Traveling has never been cooler. Forget about sorting through guidebook after guidebook. All one needs to do now is head on Instagram and pick out their favorite spot. From historic buildings to natural landscapes or even rich cultural scenes, the choices are seemingly endless!

There’s no denying the impact that Instagram has had in helping travelers pick out and plan their trips. However, while some places went viral for all the good reasons, others didn’t take long to tank once travelers realized the IG posts didn’t quite match the location. Some places like Maya Bay on the island of Ko Phi Phi Le were actually wrecked by mass tourism.

Having said that, there’s no denying that Instability is a huge factor when it comes to making travel decisions nowadays. I mean, huge.

In this post, I’ll take you through some of the best Insta destinations on earth. I’m talking about the kind of spots that’ll deliver jaw-dropping backdrops for your pics and bring in the wow factor. Now, I can’t include everything of course, but these will totally rake in the likes!

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    These Are The Best Instagram Location Ideas on Earth

    We’ve all seen the pictures: vibrant sunsets, arid desert landscapes, lush green fjords… but have you ever wondered exactly where all those amazing shots on Instagram come from? Well, no need to wonder anymore because I’m here to spill some gram-worthy grains of sand!

    The best travel plans now start with a quick scroll, so let’s take a look at 21 of the best Instagram locations on Earth! So… let’s check ’em out!

    1. Bali – Indonesia

    All hail the OG Insta location by excellence!

    I mean, Bali is probably the destination that made #instatravel a thing! Indonesia’s crowning jewel has it all. There’s plenty of good food to boot, incredible beaches, lush jungles, romantic spots, and wellness retreats.

    Surfing opportunities abound and yoga’s practically a way of life there. An added bonus is that it’s not an expensive destination.

    Best of all, the island is practically tailor-made for Instagram. I’m talking colorful bars, rice paddies, majestic waterfalls, both white and black sand beaches—the whole shebang!

    two people sitting on an overlook of the sea in nusa penida at sunset
    My favorite… obviously!
    Photo: Roaming Ralph

    By far the most famous Insta-worthy spot on the island is the Lempuyang Temple, also known as The Gates of Heaven.

    Now, contrary to popular belief, there’s no lake in front of those iconic pillars, but a good photographer will know how to angle a mirror under the camera lens for this reflective effect.

    Another super popular IG location in Bali is Nusa Penida. With its dramatic cliffs overlooking a white sand beach, this place is definitely an Instagrammer’s dream come true!

    2. Bundi – India

    This hidden gem in Rajasthan may be off the tourist radar, but it’s jam-packed with gorgeous locations! So much so that quite a few local Bollywood movies were shot there.

    Not only does Bundi have a fascinating landscape of thick forests, sandy deserts, sparkling lakes, and karst formations, but it’s also one of the cheapest places to explore in India. It’s also far less crowded and calmer than famously bustling cities like Delhi or Mumbai.

    The wonderful thing about backpacking India is that pretty much anybody can afford it, especially if you don’t mind being a little uncomfortable.

    man staring at an epic sunset in bundi while backpacking india
    A seriously epic sunset in Bundi.

    As far as Instagram locations are concerned, Bundi is home to impressive monuments like the Bundi Palace, which is visible from nearly all vantage points in the city.

    This intriguing palace dates all the way back to 1607 AD and is easily recognizable by its intricate architecture and sculptures. More photo ops await inside the palace, with the Phool Mahal, Badal Mahal, and Chhatra Mahal rooms known for their stunning frescoes.

    3. Hong Kong

    Hong Kong’s sleek skyscrapers land themselves super well in all sorts of pictures. But for me, what really puts this metropolis on the Insta-Map is, of course…the food!

    Hong Kong’s food scene is a delight, offering a variety of delicious eats in every corner. If you don’t mind splurging on a decadent meal in a highly Instagrammable setting, be sure to check out Argo, which is found in the Four Seasons Hotel.

    This bar is designed in such a way as to look like a conservatory. There’s a Glass Room with handcrafted butterflies and beetles, terrariums, and mirrors. 

    A woman with chop sticks eating Ramen/ Asian food in Hong Kong.
    The city that’s just as incredible as its dishes.
    Photo: Samantha Shea

    For more affordable, retro snaps, you can always check out Cafe Match Box in Causeway Bay, which features a delightful 80s-style setting.

    Check out China Hong Kong City, located across the waterfront. Set on the harbor in Kowloon, this incredible set of gleaming gold buildings is perfectly positioned for Looking-Up-style pics. Wow effect guaranteed!

    I do have to point out that Hong Kong is one of the most expensive locations in Asia. For the best deals, it’s a good idea to visit off-season.  

    4. Bergen – Norway

    With picturesque buildings, quaint alleys, and (of course) awe-inspiring scenery, Bergen’s neighborhoods certainly have plenty of fodder for the ‘Gram.

    I’m sure I don’t have to tell you that Bergen – and Norway in general – is a pretty pricey destination. If you don’t mind splurging, I promise it’s entirely worth it!

    Colorful wooden buildings stacked up next to each other in Bergen, Norway
    An image with a Norwegian stamp!

    Owing to its prime location right at the heart of the fjords, Bergen offers unique photo sites that you definitely won’t find anywhere else in the world.

    If you’re not quite sure where to start, I would say that Mt. Fløyen is a pretty safe bet. One of the most popular attractions in Norway, Mt. Fløyen provides a great vantage point over the city, the fjords, and the mountains.

    While most Instagrammers head straight for the fjords and the mountains, the city center also makes for some splendid pictures. You’ll find narrow streets and alleys with beautiful wooden buildings stacked up next to each other. Nordnes and Klosteret are some of my favorite photo sites in Bergen.

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    5. Cappadocia – Turkey

    Here’s another ridiculously popular Insta location that needs exactly zero introduction!

    Over the past few years, Cappadocia has become quite popular for its pictures of hot air balloons rising at sunrise. If you’re wondering where the best vantage point is for capturing these iconic balloons, well the answer is from just about any rooftop!

    man posing with fairy chimneys in the background in the Valley of Love Cappadocia
    Stay up.

    Another well-known Instagrammable place in Cappadocia is the Galerie Lkman, which is a truly magical carpet shop.

    This beautiful place in Turkey is often swarming with Instagrammers, though, so the owner set up a rule that anyone who wants to take pictures in his shop must buy something. If you ask me, that’s a pretty sweet deal, given the many treasures that await at the Galerie Lkman.

    As you wander the streets of Cappadocia, keep your eyes peeled for homes and hotels that have been carved directly into rock formations, like the Local Cave House Hostel.

    6. Samarkand – Uzbekistan

    If you plan to explore Central Asia and the old Silk Road, you really can’t miss a visit to Samarkand, a historic town in Uzbekistan.

    Whether you want to travel comfortably or plan a backpacking trip across Uzbekistan on a shoestring budget, you’ll find it a relatively affordable destination.

    Two women walking in front of buildings in Registan, Samarkand Uzbekistan
    Samarkand is an architectural masterpiece.
    Photo: Michal Huniewicz (Flickr)

    Nestled in the Zerafshan River Valley, Samarkand is practically bursting with photo ops. Ancient buildings and historic sites await at every turn, complete with an old-school charm that’ll win over even the pickiest of travelers!

    The city has plenty of ruins, including fortifications and a citadel. You can also head to the archaeological reserve of Afrasiab, located in the north-east of Samarkand. This site houses artifacts and murals that date all the way back to medieval times.

    More photo opportunities (and epic potential captions) await in Shah-i-Zinda, also located in the north-eastern part of the city. This mausoleum complex gathers ancient 14th to 16th-century buildings, including over 300 columns carved out of marble.

    7. Nice – France

    The largest city of the French Riviera offers a swathe of culture, lavish mansions, sweeping boulevards, and 10 hours of sunshine per day – so there’s definitely no shortage of Insta-worthy locations that await!

    Streets in the old town of Nice
    Something nice like Nice.
    Photo: @danielle_wyatt

    While Nice certainly isn’t the most affordable destination, you can still find some moderately priced places to stay, particularly if you visit off-season.

    I don’t have to tell you that an abundance of sea pictures beckons in Nice, but in addition to the sandy and pebbled beaches, be sure to check out the Old Town as well.

    Colloquially known as Le Vieux, this area has a delightful maze of narrow alleys and a colorful flower market.  

    If you’re looking for the perfect backdrop for your selfie, head to the Promenade des Anglais where you’ll find the iconic Le Negresco Hotel. With its eye-catching architecture and color palette, this is easily the most photographed building in Nice.

    8. Cartagena – Colombia

    Cartagena is another epic Insta destination that draws photographers from all around the world – and it’s not exactly hard to see why!

    Cartagena Street Art
    Street art in the Getsemani neighborhood.
    Photo: Sasha Savinov

    For budget backpackers exploring Colombia, Cartagena may be the priciest stop, but it definitely packs a punch! Perched on the Colombian coast, this historic city is especially known for its vibrant culture, colonial architecture, and picture-perfect streets.

    Oh, and let’s not forget about the incredible nightlife speckled with salsa, reggaeton, afro house, champeta, and electro!

    colorful buildings with flower-filled balconies in the Old City, Cartagena
    A walk in the Old City.
    Photo: Sasha Savinov

    With its stone archways, brick paths, and great hilltop location, the Convent of Santa Cruz de la Popa is one of the best Instagram locations in Colombia. From the patio, you’ll even be treated to magnificent views of the Old Town, Bocagrande, and the ocean.

    One unique thing to do in Cartagena is to visit the St. Pedro Claver Sanctuary, known for its massive rust-colored door.

    If you’d like to take a ridiculously pretty street treatment, there’s no better destination than the iconic Calle de la Iglesia, fringed by eye-catching buildings on both sides.

    9. Mitzpe Ramon – Israel

    As far as perfect IG pictures are concerned, you can do a lot worse than a desert town!

    Located in the Negev desert, this town and landmark is home to a massive erosion crater where you’ll find endless acres of arid land to explore. Fans of nature photography totally have it made since the Visitor Center offers vistas of the desert landscape.

    Speaking of erosion, another fantastic spot to photograph is the Ramon Crater, which just so happens to be the largest erosion crater in the world. Nearby, you’ll also find the Camel Lookout (also known as Har Gamal)  which is a small hill shaped like a sitting camel.

    Because Mitzpe Ramon is free from urban pollution, this area lends itself really well to astrophotography as well.

    Israel is considered a moderately expensive destination, but rest assured that there are ways to cut back on accommodation and flight expenses – especially if you visit off-season.  

    10. Trinidad

    It’s super humid. It’s hot. But daaaaaang, it’s also one of the most Instagrammable places I’ve ever been to!  

    Trinidad, the largest (and most populated!) island of Trinidad and Tobago, is both affordable and brimming with amazing sights! It’s got everything you need on a tropical vacation: a vibrant atmosphere, amazing Creole cuisine, clear lagoons, and those quintessential white sand beaches.

    Musicians laying instruments in the streets of Trinidad
    These guys know how to get down.

    Now, the Caribbean isn’t exactly known for being budget-friendly, but Trinidad is one of its cheaper destinations – perfect for budget travelers!

    After you’ve taken that almost-obligatory picture by the Hilton’s famous ‘I love T&T’ sign, head to the Bamboo Cathedral, which is easily the most Instagrammable spot on the island! Keep your eyes peeled for red howler monkeys.

    Of course, it wouldn’t be a trip to Trinidad without a picture of Maracas Bridge, which connects the beautiful Maracas Bay Beach to the Maracas Fishing Village.

    11. Hunza Valley – Pakistan

    A place of unparalleled beauty where the mountains meet the sky? Uhm, yes, please!

    This not-so-secret gem in Pakistan is popular for its snow-capped peaks, shimmering lakes, apricot farms, and glaciers. Throw in a rich cultural heritage and you’ve got yourself the perfect Instagram destination! The fact that this is one of the cheapest travel destinations is an added bonus.

    A man on a motorcycle/ motorbike with a large backpack and camping gear attached doing a shaka sign whilst stopping for a break whilst riding through the mountains. In the background is a valley with several mountains, some covered in snow
    Photo: Will Hatton

    The area is great for nature photography but if you want a unique experience, visit Hunza Valley’s Karimabad Village, known for its apricot and cherry trees, cobbled lanes, and small, brightly-hued shops. Keep your travel camera ready, because there’s a lot to capture here.

    One of the most photographed attractions in the Hunza Valley is the Hussaini Suspension Bridge, located near Gulmit’s main road. This thrilling spot has around 400 steps, and it’s quite safe, but walking across it does feel pretty daunting!

    Besides the Insta-worthy hotspots in Hunza Valley, there are a hundred more good reasons to hitch a ride to Pakistan, especially if you’re rocking a backpack on a shoestring! I’ve racked my brain and come up with the absolute 20 top reasons to visit Pakistan.

    12. Detroit – USA

    Ah, good ol’ Detroit. The Michigan City where art is created right from abandoned houses, vacant lots, and sheer dilapidation!

    The city’s now-famous decay first started back in the 40s, and before long, Detroit found itself in a near-irreversible state of urban dilapidation that fascinates Urbex photographers from all over. In fact, I don’t think there’s any precedence for a city whose urban decay essentially became such an object of fascination.

    Spirit of Detroit monument
    The Spirit of Detroit
    Photo: Sasha Savinov

    While most locations are easily accessible, some do have No Trespassing signs, so do keep an eye out for those.

    A photographer’s favorite, the Woodward Avenue Presbyterian Church is quite a sight to behold with its abandoned pews and remnants of modern English Gothic design. Perfect for look-up photography, this church still has its original pipe organ.

    Other Insta-worthy locations in Detroit include the abandoned Michigan Central Station and the Michigan Theatre.

    13. Bruges – Belgium

    Bruges is a touristy destination, so food and accommodation prices are definitely on the higher side. Having said that, the city is absolutely brimming with stunning IG locations.

    Fairytale spots beckon virtually everywhere with romantic gardens, arched bridges, and canal views. Did someone say hashtag wowfactor?

    A smiling person on an old street with Bruges' canal in the background.
    One beloved Instagram spot: Bruges’ Canals.
    Photo: Nic Hilditch-Short

    One of the most photogenic destinations in Burges is the Church of Our Lady, a gothic architectural marvel that dates back to the 13th century.

    Towering over 350 feet, this landmark is said to be among the highest of its kind. Burges is also known for its beautiful houses, and if you ask me, the best way to capture them is through a canal boat trip.

    Just south of the city center is found Minnewater Park, another beloved Instagram spot. With an idyllic lake and lush, natural setting, this park makes for quite a beautiful backdrop.

    14. Hormuz – Iran

    A women walking through hormuz underground chapel
    It’s the scene!

    Even though it’s a pretty budget-friendly destination, Iran isn’t necessarily on every travel list. Still, believe me when I say it’s got more than its fair share of Instagram spots!

    For instance, the island of Hormuz is especially known for its surreal, multi-hued landscape, jagged cliffs, and red beaches. Talk about getting some unique snaps for the ‘Gram, right?

    In keeping up with its brightly-hued (and entirely natural) soil, locals built multi-colored domed houses that only add to the visual effect. No wonder Hormuz is known as ‘Iran’s Rainbow Island’!

    Hormuz is also home to the Valley of Statues, another natural wonder with massive rocks that have been carved into various shapes by the elements.

    Some of them look like birds, others like mythical creatures, and there’s even a dragon-shaped one. The Valley of Statues is found on a bluff that offers sweeping views of the coastline, so you’ll definitely get some stunning pictures of the ocean as well.

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    15. Melbourne – Australia

    Innovative cocktails, glitzy installations, and sparkling city lights all come together to make Melbourne one of the most IG-friendly destinations in Australia!

    For something that’s visually striking, check out the 150-year-old State Library of Victoria – more specifically the La Trobe Reading Room.

    A kangaroo drinking out of a rock hole in Australia
    Socializing with locals!
    Photo: Alexandria Zboyovski

    Resembling a scene from Hogwarts, this room is an absolute beauty to photograph with its geometric arches, reading tables, towering whitewashed walls, and octagonal shapes.

    To properly capture the perfect geometry of the place, head up to one of the balconies overlooking the reading room.

    If you’d like to take pictures from the tallest public viewpoint in the Southern Hemisphere, head to the Melbourne Skydeck, which stands at over 980 feet in the clouds.

    16. Chania – Greece

    Okay, there’s no doubt that Santorini is Greece’s Insta-Capital by excellence. But it’s no secret that the crowds can get pretty maddening over there, with everyone clambering across each other to capture the ideal sunset picture.

    chania - splantzia
    Photo: C messier (WikiCommons)

    But another island that promises equally insta-worthy pics with fewer crowds is Chania, located in the westmost corner of Crete.

    One of the best vacation spots in Greece, Chania’s most famous spot is no doubt the Old Venetian Port, where you’ll find benches facing the ocean. Over there, you’ll also find the old Egyptian Lighthouse.

    You’ll get the best shot of the harbor right before sunrise as the fishermen are bringing in their daily catch.

    If you’re more into sunset photography, don’t miss a visit to Triopetra and Plakias, a curious but undeniably beautiful beach where the rocks form a maze right inside the lagoon.

    17. New York – USA

    You didn’t think I’d leave that one off the list, right? I mean, we’re talking about New York! Concrete jungles, skyscrapers, snowy streets, Central Park in the fall—it really doesn’t get any better than that!

    A yellow taxi and USA flag with Times Square behind
    NYC is THE Instagram location!
    Photo: Nic Hilditch-Short

    If you’re exploring NYC, it’s probably no surprise that Times Square stands out as one of the best Instagram locations on earth. While I wouldn’t recommend that you actually hang out there (way too many crowds, scams, and tourist traps), there’s no denying that it makes for some pretty spectacular shots.

    I can also recommend a visit to the Hudson Yards, which is a fairly new addition to the Manhattan landscape. The Vessel, its signature structure, looks especially impressive when photographed from the ground!

    Lotte New York Palace (especially at sunset), Grand Central Station, and the iconic Brooklyn Bridge are other super-coveted Instagram locations in New York.

    You probably already know that NYC is one of the world’s most expensive destinations, so keep an eye out for special deals!

    18. Seoul – South Korea

    Instagrammable locations in Seoul range from quirky structures in the city center to secret gardens, mountain peaks, and skyscrapers – so there’s definitely plenty to choose from! And that’s not even mentioning all those amazing eats that food bloggers will love!

    Speaking of food, it won’t take you long to realize that the city has quite a few Insta-famous cafes and restaurants.

    One such place is the Pink Pool Café, which has two locations in Seoul. In my experience, the one found in Hongdae is far more fun to photograph since it’s bigger and even has an indoor pool at the center, so be sure to drop that in your Seoul itinerary.

    The best spot for nature photography in Seoul is Seoraksan National Park, offering misty peaks, rugged cliffs, and a cable car soaring over 2,200 feet for stunning bird’s-eye shots

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    19. Mykonos – Greece

    Another popular IG location in Greece that’s not Santorini, Mykonos does draw its fair share of crowds too. For this reason, I suggest that you plan your visit in the shoulder season (May, June, and early October), which is overall the best time to visit Greece.

    There are fewer tourists, but the weather is still pleasant, and accommodation prices are a lot more affordable. Just a tad, though – don’t forget that Mykonos is among the most expensive Cycladic islands!

    Mykonos Residential Homes
    Effortless Greek Charm!

    The island’s most iconic (not to mention photographed) structures are no doubt the windmills and the good news is that Mykonos has plenty of them! In fact, you’ll find four oceanfront windmills perched on a hill near Little Venice.

    The most recognizable Instagram spot on Mykonos is at the Maison de Katrin restaurant, famed for its giant bougainvillea plant. Because of its insta-popularity, this restaurant is definitely pricey, so plan at least 35 to 40 euros for the main course if you’re planning on eating there!

    20. Marrakech – Morocco

    If you’re considering a stay in Morocco, the cultural richness and unique experiences of Marrakech make it an absolute must-visit destination.

    While it’s one of the most crowded spots in Marrakech, Koutoubia Mosque promises some amazing pictures, especially because of its 12th-century architecture and 250-foot-high minaret.

    Non-Muslims aren’t allowed inside the building, but you’ll be able to see the minaret through the open doors on Fridays. For the best pictures, stand by the archway that’s found left of the entrance.

    If you’ve watched Inventing Anna, I’m sure you already know that La Mamounia Hotel & Spa is one of the best Instagram spots in Marrakech. With its exotic plants, fountains, and classic Moroccan architecture, this place has no shortage of idyllic spaces!  

    21. Galway – Ireland

    If you’d like the ideal blend of nature and urban photography, don’t think twice before heading to Galway!

    Heavily popularized by Ed Sheeran’s Galway Girl Video, the Long Walk area draws Instagrammers from far and wide, to the point where it’s now known as the most photographed street in the city.

    Another gorgeous road is the Canal Walk, which offers the ideal blend of buildings and nature. Set between the river Corrib and the canal, this walk is quite short but exceptionally picturesque. If your plan is to capture the essence of the city, you can always head into some of its more eye-catching bars like O’Conors, M.P. Walsah, and Padraicins Seafood Bar.

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    Final Thoughts on The Best Instagram Locations on Earth

    While there’s no denying that Instagram stirred things up in the travel world, it ain’t all bad news. Yes, some places did see negative impacts from relentless fleets of ‘influencers’, but other Instagram locations have rightfully been put on more maps because of their unparalleled beauty – something that definitely boosted the local economy!

    Certain IG content inspired millions of travel plans – and any reason to appreciate this beautiful planet of ours is a good thing in my book!

    Isla Mujeres Mexico
    Amidst palm trees!
    Photo: @joemiddlehurst

    And for transparency’s sake, please know that some of the links in our content are affiliate links. That means that if you book your accommodation, buy your gear, or sort your insurance through our link, we earn a small commission (at no extra cost to you). That said, we only link to the gear we trust and never recommend services we don’t believe are up to scratch. Again, thank you!