Sri Lanka is a country that’s becoming the go to holiday destination right now, and if you’re looking to capture the perfect insta worthy images, look no further.

After doing a lot of research on the country itself, there seemed to be quite a few of the same images popping up on my instafeed. So, without a doubt, if you’re heading to Sri Lanka and want to go and find those popular spots, I’ve compiled them all into this post. As you might know, for many places, you’ll need to either get there super early for sunrise or sunset because we all know that’s the best times to create that perfect image!

So here’s my top 17 instagram places to visit in Sri Lanka.


1. The Swing

Probably the most famous instagram photo right now is the swing. It was created by two guys a while back and has since become the go to attraction. I’ve heard you even have to pay 1000R to have a go on it now. Expect a line for this one.

Where is it? It’s on Dallawella Beach near Unawatuna on the South Coast.


2. The Train Ride

Coming in at a close second or to be honest, it’s just as popular as the swing is getting the perfect, carefree shot of yourself hanging out of the train doors. The train isn’t high speed although you’re going to have to get the image when it’s slowing down towards the next station stop be on the safe side and get your poor insta hubby or mate to capture the image from the next carriage. I was surprised how people did this as the train rides I experienced weren’t exactly peaceful. See here for what it’s actually like.

Where is it? Most people create this photo on the famous train ride from Kandy to Ella.

Read more: Our experience in Ella


3. The Train Track

Don’t try this at home! One of the best ways to get around Sri Lanka is by rail (actually in the train not on the tracks), it’s cheap, fast and you get some pretty incredible views along the way! ⠀⠀ ⠀⠀ It’s not uncommon to see locals walking along the tracks to work or school since the trains are relatively infrequent. This train track offers a unique experience as you have to cross it carefully to get from @taruvillas to the beach!⠀⠀ ⠀⠀ ✧✧✧✧✧⠀⠀⠀ ⠀⠀⠀ If you want to join me in Sri Lanka or another destination you can express interest in future @travelgirlsgetaways trips now! Or book your place on our Bali Retreats in October and our Malawi Safari & Charity Trip in September now on https://Getaways.WeAreTravelGirls.com. Link in my bio. ⠀⠀⠀ ⠀⠀⠀ ✧✧✧✧✧⠀⠀⠀ ⠀⠀⠀ #travelgirlsgetaways #wearetravelgirls #taruvillas #bentota #srilanka #asia #travelandleisureasia #travelgirls #girlsgetaways #beautifuldestinations #beautifulmatters #instagood #travelandleisure #travelblogger #travelphotography #travelwithus #boutiquehotel #boutiquetravel #villas #beachtravel #srilankatravel #escape #travel #traveling #instatravel⠀⠀ #igtravel #beautifulhotels @beautifulhotels

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A popular image seems to be people being carefree on the train tracks although obviously just be careful there’s not a train coming your way!

Where is it? You can get this shot at Weligama or if you’ve missed out on it, then I saw the tracks in Negombo so there’s still a chance of getting a final photo before your flight out of the country.


4. The Palm Trees at Mirissa

I kept seeing this photo everywhere on instagram and although I went to Mirissa, I didn’t go to this spot which you can see from the beach (on the far left when looking out to the ocean). I’m sure there would have been a fair few people there as Mirissa was full of instagrammers.

Where is it? The far left of the beach at Mirissa.

Read more: Is Mirissa really worth visiting in Sri Lanka?


5. The Stilt Fishermen

Gone fishin' 🐟

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It’s an old traditional way of fishing in Sri Lanka although from what we saw, it didn’t look like this was still happening and fishermen (I’ve put this in italics as it looked like they may have been actors!!!) were purely there for tourist purposes. You can even pretend you’re fishing like they are in the few cms of water like in the above pic! Whenever we saw anyone fishing in Sri Lanka, it was always with a net or a box standard fishing rod!

Where is it? Along the coast between Mirissa and Unawatuna.


6. Mirissa Island

This is a very popular insta photo to take in the insta town of Mirissa. Popular shots include either of yourself or better with a drone.

Where is it? Left hand side of Mirissa Beach


7. The Turtles

All along the southern coast you’ll be able to get a nice insta photo of the turtles. If you’re lucky you’ll see one on the beach, in the ocean or even baby turtles hatching and going into the sea for the first time.

Where is it? Baby turtle hatching is in Mirissa but turtles are most popular in the town of Hikkaduwa.


8. The Perfect Deserted Beach Shot

We found the most beautiful beach and got a drone shot near Tangalle in the middle of the day. If you’re staying in popular beach spots, you’ll need to get up super early to capture a decent image to pretend you’re actually in a secluded spot 😉

Where is it? Anywhere in Sri Lanka as long as you’re willing to get up early for it.

Read more: Why you should visit Tangalle Sri Lanka


9. Galle

While I'm waiting for our flight to take us back home, I'm thinking of all the different places we've visited for the past 3 weeks, the people we've met, the food we've tried, the new words we've learnt, the festivals we've watched, the sunsets we've captured, the stars we've counted, the smiles we've been given, the things we've learnt….🌏 Isn't traveling the best thing in the world? I'll keep sharing my Sri Lankan adventures for a few more days because I'm not ready to say goodbye today, the trip may have ended but my heart still wants to travel a bit more around this amazing country, so I hope you enjoyed the pictures so far because you'll see more of them in the following days…Oh Sri Lanka, I'm not ready to let you go ☺️🇱🇰❤️⭐️ _____________________________ #tourtheplanet @tourtheplanet #iamatraveler #hallazgosemanal #living_destinations #ourplanetdaily @ourplanetdaily #destinosimperdiveis #earth_deluxe #wonderful_places @wonderful_places #melhoresdestinos #srilanka #srilankadaily #srilankatrip #srilankatravel #wearetravelgirls #ig_catalonia #shotoniphone #passionpassport #livetravelchannel #exploretocreate #sheisnotlost #thetravelwomen #girlsborntotravel #beautifulexplorers #girlswhotravel #livefolk #folktravel #wanderfolk #vsco #whpadventure #vscolike

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I’ve seen countless images of drone shots and of instagrammers at the colonial town of Galle but the most popular image is of the lighthouse.

Where is it? The colonial town is near Unawatuna.


10. Tea Plantations

NEW BLOG POST! 🇱🇰 Finally I can share with you my post about Sri Lanka 🌞 I couldn’t sleep last night so I thought should finish this for once, link in my bio! In the meantime I’m editing all the pictures @envy4lens and I took in the Philippines 🇵🇭 I hope tonight can share something with you 🙏 . (📷 @envy4lens) . #amoviajar #fullofcolors #bestplacetogo #girlsjustwanttotravel #gltlove #starttheadventure #lifewelltravelled #leicacamera #prettylittletrips #letsgoeverywhere #wheretofindme #instagood #worldtravelbook #darlingescapes #youmustsee #girlswhotravel #followmytravel #womenwhoexplore #iamtb #beautifuldestinations #beautifulmatters #globelletravels #ladiesgoneglobal #letsgoeverywhere #femmetravel #amazingsl #srilanka #srilanka_travel #srilanka_tourism #wonderlustsrilanka

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One thing that’s unique about Sri Lanka are the tea plantations. Get yourself all looking wanderlust like the image above, or you could just walk into a tea plantation on the track up to Little Adam’s Peak in Ella which is what it looks like this instagrammer has done by the look of the background.

Where is it? Best spot is just outside Nuwara Eliya but you can also get a shot on the hike to Little Adam’s Peak in Ella.

Read More: Waterfalls and Tea Factories in Nuwara Eliya


11. Top of Little Adam’s Peak

This is an easy one because it makes you look like you’ve hiked a million miles to get there but it’s an easy one hour stroll through the gorgeous landscape in Ella or if you want, you can get a tuk tuk to most of the way too 😉

Where is it? Ella

Read more: Our experience in Ella Sri Lanka


12. Nine Arches Bridge

Another very popular photo is of the nine arches bridge. Trains still run along this bridge and there’s a station guy there to stop tourists from getting hit because people do get carried away with getting the perfect photo. I’m not too sure why this is a big tourist attraction but it’s in a beautiful setting. Best photo would be with a drone of course but there are lots of creative ways to capture this place.

Where is it? It’s 20 minutes from Little Adams Peak in Ella if you’re up for walking. Otherwise you can get a tuk tuk there and walk down.


13. Sigiriya Rock

The most famous landmark in Sri Lanka and the most expensive tourist site as well (US$30) is Sigiriya Rock. You’ll need to start early in the morning to reach the top but expect loads of tourists here.

Where is it? It’s north of Kandy. Best place to stay would be in Dambulla to reach this.

Read more: Two days in Dambulla Sri Lanka


14. Pidurangala Rock (looking out to Sigiriya)

It’s probably getting more popular than Sigiyria but the rock next to it called Pidurangala is cheaper (500R) and only takes 30 minutes to climb. It’s insanely popular to get the image of yourself looking out to the Sigiyria too. Not sure how the instagrammer above got up there in her bare feet and a strappy dress as it’s a steep climb in the pitch black to reach sunrise.

Where is it? Next door to Sigiyria Rock near the town of Dambulla.


15. Elephant Safari

I will never ever get enough of the open jeep safaris through beautiful National Parks. The minute I spot anything moving, no matter how far or close, I jump up from my seat like a 4 year old in excitement and pure awe. There is just something so magical about being up close to animals when found in their natural habitat, especially elephants. I think they are my favorite. I love the way they move – so slow and gentle, and quite elegant in a way. However watching them eat is probably the most entertaining thing ever especially when they eat bark. They eat it like grass making it look like it's no biggie to rip off a couple strong branches from a perfectly healthy tree. A random fact we learned on this past safari, did you know that elephants have the best sense of smell in the animal kingdom? They can detect water sources up to 12 miles away 😳! Just in case you are eyeing my headscarf it is from the beautiful @thelosttribe_ Thanks to @shangrilahambantota for the amazing experience

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A big highlight in Sri Lanka is the plentiful of elephants on the tiny island. Most get this typical shot on the safari jeep or if you head to the Elephant Freedom Project you can get right up close to the friendly giants without having to go to one of those terrible elephant ride places.

Where is it? There are many elephant safari’s to choose from but the most popular are either Yala or Udawalawe. Just don’t go to Pinnawala as even Lonely Planet mention how the elephants are mistreated. Always put morals first before getting the insta pic.


16. The Buddha Steps

Ever get the feeling that somebody's watching you? 👀

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The most popular spot in Kandy to take an insta photo is at the steps to the buddha on the hill. The city is about as exciting as this gets.

Where is it? It’s hard not to notice the big white buddha which overlooks the city of Kandy. You can easily get there by jumping in a tuk tuk.

Read more: A guide to Kandy Sri Lanka


17. Hang Out Of A Tuk Tuk

Just pretend your on a motorbike or hang out of a tuk tuk for that carefree fun pic. Funnily enough the guy who rented the tuk tuk I swung out of actually contacted me on Insta –  I couldn’t believe it!

Where is it? Best thing to do is find a motorbike or tuk tuk and pretend you’re driving it or swinging out of it for a laugh.  A more tropical location, the better.


I think that’s the insta worthy photos covered then for your Sri Lankan trip!

If you’re off to Sri Lanka and don’t have travel insurance yet, find out how much it costs below.

Have you seen my other Sri Lankan posts yet?

Is Mirissa worth visiting in Sri Lanka?

My favourite beach in Sri Lanka: Hiriketiya

Why you should visit Tangalle Sri Lanka

Our experience in Ella Sri Lanka

Waterfalls and tea factories in Nuwara Eliya

Two days in Dambulla Sri Lanka

A guide to visiting Kandy Sri Lanka

Could Helga’s Folly be the most interesting hotel in the world?

Finding tranquility in Colombo

Top 17 instagram places to visit in Sri Lanka
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