Last Updated on August 1, 2023
Abu Dhabi is one of the most impressive destinations in the Middle East, and unfortunately often gets overlooked for the glitzier and more well-known Dubai. Just over an hour drive from Dubai, the capital city Abu Dhabi offers everything and traveler an Instagrammer could possibly want. Stunning architecture, world-class attractions, and amazing food options.
That’s why we’ve put together this list of the top 15 Abu Dhabi Instagram spots which you can’t miss. Abu Dhabi has so much to offer, and we spent one week traveling all over the city putting together this list of the top 15 Abu Dhabi Instagram spots so that you can have the perfect vacation here and capture it all on Instagram!
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Table of Contents
Map of the Most Instagrammable Places in Abu Dhabi
Abu Dhabi has a surprising amount of world class entertainment venues as well as some stunning architecture, which makes the list of the top Abu Dhabi Instagram spots incredible fun to explore. Abu Dhabi is a large sprawling city, so you can expect to have to on average 15 minutes between each location.
This map includes all of the top Abu Dhabi Instagram spots. Make sure to use it to plan your trip to visit Abu Dhabi so that you don’t miss out on any of these amazing locations. As Abu Dhabi is quite spread out, and many of the locations require admission, it’s best to plan your trip so that you can truly enjoy each location and spend some time there.
Not sure how to plan your trip? Check out our Abu Dhabi Itinerary for 2, 3, or 4 days!
Top 15 Abu Dhabi Instagram Spots
We’ve compiled the top 15 Abu Dhabi Instagram spots for every instagrammer and photography lover. These spots will help you capture the impressive architecture and attractions in Abu Dhabi whether you are staying there for a couple days or as an Abu Dhabi daytrip from Dubai.
Qasr Al-Watan Presidential Palace
This is one of the most impressive locations of all the Abu Dhabi Instagrammable locations, and there are many absolutely stunning places to photograph. Qasr Al-Watan is an area of the UAE Presidential Palace that is open for visitors. It is surprisingly new, having been completed in 2017 and opened to the public in 2019. The intricate marble design, amazing architecture, and sheer size of Qasr Al-Watan are absolutely jaw-dropping.
Photos of this Abu Dhabi Instagram spot just doesn’t do it justice, and you really have to see it to believe it. To visit you first need to go to the Qasr Al-Watan Visitor Center (included in the Google Map link below) and then show your ticket, go through security, and take a free shuttle bus to the palace entrance. Buses run every few minutes, and there is no set schedule. There is a huge parking lot at the Visitor Center where you can park for free.
In addition to the beautiful exterior, the interior is just as dramatic. The walls feature towering marble mosaics, magnificent chandeliers, and the perfect Abu Dhabi Instagram spot: The beautiful circular golden sculpture (shown at the beginning of the blog post).
Location: Qasr Al Watan
Hours: Qasr Al-Watan is open from 11:00 AM to 6:00 PM every day.
Cost: Adult tickets cost AED 60 ($16.50 USD) and junior tickets cost AED 30 ($8.25)
Best Time for Photos: It is best to either arrive at opening for the minimum number of other visitors or to wait until the late afternoon around 3:30 PM or just after for softer sunlight.
Tips: While nearly all visitors will follow the same pathway from the bus to the entrance of Qasr Al-Watan, instead head left and explore the huge open area and beautiful gardens of the palace. There are some incredible Abu Dhabi photo spots here where you will be uninterrupted and can just enjoy the beauty of the palace. As a bonus tip, in addition to the gold sculpture inside the palace, there are also two silver scultpures located in front of Qasr Al-Watan in the expansive gardens.
Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque
The Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque is another one of the top Abu Dhabi Instagram spots that is simply incredible. The mosque can be seen from far away and its sheer size and scale has to be seen to be believed. The architecture is incredible and the marble flower motifs seen throughout are unique, intricate, and incredibly beautiful.
Access to visit the mosque is through the nearby Souq al Jami shopping mall. Here you can buy refreshments, have a light snack, and purchase clothing appropriate to visit the mosque if you don’t have appropriate clothing with you. Note that food and drinks are not allowed in the mosque.
Once you enter the visitor entrance to the mosque you will undergo security screening, and then will travel along a long underground passageway to reach the mosque. At the mosque there is a designated walkway for visitors which you must stay on, and photos and videos should only be taken in the designated photo spots. There are numerous guards throughout the mosque that will enforce these rules.
Location: Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque
Hours: This Abu Dhabi Instagrammable spot is open from 9:00 AM to 10:00 PM each day.
Cost: Access to the mosque is free, however due to the high volume of visitors, you are required to make a time reservation for your visit. Reserving a time can be completed here.
Best Time for Photos: This Abu Dhabi Instagram spot is difficult to photograph. Access is limited to designated pathways and photos are only allowed in designated photo spots along the pathway. The best time to visit is either as soon as it opens for the fewest number of other visitors or in the late afternoon to capture golden hour at the mosque. It may seem that it is incredibly hard to take good photos here due to all of the restrictions. Patience is key, and even with huge crowds gaps will form that will allow you to snap some amazing Abu Dhabi Instagram photos here.
Tips: Mosques are religious and sacred to Muslims, and as a result all visitors should abide by the specific ethnic rules to show their respect. Women are required to have their legs, arms, and hair covered. This can be accomplished with a long dress, skirt, or pants with a long-sleeved top, combined with a headscarf. Alternatively, the preferred method is to wear an abaya, which is a loose robe-like dress that women can wear over-top of their other clothing. Men must also wear long-sleeved tops and long pants. The nearby Souq al Jami shopping mall has plenty of clothing options for men and women available.
Wahat al Karama (Mosque Viewpoint)
Wahat al Karama is the perfect place to visit right after you visit the Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque. You can choose to either drive the short distance, or walk over the highway overpass to reach Wahat al Karama. Due to the intense heat in Abu Dhabi, and that you will have to walk back to retrieve your car, we recommend you drive to see Wahat al Karama.
Wahat al Karama is a memorial dedicated to all UAE heroes that have been killed in the line of duty. As such, you should also be respectful when taking photos at this Abu Dhabi Instagram spot. There are two main photo areas at Wahat al Karama, and each feature the Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque. The main area of Wahat al Karama features a large reflection pond that allows you to take stunning photographs and Instagram shots of the mosque, especially near sunset and at night.
The second location includes artwork of leaning pillars dedicated to fallen Emirati soldiers. The sun sets behind the pillars, and there are some beautiful angles to photograph here.
Location: Wahat al Karama
Hours: Wahat al Karama is open from 9:00 AM to 10:45 PM every day.
Cost: This Abu Dhabi Instagram spot is completely free.
Best Time for Photos: This photo location is best to visit in the late afternoon for sunset. If you have the time to wait until after dark, you will be treated by and equally as stunning view with the reflecting mosque at night. The color of the mosque changes between blue and white every two days, following the cycle of the moon. It is the most blue during new moon and white during full moon.
Tips: The security personnel at this location will allow photographs but no videos, however it is not highly enforced. When sunset is approaching, be sure to find your perfect Instagram photo spot as it is typical for bus loads of visitors to arrive just before sunset. You want to make sure that you get your perfect photo of this beautiful instagrammable location in Abu Dhabi.
Ritz Carlton Abu Dhabi (Mosque Viewpoint)
Last, but not least is the third Abu Dhabi Instagram photo spot that features the Grand Mosque. Unfortunately, to access this Abu Dhabi Instagram spot you need to be a guest of the Ritz Carlton Abu Dhabi. The Ritz Carlton Abu Dhabi is quite affordable compared to many other Ritz Carlton’s around the world, making it the perfect place to spend a few nights during your trip to Abu Dhabi.
Read More: Hotel Review of the Ritz Carlton Abu Dhabi
Location: Ritz Carlton Abu Dhabi Photo Spot
Hours: You can access this area of the Ritz Carlton Abu Dhabi at any time of day if you are a guest of the property.
Cost: Rates vary significantly based on the time of year, but start at under $200 USD per night in the offseason.
Best Time for Photos: This photo location is perfect for sunset as the setting sun and Grand Mosque will be in the photo.
Tips: One of the great things about this Abu Dhabi Instagram spot is that it is on the private grounds of the hotel and you are likely to have it all to yourself, which is a nice break after many of the busy photo locations such as the Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque. At the Ritz Carlton it is easy to set-up a tripod and take your time to create the perfect photo of this Abu Dhabi Instagrammable location. For even more photo spots at the Ritz Carlton Abu Dhabi, see our full blog post on this hotel.
Ferrari World Yas Island
Ferrari World Abu Dhabi is a new kind of theme park with a distinctly Ferrari and Italian theme to all of the rides and attractions. The rides at Ferrari World are some of the best we have ever been on. The most famous ride is Formula Rossa: The worlds fastest roller coaster. You will be given goggles to wear before experiencing what 4.8G’s feels like as you are blasted from 0 to 150 mph (240 km/h) in just 4.9 seconds. The feeling is absolutely incredible and if you are a theme park junkie you absolutely have to go check this one out.
There are number of other high-speed rides as well as more leisurely ones that you can try during your day at Ferrari World Abu Dhabi. They even have an Italian town themed area, as well as go-karts and Italian restaurants to complete the experience.
Location: Ferrari World Abu Dhabi
Hours: You can access Ferrari World Abu Dhabi from 12:00 noon to 8:00 PM each day.
Cost: General admission entrance tickets cost AED 295 ($80 USD). Offers are available for multiple days, or in combination with Warner Bros. World Abu Dhabi.
Best Time for Photos: This photo location is easy to photograph throughout most of the day, especially midweek as Ferrari World is most popular in the evenings and weekends.
Tips: If you have a backpack with you during your visit to Ferrari World Abu Dhabi, you don’t need to pay for the storage lockers they offer if you want to go on a ride. Any ride that doesn’t allow you to take a backpack with you will have lockers available free of charge that you can use.
Yas Bay Promenade
Yas Island is a master-planned island built as a multi-purpose entertainment, leisure, retail, and residential project. In addition to Ferrari World Abu Dhabi, Yas Island has a beautiful promenade along the waterfront that makes for another great addition to the list of the best Abu Dhabi Instagram Spots.
The palm-tree lined promenade is beautifully designed with views out over the water, as well as string lights to complete the mood.
Location: Yas Bay Promenade
Hours: The Yas Bay Promenade is open 24 hours per day.
Cost: There is no cost to visit the instagrammable spot in Abu Dhabi.
Best Time for Photos: This Abu Dhabi Instagram place is easy to photograph any time of day, but for the best light plan to arrive at either sunrise or sunset.
Tips: This another popular place to go for dinner in one of the many restaurants nearby and then walk along the promenade after dark. Pretend to be a local and do the same!
Louvre Abu Dhabi
The Louvre Abu Dhabi is an architectural masterpiece with a stunning intricate woven roof that functions as s sun shade, but also lets just enough light through. The museum itself has a wonderful collection of Eastern and Western art pieces, attempting to fulfill its mission of bridging the gap between East and West.
The best instagrammable locations at the Louvre are either outside the museum before you enter, or in the main outdoor atrium within the museum. There are so many great angles to play with that you should have a great time creating content here.
Location: Louvre Abu Dhabi
Hours: The Louvre Abu Dhabi is open from 10:00 AM to 6:30 PM every day except Monday, when it is closed.
Cost: The Louvre Abu Dhabi costs AED 63 ($17 USD) to enter.
Best Time for Photos: If you’re looking for the fewest other visitors, coming right at opening would be the best time, however you will not get any light rays through the roof at this time. It’s one of the few locations that is great to visit during the middle of the day for photographs. You may have to wait a few minutes at the most popular photo spots, but shouldn’t have any issues.
Tips: The famous Abu Dhabi Instagram spot at the Louvre is at the small pier jutting out into the water. This is located at the very end of the museum, meaning that you can either walk through the full museum first to visit, or take a shortcut to the open atrium area before entering the exhibits area.
The National Aquarium Abu Dhabi
If you’re looking for an Abu Dhabi Instagram spot sure to wow everyone, the glass tunnel at The National Aquarium Abu Dhabi is impressive. You can walk through a giant tank that has a ton of fish, sharks, sting rays, and more. Other exhibits throughout the aquarium are of equally high quality, including many other types of fish, as well as turtles, some birds, and even the largest known living snake in the world. A 23 foot (7 m) long python.
Location: The National Aquarium Abu Dhabi
Hours: This Abu Dhabi Instagram spot is open from 10:00 AM to 10:00 PM every day.
Cost: The cost to visit the aquarium is AED 105 ($29 USD) for general admission.
Best Time for Photos: The most instagrammable photo spot at the Abu Dhabi aquarium is in the famous glass tunnel that goes through a large tank with more fish and sharks than you can count. Your best chance to have this location empty is within the first few hours of the museum opening.
Tips: Head through the National Aquarium first until you reach the Instagram spot. If it’s busy you can then spend time taking in all of the exhibits and return later, however if it happens to be empty you can get your Abu Dhabi Instagram photo right away.
Al Hudayriat Beach
Al Hudayriat Island is a man-made island near Abu Dhabi city that has a growing entertainment and dining district along the beach, also known as Marsana Beach. Here there is an extensive boardwalk area complete with many cafes, restaurants, and food trucks. There is also a large beach for swimming and watersports, and a small marina. Al Hudayriat Beach is best for a later afternoon spent at the beach and evening enjoyed trying out all of the food trucks.
Location: Al Hudayriat Beach
Hours: You can access this Abu Dhabi Instagram spot between 8:00 AM and 11:00 PM daily, with extended hours until midnight on Thursday and Friday.
Cost: There is no cost to visit one of Abu Dhabi’s great Instagrammable photo spots.
Best Time for Photos: This photo location is best for sunset.
Tips: Taking photos here is easy, however professional cameras are not allowed. Taking photos with your iPhone is no problem though. You can take a guess as to how we learned this rule!
Atlantis Abu Dhabi (Fairmont Marina Hotel)
Abu Dhabi’s Fairmont Marina Abu Dhabi hotel is beautifully designed and has an amazing location on the waterfront in front of the Abu Dhabi skyline. The hotel design looks similar to Dubai’s Atlantis The Palm hotel, but they are not related.
Location: Fairmont Marina Abu Dhabi
Hours: You can access the outdoor photos areas to take a photo of this Abu Dhabi Instagrammable location at any time.
Cost: There is no cost to take photos of the hotel from the Corniche.
Best Time for Photos: This photo location is great to shoot in the early morning or late afternoon when the light is softer.
Tips: You do not actually have to stay at the Fairmont Marina Abu Dhabi to get some great photos of it, and in fact the best photo spots are further away from the hotel anyway. A great photo location is on the Corniche on the road that leads out to the hotel island.
Abu Dhabi Corniche
The Abu Dhabi Corniche is an extremely popular place to meet friends and enjoy the outdoors with the locals. The Corniche is a seaside pathway that stretches nearly 5 miles (8 km) along the waterfront in front of downtown Abu Dhabi. There are numerous great Abu Dhabi Instagram spots along the Corniche.
Location: Abu Dhabi Corniche
Hours: You can access the Corniche at any time of day.
Cost: It is completely free to visit the Corniche.
Best Time for Photos: This photo spot is best during the evening just before sunset to capture the beautiful sunsets that Abu Dhabi consistently has every night.
Tips: The Corniche is huge, and there is no need to explore the full length; rather find the area that most interested you and go out and explore! The Corniche becomes most popular in the evening when the locals head out to socialize after the sun goes down and the heat abides.
Abu Dhabi Desert
If you’ve ever wanted to feel like you’re on a rollercoaster while sitting in a car, this is going to be your favorite Abu Dhabi Instagram spot by far. Abu Dhabi is located just over an hour from some amazing sand dunes, and there are many tour companies that specialize in desert safaris, whether you plan to go in the morning, evening, or for a full day.
They include pick-up from your hotel in Abu Dhabi by Toyota Land Cruiser where your driver will then take you to the meet-up point in the desert. You’ll have a bit of time to take some desert photos before setting off on your first dunebashing adventure! Dunebashing involves driving a 4×4 vehicle through the sand dunes at high speed. It’s incredibly fun and feels exactly like a roller coaster! Your experienced driver will have you in safe hands at all times. Your dunebashing will be interrupted for a brief camel encounter where you can take some selfies with these beautiful animals, before another round of dunebashing on your way to the desert camp.
The evening desert safari we were on included camel riding and sand boarding as optional activities at the camp. You could also explore the sand dunes or go ATVing before watching the amazing desert sunset. The evening featured a BBQ, live entertainment, and sheesha.
Not sure which one is best? Check out our guide for the best Abu Dhabi Desert Safaris!
Location: It’s best to take a tour to the Abu Dhabi Desert, which includes pick-up service from your hotel
Cost: The price varies by the type of tour you select, but expect to pay around $70 USD per person.
Best Time for Photos: The evening tours are best for photos as you will get to watch the famous Abu Dhabi desert sunsets from the top of sand dunes.
Tips: While dunebashing, try to get a seat in the front of the Land Cruiser in order to take some great photos and videos out the front window to remember your tour. If you have a tendency to get car sick, sitting in the middle or up front is significantly better than the rear of the Land Cruiser while racing across the sand dunes.
Forever Rose 2D Cafe
The Forever Rose 2D Café just screams as an Abu Dhabi Instagrammable photo spot when you walk by. The café is beautifully decorated with a complete 2D aesthetic. There are so many great photo angles at this café that you could easily create multiple Instagram photos in one visit. Be sure to try their latte’s which include beautiful latte art.
Hours: You can dine here from 9:00 AM every day until 10:00 PM Saturday to Wednesday and until midnight on Thursday and Friday.
Cost: Expect to pay amounts similar to a trendy independent coffee shop in the US.
Best Time for Photos: In the morning when the café first opens or during the early afternoon as there will be few other guests.
Tips: Don’t be shy to move around the café and take some great Abu Dhabi Instagram photos in the many locations withing the café.
Secret Garden Cafe
The Secret Garden Café is another one of the Abu Dhabi instagrammable café located in The Galleria Mall. The Secret Garden Café is known for their exquisite dessert selection and beautiful décor that is made to look like a secret garden! Secret Garden also has popular locations in Dubai.
Location: Secret Garden Cafe – Galleria Mall
Hours: You can dine here from 10:00 AM every day until 10:00 PM Saturday to Wednesday and until midnight on Thursday and Friday.
Cost: Expect to pay amounts similar to a trendy independent coffee shop in the US.
Best Time for Photos: In the morning when the café first opens as their will be few other guests.
Tips: Arrive early to get a seat in front of the Secret Garden neon sign, for the perfect Abu Dhabi Instagram spot.
Grand Beirut Restaurant
Located in The Galleria Abu Dhabi Mall, the Grand Beirut restaurant serves up some delicious Lebanese food. During our visit the service was extremely friendly and personable, and the food delicious. The restaurant décor is bright and colorful, with a flowering tree in the center of the dining area the focal point. Plan ahead to enjoy a delicious meal here instead of just stopping by quickly for a photo.
Location: Grand Beirut Abu Dhabi
Hours: You can dine here from 10:00 AM every day until 10:00 PM Saturday to Wednesday and until midnight on Thursday and Friday.
Cost: A meal here costs similar to eating out in a large U.S. city. The food here is totally worth it!
Best Time for Photos: During the morning when the restaurant is not as busy.
Tips: Try to get a seat near the beautiful flowering tree so that you can maximize the Abu Dhabi Instagram photos you will be taking at this restaurant.
Did We Miss Any Abu Dhabi Instagram Spots?
Hopefully you found this comprehensive list of the top 15 Abu Dhabi Instagram spots perfect for your trip to beautiful Abu Dhabi! There are so many impressive attractions in and around Abu Dhabi that you can easily fill a week of Instagram photo spots, culture, dining, and more. Did we miss any of your favorite Instagram photo locations in Abu Dhabi? Let us know in the comments!