As we said, Sri Lanka is a destination for all reasons and seasons. It is the perfect place to check off most of your things to do in Sri Lanka bucket list and have a blast for as long as you are here. A destination that has stood the test of time, Sri Lanka offers a piece of history, heritage, spirituality, architecture, food and life, music, recreation, and adventure to every single of its travelers, leaving them amazed at just how beautiful a place can be.
No matter if you intend to visit something as humbling as the tooth relic of the Buddha, as marvelous as Adam’s Peak, or as refreshing as Galle Green Face, Sri Lanka has a piece of magnificence for you. Despite these, the Sri Lankan cuisine is something you should really look forward to experiencing when you are here. With ingredients, flavors and cooking techniques that reflect the local traditions and culture, it is a culinary festival on your plate when it comes to taste Sri Lankan delicacies. So stop postponing your trips and live your Sri Lankan dreams by visiting the place in person. You will understand why visiting Sri Lanka was one of the best decisions in your life.
If you are not sure of what to see, do and experience in Sri Lanka, check out our recommendations on these and plan your trips better.
Sri Lanka is not just a place full of history, heritage, and spirituality. It also has its immense share of adventure, fun, and frolic. Some of the best things to do in Sri Lanka revolve around the range of activities the country has to offer and you can be sure that your short stay in Sri Lanka can never fully cover the countless things you can possibly do. From surfing along the Arugam Bay and visiting elephant orphanages to winning some cash in casinos, this place is for everyone.
Why you should attend: This happens every April and marks the end of the year’s harvesting season. This is the time the sun is directly above the island and signifies new beginnings. This festival also has a scientific and astrological significance the locals follow and have faith on. The day is marked by sumptuous meals, music, dance, games and other festivities.
With an altitude of over 2,200 meters, Adam’s Peak in Sabaragamuwa holds religious significance to all the important religions followed in Sri Lanka. With a confluence of diverse religions, it is the place that attracts pilgrimage from people in Sri Lanka. It also stands out for its scenic beauty and magnificent views of the countryside of the country, making it a must-visit place for all tourists. It is also known as Sri Pada or the Butterfly Mountain.
Located at an altitude of over 1,800 meters, this scenic location in Sri Lanka is like a chateau in France but for tea! The name literally translates to the city of light and was discovered by British personnel who were on their way to hunt elephants. On the country’s central highlands, Nuwara Eliya is one of the world’s largest tea producing regions and home to the country’s tallest mountain – Pidurutalagala. You can find hotels and restau
Why you should Attend this?
This festival marks the first entry of the Lord Buddha 25 centuries before. It also marks the initiation of Buddhism as a religion on this day. Poya refers to the day of fasting and this happens during every full moon night. The first full moon night during the month of Duruthu commemorates the festival. It is the time when businesses shut shops and followers engage in prayers and med
What appears to be a land straight out of mythology or fantasy fictions is called Kandy. Considered one of the most serene and idyllic locations in Sri Lanka, Kandy arrives as Sri Lanka’s second largest city and home to all the marvels of nature. Be it the Bogambara Lake that is set in the heart of the city, the iconic tooth relic of the Buddha that reflects Buddhist culture in all its majesty or the botanical gardens which house diverse flora, some of which
One of the most dramatic and iconic locations you will ever stumble upon in Sri Lanka is Sigirya – which literally translates to lion rock in Sinhalese. Standing tall amidst lush green landscapes with mysterious caves and water bodies, the UNESCO World Heritage Site is the ruins of the kingdom of King Kashyapa, who ruled around AD 477. With the castle located on the upper rock, which is almost a vertical cliff, you can actually see the ruins when you make it
For those of you looking for that ideal beach spot to unwind and soak in some fresh sunshine and sand, all you have to do is head to Bentota. On the southwest region of Sri Lanka, Bentota is a resort island that gradually opens into a sandy stretch of beach known as the Paradise Island. The place is known for its lagoon, dive sites that offer the best views of coral reefs, century old Buddhist temples, gardens and long stretches of coconut trees. This is the place
Why you should attend this festival: This is more like a thanksgiving for the Tamils in Sri Lanka. Celebrated during mid-January, the festival is a way of showing gratitude to the sun god for the harvest. Thai is month in the Tamil Calendar and Pongal literally translate to overflow. This festival marks the onset of abundance and prosperity with all the harvest of the season and is a gathering of fun, good times and festivities.
The most religiously significant place for Buddhists, the temple of the sacred tooth relic attracts tourists from around the world and monks and Buddhists from Thailand, China, Nepal and more. Located in Kandy, the temple houses one of the most important relics to have ever been conserved – the tooth of the Buddha! The world heritage site speaks an architectural language for itself and stands tall with its golden roof. The temple is highly guarded and is ope
The most famous Sri Lankan destination and the city tourists and travelers witness first on their arrival, Colombo is the capital for a reason. Ruled by the Portuguese, French and the British, Colombo reflects cultural and historic heritage in its architecture, administration, planning and even food. Colombo is a blend of both modern day urban life and natural wonders, where you will find attractions like museums, fine-dine restaurants, Buddhist temples and Beira
If you believe some of the best things are kept secret from the world, you should visit the Dambulla cave temples. Tucked away from visibility, these temples inside the caves house some of the most beautiful paintings and scultptures of the Lord Buddha. Out of the documented 80, there are five caves open for tourists. Located at around 150 kilometers and 75 kilometers from Colombo and Kandy respectively, the cave temples are again UNESCO World Heritage Sites belie
Approximately 200 kilometers away from Colombo towards the east rests a land that is so serene and tranquil. From breathtaking views to offering a glimpse of mythology, Ella is considered a lonely planet that has countless waterfalls, hills, unending stretch of greenery and the place to forget everything else and just immerse yourself in nature. With tourism flourishing in Ella, most people head to the city for the best of nature and to see a very, very different
One of the best things to do in Colombo is to make money in casinos and losing them in the same. The fun you will have and the moments of tension and desperation that fills the air temporarily is worth to be cherished for a lifetime. It also reminds you of the fact that everything is temporary and all you need is the mindset to handle victory and failure. Colombo is full of casinos, where you can win or lose cash on a range of games like blackjack, roulette, slot
If you have done a wine tour in any of the vineyards, you will know how much fun and engaging it is at the same to know more about things you do almost every single day in your life. The Colombo Herb and Tea tour is for all tea lovers and aspiring tea connoisseurs, who would love to see the process of making tea – from growing tea plants, harvesting them and processing them to preparing tea. This place is a heaven for you.
If spotting dolphins and coral reefs seem to clichéd, try spotting the gigantic blue whales when in Sri Lanka. With excursions happening around the coasts of Dondra Point and Trincomalee, just sit back in your tour and enjoy the dolphins and whales soaring past you in their respective territories. With best sightings during summer, this is one of the most unique and best things to do in Sri Lanka.
If a place is popular among the locals than the tourists, consider it is the best. Though not that inviting on the first look, trust us, the food is everything beyond spectacular. From an evening snack to late night snacks, this place is where you should be for your appetite.
Must Eat: String hoppers, pad thai, kothu,
Such a majestic name is sure to be a crowd puller and it turns out that it is. Popular not just for the excellent service from the staff but the food too, the chefs at the Ministry of Crab go an extra mile to ensure the crabs in your plate and delicate, full of flavors and just the way you wanted them to be. The restaurant is co-owned by prominent Sri Lankan cricketers and is worth all the hype.
Probably the best Japanese cuisine restaurant you will find in Sri Lanka, Ikoi Tei is the place for all your celebrations. No matter if you are on your date, taking your friends for a treat or just intend to explore new cuisine, you are in for a delight at Ikoi Tei. With world class presentation, choice of ingredients and premium cooking techniques, you cannot miss dining when you are in Colombo.
For those of you who prefer beach shacks and open world bars, the Yula Beach Bar is the place you need to go when you are in Galle. Known for its serene ambience and pocket friendly prices, the place ensures you have a great evening at affordable prices and make new friends over songs and beverages. The place is sure to scintillate in your mind for long after you leave for home.
True to its name, the place is garage themed and is located in Kandy within the premises of the Amaya Hill Resort. The ambience of the place is filled with automobile spare parts, wires and car cables, silhouettes of cars all gradually making their way to the dance floor. And yes, their choices on music tracks are unbelievable!
Must Try: Finger food, barbecue and cockta
Just behind its signature store in Galle Road lies this chick place with handpicked interiors and decors. Decorated to sparkle the eyes, the place is known for its music gigs, quiz programs and endless hours of calmness and laidback vibes. Bring your friends or your date and ensure you cherish the moments forever.
Must Try: Spinach quiche, black pork curry
The perfect place to pick handcrafted masks you can find typically in Sri Lanka. Probably, this is also the least expensive places to bag a few masks for your people back home. From elephant to demon masks, the vibrant pieces will make sure your friends and relatives are delighted and believe you actually went to Sri Lanka.
Location: 14, (Reid Avenue), Philip Gunewarden
The best of home décor and homeware you will find in Sri Lanka can be found in Barefoot. Located in three different places, Barefoot is a luxury store that fancies of designer clothes, textiles and homeware. From the mind and hands of the prominent designer – Barbara Soni – Barefoot either ends up being a treat for your eyes and home when you buy them. With vibrant colors and feel known for Soni’s style, this place will leave you in awe.
As we mentioned, Sri Lanka is the fourth massive producer of magnificent tea so taking back home a few varieties and flavors makes complete sense. If you are a tea lover who loves to experiment with different flavors of tea, Mlesna is Disneyland for you. From unique blends and flavors from jasmine, cocoa, mint, rose and more, you cannot just be satisfied with a few.