16 Most Instagrammable Places in LA for Epic Photos

Home of the iconic Hollywood Sign, boho beach towns, and the glamourous Beverly Hills, Los Angeles is a photographer’s dream destination. My guide to the most Instagrammable places in LA is going to ensure that you don’t miss a single photo opportunity during your visit!

LA is a huge city that does take some patience to get around so this guide is devised to help you visit as many spots as possible. Pay attention to the landmarks that are close by to one another and you will be able to maximize your time.

Read on for my complete guide to the best Los Angeles Instagram spots, which includes advice on when to visit, how to get there, and whether there are any associated costs involved. Scroll to the bottom for bonus content for those of you fortunate enough to visit the city during the holiday season.

*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.*

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Most Instagrammable Places in LA You Can’t Miss

1. Hollywood Sign

Looming over the streets of LA since 1923, not only is the Hollywood Sign the most popular of all the LA Instagram spots but it is also an icon of the country. It’s located on Mount Lee, within the Santa Monica Mountains.

This is a popular hiking destination with dozens of trails crisscrossing the mountain and Griffith Park. Unfortunately, it’s not possible to drive up to the Hollywood Sign as the road leading up there is a private road that is only accessible by city-approved vehicles.

So if you want to get up close with the sign, your only option is to hike there. The hiking trail starts from Griffith Observatory and it takes around 2 hours to hike the 3.3 miles long trail. Keep in mind though that you can’t climb down to the letters and they’re fenced off but the view is still epic from the end of the hike.

In case you’re not in the mood for hiking, the good news is that you can find a couple of epic viewpoints without having to hike as well! My tip for the best view is from Lake Hollywood Park on Canyon Lake Drive.

Parking is plentiful here and this way you can capture all nine letters from the wide grassy parkland. If you have a telephoto lens, you can even bring the letters closer in your photos! For reference, the below photos were shot on 94mm and 132mm respectively.

Lake Hollywood Park, Lake Canyon Drive

Location on Google Maps: Lake Hollywood Park

How to get there:

The Lake Hollywood Park on Canyon Lake Drive is a 20-minute drive from downtown LA (DTLA). The Beachwood Canyon bus route connects the Hollywood district to the sign in around 15 minutes, however, depending on where you are staying in LA, you’ll need to catch another bus out to Hollywood first.

Consider hailing an Uber or Lyft to speed up the process and you can also think about hiking up to the sign there if you have time to extend your adventure.

Bear in mind throughout this guide to the most Instagrammable places in LA that traffic in the City of Angels lives up to its infamous reputation. You will always need to factor in for delays when traveling by car or bus!

Best time to go: Any time during the day or to coincide with sunset.

Cost: Free.

2. Griffith Observatory

This art deco observatory is kitted out with a planetarium, free public telescopes, and amazing panoramic views of the city.

The Griffith Observatory is located on the south slope of Mount Hollywood in Griffith Park and is set within a large garden plot with wide terraces from which you can survey the view and experiment with a variety of angles.

Although it’s one of the more Instagram worthy places in LA in its own right, the Griffith Observatory also offers great views of the Hollywood Sign which is an added bonus for your photos.

Location on Google Maps: Griffith Observatory

How to get there: It’s a 20-minute drive from downtown LA and there is a paid parking lot right outside the observatory that costs $10 per hour. Getting there via public transport requires taking several buses so consider hailing an Uber or Lyft to save time.

Best time to go: Either visit early in the morning to avoid crowds or get there in time for sunset for the most incredible views. The observatory operates very limited opening hours but you don’t need to go inside for the views which means that technically you can go any time.

Cost: Free.

3. Santa Monica Pier 

Santa Monica Pier is the location of the famous Ferris wheel that you will certainly be familiar with if you’ve ever flicked through your feed of the best Instagram spots in LA. The pier opened in 1909 and features amusement rides, vendors selling souvenirs, food stalls, and street performers.

It has an incredible ambiance all day long but it really picks up in the evening when locals pour out of work and swing by for an evening stroll, run, or spot of fishing.

There are countless photo opportunities at the pier so make sure you schedule sufficient time to shoot while absorbing all the fun of the fairground.

Santa Monica Pier at night

Location on Google Maps: Santa Monica Pier

How to get there: It takes around 20 minutes to drive to Santa Monica from downtown LA. Alternatively, you can take the subway (Line E) or bus routes 4, 20, and 33 connect from downtown.

Best time to go: Santa Monica Pier is one of the best places to take pictures in LA at sunset.

Cost: Free to walk on the pier but the rides all carry an admission fee. 

4. Urban Lights at LACMA

Urban Lights is a public art installation at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA) that was conceived using 202 restored, cast-iron street lamps that are now solar-powered. You can wander through the cluster to create photos and shoot from the walkway that wraps around the lights.

The installation is extremely simple yet phenomenally beautiful and if you catch it before the crowds arrive it feels so serene. It’s no wonder that since its arrival in 2008 the Urban Lights have become established as one of the most Instagrammable places in LA.

Girl in blue dress in front of the Urban Lights at LACMA

Location on Google Maps: Public Art “Urban Light”

How to get there: Public parking is available at LACMA but it’s very expensive so you might prefer to use public transport. The nearest subway station is Wilshire/Western Station on the Metro Purple Line. You’ll need to hop on either bus number 20 or 720 from there.

Best time to go: It’s quieter to visit in the morning although if you have the opportunity then you might want to visit in the evening for a different perspective.

Cost: Free. 

5. Venice Beach Sign

Situated 1.5 km (2.5 miles) south of Santa Monica, Venice Beach is adored for its bohemian vibe and its network of Venetian-style canals. The whole town is steeped with photo ops but none are quite as iconic as the Venice Sign that flies over the junction of Pacific Avenue and Windward Avenue.

Spelled out in bright neon lights, each letter is a different color of the rainbow so it’s one of the best LA Instagram spots if you want to spruce up your feed with a burst of color. The sign backs onto the Venice Public Art Walls which are worthy of a wander too as you make your way down to the seafront.

Shooting here is a little bit tricky as you basically have to stand in the middle of the road to get this iconic perspective. The only solution is to wait until the pedestrian walking sign turns green, run into the middle and get your shot in 90 seconds. Please be careful!

Location on Google Maps: Venice Sign

How to get there: Venice Beach is a 30-minute drive from downtown LA. There isn’t a subway station in this district but you can take the 33 bus from Patsaouras Bus Plaza. It takes around 1 hour, subject to traffic and the time of day.

Best time to go: Any time.

Cost: Free. 

6. Venice Pride Flag Lifeguard Tower

The rainbow-colored Venice Pride Flag Lifeguard Tower was unveiled on 1st June 2017, right in time for Pride Month. It stands as a testament to diversity, acceptance, and support for the local and wider LGBTQ+ communities.

At the time the tower was repainted, that segment of the beach was dedicated in memory of Bill Rosendahl, the first openly gay man elected to the LA City Council. Rosendahl sadly passed away in 2016.

With its symbolism and its vibrant hues, the Venice Pride Flag Lifeguard Tower is a firm favorite among the beachside Los Angeles photo spots.

Location on Google Maps: Venice Pride Flag Lifeguard Tower

How to get there: Follow the same directions as above and visit the tower while you’re in Venice Beach. 

Best time to go: Any time.

Cost: Free.

7. The Beverly Hills Hotel

Located just off Sunset Boulevard, the legendary Beverly Hills Hotel oozes all the glamour and sophistication of the Silver Screen, having hosted Hollywood royalty for decades.

Known as the “Pink Palace” for its salmon-painted exterior, the hotel is submerged with tropical foliage and is fitted with its own red carpet which welcomes guests into the lobby. Its driveway is one of the classic Instagram worthy places in LA.

However, officially, you cannot take photos on the driveway if you aren’t a guest of the hotel so you need to get creative with how you approach taking pictures here. Of course, it’s possible to stay in the hotel but the rates are very expensive, starting at $925 per night for the cheapest room.

My tip is to quickly snap a few pictures right in front of the driveway, and you can also shoot with the Beverly Hills Hotel Entrance sign right next to the driveway.

Location on Google Maps: The Beverly Hills Hotel

How to get there: It takes around 25 minutes to drive to Beverly Hills from downtown LA in good traffic. Bus number 28 connects the two districts but the journey can exceed an hour. Consider booking an Uber or Lyft to avoid getting stuck on a bus!

Best time to go: Any time. 

Cost: Free. 

8. Bedford Drive

Bedford Drive is your quintessential, residential Beverly Hills avenue! The street is home to elegant private homes and mansions and lined with tall, skinny palm trees. It’s fairly quiet so you can pull over and take some photos from the center of the road. Just keep an eye peeled for passing traffic.

Location on Google Maps: Bedford Drive

How to get there: Follow the advice as above and visit Bedford Drive as part of a trip to Beverly Hills. Bedford Drive basically connects Sunset Boulevard (the setting of the Beverly Hills Hotel) with the center of the district and runs parallel to Rodeo Drive, another of the LA Instagram spots in this part of town.

Best time to go: Any time.

Cost: Free. 

9. Hollywood Boulevard

Hollywood Boulevard is a major west-east thoroughfare that runs from Sunset Plaza Drive in the West Hollywood district and journeys all the way into DTLA.

It’s one of the busiest streets in the city and gets very crowded with traffic, tourists, and LA locals so you will need to plan in advance where you want to get your photos. One of the most Instagrammable places in LA is located on the boulevard – the Hollywood Walk of Fame.

This is the sidewalk with all the names of celebrities etched into brass stars embedded in the concrete and is an absolute must for film fanatics. It covers around 15 blocks of the boulevard so you can walk the entire route or just visit a section of it, subject to how long you have to spare.

Location on Google Maps: Hollywood Boulevard

How to get there: Hollywood/Vine subway station is located opposite the Pantages Theater and is where you’ll find part of the Walk of Fame so I suggest you start your exploration here. 

Best time to go: Early morning.

Cost: Free.

10. Pink Wings 

Melrose Avenue is one of the coolest Los Angeles photo spots as it features a substantial patch of street art with various different works of graffiti from different artists. Just stroll along the street and you will immediately understand why Los Angeles is one of the best cities for street art in the whole world!

The most notable – not to mention Instagrammable – piece is the Pink Wings by Colette Miller where you can pose with the wings soaring out and upwards behind you. This was part of a project conceived by Miller in 2012, to remind people that they are the angels of the planet.

In addition to the wings in LA, Miller has painted wings around the world in Kenya, Australia, England, Cuba, and Japan, to name a few. 

Girl in front of the iconic Pink Wings on Melrose Avenue, Los Angeles

Location on Google Maps: Wings by Colette Miller

How to get there: West Hollywood doesn’t have the best public transport links so you might prefer to drive out and park locally or take an Uber or Lyft. Bus lines 10, 48, and Fairfax serve Melrose Avenue.

Best time to go: Any time. Bear in mind that sometimes there are long lines to pose with the wings. 

Cost: Free.

11. The Pink Wall at Paul Smith

The Pink Wall at Paul Smith is one of the more cultish LA photo spots. It’s a massive pink wall on the outside of the LA branch of the British designer’s store that has become super popular as a selfie backdrop.

Note that you can’t take photos with a full camera at the Pink Wall, only phone photography is permitted. Yes, there is a guard at the parking lot who will send you away if you have a camera in hand! The wall is a bit of a blank canvas which gives you a license to get as creative as you feel like.

Girl in front of The Pink Wall at Paul Smith in Los Angeles

Location on Google Maps: The Pink Wall

How to get there: Follow the directions as above and visit the Pink Wall after seeing the Pink Wings: these two Instagrammable places in LA are only a 15-minute walk apart. 

Best time to go: Any time of day. 

Cost: Free

12. LoveShackFancy

The adorable clothing boutique LoveShackFancy is one of the Instagram worthy places in LA. They stock clothes for women and girls as well as home decor, and, if you like the look of the exterior then you’ll more than likely love the clothing range, so factor in some time to browse.

The facade and entrance is adorned with hundreds of pink roses and pink embellishments. It’s perfect for photos!

Girl in pink-purple dress in front of LoveShackFancy in Los Angeles

Location on Google Maps: LoveShackFancy

How to get there: LoveShackFancy is just a 10-minute walk from the Pink Wall so you can visit these last three Insta spots at the same time. 

Best time to go: Any time. The boutique is open daily, 10 am-6 pm in case you want to browse the clothing stock.

Cost: Free. 

Bonus: Best LA Instagram Spots for Christmas

As a bonus, in case you are planning on spending the holidays in the City of Angels, here are the best Los Angeles Instagram spots for Christmas.

13. Rodeo Drive

Rodeo Drive is a 2-mile long street in Beverly Hills which represents the most luxurious and expensive stores and boutiques in the country. If you’re looking to spend a lot of dollars, this is the place to come!

Alternatively, it’s still a great place to explore and do some window shopping while capturing some photos.

During the holiday period, Rodeo Drive is adorned with festive displays of trees, wreaths, giant nutcrackers, and lights making it one of the most Instagrammable places in LA at Christmas. But if you visit the other Beverly Hills recommendations, you’ll want to visit Rodeo Drive at any time during the year anyway. 

Location on Google Maps: Rodeo Drive

How to get there: Follow the directions as above for getting to the Beverly Hills neighborhood and then get around on foot.

Best time to go: Early in the morning before the shoppers arrive and you’ll have this area practically all to yourself. Note that the street is closed to thoroughfare over the evening and is only opened in time for the stores opening, around 9-10 am. It is still possible to take wonderful photos at the entrance and have a peek at all the decorations. 

Cost: Free.


The Bloc is a huge open-air shopping and leisure complex in the heart of Downtown LA. While it’s a great destination to have on your radar if you want to shop during your visit, it’s entirely worthy of a special visit over the holiday season once it gets its yuletide makeover.

A giant tree made of lights is installed in the central courtyard with a walkway going between it and there are hanging bauble lights suspended above this. Also, look out for the walkthrough bauble which is one of the cutest LA photo spots at Christmas.

Location on Google Maps: THE BLOC

How to get there: 7th Street/Metro Center subway and light rail station is a short walk away. Assuming that you’re staying in DTLA, it’s best to use public transport. 

Best time to go: Immediately after sunset so that you can witness the lights in the dark.

Cost: Free. 

15. Union Station Christmas Tree

Union Station is the remarkable main train station that serves LA, wedged between Chinatown and Little Tokyo.

During December, a stately Christmas tree is positioned outside of the station to welcome guests to the city, with benches and giant presents placed at the base to provide a fun backdrop to your photos.

The Union Station Christmas Tree is one of the most visually fascinating Instagram spots in LA as you’ve also got a couple of stray palm trees in the frame, which is at odds with the classic festive fur.

Location on Google Maps: Los Angeles Union Station

How to get there: Union Station is the calling point for most of the light rail and metro stations so this is perhaps the easiest accessible destination on the guide to get to via public transport, just take your pick of the lines! 

Best time to go: Any time.

Cost: Free. 

16. Christmas Tree at Hollywood & Highland

The Hollywood & Highland is another of the epic shopping malls that you’ll find in Los Angeles, located in the buzzing Hollywood district.

The neat, generously decorated, and exceptionally tall Christmas Tree within the courtyard of the Hollywood & Highland is one of the best places to take pictures in LA during the holidays.

The shopping complex is actually located on Hollywood Boulevard and the Walk of Fame passed right outside the mall so you might want to merge visiting these two spots. 

Girl in blue dress in front of the Christmas Tree at Hollywood & Highland

Location on Google Maps: Hollywood & Highland

How to get there: The Hollywood/Highland subway station is located within the shopping mall. There is parking available at the mall if you’d rather drive. 

Best time to go: Any time works but it’s ideal to visit in the morning to avoid the crowds.

Cost: Free. 

Most Instagrammable Places in Los Angeles on the Map

I created a custom map for you that contains all the most Instagrammable places in LA with their exact location. You can even open it up on your phone if you click on the bracket in the upper right corner, this way you can easily check it during the day to ensure you’re not missing out on anything. Super convenient, right?

Where to Stay in Los Angeles

Los Angeles is a huge city (in fact, the second most populated city in the US!) so deciding where to stay can be difficult. The top tourist attractions are also spread around the city so no matter where you decide to stay, chances you will have to spend a fair amount of time in your car.

Generally speaking, the best areas to stay in Los Angeles are Downtown LA, which is the most popular part of the city, Santa Monica, which is famous for its gorgeous beaches, and West Hollywood, which has a central location with great nightlife.

If you want to read more about each area in LA, make sure to check out my in-depth guide about where to stay in Los Angeles. On the other hand, if you’re in a hurry, below you can find my top hotel recommendations for different budgets.

Four Seasons Hotel Los Angeles at Beverly Hills
Photo credit: Four Seasons Hotel Los Angeles at Beverly Hills

LUXURY – Four Seasons Hotel Los Angeles at Beverly Hills

Located in the luxurious Beverly Hills, this stunning 5-star hotel features rooms with private balconies overlooking the hills. The hotel has a full-service spa and an outdoor pool on site as well.

Huntley Santa Monica Beach
Photo credit: Huntley Santa Monica Beach

MID-RANGE – Huntley Santa Monica Beach

Situated a few minutes walk from the beach, Huntley Santa Monica Beach is a true paradise. With a rooftop view of the ocean and beach, a penthouse restaurant, and an elegant bar and lounge, this hotel is the epitome of luxury. 

Best Western Plus LA Mid-Town Hotel
Photo credit: Best Western Plus LA Mid-Town Hotel

BUDGET – Best Western Plus LA Mid-Town Hotel

Best Western Plus LA Mid-Town Hotel is located in Downtown Los Angeles and provides an excellent value for the price. Perfect for budget travelers, the hotel offers clean and cozy rooms with complimentary breakfast.

Planning a trip to California?

Then you might want to take a look at all our other travel guides about California. I promise, they are just as awesome as this article was!

Other USA Destinations: New York | Vermont | New Hampshire | Nevada | Illinois | Massachusetts | Maine

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