The 17 Most Instagrammable Places in San Francisco

Find the best photo spots in town for a scroll-stopping feed © Scott Schiller/Flickr
Find the best photo spots in town for a scroll-stopping feed © Scott Schiller/Flickr
Photo of Deanna Morgado
4 November 2017

Don’t worry about applying any sort of filter to these San Francisco places. All around the city, there are perfect photo opportunities that will fill your Instagram feed with gorgeous city landmarks, pieces of culture, art, nature, and more. Here’s a list of some of the most Instagrammable places in San Francisco.


Building, Park
Japantown, San Francisco © David Sanabria/Flickr
Japantown, San Francisco | © David Sanabria/Flickr
When the 1906 San Francisco earthquake rocked the city, the Japanese settlers uprooted to the Western Addition neighborhood. Eventually, this area had a plethora of cultural shops and restaurants, making up what is Japantown today. For the foodies of Instagram, unique and colorful soft serve can be found all over Japantown. Your photos will feature a rainbow of pieces from Japanese culture and other beautiful sights.

Sutro Baths

Building, Ruins, Swimming Pool
Ruins of the Sutro baths along the Pacific Oceans at Lands End in San Francisco, California, USA.
© Danita Delimont / Alamy Stock Photo
What used to be the largest indoor swimming hole in the world is now an eerily gorgeous ruin. The Sutro Baths are arguably one of the most Instagram-worthy parts of all San Francisco. Established in 1896 and burned down in 1966, these saltwater pools make for the best photoshoots.

Dragon’s Gate, Chinatown

Architectural Landmark

One of the oldest Chinatowns in North America greets you at the intersection of Bush Street and Grant Avenue with the breathtaking Dragon’s Gate. This landmark attracts as many people, tourists and locals, as the whole of Chinatown. Donated to the city by Taiwan in 1970, the pagoda-topped gate features gorgeous fish and dragon sculptures with two large traditional foo dogs, or guardian lions, sitting on either side of the entryway. It’s a piece of history of an ancient culture that would bring beauty to anyone’s Instagram feed.

City Hall

Building, Market, Museum
City Hall
San Francisco City Hall | © Eddie Morgan / 500px / Getty Images
It may not seem like a City Hall would make the greatest Instagram pictures, but think again. Another site that required rebuilding after being destroyed in the 1906 earthquake, today’s San Francisco City Hall is an image of grandeur and majesty. White marble floors flow through all four storys, a 307-foot dome, and an awe-inspiring staircase make up City Hall. You may even be able to catch an open wedding taking place here, making for even more unique photo-ops.

Painted Ladies

Building, Park
Painted Ladies, Alamo Square
Painted Ladies, Alamo Square | © Bernand Gagnon / WikiCommons
The Painted Ladies is an absolute necessity for San Francisco Instagram photos. From 710 to 720 Steiner Street, across from Alamo Square, the iconic Painted Ladies make up an inclining row of Queen Anne homes. Constructed during the Gold Rush, these colorful houses were meant to flaunt the city’s wealth. They are a San Francisco picture staple.

AT&T Park

Park, Stadium, Historical Landmark
AT&T Ballpark, San Francisco.
© Dave Newman / Alamy Stock Photo

Home to the San Francisco Giants baseball team, AT&T Park is perfect for sports fans and San Francisco lovers alike. There are even behind-the-scenes tours of the park that can be booked, offering great backdrops for pictures minus the crowds. If baseball isn’t your thing but you still want the great AT&T Park photos, many other events like concerts or even marathons can be joined and attended to fit everyone’s tastes.

Union Square

Shopping Mall
America's Greatest City by the Bay at Union Square San Francisco
America's Greatest City by the Bay at Union Square San Francisco | © Ltleelim/WikiCommons
This centrally-located plaza has endless chances to add to your Instagram feed. 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.

Lombard Street

Lombard Street
Lombard Street | © Traveljunction/Flickr
Another iconic San Francisco landmark is Lombard Street. This crazy-twisty street attracts over two million people a year. Drive it, walk it, or just point your camera and shoot. Lombard Street is an artistically crooked marvel.

Alcatraz Island

Alcatraz Island, former maximum high-security federal prison, San Francisco Bay, San Francisco, California, USA - aerial
© David Wall / Alamy Stock Photo
Once a penitentiary 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.

Pier 39

Market, Shopping Mall
Pier 39 shopping center popular tourist attraction San Francisco California.USA American United States of America
Quite a lot of family fun is to be had at Pier 39 | © Peter Horree / Alamy Stock Photo
Probably one of the most touristy destinations in San Francisco, Pier 39 has everything from bay views, shops, dining, and even an aquarium. Walk out to the edge of the pier to catch 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 for everyone’s photo feed here.

Golden Gate Bridge

Golden Gate Bridge, San Francisco.
© Andriy Bezuglov / Alamy Stock Photo
There’s no way an Instagrammed visit to San Francisco would be complete without the Golden Gate Bridge. The most well known landmark in the city, the Golden Gate makes for amazing photographs. Instagram the bridge from afar, up close, or while walking the pedestrian trail on the bridge itself. No matter what artistic style of picture, the Golden Gate Bridge is a mesmerizing staple.

Fisherman’s Wharf

Market, Park
Monterey Hull Boats, Fisherman's Wharf, San Francisco, CA
Monterey Hull Boats, Fisherman's Wharf | © Niebrugge Images / Alamy Stock Photo
Not far from Pier 39 and another tourist-heavy destination, Fisherman’s Wharf is the place to go for colorfully bold imagery. Packed with souvenirs, freshly caught seafood, and a carousel creates the perfect Instagram backdrop and photo library.

San Francisco Museum of Modern Art

Museum, Store, Building
San Francisco Museum of Modern Art
People analyze some artwork at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art | © Get Your Guide
Your Instagram feed will pop with photos of the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, also known as SFMOMA or MOMA. It was the first museum made up entirely of 20th century art. Design, painting, sculpture, photography, architecture, and more; all of contemporary and modern composition, fill the museum’s 170,000 square feet. Part of the SFMOMA is even open to the public for free, making it even easier to get those unforgettable pictures.

Ferry Building

Building, Market
The Ferry Building Marketplace is a foodie’s paradise
© Rosangela Lima / Alamy Stock Photo

The Ferry Building isn’t only where the ferry to and from San Francisco docks and boards; it’s also a buzzing marketplace. The Ferry Building Marketplace is almost like an indoor farmers’ market, if that farmers’ market also had wine bars, shops, and gourmet dining. The structure itself, which is essentially the epicenter of the Embarcadero, adorns an impressive clock tower that’s been around since the original construction of the building in 1898. And if your Instagram really wants to feature a true, outdoor farmers’ market, the Ferry Building holds one every Tuesday and Saturday.

The Bison Paddock

Park, Zoo
A little-known beauty in all of San Francisco is the Bison Paddock. Located inside Golden Gate Park, the Bison Paddock is a pasture where a herd of American Bison is cared for by the San Francisco Zoo. Photograph these majestic creatures as they roam and graze their meadow.

California Academy of Sciences

Museum, Park
May 6, 2018 San Francisco / CA / USA - Entrance to the California Academy of Sciences in Golden Gate Park
California Academy of Sciences in Golden Gate Park | © Andrei Stanescu / Alamy Stock Photo
This natural history museum is one of the most magical places to take photos. Instagram your way through the four-story indoor rainforest, the aquarium, planetarium, and the “living roof.” You can even try to take a selfie with Claude, the Academy’s albino alligator, in the background.

The Melt

Market, American
One of the most loved and Instagram-worthy eateries in San Francisco would have to be The Melt. This San Francisco favorite prides itself on using simple, organic ingredients to create some of the most classic, yet creative grilled sandwiches. Cheese lovers flock to The Melt to eat delicious grilled cheeses and take photos of their food experience to share with the rest of the hungry Instagram world.

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