You’ve heard me say it (many times) before, and I will say it yet again – Seattle is one of my favorite cities in the world. It may get a bad rap for being rainy and grey, but it has it all – a modern, urban, vibe, gorgeous greenery, incredible waterfront views, great food, coffee, and boutiques – there are so many fun things to do in Seattle!
And when the weather is nice – well, you really can’t go wrong – it is a beautiful, photogenic city and the best Seattle Instagram spots aren’t hard to come by!
Seattle is full of spots that make perfect photo ops for your Instagram feed, as well as additions to your Seattle bucket list, and the city has become one of my favorite spots for a weekend getaway. Be sure to put some of these most Instagrammable places in Seattle on your Seattle itinerary (even if you only have one day)!
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The Most Instagrammable Places in Seattle
1. Pike Place Market
Ok, ok, so this is an obvious choice. But with that infamous sign, an abundance of drool-worthy food stands, pretty flowers vendors, and more – there are plenty of opportunities to take those perfect photos for your Instagram feed.
Obviously, you will want to take a photo of that iconic sign. Unfortunately, there are usually swarms of people in front of it, because this is one of the most popular (if not THE most popular) tourist hotspots in all of Seattle.
Coming early in the morning will be the best if you want to get a shot with the sign without people in it. Unfortunately, be aware that this is when the vendors get their deliveries, so you might end up strolling up and seeing a giant (and un-photogenic) truck parked out in front.
So, time to get creative! Using a wider aperture (a low f-stop) will help you blur out all the clutter in the background. If you have portrait mode on your phone camera, this will do the trick as well. For these shots, I shot at f2.8, the lowest on my Tamron 28-75mm f2.8 lens (available for your Nikon, Sony, or Canon camera body) to make the crowd behind me much less noticeable. Shooting upwards will also help you eliminate some of the noise as well.
There is a second, smaller sign one street over from the main one. I almost like this one better – especially as it is a the bottom of a hill, so you can snap a shot of this with the Elliot Bay as your backdrop! I especially love shooting this one around sunset, because the sign lights up and pops against the pretty colors in the sky.
After you’re done snapping some photos, be sure to walk around the market, sampling all the food here. Pike Place has some of the best places to eat in Seattle!
Address: 85 Pike St, Seattle, WA 98101
Hours: Monday-Saturday 9am-6pm. Sunday 9am-5pm (some shops and restaurants have different hours)
2. The Space Needle
This futuristic tower is an icon of Seattle, and can be seen all over the city. And it’s so fun photograph from different angles and vantage points, that it’s a must for your Instagram feed.
Yes, it’s touristy AF – but it’s an obvious choice for one of the best Seattle Instagram spots.
I love photographing the Space Needle from various angles and vantage points. Getting up right close to it and shooting up will give you a unique perspective. Seeing it framed by some of the other buildings in the city also gives you a cool shot.
I like shooting it from the streets bordering the Seattle Center – you will still get it straight on, but you’ll still be pretty close to it.
Is it worth going to the top? Yes, it’s one of those things on your Seattle bucket list that’s worth doing at least once – but only if it’s a clear day, otherwise it’s not worth it if you can’t see anything!
The two times I’ve gone up, it’s been on days when it’s been so clear that you could see Mt. Rainier. The best time to go is at dusk, right before sunset – then you can see the sky turn from light to dark, and see the lights come up against the night sky. There’s a day/night ticket, but don’t get it – just go around sunset!
Address: 400 Broad St, Seattle, WA 98109
MoPOP aka the Museum of Pop Culture is an interactive museum dedicated to contemporary pop culture. There are tons of fun, interactive exhibits here, so if you have time, I highly recommend a visit!
Either way, you’re definitely going to at least want to snap some photos with the outside of the museum.
This Gehry-designed building is covered in thousands of panels that change color and reflects light differently depending on what angle you see it at. How cool is that? Definitely a perfect backdrop for your next Instagram portrait.
I’ve also noticed that it looks different based on the weather – the colors pop much more when it’s sunny and it reflects the sunlight, but it has a soft, pretty pastel look on pastel days. It’s super fun to play around with!
Address: 325 5th Ave N, Seattle, WA 98109
4. Olympic Sculpture Park
This 9-acre sculpture museum and park has it all – unique sculpture installations, open green space, and amazing waterfront views. Definitely one of the most Instagrammable places in Seattle.
Taking a walk here is one of my favorite things to do in Seattle, and I stop here every time I’m in town. If you walk through the park, you will find a bunch of sculptures that you can snap some cool photos of! There is no shortage of photo ops here, which is why it’s one of Seattle’s best Instagram spots.
You’ll find some epic views of Elliott Bay, which make the perfect backdrop to the installations. But don’t forget to look the other way – there’s a great view of the Space Needle from here as well!
5. Belltown Mural
I am a sucker for Instagrammable murals – so I was excited to stumble across this one, completely by chance, in Belltown, behind Cookies SF on Blanchard and 2nd. I looooove the colors here, plus the depiction of the Seattle skyline!
Address: 113 Blanchard St
6. Chihuly Garden and Glass
Glass artist Dale Chihuly’s work is renowned all over the world – and here, you can see it in all its glory. This exhibit houses 8 galleries, a stunning glass house, and a garden featuring Chihuly’s magnificent work, all of which are perfect material for your Instagram feed.
This is one of my absolute favorite places in Seattle – I make a stop here on every trip. None of the exhibits really change, but Chihuly’s work is so breathtaking, that I just have to take a look. There’s always some little detail to discover, and it always changes based on how the light hits the glass!
The atrium is probably one of the most popular Seattle Instagram spots, with the orange and yellow flowers streaming from the top. I loooove the way sunlight hits the flowers – it looks magical.
Going first thing in the morning is when you’ll encounter the least amount of crowds. However, the shot above was taken midday – I just had my boyfriend kneel and shoot upwards, so my body is blocking out all the people behind me.
Also look to the side to see the Space Needle – the flowers perfectly frame it!
I also love this light tunnel, which you’ll encounter while you walk through the exhibition. The way the light projects the colorful glass onto the walls is so cool!
Address: 305 Harrison St, Seattle, WA 98109
You can get a combo admission ticket to both the Space Needle and Chihuly Garden and Glass here.
7. The Seattle Waterfront
The views of the waterfront, downtown Seattle, the Great Wheel, the Stadiums, and Mt. Rainier here simply cannot be beat, especially at sunset.
Be sure to stop by the Seattle Great Wheel to capture some shots of it -what is it about ferris wheels that make them so photogenic? This particular one is the tallest ferris wheel on the West Coast and it is definitely one of the most Instagrammable spots in Seattle.
Be sure to check out the view from Pier 66 as well – the view of the waterfront and the Great Wheel are absolutely perfect!
If you want even more beautiful waterfront views, I highly suggest stopping by for some cocktails at the Nest Rooftop Bar, at the Thompson Hotel!
Address: Alaskan Way
8. Allstate Purple Purse Wall
This mural in Capitol Hill was added as part of the Allstate Purple Purse Project, which supports a foundation that focuses on ending domestic violence through financial empowerment. As part of the initiative, Allstate commissioned murals in many major cities in the United States.
Seattle’s version stands in Capitol Hill, on the corner of East Pike & 11th Street in the Capitol Hill neighborhood. The colorful geometric design was painted by artist Ellen Picken, and is one of the most colorful Seattle photo spots!
Address: E Pike St & 11th Avenue, Seattle, WA 98122
9. Capitol Hill Rainbow Crosswalks
And speaking of the best Seattle photo spots that are also in the Capitol Hill neighborhood (which also happens to be my favorite part of the city!), you must also snap a photo of these fun rainbow crosswalks!
These crosswalks were originally painted in 2015 for celebrating LGBTQ pride. The sidewalks were given a refresh in 2019.
There are supposed to be about a dozen of these crosswalks scattered throughout the neighborhood, but there is one right in front of the Purple Purse wall that I mentioned above, so you can cross off two of the most Instagrammable places in Seattle in one go!
Address: Capitol Hill, Seattle, 98122
10. Gas Works Park
Gas Works Park is on the site of what once used to serve as a coal gasification plant for the Seattle Gas Light Company. The plant provided gas and energy to the entire city of Seattle for 50 years, and is the sole remaining coal gasification plant in the United States.
Today, the site has been converted into Gas Works Park, and is now one of the most Instagrammable places in Seattle. The park features not only the (very cool) ruins of the plant, but also green grass hills, and stunning views of Lake Union and the Seattle skyline.
Locals flock here to have a picnic on a sunny day…but I came here on a gloomy day, and thought the view of the skyline looked especially beautiful against the moody sky. Plus the green of the grass pops.
Address: 2101 N Northlake Way, Seattle, WA 98103
Hours: 6am-8pm, daily
11. Fremont Troll
He may be a bit weird and creepy, but let’s face it – you’re still definitely going to go take a photo with him for your Instagram page.
Located under the Aurora Bridge connecting the Queen Anne and Fremont Neighborhoods, the troll was originally created as part of a competition in 1990 to help rehabilitate the area under the bridge.
The troll has become a quirky tourist attraction over the years, and has become one of the best Seattle Instagram spots.
Address: N 36th St, Seattle, WA 98103
12. Kerry Park
You know those postcard perfect views of the Seattle skyline, with the Space Needle perfectly situated right in front of it? This is where you get it. You’re welcome.
I’d always seen this view on the opening credits of Grey’s Anatomy and I’d always wondered where it was taken from. I was so excited when I found out exactly where it was!
With a postcard perfect view like this, it’s definitely one of the most popular and most Instagrammable places in Seattle. As such, you will encounter crowds at pretty much all hours of the day, unless you come early in the morning (however, I’m not much of a morning person so I’ve never made it there that early!).
It is one of my favorite spots to watch the sunset, though. And, if you visit on a day when the majestic Mt. Rainier is peeking out, then you’ve really won!
Even on an overcast day, you should still definitely come to snap a photo, because this is really the best place to get a photo of the Seattle skyline. The way that the Space Needle sits in front of the skyscrapers behind it is just picture perfect!
No worries if you don’t have one, though – the photo with the pink sky at the top of this section was actually shot with my iPhone! You’ll get a bit of the buildings of Queen Anne and some greenery in the foreground, which also makes for an interesting composition.
If you come at blue hour or at night, you’ll get to see the lights of the skyscrapers twinkle!
Address: 211 W Highland Dr, Seattle, WA 98119
Hours: 6am-10pm, daily
13. Seattle Library
I’ve always loved discovering beautiful libraries on my travels, and this one is one of my favorites. The central branch of the Seattle Library was built to be a modern “information store,” and is also one of the most Instagrammable places in Seattle.
The 11-story steel and glass building has won numerous awards. I love through all the floors, and seeing the perspective of the grid windows here. You can take a self-guided tour around the facility, sit and read some books (there are several reading rooms), or just stop by to enjoy the view from the 10th floor viewpoint. The atrium is also a perfect spot for a beautiful photo!
The building also looks super cool from the outside, so snapping a photo from the street also makes a perfect photo op!
Address: 1000 4th Ave, Seattle, WA 98104
Hours: Monday-Thursday 10am-8pm, Friday-Saturday 10am-6pm, Sunday Noon-6pm
14. Pike Place Gum Wall
Gross or totally awesome? I say both, but mostly that it’s one of the most Instagrammable places in Seattle! It may be the second most germiest attraction in the world, but it sure makes a colorful backdrop for all those Instagram portraits.
The gum wall started off unintentionally – people started sticking their leftover gum to the wall while standing in line for the box office at the theater here. When enough people stuck their gum to the wall, they stopped trying to clean it and just left it as is.
They cleaned it off in 2015, but you won’t even be able to tell because there’s still sooooo much gum stuck to it!
The Gum Wall is hidden inside Post Alley, right behind the main arcade of Pike Place. It’s a bit tricky to find sometimes, but if you ask someone, they’ll tell you the way.
It has some funky lighting sometimes because it’s an alley and casts a lot of shadows. Look to the side when you snap your shot, as you will catch light on your face this way. You can also take it from a side angle, instead of having your back right to the wall. Wearing lighter colors (or having your photographer wear white) will also help reflect light back onto you.
I haven’t been brave enough to stick my own piece of gum on the wall, but I have to come here to snap some photos every single time I’m in town!
Address: 428 Post Alley, Seattle, WA 98101
15. Discovery Park
Do you love places within a major city that make you feel like you’re worlds away from being in a major city? (Like Lands End in San Francisco). If you do, then you’ll love Discovery Park – an oasis in the middle of Seattle, and also one of the best Seattle photo spots.
This 534-acre natural area park sits on the shore of Puget Sound, and has amazing views of the Olympic and Cascade mountain ranges. It also has forests, meadows, streams, and sea cliffs, as well as a lighthouse. Plenty of photo ops here for your Instagram feed, making it one of the most Instagrammable places in Seattle.
On super clear days, you can even see Mt. Rainier on the horizon from here – see it framed by the trees in the photo above?
It’s a great spot to escape the hustle and bustle of a big city, and to to go for a peaceful hike and snap some Instagram photos!
Address: 3801 Discovery Park Blvd, Seattle, WA 98199
Hours: 4am-8pm, daily
16. Waterfall Garden
Did you know that there is a roaring waterfall in the middle of Seattle? This man-made waterfall and surrounding garden sits in Pioneer Square, at the site of the original UPS headquarters.
It’s one of the hidden gems in Seattle! You can hear the roar from down the street, and the waterfall itself is a beautiful sight and worth a stop. You can even pick up some food to go at one of the restaurants in Pioneer Square (or a cup of coffee at Zeitgeist, one of my fave coffee shops in Seattle), and have a little lunch or coffee break here.
Address: 219 2nd Ave S, Seattle, WA 98104
Hours: 8 am-3:45pm, daily
17. Seattle Doesn’t Settle Wall
By now, y’all might know that I’m a sucker for a good mural…so i was thrilled to discover this right behind Hotel Max (which, if you’re looking for an awesome place to stay in Seattle – this is it!).
There’s just something so bold about both the statement and the mural itself – which definitely makes it a must on this list of the most Instagrammable places in Seattle.
Address: 620 Stewart St, Seattle, WA 98101
18. Smith Tower
Built in 1914, Smith Tower is Seattle’s oldest skyscraper and one of the most iconic buildings in the city. It once used to be the tallest building this side of the Mississippi, until the Space Needle was built (and then the Columbia Center beat that out eventually).
You’ll find one of the best views in the city, with panoramic vistas of downtown Seattle, the waterfront, Puget Sound, and the surrounding mountains. It may not be the city’s tallest building anymore, but it’s still got an amazing view and is still one of the best Seattle photo spots.
I also love the birdcage sort of look that the bars add to your photos, such a cool touch!
There’s also a speakeasy style bar here, which serves some of the best cocktails in the city!
Address: 506 2nd Ave, Seattle, WA 98104
19. Sky View Observatory at Columbia Center
Perched on the 73rd floor of the Columbia Center, the tallest skyscraper in the city, the Sky View Observatory boasts some incredible panoramic views of the city and beyond. At almost 1000 feet high, it is the tallest observation deck in the Pacific Northwest, and therefore one of the best places to take pictures in Seattle.
While there is no open-air deck at Sky View, there are floor to ceiling windows pretty much throughout the observatory, so you can still get some awesome photos!
You can see the entire city from here, from the downtown skyscrapers, the waterfront, Puget Sound, the Olympic and Cascade Mountains, even Mt. Rainier on a clear day. The best part is that you can actually see the Space Needle from here, since you aren’t on top of the Space Needle!
Address: 700 4th Ave, Seattle, WA 98104
20. Seattle Spheres
Wouldn’t you want to work in an office that looked like THIS? The Seattle Spheres serve as part of the Amazon headquarters campus and consist of three spherical conservatories.
The ultramodern offices feature lush botanical gardens inside, and serves as a super high-tech greenhouse. You will need to book a tour, held on two Saturdays a month, in order to see the gardens inside – unfortunately, I’ve never quite made it to Seattle on the days that the tours were offered, but this is so high on my Seattle bucket list!
If you also don’t happen to be in Seattle when the tours are offered, or you can’t snag a spot, well, seeing it from the outside is pretty cool as well!
You can also access the Understory, a free visitors center with interactive exhibits about the flora and design of the Spheres. Unfortunately, you won’t be able to tour the gardens, but it will give you a little peek into the Spheres!
Address: 2111 7th Ave, Seattle, WA 98121
21. Volunteer Park Conservatory
And speaking of those Seattle Instagram spots that I seem to keep missing, Volunteer Park Conservatory is also at the top of my list. I’m not sure how I’ve been to Seattle seven times, but still haven’t made it over here – there are just so many things to do on my Seattle itinerary, that I just always seem to run out of time to make it over here.
This botanical garden and conservatory is a Seattle landmark that is housed in a Victorian-style greenhouse structured, modeled after London’s Crystal Palace. It’s a great spot to visit for some peace and tranquility – and to escape the rain.
It’s also one of the most Instagrammable places in Seattle because – well, aren’t plants just super photogenic?
Address: 1400 E Galer St, Seattle, WA 98112
Best Gear for Photographing the Most Instagrammable Places in Seattle
Most of the photos in this post were shot with the Nikon D7000 (which has now been updated to the Nikon D7500). I shot on this trusty camera for years and it has accompanied me on many of my travels!
Recently, I decided to enter the world of mirrorless cameras and purchased the Sony a6000. I am loving it because it is soooo lightweight – so perfect for travel! Sony definitely makes the best mirrorless cameras, and the image quality is excellent.
The vast majority of my photos are shot with the Tamron 28-75mm f2.8 (for Nikon, Sony). The 28-75mm range covers much of what I need while I’m traveling so I only need one lens. The f2.8 means that it works great in low light and gets amazing bokeh (or that blurred background).
For phone photos:
I actually end up taking a lot of photos with my phone – I currently have the iPhone 13 Pro. It definitely shoots excellent images so you’d never know that they were shot on a phone!
I love this lightweight tripod, which is cheap, easy to set up, and not super annoying to carry around. I also use this selfie stick tripod to help me take self-portraits on my phone! This is especially handing when trying to get self-portraits at places that don’t allow tripods.