Sri Lanka is a wonderful place to spend a holiday. There’s so much history and culture there that one visit probably won’t be enough. Here is my top ten list of things to do when visiting this beautiful island.
- View the Wildlife. Sri Lanka is one of the best places in the world for spotting wildlife and while no appearance or sighting is guaranteed, taking a safari here is a must. From herds of elephants to the elusive leopard and hundreds of bird species, Sri Lanka is a diverse haven for wildlife.
- Explore ancient ruins. There’s the ancient hospital at Mihintale complete with a hollowed out stone bath and central shrines. Or the climb up the Great Stairway at Anuradhapura to the temples and spectacular views. Sri Lanka has a rich history with some intriguing ruins to explore.
- Head to the Beach. Sri Lanka is renowned for its beaches. There’s the resort of Negombo of course, but I really enjoyed chilling out at Unawatuna Bay. Aside from relaxing on the sand you’ll find scuba diving, cafes, and picturesque fishing boats here.
- Taste the Food. Sri Lankan food is delicious and much is based on ayurveda. I particularly enjoyed a massive plate of freshly caught fish. There are sambals, scrumptious jackfruit curries, and lots of chilli. You can even take cookery lessons so you can entertain back home.
- Visit Dambulla Caves. Five beautiful temples have been formed in this cave network. They have existed here for centuries and are a moment of calm compared to larger temples. Each is quite unique and atmospheric.
- Try Ayurveda. Whether you visit a spice garden and learn about herbal treatments or head to a luxury spa, Ayurveda is an integral part of the culture in Sri Lanka. There are lots of places all over the country where you can relax and discover this ancient form of medicine.
- Climb Lion Rock. It’s such an iconic site with a rich history that it really is worth exploring Lion Rock. Climb the stone steps and scale narrow passages to get to the summit where the views are spectacular. For a tougher climb, try Adam’s Peak.
- Visit Temple of the Tooth. It was raining and crowded when I got to Kandy but the Temple of the Tooth is spectacular. Watch the people, wander through the rooms in the temple, and soak up the atmosphere at this famous landmark in Sri Lanka.
- Wander Through the Old Town in Galle. The historic buildings are just one aspect of the old town in Galle. There’s history here too and a slow walk through the streets with Portuguese and Dutch influences is a joy. You’ll find museums and churches as well as some great views across the coastline. Watching the sunset here is also really special.
- Drink the Tea. Ceylon tea is among the best in the world so enjoy a cup of locally grown Earl Grey or Orange pekoe. if you have time, spend an hour or two in a tea plantation to see the work that goes into making that perfect cup of tea.
- Watch the Birds. I was enthralled by the diversity of bird life in Sri Lanka so I’d recommend taking a pair of binoculars. From egrets to peacocks, swallows and babblers, there’s a lot to see on this beautiful island. Everyone wants to see a leopard but the birds are easier to spot and a joy to watch.
There are lots more wonderful things to see and do in Sri Lanka. You’ll have to go there to discover this lovely island for yourselves.