What to do in Sri Lanka? Here is a guide we made for you if you have over a week to spend there! Get a coffee and read up our guide to Things to do in Sri Lanka.
Take the train and save money
Before we get into sharing our tips, we would like to give you a few advice on how to get around and how to save money! If you are going down south, take the local train from Columbo Fort to Galle. It’s all along the water, jam packed and full of Sri Lankan culture. Also the famous Ella to Kandy train is amazing as everyone says. Book in advance as it gets full very fast – specifically during peak season February-May. All this can be done online. Otherwise, you will be gambling for tickets at the Train stations.
Take the bus in Sri Lanka
Take the bus! Such a weird experience to go through! No more than 2$US to go anywhere in Sri Lanka. A truly interesting and unique experience. Music blaring (way too loud), food on the bus and crazy fun driving. You want to do Sri Lanka properly? Do it the bus way! Now let’s start with things to do in Sri Lanka!
Go to see Sigiriya
This rock-top fortress located in the northern Matale District near the town of Dambulla in the Central Province is a must (this is north of Ella)! It is Sri Lanka’s seven World Heritage Sites that dates back to the 5th century AD. It used to be a royal palace and Buddhist monastery. Note that the best picture to take is in front of the rock when you are quite away from it! It will cost you 35$US approximately to go. We recommend that you climb the adjacent Rock, virtually the same size and same view and includes the view of Sigiriya, and only costing 5$US. It is called Pidurangala Temple.
Adam’s Peak in Sabaragamuwa
This is another must, but climbing Adam’s Peak (2,243m), is truly a tough climb. Bring another shirt and a big blanket if you are doing the Sunrise run. You will be dripping with sweat after the climb, but it is absolutely freezing at the top. I started climbing at 1 AM so I can make the top for sunrise, which is the common thing to do. I ended up getting to the top at 4:30 AM and had to wait 90 minutes for the sun to rise.
Little Adam’s Peak in Ella
If the Adam’s Peak is too much for you to handle, you can go to the little one! The peak is so busy all year round. Every one goes there for Sunrise. Tip: Do not stay at the top to wait for the sun rising. Walk back down for 5 minutes and you will have an equally good view without thousands of cameras. We did and the view was great and with no one around!
Learn to surf in Sri Lanka
We like to say that Sri Lan is a perfect place to learn how to surf. Go south of Sri Lanka at Hikkaduwa for the best spots to learn and find surf camps. If you are more of a surfers pro, you will still love it! If you really want bigger waves, you can look into places in the west coat.
Take the Ella-Kandy train
In general, we would say you HAVE to take at least one train trip to look over the mountains, tea plantations and the lovely local people. Although the most popular route to have the best view is to do the Ella-Kandy route or the other way around.
Spot leopards at the Yala National Park
There are not many places in the world you can spot leopards, but in Sri Lanka, you sure can if you are lucky at the Yala National Park, located south east of the country. You can also spot peacocks, elephants, monkeys, jackles, crocodiles and many more.
Visit Udawalawe National Park
If you are a big fan of national parks and the nature, you must do an escape from the hustle and bustle to get there. It is mostly known as an elephant orphanage where they help with rehabilitating the orphaned and/or injured elephants.
Visit the tea plantations in Nurweya Eliya
Tea industry in Sri Lanka is great, hence it is a great therapy to walk in the tea plantations and get some of the best Sri Lanka tea back home. If you are a huge tea fan, you should go to Hill Country’s Haputale Mountains where Sir Thomas Lipton launched his tea empire.
Visit the Temple of Tooth in Kandy
When you are in Kandy, you must visit the popular Temple of Tooth. Get your camera ready, you might be able to snap amazing shots with monks walking around.
Island hopping in Sri Lanka
If you really are adventurous like us, get off the beaten track by heading to many of Sri Lanka’s islands. It is not known to do island hopping in Sri Lanka, but if you have some time, you totally should! We recommend you to go the the calm island of Neduntivu, which the crossing won’t take to long. Be aware that the only accommodation you can get there is renting a room from locals.
So there you go, just a few tips for you to make your Sri Lanka trip just that little bit better. If you want to know anything else about Sri Lanka, drop us a line and we will answer your questions.