10 of the best ways to enjoy Sri Lanka
From rails to beaches and everything in between
- Riding the rails
Sri Lanka’s rail network is one of the best and cheapest ways to get around the country!
Some of the most scenic landscapes of the country side – including tea gardens and paddy fields, to that popular southern coastline.
Most photogenic routes:
- Colombo to Kandy
- Kandy to Ella
- Colombo to Galle
High end rail services with carriages dedicated specially for tourist observation are available for the comfort of tourists. For those wanting a more budgeted option, go for second class carriages with a window seat or simply sit on the deck of the carriage for a stunning view.
- Walking tour of Pettah, Colombo
Colombo is the trading hub of Sri Lankan and Pettah Market is the most important of the city’s trading centers, also known for its historic buildings, and a place where you can find everything from spices to dried fish to textiles.
Places to visit in Pettah Market – Colombo
- Main Street – a collection of Sinhalese, Tamil and Muslim merchants
- Sea Street – gem and jewelry shopping
- Wolfendaal Church – built in 1749
- Jami Ul Alfar Mosque – built in 1909
- Golden Temple of Dambulla
As simple as its frontage is, the cave temple in Dambulla is a collection of beautifully painted murals and ancient artifacts. Also known as the Golden Temple of Dambulla, this rock temple is classified as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
- 160 meters high
- Five main shrines
- Dates back to the 1st century BC
- Massive Buddha statues in various positions
- Statues of Hindu Dieties
- Cycling in Yala national park
Avoid the crowds, the game drive cost and the entrance fee by choosing to cycle on the public B35 route through Yala National Park. Start off at dawn to see a variety of wildlife such as mongoose, water buffalo, giant squirrels, crocodiles, elephant, spotted deer and if you are lucky – the leopard!
- Adam’s Peak
Dalhousie is the base camp for a trek to Adam’s Peak – a pilgrimage for many religious background and also a fun adventure for tourists from across the world. Without determination, it is hard to climb this popular mountain but once you get to the summit, the sunrise is absolutely breathtaking, along with the other views from up above such as the pyramid shadow created by the mountain at dawn.
- 2,243m tall
- 5200 stone steps
- Depart at 2.00a.m. to reach the summit at sunrise
- Tea shops are available for much needed breaks
- Water and comfortable walking shoes are a must
- Sigiriya rock fortress
Another adventurous, yet much simpler rock climbing activity is to see the Fortress at the top of Sigiriya rock. A ruined royal palace, colorful frescoes, ancient graffiti, beautiful gardens, a lion shaped entrance and stunning views of the countryside are rewards of this tremendous activity.
- Catch a cricket match
Feel the passion for cricket in Sri Lanka! Soak up the atmosphere if you happen to be in Colombo, Kandy or Galle when a match is on. It is a great way to get to know the Lankans, dance with them and be asked about your opinions on the match!
- Anuradhapura on a poya day
Head towards Anuradhapura on a Poya Day and experience the hype as streets, temples and courtyards are lit with lanterns and candles. The ancient city will remind you of Sri Lanka’s ruling city of more than 1300 years. Join in these fun-filled parades with families and worshippers underneath a well-lit sky – it is simply magical.
- Don’t miss Mirissa
After Hikkaduwa, Mirissa is the latest tourist hotspot along the southern coast of Sri Lanka. Be awed at the blue whales in their natural habitat while on a boat trip from the Mirissa Harbor. Pick your fish of the day and have it grilled just for you at one of the beachside restaurants.
- Villa life – Galle to Tangalle
Wrap up your tour of Sri Lanka with a couple of nights at one of the many luxurious, value for money villas lined up along the coast from Galle to Tangalle. These fully staffed villas vary in design from exclusive Geoffrey Bawa style to beach huts for to. The staff are from nearby villages who will happily converse with you about their daily lifestyle and will also gladly arrange transport for nearby excursions such as Galle city tour, shopping, turtle watching, stilt fishing and other activities.