One of the revered island countries for beach retreats and rejuvenating centres, Sri Lanka, the teardrop of India, deserves to be on the bucket list of every explorer. From the commendable Buddhist Culture to peaceful shores and historical wonders to natural scenery, Sri Lanka hosts a variety of attractions. All of these places are set to satiate your soul. So, how about going on a fulfilling vacation to this wondrous nation this season? If yes, then here are the top things to do in Sri Lanka that would completely stir your soul. Explore exotic corners and have an incredible holiday experience at one of the best tourist destinations on the planet.
Top Things To Do In Sri Lanka
1. Lounge at Tranquil Beaches
Sri Lanka has an alluring coastline with beaches that spell tranquility in truest sense. These gorgeous shores are touted to be perfect weekend getaways and are some of the best places to visit in the country. Take a dive into blue waters or just lie in the calm sand. Indulge in sunbathing or play games with your kids. There is a lot one can enjoy at these magnificent seaside beauties. The list includes Koggala Beach, Bentota Beach, Kalkudah Beach, Talala Beach, etc. Visit them for they are some of the most beautiful places here.
Entry fee: No entrance fee
Ideal Timings: 05:00 am to 06:00 pm
Pro Tip: Stay at a beach resort outside Colombo for the best beach experience in Sri Lanka.
2. Get Lost In The Historic Aisles Of Sigiriya
A Sri Lanka must-see, located in the Matale district of the country, Sigiriya is a beautiful rock fort nestled at a height of about 660 feet. It provides scenic views of the nearby villages. From water gardens to the mirror wall and terraced gardens to frescos, each and every corner of Sigiriya is a treat to enjoy. It is a marvellous instance of ancient city planning. The place is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and one of the famous tourist places in Sri Lanka.
Entry fee: $30 per person
Timings: 07:00 am to 05:00 pm
Pro Tip: Wear good sport shoes as you also need to do a bit of trekking here.
3. Witness The Rich And Exotic Wildlife
Despite being a small island country, Sri Lanka is one of the top hot biodiversities in the world. It is home to numerous rare species of animals and birds and is extremely popular amongst wildlife enthusiasts and nature photographers. Yala National Park is one place where you get the opportunity to spot the rarest of species. It is one of the most visited places in Sri Lanka and is known for its rich surroundings. Visit it and capture the beauties of great stone-curlew, elephants, leopard, langur and more.
Entry fee: $15 – $18 per person
Timings: 06:00 am to 06:00 pm
4. Explore The Buddhist Culture
The culture and lifestyle of Sri Lanka are strongly rooted in Buddhism. And this fascinates all the tourists coming from around the world. Whether it is ancient temples or Buddhist centres, places in Sri Lanka would give you a detailed insight into the advent of Buddhism. And why not? The country houses thousands of monasteries where several monks dwell. Learn about their daily lifestyle. Learn how this highly admirable culture shaped its way to the 21st century. The major Buddhist places to visit in Sri Lanka include Mihintale, Temple of the Sacred Tooth, Buduruwagala, Jaya Sri Maha Bodhi Tree and Adam’s Peak.
Average Cost: $12 – $15 (Entrance to all the major Buddhist temples and religious sites)
Ideal Timings: 08:00 am to 05:00 pm
Pro Tip: While visiting temples or Buddhist sites, maintain silence and distance both. It is considered an act of disregard and rudeness to cross personal space.
5. Reach the Scenic Lipton’s Seat
How about gazing at the panoramas of Sri Lanka? If you are in, then Lipton’s Seat is your place. It is one of the most popular viewpoints in the country where you watch horizon meeting the lushness of forests. The place draws a large number of tourists every year on account of its serene environment. It is also the site where you would find historic tea fields. So, visit it and savour its gorgeous panorama. Enjoy great views from a cafe while sipping on a cup of hot coffee.
Entry fee: $1 per person
Timings: 06:00 am to 05:00 pm
Pro Tip: Visit early in the morning to catch heavenly views of morning mist rising over the viewpoint.
6. Discover The Best Of Romantic Moments
The majesty of Sri Lanka won’t be justified if we talk about serene beaches and turquoise waters and not romance. If we go by what tourists experience on this island country, then it is alright to say that romance is in the air of Sri Lanka. The place is a wonderland for those who look forward to creating eternal memories. The major romantic places to visit near Colombo are Mount Lavinia Beach, Galle Face Green and Beira Lake.
Entry fee: No Entrance fee
Ideal Timings: 06:00 am to 09:00 pm
7. Detox the Mind, Body And Soul At Yoga Retreats
Revitalize your mind and body and purify your soul at one of the avowed Yoga retreats in Sri Lanka. The country is home to hundreds of places where you can recharge and rejuvenate with Yoga Therapy. There are a many places to visit in Colombo and nearby towns for a fantastic Yoga tour. These wellness retreats not only energize the mind, body and spirit but also allow you to pave a path for self-introspection.
Average Cost: $25 – $50 per session
Timings: 07:00 am to 07:00 pm
Pro Tip: If you are travelling with your partner, then do try the couple massage session at these retreat centers.
8. Get Transported To The Stone Age
Sri Lanka is a dream come true for those too who want to get transported to the bygone era and relish the beauty of ancient culture. Living since time immemorial, Veddas, an indigenous tribe, are said to be the oldest inhabitants of Sri Lanka. If you are keen on learning how Sri Lanka progressed, then the village Dambana would be of great help to you.
Entry fee: No entrance fee
Pro Tip: The vendors around the village would try to sell you cheap quality items. Be aware of it!
9. Photograph the Beautiful Skyline of Colombo
Being one of the most important cities in Sri Lanka, Colombo is a perfect place to experiment with your photography skills. The city hosts a number of towering buildings that dominate the blue sky. With the presence of shimmering waters in the foreground, Colombo presents a beautiful canvas of colourful buildings. So, take out your camera and get ready to capture Colombo in the best way possible. A few tallest buildings in Colombo include Lotus Tower and Altair complexes.
Recommended for: Photographers, Explorers
Pro Tip: Try including the sea waterfront in the foreground for better skyline shots.
10. Gaze Eyes Upon Whales
Yes, Whales! Sri Lanka is one of the few places in the world where you can watch whales diving deep into the ocean. Apart from several species of whales, you also get to lay your eyes upon a plethora of dolphins. So, if not for others, do visit this gorgeous island country for these unique species.
Average Cost: $50 – $70 for guided tours
Timings: 07:00 am to 06:00 pm
Pro Tip: The best place to spot whales in Sri Lanka is the beautiful town of Mirissa.
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