My 25 Best Things to Do in Sri Lanka (With Photos!)

25 best things to do in sri lanka with photos

As someone who has been lucky enough to visit Sri Lanka multiple times, I can confidently say that it is a country that has something for everyone. From its stunning beaches to its ancient temples, there is no shortage of amazing experiences to be had. Here are my top 25 picks for things to do in Sri Lanka:

  1. Climb Sigiriya (Aka Lion Rock)
  2. Checkout Mirissa And Sri Lanka’s Southern Beaches
  3. Take a Safari in Uda Walawe National Park
  4. Vibe in Ella
  5. Arugam Bay
  6. Get lost in the old town of Colombo
  7. Conquer Adam’s Peak
  8. Explore the dutch fortress of Galle
  9. Learn to surf
  10. Tour Sri Lanka’s Tea Estates
  11. Ride the Scenic Train
  12. Feast on Sri Lankan Cuisine
  13. Explore Sri Lanka’s UNESCO World Heritage Cities
  14. Hike to Little Adam’s Peak for sunset
  15. Book onto a surf and yoga experience
  16. Watch the sunset over sigariya from Pidurangala
  17. Hire a tuk-tuk and take a road trip down the coast!
  18. Go chasing waterfalls at Diyaluma Falls
  19. Find the picture-perfect spot of the Nine Arch Bridge in Ella
  20. Temple Of Tooth Relic – Witness The Religious Aspects
  21. Kandy Lake – Witness Sunrise
  22. Ayurvedic Spa Center – Rejuvenate Your Senses
  23. Negombo – Unwind Yourself
  24. Ministry Of Crab – For Fine Dining
  25. Kalpitiya- Kite Surfing

1. Climb Sigiriya and Behold the 8th Wonder of the World

One of the most popular tourist attractions in Sri Lanka, Sigiriya is a must-visit for anyone traveling to the country. The ancient rock fortress dates back to the 5th century AD and is home to some of the most impressive ancient architecture you will ever see. The climb to the top is not for the faint of heart, but the views from the top are well worth the effort.

Tristan Balme climbing sigiriya lion rock in sri lanka

2. Checkout Mirissa and the Southern Beaches

If you’re looking for some sun, sea, and sand in Sri Lanka, Mirissa and the southern beaches are the perfect place to go. With crystal clear waters and unspoiled stretches of sand, these beaches are a true paradise for anyone looking to relax and soak up the sun.

Tristan Balme exploring the secret beaches of marissa

3. Take a Safari in Uda Walawe National Park

Home to a wide range of wildlife, including elephants, leopards, and crocodiles, Uda Walawe National Park is a must-visit for anyone interested in nature and wildlife. Taking a safari through the park is a great way to get up close and personal with these amazing animals and see them in their natural habitat.

Tristan Balme taking on a safari in sri lanka

4. Vibe in Ella

Nestled in the central highlands of Sri Lanka, Ella is a small town that has become a hit with travelers in recent years. With its laid-back atmosphere, stunning scenery, and great food, it’s the perfect place to relax and unwind.

5. Arugam Bay

If you’re a surfer, or just looking to try your hand at surfing, Arugam Bay is the place to be in Sri Lanka. With some of the best waves in the country, it’s a popular spot for surfers from all over the world.

6. Get Lost in the Old Town of Colombo

While many travelers use Colombo as a jumping-off point for other parts of Sri Lanka, the city itself is definitely worth a visit. The old town is a maze of narrow streets and colonial-era buildings, and it’s the perfect place to get lost and explore.

7. Conquer Adam’s Peak

For those looking for a challenge, climbing Adam’s Peak is a must-do activity in Sri Lanka. The mountain is considered a holy site by many religions, and the climb to the top is a spiritual journey that takes you through misty forests and past ancient temples.

Tristan Balme taking the pilgrimage up adams peak in srilanka

8. Explore the Dutch Fortress of Galle

The historic town of Galle is home to an impressive Dutch fortress that dates back to the 17th century. It’s a fascinating example of colonial architecture, and exploring its ramparts and narrow streets is a great way to spend an afternoon.

9. Learn to Surf

If you’re looking to try something new in Sri Lanka, why not learn to surf? With plenty of great surf schools and instructors available, it’s the perfect place to take your first steps on a board.

10. Tour Sri Lanka’s Tea Estates

Sri Lanka is known for its tea, and touring the country’s tea estates is a great way to learn more about this beloved beverage. You’ll get to see the tea being grown and harvested, and you’ll even get to sample some of the best teas in the world.

11. Ride the Scenic Train

The train ride from Kandy to Ella is one of the most scenic train rides in the world, and it’s a must-do activity for anyone visiting Sri Lanka. The journey takes you through misty forests, past waterfalls, and over breathtaking viaducts.

Tristan Balme travelling by train around sri lanka

12. Feast on Sri Lankan Cuisine

Sri Lankan cuisine is a delicious blend of spices, flavors, and textures, and it’s definitely worth trying while you’re in the country. From spicy curries to sweet desserts, there’s something for everyone to enjoy.

Tristan Balme eating delicious sri lankan food

13. Explore Sri Lanka’s UNESCO World Heritage Cities

Sri Lanka is home to eight UNESCO World Heritage Sites, each of which is worth exploring. From the ancient city of Anuradhapura to the stunning rock temple of Dambulla, there’s no shortage of amazing sights to see.

14. Hike to Little Adam’s Peak for Sunrise

While Adam’s Peak is the big draw for many visitors to Sri Lanka, Little Adam’s Peak is a great alternative for those who want to experience a stunning sunset without the crowds. The hike to the top is relatively easy, and the views from the top are breathtaking.

Tristan Balme little adams peak in ella sri lanka

15. Book onto a Surf and Yoga Experience

For those looking to combine their love of surfing with their love of yoga, there are plenty of surf and yoga experiences available in Sri Lanka. These retreats offer the perfect opportunity to relax, unwind, and improve your surfing and yoga skills.

16. Watch the Sunset Over Sigariya from Pidurangala

While Sigiriya is undoubtedly impressive, watching the sunset over the ancient fortress from the nearby Pidurangala is an experience that shouldn’t be missed. The hike to the top is relatively easy, and the views from the top are simply stunning.

17. Hire a Tuk-Tuk and Take a Road Trip Down the Coast!

One of the best ways to explore Sri Lanka is by hiring a tuk-tuk and taking a road trip down the coast. You’ll get to see some of the country’s most stunning beaches and coastal towns, and you’ll have the freedom to stop whenever and wherever you want.

Tristan Balme riding a tuktuk around sri lanka

18. Go Chasing Waterfalls at Diyaluma Falls

Sri Lanka is home to some of the most stunning waterfalls in the world, and Diyaluma Falls is definitely one of the best. Hiking to the top of the falls is a challenging but rewarding experience, and the views from the top are truly breathtaking.

19. Find the Picture-Perfect Spot of the Nine Arch Bridge in Ella

The Nine Arch Bridge in Ella is one of the most Instagram-worthy spots in Sri Lanka, and it’s definitely worth a visit. The bridge is an impressive feat of engineering, and the surrounding scenery is simply stunning.

Tristan Balme 9 arch bridge in ella sri lanka

20. Make An Offering At The Temple Of Tooth Relic

The Temple of the Tooth in Kandy is one of the most important religious sites in Sri Lanka, and it’s definitely worth a visit. The temple is home to a sacred tooth relic, and it’s a fascinating example of Sri Lankan religious architecture.

Tristan Balme temple of the tooth relic in kandy sri lanka

21. Kandy Lake – Witness Sunrise

Kandy Lake is a stunning man-made lake in the heart of Kandy, and it’s the perfect place to watch the sunrise. The peaceful setting is a great way to start your day in Sri Lanka.

Tristan Balme kandy lake at sunrise and sunset

22. Ayurvedic Spa Center – Rejuvenate Your Senses

Ayurveda is an ancient healing system that originated in India, and Sri Lanka is home to some of the best Ayurvedic spas in the world. Whether you’re looking to relax, rejuvenate, or heal, there’s an Ayurvedic spa in Sri Lanka that’s perfect for you.

23. Negombo – Unwind Yourself

If you’re looking to unwind and relax, the coastal town of Negombo is the perfect place to do it. With its laid-back atmosphere and stunning beaches, it’s the perfect place to escape the hustle and bustle of everyday life.

24. Ministry of Crab – For Fine Dining

For those looking for a fine dining experience in Sri Lanka, the Ministry of Crab is a must-visit. The restaurant is known for its delicious seafood and innovative dishes, and it’s definitely worth the splurge.

25. Kalpitiya – Kite Surfing

Kalpitiya is a small town on the west coast of Sri Lanka that has become a popular spot for kite surfing in recent years. With its calm waters and consistent winds, it’s a great place to try your hand at this exciting sport.

I hope this list has inspired you to visit Sri Lanka and experience some of the amazing things that this beautiful country has to offer. Whether you’re a nature lover, a history buff, or just looking to relax and unwind, there’s something for everyone in Sri Lanka.

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