44 Soul Satisfying Things To Do In Sri Lanka In 2023

The teardrop-shaped island studded in the Indian Ocean only looks small. Offering a myriad range of fun, adventure, and romance, it is among the best destinations in the world for those looking for an exotic vacation. Exciting things to do in Sri Lanka right from beaches, hills, jungles, ancient monuments, culture, history, nightlife, wildlife, and excellent food make it a paradise! A blend of all these is what make up some of the most soul-satisfying top things to do in Sri Lanka that bedazzles everyone. Take a moment and see the whopping range of activities and experiences it offers to everyone who set foot in its picture-perfect landscapes. From ultra modern amenities, towering skyscrapers, shopping complexes, to a rocking nightlife, Colombo is the temple of all spoilt luxury vacationers.

44 Things To Do In Sri Lanka

Wondering what to do in Sri Lanka? Fret not. Be it a group of friends, adrenaline junkies, shopaholics, foodies, hopeless romantic couples and honeymooners, or a family with kids, Sri Lanka never lets a traveler down. In order to help you plan your vacation better and experience what every part of this beautiful country offers to the fullest, we’ve given you a city-wise compilation of all the things to do in Sri Lanka:

Viharamahadevi Park – Best For Picnic
Gangaramaya Temple – Enlighten Yourself Spiritually
Pettah Floating Market – An Interesting Shopping Experience
Colombo – Enjoy The Nightlife
Madu River – Indulge In Watersports
Turtle Atchery – Take A Stroll
Ayurvedic Spa Center – Rejuvenate Your Senses
Kandy Lake – Witness Sunrise
Temple Of Tooth Relic – Witness The Religious Aspects
Seetha Amman Temple – Seek Blessings
Glen Falls – Take A Dip
Tea Factory – Explore The Greenery
Ella – Hop On A Train
Dambulla Cave Temple – For Your Soul
Dutch Fort – Explore The Historicity
Hikkaduwa – Explore The Sandy Beaches
Ramayana Tour – Learn The Essence Of Religion
Mirissa – Spot Whales And Dolphins
Pinnawala Elephant Orphanage – Play With Elephants
Sigiriya Rock Fortress – View The Beauty From Top
Yala National Park – Spot Leopards
Negombo – Unwind Yourself
Japanese Peace Pagoda – Rediscover Yourself
Hemachandras Kandy Limited – Shop Your Heart Out
Ministry Of Crab – For Fine Dining
Gorgonian Gardens – Go Scuba Diving
Trincomalee – Cruise Trip
Kandalama – Hot Air Ballooning
Wildlife Safari – Exploring Biodiversity Hotspots
Kalpitiya – Kite Surfing
Kaudulla National Park – Go On Safari
Dalawella – Right Place To Hangout
Diyaluma Falls – Nature At Its Best
White Water Rafting In Kitulgala – An Enthralling Experience
Snorkeling – It’s Not A Surprise
Village Cycling Tours – Fun And Relaxing
Bogawantalawa – The Tea Estates
Mountain Bike Tour At Unawatuna – Ever Thrilling

1. Viharamahadevi Park – Best For Picnic

Located close to the Independence Memorial Hall, Viharamahadevi Park is a sprawling park area where couples and families with kids can have a picnic or visit the zoo on the same premises. Its a great place to relax and enjoy with friends and family. Exploring the park and the nearby waterfalls, strolling on the walking trails, and enjoying the thrilling rides, are few of the most interesting things to do in Colombo Sri Lanka when in Colombo.

Timings: 7 AM – 6 PM (Monday to Sunday)
Entry Fee: INR 10/- per adult | INR 5/- per child

2. Gangaramaya Temple – Enlighten Yourself Spiritually

One of the top 10 things to do in Sri Lanka is to visit the gorgeous Gangaramaya Temple in Colombo. While all the temples in the country have something unique to offer in terms of art and architecture, the Gangaramaya Temple is one step ahead of them all. An epitome of artistic brilliance that has stood the test of time, this Buddhist temple reflects a fusion of Indian, Chinese, and Thai style of architecture. Paying visit to the Gangaramaya Temple is one of the best things to do in Colombo.

Location: 61 Sri Jinarathana Road, Colombo
Timings: 8 AM – 8 PM (Monday to Sunday)
Entry Fee: INR 45/- per person

3. Colombo – Enjoy The Nightlife

Entertaining live music, delectable food, bustling casinos, and thriving nightclubs is what nightlife in Colombo is all about. And with gambling being a legal activity in this magical island nation, trying a hand at a table game or rolling the roulette are few of the favorite things to do in Colombo for the locals as well as the travelers!

4. Madu River – Indulge In Watersports

One can indulge in myriad watersports at the Madu River as well as the beaches in Bentota. From jet skiing, banana boat ride, parasailing, paramotoring, speed boat ride, yachting, canoeing, kayaking, to boating in the mangrove forests, there are endless opportunities for fun and thrill in Bentota for water babies and beach bums. Indulging in watersports is surely among the most adventurous things to do in Sri Lanka.

Average Cost: INR 1,500/- per person (LKR 3,550/-)

5. Turtle Hatchery – Take A Stroll

There are various turtle hatcheries near the beaches of Bentota. One of the most interesting things to do in Sri Lanka honeymoon is visiting one of these informative centers and learn about these adorable creations of Nature. These hatcheries, like the Kosgoda Turtle Hatchery, provide a secure platform for these turtles to nurture themselves right from the time of their birth to the time of setting off for the sea. Other than taking care of the turtles born here, the people of these hatcheries constantly make efforts to locate injured or endangered turtles out there and bring them back for protection and safety. The Sri Lankan government has taken this initiative to ensure the survival and conservation of these species and their natural habitat.

6. Ayurvedic Spa Center – Rejuvenate Your Senses

Like other South Asian countries, Sri Lanka too places a lot of importance on Ayurvedic treatment. The varied types of Ayurvedic Spa here are devised in order to help one strike a perfect balance between their mental and physical health, providing travelers with utmost relaxation. With options ranging from luxurious Swedish massages to traditional Shiatsu therapy, getting a spa massage is among the top 10 things to do in Sri Lanka.

Popular Ayurveda Spa Places In Bentota: Bentota Ayurveda Center, Samadhi Yoga Ashramaya, Amal Villa Ayurvedic and Spa Center, Panchi Villa Ayurveda Center, Sahana Spa at Saman Villas, and more.

7. Kandy Lake – Witness Sunrise

Situated right next to Kandys prize jewel – the Temple of Tooth Relic, the Kandy Lake provides stunning reflections of the sky, especially on a full moon night that cannot be missed! A morning or evening walk around the Kandy Lake with a lush rainforest looming in the backdrop will surely be one of the most peaceful and comforting things to do in Sri Lanka on your tour. Add to it the resonating and calming chants of Buddhist prayers coming from this beautiful monastery beside it, and youll never want to leave this enchanting place!

8. Temple Of Tooth Relic – Witness The Religious Aspects

Famed as the sanctum where the sacred tooth relic of Lord Buddha has been kept for safekeeping for generations, the Temple of Tooth Relic is among the most pristine and peaceful shrines in the country. Besides witnessing the soothing beauty of this place and banking on the chance to take a peek at the sacred tooth relic, visitors shall also come across intriguing sights of people practicing the Buddhist way of meditation and spreading chants in the surrounding areas. For Buddhists as well as travelers, coming here to seek inner peace and rediscover themselves is among the most enriching things to do in Sri Lanka.

9. Seetha Amman Temple – Seek Blessings

Believed to have been built on the place where Goddess Sita was kept after being taken away forcibly by Ravana, the Seetha Amman Temple is an epitome of serenity and purity. Set amid scenic landscapes of a forested hill and a refreshing stream running nearby (believed to be the place where Sita bathed every day during her captivity), visiting this place is among the most soul-satisfying Sri Lanka experiences as it manages to put all visitors in a trance with its beauty. Recently established, this stunning temple is located right next to the enormous footprints of Lord Hanuman who came to rescue Goddess Sita.

10. Glen Falls – Take A Dip

Devon Falls, Laxapana Falls, Ramboda Falls, and Glen Falls are some of the most beautiful waterfalls in Sri Lanka that one can visit while on their way to Nuwara Eliya from Kandy or other nearby places. Taking a refreshing dip in these scenic waterfalls or simply relaxing on their shores are some of the best things to do in south Sri Lanka with family.

11. Tea Factory – Explore The Greenery

Layered with sprawling tea estates, Nuwara Eliya is among the most beautiful places in Sri Lanka that everyone should visit on their Sri Lanka holiday. To get an up and close experience of how the famed Sri Lankan tea is made, a Tea factory tour is a must on your itinerary. Learn the extensive process involved in the extraction of tea from tea leaves, its refinement, and then its conversion into the aromatic tea that you sip on day ater day to end your fatigue.

12. Ella – Hop On A Train

Gear up for the most beautiful train journey as your train takes you from Kandy to the scenic, cloud-kissed town of Ella. Rivaling even the Trans Siberian Railway, the train ride to Ella takes you through green seas of tea plantations, cottony clouds, the most breathtaking views of lush hills, and finally weaves in and out of the many mountain tunnels as it descends to reach Ella! With such a refreshing experience to offer, it is undoubtedly one of the most unique things to do in Sri Lanka.

13. Dambulla Cave Temple – For Your Soul

A mix of Lankas unparalleled beauty and serenity, the Dambulla Cave Temple is regarded as one of the most ancient (dating back to 2nd century BC) structures of Sri Lanka that attracts visitors with its enormous golden statue of Lord Buddha and the golden dome of the temple. Boasting of prehistoric paintings, carvings, and immense peace, this temple is a popular place for spiritual seekers and Buddhists. One of the best things to do in Dambulla, Sri Lanka, is to visit this Largest Rock Cave Temple in the country surrounded by lush forests and housing statues of Buddhist monks in its caves.

14. Dutch Fort – Explore The Historicity

Basking on the southern coast of Sri Lanka in the bay of Galle, the Galle Fort was built by the Portuguese in 1588 and then extensively fortified in the mid-1600s. The fort was declared a World Heritage Site in 1988 by UNESCO in order to preserve its cultural heritage. Now surrounded by commercial entities like jewelry shops, cafes, bookstores, fashion outlets, and the luxurious Amangalla Hotel, visiting this fort should be on every history lovers non touristy things to do in Sri Lanka list.

When here, people can take a walk along the narrow streets to see statues of Portuguese soldiers during war and learn of the interaction of European architecture and South Asian traditions from the 16th to the 19th centuries.

15. Ramayana Tour – Learn The Essence Of Religion

The Ramayana tour in Sri Lanka is among the main attractions for pilgrims and spiritual travelers, especially Indians. Besides the religious sentiments attached with it, it is a popular means for touring the prominent landmarks of the country and witnessing the beautiful temples with breathtaking architecture dotting the landscapes of Lanka.

Attractions Covered In The Ramayana Tour: Muneeswaran Temple in Chilaw, Manavari Temple, Sri Baktha Hanuman Temple in Ramboda, Gayathri Pedam, Seetha Amman Temple in Nuwara Eliya, Divurumpola at Nuwara Eliya, Ravana Ella Falls, Ravana Cave in Ella, Ussangoda, Rumassala in Galle, and the Seenigama Temple in Hikkaduwa

16. Mirissa – Spot Whales And Dolphins

One of the best things to do in Mirissa, Sri Lanka, is to go for a guided whale watching tour or a dolphin watching tour (or both) in Mirissa to spot these wonderful being of Nature sprinting about in the sea joyfully. The best time to go on a dolphin/whale watching tour in Mirissa is from November to April when the ocean is relatively calmer and these mammals can be sighted in close proximity to your boat. With all the adrenaline-fueled thrill and fun it offers, it is one of the best things to do in Sri Lanka in December when you have the highest probability of sighting whales and dolphins in the sea across Mirissa.

Average Cost: INR 2,030/- per person (LKR 4,850/-)

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