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10 Best-One Day Outing Places in Sri Lanka

10 Best-One Day Outing Places in Sri Lanka

I decided to craft this blog post on “10 Best-One Day Outing Places in Sri Lanka” due to many reasons. One reason being the high demand for Sri Lanka one day outing among travellers, especially among foreign travellers.

Sri Lanka, the Beautiful tropical island in Southern Asia has become the hottest holiday destination in the region. The island is blessed with an astonishing diversity of natural as well as historical attractions. The holidaymakers in Sri Lanka undoubtedly visit most of these historical and natural attractions.

1 day udawalawe safari, off the beaten path tourist places udawalawe

What to explore on a day tour in Sri Lanka

Even though Sri Lanka is a small country it offers a countless number of interesting places to explore. Sri Lanka is heaven for nature lovers, many dozens of wildlife reserves has a large stock of wildlife. Rain forests, mangrove forests, mountains escapements and rivers, lake and lagoons are also harbouring a wide range of Fauna and Flora.

Being a small country, a large number of interesting places are packed into 65610 km² of land and can be easily reached within several hours of drive. Local travel companies such as Seerendipity Tours provides a convenient way of visiting the most tourist attraction on one day trip, Sri Lanka, allowing them to explore interesting places within a short Sri Lanka trip. Following are some of the demanding one day trip Sri Lanka ideas.

What are the top 10 places for Sri Lanka day outing?

  1. Colombo
  2. Galle Fort– 126 km from Colombo-2 hours drive
  3. Rathnapura
  4. Kitulgala
  5. Kanneliya
  6. Matara, Mirissa
  7. Udawalawe National park
  8. Kandy
  9. Nuwara Eliya
  10. Sinharaja rain forest

When is the best time of the year to visit these 10 best day outing places?

When is the best time to visit Sri Lanka? when is the best time for a day out tour to Kandy? when is the best time of the year for a trip to Galle fort? are some of the questions we hear often from our readers. Choosing the best places to visit is important likewise finding the best time to explore those places are also very important. Because, if you hit these attractions at the wrong time it could waste your time and money. So, when is the best time to explore these places, the answer is simple, it is from October to April. The six months from October to April (parallel to the north-east monsoon) is the best period of the year to visit these tourist attractions. The period above mentioned places has dry weather and gives you the best climate condition to engage in outdoor activities.

Where should I stay if I need to visit these places?

All one day trip places mentioned above can be contently reached from Colombo or any other resort on the west coast. Even the beach resorts on the southern coast provide easy access to almost all the one day trip places mentioned above. If you opt to stay in the hotel in Sri Lanka’s hill country it could be a bit inconvenient to visit all places due to the time spent travelling. It could be nearly impossible to visit those places on a day trip from popular beach resorts on the east coast such as Nilaveli, Passikuday and Aru Gam bay.

5 trending one-day trips in Sri Lanka

Colombo one day tour
Colombo is the commercial capital of Sri Lanka and growing fast on par with most other Asian cities.

Sri Lanka day outing tour: Colombo

Colombo city tour is a very popular one day trip to Sri Lanka and booked by a large number of foreign travellers. Colombo is the most populated city on the island and located on the west coast of Sri Lanka. It has a unique and interesting blend of the old & new. Colombo is the commercial centre of the island and the heart of the Sri Lankan economy since the early 1800s. It was the capital of Sri Lanka during the British colonial era.

The city was developed under the British administration. The old colonial charm still remains in the city and a large number of Colonial buildings stands together with modern high-rise constructions. Colombo is a good place for shopping even designer label, hand loom and cotton clothing & linen, leather wear, gems & jewellery. Colombo is the home to many historical places such as Kelaniya temple, Gangarama temple, Simamalaka and Viharamahadevi Park.

Colombo is the largest city in the country with fifteen administrative regions; Colombo 1 to Colombo 15. Colombo provides many attractive places within its borders. There are many Buddhist and Hindu temples that are dating back to many 100s of years. There are many monuments built during the Colonial era too.


Day outing tour Sri Lanka: Galle one day outing

Drive along the beautiful western and southern coastal belt of Sri Lanka and visit the colonial city of Galle and the best preserved Dutch fort in Asia. The Dutch fort is dating back to the 17 century, showcases typical Dutch style constructions. Shop for exquisite handmade lace, en-route many beach hotels for a break at Kalutara, Beruwala, Bentota (popular for water sports), Hikkaduwa (Famous for corals), Ambalangoda (masks and batiks).

Galle is the largest city in southern Sri Lanka with nearly one million populations. Galle is one of the world heritage sites on the island owing to the Galle Fort. Galle Fort is the best-preserved fortified city built by Europeans in Asia. Some of the other attractions in southern Sri Lanka are Turtle hatchery, Gemstone mining in Meetiyagoda, mask factory, Hikkaduwa coral reefs and stilt fishermen.


Sri Lanka day outing trip: Rathnapura

In the “city of Gems”, here is the most valuable gemstones are being discovered on the island. The city is not only rich in gems but also history and nature. Ratnapura is the venue of many interesting places for travellers such as Saman Devala, Gem museum, Sinharaja rain forest, Maduwanwela Walauwa and Udawalawe national park.

Kitulgala one day tour, two day trip places in Sri Lanka, 2 day trip in Sri Lanka
This one day tour includes Whitewater rafting Off Kitulgala, jungle trekking of Kitulgala rainforest, village walk and bird watching. This private tour can be booked from Colombo as well as any other beach resort on the west coast Sri Lanka. The tour includes entire ground transportation, all entrance and activity cost as well as taxes.

Day outing tour Sri Lanka to Kitulgala

Kitulgala famous for its primeval rain forests and natural beauty is one of the best places for adventure holidays in the country. Kitulgala 2 hours drive from Colombo was the place where the award-winning film Bridge on the River Kwai was filmed. Whitewater rafting, kayaking, mountain climbing, mountain walking, mountain biking are some of the adventures that can be performed in the area.


Sri Lanka day outing to Kanneliya Rain Forest – the bio-diversity hot spot

Kanneliya is a laid-back village is one of the best places for Sri Lanka day outing trips and it is tucked away 40 km from Udugama town in southern province of Sri Lanka. Kanneliya is one of the best places for a Sri Lanka day outing tour for travellers., who stay in southern and west coast of Sri Lanka. Kanneliya is not a popular day outing destination among the foreign travellers and most foreign travellers are attracted to Sinharaja rain forest. However, Kanneliya is visited by local travellers.     

 If you start the journey from Colombo it will take around 2 hours 30 minutes to reach Kanneliya after travelling 150 km, the time required for this trip is calculated based on the journey via southern express way.

Compared to most other rain forests such as Sinharaja rainforest, peak wilderness and knuckles forest, Kanneliya attracts only a fraction of nature lovers, perhaps because it’s remoteness from Colombo. However, this patch of forest is not lack of natural beauty compared to other rain forests and it shows lot of similarities to Sinharaja. In fact, very recently a new gazette notification was published by the government bringing it under the Sinharaja rainforest.  

The day outing trip to Kanneliya is very affordable because unlike Sinharaja rainforest, Kanneliya is totally free for visitors. Just after entering the rainforest is a natural water pond enabling travellers to have a refreshing bath. The water in the pool is very clean and very cool, it is due to the thick upper canopy of the forest, which filters the sun rays and stops it entering the  forest.

Sri Lanka day outing trip: Whale and Dolphin watching in Sri Lanka

The whale watching trip is another popular day outing trip among the travellers in Sri Lanka. A large number of foreign travellers book this one day outing trip from Colombo and west coast hotels as well as southern cost hotels. This Sri Lanka one day outing trip usually starts early morning. The whale watching takes place off Mirissa harbour of southern Sri Lanka, where the travellers board a whale watching ship or a yacht. After a 2-4 hours journey from the shore the travellers come to the whaling protected area in the Indian Ocean. Apart from whales, The travellers can see the, whales, dolphin, sea turtles and a large amount of coral while they passing the great reef.

Sri Lanka safari day outing: Udawalawe

Udawalawe national park is one of the best places for elephant safari in Sri Lanka. Udawalawe national park sits in the Sabaragamuwa province of Sri Lanka and it takes around 4 hours to reach the national park from Colombo.

The tour is also available from beach hotels in western and southern Sri Lanka. The one day trip to Udawlawae national park starts early morning from Colombo (at 05.00 AM) and the tour ends at around 05.00 PM.

Kandy one day tour, visiting cultural place sin sri lanka, sri lanka cultural attractions, cultural places sri lanka
Kandy one day trip includes many important tourist attractions such as Tooth relic temple, Peradeniya botanical garden, Pinnawala elephants orphanage as well as Kandy toy tour.

Sri Lanka day outing tour to Kandy

One of the most beautiful cities, which is located about 500 meters above sea level. The picturesque city is full of green and the home to the biggest botanical garden in Sri Lanka. The city hosts a large number of constructions dating back to many centuries from the Present. 

Kandy is regarded as the cultural centre of the country, where the culture and tradition of Sinhalese best preserved. Dalada Maligawa is the most important religious site for Buddhist in the country is visited by hundreds of thousands of people every day. Here you have the opportunity to visit the temple of the sacred tooth relic, Botanical gardens, shop for gems, jewellery and traditional handicrafts and Pinnawala elephant orphanage.

Kandy being the cultural centre of the country is a must-visit place. Kandy is one of the most picturesque cities on the island with the Temple of the tooth. The Temple of the tooth considered to be the most sacred temple for the Buddhist in Sri Lanka. Elephant orphanage, tea factory, spice garden, botanical garden, Gadaladeniya, Embekke being considered as other important places around the city.


Sri Lanka day outing: Kandy -Nuwara Eliya tour

This tour can be booked as a one-day outing, however, it is highly recommended to make it 2 days Sri Lanka tour due to the time required for travelling and sightseeing. This is a perfect program to see the picturesque tea country of Sri Lanka. The travellers can have a trek in a Tea plantation and visit a tea factory and afterwards sip a freshly brewed cup of the best Ceylon tea. Nuwara Eliya, nicknamed “Small England”,  which located 1900 m above sea level is a place for a one-day outing in Sri Lanka and very popular. Kandy being the cultural center of the island contains many historical places.

Sinharaja rainforest tour

Sri Lanka day trip: Sinharaja forest reserve

This is a one-day outing in Sri Lanka with the twist of nature and this activity is booked by a large number of foreign travellers, this UNESCO world heritage site is a place not to be missed by the people, who love nature. This primaeval forest harbours a large array of Fauna and Flora and has the highest biodiversity.

The forest reserve harbours a large number of animal, vertebrate, bird, amphibian and fish species. This is a perfect one-day outing in Sri Lanka that can be used as an alternative program to the Sinharaja adventure tour. The track leads you through the picturesque natural vegetation, waterfalls, streams and mountains.


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