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12 Most Instagrammable Places In San Francisco

12 Most Instagrammable Places In San Francisco

If you’re looking for the most Instagrammable places in San Francisco to fill your feed with beauty, then look no further. Here’s our ultimate photo guide.

What Photography Gear Do We Use?

One of our most commonly asked questions, is how do we take all of the couple photos seen on our Instagram? And of course, our camera gear plays a big part in that.

So before we break down our 12 Most Instagrammable Places In San Francisco, we thought we’d let you know we take all of our photos using a Canon 90D and a Zomei Tripod.

Also our number one tip is to arrive at a location as early as possible if you want it to be empty.

For more information on what equipment we use, you can check out our Travel Photography Gear blog.

Canon 90D Travel Photography Gear Flat Lay

Getting Around San Francisco + Tips

Getting around San Francisco couldn’t be easier. There are generally 4 options:

By Bicycle:

Honestly, the city centre of San Francisco, and the majority of tourists attractions, are all reachable by foot or by bicycle.

The San Francisco Self-Guided Bike Tour is great as it allows you to rent bikes for up to 24 hours at a time.

Plus the if you tell them how many miles you wish to ride, the staff will even plan you out a great route that includes all the best sightseeing and stops the Bay Area has to offer.

There is also the very popular Golden Gate Bridge 3-Hour Sausalito Cycle Tour available to book in advance.

By Public Transport:

The city centre itself is linked by Muni.

Muni is San Francisco’s bus and metro system that runs throughout the city, operating buses, trains, cable cars and the F-line heritage streetcar.

For riding any forms of these transport, the best option is to purchase a San Francisco Visitor Passport, and hop on and off between tourist spots.

A Visitor Passport can be purchased at ticket kiosks, or via the MuniMobile App, and at certain sales locations.

Visitor Passports are available for 1, 3, or 7 consecutive days, and allow unlimited rides on Muni services.

Prices range from 1 day: $13, 3 days: $31, 7 days: $41.

By Hop On Hop Off Bus:

Standard buses are available around San Francisco with Muni.

However, there is also of course the famous San Francisco Sightseeing Hop-on-Hop-off Bus.

The bus lets you explore legendary sites such as the Golden Gate Bridge, Pier 39 and Fisherman’s Wharf. With options of a 1 or 2 day pass including a night tour.

The buses come with live guides onboard most tours, or pre-recorded commentary in 10 languages.

This is always popular among tourists, and a is great way to see many famous landmarks around the San Fran area at ease.

By Tour:

Some of the best days out we’ve had in San Francisco have been on private tours.

For those short on time, or that prefer everything to be organised for them, there are some awesome tours on Get Your Guide available to book in advance.

From food tours, to river cruises and pub crawls, there’s plenty to keep you busy in the San Fran area!

What To Pack

Photography Camera

Tripod

Day Bag

Power Bank

Reusable Water Bottle

Sunscreen

Lightweight Rain Jacket

Golden Gate Overlook Instagrammable Places In San Francisco itinerary Best Things To Do In San Francisco
San Francisco has so much to offer that you’ll want to explore it all!

1. Golden Gate Bridge

The Golden Gate Bridge is one of the most iconic bridges in the world.

Therefore, it’s also one of the most photographed and Instagrammable places in San Francisco.

With so many different angles and locations to shoot it from, we found our favourite place to be Battery Spencer.

A straight forward drive over the bridge itself, and onto the North Shore, Battery Spencer is easy enough to find.

Just be sure to head there early morning or late evening to avoid the crowds.

There are also so many tours based around seeing the bridge from different angles. Including the Golden Gate Bridge Cycle Tour, Golden Gate Bay Cruise and San Francisco Helicopter Tour.

Instagrammable Places In San Francisco Battery Spencer

2. Pier 7

Not the most famous of the piers in San Francisco, but having seen a piece of symmetry on google images, we added it to the itinerary.

Pier 7 gives an awesome look back at the city, with its rustic wooden feel and layers of benches.

We gave it a go at creating our own epic ‘movie like’ photo here.

It’s located just off the Embarcadero, so if you’re walking through the city Pier 7 is easy to find.

Instagrammable Places In San Francisco Baker Beach Pier 7

3. Bernal Heights

So most people already know Bernal Heights as one of the most Instagrammable places in San Francisco.

Mainly because there’s a tree swing that someone has built, creating an epic fairytale shot over the city.

However when we arrived, there was a huge queue of tourists lining up to use the swing.

So we decided to dodge the crowds and make our own piece of magic overlooking the San Francisco skyline.

Instagrammable Places In San Francisco Bernal Heights

4. Painted Ladies

The Painted Ladies are a set of exquisitely preserved Victorian houses, sitting just off Alamo Square.

They are already just like a postcard. So if you take a walk to the top of the hill, and place yourself in front of them, you shouldn’t struggle getting an awesome photo.

It’s certainly a spot to sit down and enjoy a rest too. So you may want to take a picnic.

Plus your family and friends may recognise the location from the TV show ‘Full House’ that aired in the late 1980s and early 1990s.

There’s even a Beyond the Painted Ladies Walking Tour!

Instagrammable Places In San Francisco Painted Ladies

5. The Embarcadero

The Embarcadero is home to several waterfront attractions.

If you start at the Ferry Building, opposite Sue Bierman Park and walk along the Embarcadero, you may find markets, buskers and creative groups of people strolling up and down the strip.

Needless to say on our first day in America we were super excited by the palm trees and road signs, so got this snap – later to be posted on our Instagram.

Instagrammable Places In San Francisco Embarcadero

6. A Rooftop

No matter which city you visit, the rooftops are always on a photographers hit list. So if you’re looking for Instagrammable places in San Francisco heading up high is always a good option.

We stayed at Cova Hotel, which happened to have a rooftop bar included with awesome views of the city. 

We highly recommend finding a place where you can observe San Francisco’s concrete jungle. To listen and see the city from above was one our most special moments in San Francisco.

Some of the best rooftop bars in San Francisco are: Rooftop 25, Oeste, Everdeen and El Techo de Lolinda.

Instagrammable Places In San Francisco Rooftop Cova Hotel

7. Union Square

No moment of silence was ever found at Union Square.

The bustling square near the theater district has everything from upscale department stores and boutiques to discount houses.

However, it also happens to be one of the most Instagrammable places in San Francisco.

With cute painted love hearts to choose from, and of course the high-rise buildings, it’s hard not to snap a good shot in Union Square.

One of the coolest things we saw in Union Square was the Union Square Cable Car City Tour, a one-of-a-kind city tour that lets you travel the streets of San Francisco in style aboard an authentic classic cable car.

Instagrammable Places In San Francisco Union Square

8. Lombard Street

Lombard Street is in the record books as being ‘the curviest street in the world’.

This curvy road is a major tourist attraction, receiving around two million visitors per year and up to 17,000 per day on busy summer weekends.

It can be difficult to grab a photo here, purely because of the amount of people, so if you’re in a hurry or not a fan of crowds then maybe this isn’t your thing.

Instagrammable Places In San Francisco Lombard Street

9. Kirby Cove

Once one of the most Instagrammable Places In San Francisco, known for its Kirby Cove Swing. This is sadly no more.

The swing is no longer there, and has been completely cut down, however we still managed to get a pretty cool shot walking through the camp site on a summers day.

The walk down is quite a journey after parking at the top of Battery Spencer. But after strolling down for 30 minutes we chilled on the beach at the bottom looking out at the Golden Gate Bridge.

Instagrammable Places In San Francisco Kirby Cove

10. Sausalito

We had so many recommendations to visit Sausalito, a quaint little town on the North Shore of San Francisco.

So after driving around Battery Spencer and walking down to Kirby Cove, we headed to Sausalito for lunch.

With cute windy roads, and a harbour full of cafes, it was extremely photogenic. Our favourite photo however was this at the top of a neighbourhood road, looking down on the harbour below.

If you’re short on time, or prefer everything to be organised for you, then there’s a highly rated Muir Woods, Sausalito and Alcatraz Day Tour available!

Instagrammable Places In San Francisco Sausalito

11. Golden Gate Overlook

With such an aura around the Golden Gate Bridge, we just had to go back and check it out from a different location.

We’d not seen many photos online from the Golden Gate Overlook so took a risk and decided to head there on our final night.

Not only was the perspective of the bridge pretty cool, but we were the only ones there!

Instagrammable Places In San Francisco Golden Gate Overlook

12. Baker Beach

Baker beach is mostly known for it’s view of the Golden Gate Bridge. However we snapped this sunset shot on the eve of Lauren’s Birthday.

Having arrived at Baker Beach a little too late to get the bridge shot, we chilled in our truck and watched the sunset.

Either way, it still made for one of the most Instagrammable places in San Francisco.

Instagrammable Places In San Francisco Baker Beach

Follow Us On Instagram

For more Instagrammable places in San Francisco make sure to follow along the journey at @charlieandlauren_

Where To Stay In San Francisco

Luxury – St. Regis San Francisco

One of the most sought after hotels in San Francisco.

Located in the SOMA District of San Francisco, St Regis features a full service spa, an indoor infinity pool and an on-site restaurant.

This 5-star accommodation is just an 8 minute walk from Union Square, and is super central to everything in the city.

All guest rooms come with a luxurious bathroom with a soaking tub, and a TV.

Mid-Budget – Cova Hotel

Centrally located in Downtown San Francisco, Cova Hotel offers a free shuttle service to Union Square and Fisherman’s Wharf.

Guests can enjoy a daily continental breakfast at the hotel.

Cova Hotel rooms include a 42-inch flat-screen HDTV, a French balcony and free WiFi. Floor-to-ceiling windows offer city views. 

In-house guests can enjoy a complementary unlimited wine reception from Monday through Sunday from 17:00 until 19:00 at the rooftop bar.

The hotel also has a 24-hour business centre, a fitness centre, and room service is also available.

Budget – Boston Hotel

Conveniently located in the Tenderloin district of San Francisco, Boston Hotel is set less than 0.6 miles from San Francisco City Hall.

A 20 minute walk from Union Square, the accommodation offers a 24-hour front desk and luggage storage for guests.

At Boston Hotel all rooms have a wardrobe and a flat-screen TV as well as free WiFi.

A shared bathroom with a shower and a hairdryer is available for all to use.

For more places to stay in San Francisco, you can check the latest prices on Booking.com.

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