Best places to photograph in Edinburgh

Best places to photograph inEdinburgh

“Photography is the story I fail to put into words.” – Destin Sparks

Edinburgh, the capital city of Scotland, is a treasure trove of photographic opportunities. With its stunning architecture, ancient landmarks, and charming streets, this vibrant city attracts photographers from all over the world. Whether you’re an avid photographer or simply enjoy capturing beautiful moments, Edinburgh offers a wealth of picturesque locations to explore.

Key Takeaways:

  • Edinburgh is a city with rich history and stunning architecture, providing ample opportunities for photography.
  • Edinburgh Castle offers breathtaking views of the city and is a must-visit location for photographers.
  • The Royal Mile, with its historic buildings and hidden closes, provides a beautiful backdrop for capturing the essence of the city.
  • Arthur’s Seat and Calton Hill both offer panoramic views of Edinburgh’s skyline, perfect for landscape photography.
  • Stockbridge and Circus Lane are charming neighborhoods that offer a fairytale-like setting for capturing the beauty of Edinburgh.

Edinburgh Castle

When it comes to capturing the essence of Edinburgh, the iconic Edinburgh Castle stands tall as the city’s most famous landmark. Perched on Castle Rock, this majestic fortress offers not only a glimpse into Scotland’s rich history but also a breathtaking backdrop for photography.

As the sun begins to set, the warm golden light bathes the castle, creating a magical atmosphere that is perfect for capturing stunning photographs. The subtle play of shadows and highlights accentuate the architectural details, giving your images a touch of drama.

From the castle, you can take advantage of the elevated position and capture panoramic views of the historical Princes Street Gardens and the sprawling Edinburgh skyline. The juxtaposition of the medieval fortress and the modern cityscape provides a captivating contrast that will make your photographs truly stand out.

Whether you’re a professional photographer or a passionate enthusiast, Edinburgh Castle offers an abundance of photo opportunities. From capturing its grandeur from various angles to focusing on intricate details like the rugged stonework or the fluttering flags, you’ll find endless inspiration within the castle’s ancient walls.

Edinburgh Castle Photography Tips

Tip Description
1 Plan your visit during golden hour for the best lighting conditions.
2 Explore different vantage points around the castle to capture unique perspectives.
3 Experiment with different focal lengths to highlight the castle’s grandeur.
4 Include elements of the surrounding landscape, such as Princes Street Gardens, for added depth.
5 Consider shooting during blue hour to capture the castle against a backdrop of vibrant city lights.

The Edinburgh Castle is a must-visit for any photographer visiting the city. So pack your camera gear and immerse yourself in the captivating allure of this historic landmark.

Royal Mile

When it comes to photographing the essence of Edinburgh, the Royal Mile is an absolute must-visit. This vibrant street, located in the heart of the Old Town, is steeped in history and cultural significance. With its picturesque backdrop of colorful buildings and hidden closes, the Royal Mile offers countless opportunities for capturing stunning photographs.

Stretching approximately one mile, the Royal Mile connects two iconic landmarks of Edinburgh – Edinburgh Castle and the Palace of Holyroodhouse. This historic street is not only visually captivating but also immerses you in the rich heritage and stories of the city.

As you stroll along the Royal Mile, you’ll discover an array of fascinating sights and experiences. From charming shops and cafes to iconic landmarks and bustling street performers, this vibrant street offers a myriad of photo opportunities at every turn.

One of the highlights of the Royal Mile is the striking architecture of its buildings. With their vibrant hues and intricate details, they provide a stunning backdrop for capturing the essence of the Old Town. The narrow closes and winding staircases add to the charm, creating a sense of intrigue and mystery.

Notable attractions along the Royal Mile include the captivating St Giles’ Cathedral, the intriguing Museum of Edinburgh, and the immersive Real Mary King’s Close. Each of these landmarks offers a unique perspective for capturing the rich history of Edinburgh.

To make the most of your photography adventure on the Royal Mile, I recommend exploring different vantage points, experimenting with different angles and perspectives, and capturing the vibrant atmosphere. Whether you’re an amateur photographer or a seasoned professional, the Royal Mile is sure to inspire and delight.

So grab your camera and immerse yourself in the historic and cultural richness of the Royal Mile. Explore its hidden corners, engage with the local community, and capture the timeless beauty of Edinburgh’s Old Town through your lens.

Recommended Photography Spots along the Royal Mile:

  • Edinburgh Castle – Capture the grandeur of the castle against the backdrop of the city skyline.
  • St Giles’ Cathedral – Focus on the intricate details of this iconic Scottish landmark.
  • The Writer’s Museum – Visit this charming museum dedicated to Scotland’s literary heritage.
  • Museum of Edinburgh – Discover the city’s history and photograph its fascinating exhibits.
  • Real Mary King’s Close – Explore the hidden underground streets and capture their eerie atmosphere.
Photography Tips Camera Gear
Experiment with different lighting conditions, such as early morning or golden hour. Wide-angle lens – ideal for capturing the grandeur of the architecture.
Look for unique perspectives and details that convey the essence of the Royal Mile. Tripod – helpful for long exposure shots and stability.
Engage with the locals and capture candid moments that showcase the vibrant atmosphere. ND filter – useful for controlling exposure in bright sunlight.

Arthur’s Seat

One of the must-visit spots in Edinburgh for breathtaking panoramic views is Arthur’s Seat. Situated in Holyrood Park, this famous landmark offers an ideal vantage point for photographers to capture the city’s beauty. The hike to the top is relatively easy, making it accessible for both locals and tourists.

When you reach the summit, be prepared to be amazed by the stunning vistas that unfold before your eyes. From here, you can photograph the iconic Edinburgh skyline with its mix of historic architecture and modern structures. The panoramic views provide a striking backdrop for capturing the essence of the city and its surrounding natural beauty.

As you take in the panoramic views, you’ll have the opportunity to showcase the diverse landscapes of Edinburgh. On one side, you’ll see the city’s urban sprawl, with its bustling streets and recognizable landmarks. On the other side, the lush greenery of Holyrood Park stretches out, creating a beautiful contrast.

Arthur’s Seat is not only a popular spot for photography but also a favorite destination for outdoor enthusiasts. Its unique geological features make it a fascinating place to explore. So, whether you’re a professional photographer or simply a nature lover in search of captivating views, Arthur’s Seat should definitely be on your Edinburgh itinerary.

Tips for Photographing Arthur’s Seat:

  • Plan your visit during the golden hour, early morning, or late afternoon, when the lighting is most favorable for photography.
  • Bring a wide-angle lens to capture the vastness of the panoramic views.
  • Experiment with different angles and compositions to add depth and interest to your photographs.
  • Consider including hikers or wildlife in your shots to add a sense of scale and narrative.
Pros Cons
Unparalleled panoramic views of Edinburgh Potentially busy with other visitors
Easy hike suitable for all fitness levels Weather conditions can affect visibility
Opportunity to capture both urban and natural landscapes May require some effort to find the ideal composition

Calton Hill

If you’re looking for breathtaking city views and stunning photography opportunities, Calton Hill is a must-visit location in Edinburgh. As a UNESCO World Heritage Site, this iconic hill offers panoramic vistas that will leave you in awe.

From the top of Calton Hill, you can capture impressive shots of Edinburgh’s most famous landmarks, including Edinburgh Castle, Arthur’s Seat, and St. Mary’s Loch. The city’s skyline unfolds before your eyes, with its distinct architectural marvels and natural beauty.

Calton Hill is particularly mesmerizing at sunset, where the warm hues of the sky create a magical backdrop for your photographs. The golden light envelops the city, casting a dreamy glow on the landscape. It’s during these moments that Calton Hill truly comes alive with its captivating beauty.

Capturing the Essence of Edinburgh

Calton Hill is a popular spot for photographers seeking to capture the essence of Edinburgh. Its elevated position provides a unique perspective on the city, allowing you to encapsulate its charm and character in a single frame.

Whether you’re an amateur photographer or a seasoned professional, Calton Hill offers endless possibilities for creative compositions and artistic expression. The combination of architectural landmarks, lush greenery, and expansive cityscapes creates a captivating visual tapestry.

As you explore Calton Hill, take your time to soak in the atmosphere and find the perfect vantage point for your photographs. The hill is dotted with interesting monuments and structures like the National Monument, Dugald Stewart Monument, and the Nelson Monument, which can add depth and interest to your compositions.

Reasons to Photograph Calton Hill Features
1. Unforgettable Views Enjoy panoramic vistas of Edinburgh and its iconic landmarks.
2. Sunset Magic Capture the stunning beauty of Calton Hill at sunset with its warm, golden light.
3. Architectural Gems Include interesting structures like the National Monument and Nelson Monument in your compositions.
4. Essence of Edinburgh Embrace the city’s charm and character through your photographs.


Stockbridge, located in the heart of Edinburgh, is a hidden gem that offers a fairytale-like setting for photography. This charming neighborhood is known for its picturesque streets, elegant architecture, and tranquil parks, making it a dream location for capturing the essence of the city.

When you wander through the cobblestone streets of Stockbridge, you’ll feel like you’ve stepped into a storybook. Admire the beautifully restored Georgian and Victorian buildings that line the streets, each with its own unique character. The colorful facades and charming details provide the perfect backdrop for creating enchanting photographs.

One of the highlights of Stockbridge is the Royal Botanic Garden, located just a short distance from the neighborhood. Here, you can immerse yourself in stunning natural beauty and capture incredible shots of colorful flowers, serene landscapes, and exotic plants. The Royal Botanic Garden is a must-visit for any photographer looking to capture the vibrancy of Edinburgh’s flora in their photographs.

Explore Stockbridge – A Fairytale Neighborhood

When visiting Stockbridge, be sure to explore the following attractions and experiences:

  • Take a leisurely stroll along the Water of Leith Walkway, a scenic pathway that follows the course of the river and offers picturesque views.
  • Visit the Stockbridge Market, held every Sunday, where you can find a variety of local produce, delicious street food, and unique crafts.
  • Indulge in the neighborhood’s charming independent shops, boutiques, and vintage stores, offering a treasure trove of unique finds.
  • Enjoy a relaxing picnic in Inverleith Park, a beautiful green space with expansive lawns and stunning views of Edinburgh Castle.
  • Experience the vibrant food and drink scene in Stockbridge, with a range of cozy cafes, trendy bars, and award-winning restaurants to choose from.

In conclusion, Stockbridge is a fairytale-like neighborhood in Edinburgh that offers a magical setting for photography. From its cobblestone streets and elegant architecture to its serene parks and botanical gardens, every corner of Stockbridge is a picture-perfect opportunity waiting to be captured.

Attraction Description
Royal Botanic Garden A stunning botanical garden with a wide variety of colorful flowers, exotic plants, and serene landscapes.
Water of Leith Walkway A scenic pathway along the river, offering picturesque views and a tranquil atmosphere.
Stockbridge Market A weekly market where you can find local produce, street food, crafts, and more.
Inverleith Park A beautiful green space with expansive lawns and stunning views of Edinburgh Castle.

Circus Lane & St. Stephen Street

Looking to capture the hidden gems of Edinburgh? Look no further than Circus Lane and St. Stephen Street. These picturesque streets offer a delightful escape from the hustle and bustle of the city, providing the perfect backdrop for your photography adventures.

Start your journey at Circus Lane, one of the most photogenic locations in Edinburgh. As you stroll along this charming lane, you’ll be greeted by quaint shopfronts and cozy cafés. The vibrant colors and beautiful architecture create an enchanting atmosphere, making it an ideal spot to snap some truly unique photographs.

As you explore Circus Lane, be sure to make your way to St. Stephen Street, located nearby. This fairytale-like street boasts a magical ambiance that will transport you to another world. With its stunning architecture and winding cobblestone paths, you’ll feel as though you’ve stepped into a storybook.

Together, Circus Lane and St. Stephen Street are the epitome of hidden gems in Edinburgh. These captivating streets offer a distinct charm that is not to be missed. So grab your camera and get ready to capture the beauty and wonder of these remarkable locations.


What are the best places to photograph in Edinburgh?

Some of the best places to photograph in Edinburgh include Edinburgh Castle, the Royal Mile, Arthur’s Seat, Calton Hill, Stockbridge, Circus Lane, and St. Stephen Street.

Why is Edinburgh Castle a popular spot for photography?

Edinburgh Castle is a famous landmark in Scotland and offers breathtaking views of the city. Its location on Castle Rock provides a stunning backdrop, especially at sunset. From the castle, you can capture panoramic views of Princes Street Gardens and the Edinburgh skyline.

What makes the Royal Mile a great location for photography?

The Royal Mile is a bustling street in Edinburgh’s Old Town known for its historic and cultural significance. With its colorful buildings and hidden closes, it offers plenty of photo opportunities. It connects Edinburgh Castle and the Palace of Holyroodhouse, providing a beautiful backdrop for capturing the essence of the city.

Why should I visit Arthur’s Seat for photography?

Arthur’s Seat is a famous landmark in Edinburgh and offers one of the best views of the city. Located in Holyrood Park, it provides a vantage point for capturing panoramic views of Edinburgh’s skyline. The hike to the top is relatively easy and rewarding, making it a popular spot for both locals and tourists.

What makes Calton Hill a must-visit for photographers?

Calton Hill is a UNESCO World Heritage Site that offers sweeping views of the entire city. From here, you can capture impressive shots of Edinburgh Castle, Arthur’s Seat, and St. Mary’s Loch. It is particularly beautiful at sunset and is a popular spot for photographers looking to capture the city’s skyline.

Why should I explore Stockbridge for photography?

Stockbridge is a charming neighborhood in Edinburgh that offers a fairytale-like setting for photography. With its cobblestone streets, elegant architecture, and serene parks, it provides a picturesque backdrop for capturing the essence of the city. Don’t miss the opportunity to explore the Royal Botanic Garden for stunning natural beauty.

What makes Circus Lane and St. Stephen Street hidden gems for photography?

Circus Lane is one of the most photogenic locations in Edinburgh, with its charming shopfronts and cafés. It offers a captivating escape from the bustling city streets. St. Stephen Street, located near Circus Lane, provides an equally enchanting atmosphere with its fairytale-like setting. These hidden gems are worth exploring for unique and captivating photographs.

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