Sri Lanka, the Land of Serendipity. It’s called Pearl of the Indian Ocean and a teardrop of India. The country so versatile you’ll find something of your taste. Perfect sandy beaches, wildlife, beautiful mountains, food, and culture. Here are things you should not miss while visiting Sri Lanka. 

1. Climb Sigiriya

Also known as Lion Rock or 8th wonder of the world. It’s an ancient rock fortress with a palace built at the top. It is probably the most visited place in Sri Lanka so be sure to visit it bright and early. The entrance opens at 6:30 and the ticket is 27€, and it will take 40 minutes to get to the top.

2. Take a scenic train ride

The most scenic train ride is from Kandy to Ella. It takes around 7 hours and costs ~ 1.5€ for 2nd class. Just swing from the door and enjoy the view of greenery and tea plantations. You can buy water and snacks on the train so you can relax on the ride.

3. Visit the Nine Arch Bridge

One of the best examples of colonial-era railway construction in Sri Lanka. The blue and red train is the best view you can imagine. Nine Arch Bridge is located around 30 min by foot or 10 min by scooter from Ella through the jungle. Best time to visit early in the morning to catch the 6 AM train – the blue one; and as a bonus you get the place all for yourself 🙂

4. Hike Little Adams Peak

This easily reachable peak offers an excellent spot for sunrise. It’s only 15 min walking distance from Ella. The path goes through the tea plantation, and you can see local workers in the field. From the top, you’ll have a view of another peak – Ella Rock. It’s a bit harder to climb, but if you’re in good shape and love hiking – go for it!

5. Visit a Tea Plantation

Sri Lanka is known as a land of tea. Many tea plantations can be visited where you can see the whole process from picking tea leaves, drying to finished product. Tea tasting is a must while visiting Sri Lanka, and you can learn a lot about different types of teas.

6. Hike to Diyaluma Falls

As a home to many waterfalls, you have to visit at least one, and we recommend Diyulama Falls. 1,5 H scooter ride from Ella, you’ll be rewarded with a pool at the top of the waterfall where you can relax and swim.

7. Experience Safari

Sri Lanka has many National Parks where you can go on a safari. The most popular one is the Yala National Park. Since we were in Sigiriya, we decided to visit Minneriya National Park. We saw Elephants, Wild Buffalos, Peacocks, and many bird species.

8. Relax at the beach in Unawatuna

White sandy beaches, warm water and waves for surfing – this place has it all. Unawatuna offers everything for you perfect summer vacation, and offers many restaurants and clubs.

9. Swing at the palm tree

If you googled Sri Lanka you’ve probably seen this swing. We found one at the Dalawella Beach (Dream Cabana beach bar is the exact spot). So you can sit, relax, enjoy the sunset and the swing for a perfect postcard picture.

10. Visit Gale

As a Unesco World Heritage, Galle is a historic city jewel. In the history it’s main use was as a fort. Explore it by foot at sunset and just enjoy the cute local cafes. Also there are many markets where you can get fresh fruit, vegetables and fish.

11. Join a cooking class for Sri Lankan curry

I would heartily recommend joining a cooking class. This is a great opportunity to learn how to cook traditional Sri Lankan cuisine. They use a lot of spices in their food and this way you can bring some home and cook an awesome curry.

How to get around in Sri Lanka?

Almost every accommodation offers a transportation to and from airport. Traveling between cities is easy and cheap via train or bus. You can also book a private transport. Tuk Tuks are on every corner and they are also a good way of transport.

How to stay connected in Sri Lanka?

We highly recommend Dialog as it kept us covered across the country. You can get it at the airport, a guy will do all the work for you. 40GB will cost you 2700 IRP (~13 €)

Best time to visit Sri Lanka

Best time of year to visit Sri Lanka is from April or May to September. We visited in March and the weather was nice and there weren’t many tourists. Temperature was lovely, warm and without rain.