When people talk to me about visiting Seattle, they always want to know where the best photography spots in Seattle are. While they may know about famous landmarks like the Space Needle, there are many Instagrammable places in Seattle if you know where to look.
I love finding new places to take pictures in Seattle in my free time, and I’ve put together this list to save you time when looking for where to go. Some are popular spots you shouldn’t miss when exploring Seattle in one day, while others are more hidden Seattle photography spots.
Here are some of the top Instagrammable spots in Seattle to check out around the city.
Photography Tips for Instagrammable Spots in Seattle
Before you head out to find the best photo spots in Seattle, consider these tips:
- Research sunrise and sunset times – You can use an app like Magic Hour to show you the best times to get that beautiful, glowing look for your photos.
- Invest in a tripod – Whether you have a DSLR camera or your smartphone, a tripod makes it much easier to get the shot you want with you in it. I personally like this tripod for my iPhone and this tripod for my DSLR camera.
- Map out your spots – I like looking up all the spots I’ll be photographing on trips with Google Maps, saving them, and then putting together a custom map so I know how far away everything is.
- Have a quality camera – While you can use the latest iPhone for some impressive photos, you’ll want an actual camera for certain shots such as sunrise, sunset, or night photography. I use the Nikon D7100 camera personally.
Most Instagrammable Places in Seattle
Here are some of the best places to take pictures in Seattle!
1. Kerry Park
Kerry Park is by far one of the most Instagrammable places in Seattle and one of the best places to see in Washington State. You can see the Space Needle, much of downtown, and the water from this viewpoint. A large majority of shots you see of the city are taken from this tiny park in Queen Anne.
If you’re good at night photography, I recommend coming here to really capture the city. This is one of the most popular Instagrammable spots in Seattle and has even been featured in a ton of travel movies.
There are no big signs to direct you here, so you’ll head to the Queen Anne neighborhood and turn off Queen Anne Avenue onto W Highland Drive. You’ll see a very small patch of grass a few blocks down, which is Kerry Park. If it’s during the summer, the crowd may give this away as one of the more common places to take pictures in Seattle.
This is a regular neighborhood, so make sure you don’t block anyone’s driveway when you park here. It’s a popular Seattle photography location, so make sure to come here early if you want a sunrise photo.
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2. Alki Beach
For an opposite view of Seattle, head to West Seattle’s Alki Beach. It’s one of the only true sand beaches in the area, so it’s packed during the warm weather.
You can see how the city looks from across Puget Sound, which is especially fun as the sun is going down. Alki Beach is a great Instagrammable spot in Seattle during both the day and night.
You’ll head away from the city across the West Seattle bridge to reach this Instagrammable spot in Seattle. Take the Harbor Avenue exit to turn right on Alki Avenue, and drive about three miles until you start seeing the sandy beaches and shops.
Parking can be tight here in the summer, so it might take you a bit to circle around until you find a spot.
There are many different photo-ops you can take at this Seattle Instagram spot. During the summer, beach volleyball is popular, so you can get an action shot on the beach.
It’s also a great place to get a picture of you riding a bike or even rollerblading down the sidewalk that goes along the beach. Bonfires are popular at night, so you can also get some great shots in the evening. Hanging out on the beach is one of the better free things to do in Seattle.
3. Instagrammable Vacation Rentals
If you’re looking for a place to stay overnight, consider staying at one of these Instagrammable places in Seattle.
- You’ll love staying in this three-bedroom townhouse in downtown Seattle with views everywhere you look. (rates start at $165 per night)
- If you’re looking for the best photo spot in Seattle for Pike Place and Puget Sound, you’ll love being able to see it from this waterfront condo. (rates start at $250 per night)
I also have a whole post on adorable cabins in Washington for rent, so check it out if you prefer to stay there.
4. Japanese Gardens
If you head to the Madison Park neighborhood, you’ll find this beautiful Seattle Instagram spot. You can walk around the colorful garden for a small admission fee and sit on the benches, soaking it all in. Some people are here for hours taking pictures of everything, as it’s one of the most Instagrammable places in Seattle.
Fall in Seattle is the ideal time to visit this beautiful Instagram spot in Seattle, but you can go anytime throughout the year. Spring is also a great time to visit this Seattle tourist attraction, as everything is starting to bloom again after the long winter.
5. Smith Tower
Just from looking at the Smith Tower building that was constructed in the early 1900s, you might wonder why it’s a popular Seattle Instagram spot. Trust me and take the elevator up to the top to see why that completely changes. You’re greeted with a 360-degree view of Seattle as you walk around the observatory deck.
Smith Tower is one of the best places to catch the sunset in the city, making it one of my favorite Instagrammable places in Seattle. When you’re done with your pictures, you can head inside to their bar for an amazing happy hour! They have specialty cocktails and appetizers to fill up on. This is also a great Seattle date night idea.
6. Gum Wall
This is exactly what it sounds like – there are thousands of wads of gum on this wall next to Pike Place Market. You have to admit it makes for a unique kind of art, which is why it’s one of the more common places in Seattle to take pictures. Hundreds of people flock here each day to get their picture taken by it, so you might have to wait your turn.
How close you get to this Instagrammable spot in Seattle depends on how brave you are! The city does clean this up regularly (what a job!), but it always fills up again quickly with gum.
There isn’t a sign to get here, so go to where you see the main sign and entrance for Pike Place Market and take the stairs to the left of it that go into Post Alley. You’ll see it as you walk to the left of the stairs.
Whether you’re downtown for the day or starting your Seattle weekend getaway, you’ll want to stop here first.
7. Waterfall Garden Park
This Seattle tourist attraction isn’t as well-known as some of the others, but it’s a pleasant surprise when you walk by it. Amongst all the businesses in Pioneer Square is this tiny park with a waterfall in it. You can often find people reading here on their lunch break during the summer.
To find this, look for Occidental Square Park and you’ll find it right behind the park. Fun fact – this site used to be where the United Parcel Service’s first headquarters was in 1907. Whether you want to get a selfie in front of the waterfall or just relax, it’s a great Seattle Instagram spot.
8. Pike Place Market
Pike Place Market may be one of the biggest tourist attractions in Seattle, but for a good reason. There are so many opportunities for pictures here, from the colorful flowers to fruits and vegetables to musicians that may be playing that day. Don’t forget about the flying fish when visiting this Instagrammable spot in Seattle.
Make sure you thoroughly explore the market, as there is much more than just the vendors at the main entrance. If you walk through the different levels, you’ll see various shops for souvenirs and unique trinkets.
My favorite thing to do is grab lunch and go to the alcove, which looks over Puget Sound. I also encourage you to learn Seattle’s history facts about this area and the market, which first started in 1907.
There’s also a new section across the street towards the waterfront that has a kid-friendly Seattle brewery and biscuit restaurant. Go to the waterfront at sunset for another great Seattle Instagram spot.
9. Seattle Central Library
You might think that a library is a strange thing to have on this list of top Instagrammable spots in Seattle, but wait until you get inside. Located in the center of downtown, there are 11 stories to explore in this massive library.
Head to the top floors to check out the unique roof, where you also have a great view of the city. There’s nothing like spending a rainy day in Seattle here.
The Seattle Central Library was originally established in the late 1800s, but this new structure was only built in 2004. It’s since become a popular place to get away from the rain during the winter months, study for a test, or just curl up with a new book.
Since it’s such a large place, there are many places to spread out and it stays fairly quiet so you can focus. I recommend going to the very top to find one of the most Instagrammable places in Seattle.
10. Chihuly Garden and Glass
Even if you’re not a “museum” person, you’ll love Chihuly’s collection of beautiful glass-blown art. It’s one of the more popular Instagrammable spots in Seattle due to all the bright colors.
They are absolutely mesmerizing and you’ll find yourself constantly stopping to take pictures of the next exhibit you come across.
Make sure to check out the glass garden outside as well. I love visiting the gift shop at this popular Seattle tourist attraction to pick up unique glass souvenirs to take home.
If you plan on visiting Chihuly Garden and Glass, visit their website first to look for any fun events they might be throwing. You can take classes such as photography and even yoga throughout the year, making it one of the best photoshoot locations in Seattle. This is a perfect idea for Seattle winter activities since you can stay warm and dry the whole time.
CityPASS before you go! It’s one of my favorite ways to see a new city on a budget.
11. Pioneer Square Street Art
Street art can be found throughout the Pioneer Square neighborhood and makes the perfect backdrop for a picture. I’m always amazed at how creative some of our local artists are. The Pioneer Square area is one of the artsier photo spots in Seattle and provides a great backdrop if you want to take a selfie.
You can just walk around the neighborhood during the day to find different murals to take pictures of or in front of. This makes it a perfect Seattle Instagram spot when you need photos. Just a note, however – Pioneer Square is not always the safest place at night, so try to stick to visiting during the day, particularly if you’re alone.
In addition to street art, there are many art shows that go on in this area. People have been gathering here since the 1960s, as it was a popular place for art galleries and artist studios.
The first Thursday of every month is an art walk where you can find local artists selling their work. The Pioneer Square Art Walk was even the first art walk in the country when it started in 1981.
12. University of Washington
The University of Washington is not only a great university, but it’s also one of the best Seattle Instagram spots. Its aesthetics are very unique, which is why it’s become a popular photoshoot attraction.
Suzzallo Library has a magical feeling because it looks entirely like something right out of Harry Potter. Raitt and Miller Hall are two popular spots, too, with their old-world styles.
The Quad itself is full of plenty of spots that sometimes might feel like you’re somewhere outside civilization. The University of Washington is considered one of the most Instagrammable places in Seattle especially in the spring when the cherry blossoms bloom.
13. Golden Gardens
If you want to capture a majestic sunset, then this is probably the best spot for that in the entire city. Golden Gardens Park is a significantly large place, and it’s filled with natural beauty. The beach is one of the most popular Seattle Instagram spots and it never ceases to amaze.
Here you’ll be able to easily capture both people and stunning nature in one go. With the boats lazily floating in the water, it’s easy to see why this is one of the most Instagrammable spots in Seattle.
Golden Gardens is a popular day trip during the summer in Seattle as people celebrate the sun and warmth we experience.
14. Starbucks Reserve
The Starbucks Reserve is a spot where the magic happens. Even if you’re not a fan of Java, you’ll definitely enjoy the stunning mixture of industry and relaxation. Come here on a Seattle winter day for a cozy afternoon.
People sipping on coffee, delicious food, and an unforgettable atmosphere are terrific ingredients for photography. Once you add the behind-the-scenes magic of making and packing coffee, then you are definitely in one of the most Instagrammable spots in Seattle.
The merchandise itself also creates a lot of fantastic photo ops. You’ll definitely want to capture the essence of one of the most unique Seattle Instagram spots. It’s also located very near Pike Place Market, so you’ll have an easy time taking amazing photos in several spots.
15. Ferry to Bainbridge Island
There’s something very satisfying in seeing an enormous city shrink behind you when you’re on a ferry. Photos of Seattle in the distance look absolutely stunning from the ferry, and many locals love this day trip from Seattle.
Bainbridge Island is home to the very charming Winslow Village which is one of the best Instagrammable spots in Seattle. It’s just 30 minutes away from downtown by ferry, and it has a lot of potential for plenty of amazing photos. Its charm earned it the status of a fantastic Seattle Instagram spot.
16. Fremont Troll
Some people love him and some people hate him, but the Fremont Troll is here to stay. Many myths surround him, but you can find people visiting this Seattle tourist attraction at all hours of the day.
You can spot him in the Fremont neighborhood under the Aurora Bridge. He’s one of the more unique Instagrammable spots in Seattle and people are always on him taking pictures.
While you’re in Fremont, head down to the main section of Fremont Avenue to check out the shops, restaurants, and bars. Some of my favorite places to grab a bite are Red Star Taco and Pel Meni Dumpling Tzar. You’ll love trying some of Seattle’s famous foods while you’re in this neighborhood.
17. Oddfellows Café & Bar
There are few Seattle Instagram spots as cool and as hip as Oddfellows. Whether you’re here for drinks or for delicious pastries or maybe even something else, you’d be hard-pressed not to take any photos.
Its aesthetic is entirely unique – the combination of wooden surfaces and benches will keep you coming back for more. Even the food itself is very photogenic.
Oddfellows is housed in a building that’s over a hundred years old – it opened exactly a century after it was built. Its entire décor is purposeful, like exposed brick, sepia portraits, and antique seltzer bottles. You’ll want to take pictures of everything you see there.
18. Seattle Aquarium
When looking for where to take pictures in Seattle, the Seattle Aquarium is always a good bet. No matter what the weather is like outside, you can get some fun pictures both inside and outside. There are plenty of places to get pictures, from the tidepools and exhibits inside (just make sure you turn your flash off to not disturb the fish) to the otters outside.
Since this is located on the waterfront, you’ll also be surrounded by other Instagram spots in Seattle when you get done if you want to extend your day.
19. Seattle Great Wheel
The Seattle Great Wheel is one of the best places to take photos in Seattle and one of the most accessible. You can take pictures from far away or go closer to it and get right underneath the wheel. I highly recommend visiting at night when it lights up for unique photos.
While it does cost money, it’s worth it to take a ride and get incredible views of downtown Seattle, Puget Sound, and West Seattle. You can get even more Seattle photo locations ideas up here this way (note – as of September 2020, this is currently closed due to renovation on Pier 57)
This old train station is one of the best photoshoot locations in Seattle. It has a very grandiose feel and it’s always a fun venue for photos.
There are a lot of spots in the station where history simply oozes out of its nooks and crannies. It originally opened in 1906, and throughout the decades, it has undergone several renovations.
It’s not 100% changed, though, and you can still find some spots that look like they’re from the past. Don’t be afraid to take a lot of photos here as it’s a spot that will keep you coming back for more.
Hopefully, this list gave you plenty of ideas for beautiful Instagrammable places in Seattle to visit! Save it for later if you’re a local so you can visit all these Seattle photo spots at some point.