The 7 most Instagrammable spots in San Francisco

From the iconic Golden Gate to its bay views, beautiful streets, parks, top-notch bakeries, and houses, San Francisco isn’t short of a photo opportunity or two. Here are some of my favourite picture spots in the city.

Golden Gate Bridge

1. Golden Gate Bridge
No trip to San Francisco would be complete without a Golden Gate Bridge shot. From afar, up close, or while walking the pedestrian trail on the bridge itself, you need a photo of this iconic masterpiece. There are a lot of beautiful viewpoints to choose from, but my favourite is the Battery East Trail. With The Golden Gate Bridge in the foreground and San Francisco in the background, the view is jaw-dropping.

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2. The Painted Ladies
Visiting the Painted Ladies is an absolute must when you’re in San Francisco. Constructed during the Gold Rush, these colourful houses were meant to flaunt the city’s wealth. From 710 to 720 Steiner Street, across from Alamo Square, the iconic Painted Ladies make up an inclining row of Queen Anne homes. Set against the backdrop of San Francisco’s downtown skyscrapers it’s not hard to see why this is one of the most photographed locations in the city.

Pier 39 & Fisherman’s Wharf

3. Pier 39 & Fisherman’s Wharf
Pier 39 has everything from bay views, shops, dining, and even an aquarium. Walk out to the edge of the pier to see herds of sea lions basking in the sun. The Pier 39 sea lions make up one of the most Instagrammed sights in the city. But there’s so much more to do here – from pretzels and an old-school carousel to the view of Alcatraz, street performers, Magowan’s Infinite Mirror Maze and the iconic sign of Fisherman’s Wharf.

Lombard Street

4. Lombard Street
Another iconic San Francisco landmark is Lombard Street. This crazy-twisty street attracts over two million people a year. The curvy brick road is bordered by Victorian mansions and pretty flowers that are in bloom year round. Drive it, walk it, or just point your camera and shoot. Lombard Street is an artistically crooked marvel.

Alcatraz Island

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5. Alcatraz Island
Once a prison that housed some of the most dangerous criminals like the infamous Al Capone, Alcatraz Island is great for history buffs. Tour the prison and island to capture the dark and mysterious beauty of the grounds. You’ll also get the chance to photograph the first lighthouse and US-built fort on the West Coast. Even the ferry that brings you to and from the island makes for gorgeous bay views and pictures.

Union Square

6. Union Square
Union Square has some of the best shopping, dining, and entertainment options in the whole city. Walk around Union Square’s corners and find the iconic painted hearts, one of the most Instagrammed places.

Ferry Building

7. The Ferry Building
The Ferry Building originally opened in the late 1800s to welcome travellers and immigrants to San Francisco, but after years of re-purposing, the historical space just reopened in 2003 as an indoor and outdoor market. The building itself is beautiful, and also offers unobstructed views of the Bay Bridge.

Insider tip: Try and visit at sunrise for spectacular views of the bay.

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Read next: San Francisco: The City by the Bay

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