Sri Lanka is a beautiful island located in Asia. Each year, about 2 million tourists come to visit this island. Although this country is tiny, it has a variety of things to see and enjoy. Better yet, Sri Lanka also has a bazillion of photo-worthy places.
Where to travel in Sri Lanka?
When you travel to Sri Lanka, the absolutely, must-visit place is the central city of Colombo. You never have to wonder what to do in Colombo. Wherever you go in this city, there is something unique to see. The interesting infusion of modern-ness and the traditional beauty will keep you and your camera busy all day long.
But still, it’s cool to know where to go before you pack your things and travel to Colombo. So, we researched and found 12 awesome instagrammable places around the city. Guaranteed, these places will blow your Instagram through the roof!
Where is Colombo?
So, where is Colombo? Colombo is located in the western province of Sri Lanka. This is the commercial capital and the largest city in Sri Lanka in terms of population. It takes only about 30 minutes to reach Colombo from the Katunayaka International Airport.
Once you get there, you can explore the city with a city guide or take public transport. Bus rides are very inexpensive. Or, you can also hire a tuk-tuk to get around.
That being said, here are the 12 most instagrammable places around Colombo.
1. Gangaramaya Temple
This is the best place to start when exploring the city. This Buddhist temple has a nice, quiet atmosphere and will calm you before you go to sensory overload with the rest of the bustling city. It is the best-known temple in Colombo, and there's a good reason.
Located near the picturesque Beira Lake, this temple provides quite a scenic view. The architecture of the buildings and the statues are a combination of Sri Lankan, Indian, Thai, and Chinese styles. This unique blend makes it a perfect instagrammable place.
Gangaramaya temple is not just a temple. It also consists of a museum with many artifacts from around the world. While most are donated artifacts related to Buddhism, there are interesting things like ivory and wood carvings, vintage cars, and more.
The relic chamber lined with Buddha statues on the marble-like Beira lake's backdrop is a beautiful sight. There is also a replica of the famous Borobudur temple in Central Java, which is extremely photo-worthy.
2. Independence Square
This area gets its name from the Independence memorial hall built here in 1948. Although time has passed, this area still has that colonial vibe. From boulevards to Colonial buildings, everything will feel as if they popped up from a different time.
The memorial hall is ornately decorated with intricately designed cement pillars and is surrounded by statues of sitting lions. It is worth a shot by itself. The mango-tree lined avenues are perfect for a walk and will offer some pretty good pictures.
The Independence square arcade is a colonial building turned into a modern shopping mall. The immaculate lawn and the all-white colonial government buildings look awesome in pictures. So, don’t forget to click some pics here as well.
3. Floating market
The floating market is a market constructed on pavilions along the Beira lake. The terracotta and wooden floor, the pavilions, and the docked wooden boats floating on the water look lovely in the evenings. And it’s quite relaxing to walk around. The lake reflects the sky in the daytime and is spectacular in the night time because of bright city lights' reflections. A shot here is sure to become your most-liked Instagram photo.
The market is bursting with colors and will offer a range of local fruits, vegetables, flowers, and even garments. This colorful market is accessible for free and will give you some awesome pictures. You’ll definitely thank yourself for choosing to travel to Colombo.
4. Dutch hospital
Dutch hospital is one of the best places for Instagram in Colombo. The charm of Colombo is in its colonial vibe. The Dutch hospital is an awesome place to explore and capture that vibe. This area used to be a hospital for Dutch soldiers during their rule and is one of the city's oldest buildings. Now, it has been renovated and houses a large number of shops, cafes, restaurants, and spas attracting so many people around the world. It is the perfect place to chill and take some photos capturing the essence of Colombo and its history.
5. Vihara Maha Devi Park
Vihara Maha Devi Park was previously known as Victoria Park and is a lush green stretch of land. This, too, dates back to the English rule when it was donated to the British government by Captain Charles De Soysa.
This park is central to Colombo and is properly maintained. The wooden benches underneath large flowering trees surrounded by well-kept green grass is a charming sight to see. The park also has the world war II memorial, which is a looming cenotaph perfect for a picture. The best time to travel to Colombo, this park is between March and April when the flowers start blooming.
6. Colombo National Museum
If you have been wondering what to do when you travel to Colombo, write down this national museum at the top of your to-do list. This museum dates back to 1877 when it was opened during the English rule. So, this building, too, is built according to the colonial style.
The national museum path is lined by great banyan trees that have been around for so long. These banyan trees and the grand, white colonial building in the backdrop offer a nice opportunity to get that next Instagram worthy shot. The large and well-kept green lawn adds to the colonial vibe of this place.
But that's not all. After you get your awesome shot, walk around the museum. The history of Sri Lanka is here in detail, and you'll surely find it interesting. This museum has a collection of interesting items like large gems, paintings, accessories worn by kings, various weapons, and more. While you are there, make sure to see the grand throne of the last king who ruled Sri Lanka.
7. Pettah Bazaar
This city always has something unique to offer. And it's true even to the many streets that crisscross Pettah. This is the largest Sri Lanka market and sells everything from fruits and vegetables to electric and mechanical items. Every street sells a unique item. One street may sell electric items while another street sells garments. Everywhere you turn to, you’ll see shops up and down and people bustling about in hundreds. It’s easy to get lost in this maze of streets.
Snap some shots of the busy streets, and you'll find them a perfect portrayal of a Sri Lankan market. Other than that, it's one of the best places to buy things at an affordable price. But be careful. Pettah can be quite an assault on the senses. So, bring your water bottles and be prepared to sidestep people and be on your feet most of the time. Taking a Tuk Tuk here will not work because the streets are too crowded for a vehicle to pass through.
8. The red masjid
While you walk about the streets of Pettah, you are sure to stumble upon this architectural wonder. This masjid is the largest Muslim worship place in the country and has a very striking appearance. It has been built with red and white bricks, and it is very hard to miss. A tip when you go to visit this place is to avoid prayer times because it gets crowded.
This building is known for its unique architecture. A pomegranate reputably inspired the shape of the top part of this building. If you get up there, you'll oversee the port and the rest of the city. Be sure to click some awesome pics of this red masjid. It looks splendid in the evenings. The unique architecture of it makes this masjid one of the most-liked Instagram photos.
9. Galle Face Green
Galle Face is definitely a place to go while you’re in Colombo. The tiny beach gets crowded on weekends with local families and is still very enjoyable. Backed by tall buildings in the back and the sea in the front, it is a perfect place to walk around and get some quick shots. The sunset and sunrise are incredible here. A little tip to awe your sense buds, try the vade from the beach's stalls. They're the best.
10. Food restaurants
Let’s get real. Your Instagram won’t be complete without some delicious looking dishes here and there. If you know where to go, you will get some pics that drive your followers crazy with how good the food looks. Luckily, you have me. I'll let you know exactly where to go. The #1 is the awesome Ministry of Crab. This restaurant is all about seafood, and you'll love the presentation. Snap a quick pic here. Visit Black cat café for vintage style.
Other than that, there are other photo-worthy restaurants like Kumbuk, Nana’s, The Lagoon, and Fat Panda. Look out for reservations because most of these restaurants get booked out quickly.
11. Lotus Tower
This is a fairly new addition to the Colombo city. If you visit everywhere in the city and wonder what to do in Colombo next, visiting lotus tower will definitely be a fun experience. It's the tallest completed tower in South Asia and is worth all the hype. When you go to the top of the tower, you'll catch the whole city's awesome sight underneath. The tower also includes a very instagrammable revolving restaurant. Don’t forget to snap some pictures from the base of the tower as well.
12. The city at night
Every city looks awesome at night. It is no different for the city of Colombo. When you travel to Sri Lanka, dedicate a day to stay in this amazing city and enjoy the night. There are plenty of things to do, like visiting Night bazaars or just walking around. The best place in Colombo at night is the Beira Lake. The reflection of the massive buildings all lighted up in rainbow colors looks gorgeous in photos. Another place for an awesome view of the city lights is the lotus tower. So, try to visit at night. You’ll love the view.
Sri Lanka is undeniably an exquisite country. Colombo's majestic city adds to this beauty and is a great place to get some of those Instagram-worthy pictures. From food shots to Colonial elegance, Colombo may be the spot that gives you your next most-liked Instagram photo.
Now you know where Colombo is and what to do in Colombo. So, grab this opportunity to travel to Sri Lanka.