Atlas Obscura-esque Instagram Accounts?

I’d like to add a little wonder and inspiration to my Instagram feed!

Does anyone have any recommendations for Instagram accounts to follow that have a hint of the wondrous, or share the mission of looking at looking at the ordinary in a different way?

I’ll share some of my favorites!

@ irishmarianshrines : This is an account devoted to surveying the shrines to Mary all throughout Ireland. Seeing the diversity of the shrines and how religion meshes with the landscape is really cool!

@bootscrapersofdublin : Literally just pictures of “bootscrapers” as features built into the exteriors of Dublin buildings. I love the idea that someone is walking eagle-eyed through Dublin on the lookout for these things. Its bio is “Looking out for the Overlooked.” Could that not be more perfect??

@abandoned_jewish_memories : The manager of this account visits the remnants of Eastern European Jewish communities. It’s clearly a passion project, and the captions to each picture are highly informative and thoroughly researched.

And, of course, @bodegacatsofinstagram .

I’m also a sucker for the hashtags #streetshrines and #roadsideshrines.

I’m curious to see what else people have come across!


Yes, as I mentioned on the ugly architecture thread, the Instagram for the Plaza Tower in New Orleans fits the bill for you.


@accidentallywesanderson is an amazing account! I love that their photos aren’t just incredible but they also post really detailed explanations about each place they feature. The Atlas Obscura Instagram account has even reposted from them at least a few times.


@WightCrow has a quirky little account out of Washington, D.C., that explores what they term #UnseenDC. Basically, they post pictures of small things throughout the city that most tourists (or even locals) would never get the chance to see. They haven’t been posting as regularly, lately, but still worth checking out.

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Also, I enjoy following the hashtag #ikeacatania, which shows all sorts of shots from a particular Ikea in Italy. That sounds pretty dull, except this particular Ikea lets stray dogs come in and sleep in the store, so you get a lot of great shots of these strays living their best life. Just kind of quirky and sweet.


Ow, my heart! This is a good Ikea.


I love this!

@mixterdm for a locals eye on New Orlean’s beauty
@rawdetroit and @asdetroitsown for a taste of the grittier but charming Detroit


@mis.steps is dedicated to Pittsburgh’s city steps. There are 739 public staircases in town, there’s a book chronicling them, and Laura’s project is to visit each and write a piece on each one. She’s an awesome writer and breaks my heart regularly. I get that a lot from girls.

In all seriousness I love the project and it’s not obscure per se’, but I think it fits into the general scheme of exploration.

I did some posts about suburban stairs in my neighborhood and she suggested that I record them in some way and now she links to my Google map from her site. Finally! I achieved ma!

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@ihavethisthingwithfloors — lots of great pics of beautiful floors

@intothepolaroid - fantastic Polaroid photographer

@vintage_las_vegas - old timey Vegas pics

@itsabandoned - abandoned places

@airstream_dreams - renovated airstreams!

@beeezeblockhead - various pics of breezeblocks

@sadtopographies - maps with depressing place names

@theydidntdie - chronicling various euphemisms for death from obituaries

Also totally going to be that person, I’m on insta as @shatomica ! I tend to post travel, concerts, art, and rare or interesting books from my day job :slight_smile:


@our.type posts interesting pics of Ireland’s storefronts/signs/typography. I only discovered the account because AO did a story on it!


@roadsfromsata is also very good. He’s currently walking across Shikoku, Japan in the winter, and his photos and writeups are great.


That is such a cool project! I love this idea.

ahem how has no one said @atlasobscura yet? ahem


I think everyone was just waiting for you…


But I thought that that was a given!!! :grinning:


@saguarosally - posts cool road/business signs from around the USA
@retroroadsidephoto - Old neon, mid-mod and roadside signs from around the US
@vintage_las_vegas - old photos and stories from Las Vegas
@modernvegas - photos with accompanying stories about mid-mod buildings, motels, and homes in Las Vegas
@lostottawa - historical photos, memories and stories from Ottawa Canada


Hi hello! I’m AO’s Senior Audience Development Manager, I run our Instagram account! Here are some of my favorites that I often share on our feed:
@forgottenheritage - We LOOOOVE this account, and have regrammed his photos countless times. He focuses on architecture and ruins around the world.
@raidenbucharest - Cristi is a brilliant photographer who gets ~ off the beaten path ~ in Romania.
@victorialautman - Stunning coverage of India’s historic stepwells
@accidentallywesanderson - Someone else mentioned him above, but we’ve partnered with Wally before and the account is so brilliant and everyone should follow him
@daventuree - A new favorite whose account I just found in the 6 months or so, Dave lives in Switzerland and travels all over taking glorious, haunting photos
@alina_rudya - Another new favorite of mine, Alina has such an eye for gorgeous architecture and structure
@holler4adventure - Sebastian’s captions are just as interesting as his photos
@waqonthewildside - Waqar is a traveler mostly within the US, an excellent photographer, and an all-around lovely human


Okay, so it’s not an account, but the #hiddendoors hashtag is a favorite thing to browse. It’s just people showing off their secret passages hidden behind walls, and bookcases, and such. It’s very jealousy-inducing.


Thanks so much for taking the time to weigh in, @AbiInman!

Not Instagram, but this Youtube series by Evan Hadfield (son of Canadian astronaut Chris Hadfield) is one of my favourites.

He travels to a place, sources stories based there and (usually) draws holistic conclusions about the human condition from them.

This is Rare Earth: