The most Instagrammed – and basic – shots in Edinburgh

Do you even go to Edinburgh if you haven’t taken a photo of the sky?


Like any social media obsessed millennial when you’re blessed with such a photogenic city it's almost impossible to resist taking a photo every five minutes.

Whether it's the renowned mix of old world charm and modern details that makes it so Instagrammable, or you’re attempting to make your friends at Bristol jealous, it appears there are certain staples in the feed of any Edinburgh University student.

In case you're now wondering how basic your Instagram is, here’s a list of the most Instagrammed shots in Edinburgh.

Arthur's Seat

Probably taken during Freshers' Week when the weather was bearable and you were trying to appear active to your new flat mates. The amount of effort it takes to get this shot doesn’t seem to put people off, as it's probably the most unoriginal Instagram in Edinburgh.

There are slight variations, the sunrise shot is marginally less basic – because who is really that dedicated to Instagram that they’re willing to hike a glorified hill that early in the morning? – whilst the Sunday afternoon stroll is the worst of the worst.

"I am a perfect artifact of defects”

A post shared by Santi Tamayo (@tamayopapagayo) on

Neon lights

I’m not sure what makes these images so popular? The bright colours and artificial lights are hardly flattering and despite this neon signs seem to pop up all over Edinburgh.

From posing in front of the ironically sarcastic quote in a club to using the J. R. R. Tolkien reference at Robinson Close to reminisce about your gap year. The university even seems to be encouraging this craze by setting up a light sculpture in the Library, so this one probably isn’t going to go away anytime soon.

We so wild 💥 @rfkirch

A post shared by Ellis Ford 🎀 (@ellisemily) on

The sky

The sky looks pink! It seems as soon as the clouds lift and the sun decides to finally appear that everyone with an iPhone suddenly decides they’re Mario Testino.

It is a rare occasion that we actually get to see the sun here in Edinburgh so perhaps we're trying to capture it for those family members who believe that it rains constantly – though they’re not far off. Navigating George Square has never been so difficult with every edgy arts student trying to capture the perfect photo.

A post shared by George Tomsett (@mrtomsett) on

Camera Obscura

This one was probably saved for a visitor and feeling the need to show them something touristy. This shot in particular keeps popping up – gazing off into the darkness wondering why you just spent £13.50 on this. And again with the neon lights?

The Castle

You may not have actually visited this one because of hearing some curse about failing to graduate? But since castle seems the only landmark anyone can recognise from Edinburgh it seems necessary to have it on your Insta.

#throwback #edinburgh #edinburghcastle #scotland #tembea #travel

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McEwan Hall

Probably the only time you’ll be in McEwan Hall is when you queue for your welcome ceremony and for your graduation – although the Instagram of the ceiling was probably worth it.

Never mind that most of your lectures take place in the modern 20th century built office blocks, it is inevitable that its Renaissance style architecture will always look better with a Ludwig filter than Appleton Tower.

Typical club photo

Featuring flares or a head band of some sort, maybe even copious amounts of glitter or an inflatable palm tree if you're really committing.

Is the club photo Insta just an attempt to prove to all your friends at other unis that you’ve actually made friends and that Edinburgh nightlight is clearly superior? Bonus basic point if it's featured on Clubbers of the Week.

💥 3 DAYS TO GO 💥

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Considering all the potential Instagram shots in Edinburgh, students feed show a surprising lack of diversity. Perhaps we're not as original as we all thought?