2021 Apr 10
The beauty and character of Nuwara Eliya is known to all. Literally translating to “city on the plain” or “city of light” in English – it is pretty lit! The culture, heritage and multitude of attractive natural wonders in Nuwara Eliya make it the most visited place in the Hill Country of Sri Lanka. Despite being filled with ancient charm, Nuwara Eliya boasts of a quaint and timeless aura that makes it an absolute paradise for the photo-holic 21st century generations – especially when it comes to posting on contemporary social media platforms. Here’s our guide to the best Instagrammable spots in Nuwara Eliya. Read on and enjoy!
This waterbody is a central attraction in Nuwara Eliya, and rightly so! It offers a breathtaking landscape for nature photography along with a variety of activities you can engage in while clicking away for the Gram. These include cycling or walking along the lake perimeter, hiring a speedboat or sharing a romantic ride with your better half on a swan boat.
Since Nuwara Eliya is colder than most places in Sri Lanka, this ‘Winter Market’ located in the town centre is a one-stop-shop for cold-weather clothing. There are also vendors selling some jewellery and accessories. The marketplace comes alive with people and colour, vibrancy and hustle and bustle – which make for a snap with a story as well as a fun excursion overall.
Hakgala Botanical Garden
The vast expanse of 28 acres of the Hakgala Botanical Gardens consists of diverse species of trees, flowers and exotic plants. These floras are divided into various sub gardens like the Upper Flower Garden, Fernery, Rock Garden, Arboretum, Rose Garden and Glass House. Here you can experience nature in all its colours and shades – which provides a splendid backdrop for personal portraits and is lovely for landscape photography!
Nuwara Eliya Post Office
The Nuwara Eliya Post Office is situated in the centre of the town within an antique Tudor Manor house built way back in 1894. It’s one of the oldest post offices in the country, and one of the most ‘English’ buildings in Sri Lanka! The iconic landmark has a red and white brick façade and is steeped in a practice of a bygone era. It was even featured on a stamp in 1990, and would definitely make for a classic vintage edit 30 years forward.
Victoria Park is a name synonymous with Nuwara Eliya. The manicured grounds, dancing fountains and shady trees make for the most relaxing surroundings one could ask for – and this is reflected in any photograph taken here. You can also visit the small museum which shows what life was like when it was under British influence. Needless to say, the old photos here are interesting to both experience and capture.
Seetha Amman Kovil
A remarkable religious and historic structure – this temple is located amidst the misty mountains and tall pine trees. Its intricate carvings, bright colours and sacred stone statues make for a great juxtaposition of man-made and nature. The temple is full of mythological importance as it is believed to be where Sita was held captive by Lord Ravana, and also where Lord Hanuman came to rescue her – the footprints here believed to be those of Lord Hanuman are an additional point of attraction.
Any guide to Nuwara Eliya is incomplete without mentioning its tea production. The rolling hills covered in terraced tea bushes are indeed a sight to behold, and produce the most gorgeous pictures! In addition to the lush greenery and heavenly mist you get to enjoy when you tour the plantations, you also get to see how the tea is processed and packaged. The well-known tea estates you can visit are the Pedro Tea Estate and Bluefield Tea Gardens.
Visiting a strawberry farm is one of the most popular things to do in Nuwara Eliya, and the famous ones are Jagro and Adma Agro. The emerald dotted vistas with juicy strawberries result in a fantastic setting for snaps as well as offers nice close-ups. You can walk through the fields plucking your own strawberries during harvesting season! Moreover, there are cafes attached to the farms where you can enjoy freshly prepared strawberry special desserts and drinks.
Ah, the waterfalls of Nuwara Eliya – little pieces of heaven right here on Earth! All of them from the widest St. Claire’s Falls to Devon Falls, Ramboda falls to Aberdeen Falls, Bomburu Ella Falls to Lovers’ Leap Falls and Laxapana Falls – involve a short scenic trek and offer spectacular views of Mother Nature in all its glory. Land, water and air all come together to create a perfect backdrop. The atmosphere oozes peace and tranquillity, as does any picture taken here.
Grand Coffee Bar
This is probably the best coffee shop in Nuwara Eliya. Their chic interior, good food and great coffee tick all the boxes whether you’re looking for a cosy morning, afternoon or evening; and will definitely make for some delicious #instafood photos as well.
At this classy establishment located within the Grand Hotel complex, you can choose to sit outside on the lawn shaded by umbrellas – which makes for the ultimate British high tea experience and some fun vintage shots in the process. And of course, let’s not forget the ‘food for your feed’ – as the snacks here will definitely produce a mouthwatering flat lay.
This vintage cottage-style hotel is a true getaway – it’s a retreat nestled amidst the highest mountains in the area at a magnificent 2,600 metres. Whether you opt to stay here or pop in at their restaurant or Lake View Pub – the picturesque surroundings and cosy ambience will definitely give you a great time and a great composition. They offer eco-tours as well.
The Little England Cottages
This is a unique, one-of-a-kind housing complex in Nuwara Eliya – it’s a quaint but plush English hamlet built to resemble British architecture in bygone times. Anything clicked here will be pretty as a picture, needless to say – especially a vintage-edited personal portrait. Renting a holiday home here for your stay in Nuwara Eliya will give you access to its authentic wood fireplaces, typical English interiors, rafter ceilings, Chesterfield sofas and cavity walls – and of course all the fantastic photos you can take here.
The Grand Hotel Nuwara Eliya and Westbury Palace are two well-known ones in this regard, with interiors and exteriors that exude royal elegance and plush comfort. Visit either of these truly picturesque locations and you are bound to get some royal pictures that look like they are straight out of the sets of Bridgerton or Downton Abbey.
These are rustic lodgings located high above, amidst the mountains and mist in Nuwara Eliya – overlooking a stunning expanse of scenery. They offer an extremely cosy and intimate experience – literally cut off from everything and everyone, as well as some absolutely fantastic bird’s eye views and aerial shots of Nuwara Eliya. Hideout Cabins and Willmount Cabins are a couple you can check out.
So there you have it – our Top 15 Instagram spots in the ‘Little England’ of Sri Lanka. Nuwara Eliya is truly a gem of our paradise island and we’re sure this guide leaves you in need of no more convincing! We hope you find it useful the next time you travel to this hill country hamlet – both to have an enjoyable time there as well as to capture some epic pictures for a lifetime.
Have you visited all of these stunning locations? What’s your favourite place in Nuwara Eliya? Are there any photo spots we’ve missed out on? Do let us know in the comments!