthur’s Seat photography
The highest point of the Holyrood Park is Arthur’s Seat. It’s an an ancient volcano situated 250m above sea level. No other place in Edinburgh will give you a better view of the city!
And the sunsets watched from Arthur’s Seat are always the most magical.
Holyrood Park photography
I love Holyrood Park not only because of how much of a perfect photoshoot spot it is, but also because it’s an incredibly romantic place and it’s never too crowded. It’s my favourite place for a walk in Edinburgh, favourite place to admire Scottish sunsets from and I also love it because of how picturesque it is in every season of the year.
Holyrood Park, which also tends to be called Queen's Park or King's Park (depending on the gender of the reigning monarch) consists of hills, cliffs, a loch and forms a gorgeous and wild piece of highland landscape in the centre of the city. So if you're visiting Scotland and staying in Edinburgh and you don't have enough time for a trip to the Scottish highlands you need to go for a walk in the Holyrood Park and I promise, you won't regret it.
Be sure to take some photos!
Stockbridge – cutest area of Edinburgh
Stockbridge is a suburban area of Edinburgh with the atmosphere of a cosy little town.
You’ll be spoiled for choice with photography locations here, I guarantee!
Stockbridge used to be a little village and became a part of Edinburgh city in the 19th century. It’s a quiet area, full of pubs, amazing restaurants, shops with local produce and charity shops. If you happen to be here on Sunday you have to go to Stockbridge Market to try amazing street food, look at artwork, buy delicious fruit preserves, so many things to choose from! It’s without a doubt a number one farmer’s market in Edinburgh. My absolute favourites are brownies, paella and pork gyoza. I also always stock up fruit preserves such as lemon or passionfruit curds. So yummy! If you’d like to try local cuisine, you’ll definitely be able to try haggis, sausage rolls, Scotch eggs, bacon rolls which are also so good.
So go for a walk around Stockbridge, visit Circus Lane, go get a delicious coffee in one of the Edinburgh’s best cafes… there’s so much to see and do.
Circus Lane and St Stephen’s Church in Stockbridge
Parallel to St Stephen Street you will find Circus Lane, one of the most picturesque little streets in Edinburgh.
It’s a perfect little spot for photographs, full of blooming plants, colourful doors, old buildings and it’s sooo Instagrammable. I can’t remember how many times I brought my clients here for engagement, portrait, anniversary or even wedding sessions!
Also, I was a witnessed and photographed 3 secret proposals exactly there.
Every single time my clients absolutely loved the place. Because how can you not? Just look how gorgeous it is.
The old Stockbridge Market Archway
The original entrance to the old Stockbridge Market, a beautiful old archway, is an amazing backdrop for the photographs. You can access it from St Stephen’s Place.
Victoria Street in the Old Town – most photographed location in Edinburgh
Between the Grassmarket and Castlehill, you’ll find a street which was an JK Rowling’s inspiration for Diagon Alley in Harry Potter books.
An array of colourful buildings, full of quirky shops and little cafes is a place you simply can’t skip when visiting the Scottish capital.
It was built in 1830s by Thomas Hamilton and its initial name was Bow Street. After Queen Victoria took the throne it was renamed to its current one.
Also, don’t forget to check out the panoramic view at the Old Town from the Victoria Terrace!
The Royal Botanic Gardens in Edinburgh - best photography session spots in Edinburgh
It was founded in 1670 in Holyrood Park, then in 1820 it was moved to its current location in Inverleith. It’s situated one mile away from the city centre and includes a collection of almost 300,000 plants.
The green backdrop of the gardens and the beauty of the glasshouses is something absolutely incredible. It looks even more atmospheric during the rain.
I would suggest spending at least 2-3 hours at the Royal Botanic Garden to be able to relax, wander, take photos and admire the diversity of the plant collection. My personal favourite it the lily pond located in one of the glasshouses. The giant Himalayan water lilies can reach up to even three metres in diameter, they look really impressive.
What else will you be able to admire at the Botanics? A beautiful little waterfall, Chinese hillside with one of the biggest collection of Chinese plants outside China, Queen Mother’s Memorial Garden with a little labyrinth, rhododendrons and a rock garden.
If you're planning a portrait, engagement, anniversary or a wedding photoshoot in Edinburgh, Royal Botanic Gardens are a location you should definitely consider. It's romantic, full of greenery and the evening light there is somewhere you won't be able to find anywhere else.
And don't forget to visit the glasshouses at the Botanics! It's the best spot for photography in the entire garden, so they're not to be missed.
Dean Village is a must-see on your Edinburgh bucket list. A walkable distance from the city centre, the place looks like a fairy-tale little village. It used to be a home to water mills and remains of them still can be seen here.
Beautiful houses with little windows surround the peaceful oasis away from the city centre noises. If you walk from Stockbridge and follow the Water of Leith you’ll be able to see St Bernard’s Well.
Make sure you stop at the Dean Bridge to be able to appreciate a bird’s-eye view at Dean Village and take a photo in one of my favourite residential areas, how amazing is this house?
Edinburgh alpaca farm in Pentland Hills
Bob and Cath’s alpaca farm in Edinburgh is a perfect place for you to visit if you prefer the rustic side of Scotland and if you love animals. It is located at the foot of Pentland Hills where you’ll not only get a chance to say hi to alpacas, but also will be able to photograph some furry highland cows!
I would definitely recommend the alpaca farm in Edinburgh if you’re ever visiting, or looking for an idea on how to spend a lovely day outdoors, surrounded by alpacas who never fail to make anyone smile. Bob, who is an incredibly friendly and knowledgeable owner of the farm, is always keen to have a chat and share some interesting facts about the life of alpacas. Particulary for all animal lovers.
Also, be sure to book your visit in advance as I know the farm gets very busy, especially during summer.
Pentland Hills are located in the south of Edinburgh area and are an amazing photoshoot location not far from the city centre, and are an especially great choice for photos if you don’t have the chance to visit the Scottish highlands very often. The regional park encompasses a very large area and includes a few reservoirs, lakes and even one waterfall.
Pentlands offer plenty of room for exploration, walks and are an amazing hiking spot. Also, the hills offer some amazing views at the city. And they are the closest place to Edinburgh where you can meet some redhead Scottish friends – the highland cows.
One more amazing thing about this place is that it’s accessible by public transport, so if during your trip to Edinburgh you won’t have access to a car you can still get there without an issue.
To sum up, Pentlands Hills are an amazing spot for walking, running, cycling, horse riding or fishing.
They offer a variety of wildlife, green rural landscapes and are an awesome place to enjoy the outdoors. If you ask me, it’s also an amazing place for a romantic adventure such as Edinburgh elopement, portrait photoshoot or an engagement session.
Calton Hill – most romantic photography spots in Edinburgh
Calton Hill and its landmarks are one of the most recognisable symbols of Edinburgh.
It offers amazing view at the Edinburgh city centre and lots of opportunities to take great photographs. You’ll also be able to see Holyrood Park from Calton Hill.
The photographs of Carlton Hill and the views at the city are often used in the postcards and paintings depicting the city.
You’ll be able to see the Nelson Monument build at the highest point of Calton Hill, the National Monument of Scotland commemorating Scottish soldiers who died during Napoleonic Wars, visit the City Observatory and admire the view of Edinburgh city centre with the majestic Dugald Stewart Monument designed by a Scottish architect as a memorial to Dugald Stewart, a Scottish philosopher.
Calton Hill is also one of the best places to watch the Edinburgh Festival fireworks on the last day of Fringe.
Best photography spots in Edinburgh, Scotland – Edinburgh Scotland photographer
Edinburgh is a place where you’ll be spoiled for choice as there are so amazing locations which create an amazing photo opportunities for tourists. And of course Edinburgh wedding and engagement photographers! Remember that it’s never a bad idea to hire a professional Scotland photographer to capture and immortalise memorable moments for you.
Professional photos taken by someone who’s a photography expert are truly invaluable.
Book your Edinburgh photoshoot now using the contact form on my website!
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