Sri Lanka is located southeast of India and is an island country. Most of the people are of Sinhalese ethnicity, while there is a large minority of Tamils too. The legislative capital is Sri Jayewardenepura Kotte. It is a suburb of the commercial capital and largest city, Colombo. There are so many things to enjoy in Sri Lanka that you will be spoilt for choice. When planning a trip you must make a list of the best things to do in Sri Lanka.
The easiest way to travel to Sri Lanka is by flight. The Bandaranaike International Airport is the only international airport of Sri Lanka. However, Koggala Airport and Bentota River Airport also provide passenger service to tourists.
The best time to visit the west and south coasts and hill country is from December to March, while the best weather on the east coast is from April or May to September. You can also consider visiting Sri Lanka on the celebrations of Hindu and Buddhist new year festival. Tourists enjoy Buddhist festivals with gorgeous dances, decked up elephants held in July and August. Other attractions of this festival are fire-dances, Kandian dances, and whip-dances.
Sri Lanka is a tourist’s delight with its diverse landscapes. There are a rainforest and arid plains as well as highlands and sandy beaches. The ancient Buddhist ruins are of special fascination to the spiritually inclined. Adventure lovers can choose from among trekking, hiking, deep sea fishing, hot air ballooning or whale watching. Sri Lanka has around 24 wildlife sanctuaries protecting countless native species. Yala National Park, Hurulu Forest Reserve, Bundala and the Kanneliya-Dediyagala-Nakiyadeniya are some of the most visited national parks.
Sri Lankan cuisine is a delight to the food connoisseurs. It includes a huge variety and foodies can enjoy a large variety of dishes from among pittu, kiribath, wattalapam, kottu, and hoppers. Surprisingly there are no street food stalls.
Those interested in nightlife will find Sri Lanka hot and happening. There are numerous pubs, bars, clubs, and casinos dotting the key cities like Colombo and Kandy.
When you have so much to choose from you need to really be careful about the itinerary so that you do not repent at having missed out on the best things to do in Sri Lanka.
Things to Do in Sri Lanka
People Also Ask About Sri Lanka Things To Do
What are the best things to do in Sri Lanka?
From visiting points of interests, landmarks, historical ruins to geological formations, tourists can have a very interesting time in Sri Lanka. Sri Lanka is not only a nature lover’s paradise if you are an adventure lover you will love Sri Lanka. Romantic honeymoons, relaxing massages, cruises, fishing, diving and bike riding can all be a part of your itinerary. You can choose activities like-
- Blue Whale Watching
- Luxury Camp Safari
- Mountain Bike ride
- Elephant Safari
- Dive course
- Boat tours
Or visit places like –
- Water parks
What are the best adventure activities to do in Sri Lanka?
Adrenaline junkies can have a lot of thrilling experiences in Sri Lanka even though it isn’t the first country that you think of when you want to plan an adventure holiday. There are a lot of things that you can do to satiate your spirit of adventure. You can choose from among:
- Seaplane tour
- Hot Air Balloon Ride
- Elephant Back Safari
- Mountain biking
- Rock Climbing
Which are the best water sports activities to do in Sri Lanka?
Sri Lanka being an island offers the best kind of water sports. Get vendors to train you in surfing or enjoy the challenges of fishing in a lagoon. The most wonderful experiences can be gained in Sri Lanka by those who love adventures, especially in the water. The place has beautiful views to offer. You can be spoilt for choice among several water sports activities in Srilanka. Get going and choose from amongst:
- White Water Rafting
- Lagoon Fishing
- Amusement and water Rides
- Jet skiing
- Scuba diving
Which are the best beaches for sailing in Sri Lanka? What are its charges?
Beach bums can have a whale of a time in Sri Lanka which has the privilege of being surrounded on all sides by the Indian Ocean. Just a reminder here that this ‘Pearl of the Ocean’ is an island. It has plenty of beautiful beaches for you to retreat to. Adventure enthusiasts can enjoy Scuba diving while the party-minded can make themselves at home on dance floors. Sandy shores, beautiful views, glamorous sunsets and sumptuous seafood are guaranteed at all the beaches. You can enjoy all this at anything ranging between Rs 3500/- to Rs. 10000/- ordinarily and if you want to spend time in luxury you can spend between Rs.25000/- to Rs. 35000/-. Here is a list for you to peruse:
- Hikkaduwa Beach
- Unawatuna Beach
- Nilaveli Beach
- Passekudah Bay and Kalkudah Beach
- Arugam Bay Beach
- Negombo Beach
- Kalpitiya Beach
- Tangalle Beach
- Bentota Beach
Where can I enjoy whale watching in Sri Lanka? How much will it cost?
While you can go for whale watching from Dondra Point and Trincomalee, Mirissa is the best place to start your whale and dolphin watching tour in Sri Lanka. This is one of the most exciting water activities you can do in Sri Lanka during your holiday.
In the warm waters of the Indian Ocean, you can see Blue whales, Bryde´s whales, Sperm whales, Fin whales and Killer whales also once in a while. An added attraction is the sighting of Common dolphins, Bottlenose dolphins, Spinner dolphins, Risso's dolphins and striped dolphins. The mischievous yet friendly, ever smiling dolphins will entertain you while the humpback and the blue whales, will just glide past you. The coast guards ensure that this activity in no way harms these grand sea creatures and you can get just close enough to photograph them. Whatever it may be, don’t forget to gather this experience.
Which are the best locations for scuba diving in Sri Lanka?
Sri Lanka with its warm ocean currents is an amazing dive destination. The landscape is just as varied and vibrant both above and underwater. An incredible variety of marine creatures abound in the waters of Sri Lanka. Expect to see a variety of colorful reef fish, which include sweet lips, batfish, and more.Covered in marine life, soft corals and schools of fish, great wreck dives are available as well as waiting to be discovered in Sri Lanka. These ships were sunk mostly during the second world war and create a mysterious atmosphere that makes you reminisce of the past events.The diving spot has to be decided according to your time of visit because of the varying monsoon season. The best locations for diving are:
- Barracuda Reef
- Cargo Wreck
- Taprobane Reefs
- Goda Gala Diyamba
- Panadura Wreck
- Boiler Wrecks
- British Sergeant
- HMS Hermes
Which are some famous campsites in Sri Lanka?
Sri Lanka offers the best experience in camping. You have the opportunity to go for rainforest camping and revel in the sound of the water as you camp close to the fall. You can couple your camping expedition with other water activities and have the same concept in an equally thrilling experience of a jungle safari too. You can enjoy camping in Srilanka· Yala National Park
· Udawalawe National Park
· Wilpattu National Park
· Minneriya & Kaudulla National Parks
· The Knuckles Mountain Range
· Mahiyanganaya Sorabora Lake
· Sinharja Rainforest
· Turtle Observation Camp
· Vaddha Village
· Wahawa Hot Spring Village
· Rainforest Camping in Kitugala Forest Reserve
Which are the best places to visit for a spiritual experience in Sri Lanka?
Buddhism is the main religion followed by the people of Sri Lanka but people following Hinduism, Christianity, and Islam also live here. Therefore one can choose from among Temples, Viharas, Mosques, and Churches for spiritual experience or visit all of them. The historical backgrounds of some of these places of interest can be mesmerising. You can visit any of the following:
- Selva Sannidhi Temple of Sri Murugan
- Dawatagaha Mosque
- Dambulla Cave Temples
- Sirigiya Sacred Peak
- Ritagala Kanda
- Polonnaruwa Buddhist Temple
- Tirukoneswaram Sacred Hill of the Three Temples
- Verugal Muruga Temple
- Anne’s Shrine at Talawiya
- Mihintale Buddha
- Peak of ‘Sri Pada’ or the ‘Holy Foot’ which is also known as Adam’s Peak
- Jaya Sri Mahabodhi Tree
- Temple of the Sacred Tooth Relic
Which are the best sites for surfing in Sri Lanka?
Although Sri Lanka does not provide the best barrels or high waves its warm waters are perfect for solo surfing. Even if you have never had an experience of surfing earlier the vendors will assist you well enough to take chances. So never hesitate to enjoy the surfing activity. You can avail of this opportunity at any of the following:
- Weligama Beach Break
- Lazy Lefts and Lazy Rights
- Gurubebila Coconut Point
- Hikkaduwa Reef
- Mirissa Beach Break
Which are the best locations for deep sea fishing in Sri Lanka?
Fishing activities in an island will always be a popular activity. There is plenty to choose from In Sri Lanka. The Indian Ocean surrounding Sri Lanka is rich with Tuna, Red and White Snappers, Jack Fish, Barracuda, and the stunning Wahoo. All of this makes deep sea fishing here a fantastic experience. The places to go for deep sea fishing are:
- Madu Ganga
Which are the best destinations for a wildlife safari in Sri Lanka?
Sri Lanka is a popular destination for wildlife safaris with its vast array of untouched habitats. It is home to the most thrilling and interesting big game wildlife tours of the world which take place within the country's national parks some of which are recognised as Heritage Sites of the world. Visit the following for a great time:
- Minneriya National Park
- Udawalawe National Park
Where can I try sea kayaking in Sri Lanka? How much will it cost me?
Sri Lanka is a popular place for sea kayaking. A kayak has a canoe-like appearance and is moved with the use of a paddle in rotation. Again this one is for the adventure lovers but everyone should get this experience. The best places for sea kayaking experiences are:
Which are the best locations for hiking in Sri Lanka?
Tourists who are interested in taking a close look at the place could definitely choose to go hiking. It is the best way to get the feel of a place. There are several opportunities for hiking in Sri Lanka. Various operators can be contacted to help you out with hiking activities. Go on a conducted one for the best experience.Take a hiking tour to:
- Kayts Causeway Jaffna
- Nature Trail Ella
- Kirigalpoththa Hike Ohiya
- Horton Plains Kalupahana Trail Ohiya
- Thotupola Kanda Nature Trail
- Nuwara Eliya
Where can I get to do rock climbing in Sri Lanka?
Rock climbing is a test of endurance, strength, and balance. If you are a combination of all these then give it a try. You can go for bouldering, solo climbing, rope climbing according to your ability and choice. Here too vendors will help you out with the right ideas. Most climbing activities take place in:
- The Knuckles Mountain Range.
- The Ella Adventure Park
- Horton Plains
Which are the most amazing places for snorkelling in Sri Lanka?
Sri Lanka or the ‘pearl in the Indian Ocean', offers world-class Snorkelling tours. Fascinating ship wrecks, a multitude of tropical fish and magnificently colourful coral reefs make Sri Lanka a paradise for snorkelers. Check out with tour operators on this. They are the best people to guide you and there are many vendors operating such activities. Here is a list of places for you to check out:
Where can I enjoy hot air balloon rides in Sri Lanka?
The adventure takes on a whole new meaning when multi-colored hot-air balloons drift silently above the forest. Imagine yourself on one of them enjoying a bird’s eye view of the terrain below. The take off in itself is an adventure and can be heart stopping but after that, you can just relax and enjoy the beauty of nature. Hot air ballooning is best from October to April because of weather conditions. You need to contact vendors who will arrange this adventure for you. You will find people to help in Dambulla.
Which are the famous places to do white water rafting in Sri Lanka?
Anyone above the age of 10 years is welcome to experience the thrills of White Water Rafting in the picturesque Kelani River. The trip covers five major rapids and four minor rapids. A comprehensive safety briefing will be given before you are fitted with safety gear and put on modern rafts. The operators take care of all the essentials. The distance covered is around five kilometres. The enchanting view of the river and its surrounding will make this a memorable experience. Kitulagala is the place to visit to find operators conducting white water rafting.
Where can I enjoy kite-surfing in Sri Lanka?
Kalpitiya is the place to go for kite surfing. The islets, reef, and sandbanks on the North of the peninsula, between the Ocean and the lagoon, provide a perfect place for kite trips. Even if you are inexperienced, this is one experience you ought not to miss out on. Most vendors organize kite trips on a weekly basis but are flexible to cater to needs of the tourist. Just go for it to make your trip to Sri Lanka memorable. You can also try the following places:
- Arugam Bay
Which are the best places for amazing cruising experiences in Sri Lanka?
There are various operators who will provide amazing cruises for tourists to enjoy. Ports in this island are located in Colombo, Galle, Trincomalee, and Hambantota. Sri Lanka provides the perfect atmosphere for sailing all year round with its good winds, sunny weather, and beautiful landscapes. From October until May go to Mirissa and Beruwela and from June until September the places to go to are Trincomalee and Passikudah as the best spots for sailing. Take your pick of coastal cruises, sailing boat rental, and private sailboat charters. Places to choose from are:
- Weligama – Merissa
- Mannar – Jaffna
Which are the best sites for birding in Sri Lanka?
The Avifauna of Sri Lanka is varied. Among the 430 species of birds found in Sri Lanka 233 are resident and 198 species are migrants to the country. Seabirds like Shearwaters, Petrels, and Storm-Petrels migrate to Sri Lankan waters. Many of these migrants regularly visit the country. The rest are occasional visitors. Between October to late April or early May is the best for visiting birders. There are many good birding sites like:
- Sinharaja World Heritage Wilderness area
- Bundala Ramsar site
- Yala and Uda Walawe National Parks
- Horton Plains
Which are the best caves to explore in Sri Lanka? Is it safe to go there?
Speleology is not only captivating but also rather an unusual experience not to be missed while in Sri Lanka. There are many caves from the Ritigala Mountains in the north to the central hills and the southern hillocks of the South. They abound with stalactites and stalagmites, sometimes as tall as a child. These caves are often home to a great variety of nocturnal creatures and may not always be safe. The most famous caves are in
- Batatotalena at Sudugala
- Belilena in Kithulgala
Where can I find casinos to visit and have fun in Sri Lanka?
There are plenty of places in Sri Lanka where you can take a break from sightseeing and Casinos top this list. Enjoy a break from roaming or keep this for the night. Some of the top rated Casinos are:
- Bally’s Colombo
- Bellagio Entertainment
- Casino Marina
- Ritz club
- Stardust Casino
Which are the best routes for mountain biking in Sri Lanka?
For the adventure lover, mountain biking is a must do in Sri Lanka. Get a good bike and enjoy your adventure. The trails cover these areas amongst many others:
- Anuradhapura – Mihintale
- Mihintale – Aukana – Dambulla
- Sigiriya – Pidurangula National Park
- Mimura – Lakhegala – Mimura
- Mimura – Kandy
- Kandy – Nuwara Eliya
- Nuwara Eliya – Adam’s Peak
Where can I get an airplane ride for city sightseeing in Sri Lanka? How much will it cost?
Imagine yourself flying around the country visiting its cities. Air Taxi Services are available in plenty and offer a quick and breathtaking journey across the island to most of the popular destinations in Sri Lanka. There are several vendors operating from
- Kandy (Polgolla Reservoir)
- Sigiriya (Domestic Airport)
- Colombo (International Airport)
- Waters Edge, Kotte (Colombo City – Water Aerodrome)
Which are the best destinations for village safaris in Sri Lanka?
Another kind of adventure you can enjoy in Sri Lanka is going on village safaris and taking a ride on a bullock cart. The bullock cart supposedly is the first vehicle to be used in Sri Lanka. You can go back in history with these village safaris. You can choose from:
- Hiriwadunne village in Habarana
Where I get rejuvenated with a spa and massage in Sri Lanka?
What a wonderful experience it would be to just let your hair down and go for a massage and spa after a tiring day. There are plenty of spa and massage centres in Sri Lanka to rejuvenate you after your tour. You will find innumerable centres in
- Ethul Kotte
Where are the best sites for blue whale watching in Sri Lanka? How much would the trip cost me?
Blue whale watching is one of the best experiences that one can have in Sri Lanka. It is organised by several vendors and the best site is Mirissa. This is the best place to go watching blue whales and can cost you around 6000 Sri Lankan rupees for a safari.
What are the most romantic things to do on a honeymoon in Sri Lanka?
If you have chosen Sri Lanka as your honeymoon destination you will find places and activities that will sweep you off your feet. The best time, of course, is from November to April. You can choose from among:
- Bentota – Where Bentota Ganga meets the sea
- Mirissa – For the secluded getaway
- Tangalle for a luxurious honeymoon
- Trincomalee for a romantic beach honeymoon
- Ella, Bandarawela to honeymoon in tea plantations
- Nuwara Eliya the hill station
- Yala National Park to check out the leopards
- Habarana for a romantic hot air balloon ride
- Sinharaja Forest Reserve to experience rich bio diversity
- Central Highlands: Horton Plains and World’s End to romance on the lap of nature
- Kandy for a visit to the temple of the tooth.
- Anuradhapura where you go back in time
If you are still wondering what are the Best Places to visit in Bentota, Brief Garden by Bevis Bawa is a remarkable tropical garden influenced by the traditions of Sri Lanka with a hint of English and Italian landscapes. You can either walk around the garden yourself or book a guided tour to understand the depth of the architectural designs and artifacts. There is also a tiny house in the garden that displays some of the eclectic range of art sculptures. The paintings and photographs allow the visitors to look deeply into the life of the artist.
It is a relatively smaller beach alternative if you want to avoid the crowd. It is quieter, serene and a great place for surfing beginners. At times fishing boats outnumber the tourists, especially in low season.In addition to being a top surfing destination, this beach is also an excellent place for Instagram lovers. You can also take a few photographs with iconic stilt fishermen, a practice rooted back to World War II.Location: Weligambay Beach, Mirissa, Sri Lanka.Best Time to Visit: It is an amazing place to have breakfast or lunch with your friends and family.Distance from Mirissa: Weligambay beach is located at a distance of 6-7 KM from Mirissa so you can always take a tuk-tuk to your destination. It will not take more than 10-15 minutes.
Mirissa is just a small town of Matara district so without a shred of doubt Matara beach comes amongst the popular beaches of Sri Lanka. You can enjoy long walks by the shore, taking surfing lessons, and beachcombing at this wonderful place.Furthermore, if you are not into the mood of taking a walk or any surfing lessons, you can simply read your favourite novel gazing at the ocean in between. And post that, you can take a bath in the sea water if the tide is not so strong.Location: Matara, Sri Lanka.Best Time to Visit: Just like other beaches; try to get there early in the morning or before sunset as it gets crowded in the afternoon. Moreover, do not visit it on the weekend because being a major town in the country, it can get heavily crowded on weekends.Distance from Mirissa: Being a major district of Sri Lanka, it is well connected to every major city and town in Sri Lanka. From Mirissa you can take a tuk-tuk which will not take more than 30 minutes to reach this beautiful beach.