21 of the Very Best Things to do in Sri Lanka

We liked Sri Lanka.  It was once one of the ones nations that we in truth felt unhappy leaving. There are such a lot of issues to do in Sri Lanka and all the way through our 4 other visits there, now we have controlled to see so much.

Updated May 2019

It broke our hearts to pay attention of the assaults on the folks of Sri Lanka. They are the kindest, warmest and maximum open folks we now have ever met in our travels.

While visiting this pretty island situated off the southern coast of India, we met inspiring folks, noticed magnificent websites and loved superior adventures. You will too whilst you seek advice from Sri Lanka.

Now greater than ever is the time to seek advice from Sri Lanka.

What to do in Sri Lanka

If you’re making plans on going to Sri Lanka in the long term here’s a checklist of issues that you simply must be certain that no longer to leave out.

Want a useful resource for issues to do in Sri Lanka? Buy your Lonely Planet Travel Guide

1. Surfing

surfing in sri lanka things to do

Give browsing a take a look at

Sri Lanka is a newbie surfers paradise. Hikkaduwa on Sri Lanka’s southwest coast is the common spot the place we attempted browsing.

The sandy ruin cushions your fall and the waves don’t seem to be the gigantic intimidating pipes observed in Hawaii or Australia. Even knowledgeable surfers can experience themselves in Sri Lanka even though.

On the west coast, there’s a common seashore that gives larger and higher waves referred to as Aragum Bay. This is the place you can to find so much of surfers striking out ready to catch a wave.

The season is other than Hikkaduwa’s then again, so be certain that to take a look at when browsing on the west coast is common.

2. Aragum Bay

what to do in sri lanka locals

Aragum Bay was once one of our favourite puts to loosen up in Sri Lanka. It has that outdated time backpackers really feel the place you’ll be able to sit back on a hammock, drink affordable whiskey and get to know the locals.

It’s additionally a browsing mecca. Hikkaduwa was once the place we realized, however Aragum Bay is the place the severe surfers forestall.

sri lanka travel | aragum Bay

If you might have by no means surfed sooner than Sri Lanka is the position to do it. It is really easy to be told right here and the prerequisites are ideal for the first timer. So if you’re searching for one thing to do in Sri Lanka, give browsing a take a look at!

three. Sip Tea and discover the hill nation

sri lanka tourist places | Tea plantations

Don’t leave out the tea terraces

Sri Lanka is one of the maximum vital tea manufacturers in the international and its hill nation is shocking.  Colonial cities dot the panorama surrounded via tea plantations.

One of the absolute best puts to sip tea is in Nuwara Eliya and Kandy.

The plants is opulent and inexperienced and the rolling hills make for an excellent website. Pretend you’re in jolly outdated England for a couple of days.  Stay in outdated plantation properties, drink tea and consume baked items.

It does not get any longer civilized than this. Don’t leave out going to Ella and Nuwara Eliya to see the tea plantations of Sri Lanka. Exploring the surroundings of the hills is a will have to do when seek advice from visiting Sri Lanka.

It’s completely stunning and you’re feeling as if you’re in every other international.

Note: The Hiking Trail to Ella is a will have to do when visiting the house 

four. Adam’s Peak Pilgrimage

places to visit in Sri Lanka | Adam's Peak

Adam’s Peak Pilgrimage

In my opinion, the best enchantment of Sri Lanka is Adams Peak. Our climb to the best was once one of the absolute best stories now we have ever had in the nation.

Adams Peak is Sri Lanka’s maximum sacred website and you’ll be able to sign up for hundreds of pilgrims for two months of the 12 months as they pay homage to the first position that Adam stepped foot on earth when he was once solid down from Heaven.

It is a climb that does not require any technical ability, however this can be a exercise. You will really feel an excellent sense of accomplishment participating in this non secular adventure.

This is via some distance our best advice of issues that you simply must be certain that to do when visiting the nation. This climb is what drew us to seek advice from Sri Lanka.

See our time mountain climbing to Adam’s Peak

We noticed the Adam’s Peak Pilgrimage on Pilot Guides a few years in the past on TV and new that someday we needed to do it ourselves.

five. Ride the Train

adventurous things to do in Sri Lanka | Take the Train

Take the teach

One of the belongings you will have to issues to do in Sri Lanka is to trip the trains. Sri Lanka’s trains are like stepping again in time.

They chug slowly alongside via hills and valleys. It is the gradual adventure that makes it particular.

Looking out over the mountains and tea plantations rival any view in the international and the folks that you simply meet on the teach shall be remembered endlessly.

So if you’re making plans a commute to Sri Lanka be certain that this makes your to do checklist and take the time to commute via teach. It shall be an enjoy you are going to take into account and cherish endlessly.

A best teach adventure in Sri Lanka is to Ella.

6. Yala National Park

what to see in Sri Lanka | Yala National park

Leopard at Yala National park

Yala National Park is one of the few puts in the international that you’ll be able to spot a leopard. I put Yala up there as one of our best issues to do in Sri Lanka.

We had such a lot a laugh taking a look in any respect the flora and fauna and 4 wheeling via the park in our safari truck. Hanging out and making new buddies was once phase of the a laugh!

Where to Stay in Yala National Park: Cinnamon Wild

what to do in Sri Lanka, go on safari

More than leopards at Yala National Park

Yala is an unbelievable park stuffed with flora and fauna.  Elephants, peacocks, monkeys, jackals, crocodiles and track lizards to identify a couple of.

You would possibly not be disenchanted on a jeep safari right here although you do not see a leopard, you are going to see a good looking panorama and an abundance of wild animals.

However, chances are high that beautiful just right that you are going to see a leopard and costs are so affordable, that although you do not, you’ll be able to take a look at to see one once more on every other safari.

7. Go to Udawalawe National Park

things to do Sri Lanka | elephants

Several puts to see elephants in Sri Lanka

Sri Lanka is stuffed with nationwide parks and trekking via Uda Walawe is a brilliant get away from the hustle and bustle of the cities.

What is particular about this park then again is the Elephant Transfer Home an orphanage and rehabilitation centre for orphaned and injured elephants supported via the Born Free Foundation.


You can watch elephants being fed, however in contrast to the Pinawale Orphanage, the ETH cares just for the elephants properly being.

They have as little interplay with people as imaginable.  So some distance 65 elephants had been rehabilitated and let again into the wild. If you might have your center set on seeing and serving to elephants, we propose going to Udawalwe over the different Elephant Rehabilitation Centres. They are doing an excellent task.

Care about Wildlife Conservation? Read Things to do in Chiang Mai but even so Elephant Trekking

eight. Visit a Turtle Hatchery

what to do in Sri Lanka turtle hatchery

Help save the turtles

Our subsequent advice for issues to do in Sri Lana is to seek advice from a Turtle hatchery. Turtles are underneath nice danger due to fishing, air pollution, habitat loss and searching.

Turtle Hatcheries are doing their absolute best to stay the turtle numbers alive and properly.  One of the absolute best is The Kosgoda Turtle Hatchery. He loves turtles and allows them to into the ocean nightly.

You will also participate in their free up for those who pass at sundown. An individual can not pass to Sri Lanka with out visiting a turtle hatchery. It is a proper of passage of visiting the nation.

nine. Visit Sigiriya Rock Fortress

sri lanka must see | sigiriya


Visiting Sigiriya is most probably the most famed factor to do in Sri Lanka. The vital archeological website may be very spectacular.

Gracing the covers of many Sri Lankan Guide books, striking in the place of job of excursion corporations and status proud on the duvet of a number of espresso desk books, it simply is also Sri Lanka’s maximum recognizable website.

It may be set in a good looking location. Surrounded via jungle, villages and farmland, Sigiriya is a location set again in time.

Monkeys play on the trails and crocodiles reside in its moat.  The access worth is steep, however this can be a stunning view with an excellent museum as properly.

If you like historical past and archeology, Sigiriya is for you.

10. Hike Pidurangalu

We preferred mountain climbing Pidurangala greater than visiting Sigiriya. It is a brilliant sundown hike that takes you up a mountain adjoining to Sigiriya, providing wonderful perspectives of the large rock.

11. Huluru Eco Park

top sri lanka attractions | national parks

Huluru Eco Park is every other very good position to view flora and fauna.

We noticed elephants and monkeys and what makes this park particular, is that you’ll be able to get out of the jeep and hike up to a excessive lookout.

Designated a biosphere reserve in 1977, Huluru is crucial habitat for Sri Lanka’s Elephants.

12. Farm Visit

activities to do in sri lanka | Farm visit

Cinnamon Wild hosts a farm seek advice from to lend a hand stay livestock protected from leopards, which in flip saves the leopards of Sri Lanka.

They supply fences and protection for the farm animals in order that leopards do no longer seize the calves.

In the previous when leopards killed the cattle, farmers would retaliate and kill the leopards. Now that they have got fences and are safe from the leopards, they are able to thrive and co-exist in the wild.

A farm seek advice from is a superb approach to be told and perceive what it’s like to reside in rural Sri Lanka.

13. Hike to Ella

sri lanka best places to visit | Ella Rock Hike

One of the absolute best hikes in Sri Lanka is the hike to Ella Rock.

The the town of Ella appears like an English Country village entire with purple telephone cubicles, a horse monitor or even wonderful white glove eating.

The common trek this is to Ella Rock situated 5km outdoor of the town.

It provides nice panoramic perspectives of the hill nation and tea terraces and is a superb day commute if you’re up for a steep and difficult hike.

14. Polonnaruwa

non-touristy things to do in sri lanka | Polonnaruwa


The historical town of Polonnaruwa is Sri Lanka’s 2nd oldest kingdom relationship again to 1070.

It is a World Heritage Site and folks nonetheless inhabit the land throughout it.

It’s in nice form with many monuments nonetheless status. It’s no longer as massive as many of the different ruins we visited round Asia, however this can be a attention-grabbing stroll via time.

15. Anuradhapura Sri Lanka

things to do and see in sri lanka | ruins


What I really like about visiting Sri Lanka is how trendy civilization lives in unity with its historical previous.

Anuradhapura is the capital fo the North Central Province, but in addition the capital of the historical towns of Sri Lanka.

Its ruins are well- preserved and an effective way to find out about historical Sri Lanka civilization.

16. See the Cliff Divers of Galle

best places to visit in sri lanka | galle

Galle is situated on the southern tip of Sri Lanka. A UNESCO World Heritage Site, Galle is a picturesque town surrounded via a wall constructed via the Dutch in the 17th Century.

Take a stroll round the town to discover the colonial constructions.

Colonial customs are nonetheless robust in Galle and you’ll be able to have afternoon tea at one of the high-end inns.

If you’re fortunate, you might even see some locals cliff diving from the excessive partitions.

17. Royal Palace of Kandy

cool place to visit in sri lanka | Kandy

Kandy was once the former capital of Sri Lanka and was once the place of dwelling of Sri Lankan Monarchy till 1815.

Take a excursion of the complicated to see the king and queen’s palace, the temple of the teeth and the royal courtroom.

18. Una Watuna

unique things to do in sri lanka | Stilt fishing

Una Watuna is a seashore the town in the south of Sri Lanka.

What makes it particular is the incontrovertible fact that the freeway bypasses the the town making strolling via the slim lanes simple and unfastened from site visitors.

There are picturesque seashores and it’s right here that you’ll be able to see fishermen nonetheless fishing from stilts.

19. Get to know the locals

what to do in sri lanka meet the locals

Nothing feels higher than being invited to any individual’s area for dinner.  The Sri Lankan persons are a giving bunch. They are the friendliest folks we now have met in all our travels and we made nice buddies with our Tuk Tuk motive force Ajith and his circle of relatives.

What a beautiful enjoy getting a glimpse of native lifestyles in the nation. If you’re privileged sufficient to be invited to dinner, take it. It is a heartwarming night time stuffed with authentic hospitality.

20. Laze on the Beach

what to do in Sri Lanka beaches

Relax at the seashore

A commute to Sri Lanka would not be entire with out visiting a seashore! Sri Lanka has some nice seashore lifestyles.

Hikkaduwa, Unawatuna and Kosgoda are some common seashores, however you’ll be able to nonetheless to find secluded seashores all alongside Sri Lanka’s coast.

Some are eroding away, however others are pristine. Rent a bicycle or bike and get in the market to discover the island. The seashores are the primary reason folks come to Sri Lanka and if you see them, you’ll be able to perceive why.

Sri Lanka has the whole lot traveler might be able to need. Adventure, spirituality, wonderful seashores and nightlife. A holiday to this vacation spot won’t ever disappoint.

21. Spend Time in Colombo

things to do in colombo sri lanka

Colombo is a bustling town stuffed with luxurious inns.

We stayed at the Cinnamon Grand. A sumptuous resort in the center of downtown.

It has come a ways since we first visited in 2010 with wonderful eating, night time golf equipment, rooftop patios, and cafes.

Our favorite rooftop bar was once at the Cinnamon Red Boutique Hotel.

Where to Stay in Sri Lanka

Cinnamon Wild is an awesome position to keep inside of Yala National Park.

You are escorted to and out of your room as you’re surrounded via flora and fauna. Listen to the sounds of the jungle as you sleep in tree properties.

where to stay in Sri Lanka

Cinnamon Wild in Yala National Park

Cinnamon has inns all the way through Sri Lanka from Colombo to Hikkaduwa. We loved each one of their inns.

Check CommuteAdvisor for opinions and Booking.com for worth comparisons.

thing to do in sri lanka


Cinnamon Hotels has hotels all the way through the nation which are shut to a number of of the tops points of interest. To to find their places and costs seek advice from CinnamonHotels.com

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best things to do in Sri Lanka

Top issues to do in Sri Lanka


Do you might have another tips of issues to do in Sri Lanka? We’d love to pay attention in the feedback underneath. 

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