In recent years, the Sri Lanka Tourism industry has expanded significantly. Sri Lanka travel is renowned for its beautiful beaches, verdant landscapes, historic ruins, Many more things to do and lively culture. Although Sri Lanka is a year-round destination, the ideal months are between December and March because of the dry, bright weather. Millions of tourists visit Sri Lanka yearly due to its numerous tourist attractions. This travelogue will offer helpful advice and details if you consider travelling to Sri Lanka.
Places to Visit in Sri Lanka
The island nation of Sri Lanka is home to stunning, breathtaking natural, historical, and cultural zones, including all eight of the UNESCO World Heritage Sites. It also has breathtaking landscapes, rolling peaks, lush forests, tea greens, wildlife, and sandy beaches. Sri Lankan people make your vacation unforgettable with warm welcomes and genuine smiles. Thus there is no reason why travelling to Sri Lanka alone, with family, or with friends would be unsatisfactory. Most parts of Sri Lanka have tropical temperatures between 27 and 30 degrees Celsius. The most tranquil and temperate area is the Hill Country in the centre, and Nuwara Eliya, with a mean average temperature of 16°C, rounds out the top three. A mild climate of 16°C or less also prevails in other highland locations.
Sri Lanka’s Top Tourist Locations
Galle, in Sri Lanka, is the most popular destination for foreign tourists because of its noteworthy colonial exhibits, sun-bleached coastlines, and rivers teeming with animals. However, Galle Fort is one of Sri Lanka’s most alluring tourist destinations. Since 1988, UNESCO has recognised it as a World Heritage Site for the Old Town of Galle and its Fortifications. Hence, we’ve provided a list of 25 Galle attractions for you to check off your bucket list.
Colombo has developed into a well-liked tourist destination, offering a variety of social, historical, and nightlife activities. Colombo is one of Sri Lanka’s major cities and the most populous city on the island. Colombo was frequently well-known for its natural harbour. The village was on a port next to an early East-West maritime commerce route. In 1505, the Portuguese made their first foray into Colombo, and the city soon became a focal point for East-West social influences. In 1815, Colombo was designated as Sri Lanka’s capital by British colonial authority. Subsequently, Sri Lanka’s administrative centre was relocated to the adjacent neighbourhood city of Sri Jayewardenepura Kotte, while Colombo continued to serve as the nation’s financial and commercial hub. With this list of the Top Colombo attractions, you can be ready to explore this charming city.
The last Singhalese Royal Kingdom in Sri Lanka, Kandy, has a beautiful landscape with picturesque peaks found in the aisle’s centre and is about 1,600 feet above sea level. The city is widely renowned for the Royal Botanic Gardens, which has more than 4,000 designated types of flora, and the Holy Tooth Relic Temple, the most respected Buddhist temple. Moreover, Kandy was a carefully designed metropolis during Ceylon’s British colonial era (Sri lanka). Considering these arguments, UNESCO designated Kandy as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. With a total area of 1,940 SQ KM, Kandy is the second-largest city in Sri Lanka and a significant tourist destination. Moreover, Kandy is essential to the unique Sinhala and Tamil cultures.
These are Kandy’s most well-known landmarks amidst abundant nearby attractions and intriguing locations to explore. Every tourist may find something to enjoy, from galleries to vantage places.
Sigiriya is a rock stronghold and castle that can be located in Sri Lanka’s Matale region. It is also known as the Lion’s Rock. Gardens, ponds, and other buildings surround this ruin. King Kassapa erected Sigiriya, which is listed as a World Heritage Site. Asia’s best-preserved city centre is Sigiriya.
Moreover, Pidurangala Rock, which is close to Sigiriya, has similarly impressive views of the surroundings, as well as having a well-known cave system of its own and several unfathomable viewpoints that face the fabled Sigiriya rock.
There are several attractions in Ella, Sri Lanka, including hills, cascades, tea farms, and clean, crisp air. Ella is a little village in the highlands. Several visitors choose Ella as one of their favourite hotels and vouch for its spectacular views. This is the ideal place for various treks, including some of the country’s most breathtaking ones, including the Little Adams peaks. In essence, travellers are familiar with this remote community. On your wish list of things to see on your trip to Sri Lanka, we’ve included the top attractions in Ella and the surrounding areas.
One of the most excellent beaches in Sri Lanka is Mirissa, one of the most well-known seaside locations in the country’s southern region. Exceptional tides for surfing, abundant marine life, including turtles and enormous blue whales, fresh coconuts, delicious seafood from seaside cafés, and tubing and jet skiing at Hidden Beach. Of course, if you’re fortunate enough, you’ll get the opportunity to snorkel with turtles in that wonderful sun-drenched beach town, and we were compiling a list of Mirissa’s attractions and things to do.
Anuradhapura, sometimes called the Sacred City of Anuradhapura, is a city in Sri Lanka’s North Central Province. Anuradhapura is well known for its archaeological sites, culture, cuisine, and tourist attractions in an iconic historical environment.
The 4th century B.C. saw the founding of the holy city of Anuradhapura. As the Holy City of Anuradhapura, it has been a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1982—the long-standing epicentre of Theravada Buddhism.
Almost three thousand years before Sri Lankan technologists and artisans created the unique, breathtaking structures in the ancient civilisation, Buddhism was carried down from India. These creations, built with bricks and sculpted with stones, may still surprise people worldwide. They were found in the ancient city of Anuradhapura.
While on vacation in Sri Lanka’s Cultural Triangle, take in the array of sights in Polonnaruwa. You range from seeing fascinating national wildlife safari parks like Minneriya, Angammedilla, and Wasgamuwa to viewing the historic relics of the old kingdom, like the Palace of King Parakramabahu. When you make your way to Polonnaruwa, there are many sights to see.
It would help if you caught Polonnaruwa whiffs, located a little over 3 hours northeast of Kandy, with enormous historical, cultural, and architectural worth.
Sri Lankan engineers and artisans created unique, breathtaking structures in ancient culture. These creations, seen in the historic city of Polonnaruwa, were built using bricks and sculpted with stones. See our list of the Top Tourist Attractions in Polonnaruwa.
The little hamlet of Habarana, situated in the middle of Sri Lanka’s cultural triangle, makes a fantastic starting place for exploring the country’s ancient towns. The city also acts as a centre for ecotourism and adventure sports and is encircled by lush forests.
A wildlife safari is a very well-liked sport in Habarana. Several national parks are adjacent to the town, including Kaudulla, Hurulu Eco Park, and Minneriya, which are well-known for their enormous elephant populations. For example, hundreds of elephants assemble in the park’s reservoir at the yearly elephant gathering at Minneriya during the dry season. Explore this link for Habarana Travel Guide.
The Jaffna area is one of the most gorgeous places on the northernmost tip of Sri Lanka. Jaffna is known for having a large population of Tamil people, and any tourist will be impressed by the locals’ friendliness. Thus, Jaffna should be your next travel fantasy if you are looking for a place that offers tourists majesty and outstanding hospitality.
The town’s transportation system is excellent, making it simple for guests to travel within the area for sightseeing or shopping. Explore our list of Jaffna’s best tourist attractions.
One of Sri Lanka’s most dynamic areas is Nuwara Eliya town and the surrounding area, where you may spend much time in tranquilly and rich vegetation. Families and couples looking to enjoy a fantastic experience can head to The Area. Including Nuwara Eliya on your bucket list and learning about its top attractions can help you have a stress-free trip there the next time you visit. Moreover, Nuwara Eliya is a beautiful rural location for people who love nature combined with style. See our list of Nuwara Eliya’s best tourist Attractions.
A port city on Sri Lanka’s eastern coast is called Trincomalee. Contrary to the Indian Ocean, the beaches in the Bay of Trincomalee are the preferred locations for fishing, whale watching, scuba diving, and surfing. The town is also home to Sri Lanka’s largest Dutch fort. Also, most Tamils and Sinhalese believe this region is sacred to the Trincomalee, and its neighbourhoods contain historically significant Hindu and Buddhist shrines. There are plenty of sites to see in Trincomalee.
In Sri Lanka’s western Puttalam District, there is a seaside town called Kalpitiya. There are fourteen islands on the Kalpitiya peninsula. The most popular kitesurfing location in Sri Lanka is Kalpitiya, which welcomes enthusiasts of all skill levels for a fantastic lagoon tour to test the winds.
In addition to being a kitesurfing haven, Kalpitiya is a well-liked location for dolphin-watching, diving, and snorkelling excursions. Due to the rich marine life surrounding Kalpitiya, the 14 islands comprising this group are home to several tiny fishing settlements. Enjoy this peaceful town’s sights and noises when visiting Sri Lanka. While visiting Kalpitiya Beach, the dry season lasts from October to May. Explore The top 14 attractions and things to do in Kalpitiya.
Because of its captivating geography and historical significance, Mannar has many places to see. From being the setting for renowned ancient tales to retaining some unexpected natural attractions, Mannar will surprise you, making it a location to be noticed when travelling through the north and west of Sri Lanka. So prepare to be engaged by this list of attractions and Experience checklist as you want to discover more about the stunning surroundings of Mannar.
Things to Do in Sri Lanka
Surfing in Sri Lanka
A severe query that is being pondered by many! Which season of the year is best for surfing in Sri Lanka?
As it’s always excellent, there isn’t the best surf season in Sri Lanka. However, you’ll be able to find swell somewhere for most of the year.
Typically, the south beaches are busiest from November through April (traveller and surfing season). The significant exception, in this case, is that you will always acquire waves.
The season for surfing at Arugam Bay is open! Sri Lanka’s long waves flow from May to September, build until the beginning of October, and roll back out. When the town closes, the rains intensify, and continuing east on a surf trip in Sri Lanka becomes meaningless. See our list of Surfing beaches in Sri Lanka.
Scuba diving in Sri Lanka
Sri Lanka is an excellent place for divers. With 1,600 kilometres of coastline, breathtaking diving opportunities are abundant. Even the most experienced divers will be amazed by the variety of Sri Lankan diving sites, which range from breathtaking wreck dives to stunning coral reefs teeming with life. In addition, the diverse marine life in Sri Lanka’s warm oceans will surprise you, whether you’re seeking encounters with enormous fish, such as the blue whale in Sri Lanka, or macro-organisms. Thanks to its top-notch diving locations, friendly people, and breathtaking topside scenery, Sri Lanka is a must-visit destination for divers. Please keep reading for more information about our recommended diving spots in Sri Lanka.
Best Beaches in Sri Lanka
The beach is a well-known Sri Lankan activity. The “no concerns” attitude that characterises so much of Sri Lanka is perfectly captured by coastal culture, whether it is a game of cricket, a snooze in the sun, or an early morning surf. So, it is simple to choose a calm section of the most incredible beaches in Sri Lanka that is all to oneself.
From March to September, the South and West coastlines of Sri Lanka frequently encounter rain and thunderstorms, while from October to February, the North and East coasts of Sri Lanka are typically the wettest.
The beaches on the list are divided into the East, South, North, and West coast zones, so you may visit Sri Lanka any time of year and have a fantastic beach holiday. Explore our list of the best beaches in Sri Lanka.
Safari in Sri Lanka
Without going on one of Sri Lanka’s magnificent Safaris, your schedule for a trip to this Asian splendour would be lacking. Although we often associate safaris with Africa, consider the benefits of a safari in Sri Lanka.
There are numerous possibilities when choosing which Sri Lanka safari to take. However, it is unquestionably one of the unique activities and locations to visit in Sri Lanka. Your life would be made more accessible with a handbook that has all the information you want about Sri Lanka and lists the best safaris there. So continue reading through this link and make the best Sri Lanka safari trip arrangements keeping that in mind.
Hiking and trekking in Sri Lanka
Trekkers and hikers will find Sri Lanka a tropical paradise with various beautiful landscapes and spectacular sights. This island nation has many routes to discover, from dense woods and gentle slopes to imposing peaks and rough terrain. Here are Sri Lanka’s top 15 hikes and treks to help you organise your upcoming excursion.
Bird watching in Sri Lanka
Sri Lanka is a bird lover’s paradise. There are 439 birds known to live in Sri Lanka, an island with a rich biodiversity, including 236 permanent birds and 203 migrant birds. The remaining birds are vagrants and infrequent visits; Sri Lanka is home to 68 species of birds with indigenous resident forms and 33 endemic birds. One of the top birding destinations on earth, Sri Lanka boasts numerous excellent locations for bird viewing. In addition, during the winter, almost 200 seasonal migratory terrestrial and aquatic birds go from Europe to Sri Lanka. Learn more about The top spots in Sri Lanka for birdwatching.
Night Life in Sri Lanka
Your trip is incomplete if you have yet to experience the nightlife in Sri Lanka’s urban centres. There are plenty of pubs, nightclubs, live music venues, amusement parks, restaurants, and other locations to experience Sri Lanka’s vibrant nightlife, so finding one is easy. A journey to Sri Lanka enables you to explore new facets of your life and appreciate every moment. This nation offers you the chance to go on daring excursions and has unique nightlife experiences, from animal sanctuaries to live music venues. We’ve compiled a list of the best five cities in Sri Lanka to experience its legendary nightlife, keeping the nightlife activities in mind.
Experience Sri Lankan Street foods
Although Sri Lankan cuisine is full of inventive delicacies, nothing beats the best street food. Visitors discover the finest mixed foods to consume while travelling to a new country—also, tourists like to sample the local cuisine wherever they go on vacation. Read our excellent introduction to understand Sri Lankan street foods, which include extensive Vegan and vegetarian alternatives. Sri Lanka is one of the well-known places for street food.
Explore Events in Sri Lanka
Sri Lanka is a nation rich in culture and history, as seen by the numerous events and festivals. Every taste in Sri Lanka has celebrations, from ancient religious festivals to contemporary literary and cinema festivals. To appreciate Sri Lanka’s unique culture, attend some of these events if you’re considering travelling there. Something always happens in Sri Lanka, from religious festivities to cultural events. Explore the Sri Lanka event list.
Train experience in Sri Lanka
Travelling by train in Sri Lanka is a unique and unforgettable experience that lets you see the nation’s varied landscape and enjoy its rich cultural history. The trip from Colombo to Kandy by rail, which passes through lush tea plantations, foggy mountains, and lovely hillside towns, is one of the most well-travelled itineraries in Sri Lanka.
The train ride from Ella to Kandy, regarded as one of the most beautiful in the world, is another well-travelled route. This seven-hour ride offers breathtaking views of waterfalls, tea plantations, and mountains through deep woods, undulating hills, and small towns. In addition, the train journeys to Anuradhapura, Jaffna, Trincomalee and Seethawaka are also always to be noticed.
The train ride from Colombo to Galle is a must-try if you’re interested in experiencing Sri Lanka’s coastal districts. You travel down the scenic coastline for three hours, passing by quaint fishing towns, white sand beaches, and ancient fortifications.
Also, Suggest reading – Top-Rated Outdoor Adventures in Sri Lanka.
Visa and Other information
You should apply for a travel visa to visit Sri Lanka. Depending on whether you are travelling for business, pleasure, or transit, Sri Lanka provides a variety of visas. Travellers who want to visit Sri Lanka for touristic activities such as sightseeing, visiting friends and family, or engaging in leisure must get a tourist visa. After arrival in Sri Lanka, the tourist visa’s initial 30-day validity period may be extended for six months.
The application procedure for a Sri Lankan tourist visa is simple and may be finished online. The steps are as follows:
- To submit your application, visit the Sri Lanka Electronic Travel Authorization (ETA) website at https://www.eta.gov.lk/slvisa/.
- Fill out the online application form with all the relevant elements, such as your contact information, travel schedule, and personal information.
- Submit a scanned copy of your passport’s bio-data page and a passport-sized photo of yourself.
- Visa charges can be paid online using a credit or debit card.
- After 24 hours of submitting your application, you will receive an email confirming your visa.
Visa requirements for tourists
You must fulfil the following criteria to be qualified for a Sri Lanka tourist visa:
- Your passport must be valid for at least another six months after the anticipated end of your trip to Sri Lanka.
- A return ticket or plan for further Travel is required.
- To cover your stay in Sri Lanka, you must have enough money.
- You must not be a convict or convey security trouble to the country.
- You must be in excellent health and free of any infectious disorders.
Online Arrival and Departure cards
Since January 1st, 2023, facilities have been made available for international visitors to Sri Lanka and Sri Lankan citizens departing the country to fill out their arrival and departure cards online.
The Department of Immigration and Emigration’s official website, www.immigration.gov.lk, and its webpage at https://eservices.immigration.gov.lk/emb/eEmbarkation/’ #/home-page, are where air travellers may fill out this form three days before departure.
The Sri Lankan rupee is used as the currency (LKR). In addition to English, Tamil and Sinhalese are printed on notes worth 10, 20, 50, 100, 500,1000 and 5000 rupees. The currency rates at banks and the majority of hotels are comparable. Many places allow take that takes bank cards. From 9:00 to 13:00 on Monday through Friday, banks are open.
Power Sources and Plugs
In Sri Lanka, the standard voltage is 220 volts. Although some hotels have conventional European plugs (2 cylindrical plugs), we urge you to bring an adaptor. Please be aware that power outages are common in Sri Lanka.
Travelling around Sri Lanka
By Tour Operators
Travel agents with local connections, knowledge, and experience may enhance your vacation’s enjoyable and stress-free aspects. They can plan your holiday, find you the finest offers and give you the hotels, transportation, and other help required to make it unique. So visit Sri Lanka Tourism and find your next holiday dream maker with the accredited tour operator in Sri Lanka.
By Car and driver
Hiring a car and driver to transport you is a standard way to see Sri Lanka. Your decision as to whether to use the service as a taxi to get you to your destination or to make use of your driver as more of a personal tour guide and chauffeur is entirely up to you. Costs start at around Rs. 4000 daily, including gratuities, and vary accordingly. Search for reliable businesses that use chauffeur guides who have received accreditation from the Sri Lanka Tourism Board.
Rickshaws – known as three-wheelers, tri-shaws or tuk-tuks – are everywhere in Sri Lanka, and you won’t have to try hard to hail one down. They operate like taxis and will take you from A to B, although they’re probably more of a novelty than a comfortable way to get around. You can haggle a driver down to whatever you think is a suitable price, but you should pay around 50-75Rs per km as a rough guide – and agree on the cost beforehand.
In Sri Lanka, buses are inexpensive and widely available. You may go halfway across the island for as little as Rs 1000. However, air-conditioned buses would cost around twice as much. Local buses are the blue ones, whereas long-distance buses are the red ones.
The British constructed the railway system in the 19th century, and a lot has stayed the same. Many tourists who come to Sri Lanka use the trains only to enjoy the breathtaking countryside views, and since tickets are so inexpensive, it would be easy for you to do the same. Visit railway.gov.lk.