Last Updated on June 4, 2023
When you think of Seattle, some of the first things to pop in your mind are probably rain and Starbucks. While Seattle is known for being under a near-constant cover of clouds and rain, and for being the birthplace of the world’s largest coffee chain, the city also has so much more to offer. From music and art to beautiful public parks and historic sites, Seattle is a super fun destination with lots of activities and sightseeing on offer. Photographers are also sure to love a trip to the Emerald City because Seattle is full of picture-perfect Instagram spots. This guide to the Top 20 Most Instagrammable Places in Seattle will highlight the best backdrops to incorporate in your Seattle photos.
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Table of Contents
Map of the Most Instagrammable Places in Seattle
We’ve mapped out all of the top Instagrammable places in Seattle to help you plan out your trip! Many of the locations are centrally located, allowing you to visit quite a few photo spots in one day.
Top 20 Most Instagrammable Places in Seattle
While you may be familiar with some of these Seattle photo spots, there are also several hidden gems that are not as well-known among casual tourists. Regardless of how experienced you are in the realm of photography, all of these locations photograph beautifully and are sure to give you some amazing Seattle photos for your Instagram.
The Seattle Space Needle
We’re starting off this guide to the Top 20 Most Instagrammable Places in Seattle with an icon of the city, the Space Needle. The Space Needle is the most famous landmark in the entire city, and one of the most recognized in the whole Pacific Northwest region. The Space Needle was originally built for the 1962 World’s Fair, where it hosted millions of visitors upon opening. At over 600 feet (183 m) tall, the Space Needle is a beloved fixture of the Seattle skyline, and draws over a million visitors from all over the globe every year.
Location: Space Needle
Hours: While you can photograph the Space Needle from below any time of day, the tower itself is open daily from 9:00 AM to 11:00 PM.
Cost: Ticket prices start at $35 USD, with discounts for seniors and youth. Ticket prices vary slightly by day, depending on which day you visit. You can book your tickets in advance, or combine in a package with the Chihuly Gardens (another Seattle Instagram spot!).
Best Time for Photos: Mid-morning is a great time of day to photograph the Space Needle for great natural lighting and minimal crowds.
Tips: The Space Needle is located in the downtown Seattle Center which offers a great variety of angles for you to photograph this iconic landmark. A wide-angle lens is especially helpful to capture the full structure from up close.
Museum of Pop Culture
This next Seattle photo spot is conveniently located just a few steps from the Space Needle. The Museum of Pop Culture, formerly the Experience Music Project, is a music and pop culture-focused museum and concert venue in the heart of Seattle. The museum was founded in 2000 by Paul Allen, who actually co-founded Microsoft with Bill Gates! While the museum itself is an interesting activity, the building it’s housed in is the real showstopper. The massive building features a distinctive exterior of sheet metal that has an almost fluid appearance. Seattle’s Museum of Pop Culture is an incredible piece of architecture that is a great compliment to your Seattle Instagram photos.
Location: Museum of Pop Culture
Hours: The Museum of Pop Culture is open daily from 10:00 AM to 5:00 PM.
Cost: Ticket prices vary by day but start at $26 USD, depending on what specific date you plan to visit. This museum is included in the Seattle CityPASS ticket!
Best Time for Photos: The museum is perfect for a mid-morning visit after you’ve photographed the Space Needle.
Tips: There are lots of interesting angles and perspectives to photograph the museum from, so don’t be afraid to move around and really explore this spot! The best Instagram photo spots are on the outside of the building. The museum itself is amazing if you’re into music, including rooms where you can play instruments yourself!
Kerry Park is a very small, unassuming park if you pass by it on the lower side of the hill, but if you pass by on the top side of the hill, you will be rewarded with one of the most perfect views of the Seattle skyline you can ask for! Kerry Park makes up for its small size with its Blockbuster views of the downtown core. You can’t not take an amazing Seattle Instagram photo here!
Location: Kerry Park
Hours: Like other Seattle parks it is open daily from 6:00 AM to 10:00 PM..
Best Time for Photos: You can take amazing Seattle Instagram photos at Kerry Park any time of day.
Tips: If you position the photographer and model as far apart as possible and zoom in you can bring the background of the Seattle skyline closer to the subject.
Pike Place Market Sign
Of course, no visit to Seattle would be complete without stopping by the world-famous Pike Place Market. Pike Place Market is a public farmer’s market that has been in operation since 1907, making it a true piece of Seattle history. Today, you can find all kinds of shops and vendors on the various floors of the market. Pike Place Market is set right on the water and overlooks the Puget Sound, making it a dream location for photographers. In particular, the famous Pike Place Market sign is a classic Seattle Instagram spot that is definitely worth a visit. This towering neon sign adds a fun pop of color to photos and is a great symbol of Seattle.
Location: Pike Place Market Sign
Hours: Hours vary slightly, but the market is typically open from 9:00 AM to 6:00 PM.
Best Time for Photos: The Pike Place Market sign photographs well any time of day, but try to plan your visit for morning or evening when most of the crowds have dissipated.
Tips: Another classic Pike Place experience is the fish market where fishmongers toss whole fish to each other! This makes for great Instagram stories!
Pike Place Market Flower Stands
After photographing the famous sign, we recommend walking through Pike Place Market to photograph the numerous fresh flower stands. These fresh flower stands are undoubtedly one of the most Instagrammable places in Seattle because they provide the perfect floral backdrop for your photos! It’s super easy to snap a few quick photos in front of these flower stands, and you’re guaranteed to see a huge variety of flowers, so you’ll have plenty of options to choose from. The cherry on top is if you decide to buy some flowers, you’ll also be supporting a small local business!
Location: Pike Place Market Flower Stands
Hours: The flower stands at Pike Place Market are typically open from 9:00 AM to 6:00 PM.
Best Time for Photos: Morning is the best time to photograph the Pike Place Market flower stands when inventory is plentiful and there are fewer crowds!
Tips: Pike Place Market is a great place to do some shopping and grab a bite to eat, so you can really enjoy an entire morning or afternoon in this one location.
Pike Place Gum Wall
Germaphobes may not be a fan of this next Seattle photo spot, but if you can overcome your hesitation, you’re in for a unique treat! The Pike Place Gum Wall is located down an alleyway near Pike Place Market and is exactly what it sounds like: an entire brick wall covered in chewed up gum! The Pike Place Gum Wall first originated in the 1990s when patrons and performers from a comedy theater across the street began sticking their gum on the wall after shows. The tradition really “stuck” (pun intended) and since then, the Gum Wall has continued to grow in size and become regarded as one of Seattle’s quirkiest tourist destinations.
Location: Pike Place Gum Wall
Hours: You can swing by the Gum Wall any time of day.
Best Time for Photos: The best time to photograph the Pike Place Gum Wall is morning, after you’ve paid a visit to Pike Place Market.
Tips: After taking some photos, make sure to leave your own contribution to the Gum Wall!
The First Starbucks
As we mentioned at the beginning of this guide, one of the things Seattle is best known for is being the home of Starbucks. The massively popular coffee chain started in Seattle in 1971, and you can actually visit the very first Starbucks! Interestingly, what is considered the first Starbucks is actually the company’s second storefront, as the original store was technically housed in a different location for the first five years it was open. Today, the first Starbucks can be found directly across the street from Pike Place Market. While this Seattle Instagram spot is pretty much the same as most other Starbucks stores around the world, you can find some unique coffee blends and souvenirs that are specific to this location.
Location: The First Starbucks
Hours: This Starbucks store is open daily from 6:00 AM to 7:00 PM.
Best Time for Photos: Try to plan you visit for first thing in the morning or later in the afternoon. This location gets incredibly popular, so you’ll want to avoid visiting during peak hours.
Tips: A cup of coffee or a baked treat is the perfect way to start your morning, or get an afternoon pick-me-up! If you are a Starbucks-lover, some of the First Starbucks-specific merchandise is a great souvenir to remember your trip to Seattle!
Starbucks Reserve Roastery Seattle
That’s right, we’re including not one but two Starbucks stores on this guide to the most Instagrammable places in Seattle! After swinging by the first Starbucks, take a quick walk over to the Starbucks Reserve Roastery Seattle. Fun fact: there are only six of these Starbucks Reserve Roastery locations in the world (including the world’s largest in Chicago, which made our list of the Top Instagram Spots in Chicago), making this a super unique experience. The roastery offers unique blends that are rotated seasonally, and special menu items you can’t find at normal Starbucks stores. As a bonus, the roastery is housed in a historic building and features some eye-catching décor that makes the whole space super photogenic.
Location: Starbucks Reserve Roastery Seattle
Hours: The roastery is open from 7:00 AM to 9:00 PM Monday through Thursday, and 7:00 AM to 10:00 PM Friday through Sunday.
Best Time for Photos: Morning is the best time to visit the Starbucks Reserve Roastery because it gets very popular later in the day.
Tips: Aside from coffee, the roastery also serves up food, like salads and pizza, and cocktails, making it a great spot to hang out and grab a bite to eat. The food on offer is a significant level above your standard Starbucks, so be sure to check it out!
One of the most defining features of Seattle is its location right on the Puget Sound, an inlet of the Pacific Ocean. Seattle offers a number of boardwalks and piers where you can get close to the water and score some amazing views of the city and mountains beyond. One of the top Seattle photo spots to capture this view is Waterfront Park. The park is home to a boardwalk and some sculptures, and also offers great views of the Seattle Great Wheel, a large Ferris wheel. Wherever you choose to enjoy the Seattle waterfront, you’re sure to be blown away by stunning views.
Location: Waterfront Park
Hours: Waterfront Park, like many of Seattle’s public parks, is open daily from 6:00 AM to 10:00 PM.
Best Time for Photos: To avoid crowds, we recommend visiting early in the morning or later in the afternoon.
Tips: Keep your eyes peeled for sea creatures! Depending on the time of year, you may be able to spot otters, seals, or even whales.
Chihuly Garden and Glass
One of Seattle’s most popular tourist destinations, which also happens to be a top Seattle Instagram spot, is the Chihuly Garden and Glass exhibit. Located in the Seattle Center near the Space Needle and Museum of Pop Culture, Chihuly Garden and Glass boasts a number of works by famed artist, and native Washingtonian, Dale Chihuly. Chihuly is known for his intricate glasswork that encompasses a huge variety of quirky shapes and vibrant colors, and Chihuly Garden and Glass houses a number of his pieces in a massive glass and steel structure that is equal parts museum and sculpture garden. For lovers of art and photographers seeking a fun and unique backdrop, Chihuly Garden and Glass is a must-visit.
Location: Chihuly Garden and Glass
Hours: Hours vary depending on the time of year, but the exhibit is generally open from 9:00 AM to 8:00 PM daily.
Cost: Tickets are $35 USD for adults, $29 USD for King County residents and seniors 65+, and $21 USD for children 5-12 (children 4 and under are free). There are also discounts available if you visit before 11:00 AM and entrance is included with the Seattle CityPASS.
Best Time for Photos: The best time to take photos at Chihuly Garden and Glass is in the morning, right after the exhibit opens.
Tips: This is one location you won’t want to rush through. Take your time exploring this incredible urban oasis!
Seattle Union Station
This next location might be a bit unexpected, but we guarantee it stands out as one of the top Instagrammable places in Seattle. Seattle Union Station is a former train station turned office building that was first built in 1910. Located in the Pioneer Square neighborhood, this historic site may not look too exciting from the outside, but step inside and you’ll understand why we included it on this list! The station’s interior is jaw-droppingly beautiful with tall domed ceilings and intricate architectural details. In fact, Seattle Union Station is known for being so beautiful that many people opt to host their weddings and other special events in the grand hall.
Location: Seattle Union Station
Hours: The station is open daily from 8:00 AM to 5:00 PM.
Best Time for Photos: Try to plan your visit during the weekend at off-peak hours, such as late afternoon or evening.
Tips: Seattle Union Station offers plenty of space to work with, so get creative with your poses and angles!
Volunteer Park Conservatory
Another hidden gem that also happens to be a top Seattle photo spot is Volunteer Park Conservatory, located in the artsy Capitol Hill neighborhood. The conservatory itself is a beautiful piece of Victorian architecture that was first constructed in 1912, though it underwent a lengthy restoration process in the 1980s. The architecture of Volunteer Park Conservatory is very reminiscent of the Crystal Palace in London, a cast iron and glass structure originally built for the Great Exhibition of 1851. Volunteer Park Conservatory is home to five distinct sections that host a unique variety of plants. This is one location where the interior and exterior are equally beautiful, giving you plenty of options to work with for your Instagram photos.
Location: Volunteer Park Conservatory
Hours: The conservatory is open from 10:00 AM to 4:00 PM Tuesday through Sunday.
Best Time for Photos: Thanks to Volunteer Park Conservatory being one of the lesser-known locations on this list, you can visit any time and get some great photos.
Tips: Volunteer Park itself is also a great place to take photos if you have some extra time to spare after walking through the conservatory.
Gas Works Park
Gas Works Park, like Seattle Union Station, is another unique Seattle Instagram spot with an incredibly rich history. Up until 1956, the park was actually the site of an operational gas-manufacturing plant. Once the plant was abandoned, the city of Seattle ended up purchasing the land and converting it into a public park. Today, Gas Works Park is one of the best parks to catch incredible views of the Seattle skyline. The park is situated on Lake Union, a popular area for sailing and kayaking, and has been featured in a number of shows and movies, including the iconic 90’s teen romance 10 Things I Hate About You, starring Heath Ledger and Julia Stiles.
Location: Gas Works Park
Hours: Gas Works Park is open every day of the week from 6:00 AM to 10:00 PM.
Best Time for Photos: There’s plenty of room to spread out, so you can get great photos at Gas Works Park any time of day.
Tips: The park is an especially great place to pack a picnic and fly some kites during the warm summer months.
Seattle Public Library
You might be wondering why we consider a public library one of the most Instagrammable places in Seattle, but we promise you’ll understand once you see it for yourself! The Central Library location, located in the heart of downtown Seattle, is a stunning piece of architecture both inside and out. The building is 11 stories tall and consists of a glass and steel design that somewhat resembles a honeycomb. Beautiful views can be found inside the library as well, as the building’s design offers lots of natural light to pour in, even on cloudy days. Fun fact: this library location alone is home to over one million books and print materials!
Location: Seattle Public Library
Hours: The Central Library location is open from 10:00 AM to 6:00 PM Monday through Saturday, and 12:00 PM to 6:00 PM on Sunday.
Best Time for Photos: The library never gets too busy, so you can plan your visit for any time.
Tips: The best interior photo spots are on the top levels of the library, looking down to the floors below. Of course as this is an active library, be discreet and respect those using the library!
Columbia Center Sky View Observatory
For some of the most impressive views of Seattle, you have to pay a visit to the Columbia Center Sky View Observatory. The observatory stands over 900 feet (275 m) in the air, on the 73rd floor of Seattle’s Columbia Center. From the observatory, you’ll have unobstructed views of the downtown area, Puget Sound, and the surrounding mountain ranges. On a clear day, you might even be lucky enough to catch a glimpse of Mount Rainier! The Columbia Center Sky View Observatory is a super unique Seattle photo spot that offers an experience like no other.
Location: Columbia Center Sky View Observatory
Hours: Hours vary each month, but the observatory is typically open 12:00 PM to 8:00 PM Thursday through Sunday, and 10:00 AM to 2:00 PM on Monday (closed Tuesday and Wednesday).
Cost: A standard ticket is $25 USD per person.
Best Time for Photos: Try to visit right when the observatory opens to avoid crowds, or around sunset for spectacular views.
Tips: The Columbia Center Sky View Observatory is also home to a café and bar, making this a great option for date night.
Aside from Starbucks, Seattle is also home to the headquarters of Amazon, in the Amazon Spheres to be exact. This one-of-a-kind Seattle Instagram spot can be found amidst the hustle and bustle of downtown, and consists of three glass domes with a distinct futuristic appearance. The Amazon Spheres were officially opened in 2018 and serve as a lounge and workspace for Amazon employees, though they are also open to the public. The glass domes are also home to over 40,000 plants from 30 countries around the world. According to Amazon, the purpose of the Spheres is to offer an urban office that is still directly tied to nature, and we definitely think they succeeded!
Location: Amazon Spheres
Hours: The Amazon Spheres are open to the public the first and third Saturday of each month, from 10:00 AM to 6:00 PM.
Best Time for Photos: The Amazon Spheres photograph well any time of day.
Tips: Tripods and other photography equipment are prohibited in the Amazon Spheres, so try to keep your setup as minimal as possible!
The Quad – University of Washington
One of the most Instagrammable places in Seattle can actually be found on the University of Washington campus. Specifically, the Liberal Arts Quadrangle, more commonly referred to as The Quad, is a beautiful outdoor space located right in the heart of the UW campus. While The Quad is a great place to take photos any time of year, the space really shines in fall and spring. During fall, the trees that border the space will sport vibrant red and orange leaves, while in the spring, the cherry blossoms will be in full bloom.
Location: The Quad – University of Washington
Hours: The Quad is conveniently open all hours of the day.
Best Time for Photos: Try to visit early in the morning or later in the evening when there are fewer crowds.
Tips: The University of Washington buildings surrounding The Quad sport some beautiful Gothic architecture that’s fun to include in photos as well.
Olympic Sculpture Park
By now it’s clear that Seattle is home to some pretty impressive public parks, and Olympic Sculpture Park is no exception. Built in 2007 by the Seattle Art Museum, this Seattle photo spot features nine acres (36,000 sq m) that are home to a number of unique sculptures. While all of the sculptures are beautiful in their own way, perhaps the most well-known at Olympic Sculpture Park is Eagle, which features a striking abstract design and vibrant red color. Olympic Sculpture Park is a fantastic place for a morning or afternoon walk, and a great place to snap some Seattle photos.
Location: Olympic Sculpture Park
Hours: Olympic Sculpture Park is open 24 hours a day, every day of the year.
Best Time for Photos: There’s truly no bad time to photograph Olympic Sculpture Park.
Tips: The park is also home to a stretch of beach that offers beautiful views of the Puget Sound.
Bainbridge Ferry Seattle View
This Seattle Instagram spot isn’t technically located in Seattle, but it does provide amazing views of the city skyline from the water. The Seattle-Bainbridge Ferry crosses the Puget Sound to offer transportation between Seattle and the nearby Bainbridge Island. Bainbridge Island is super charming and a great day trip from Seattle, and the ferry just so happens to offer some of the best Seattle skyline views you can get. Plus, riding the ferry is a really cool experience if you’ve never done it before considering you just drive on and park! If you don’t have a car you can also easily walk on the ferry.
Location: Bainbridge Ferry Seattle View
Hours: The ferry schedule tends to differ by day and season, but rides typically begin around 5:30 AM and run until 1:00 AM or so.
Cost: Roundtrip ferry tickets are typically $9.25 USD for adults and $4.60 USD for seniors 65+ and children 6-18.
Best Time for Photos: Whatever time you hop on the Seattle-Bainbridge Ferry, you’re sure to get some incredible views.
Tips: The ferry ride is only about 35 minutes in total, so try to make the most out of the short ride by snapping tons of photos.
BONUS: Seattle from Above
This bonus addition to our list of the most Instagrammable places in Seattle can actually be found in the sky! If you’re flying into Seattle-Tacoma International Airport (also known as SeaTac), you might be able to score some surprisingly beautiful photos from the plane. You’ll want to make sure you choose a window seat, and the right side of the plane is usually best for views. As soon as your plane starts to land, pull that camera out and get to work! With the right timing, you can snap some amazing photos of Mount Rainier and the city of Seattle from above.
Top 20 Most Instagrammable Places in Seattle Summary
Despite its rainy reputation, Seattle is truly a jewel of the Pacific Northwest. The city is filled to the brim with interesting architecture, historical landmarks, and impressive art pieces that offer a fantastic variety of backdrops for your Instagram photos. With countless things to see and do, Seattle is a great destination for content creators, photographers, and casual tourists. Use this guide to the Top 20 Most Instagrammable Places in Seattle as you plan your visit to score some amazing photos for your Instagram!
Did we miss any of your favorite Instagrammable places in Seattle? Let us know in the comments which Instagram spot is your favorite!