The Ultimate Instagram Guide to London (with Map)
It’s no secret that London is my favorite place in the world. And after visiting it so many times and living there, I’ve compiled a pretty comprehensive list of where to go and what to see. I normally try to avoid the tourist spots each time and head to places that feel a bit more unique and interesting to photograph. That’s why I decided to combine all of my Instagrammable places in London lists, plus add on a lot more I’ve never shared so I can let ya’ll in on the parts of London that make it so special and worth the journey. If you want to take photos of more than just Big Ben and the Tower of London, check out this list of 70+ spots to add to your must-see list.
FOOD & COFFEE
A tourist’s got to eat, right? Some places have food and interiors that are so pretty, that you have to stop in for a plate or cup of coffee. These spots are all so lovely and a great way to sit down and unwind after a day of walking around the city.
FARM GIRL CAFE
This is one of the most Instagrammed cafes in London, so get there early or on a weekday to avoid a queue for a table. They have a lovely rose latte with real roses and their menu is on point.
Most unique/offensive coffee shop in London award would probably go to this vulgarly named place in Bermondsy. They definitely got in trouble back in the day for the name (the cease and desist letter they received from the government is framed in the toilet), but it's since been okayed.
All over the city, there are coffee shops called Grind that are literal Instagram goals. Each of them is designed differently, but they're all aesthetically pleasing and the coffee is amazing too. Many are fitted with neon lights, cinema marquees, pink finishes, and lovely drinks.
This coffee shop and clothing store hybrid in Shoreditch is one of the few places in London that makes a rose latte with a design so pretty that it makes it hard to want to drink it and mess up the artist's work.
This is probably one of the cutest bakery-cafes in London. It's hard to get a shot of this place without a car or people in front of it, but if you can get it alone, you're quite lucky.
Coffee is obviously great, but it's even better when it's drunk in a beautiful setting. This cafe is in a gorgeous old church and hidden away from the buzz of the city.
THE ATTENDANT CAFE
For another unique cafe, you can find your way into an old Victorian toilet for a cuppa. The Fitzrovia location of this coffee chain is quite odd, but a nice place to escape underground for a drink.
The hottest new Instagram craze in London is Elan Cafe. It's perfectly pink and just screams to be photographed. Because of its popularity, there may be a wait to get in, but it's worth it. There’s a few spots around the city, so you have options for which one you visit.
If you like pink, feminist themes, and tasty cocktails, go to Tonight Josephine. This hotspot is near Waterloo Station and will draw you in with its neon lights. It's best to make a reservation to ensure you get a table.
LADY DINAH’S CAT EMPORIUM
Afternoon tea is great, but add in cats and it’s even better. The ambiance of the building is very chic and it's always wonderful to be in the presence of cats. It's definitely something to do in London if you have the extra time and want to at least say you've done it. Make sure you book far in advance though, as they have a reservation system required to enter.
If you asked me where was my favorite place to get a traditional English breakfast in London, I would immediately tell you to go to the Regency Cafe in Pimlico, near Victoria Station. It’s the most authentic little diner, where you'll be surrounded by hungry builders, black and white photographs from magazines, and is so iconic that it has been featured in various films and television shows.
If you’re into vegan food and love the millennial aesthetic, head out to Hackney to find Palm Vaults. Here you’ll find lattes with glitter and tasty, healthy treats.
JARDIN DU JASMINE
This Middle-Eastern inspired cafe is making the rounds on Instagram, and it’s easy to see why. The food is great, but the interior is so unique and beautiful and makes for a lovely place for a meal.
HACKNEY COFFEE COMPANY
If you need a spot to get some work done, Hackney Coffee Company is a great place to do that. It’s the epitome of hipster cafe, but it’s got a lot of space to set up your laptop and get to work.
If you find yourself in Brixton, stop into F Mondays and grab a lovely cup of coffee and revel in the totally relatable name. It’s a bit out of the way of central London, but worth a stop.
The best place to grab some ice cream in Chinatown has to be Bubblewrap. It’s the yummiest waffle cone you’ve ever tasted and literally so picture perfect.
Pink is the prettiest color and don’t argue with me on that. If you also adore the color or just want a nice pretty background for photos, I’ve got you covered. I found lots of pink places in the city over my time there, so I decided to share my secrets with you.
PINK HOME IN NOTTING HILL
Plants on pink is a popular Instagram trend at the moment and this lovely home on Jameson Street in Notting Hill is the perfect place to get that look. The colors contrast each other perfectly and I am happy the person who lives there makes this look so nice for passersby.
PINK GARDEN DOOR
This adorable, blush pink door near the North side of Hyde Park feels like you've found a secret garden in the middle of London.
This small pink home in Notting Hill is great for a photo backdrop with it's lovely hues.
PINK DOOR TWINS
Over by Columbia Road Flower Market, on Elwin Street, you'll find these peach and pink doors that are so perfectly placed.
ST. LUKE'S MEWS
You'll probably recognize this famous mews, as it is featured in the film, Love Actually, as Keira Knightley's flat. This pink home nestled in this quiet mews, is one of the most photographed in London, and you can probably see why. The pink is adorable, and often there's lots of flowers and a bike outside to add to the picture perfect scene.
4 PRINCELET STREET
If you needed any more pink in your life, then this door is serious house goals. This vintage home has long been the location of film and photoshoots. On the inside is an untouched Victorian space, and the outside is a crumbling facade that evokes vintage memories. It's my favorite door in London by far.
PEGGY PORSCHEN CAKES
If you like cake and pretty pink shop fronts, then this is a stop you need to make. Located near Victoria Coach Station, this adorable store is Instagram goals. Over the years, the lines have gotten very long to get inside or even get a photo outside, so get there early in the morning to avoid that.
sketch is a restaurant that is considered the most Instagrammable place in London. I enjoyed afternoon tea there and was in heaven with all the pink perfection. You also have to check out the bathroom while you're there as well. It's a pricey place, but completely worth it.
This pretty pink store and cafe on Carnaby Street is straight out of the pages of an interior decorating magazine. Stop by for coffee on the second floor after perusing the goods below.
SHOPFRONTS & FACADES
Ever heard of window shopping? These shops and stores have the loveliest facades that deserve a longer look when passing by.
56 ARTILLERY LANE
This is one of the oldest facades in London and its nestled safely in Shoreditch near Old Spitalfields Market.
This funky shop on Portobello Road isn't a secret, but many people will just pass it by without a second thought at how interesting it is. There's a door on the side that is beautifully surrounded by red and tea cups and pots that would be lovely in any home.
If you need something British AF in your life, this tea shop in Mayfair is not only photogenic from the outside, but you can get tasty teas inside.
THE CHURCHILL ARMS
This is probably the prettiest pub in London, unless you know of another. Covered in flowers and flags, it's a place to photograph and maybe even get a pint.
CHARLOTTE STREET HOTEL
Off of the famous shopping row, Oxford Street, lies this mint green hotel that is the accommodation to many celebrities (I've seen Keira Knightley here once). Its vivid color and lovely facade makes it a perfect place to capture in the city.
WILD AT HEART
Who doesn't love neon signs and flowers? In Notting Hill, there's a very tiny florist shop called "Wild at Heart," which has this phrase in the window, surrounded by flowers.
SWEENEY TODD BARBER SHOP
If you're a Sweeney Todd fan, you'll at least want to walk past this silly little tribute to the legend on the actual Fleet Street. No promises you won't get your throat cut though.
If you want to feel like you've stepped into the 70s, pop into this old-style laundry spot nestled in the Barbican Estates. Doing laundry is not required, but it makes for an interesting photoshoot backdrop.
THE TEA HOUSE
So this has to be one of the loveliest tea shopfronts in the city other than Postcard Teas. This one is near Covent Garden and focuses a bit more on asian influenced teas.
MEWS, PRETTY STREETS & DOORS
There are a million beautiful streets in London and I wish I could share them all, but this article would get way too long then. So here are my favorite and most colorful ones that I think you should give a stroll by.
31 GLEBE PLACE
This lovely door in Chelsea is a favorite of London Instagrammers and it's obvious why. With the mini-staircase leading up to the door and the greenery surrounding it, it's a must for a photograph.
This old street near Brick Lane and Old Spitalfields Market is one of the best for a mixture of Victorian facades and street art.
This Kensington mews is fun because there's this hairdresser down the path that I found really intriguing.
If you need a bit of sunshine in London (because let's be honest, London can feel gray sometimes), this cute yellow door has a window and arbor to match. You can find this on Hillgate Place in Notting Hill.
For music fans, Codrington mews will make you happy. It's the home of XL records, where Adele recorded her earlier albums. The buildings are covered with artwork from albums and houses a friendly cat who loves to be pet when you come by.
Horbury is just a nice escape from the main road, full of cute houses and benches to relax if you want to take a moment.
For cotton candy houses and unique architecture, head to this part of Notting Hill for some house goals.
UNION JACK DOOR
If you want to see the most patriotic door in London, you can find it nestled away in Notting Hill at 91 Ledbury Road. It's behind a gate though, so you'll have to get creative with getting your shot and not trespassing at the same time.
When I found this part of Notting Hill, I got major heart eyes as I walked down this magically colorful street. It had every color of house imaginable and I am so jealous of whoever gets to live here.
This mews is right off of Hyde Park and is definitely a hidden gem of rainbow houses.
CHALCOT SQUARE AND CRESCENT
Near Regent's Park, there's a little neighborhood called Primrose Hill, and it's home to a fun area of homes that are every color of the rainbow. It's hard to get shots without cars in the way, but occasionally there will be a vintage car parked and that can definitely add to the photos you take.
Near Camden Market, there's an area of the city called Kentish Town, and there are streets there that are ripe with houses of an amazing color scheme. but you can find more curves of row houses and lots of doors with beautiful floral arrangements.
Over in Kensington, a favorite mews of many is this arched entryway street. At all times of the year, there's some kind of lovely greenery or flowers hanging over the passageway, and you'll probably find a lot of bloggers here taking fashion shots because it's a nice, quiet, and pretty street.
Off the southeast end of Regent's Park, is a famous mews that is known for the pretty pink and green bikes that are always parked out front. It's definitely worth it to stop by if you're in the area.
This colorful wall in Shoreditch is a hotspot for photoshoots. Near Brick Lane, this mural is a great backdrop for an outfit of the day post or selfie. Don't forget to explore the streets around it as well, as there's amazing art on many walls nearby.
For those who love the Union Jack, there's an entire wall painted with the flag down this mews in Notting Hill. So if you're feeling super patriotic, it's a fun place to find while wandering around the lovely streets of this neighborhood.
FITZJOHN’S AVE HOUSE
This house gets very famous in the autumn due to the leaves and ivy changing color. There’s also a blue car always parked in the driveway to make for the perfect shot.
WIMPOLE STREET DOOR
This is another autumn treasure that lies near Oxford Street and has the most gorgeous fall foliage colors overhanging the door.
This is probably the most famous row of rainbow houses in Chelsea. You’ll see many influencers doing fashion photoshoots here, and the reason is because it’s so colorful.
You can’t visit London without going to at least one market. While all of them are wonderful, these are the ones that are the most photogenic.
SHAKESPEARE MURAL AT BOROUGH MARKET
One of the most famous Englishmen in history has a colorful mural in Borough Market nearby to the Globe Theatre. The mural isn't in an obvious place, so you'll have to make sure you ask where it is if you can't find it.
MALTBY STREET MARKET
Over in Bermondsey, this food market is open on the weekends and is often missed by folk who don't venture out far enough to find it. Not only is it a super photogenic market, it also has great food and is usually less crowded and crazy than Borough Market.
COLUMBIA ROAD FLOWER MARKET
On Saturdays from 8 am to 3 pm, a gorgeous flower market pops up on Columbia Road in East London. It gets crowded very quickly, but to walk amongst all the flowers, adorable shop fronts, street musician and joy is a perfect Saturday activity.
You may recognize Leadenhall Market as part of Diagon Alley in the Harry Potter films, but it's just a beautiful, covered market in the City of London (aka the financial district). Even if you don't spend too much time here, it's lovely just to walk through as it is very Victorian style and colorful.
BRICK LANE MARKET
Brick Lane Market is the best place to browse vintage goods, all with a backdrop of funky street art.
PORTOBELLO ROAD MARKET
This road is ripe with lots of cute shops, colorful buildings and vintage finds that will make your day. It's a favorite of mine and many folks who have some time to wander down it.
OTHER PLACES NOT TO MISS
Some things don’t fit into the other categories, but doesn’t mean you should skip it. Here’s the other spots I suggest you add to your itinerary.
LEAKE STREET GRAFFITI TUNNEL
This space in Waterloo is only a short walk from Big Ben and the South Bank and it's a grungy, unique place to walk through. All art here is legal and it's great for a photoshoot. It's kind of an undiscovered secret, so it'll often be empty and quiet.
This is one of the few places in London that you'll find this many red telephone boxes in a row. Right around the corner from the Royal Opera House, this quiet street has a great spot for a big pop of red.
ONE NEW CHANGE ROOFTOP
Do you want a lovely view of St. Paul's Cathedral? Then head to the One New Change mall across the street and take the elevator to the top for a lovely view of the church and the city.
If you love indoor gardens, head to the Barbican Centre on a Sunday between noon and 5 p.m. to get a picturesque green walk among some lovely plants and succulents.
THE QUEEN'S HOUSE
If you want to witness the most beautiful spiral staircase in the world, head over to Greenwich to the Queen's House. It's free to enter and it's a lovely house where former royalty used to spend time. The Tulip Stairs are the highlight of the space.
PAPER MILL STUDIOS
If you need an uplifting message or just a great background for a photoshoot, go to this very secret spot in Islington. The walls are perfectly rainbow to fit any sort of look you want to capture and the "Today is your lucky day" is a wonderful quote to see.
KING'S CROSS TUNNEL
Unless you're a commuter, you'd never have reason to know about this LED light tunnel that hides in King's Cross. If you go late at night you can have it all to yourself. It's a trip to walk down.
Sometimes you just want to escape into an old-timey bookstore and the Daunt Books in Marylebone is the place to do that. With a second story filled with used books, you can spend hours in here forgetting where you are.
GOD'S OWN JUNKYARD
This neon sign gallery is a bit of a commute out of central London. It sits in Walthamstow, And upon your entrance to the junkyard, you'll be greeted by some funky artwork and a cow.it may seem like a "junkshop," but it's really an art gallery in disguise. Also, it's the perfect place for an impromptu photoshoot.
The ruins of this old church are literally perfect for a walk, photos or just a place to sit down and drink some coffee. It’s tucked away in the City of London and very quiet and peaceful.
For zero money at all, you can visit the Sky Garden in London and see the city from above. All you have to do is reserve your ticket in advance and you get 360 degree views of London from the top of one of the tallest buildings in the city.
ST. PANCRAS RENAISSANCE HOTEL LONDON
The stairs in this hotel will look familiar to you if you’ve seen the Spice Girls “Wannabe” music video. If you walk inside the hotel, go to a hallway on the left and walk until you see the stairs. They’re magnificent.
For colorful shops and vivid memories, head to this little corner of London.
This lovely plant shop in Hackney is Instagram goals. Seriously, if you’re a millennial, you’ll love shooting here.
VIKTOR WYND MUSEUM OF CURIOSITIES
And for those who are into the macabre, this is probably the quirkiest and weirdest museum in London. You’ll see conjoined twins, celebrity pubes, and more in this haunting place.