The beautiful landscapes of Sri Lanka are capturing many traveller's attention and you'll find plenty of incredible photography spots. Whether it's epic palm tree rope swings, amazing train journeys, beautiful tea plantations or that coconut tree patch, you are definitely going to be spoilt for choice.
We spent five weeks exploring this gorgeous island and have put together a list of our favourite Instagrammable spots, how to find them, what to expect and what time to go to make sure you capture that once in a lifetime shot.
The Most Instagrammable places in Sri Lanka
1. That palm tree rope swing at Dalawella Beach
The number one most instagrammed spot in Sri Lanka goes to that palm tree rope swing in Dalawella Beach.
No matter what time of year you go to Sri Lanka, you'll find people here to get the iconic shot.
Can you blame them? The view is stunning, especially when the sky lights up at sunset.
It's also one of the few spots where you can get an adrenaline rush while also getting that perfect shot.
If you want to find out all our tips (hint - it's not as easy as it looks), then check out our blog all about the Palm Tree Rope Swings in Sri Lanka.
2. Nine Arch Bridge from below
Nine Arch Bridge is quickly becoming one of the most popular places in Sri Lanka for Instagrammers.
It's a stunning setting and there's so many interesting photography spots.
We loved the tea fields at the northern end of the bridge as you could take in the sheer size of the bridge as well as the endless greenery.
If you're thinking of visiting, check out our blog all about Nine Arch Bridge and be prepared for an early morning mission!
3. Nine Arch Bridge from above
Our favourite view of Nine Arch Bridge is from the cafe on the hill at the northern end of the bridge.
Not only can you get a cool drink, but you can sit right on the edge and watch the trains come through. It is one of the best ways to spend a morning in Ella and also get a great shot at the same time.
The train time table and other details are all linked in the blog post above.
4. Coconut Tree Hill, Mirissa
Coconut Tree Hill in Mirissa is one of the most picturesque spots on the south coast and could have been made for Instagram.
This little hill overlooks the Indian Ocean and is completely bare (well, other than for the palm trees).
Taking in the view from here was one of our favourite things to do in Mirissa.
Sadly we didn't have any decent sunsets whilst we were in Mirissa, but it is perfectly situated for when the golden hour arrives.
5. Kandy to Ella Train
The train from Kandy to Ella is stunning. The whole journey is full of epic views of tea fields, mountains, valleys and a hundred shades of green.
What makes it even more fun is being able to hang out of the doorways.
The whole journey is picturesque and your camera will get a good work out but it's not quite as straightforward as it looks on Instagram.
It requires a bit of planning as the trains get insanely busy.
Check out our blog on the what people don't tell you about the Kandy to Ella Train before taking the journey to get the most out of the most beautiful train journey in Sri Lanka.
6. Swing at Dikwella Beach
We loved the whole Dikwella area from the word go and this was cemented with the stunning sunsets we saw each evening on the main beach.
At the very eastern end of the beach is yet another swing (in front of the Dikwella Beach Resort) that is suspended from a horizontal palm tree.
There are no queues at this one and we spent over an hour swinging back and forth in the breeze. Paradise.
7. That crumbling shop in Galle
Instagram certainly loves an old building with character, and this shop in Galle offers it up in spades.
We were told it was the only building around this part of Galle that survived the tsunami making it even more unique in amongst all the new modern buildings.
We've written a guide with how to get to this shop as well as our favourite things to do in Unawatuna, a truly beautiful part of Sri Lanka.
8. Pedro Tea Plantation, Nuwara Eliya
We were really surprised by Pedros.
We were expecting a standard factory experience, but we found beautiful tea fields that you could wander at your leisure.
Just outside the main visitors centre you will see this beautiful spot, surrounded by tea bushes and a view that goes on for miles.
It was one of our favourite places in Nuwara Eliya.
9. Little Adam's Peak, Ella
Little Adam's Peak is one of the best things to do in Ella and a trip here will reward you with this epic view!
It takes less than half an hour to get to the top, such reward for such little effort, and there are a few ledges at the top that are perfect for those edge of the world shots.
This one is the first one you will come to as you turn right towards the peak, you can't miss it.
It usually comes complete with several canine friends.
10. Pidurangala Rock - Sigirya
The hike up to Pidurangala is steep, but short and offers one of the best views in Sri Lanka.
From the top you can see for miles and get the best view of the famous Sigirya Lion Rock.
It is one of our favourite sunrise spots in the whole country.
Check out our guide to the Pidurangala Rock Hike for all the details.
11. Yala Safari
A safari in Yala is truly memorable and you're likely to get up close to some pretty amazing animals.
Whilst you can see we were completely unprepared for this shot, you get the gist that it can make for a great photo.
The elephant in the picture had been deep in the bush and then suddenly came right up to the jeep, it was one of the best wildlife encounters I've ever had.
Before you embark, check out our blog which explains how to get the most out of a Yala Safari.
12. The swing at Mihiripenna Beach, Unawatuna
Mihiripenna Beach is a little piece of tranquility on a bustling coastline.
Few people come to this beautiful beach that's enclosed by coconut trees.
We had the whole beach to ourselves for the afternoon and it was one of our favourites in the whole of Sri Lanka.
There's a perfectly placed swing about half way down the beach, with all these options Sri Lanka is really starting to rival Bali in the incredible swings stakes.
13. Diyaluma Falls, Ella
The hike up to the top of Diyaluma Falls is pretty tiring in the midday heat, but it is well worth it when you get an infinity pool like this to yourself!
The views are stunning and yet again you can see for miles. Once you've got the shot, you can dive in to cool down!
The link above is step by step instructions to visiting these incredible infinity pools without a guide.
14. Big Buddha, Kandy
Once you arrive in Kandy, you'll see the huge white buddha that sits on top of the hill, overlooking the city.
There's a couple of cool shots you can get here and it's an interesting way to spend a few hours in Sri Lanka's second biggest city.
If you don't want to wear the old brown sarong that the stupa gives out to everyone, then make sure you cover your legs : )
15. Damro Tea Plantation, Nuwara Eliya
Despite being greeted with endless rain in Nuwara Eliya, exploring Damro Tea Plantation was a highlight of our trip.
The whole plantation is set in a valley, surrounded by steep hills covered in tea bushes leading down to a river.
We spent hours there watching tuk tuks and people making their way through the plantation and surveying this beautiful scene.
An added bonus is undoubtedly the delicious chocolate or tea cake with a pot of Ceylon tea for only 75c!
To reach this spot walk directly from the main building through the car park and follow the steps down to the tea plantation. There's a pretty Instagrammable staircase there too.
16. Swing at Mahi Mahi Restaurant
The small beach at the eastern end of Dikwella is another peaceful and idyllic part of the South Coast of Sri Lanka.
We loved chilling on the beach by Mahi Mahi Seafood Restaurant and were regularly invited by locals to join them for drinks.
The swing was free to use, although we bought drinks of course.
17. The elephant gathering at Kaudulla/Minneriya National Parks
The elephant gathering at Kaudulla or Minneriya is one of the greatest wildlife experiences in Asia. In July and August, hundreds of elephants congregate within these small national parks near the remaining water sources and it is an incredible sight.
As the jeeps are open air, you can get a great shot pretty close to these incredible animals. We would go as far as suggesting to plan your trip to Sri Lanka around the time this happens if you possibly can.
If you are thinking of going to either Kaudulla or Minneriya, check out our guide to the amazing elephant gathering.
18. Lion Rock - Sigariya
Lion Rock in Sigiriya is much busier than nearby Pidurangala Rock but also has some great views. The summit is huge so there is plenty of space to get some shots no matter what time of day you go, though we'd advise sunset if you can.
This spot is when you walk up the stairs and come out at what appears to be the summit but is actually just below it.
Our Camera Gear
Our brand of choice for camera gear has been Canon for many years and we love their L-Series lenses. Whilst they are heavier than some other brands, the image results are worth the additional weight. Weâ€™ve also used a few drones in our time (check out our guide to which drone to buy here) but currently own a DJI Mavic Pro.
Here’s the camera gear we use the most:
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