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13 Can’t-Miss San Francisco Instagram Spots

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Are you wondering, what are the best San Francisco Instagram spots? Well, you’re in the right place, my friend!

This urban gem of Northern California is absolutely filled with gorgeous photo ops.

Anywhere you look the colorful streets of San Francisco are full of character; character that you will want to take a picture with.

To enhance your feed, hit these San Francisco Instagram spots!

Best San Francisco Instagram Spots

Bernal Heights

Bernal Heights is a quaint neighborhood in a less visited part of San Francisco. Located on the southern side of Mission Valley, this neighborhood has an old town feel, but a sophisticated culture, with lots and lots of photo spots.

The placement of Bernal Heights allows the city to spill out around it in every direction, allowing visitors to take photos of the ever-bustling San Fran from above. Head to Bernal Hill to get this shot.

But don’t stop there! Explore the neighborhood and find other cool backdrops for your Instagram photos; artsy cafes, overgrown plant shops, and cozy restaurants litter the streets.


Where should you travel next?

Golden Gate Bridge

Giant red bridge stretching across blue ocean.

The Golden Gate Bridge is an iconic symbol any American will know from a mile away.

The orange metal stands starkly against the usual silvery San Francisco fog making for a beautiful contrast of colors.

Now if you have ever been to San Fran, you know that the fog is a city regular, and sometimes it’s so thick that no matter how big the bridge is, you can’t get a picture of it. Check the weather beforehand, and don’t give up immediately! The fog might move and give you a clear shot after all.

There is an overlook specifically for the bridge, but there are plenty of other spots to get a unique shot from. Land’s End provides a full-length bridge view and Fort Point National Historic Site makes you feel like you’re right under the architectural wonder.

Painted Ladies

Victorian mansions with colorful facades.

These beautiful ladies remind San Franciscans of a time that has now passed.

The pastel-colored Victorian homes, still inhabited by locals, sit below the San Francisco skyline, showing how the city has changed over time. And you can get them both in one picture, making for a stunning contrast.

You’ll head to Alamo Square Park to see “postcard row” and feel free to snap pictures of any of the other homes as well. Though none shine quite as bright as the Painted Ladies, there are many others with similar features.

Out of SF Instagram spots, this is a great one to visit for sunset.


The Embarcadero is the city’s waterfront boulevard, giving you a fast track to seeing everything you need to see by the bay.

The street is large, so parking is pretty easy to find, and the best way to explore Embarcadero is to ditch your car and stroll down the walkways.

As you walk, you see famous San Francisco landmarks and top Instagram spots like the ferry building, Pier 14, The Exploratorium, and Alcatraz landing. Stop in at some of the best restaurants in San Francisco or visit Pier 39, the city’s entertainment hub.

Embarcadero is best explored by day, and luckily, the fog gives greeting lighting for your photos.

Lombard Street

Crooked street surrounded by plush greenery

San Francisco has some pretty nasty hills and whacky roads, and Lombard Street is the street to rule them all, but don’t get me wrong, it is super cool and feels like a massive accomplishment once you’ve made it to the bottom.

Lombard Street is known as the “crookedest street in the world.” To get to the bottom, you’ll walk or drive down eight hairpin turns. This makes it look incredibly dangerous, but the hairpins were actually added to increase the safety of the road.

Luxury mansions line both sides of the street, and the colors of the green trees, bushes, flowers, and the red of the road, make for an iconic picture.

Stand from the bottom and take a picture looking up, or enjoy the views of the city from the top.

Golden Gate Park

Entrance to a garden that says Shakespeare Garden

Golden Gate Park is the Central Park of San Francisco. One thousand seventeen acres are sitting right in the middle of the city where you will find some of the best San Francisco Instagram spots.

Gardens, groves, and lakes are sprinkled throughout the park’s map if you want to add some themed greenery to your feed.

You’re also in the right place if you’re looking for some fantastic architecture. The Beach Chalet Visitor Center is a beautiful Spanish Revival-style building located on the western end of the park.

Once you’ve visited the Beach Chalet and are wandering around the west end, you may be lucky enough to snap a few pics of the American Bison herd that lives in the park.

There’s plenty more to check out here, including the California Academy of Sciences, the Conservatory of Flowers, and the Music Concourse.

Plan at least a day or two to explore this wonderland for both kids and adults.

Japanese Tea Garden

Serene pond surrounded by Japanese architecture

Located inside the Golden Gate Park, the Japanese Tea Garden gives visitors a taste of our neighbors across the Atlantic Ocean.

This garden is the oldest of its kind in the United States, built over 100 years ago in 1894. Follow the designated paths that wind throughout traditional Japanese structures and greenery that will leave you in awe.

Head to the center of the garden to drink tea, grab a souvenir, and get your fortune read.

This is one of the most Instagrammable spots in San Francisco.

Twin Peaks

Aerial view of Los Angeles with the water in the background

For another iconic landmark and apt place to get your panoramas of San Fran, Twin Peaks should be your next stop.

To get to this park, you can either drive, take a tour bus, walk, or bike up to the parking lot.

This 64 acre provides not only beautiful views of the city and the bay, but the park itself is a sanctuary of plant and animal life. The rolling hills are another look at what the city used to look like before its cultivation and a great place for pictures or just relaxing.

The endangered Mission Blue Butterfly has made its home here, the only place it has been able to survive within the city. To combat the strong winds, they fly low to the ground, so watch where you step and have your camera ready to capture one!

Marshall’s Beach

Serene beach by a red bridge

In a bustling city, sometimes you need to find an intimate and quiet place to relax. Marshall’s Beach will be just that for you, with better views than you could hope for.

One of the city’s beach beaches, but fairly unfrequented, you will find a sense of solitude here, surrounded by plant life and the sound of the waves that can’t be found anywhere else in the city.

It also provides a picture-perfect view of the Golden Gate Bridge.

Once you’re finished photographing your next post, do a little hiking and explore the Serpentine rock formations and wildflowers that line the waterfront.

Fisherman’s Wharf

Pier with seals on them, and the water with boats surrounding it.

Fisherman’s Wharf. You’ll know it when you see it. 

That is when you see the massive steering wheel with a crab that says “Fisherman’s Wharf of San Francisco.”

With plenty of landmarks like that unique to San Fran, you won’t run out of photo ops while on the wharf.

While there, you might as well take advantage of some of San Francisco’s best indoor and outdoor restaurants, museums, and more scattered on the wharf.

Union Square

Plaza in the middle of a city under a grey sky

With Union Square’s Historic Dewey Monument, artistic hearts, and cable cars, this is a San Francisco Instagram spot you don’t want to pass up.

To beat the crowds at Union Square, you’ll want to come earlier in the day, but if you’re looking to do more than take pictures, you might be missing all the fun.

Later in the day, the square will come alive with elegant restaurants and high-end shopping. Or just set up shop at a bench and people-watch for a few hours.


Red lanterns in the air

San Francisco’s Chinatown is crowned by the elaborate Chinatown Gateway. Walk through it and you’ll be entering the largest Chinatown outside of Asia and the oldest one in North America.

The gateway provides a perfect photo spot to enhance your Instagram. Be aware it will be pretty difficult to get a picture of the gateway without people milling around in the background, but that just adds to the character.

Explore the area to find other cool shops and photo ops, as well as learn about Chinese culture and eat some really, really good food. We stopped to get dim sum here, and I’ve been thinking about it ever since.

Palace of Fine Arts

Big red rotunda by the water

Now that you’ve been transported to Japan and China head to the Palace of Fine Arts to stroll through a Greek temple.

All you’d need to feel like you were in Ancient Greece is a Greek chiton, and you’re set!

This building sits on a body of water surrounded by beautiful San Francisco homes, so anywhere you turn, this is one of the best San Francisco Instagram spots.

The half circle of columns, arches, and friezes are absolutely stunning, and you’ll find many others here taking pictures just like you are.

The Palace of Fine Arts is a venue that can be rented out for all kinds of events.

Final Thoughts: Best Instagrammable Places in San Francisco

These San Francisco Instagram spots are some of our favorite places we have ever been, and we have collected the coolest pictures from them.

You won’t regret hitting a single one of these spots, and the city will make you want to come back over and over again until you’ve hit them all!

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