Scroll through Instagram, and you’ll see influencers promoting all kinds of goodies. But one underused Instagram feature offers another way to be #influenced: searching Instagram locations. Forget Yelp: By browsing Instagram locations, you can see for yourself which restaurants have the yolkiest brunches, which hotels have best tubs for soaking, or which hair salons have the happiest customer selfies — all by cruising through posts and Stories tagged at the location.
This method of exploring Instagram can give you a peep at any place in the world. You can check out recent public posts and Stories at a bar to see if it’s open, or a beach to see if it’s crowded. You can also do recon on future destinations by tapping through posts’ geotags. Interested in the hike your friend’s cousin took this weekend? Find out where it is and get directions to the very location the photo was taken with a single tap.
The feature is so useful, Justin, 29, relies on it for curating meal plans in new cities. “When I travel, I use location search to find places that look good on Instagram over other review apps,” he tells Bustle.
Here’s how to travel the world, find out if everyone is hanging out without you, or plan your next meal with Instagram locations.
Search Locations On Instagram
If you have some flexibility with your search criteria, you can use Instagram’s general search bar to enter the name of the place you’re looking for and check out results sorted into Top, Accounts, Audio, Tags, and Places. If it’s a business, or popular location, like a nail salon or famous pizza place, you’ll likely find it in Top, Accounts, and Places. But if you’re looking for something like a landmark or a private beach, Tags and Places will be your best bets, as most of those search results are user-generated.
Interact With Stories
Another way to discover Instagram locations is by playing around in Stories. If you see a Story that has a location tagged, you can tap the geo link to see the place page. There, you can view more information, see Top and Recent posts, and get directions.
Do A Direct Search
If you want to search a location that’s already established an account or presence on Instagram, like a café or national park, head to their account. Sometimes these accounts post their geotag on the grid, or users will have done so in their tagged photos. Tap the location to see how far away the spot is, a visual of where it is on a map, and a curation of Top and Recent posts taken at the location. While Top might be a good place to check out some of the best photos taken at the location, the Recent tab will give you the most up-to-date visuals — which is particularly useful if you’re trying to suss out the current vibe at the bar. By tapping into a location and clicking the “View more” icon in the top-right corner, you can open the post in Maps or Google Maps to get directions right to the stop, too.