17 best things to do in sri lanka - 2024

17 best things to do in sri lanka - 2024

17 best things to do in sri lanka - 2024

17 best things to do in sri lanka - 2024

17 best things to do in sri lanka - 2024

17 best things to do in sri lanka - 2024

17 best things to do in sri lanka - 2024

17 best things to do in sri lanka - 2024

17 best things to do in sri lanka - 2024

17 best things to do in sri lanka - 2024

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20 May 2024

Things to do in Sri Lanka are much more than exploring jaw-dropping beaches, glorious waterfalls, lush green vegetation... 

Located in Southeast Asia, Sri Lanka is a tropical paradise that provides the ultimate adventure playground for travellers of all kinds. Standing out among other tourist destinations in the region for the diversity of experiences it offers, the small island nation offers everything from beaches, nature, culture, history, and adventure to cuisine for visitors.

This is why deciding on the top things to do in Sri Lanka is challenging for many. So here you have 17 best things to do in Sri Lanka listed in this article which we curated with our tour experts. 

1. A Sunrise Trek to Little Adam’s Peak in Ella 

A beautiful train ride though nine arch bridge, Ella

If you are all about hikes that end up in beautiful viewpoints, this is one of the must things to do in Ella, Sri Lanka. Here, it's all about chilly vibes and killer views, minus the crowds. The trekking path is along the railway line and not challenging.

With mountainous views enveloped in mist, here you will find some of the best views the country has to offer. The viewpoint is breathtaking all day long, but when the sun is rising, everything gets better a thousand-fold — And you don’t want to miss the experience. That's not all—  The train ride from Kandy to Ella is one of the most scenic on the planet. 

2. The Majestic Climb of Sigiriya (Lion's Rock Fortress) 

The entrance of Sigiriya, also known as the 8th wonder of the world

Talk about the perfect destination for history nuts and archaeological enthusiasts! Sigiriya has something for everyone and is a climb worth every step, with panoramic views on top. The entire area is like a time capsule with ruins and frescoes that tell us a great deal about the history of the country.

Adventure on a Tuk-Tuk with Large Minority’s Sri Lanka Adventure

This UNESCO World Heritage is known for its architectural brilliance —but even if you are not a history buff, this must make it to your itinerary as the surrounding views at the summit make anyone fall in love with the place.

3. Cultural Immersion in Kandy 

Every year in August, we can see the Kandy Esala Perahera with eye-catching elephants and stunning dancers.

Kandy is more like a cultural cocktail with a splash of rich history. Right in the centre of the city is the world-famous Temple of the Tooth Relic— Talk about a time machine to the last Sri Lankan Kingdom. If you are visiting in August, you are in luck, as it is when the Perahera season begins.

This parade full of traditional dancers, drummers, and finely dressed elephants is one of the best things to do in Kandy, Sri Lanka. 

4. Wildlife Safari Adventures in Yala National Park 

Yala has the highest density of wild leopards in the world. This leopard is taking a rest after getting its prey.

The Yala National Park is a wildlife sanctuary where animals roam freely. A safari to Yala might not be for the faint-hearted as you can spot creatures like leopards and wild elephants roaming about at close quarters.

But, if you're game for some animal antics, aim for June to September when the dry season is in full swing. Be sure to pack your binoculars and get ready for a wild ride. 

5. Historical Journey through Anuradhapura 

Abhayagiri Stupa

Historical and religious —These are the two words that come to mind when talking about the city of Anuradhapura. Grand temples, ruins of fallen kingdoms, and massive water reservoirs are a few things you can expect to come across on your Anuradhapura visit.

Try to avoid Poya days and keep a map or similar navigation helper with you —Trust us, you will need it. 

6. Tea Plantation Trails in Nuwara Eliya 

Gregory Lake in Nuwaraeliya

Adventure hikes, natural beauty, cold weather, and cascading waterfalls— Nuwara Eliya has it all. Get ready to lace up your hiking boots and hit the trails amidst lush tea plantations.

Visit a tea factory and enjoy a city tour. This is the premium tea country, so be sure to sip a freshly brewed Ceylon Tea cuppa before you leave — another best thing to do in Sri Lanka. 

7. Adventure on a Tuk-Tuk with Large Minority’s Sri Lanka Adventure 

Buckle up for the Lanka Challenge with 1,000 km of Tuk-Tuk mayhem. Drive, explore, and tackle wild challenges across Kandy, Colombo, Nuwara Eliya, and the South Coast in a self-driven Tuk Tuk. From unforgettable beach days, crocodile snaps to chilli-eating showdowns, it's a road trip like no other with a bunch of unique things to do in Sri Lanka.

Check out the adventures we offer, and give us a call to plan your own tuk-tuk adventure. Don’t worry, we have tours operating in April, July, and September

8. Colonial History and Art in Galle 

Need a seaside escape with history, arts, and architecture? Then Galle is just the place for you. Wander the cobblestone streets of the Dutch fort and uncover stories of the Dutch colonial past.

Galle Lighthouse is another top attraction to explore (The place practically begs for a photo shoot). Also, be sure to explore art galleries, scoop up souvenirs, and soak in the coastal vibes before you leave.

9. Whale Watching and Surfing in Mirissa 

Mirissa is one of those places where the sun always shines, and the waves are perfect. Grab a board and hit the reef or Weligama, or kick back on the golden sands with a fruity cocktail in hand.

Feeling adventurous? Hop on a whale-watching cruise and say hello to our mammoth marine friends. And when the sun sets, Mirissa's beach bars light up for a night away under the stars. 

10. Discovering Colombo: A Blend of Old and New 

The commercial capital of Sri Lanka is a place where city buzz meets island chill. The busy streets are filled with fun things to do in Colombo Sri Lanka —and here the sky is your limit.

Shopping markets, high-quality eateries, tranquil getaways, and architectural colonial buildings —all are jam-packed in close quarters. 

11. Underwater Adventures in Hikkaduwa 

You won't find a better place than this to dive into crystal-clear waters and get up close and personal with vibrant marine life. Snorkel, dive or chill on the beach as you please and enjoy your time to the fullest at Hikkaduwa.

Plus, there are a ton of conservation efforts that you can help with to protect marine life and make an impact even when you are in vacation mode. 

12. Elephant Encounters in Minneriya National Park 

Interested in majestic giants and want to know more about them? Then, Minneriya is the place for you where the elephant party is in full swing. During dry months from June to September, as many as 300 elephants congregate in Minneriya.

This is the famous Minneriya gathering— the largest Asian elephant gathering in the world. Make sure to keep your distance, admire from afar, and let the majestic creatures go about their business freely. 

13. Cave Temples of Dambulla 

This is another UNESCO World Heritage site that you can’t afford to miss in Sri Lanka for many reasons. Its history is one, of course, —but there are also wonderful creations of nature around, beautiful views, and a peaceful spiritual environment that people find addictive.

The temple complex is full of caves and murals to explore with hundreds of Buddha statues. This is also a great place to witness the ways of Buddhist monks closer. 

14. Laid-back Beach Vibes in Unawatuna 

Unawatuna is a place with gorgeous seaside views, good food, and an atmosphere to vibe that can set the stage for the perfect vacation. If you feel like it, go for a dive, do some snorkelling, and some beach yoga to take some of the stress away. 

And don’t forget the food. The Sri Lankan coastal cuisine is a true delight, and you will get no less than perfection from the eateries at Unawatuna. 

15. Experience Tamil Culture in Jaffna 

Jaffna is the city where Tamil culture shines brighter than the sun. There are plenty of festivals, traditions, and other similar things to do in Sri Lanka here in Jaffna.

With a rich Sri Lankan Tamil culture, the area has many ancient sites like Jaffna Fort, Nagadeepa, and Nallur Kovil that showcase the unique culture of the area. Jaffna cuisine is different from the rest of the country and offers a fiesta with flavours that'll knock your socks off— Every time. 

16. Hike to Diyaluma Falls 

Strap on those hiking shoes and get ready for a workout that ends with a view—Diyaluma is calling. Sure, you might have to dodge a few leeches on the way up, but trust us, the scenery is so stunning that you'll forget all about them.

Picture yourself chilling in a natural infinity pool, soaking up those jaw-dropping vistas —You're in for one of the best things to do in Sri Lanka. Just remember to leave nothing but footprints. 

17. Take a Cooking Class in a Local Village 

Sri Lankan cuisine is unique and exploding with flavour. So why not learn the art of Sri Lankan cuisine straight from the pros? Get hands-on and whip up mouthwatering curries bursting with flavour.

We are talking about cooking in a traditional kitchen with a village grandma —all while soaking up the village vibes. 

Conclusion 

Alrighty, time to wrap up this adventure roundup! Sunrise treks, wild safaris, tranquil getaways, you name it, this island's got the goods. But we've hand-picked the top things to do in Sri Lanka so you can enjoy every flavour the island has to offer during your short time here. So why wait – start planning your Sri Lanka holiday today. If you are up for a tuk-tuk adventure across the country, feel free to get in touch

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