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The Ultimate Travel Guide to Sri Lanka

The Ultimate Travel Guide to Sri Lanka

Unwind on swoon-worthy beaches, encounter enthralling wildlife, and take in the timeless temples. All with delicious food, cheap prices, and remarkable train rides.

The best time to visit Sri Lanka is December through April, particularly for the west and south coasts. However, Sri Lanka has multiple monsoon seasons, so the best season depends on what you’re looking to do.



Colombo is Sri Lanka’s capital city with loads of things to do and see. It’s a mixture of modern skyscrapers and rooftop bars with traditional houses, mosques and street markets.

One of the top things to do in Colombo is walking around Galle Face Green, a big urban park where you can stroll for half kilometer along the water. It’s also the perfect place to fly a kite with the strong wind that blows off the Indian Ocean – lots of locals take advantage of this.

Another top thing to do in Colombo is exploring the Wolvendaal Church. This unique structure was built in the 1700s by Danish colonists and it’s named after wild wolves that once lived in the surrounding jungle.


One of Sri Lanka’s most important cities, Kandy is known for its sacred Buddhist sites. Get swept up in the energy at Temple of the Tooth, where you’ll find pilgrims buying orchid offerings to place inside the stupa-shaped casket believed to contain the tooth of Buddha (spoiler alert: you can’t see it).

Stroll along the lakeside at scenic Kandy Lake or check out the Royal Botanical Gardens, which is a great place for a hike and to commune with nature. For something a bit more exciting, attend a traditional Kandy dance show, which is available at most hotels for a minimal fee.

The Knuckles Mountain Range, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, is a stunning natural wonder that’s just an hour outside of Kandy. It’s named for its resemblance to the knuckles of a hand and offers incredible views of the surrounding valleys and forest. A day hiking and camping in this gorgeous region is a must for nature lovers, Check out the post right here.



Ella is a beautiful hill station that has a lot of the same attractions as Nuwara Eliya but at a much smaller scale. Here you will find epic waterfalls, lush jungle mountains, and tea plantations.

One of the main attractions in Ella is the Nine Arch Bridge, which is also known as the Bridge in the Sky. The walk to the bridge is a gorgeous trek through jungle and verdant tea fields, and the vistas from the top are stunning!

Another must-see in Ella is the Demodara Loop, a railway engineering marvel that provides stunning views of the surrounding landscape. It is also a great place to spot wildlife! You can also visit the Temple of the Tooth and explore Ravana Caves, which are said to be where King Ravana kept Sita captive.

Nuwara Eliyah

Often referred to as ‘Little England’, Nuwara Eliya is a genteel highland city that was once the favorite cool-climate escape of the British tea planters. From Tudor-style hotels to well-tended hedgerows and pretty gardens, the city has a rose-tinted ambiance that attracts travelers today.

A visit to Nuwara Eliya is not complete without a tour of the local tea factories and plantations. Learn how tea leaves are plucked, dried, crushed and fermented using machinery that has hardly changed since Victorian times.


For a scenic hike, head to Ramboda Falls (about 20 minutes from town). The park is open year-round but is especially stunning during March-May and August-September when the flowers are in bloom. It is best to leave early and take on the hike before it gets cloudy at sunrise. You should also stop by Victoria Park for a stroll around the brightly-colored flowers. It is open all year and costs 250 rupees to enter.