What To Do in Sri Lanka?

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What to do in Sri Lanka?

What to do in Sri Lanka? comes into the mind of every traveller at the planning stage of the Sri Lanka trip. We have noted that a large number of travellers drilled down our blog in order to finetune their knowledge on what to do in Sri Lanka. Here is a list of 10 things to do in Sri Lanka on your Sri Lanka holiday package. Perhaps you are on a cruise ship and try to find a few things to do on your layover in Colombo Sri Lanka, while some others may be on transit in Sri Lanka and find few activities to engage in. Whatever your requirement, this blog post will definitely help you to find an answer to your question. 

What to do in Sri Lanka?

  1. Colombo-Nuwara Eliya Rail/Road trip
  2. Ella trek
  3. Whitewater rafting Kitulgala
  4. Exploring Haputale
  5. Udawalawe wildlife safari
  6. Sinharaja rain forest tour
  7. Exploring the historical past of Anuradhapura
  8. Visiting the cultural city of Kandy
  9. Exploring the Colonial heritage in Galle
  10. Trekking through the Horton plains national park

Places to travel in Sri Lanka

When it comes to exploring the island of Sri Lanka, all corners of the island (north, east, west and south) have been able to attract a large number of visitors every year. You will feel the rush in most major cities like Colombo, Kandy, Nuwara Eliya, Sigiriya, Galle etc. Most travellers fell in love with these enchanting cities.

What are things to add to the Sri Lanka trip?

This post is about several things that you can add to your Sri Lanka tour package, with its colourful history, culture, tradition and its people. We have lined up below mentioned top 10 things to do in Sri Lanka based on customer reviews and recommendations we received in the past. But there are many other activities that can be included in this list of things to do in Sri Lanka such as water sports, boat tours, whale watching, hot air ballooning etc. Therefore, we are hoping to line up another set of activities in a future article on another episode of the top 10 things to do in Sri Lanka.

Don’t miss an opportunity to visit some of the cultural hot spots like Kandy, Anuradhapura, Sigiriya, and Trincomalee to see the true picture of Sri Lanka’s culture and history.

Sri Lanka beach resorts are the places that enchant you with peace and serenity. From delicious fresh seafood to some amazing natural attractions these beach resorts have been calling the travellers to explore them more and more. Get soaked in the beauty of Sri Lanka’s natural wealth with rainforests, waterfalls, and amazing rivers. So just pack your case and head out for a wonderful Sri Lanka trip.

1.Colombo-Kandy-Nuwara Eliya Rail/Road trip

Sri Lanka hill country is one of the most attractive corners of the island with vast tea plantations, green-capped mountains, rivers, waterfalls and patches of forests. Sri Lanka hill country tour is a very popular activity among travellers as it allows them to explore beautiful places hidden in the mist. Most importantly the hill country blue train journey of Sri Lanka, which is considered to be one of the most scenic train journeys in the world is happening here.

Colombo-Nuwara Eliya Rail/Road trip is picked up by the author as the number 1 activity on the what to do in Sri Lanka list because the demand for upcountry rail journeys is very high. The ‘Mecca’ of all Sri Lanka road trips, the Colombo-Nuwara Eliya on Railway or Highway, has always been one of the favourite rail and road trips in Sri Lanka. Whether it is a group tour or solo travel, this trip outshines all other trips in Sri Lanka.

The rail journey from Kandy to Ella considered being one of the most scenic rail journeys in the world. This rail journey lasts around 4 hours and allows the passengers to experience one of the most scenic regions on the island. The guests who are on a road trip also have the option to book this scenic rail journey.

Tour operators such as seerendipity tours arrange the train for this sector while the rest of the tour is done by a private taxi. If you plan to have the train trip it is always recommended to book seats either in the 2nd or 1st class compartments. It will be much more comfortable in the 2nd or 1st class compartments than in the 3rd class carriage.

All you need is to get ready and up for some exciting adventure. Passing patches of forests, mountains, and villages passing village folk who are on the move about their daily business with much ease and simple way will make you appreciate both simplicity and nature.

2. Ella trek

Ella is chosen as the 2nd best place on the list of “what to do in Sri Lanka”. Going on a trek is one of the best activities to think of when we feel like having a break from the daily routine. So while you are visiting Sri Lanka hill country (Ella), there are plenty of treks through the mountains, tea gardens, and patches of forests. But a trek along the leeward side of the Ella gap is the most favoured trek. This trek allows you to experience a fascinating blend of trees, plants and many bird species. But the breathtaking scenery across the Ella gap is the most beautiful reward you get.

Absorb the natural beauty and scenic greenery of this region. Breathe the chilled morning air and hear the bird’s songs as you continue your trek. Climb one of the highest points of Ella, known as Little Adam’s peak and appreciate the dazzling perspective from the pinnacles of the mountain. This hill country resort attracts a large number of travellers every year, most of whom are individual travellers looking for affordable Sri Lanka holidays. Ella is the backpacker’s heaven in the mountain and deserves a spot in the top 10 things to do in Sri Lanka. There are only a few star-class hotels here and most of the properties are not categorized by the Sri Lanka tourist board, hence most accommodation providers do not have star ratings.

3. Whitewater rafting kitulgala

Popular as the playground of adventure travellers, this is one of the main places for adventure activities in Sri Lanka. This adventure site offers a lot of activities such as white water rafting for adventure junkies, therefore, we have given it a place in our what to do in Sri Lanka activity list. Kitulgala is dominated by tropical rainforests and is one of the places in Sri Lanka that records more than 5000mm of annual rainfall. There is a large number of waterfalls, rivers and streams, jungle tracks, and a large tract of rainforest in Kitulagala.

The landscape of Kitulgala has a huge diversity. Mountains, escapements, rivers, waterfalls, forests, boulders, and plantations are the main contributors to the varying landscape here. Due to the variation in the landscape in Kitulagala with mountains, rocks, boulders, waterfalls, and rivers, forests, it has become a place for adventuure holidays in Sri Lanka such as mountain climbing, caving, mountain biking, rock climbing, whitewater rafting, waterfall abseiling, kayaking, trekking etc.

In Kitulgala the population is much lower than in many other regions on the island, which means the human impact on nature is at its lowest. Due to this reason, Kitulgala is one of the best places for activities coming under eco-holidays such as jungle tours and treks, bird watching tours etc. Kitulkgala is located at the foothills of the central mountain range and has bountiful beauty, and adventure options and is a magnificent place to visit in Sri Lanka.
Kitulgala is blessed with one of the main rivers on the island, the Kelaniya River. It is the main source of water resources in the region. Talking about the interesting places in Kitulagala, the laidback remote city has a myriad and engrossing line-up for visitors to explore.

Whitewater rafting is the leading activity for travellers of any age and Kitulagal is most famous for its whitewater rafting. Jotted with several historical places such as Batadomba Lena, and temples as well as evergreen rain forests, this serene city has something for everyone.

4. Exploring Haputale

This is one of the kinds of places that most travellers are searching for. Well, here it is, lush green mountains with misty-capped tops, cascading waterfalls, and serene valleys Haputale is one of the most isolated holiday destinations in Sri Lanka. Haputale is mainly unspoilt and unexplored compared to overcrowded Nuwara Eliya. Haputale might be the place that you have not heard of despite its presence on the list of what to do in Sri Lanka.

Whether it is a group of friends and family or a solo traveller, a tour to Haputale surpasses some other trekking trips in Sri Lanka! passing well-groomed tea gardens, mountains and isolated cities, passing plantation workers who are marching on ahead in a more calm manner will convince you both about nature and straightforwardness.

5. Udawalawe wildlife safari

You must have come across the cultural sites, explored malls tasted delicious seafood and experienced some adventures in Sri Lanka. Now is the time to embark on a Sri Lanka wildlife tour. To hug mother nature and its mesmerizing inventions and strengthen the bond with nature, visit the Udalawe national park. Experience the exhilarating Udawalawe safari and enjoy a wide range of wildlife.

Closely admire the fascinating blend of Fauna and Flora of which Sri Lankan elephants are the most prominent, they are gathering in the park in many hundreds. It is also abode to Sri Lankan leopards and sloth bears, both are listed in the red list of IUCN. The sighting of sloth bears and leopards cannot be guaranteed but there are instances that travellers see leopards and bears during the safari. If you are very keen on spotting a leopard in the jungle, we advise you to plan a Yala safari instead of a Udawalawe safari as it gives you a better chance of spotting a leopard. So get ready and pack your bag it is time to embark on this marvellous expedition and tag it as a jungle diary.

6. Sinharaja rainforest trek

Who does not like to explore a virgin rainforest? And when we talk about the Sri Lanka Trekking and hiking tours as well as the Sri Lanka rainforest the first thing that strikes the mind is the Sinharaja rainforest tour. Sinharaja rainforest is the most important rainforest in Sri Lanka and it is a UNESCO world heritage site. The experience of the Sinharaja rainforest could never be finished without a trek in the rainforest, keep in mind this is one of the oldest rainforests in the world (which originated millions of years ago) this is certainly worth your attention.

Known for its rich fauna and flora, Sinharaja trek is a standout amongst the popular trekking sites in Sri Lanka. Nestled in the western part of Sri Lanka, this rainforest offers the best rainforest experience and it is easy to reach most from most west coast beaches resorts in Sri Lanka. Trek through the verdant hills, valleys, bushes, fragrant orchids and grasslands. What’s more, yes, this is a very valuable opportunity that you can’t simply neglect.

7. Exploring the historical past of Anuradhapura

Anuradhapura is Regarded as the oldest city in Sri Lanka, this archaeological zoo consists of a fascinating collection of leftovers of a past time, Anuradhapura is a part of Sri Lanka’s cultural triangle and includes in most Sri Lanka road trips. Make your trip more interesting as you explore the oldest civilized city in Sri Lanka. Anuradhapura is part of most Sri Lanka tour packages as it allows travellers to explore the ancient culture and history of Sri Lanka. Anuradhapura harbours a large number of Buddhist temples, stupas and dagobas and therefore it attracts a large number of Buddhist pilgrims and is part of Buddhist tours in Sri Lanka.

This is very much large compared to most cultural and historical sites on the island and there are lots of temples, palaces, and many other monuments to explore. Anuradhapura is a world heritage site and includes top-notch religious sites such as Sri Maha Bodhi (the oldest documented tree in the world) and Ruwanweli dagoba. Maybe you’re visiting Anuradhapura to learn about the ancient Sri Lankan culture or during recess time, you will not be disappointed.

8. Visiting the cultural city of Kandy

Looking for a destination with a mild climate and wish to immerse in the Sri Lankan culture while enjoying the natural wealth of Sri Lanka. Well, a tour of Kandy is the best for you. At the heart of the central mountain range lies this beautiful city surrounded by dozens of mountains. Kandy is the cultural centre of the Buddhist community and the most important left eye tooth of Buddha is residing here. Therefore Kandy is one of the most popular places on the island and one of the activities on what to do in Sri Lanka list.

The city is encompassed by mountains with lush green vegetation. Kandy is one solid destination that holds the typical Sri Lankan tradition. It was the seat of the last Sri Lankan king, who was arrested by the British in 1796. There are a large number of interesting places to visit in this UNESCO world heritage site and surrounding area.

Temples, botanical gardens, tea museums, cultural museums, and many other historical places await the travellers. “Kiri muhuda” or Kandy lake is situated near the tooth relic temple and harbours many aquatic animal and bird species.

The mild climate, historical monuments, colonial mansions and the rainforest at the southern end of the city make an appealing environment for visitors to Kandy. Even though the city is brimming with life it is very quiet. Kandy is the perfect holiday destination for many travellers, who wish to have peace of mind while exploring the history, culture and nature of Sri Lanka.

9. Exploring the Colonial heritage in Galle

The rampart of Galle fortress. The Galle fort sits towards the southern border of Galle city and it is one of the main attractions included in the Galle tour

Galle is a popular holiday destination among travellers and Galle is very popular for family trips in Sri Lanka as it offers a wide range of activities for kids as well as for adults. Exploring Galle is the only activity from Southern Sri Lanka included in the top 10 things to do in Sri Lanka. Galle and the surrounding area in southern Sri Lanka are home to a wide range of interesting beach resorts such as Hikkaduwa beach, Unawatuna beach, Mirissa beach etc. Due to the presence of prsitine sandy beaches galle has become a very popular beach holiday destination in Sri Lanka. Same time Galle fort and many other places are on the radar of travellers that are interested in the history of the culture of the destination they visit. Let the glimpse of the rich historical past touch your soul, the colonial heritage of Galle entice you and the winds of southern Sri Lanka tingle your spine. If you travel to Sri Lanka with your friends and family then here you go. Galle is one of the best places for you to explore in Sri Lanka.

A large number of places in Galle will not only keep you glued to its territory but will marvel you with its rich colonial heritage. The number of places to explore in Galle is large. If Galle is a kingdom, Galle fortress is the king of it, because Galle fortress is the lifeblood of Galle. There are a large number of places to visit within the Galle fortress alone. Museums, galleries, restaurants, shops, and hotels are abundant here. Galle fortress is a heaven for shoppers where you can buy most typical Sri Lanka products such as artefacts, handicrafts, gems and jewellery, and clothing.

Galle is the only city on the list where you can have a beach holiday. Galle is a city by the water and a large number of travellers choose Galle as the place for beach hopping. Hikkaduwa, Unawatuna, is the most popular beach resort in Galle. Unawatuna is one of the best places for beach holidays and you can have a year-round sea bath here.

10. Trekking through the Horton plains national park

Trek to the Horton plains national park is included in the list of activities of what to do in Sri Lanka. Horton Plains, as the name denotes is a huge grassland with cloud forest, word will fall short if you try to put the beauty of this national park into a verbal language. If you plan an offbeat jungle trek this is the perfect place for you.

Horton plains national park is a fascinating natural attraction and differs in many ways from its counterparts in the rest of the country. Trees, plants, animals and the entire set are unique to Horton Plains. this is indeed a treasure trove with a large number of endemic fauna and Flora.

A large number of perennial waterways, lakes, and waterfalls quench the thirst of mother nature and keep everything alive. Horton plains national park is resided by a large number of endemic fish and amphibian species. Horton plains is another best place in the country to spot birds and is visited by ornithologists very often. If you head to the hill country this is a must-visit place for you.