Abu Dhabi is one of the most popular day trips from Dubai, for a good reason! The city is absolutely gorgeous, offers many amazing things to do and it’s full of beautiful photography spots. In this post, I collected the best instagrammable places in Abu Dhabi that you can easily visit even if you’re planning to spend only one day in Abu Dhabi.
Do you want to find the best photography spots in Dubai as well? Read my post about the most instagrammable places in Dubai!
*Disclosure: This post contains a few affiliate links, which means I may receive a small commission, at no cost to you, if you make a purchase through my link.*
No time to read now? Pin it for later!
Most Instagrammable Places in Abu Dhabi
1. Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque
The Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque was the main reason I wanted to visit Abu Dhabi for so long. And let me tell you something: it is even more beautiful than it looks in the pictures! This mosque is definitely one of the most instagrammable places in Abu Dhabi.
The dress code is really strict for women: you must wear loose-fitting, ankle-length trousers or skirts and have your arms covered. If you’re not properly dressed you need to wear an abaya which I personally didn’t mind at all. You can choose from three different colors: blue, red or beige.
Although it’s really one of the most beautiful places I’ve ever seen, taking photos here is really tough. We didn’t manage to get there for opening time so it was already crowded.
Plus there is a marked one-way path for the visitors and the guards kept rushing us to go forward every time we stopped for a photo. Definitely not the most peaceful experience but it was still totally worth it!
Location on Google Maps: Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque
*Confession time: The photo on the left is Photoshopped. In reality, you can’t stand in the middle of the square where the flowers are painted on the floor. There was a barrier behind me which I took out with Photoshop and the flowers in the first third are also added with Photoshop. The rest of the picture is real, even the flowers behind me! If you’re interested to see the original picture check the ‘Before/After’ highlight on my Instagram profile!*
How to get there:
The easiest option is to take a taxi or take your rental car. There is a huge parking lot under the Mosque which is free to use for visitors.
Best time to go:
Since it’s one of the most visited places in Abu Dhabi try to go there at 9 am when it opens. Sunset is another great time to go because the golden lights look really beautiful in the mosque. But be prepared for a huge crowd!
Visiting the Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque is absolutely free!
2. The Ritz-Carlton, Abu Dhabi
The Ritz-Carlton Abu Dhabi is one of the most beautiful hotels I’ve ever seen! I’m absolutely obsessed with Middle-Eastern architecture and if this wouldn’t be enough, the hotel also offers an amazing view over the Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque.
Just look at the below pictures and you will understand why I picked this hotel as one of the most instagrammable places in Abu Dhabi!
Location on Google Maps: The Ritz-Carlton, Abu Dhabi
How to get there:
If you’re coming from Dubai you basically have three choices: take a local bus (very long and uncomfortable), hire a private driver to take you there (quite pricy), or rent a car yourself and drive there.
After carefully checking all the options we opted for a rental car since it was the most comfortable option and almost the cheapest. I can totally recommend doing the same! If you are already in Abu Dhabi and you don’t have a rental car, taking a taxi is the easiest option.
Best time to go:
Anytime! You can make really great photos basically any time of the day but if you want to have the best lighting conditions I would recommend shooting around sunset.
Unfortunately, you can only visit The Ritz-Carlton Abu Dhabi if you are a guest of the hotel. If you’re interested in staying at the hotel, you can read my full review of The Ritz-Carlton Abu Dhabi or you can check the prices and book a room right away!
Although it might be worth asking around whether you can take some photos in the ‘Instagram Spot’ – this is how they call the big archway you can see on my second picture. I can’t guarantee that they will allow you to do that, but remember the saying: if you don’t ask you will never get it!
3. Wahat Al Karama
Wahat Al Karama is one of the lesser-known Instagram spots in Abu Dhabi but it was my absolute favorite! I’ve seen this place on Instagram a couple of times before visiting but unfortunately, I had no clue where exactly it was.
To be honest we had a really hard time finding it. First, we even went inside the Mosque hoping to find this place inside which was a huge mistake! We spent around 1 hour getting in and out of the Mosque and almost missed the sunset because of it.
As we only had one day in Abu Dhabi I was really stressed about it! Luckily we arrived just in time to catch the last sunset colors and the photos turned out exactly how I imagined them.
Lucky for you, I’m here to tell you the exact location so you don’t make the same mistake we did! This exact spot is located outside of the Mosque, right across the highway. It means you don’t need to go through the long process of getting inside the Mosque and there is no dress code either!
Location on Google Maps: Wahat Al Karama
How to get there:
If you have a rental car, simply search for Wahat Al Karama on Google Maps (or use the above link I gave you) and drive your car there. You will find a huge parking spot around this place so it’s very easy to park.
If you don’t have a car, taking a taxi is your best option to get there. However, if you’re staying at The Ritz-Carlton Abu Dhabi you can easily walk there in just a few minutes!
Best time to go:
As this place is not that popular as some of the other instagrammable places in Abu Dhabi, you can go basically any time of the day.
If you want to make some really epic Instagram photos, sunset is the best time for that! The sun sets right behind the Mosque and the whole view is absolutely magical. If you want to try night photography this is also the perfect place for that! In this case, don’t forget to take a tripod with you.
Visiting the Wahat Al Karama is absolutely free!
4. Qasr al Watan
Qasr al Watan is a relatively new landmark inside the Presidential Palace that was opened to the public in March 2019. The palace already looks incredible from the outside but wait until you step inside!
It’s definitely one of the most beautiful places I’ve ever seen, no pictures do justice to how beautiful it is in real life. If you’re looking for the best photography spots in Abu Dhabi, you simply can’t miss this one!
It’s important to know that according to the dress code, you need to cover your knees and shoulders. We asked the guards and it was okay to remove my jacket for photos but other than that, you need to dress accordingly.
Location on Google Maps: Qasr Al Watan
How to get there:
Qasr Al Watan is located close to the Emirates Palace which is also one of the best places to stay in Abu Dhabi. If you’re staying there you can walk to the Qasr Al Watan in like 20-25 minutes.
If you are staying elsewhere, the best option is to take a taxi or use your rental car. There is a huge parking lot where you can park for free and from there you can use a golf cart or walk to the entrance.
Best time to go:
The palace is open daily between 11 am and 7 pm. Of course, opening time is the best if you want to get some photos without the crowd. But since it’s a huge place, with a little patience you can easily take pictures during the day too!
Another great option is to go 1-2 hours before closing time. Since it will be already dark you can’t really shoot outside but you can shoot inside, plus this way you can see the light show which takes place at 6.45 pm.
The adult ticket cost 60 AED (16.5 USD) and you can either buy them online or at the ticket counter.
5. Louvre Abu Dhabi
You might be surprised but there is a Louvre in Abu Dhabi too! It’s significantly smaller than the one in Paris but if you are a museum lover I can definitely recommend visiting.
The whole building of Louvre Abu Dhabi looks so futuristic and when the light comes through the roof that looks really magical. As I’ve only spent one day in Abu Dhabi sadly I didn’t have time to visit the museum personally. Maybe next time!
Location on Google Maps: Louvre Abu Dhabi
How to get there: The easiest option is to take a taxi or use your rental car, if you have any. You can also use public transportation as bus nr. 94 stops right in front of the Louvre Abu Dhabi (Saadiyat Island).
Best time to go: The museum is open from 10 am to 6.30 pm Tuesday to Sunday (it’s closed on Monday). You can visit all day long but it’s best to go early in the morning to avoid the crowds.
Cost: The adult ticket costs 63 AED (17 USD) and you can either buy them online to skip the queue or at the ticket counter.
Map of the Most Instagrammable Places in Abu Dhabi
In the below map I collected all the best photography spots in Abu Dhabi for you. You just have to click on the bracket in the upper right corner and it will open it up on your phone. Super convenient, right?
Where to Stay in Abu Dhabi
Since Abu Dhabi is quite popular among tourists, you can find a wide range of accommodations in the city. Although you won’t find any hostels, luckily you can still find some budget options too. You can check all the accommodation options in Abu Dhabi here or if you’re short on time, just check out my recommendations below!
MID RANGE – Marriott Hotel Downtown Abu Dhabi
Featuring free WiFi in the public areas, a restaurant, and an outdoor pool, Marriott Hotel Downtown Abu Dhabi offers accommodations in Abu Dhabi, 300 m from Al Wahda Mall.
BUDGET – Holiday Inn Abu Dhabi Downtown
Holiday Inn Abu Dhabi Downtown is located in the center of Abu Dhabi, in the business district. The hotel features a rooftop swimming pool and 241 well-designed guest rooms and suites.
Abu Dhabi is an absolutely beautiful city and I can totally recommend visiting it, even if you have only one day to spend there! Luckily you can cover the best spot photography spots in Abu Dhabi in a short amount of time but if you have more time to spend in the city, consider yourself lucky and enjoy it to the fullest!
I hope you liked this post about the most instagrammable places in Abu Dhabi and you will be able to shoot some amazing pictures as well! If you have any questions feel free to leave a comment below or send me an email, I always love helping you out!
Do you know some other great photography spots in Abu Dhabi? Let me know in the comments!
How to See the Best of Abu Dhabi in One Day
Dubai Itinerary: How to Spend 4 Days in Dubai
11 Most Instagrammable Places in Dubai
Want to read more about the United Arab Emirates?
Interested in seeing more Instagrammable places?
What Camera Gear Do We Use?
- Camera body: Sony Alpha 7 III
- Standard zoom lens: TAMRON 28-75 mm f/2.8
- Wide angle lens: Sony FE 16-35mm f/4
- Telephoto lens: TAMRON 70-180 mm f/2.8
- Drone: DJI Mavic 2 Pro
- GoPro: GoPro Hero 7
- Camera Bag: Peak Design Everyday Totepack
- Tripod: Manfrotto Compact Action
If you want to read more about what is in our camera bag, check out my detailed post about our travel photography gear!