There’s a reason people talk about leaving their hearts in San Francisco — this is one seriously beautiful city. If you like documenting your travels on Instagram, or just want to take your photos from the City by the Bay up a notch, try practicing a few hacks from Insta-experts, like finding what you like without worrying about what will get the most likes. Use your eyes to find the best angle before snapping your pics, and consider using the grid feature to align structures perfectly. We’re all about helping you plan. That’s why we gathered the 10 most awesome spots to take your pics — and start making your followers totally jealous of your trip.
The Golden Gate Bridge
Turns out, no one can leave San Francisco without snapping this iconic bridge. (Okay, you can, but you shouldn’t.) Even better? It’s nearly impossible to take a bad picture of it. Find your angle, wait for the perfect lighting, and boom! There aren’t any bad angles, but if you want something a little different, try taking your shot from Baker Beach, where you get the coastline and the bridge all in one.
Capture the beauty of the “crookedest street in the world” for all your followers to see. This is another of the city’s most popular landmarks, and its twists and turns make it unique to photograph. It’s quite a hike to get to the top, but totally worth it once you see the view looking out over sparkling San Francisco Bay. You can also get cool shots from the bottom, looking up at the curves.
The Ferry Building
There are so many reasons to visit this historic landmark. After the 1989 earthquake, this area was totally cut off from the rest of the city. Now, it’s an amazing, thriving part of it all. There’s a great farmers market, lots of restaurants, and plenty of shops nearby on the Embarcadero. But when it comes to Insta-worthy pics, you have to snap the Ferry Building at sunrise. It’s too gorgeous to miss — trust us!
Like the Ferry Building, there are tons of things to do, see, and eat in and around Union Square. If you’re looking for one of the top Instagrammable features, look no further than the painted hearts located at the square’s corners. Every year, the sculptures are auctioned off with the proceeds going to the San Francisco General Hospital Foundation. To keep things interesting, artists replace the hearts every year.
There’s an eerie beauty to these ruins. Once the world’s largest indoor swimming pool, the Sutro Baths are now one of the city’s top spots for snapping photos. They opened in 1896, were destroyed by fire in 1966, and remain a popular landmark for tourists and locals to visit and take in the view.
After the 1906 earthquake, Japanese settlers living in San Francisco moved to this Western Addition neighborhood. Today, it’s a colorful ‘hood filled with gorgeous spots to fill your Insta feed, including one of the only Japanese-style sentos in the United States, Kabuki Springs & Spas.
San Francisco’s Chinatown is notable for lots of reasons, including its status as the oldest Chinatown in the country. Go for the culture, restaurants, and the picture-worthy sights. Stay a while to pick some of your favorite spots for the perfect selfie. In addition to the colorful lanterns hanging just about everywhere, a few notable spots to consider include:
Dragon’s Gate, the only authentic Chinatown Gate on the continent
Tin How Temple, the oldest temple of its kind in the U.S.
Bank of Canton, which was restored in 1960
Sing Chong Building, which was among the first structures rebuilt after the devastating 1906 earthquake
Golden Gate Park
This is a huge park with a plethora of things to see and do. It’s home to the de Young Museum, California Academy of Sciences, and the historic Conservatory of Flowers — just to name a few Instagram-worthy spots. But if you’re looking to take your selfie up a notch, head to the Buffalo Paddock near North Lake. It’s one of the few spots around where you can watch (and photograph) American Bison up close and personal.
Indulge your inner “Full House” fan with a visit to this row of gorgeous Queen Anne homes near Alamo Square. They’re colorful, charming, and too pretty to not add to your feed.
Imagine how the criminals (Al Capone might be among the most famous) felt staring out of their barred windows at the beautiful city in the distance. Taking a tour — especially a night tour — is a popular pastime. Whether you take your shot from the ferry or while you’re on the island, odds are pretty great that you’ll capture the dark, historic beauty to perfection.
Want more inspiration? Head over to Instagram for even more tips, tricks, and advice designed to fuel your next amazing trip. Come on, do it for the ‘gram!