Best Places to Take Pictures in Austin: Instagram Spots, Murals + Map

Take pictures in Austin. Instagram Spots

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There is no shortage of Instagram spots in Austin, and it helps that most locals, transplants, cafes, bars, and hotels are pretty cool looking, too!

Since this city doesn’t hide its art behind a museum paywall, its murals make an endearing backdrop for keen photographers and cute couple shots.

This guide to the best places to take pictures in Austin details the most popular streets and street art, lush green spaces, hip hotels, capture-worthy cafes, sunset spots, and where to snap the iconic Austin skyline.

We’ve also included an extensive map so you can get your bearings.

However, you’ll discover your own spots and subjects as you wander about, snacking on truck food and sampling craft beer in the capital of Texas.

You may also like our guide, free things to do in Austin, and where to eat.

Austin Murals

This wouldn’t be a complete guide to Instagrammable places in Austin without discussing this city’s street art scene.

While street art is ever-changing and evolving, some of the most popular murals in Austin have magic staying power, while one area dedicated to graffiti has been sold off. Read on to find out more.

1. Greetings From Austin Mural

The Austin Postcard or Greetings From Austin mural is the most popular mural, at 1720 S 1st St.

The mural has a blue background with the word ‘Austin’ written bubble-style.

Inside each letter is an attraction, such as a bridge. Below the name is the outline of the Texas State Capitol building.

The mural also says “greetings from” then the word “Austin” and ends with “Capitol of Texas”.

We also saw this postcard-style mural in Seattle.

The Greetings From mural is slightly out of the way compared to the next popular Austin photo spot on a busy bar and cafe street called South Congress Avenue.

Greetings from Austin Postcard Mural

2. I Love You So Much, Austin Wall

The second most popular mural can be found on the side of Jo’s, a busy, popular coffee shop (1300 S. Congress Avenue).

With red spray, the phrase “I love you so much” is handwritten on a pale green wall in the city’s fun South Congress (SoCo) area.

This visual declaration of love was an apology to the shop owner, written by her girlfriend, after a drunken argument.

Now couples and friends wait in long lines to get the cute yet cheesy shot.

We’ve also seen a photographer with a vintage Polaroid camera hang about and offer to take people’s photos for a small fee.

As you can see from the two images taken years apart, the wall is looked after. When there is a fresh lick of paint, the phrase is re-sprayed.

I Love You So Much Wall | Ten Cool Things to do in Awesome Austin

There’s also a permanent I Hate You So Much Wall in Austin, and we’ve even seen a bank hop on the trend!

I love you so much Austin mural

3. Historic 6th Street

Sanctuary Printshop created this patchwork-style piece at 582 N Interstate 35 Frontage Rd in 2012 to celebrate Austin as the world’s live music capital.

The mural text says, “Historic 6th Austin, Live Music Capital Of The World Since 1839”.

“Don’t Mess With Texas” also features white against an orange background and the outline of the Texas map.

Many of the best places to eat can be found around 6th Street. Check out our Austin restaurants and food trucks guide here.

Visit Austin Mural

4. You’re My Butter Half

I saw pictures of the You’re My Butter Half mural before my first trip to Austin in 2015.

This mural, found on the United Way for Greater Austin wall at 2000 E Martin Luther King Jr Blvd, was part of a re-branding strategy for the community organization in 2012.

The love letter to the people of Greater Austin was designed by John Rockwell and painted by the Creative Suitcase team.

This mural has a mint green backdrop and a playful design – a slice of bread which reads “You’re My” and a melting cube of butter that says “Butter Half”.

It reminds me of the drive-in movie advert in Grease, where the hot dog bun asks the sausage to jump in. No idea why!

It’s quite far out, so we drove and parked for free.

You're My Butter Half Austin Art in -Texas

While this is a popular romantic photo location in Austin, the roof of the mural creates a shadow, so consider the time of day if you plan to do a couples shoot.

You're My Butter Half Austin Art Texas

The “You’re My Butter Half” brand also has merchandise! We used a small tin with the print as our wedding ring holder when we got married at Lou Neff Point.

Let me know if this mural is where you decide to get your engagement photos in Austin! I’m a sucker for a love story.

You're my butter half print on small tin. Woman with purple nails holds tin.

5. Graffiti Wall in Austin

Unfortunately, the graffiti wall/park HOPE Outdoor Gallery (1101 Baylor St) is closed.

We managed to grab some wedding pictures here in 2016, but it was closed off when we went back to see the ever-changing murals in 2019.

There are plans to re-open a new location near the airport.

Armit Wedding Austin Elopement Capitol Hill

6. Tau Ceti

Something out of this world is at the Tau Ceti mural on E 2nd Street and Brazos Street.

The bright, trippy triangle brightens the muted tone of the tall building it slices into.

You can watch the local artist, Josef Kristofoletti, in action below.

The mural took three months to complete and covers ten stories.

There is absolutely no shortage of street art locations in Austin. To avoid inundating our post with every spot, we’ve created a whole guide to murals, which you can read here.*

Outside Photo Locations in Austin

In this section of our guide, we’ll detail green spaces and interesting architecture.

7. Zilker Park

Zilker Park is 358 acres of green space and is home to Barton Springs (below) and Zilker Botanical Gardens. This is an all-year-round park!

Families come to swim in summer, and in winter, locals visit the annual Trail of Lights, which you can read about in our festive guide to Austin.

Zilker Park Austin Texas

This is where the famous Barton Creek Greenbelt begins.

Over 7 miles of trails for hiking, biking, climbing, swimming, and sunbathing with multiple entry points.

This is a popular trail with locals, so expect weekend crowds.

Austin Christmas Trail of Lights Zilker Park

8. Zilker Botanical Gardens

Zilker Botanical Gardens is referred to as “The Jewel in the Heart of Austin.”

The Botanics includes Taniguchi Japanese Garden, which has Koi-filled ponds and a teahouse.

There are rose and herb gardens, a historic schoolhouse, and a butterfly garden trail.

Zilker Botanical Gardens Austin Map

9. Barton Springs

On a hot day, Barton Springs (2201 Barton Springs Rd Zilker Park) feels like an oasis.

This 1000-foot-long natural limestone pool is fed by underground springs with temperatures averaging 68-70 degrees.

The depths of the pool range from 0’ to 18′.

The adult entry fee starts at $5 for locals.

The water is clean, and there is a grassy embankment for sunbathing.

Note: Alcohol and pets are not allowed at Barton Springs pool.

Both Zilker and Barton Springs feature in our date night ideas guide.

Barton Springs Pool in Austin 1000 foot watering hole with grassy embankment

If you don’t mind sitting on stones, there is a free watering hole next to the official pool.

Barton Springs sunbathing blue skies

10. South Congress

South Congress Avenue is one of the coolest streets in Austin, serving up a selection of photo ops.

South Congress Street Art Austin

11. Allens Boots

This iconic sign represents exactly what the shop has in store: cowboy boots and apparel, including stylish hats and leather belts.

Allens Boots has taken pride of place on South Congress Avenue since 1977, and this family-owned store has floor-to-ceiling cowboy boots.

You can also look at the wall of fame highlighting all of the celebs they’ve kitted out.

Why not pick up a pair of boots or a hat for your Austin photoshoot?

Allens Boots red sign with blue skies South Congress Austin

12. Big Top Candy Store

This candy shop (1706 S Congress Ave) is like something from Charlie and the Chocolate Factory!

Big Top Candy Store SoCo Austin

There are jars of colorful candy, circus-theme, and ice cream to go; be sure to get a snap at this SoCo treasure.

Big Top Candy Shop So Co | Ten Cool Things to do in Awesome Austin

13. South Congress Bridge

Before planning your trip to Austin, you probably knew this city is famous for its flying bats!

From mid-spring, every night around sunset, thousands of free-tailed bats fly from South Congress Bridge over Lady Bird Lake.

Bat monument Austin Texas

Why? These bats live and have their pups under Ann W. Richards Congress Avenue Bridge.

According to Austin Bat Refuge, the best viewing is from mid-March to early May and from late July through mid-September. You can check the site to see what bat activity has been like.

You can view the flight from the top of the bridge, underneath it (north or south shoreline) or in the water on a boat tour.

Note: Flying a drone? See the official City of Austin drone regulations.

Congress Avenue Bridge bats. Austin. Sunset with crowds

14. Texas State Capitol Building

The tree-lined path leading to the three-story Sunset Red Texas Granite Capitol Building at 1100 Congress Ave creates a perfect frame for posing couples.

There are 22 acres with 17 monuments to investigate and find your shots.

If you want to learn more about the architecture and history, you can join the free 30-minute tour.

Texas State Capitol, An Austin Elopement - Corey Mendez Photography

15. Cute Nail Studio

Love, love, love this painted wooden nail salon at East 7th.

We were lucky to meet someone who worked there and got permission to take a photo.

Follow the studio on Instagram here.

It’s one of the cutest places to take photos in Austin, boom boom.

Cute Nail Studie Austin

16. 360 Bridge Overlook

The Percy V. Pennybacker Jr. Bridge is called the 360 Bridge, and it has a viewing platform that can be reached by foot.

To get to the 360 Bridge Overlook, park at the unmanned parking area on the northwest side of the bridge and walk up the short hike beside the unofficial car park.

While the walk is short, you probably want to leave your heels in your pack.

Pfluger Circle, near Downtown, is a unique option if you like bridge shots.

The industrial circular bridge unravels like an orange peel stuffed with greenery.

360 Bridge Austin. Over river.

17. Flamingo Automotive

Another contender for the cutest photo spot in Austin is Flamenco Automotive (3512 Guadalupe St).

It is located in a historical gas station that dates back to 1938, and it is pink!

Flamingo Automotive Austin

Austin Skyline Pictures

Austin’s skyline can be enjoyed from many locations around the city, including Barton Springs!

Plenty of opportunities exist to capture the buildings against trees, water, bridges, and traffic.

River Cruise Austin Boat Buildings Bridge

18. South Congress Avenue

Yet again, the cool area of SoCo has one of my favorite skyline frames.

Consider the traffic if you plan to take a shot from South Congress Avenue over the bridge and into Downtown.

This alignment centers the State Capitol Building neatly, and if you’re lucky, like me, a man in cowboy attire will cross at the same time as you!

Austin South Congress

19. Lady Bird Lake

Along Lady Bird Lake, the Hike and Bike Trail provides ample shots of the downtown skyline.

While there are runners and cyclists along the river walk, e-scooters are not permitted.

The Boardwalk works as an Austin skyline at night, too.

Austin Riverside ducks in sun

20. Lou Neff Point

I’m biased, as Lou Neff Point is where we eloped in 2016!

Bride in yellow dress, groom in navy suit kiss against Lady Bird Lake Austin backdrop
Lou Neff Point, Ladybird Lake, Austin kayaks skyline

Sunset Spots in Austin

Any skyline location above will also double up as a sunset spot. Other areas to consider include the following suggestions.

21. Downtown

The shiny silver buildings against the pastel sunset can be a lovely contrast.

Red River Austin Sunset

22. State Capitol Building

Another location you need to be careful crossing for, but Texas State Capitol looks just as good blinded by lights as it does surrounded by trees during the day.

Texas State Capitol Building Night

23. Covert Park at Mount Bonnell

Mount Bonnel is a super popular sundown spot for locals.

The views reach over the Colorado River and Hill Country.

At 775 ft above sea level, it is the highest point within Austin City Limits.

There are just over 100 steps to climb, so you have to work for the views. Wear sensible-ish shoes.

Free car parking is available at the base of Mount Bonnell.

Mount Bonnell. Austin. Sunset.

24. The Oasis at Lake Travis

Before diving into the most photogenic bars and eateries, there is one standout sunset viewpoint a little outside the city.

Serving nachos and margaritas, The Oasis is a landmark sunset spot overlooking Lake Travis from its tiered outdoor decks.

The drive takes around 45 – 60 minutes, depending on the traffic.

Oasis restaurant on cliff over Lake Travis at night near Austin Texas.

Iconic Austin Restaurants and Bars

25. Ciscos

Cisco’s Restaurant (1511 E 6th St) is one of our favorite breakfast spots in Austin.

The diner has throwback decor, a jukebox on display, mimosas, baskets for chips, tasty breakfast tacos, and friendly staff.

Food Austin Cisco Cafe East 6th Street_

26. Lazarus Brewing Co

Close to Cisco’s on East 6th is Lazarus (1902 E 6th St), Craig’s go-to craft beer bar for live music.

Fairy lights line the no-fuss wooden structure, and there are benches outside.

Beer Flight Lazarus Austin Craft Beer Brewery_

27. Cedar Street Courtyard

Cedar Street Courtyard (208 W 4th St) is a lovely outdoor music space with inside bars.

28. South Congress Cafe

Hip Bloody Mary and brunch stop at 1600 S Congress Ave. I enjoyed the biscuits and Mimosas.

South Congress Cafe Austin_

Photogenic Hotels

If browsing Instagrammable places in Austin on IG, you’ll probably come across hotels as much as murals.

29. Westin Austin Downtown Hotel

Good news for skyline and photography fans who can’t quite afford to stay at one of the downtown hotels in Austin!

The Westin Downtown has a rooftop pool that visitors can use, providing you with drinks at the bar.

We spent a lazy afternoon here, nursing our SXSW blues.

Azul Rooftop Pool and Bar Austin Westin Hotel_

30. Fairmont Austin

Day passes are available at the Fairmont (Red River), and you can hire cabanas to get a cute summer shot.

Fairmont Austin Texas outdoor swimming pool

31. Hotel Saint Celica

When searching for wedding photographers for our Austin wedding, Hotel Saint Celica frequently popped up in blog posts.

The “Soul” sign by the swimming pool is the most popular image associated with the hotel, but its courtyard wins many brides over.

The hotel is named after the patron saint of music and poetry, which is pretty cool, and its poolside bungalows all nod to music heavyweights.

32. Hotel San Jose, SoCo

Hotel San Jose describes itself as a “40-room urban bungalow-style hotel,” and the first thing that grabs the eye is just how lush with greenery it is.

This boutique hotel is a popular “getting ready” location for wedding shoots.

33. Austin Motel

Austin Motel is a 1930s-era retro motor inn converted into a hip hotel.

With kitsch decor, a kidney-shaped swimming pool, and a ‘that’ sign, this adorable accommodation is a fun place for photographers of all levels to stay.

The Only Truth Is Music Motel Austin

34. Airstream

The city is known for its food trucks, but guess what happens when some trucks retire?

They become cute airstream accommodations perfect for your Austin Instagram photos.

We stayed in a lovely airstream on the east side of the city.

If you’re looking for unique accommodations, read our guide to treehouse cabins in Texas!

Airstream converted van bed

Austin Photographers

If you are looking for a milestone event photoshoot or want to hand the skills over to a professional to speed up the photo-taking process, check out these pro photographers.

Discounts for group bookings!

Austin Instagram Spot Map

To help navigate the best places to take photos around Austin, I’ve put together this map.

It is broken into layers which you can select depending on what type of photo location you are after.

Man on horse South Congress buildings

Save for later! Bookmark to your Austin planning board

Looking for the best Instagram spots in Austin, Texas? This guide details cool streets, hip hotels, awesome murals, landmarks and the cutest couple photo locations in Austin. Map included!

Any questions or comments? Just ask below.

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