Things to do in Colombo

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Things to do in Colombo

Sri Lanka is a nation characterized by a significant degree of variety. Colombo is the biggest city in Sri Lanka. Sri Lanka boasts an abundance of tourist attractions, ranging from ancient temples and sprawling tea plantations to colonial heritage sites, wildlife reserves, stunning beaches, picturesque landscapes, and much more. There are many options when it comes to things to do in Colombia. These include visiting historical sites, going on safaris, exploring different beaches, participating in water sports, indulging in adventurous activities, and much more. Below, we have compiled a list of things to do in Colombo. However, the length of your trip is a crucial determinant of the number and kind of destinations you may see during your Sri Lanka trip.

Here are the best 38 things to do in Colombo

  1. Wildlife safari
  2. Visiting Anuradhapura ancient city
  3. Visiting Sigiriya rock fortress
  4. Climbing Sigiriya rock
  5. Visiting the temple of the tooth relic
  6. Exploring the Royal botanical garden
  7. Tea factory visit
  8. Exploring Galle Fort
  9. Colombo city tour
  10. Sampling delicious fresh fruit
  11. Taking a hill country train trip
  12. Visiting Ella
  13. Visiting the golden temple of Dambulla
  14. Visiting Pidurangala Ancient temple
  15. Visiting Mirissa Beach
  16. Visiting red mosque
  17. Safari at Yala National Park
  18. Climbing Adam’s peak
  19. Exploring Mihintale
  20. Take in little Adam’s peak at sunrise
  21. Visit Bundala National Park
  22. Visit Ganduwa cinnamon Island
  23. Visit Bundala National Park
  24. Ascend Pidurangala
  25. Visit the isolated Kalpitiya Peninsula
  26. Make camp in the highlands of Haputale
  27. Travel from Colombo via train
  28. Savor Sri Lankan rice and curry
  29. Visit Wilpattu National Park
  30. Take in the world’s largest gathering of wild Asian elephants
  31. Visit Unawatuna
  32. Get to know the indigenous people of Sri Lanka
  33. Sample some street cuisine, kottu roti
  34. Stroll through the peculiar alleyways of Galle Fort
  35. Ride the waves at the first female-run surf club in Sri Lanka
  36. Ride around the Polonnaruwa old kingdom
  37. Spend time in a treehouse to get in touch with nature
  38. Enjoy a hopper snack

1. Things to do in Colombo: take part in wildlife safari

Sri Lanka is renowned for its exceptional wildlife safari experiences. Sri Lanka is widely regarded as a premier safari location globally, excluding the African continent. Sri Lanka possesses a remarkable abundance of native plants and animals, ranking among the greatest globally. Sri Lanka boasts a total of 24 national parks, providing travelers with a diverse range of options for embarking on a safari adventure. The specific geographical area has an impact on the presence of various species of animals and plants in the national park. By selecting Yala National Park, located on the southern coast of Sri Lanka, you will have the opportunity to observe a diverse array of untamed creatures, such as elephants, leopards, bears, crocodiles, jackals, wild buffaloes, and numerous more. While it might be challenging to identify leopards and bears in the national park, it is quite simple to spot a wild elephant. Yala national park, Minneriya national park, Udawalawe national park, and Wilpattu National Park are among the well-known destinations for safaris in Sri Lanka.

Which locations offer the most exceptional Sri Lanka safari experiences?

  • Yala National Park
  • Wilpattu National Park
  • Minneriya National Park
  • Alawe National Park

2. Things to do in Colombo, Sri Lanka: Discovering the historic city of Anuradhapura

Anuradhapura serves as the inaugural documented capital of the island of Sri Lanka. One may explore the city on foot, by bicycle, or by hiring a private cab. Anuradhapura, one of the oldest capitals in the world, with a history that may be traced back to the 3rd century BC. In its prime, the ancient city included a multitude of Buddhist temples, palaces, gardens, monasteries, stupas, and other significant structures. Based on the historical records, there were a substantial population of monks in the old city, numbering in the tens of thousands. Travellers have the opportunity to navigate the historic city by bicycle while discovering archeological sites. For most travelers, one of the primary highlights of the city trip is visiting the three largest man-made stupas. The Jetawanaram Stupa, located in Anuradhapura, was the largest stupa in the area and ranked as the third largest man-made ancient building globally, surpassed only by the two pyramids in Giza.

3. Things to do in Colombo, Sri Lanka: Exploring the Ritigala Monastery

The Ritigala monastery may be categorized as a unique and precious treasure hidden around 200 miles from Colombo. Even though Buddhist monks and followers frequently visit this wooded monastery, few tourists visit it. Ritigala is a venerable monastery in Sri Lanka, dating back to the same era as the historic city of Anuradhapura. Buddhist monks resided in this substantial woodland monastery, located in a remote area, covering an area of 700 acres. The monks resided in the jungle and adopted a highly frugal lifestyle as they diligently followed the teachings of Buddha. The forest monastery is currently uninhabited, and the surrounding rainforest has taken over a significant portion of it.

4. Things to do in Colombo: Ascending Sigiriya rock formation

The Sigiriya rock castle holds significant prominence as a top tourist destination in Sri Lanka and is often featured in the majority of Sri Lanka vacation packages. The Sigiriya Rock Climb entails ascending 12,000 stairs and traversing several hundred meters into the historic city. Nevertheless, the majority of travelers state that seeing the historic site is completely worthwhile in terms of both time and calories used. Clusters of woodland, isolated villages, picturesque rural landscapes, rice fields, lakes, and dilapidated structures surround the exquisite historical site of Sigiriya. The Sigiriya rock castle is intricately linked to a profound historical legacy, showcasing the profound expertise of ancient civilizations in the fields of engineering, water management, and artistic craftsmanship.

5. Things to do in Colombo: Exploring the Temple of the Tooth Relic.

Sri Lanka is a nation characterized by its diversity in terms of religion and ethnicity. This cultural melting pot is home to several religious and ethnic groups. Nevertheless, Buddhism holds the highest level of popularity as a religion on the island, with over 69% of the people following its teachings. The island is adorned with several temples, which may be found in various regions of the country.

The shrine of the Tooth Relic is revered as the utmost holy Buddhist shrine on the island, and pilgrimage to this ancient site is a cherished aspiration for Buddhists worldwide. Within the temple is a highly significant and revered artifact for Buddhists: the left canine tooth of Buddha. This precious relic was transported from India to Sri Lanka around the 4th century AD. Every day, a large number of residents and visitors go to the temple, as it is the most venerated Buddhist shrine on the island. The optimal time to attend the temple is during the prescribed ritual hours, which occur three times daily. In order to gain access to the tooth relic temple, guests must adhere to a dress code and remove their shoes and head coverings.

6. Things to do in Colombo: Discover the Royal Botanical Garden

The Peradeniya Botanical Garden, sometimes referred to as Peradeniya Botanical Garden, is the most expansive botanical garden on the island and is situated in close proximity to the historic city of Kandy, just a few kilometers away. For those with a deep fascination for trees, plants, orchids, and other blooming flora, this place is a paradise.

7. Sri Lanka things to do: Explore a tea factory

Sri Lanka is a major global tea producer, and its tea business significantly contributes to the country’s foreign currency earnings. Tea is the third most significant contributor to the island’s foreign exchange earnings, behind textiles. A tea factory visit encompasses both a guided tour of the tea plantation and a visit to the facility.

8. Things to do in Colombo: Discover Galle Fort

Visit Galle Fort is a priority for the majority of international tourists in Sri Lanka. Galle Fort presents a stark juxtaposition to the majority of sights encountered by travelers on their trip to Sri Lanka. The Galle Fort is solely focused on colonial history. Galle City is situated at the southernmost point of Sri Lanka and is home to the most well-preserved colonial city in the country. The Galle Fort stands as the most impeccably maintained colonial city in all of Asia. The Portuguese started building the structure in 1505, and the Dutch East Indian Company later expanded it. Embark on a stroll down the cobblestone walkways to discover the old fort. Take the opportunity to explore its museums, galleries, temples, and churches, where you can delve into the fascinating historical legacy of this walled city. Observe the diverse ethnic and religious communities coexisting in the city while interacting closely.

9. Things to do in Colombo: City tour of Colombo

Colombo offers a distinct experience to travelers, showcasing a vibrant cityscape in contrast to the picturesque rural villages and verdant forest landscapes seen in other areas of the nation. Colombo has a bustling cityscape with towering skyscrapers, many Tuk Tuks, congested streets, and vibrant urban temples. Colombo is a cosmopolitan metropolis that is home to a diverse population of different ethnicities and religions. It boasts several religious sites representing Buddhism, Hinduism, Christianity, and Islam, scattered around the city. Colombo may be experienced through either a 4-hour or a full-day city trip, depending on the amount of time you are able to allocate for it. Colombo is not only home to captivating temples, parks, beaches, and historical landmarks, but it also has a diverse selection of restaurants and cafes. Consequently, Colombo is widely regarded as one of the premier destinations to indulge in authentic Sri Lankan cuisine.

10. Activities to engage in with children in Sri Lanka: enjoying the consumption of freshly harvested fruits.

Sri Lanka, a tropical nation, boasts a wide array of delectable fruit varieties. Fruit vendors are abundant throughout the whole island. They are offering fresh fruits at a discounted price.

11. Engage in a hill country train excursion in Sri Lanka as an enjoyable activity for children.

The rail journey from Kandy to Nuwara Eliya and Ella is often regarded as one of the most picturesque train rides globally. The hill country blue train traverses the rail track, offering travelers the opportunity to view the awe-inspiring landscape of the green-capped mountains, tea plantations, sections of woods, and gorges in Sri Lanka’s hill country. The train journey provides an excellent chance to engage with the local population and savor the delectable cuisine of Sri Lanka.

12. Activities in Sri Lanka suitable for children: Discover the town of Ella

Ella is a well-known hill country resort in Sri Lanka. Ella is located in the middle of abundant tea plantations and scattered areas of woodlands. If you want breathtaking mountain vistas, unspoiled natural landscapes, and a variety of captivating hiking and trekking opportunities, Ella is the optimal choice for you. The tourists dedicate a considerable amount of time to expexploring the exquisite, mountainous natural forest in Ella, which is a highly sought-after destination for most travellers. Several guest homes, cafés, galleries, and secluded spots are situated in the hills, providing a tranquil retreat. Notable attractions in Ella include the Nine Arch Bridge, Ella Rock, Mini Adams Peak, Tea Factory, Ravana Waterfall, and Spice Garden

13. Activities in Sri Lanka suitable for children: exploring the Golden Temple of Dambulla.

Dambulla is an enchanting city located in the northern-central region of Sri Lanka. Dambulla is a renowned city in the cultural triangle of Sri Lanka, mostly because of the magnificent golden temple of Dambulla. The Dambulla Golden Temple has been designated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site because of its significant historical and religious value to the global community. For almost two millennia, this historic temple has served as a revered site of devotion for followers of Buddhism. The temple has five naturally formed granite caverns. The temples are adorned with colossal Buddha sculptures and mural paintings.

The clothing code is crucial while visiting this historic temple. Please refer to our page on visiting Sri Lanka Buddhist temples for more information.

14. Activities in Sri Lanka suitable for children: exploring Pidurangala Temple

In the past, Sri Lanka was a less popular tourist destination. However, it is currently seeing an increase in popularity among travelers. Pidurangala is an additional ancient temple that served as the official Buddhist temple of the adjacent Sigiriya rock stronghold, according to historical records. The rock cave temple is a single organic cavern adorned with several Buddha sculptures and Buddhist artwork. The upper portion of the Pidurangala rock contains a section of the cave temple, whilst the image house, residences of monks, and the revered bo tree are located near the base of the rock. Ascending the Pidurangala rock is not a laborious undertaking if you have already scaled the Sigiriya rock castle. To fully see the sunrise from the top of the rock, it is advisable to schedule your visit to Pidurangala temple in the early morning.

15. Activities to enjoy with children in Sri Lanka: Exploring the attractions of Mirissa

Mirissa, located on the southern coast of Sri Lanka, has immaculate beaches ideal for activities such as swimming, surfing, diving, and whale watching. Mirissa has emerged as a prominent whale-watching hub in Asia, drawing a substantial influx of tourists annually to its unspoiled coastlines. While whale watching is typically a seasonal pursuit in many locations worldwide, Mirissa stands out as a year-round destination for this thrilling sport. In Mirissa, the odds of encountering a pair of majestic blue whales during your whale-watching excursion are quite favorable. Mirissa is located around 150 kilometers from Colombo. Mirissa beach is adorned with several beachside establishments, including restaurants, cafés, and bars, rendering it an optimal destination for nocturnal pursuits

16. Activities to enjoy with children in Sri Lanka: Explore the Red Mosque.

Situated in the bustling area of Colombo, the red mosque is a highly frequented Muslim place of worship in Sri Lanka. The mosque was initially constructed in 1908 as a tiny structure, but since then it has been expanded and is now one of the largest mosques in Sri Lanka. The mosque has distinctive architecture, characterized by walls adorned with a combination of red and white paint. The Arab traders that landed at the port of Colombo in its early days utilized the mosque.

17. Activities in Sri Lanka suitable for children: Embark on a safari adventure in Yala National Park.

Wildlife enthusiasts are strongly advised to visit Yala National Park. Yala National Park offers travelers an exceptional wildlife encounter, making it the most sought-after safari destination in Sri Lanka.

Yala National Park has the opportunity to observe an array of wildlife,

  • leopards
  • panthers
  • elephants
  • crocodiles
  • bears
  • several other species.

Yala, the second-largest national park in Sri Lanka, is renowned as one of the world’s premier destinations for leopard sightings because of its very high leopard population. The national park has several archeological monuments, such as the Situlpawwa ancient temple, which has origins dating back to the 2nd century BC.

18. Activities in Sri Lanka suitable for children: Adams Peak hiking

The Adams Peak trek is renowned among pilgrims and thrill-seekers. The Adams Peak walk is an adventurous exercise that combines cultural and religious importance. The sacred mountain in Rathnapura is renowned as a pilgrimage destination for local travelers. The three main faiths in Sri Lanka revere the shrine at the mountain’s summit, which has a sizable footprint. Buddhists attribute the footprint to Buddha, Hindus assert that it belongs to Adam, and Catholics maintain that it is the footprint of St. Thomas.

Adam’s Peak, standing at an elevation of 2300 meters, is the third highest peak in Sri Lanka. In addition to religious motivations, other travelers ascend the mountain as a thrilling adventure pursuit. The trip to Adams Peak is often regarded as the most arduous trek in Sri Lanka. The duration of the trek at Adams Peak is around 5 hours. Typically, the pilgrims go on the challenging route at night to avoid the intense heat of the sun. However, a few individuals are opting for a daytime hike. The Adams Peak walk offers trekkers breathtaking vistas over the nearby plain and mountains.

19. Activities for children in Sri Lanka: Discovering Mihintale

Mihintale is a popular destination for most people that come to Anuradhapura, the ancient city of Sri Lanka. Mihintale is regarded as the birthplace of Buddhism, where the initial Buddhist ruler adopted Buddhism from Arahat Mahinda, who came to Sri Lanka from India in the 2nd century BC. Mihintale is home to several historically significant sites, including as stupas, hospitals, and Buddha statues.

Visiting the hill country resort of Ella is a highly favored activity in Sri Lanka, particularly among international tourists. Little Adam’s Peak is a popular and brief excursion for tourists visiting Ella, a highly sought-after tourist attraction. To witness the sunrise from the summit, begin your ascent in the early hours of the morning, before daylight has emerged. If they like to continue hiking, they can proceed to Ella Rock and follow a trail that would lead them to Nine Arch Bridge. It should not be confused with Adam’s Peak. Ascending Adams Peak is a highly favored activity among Buddhist adherents in Sri Lanka. This sacred peak adjacent to Hatton necessitates a demanding ascent of 5000 steps.
Ella boasts a serene ambiance. Travelers should fully engage in the ambiance of a local café, even if many want to stay away from the city center. Enthusiasts of thrilling experiences might engage in the activity of ziplining.

In addition, Ella-following cities are highly recommended for a stimulating visit

  • Ohiya
  • Idalgasshinna
  • Haputale
  • Wellawaya

21. Explore Ganduwa Island to savor the finest cinnamon in the world.

Embarking on a Sri Lanka boat trip is a highly favored activity in Sri Lanka. There are several locations in Sri Lanka where travelers may partake in leisurely travel along the country’s rivers. Notable destinations for boat cruises in Sri Lanka include the Bentota River, the Madu River, Negombo Lagoon, and Muthurajawela.

The finest cinnamon in the world is cultivated in the southern region of Sri Lanka. This kind is known for its sweeter and lighter flavor compared to the cinnamon grown in Vietnam and Indonesia. Travelers have the option to board a boat and reach Ganduwa Island on Koggala Lake, situated to the south of Galle. They may gain knowledge about the esteemed Ceylon cinnamon.

At this location, there are experienced peelers who have inherited their skills over the past decade.They meticulously remove thin layers of the inner bark from the tree in order to create cinnamon quills. For around $2, you can buy them together with small packets of cinnamon oil and powder. Subsequently, the boat conveys the tourists to many further islands. Before you go, be sure to purchase a glass of freshly squeezed kirala juice from a nearby seller located on the jetty.

22. Engage in family-friendly activities in Sri Lanka: Explore Bundala National Park for bird-watching opportunities.

Observing wildlife is among the most enjoyable activities to engage in while in Sri Lanka. Sri Lanka has a variety of wildlife parks, including Bundala, Udawalae, and Yala, where travelers can go on safaris. Ramsar has officially recognized Bundala National Park, a wetland area in the southern part of the nation. It serves as the habitat for over 200 kinds of birds, both migratory and native. The park teems with brahminy kites, many storks, groups of whistling wild ducks, Asian green bee-eaters, displaying peacocks, and resting crocodiles during the three- to four-hour bird-watching excursions, commencing at 6 a.m. During the afternoon, wild Asian elephants, spotted deer, and wild boar may be observed walking among the Weera, Neem, and Palu trees.

Recommendation: Enhance the likelihood of encountering animals by securing reservations for a 4WD safari through a tour operator. When you arrive to Bundala Junction, you will see offices located just outside the park.

Exploring the renowned Sigiriya Rock Castle is a highly favored activity in Sri Lanka. Hence, a significant multitude of travelers participate in the excursion to Sigiriya. To fully experience a trip to Sri Lanka, it is essential to visit the Sigiriya, an immense fortified rock formation located near the colossal Pidurangala rock. The Sigiriya features exquisite murals, stunning water gardens, and the remnants of an ancient castle. For individuals who enjoy seeing the sunset prior to the closure of the ticket office at 6pm, it is advisable to prepare and bring along appropriate footwear for trekking. Ascend Pidurangala before 5am in order to behold the break of day.

Planning advice: There is an entrance charge of $30 USD for this 45-minute walk. At the peak, one may behold the awe-inspiring Sigiriya rock, which takes the shape of a lion and is surrounded by artificial lakes and verdant forests. Ensure that you pack a scarf or sarong to safeguard yourself as you will be traversing a Buddhist temple en route to the peak.

24. Explore the remote Kalpitiya Peninsula and engage in the exhilarating sport of kitesurfing.

The northeastern coast of Sri Lanka offers optimal kitesurfing conditions because of its plentiful flatwater lagoons and consistent wind. The Kalpitiya Peninsula, which remains relatively undiscovered by international tourists, is situated around 3.5 hours’ drive north of Colombo. The area is characterized by the presence of abundant feral donkeys roaming across expansive grasslands, alongside a scarcity of fishing settlements and sandy beaches.

Experience professional kitesurfing lessons from local professionals by visiting Kite Center Sri Lanka, located at Kappalady on the Indian Ocean. Experienced kiteboarders may have the opportunity to participate in kitesurf safaris organized by the school. These safaris involve seeing adjacent places such as Donkey Point, Dutch Bay, and Vella Island. Engaging in kayaking expeditions across the lagoons and participating in responsible dolphin-watching tours where vast gatherings of spinner dolphins may be observed are two other activities available in Kappalady. Trustworthy operators will exclusively lease small watercraft, avoid entering the animal enclosures, and abstain from feeding the creatures. There are a limited number of beachfront accommodations available in Kappalady.

25. Engage in a camping experience in the elevated region of Haputale, Sri Lanka, which offers many activities suitable for children.

Exploring Haputale is a popular activity in Sri Lanka, much like exploring Ella. You can take a bus from Ella to the misty uplands of Haputale, which are home to tea estates and icy brooks, in about an hour. Opt for lodging at a locally owned campsite in the vicinity, such as the Dias family’s Eco Lodge Haputale. After enjoying a few cups of sweetened milk tea at their residence, they will guide you to their campground, which has several tents, a dining area with a view of the Haputale mountains, and a small kitchen. An exceptional aspect of visiting this place is seeing the dawn while awakening to the melodious singing of birds.

26. Embark on a rail journey from Colombo

Train riding in Sri Lanka is an essential and highly recommended experience. Board the train from Colombo to Ella, which traverses the renowned Nine Arch Bridge that has gained popularity on Instagram. This journey offers breathtaking views of the mountains intertwined with tea plantations, historic railway stations from the British colonial period, and flowing water bodies. Several trains operate on this route; nevertheless, due to its popularity among visitors, it is advisable to pre-book your tickets.

Nevertheless, do not halt at that point. To enjoy panoramic views of the Indian Ocean and the gentle movement of palm trees, board a coastal train from Colombo that travels south towards Galle. Subsequently, board a train heading in the northern direction towards Jaffna. Upon reaching Anuradhapura, the landscape undergoes a transformation, with palmyra trees, shrubs, and dry soil replacing the lush rice fields and coconut palms.

Planning tip: Trains include a variety of vendors, including local families, tourists, and commuters, who sell items like as tea cups, instant coffee, fresh fruits with chile, roasted peanuts, yogurt, and mobile top-up cards

27. Activities to enjoy in Sri Lanka with children: Indulge in the traditional Sri Lankan dish of rice and curry.

Indulging in the delectable Sri Lankan rice and curry is a highly favored activity in Sri Lanka. Sri Lankan rice and curry are highly sought after by international tourists and are seldom included on menus in many locations worldwide. Nevertheless, this is on the verge of undergoing a transformation. Experience a sophisticated dining experience by visiting one of the local restaurants in Colombo, Kandy, or on the beach.

Planning tip: When visiting the northern region of the country, it is highly recommended to try the flavorful and aromatic Jaffna crab curry at Cosy Restaurant, conveniently situated near the Jaffna Railway Station.

28. Explore Wilpattu National Park to seek out the elusive Sri Lankan leopard

Observing wildlife at Wilpattu National Park is a highly favored activity in Sri Lanka. The main motive for the majority of people visiting Yala National Park is to search for the critically endangered Sri Lankan leopard. However, congestion is a common occurrence, and safari 4WDs have a track record of causing wildlife to become scared and run away.

Book accommodations with a reputable operator and journey to the northwestern region of Wilpattu National Park on the island for a superior and morally upright safari encounter. While the guides do not actively search for potential sightings, they do turn off their vehicles’ engines when they approach animals. Furthermore, they will discreetly communicate near any observation to prevent disturbing the animals. The park houses Asian elephants, sloth bears, and bark deer in their native environments, along with leopards.

Instead, birdwatchers should consider visiting Kumana National Park, situated in the eastern part of Yala. If you are fortunate, you may have the opportunity to observe a leopard resting on a rugged rock.

29. Experience the world’s most extensive congregation of untamed Asian elephants

Sri Lanka is home to around 4,000 wild Asian elephants, which may be observed most effectively in the country’s national parks. During the dry months of July through September, large groups of untamed Asian elephants gather in the vast reservoirs of Kaudulla and Minneriya National Parks. They come together to feed on grass, bathe, and engage in playful interactions. Elephants seek refuge in the adjacent forests on hot days, but they gradually emerge about 4 p.m. Seize your opportunity to observe the most magnificent assembly of untamed elephants in the world, with thousands of them leisurely congregating around the lakes.

An advisable travel recommendation is to steer clear of locations that confine elephants, save for Udawalawe’s Elephant Transit Home. The Born Free Foundation offers financial support for the operation of this elephant transit home, which rescues and rehabilitates wounded or orphaned elephant calves and subsequently reintroduces them into their natural habitat upon their full recovery.

30. Activities to engage in with children in Sri Lanka: Explore the coastal town of Unawatuna and delight in the serene waters of the sea.

Engaging in beach hopping is a thrilling and adored activity in Sri Lanka. Sri Lanka possesses several coastal settlements that are ideal for beach vacations. Unawatuna is considered one of the top destinations for beach vacations. This year-round vacation spot provides pristine beaches and sandy shores, along with a diverse selection of lodging options.

31. Engage in cultural immersion by learning about the indigenous population of Sri Lanka

Exploring the cultural heritage of Sri Lankan aborigines is not widely embraced in Sri Lanka. Only a small proportion of travelers take advantage of the chance to visit Dambana, where the indigenous people of Sri Lanka reside. The indigenous population of Sri Lanka is referred to as the Vedda. Their population has declined over time due to migration, loss of habitat, and assimilation into the country’s main Sinhala-Buddhist culture. Initially, their habitat was primarily located in wooded areas. Several Vedda families are currently scattered around the island in tiny clusters, although they are capable of preserving their customary practices, language, and food at locations such as Dambana, an indigenous hamlet and museum situated in the southern area of Maduru Oya National Park.

Travel recommendation: Head towards the eastern region of Gal Oya to see the ancient caves and hunting areas of the Vedda tribe. Engage in guided excursions for a really immersive and enriching experience. Wild Glamping Gal Oya regularly engages with the Vedda community to organize ethical gatherings.

32. Engage in family-friendly activities in Sri Lanka: Experience the local street cuisine, including the delicious kottu roti.

Indulging in Kottu may be a highly thrilling experience in Sri Lanka. Kottu roti epitomizes the essence of Sri Lanka in a way that no other meal can. This renowned street delicacy comprises residual roti (flatbread), eggs, fresh vegetables, and the option to select between meat or fish. Its carbohydrates content is high. The distinct sound of metal on metal may often be heard from a distance of several hundred feet when two metal blades are used to chop a combination of ingredients laid on a metal griddle into small bits. Kottu roti is readily available throughout the entire island, but in Colombo, I recommend trying it at either Hotel de Pilawoos or Hotel de Plaza (please note that Sri Lankan restaurants are sometimes referred to as “hotels”).

Planning advice: Exercise caution when dealing with individuals or establishments claiming to be Pilawoos or Hotel de Plaza, as there are other dubious enterprises operating under the same name. The genuine establishments may be located on Galle Road in Colombo 3. Enjoy a refreshing glass of Milo, a popular chocolate malt beverage that complements a steaming hot kottu.

33. Explore the unique pathways of Galle Fort

Exploring the abundant historical heritage of Sri Lanka is among the top activities to engage in when visiting the country. There are several locations where tourists may observe ancient monuments. Galle Fort is a renowned destination that exhibits the vestiges of Sri Lanka’s colonial past.

Galle Fort showcases a distinctive fusion of Portuguese, Dutch, and British architectural designs. The fort is surrounded by various amenities, including spas, luxury hotels, ice cream parlors, souvenir stores, and gem boutiques. Arrive at the Fort Lanes as they gradually open in the morning. The first destination is the National Tea Rooms, the oldest café in Galle Fort that has been managed by a hospitable Sri Lankan family since 1932. Here, you may have a delectable Sri Lankan breakfast.

At Stick No Bills, you may buy vintage maps, tuk-tuks, and postcards with unique designs from Sri Lanka. Make sure to try Church Street Social’s flavorful black pork curry for lunch. The view from the ramparts is quite captivating, especially after sunset.

34. Experience the thrill of surfing at Sri Lanka’s pioneering surf club, led by women.

Engaging in beach hopping is considered one of the most enjoyable activities in Sri Lanka, and Arugambay is well recognized as one of the top beach sites on the island. Additionally, Aurgambay is renowned as a prime surfing destination in Sri Lanka. Arugam Bay is a popular destination on the east coast for surfers of varying proficiency. This beach, characterized by its curled shape and ocher-colored sand, becomes vibrant during the nighttime hours between April and August, hosting lively parties with alcohol and live music. The Arugam Bay Girls Surf Club, which is the inaugural all-female club in Sri Lanka, provides swimming, surfing, and yoga instruction to the local community. Additionally, it proudly showcases a relaxed surfing culture.

Planning tip: To rejuvenate after surfing, indulge in the delightful Sri Lankan roti available at the beach shacks along the beachfront. These roti are filled with a combination of chocolate, banana, chicken, cheese, and veggies.

35 Engage in a family-friendly activity in Sri Lanka by exploring the Polonnaruwa ancient kingdom on a ride.

Polonnaruwa became Sri Lanka’s second capital from 1070 to 1232, after the fall of Anuradhapura. Its remains are now designated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Do not overlook the Vatadage, a circular structure that houses a significant Buddha statue. Subsequently, go on a bicycle excursion of the venerable city and make a visit to the old Royal Palace.

Notable archaeological items include the standing Buddha located in Lankatilaka Vihara and the Buddha sculptures cut out of granite at Gal Vihara. Due to the occurrence of several South Indian invasions throughout that period, traces of South Indian influence may be observed in certain vestiges of the former empire.

Planning recommendation: Arrive at the site early in the morning to evade the scorching temperatures and to enjoy exclusive access to the remarkable archeological park. During weekends, school breaks, and full moons, a multitude of individuals go to the Polonnaruwa ruins.

36 activities in Sri Lanka that you may do with your kids. One of these activities is to visit the relaxed hill country resort of Ella.

Exploring the hill country resort of Ella is a highly popular activity in Sri Lanka, especially among international visitors. Little Adam’s Peak is a renowned tourist attraction in Ella that is frequently visited by travelers for a brief excursion. Commence your one-hour journey at the break of dawn, while the surroundings are still shrouded in darkness, in order to witness the sunrise from the peak. If they still have energy for hiking, they can go to Ella Rock and continue along the path to reach Nine Arch Bridge. It should not be mistaken for Adam’s Peak. Another highly popular pursuit among Buddhist devotees in Sri Lanka is ascending Adams Peak. This revered peak, situated in proximity to Hatton, may be accessed by conquering a strenuous ascent of 5,000 steps.

The ambiance of Ella City is relaxed. Although some individuals may choose to remain outside of the city, travelers are strongly encouraged to fully immerse themselves in the local café culture by frequenting one. Those who are seeking adventure have the opportunity to engage in the thrilling activity of ziplining. Ohiya, Idalgashinna, Haputale, and Wellawaya are additional charming mountain communities that are really worth exploring, despite Ella being highly acclaimed.

37. Engage in nature by spending time in a treehouse while in Sri Lanka with your children

Resting in a treehouse is an encounter that individuals who like nature will deeply appreciate. For nature enthusiasts, it is considered one of the top activities to do when visiting Sri Lanka. These houses are located on a wooden platform and surrounded by the adjacent bush. If you are OK with the idea of spending time in the company of monkeys and lizards, I recommend reserving a treehouse at Back of Beyond in Sigiriya.

Tangalle, located in the southernmost region of Sri Lanka, has a diverse landscape, including rocky, sandy beaches, lagoons, and shrublands. Jaywa Lanka possesses a treehouse at this location, in close proximity to the mangroves. The sole auditory stimuli in your surroundings consist of the melodious chirping of birds and the gentle murmuring of the waves crashing. At times, feral peacocks may visit in an attempt to court their female counterparts.

38. Activities to do with children in Sri Lanka: Indulge in a traditional hopper snack.

Indulging in delectable cuisine sourced from the local region is among the most enjoyable activities to partake in while in Sri Lanka. If you want to have one food before leaving Sri Lanka, it should be hoppers (known as appam in Tamil and aappa in Sinhala). These are pancakes made of rice flour that are shaped like bowls. Plain hoppers are typically accompanied by curries or a piquant sambal known as lunu miris, which consists of onions and dried red chiles. The hoppers possess sharp perimeters and soft interiors.

When you visit a casual restaurant in the evening, it is common to be offered basic pancakes topped with an egg. To experience exceptional Sri Lankan food, make a reservation at Palmyrah Restaurant, located in the exclusive Renuka Hotel in Colombo. The evening meal has a selection of delectable hoppers, both savory and sweet, served with a choice of milk or jaggery. If you are willing to wait in line, you may also consider trying some hoppers from Aunty Radhika in the Wellawatta area. Proceed beside the bank located on WA Silva Mawatha and you will encounter this little yet popular hopper stand.

  • Visiting Kelaniya temple
  • Visiting independent memorial hall
  • Visiting Kande Vihara Temple
  • Visiting Galle Fort
  • Spice garden tour

Travelers may incur significant expenses when visiting Sri Lanka’s popular tourist destinations, participating in animal safaris, engaging in adventure activities, and exploring the rainforest. These can be rather costly; in fact, they may constitute a significant amount of your travel expenses. Is the cost of seeing Sigiriya Rock Fortress $35? The historical city of Anuradhapura costs $30. The historical city of Polonnaruwa costs $30 to visit. The cost for visiting a tooth relic shrine is $10. The price for the Yala Safari is $50, and there are plenty more activities available as well. The more tourist sites you visit, the higher your trip budget will become.
Nevertheless, it is feasible to derive lifelong pleasure without incurring any expenses, and this is not restricted to activities such as hiking in parks, cycling on designated paths, or even browsing through store windows.

Things to do in Colombo free: visiting the Kelaniya temple.

A renowned Buddhist temple in Sri Lanka draws a substantial number of tourists on a daily basis. The convenient proximity of the Buddhist temple in Kelaniya to the international airport and renowned tourist attractions renders it a highly sought-after destination for day excursions in Sri Lanka. Kelaniya Temple is considered one of the most sacred temples on the island. Kelaniya Temple, which can be traced back to the sixth century BC, is one of the most historically significant sites on the island.

Visitors are required to acquire an admission ticket to access historical sites like Sigiriya and Dambulla. However, no fee is charged to enter Kelaniya Temple. This magnificent temple is open daily. The shrine is adorned with numerous sculptures and invaluable religious artwork. Jorge Keyt, a highly skilled painter, created a masterpiece of religious artwork by painting the Kelaniya Temple, a renowned destination for appreciating exceptional religious art.

Things to do in Colombo free: exploring the Independent Memorial Hall

Independent Memorial Hall, located in the heart of Colombo, is a highly popular tourist attraction in Sri Lanka. The Independent Memorial Hall, a significant national monument commemorating Sri Lanka’s liberation from British dominion, was finalized in 1949. The Independence Memorial Hall is a key highlight of the Colombo sightseeing tour. The Independence Memorial Museum, a renowned tourist attraction offering complimentary entry, is situated adjacent to the memorial hall.

Things to do in Colombo free: Galle Fort by walking tour

The historic fortress of Galle stands prominently on the southernmost point of Sri Lanka, adjacent to the western boundary of the city, offering a picturesque view of the Indian Ocean. This Portuguese-built castle, which was subsequently rebuilt by the Dutch, was constructed in the fourteenth century AD. It is situated on a hill and features many homes, offices, storage areas, chapels, and temples. The castle is also characterized by a large granite wall impressive gates. Galle Fort, along with more than sixty other forts from the colonial era in Sri Lanka, is officially designated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The distinctive Dutch architectural style is evident in every structure within the fort. The Galle fort is the sole tourist destination in Sri Lanka that possesses the UNESCO world historic site designation and permits access without the need for cash.

Things to do in Colombo free: visiting Kande Vihara in Sri Lanka

Most Sri Lankans practice their faith in many Buddhist temples, stupas, dagobas, image houses, and monasteries that are spread across the nation, spanning from the northern to the southern regions.
Nevertheless, most of these Buddhist temples do not possess the religious and historical importance that Kande vihara does. The temple is situated on the western coast of Sri Lanka, in close proximity to the pristine beaches of Bentota, Beruwila, Kalutara, and Hikkaduwa. Kande Vihara holds great importance as a pilgrimage destination on the west coast.

A Buddhist monk founded the grandiose temple, which has been providing services to the public since 1734. Throughout history, individuals on religious journeys and explorers from all parts of the globe have visited Kande Vihara for the sake of worship and exploration. The primary characteristics of the temple are a towering 48-meter-tall seated Buddha statue, a sacred Bo-tree, and an image palace adorned with Buddha sculptures and paintings.
Kande Vihara is currently a highly sought-after tourist attraction on the western shore. Despite its vast appeal and historical and religious significance, the temple’s management does not impose any fees on its customers.
If you are on a beach trip to the western coast, such as a five-day beach vacation in Sri Lanka, you are making good progress in your exploration of this fascinating Buddhist monastery. Attempt to arrange it on a day such as the weekend or full moon, when a substantial congregation of Buddhist devotees convene to partake in religious rituals.

Things to do in Colombo free: visiting a spice garden.

Spices play a fundamental role in traditional Sri Lankan cuisine, ranging from the hot and spicy chilies introduced by colonial rulers to the aromatic cinnamon that attracted Portuguese sailor Lorenzo De Almeida. Ella boasts a multitude of verdant peaks, gorges, perennial rivers, cascades, and cool evenings. The mountain resort, known for its popularity among travelers, also cultivates expensive spices such as turmeric, nutmeg, cardamom, and curry leaves. As a result, Ella has transformed into a culinary destination known for its delicately flavored traditional dishes prepared with coconut milk instead of fiery chili.

Most of the island’s abundant spice gardens are located in the hilly areas, where the temperate weather and fertile soil with a PH level of 5–6 create optimal circumstances for spice cultivation. Ella Spice Garden is a renowned tourist attraction that offers visitors a free guided tour. Despite its smaller size, Ella Spice Garden, priced at $10, might serve as a satisfactory alternative to the Royal Botanical Garden.
The spice garden showcases many plants like pepper, pandam, vanilla creeper, cocoa tree, and hot chilli plants. Not only will you learn how to cultivate spices, but you will also explore innovative techniques for incorporating them into the creation of delicious Sri Lankan dishes. The culinary class is provided free of charge.

Sanjeewa Padmal (Seerendipity tours)

This blog is all about travelling in Sri Lanka, I am trying to illuminate my readers with a wide range of information related to Sri Lanka travel. Please feel free to contact me at any time if you need more information. Furthermore, we can organize your holiday package or any travel related requirement in Sri Lanka. Please contact us on read more

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