A list of essential items to pack for your next Sri Lanka trip

We understand that you are super thrilled about your next Trip to Sri Lanka. It’s important to know what to pack for Sri Lanka so that you have an enjoyable and relaxing experience.

We are experts in tour planning, but we know that the planning stage is not exciting to everybody, yet there’s a lot to be planned like getting visas, vaccination cards, and packing most essential stuff. It can be stressful and time-consuming to get these sorted.  

To relieve your stress, we have listed below essentials to bring when you visit Sri Lanka.

Entry Documents 

Before you hop on the plane, please make sure you have all the important documents you need to enter Sri Lanka. 

Passport (Obvious right?)

Electronic Travel Authorization (ETA) – If you applied online, please keep your electronic visa application printed which will be handy when needed. 

Your flight tickets and the booking confirmations of the particular hotels you chose to stay at. 

Your travel cards – Bring your travel cards and travel insurance.  

Medical reports – These will be helpful if you get sick and happen to consult a doctor while on vacation.  

Other relevant documents 

  • Money 

It’s important you have sufficient money with you to fund your entire trip. You can ask help from your tour agent for currency exchange needs or you can exchange from the airport itself too. Make sure you have your ATM/Credit cards with you for extra money needs. 

  • Comfy clothes

Sri Lanka is a tropical country located close to the equator. It’s always sunny here, so pack comfy clothing.  If you plan to visit Nuwara Eliya which has a colder climate, warm clothing is needed. 

Smart casual will come in handy for dining at luxury hotels and partying or clubbing. 

One or two pieces of modest clothing that cover the entire body as you will be asked to cover up when visiting religious places. (Yes, for men too) 

  • Swimwear 

Sri Lanka boasts about its beautiful beaches. If you wish to take a dip, sunbathe, or snorkel and dive, bring your swimming suits, a quick-dry towel, and snorkelling and swimming gear. Alternatively, gear can be hired along the coast. Almost all the hotels provide complimentary shampoo, conditioner, and body wash, yet you can bring your regular toiletries. 

  • Hiking shoes & Flip Flops 

Flip Flops are ideal to walk in Sri Lanka. You can bring a pair of nice shoes for dining or partying and clubbing.  However, if you wish to hike, don’t forget to bring your hiking shoes.  

  • Umbrella/Raincoats 

Due to Sri Lanka’s equatorial position, the temperatures don’t fluctuate too much year around. October and November are the wettest months in Sri Lanka when you surely need umbrellas or raincoats, perhaps both. We suggest that you bring an umbrella, a cap or a hat anyway as it’s too sunny most of the time.

  • Sun cream

You know you are going to visit a warm and sunny country. So, sunscreen is a must even if you are dreaming about getting a nice suntan.  Don’t forget your sunglasses. 

  • Camera equipment & other tech gadgets 

On your Sri Lanka Trips, there will be countless moments to capture and document. Make sure you are fully equipped with your camera gear.  Your laptop or iPad, DSLR and lenses, drone, action/underwater camera, memory cards, external hard drive, power bank, tripod, and all the chargers are some items you probably shouldn’t miss. 

  • Medicine & First aid kit

If you suffer from a pre-diagnosed illness, please remember to bring all the medication. It could be difficult to find the same medicine in Sri Lanka and you don’t want to take that kind of a risk with your life. 

  • First Aid Kit

It is useful to carry a small first aid kit all the time wherever you travel. Most of the time you won’t even need it, but you never know when the need will arise and at that time it will come in handy.  Travel sickness pills, paracetamol, plasters, bandages, tape, mosquito, and bug repellents, are some of the essentials you should keep in your first aid kit.

  • Entertainment 

Sri Lanka is a small country, but you will have to spend quite a lot of time in your hired vehicle, on a train or bus when you are moving from one location to another. To avoid being bored while commuting, bring along your books, kindle, iPod, headphones, gaming gear, and other entertainment items. 

When deciding what to pack for Sri Lanka, your ultimate picks will rely on a lot of things. 

It will be easier if you consider the religious customs of Sri Lanka, geography as well as the climate in Sri Lanka when picking what to pack. 

It’s always a great idea to ask your Sri Lanka Tour Operator about what to pack based on the nature of your Sri Lanka trip. Your travel agent will provide you with the necessary details and they should be able to suggest the best getaway after considering your travel requirements and interests. We at Olanka Travels offer versatile Sri Lanka Tour Packages for you to select, including Sri Lanka leisure travel and Sri Lanka adventure travel.  

Welcome to Sri Lanka. 

Sigiriya the guide for awesome Sri Lanka Holiday Packages

So you are planning your Sri Lanka holiday package and wondering what sites are worth a visit. You can never say you experienced a killer Sri Lanka tour package if you didn’t visit this one place. I’m going to unravel all the important titbits so that you, my friend, will know everything you need before visiting this world-famous historical city in Sri Lanka: Sigiriya.

You will know why you MUST include Sigiriya in your Sri Lanka Holiday Package, its history in brief, how to get there, and the best things to do in Sigiriya while on a Sri Lanka tour- all in one quick read.

The dramatic history of Sigiriya

About 2500 years ago, when Sri Lanka was a land of Kings, two royal brothers fought for the throne. Prince Kasyapa illegally took the throne from his half-brother Prince Moggallana, who was the rightful heir to the throne. 

As Prince Moggallana fled to India, King Kasyapa moved the then capital city Anuradhapura to Sigiriya. To keep safe from an invasion from Prince Moggallana, King Kasyapa built a fortress in Sigiriya on a humungous rock that used to be a monastery for monks.

Later, Prince Moggallana defeated King Kasyapa in war and made Anuradhapura the capital city again. The royal palace in Sigiriya became a Buddhist monastery again but later was abandoned. Decades later, the Sigiriya rock fortress became a known secret among Sri Lankans until Europeans discovered it in 1831.

Why Sigiriya rock fortress should be in your Sri Lanka tour package

It proudly rests in the middle of the Central forest of Sri Lanka. What was once a powerful fortress in Sri Lanka, today is a UNESCO world heritage worthy of your Sri Lanka holiday packages. Did you know that it is literally a shame for a local to say they have never visited this aesthetic historical site?

Sigiriya (Sinhagiri) which is translated as ‘lion’s paw’ has the carving of a rock in the shape of a lion’s paw as its entrance in its mid-terrace which includes the famous mirror wall and the frescoes of the King’s damsels. Its upper terrace is where you would discover the upper palace.

You are extremely lucky if you include this site in your Sri Lanka Holiday Package. Why? Ever seen a 5th-century pleasure garden with water-retaining structures that still work? Exactly. It’s the sophisticated first-millennium technology for me! You will also have a romantic walk along through the many royal gardens in Sigiriya.

How to get to Sigiriya

Colombo to Sigiriya

The ancient city of Sigiriya is located near Dambulla town in the Central province of Sri Lanka. The distance from Colombo to Sigiriya is 150km. I guarantee that your Sri Lanka holiday package will be exceptional if you go on a train ride to Sigiriya passing picturesque views. – Oooo that insta-worthy photo you’d take!

Dambulla to Sigiriya

You might also be in an awesome Sri Lanka holiday tour package traveling from Dambulla to Sigiriya. For you, it will only be around 17km to reach Sigiriya. You guessed it right; there is a scenic route to arrive Sigiriya from Dambulla too.

Pass golden paddy fields, the breezy village, and even stop by at a local kiosk to have an evening cup of tea. This option will be quite expensive for your Sri Lanka holiday package if you are traveling alone. With a local travel agency, this route is a free add-on. 

To reach the Sigiriya rock fortress, you will climb about 1200 steps starting from the base: the lion’s paw. This is where you will thank yourself for following your heart and adding this historical site to your Sri Lanka holiday package. Along the way to the top, you will encounter the ancient royal gardens and pools to stop by and admire. 

Once you get to the top of the Sigiriya rock fortress, you will be rewarded with a mind-blowing view of the emerald greenery and a 360-degree view of the entire royal terrace around you! It’s unbelievable how ancient architecture and technology were so sophisticated! 

Pidurangala rock

From your Sri Lanka holiday package, you might get to see the breathtaking view of the Sigiriya ruins and the surrounding from Sigiriya, and what’s similarly awesome? Sightseeing Sigiriya from an incredible viewpoint! 

An extra flavor for your Sri Lanka holiday package is a hike to the Pidurangala rock. This is possible if you allow your Sri Lanka Tour Package to be open for another exciting hike! 

As your Sri Lanka holiday package unravels you to this amazing hike, you will sightsee its own cave complex. Be sure to climb in the sunrise or the sunset because the views are too unearthly to miss! 

For those who are on a tight budget, adding a hike at Pidurangala rock for your Sri Lanka tour package would give similar awe-striking views of the forest as one who would experience at the top of Sigiriya.

Sigiriya archeological museum

There’s so much more than what meets the eye in the ancient ruins of the Sigiriya rock fortress. If you are visiting Sigiriya, you must include the Sigiriya museum in your Sri Lanka holiday package. Enter into the world of Sri Lanka’s archeological treasures. Jewels, sculptures, ancient art, photographs, tools used by ancestors, and even skeletons found from excavations are preserved for you to explore! 

Visiting Sigiriya itself would take about two days from your Sri Lanka holiday package and I tell you; follow your heart.

The takeaway

If you ever visit Sri Lanka, you should know that to discover the whole of this enchanting pearl of an island, you need the perfect Sri Lanka itinerary of at least 8 days. 

You still can experience an amazing vacation from a Sri Lanka Holiday Package of less than a week. But I’m talking to the daring adventurers, nature lovers, soul searchers, and all the travelholics who have the habit of exploring with a passion! While you are on the hunt for picturesque views and the rustic ancient ambiance from your Sri Lanka holiday package, don’t miss Sigiriya!

Why you should visit Kitulgala during your Sri Lanka itinerary

Do not ever be fooled by Sri Lanka’s calm and serene natural beauty. And don’t tell me that your Sri Lanka itinerary is filled with opportunities for sightseeing and relaxation only. If you are an adventure-seeker plus a nature-lover like me, read on to find out how to make your Sri Lanka trip an adventurous one. 

A place that you should be included in your Sri Lanka travel itinerary is the infamous Kitulgala town. The distance from Colombo to Kitulgala can be covered by a 2-hour drive. Kitulgala is an adventure destination popular among tourists and locals alike for adrenaline-kicking white-water rafting, rainforest trekking, stream slides, bird watching, and more!

These are the best things to do in Kitulgala on your Sri Lanka trip.

What is cooler than entering Kitulgala, trekking through its rainforest?

The path leading to the Kelani River where you wade into the white water for rafting is surrounded by a luscious rainforest. This rainforest is one of the wettest in the world, and you will thank the lord above and the experts that included Kitulgala in your Sri Lanka itinerary.

Mountain biking is also a loved activity in the rainforest. As you trek the wilderness, be on alert for the chirping birds hovering over you or hiding behind leaves. If you are a passionate bird-watcher, you won’t regret this part of your Sri Lanka trip. You will spot endemic birds like Green-billed Coucal, Red-faced Malkoha, Ceylon Grey Hornbill, etc.

In short, if your Sri Lanka itinerary doesn’t include the Sinharaja rainforest which is a UNESCO world heritage site, the Kitulgala Forest Reserve can bring you a similar experience.

You can also join a river expedition in the Mahaweli, Kelani, or Kalu Rivers of Sri Lanka. This activity in your Sri Lanka itinerary would let you sightsee the beauty of what nature in this tropical island holds so dearly. You will paddle through river crossings, elephant corridors, and ancient bridges that bear historical value.

Water abseiling – an adrenaline-pumping sight-seeing experience

How about gripping onto a rope against a waterfall and getting a birds-eye view of the emerald mountains and the jungle around you? Water abseiling is a daring, yet rewarding activity that not only gives you a high dose of adrenaline but also lets you enjoy the beauty of nature. This is an adventure that travelers love in their Sri Lanka itinerary when they are on a Sri Lanka trip.

Water abseiling is conducted under the careful supervision of the experts who will guide you to have a thrilling experience in the middle of the Kitulgala jungle. Test your courage with your family and friends after watching a demonstration by experienced instructors. 

If you include water abseiling to your Sri Lanka itinerary, you are in for a treat!

The bumpy ride that is white water rafting in Kitulgala

At the heart of the rainforest, you will reach the Kelani River with white water daring you to raft! If you are adventurous and are a superhero like me, it’s best to visit Kitulgala during the months between May to December when the water is more volatile than during the dry season.

Now don’t get all excited thinking that it’s the perfect opportunity to spice up your Sri Lanka itinerary– you.could.die during the rainy reason. I mean it. Therefore, the instructors decide whether rafting is safe or not.

That being said, only those 13 years and above are allowed to engage in this extreme sport of white water rafting at Kitulgala. Be prepared to get a killer experience of a lifetime while seeing flashes of natural beauty passing by as you battle in the stubborn waters. What other way to challenge yourself on your Sri Lanka trip?

Heal your soul in a natural pool 

After a daring day full of fun and challenging activities, slide through natural streams and jump into a natural pool in the jungle. If you visit Kitulgala, you don’t want to miss these natural pools surrounded by nothing but the luscious greenery, teasing you with a cold and calming breeze. 

A Kitulgala adventure is both the storm and the calm that makes a Sri Lanka trip awesome – don’t you agree?

Camping too? 

You are wrong if you thought that the Kitulgala adventure of your Sri Lanka itinerary is over after that daring water rafting experience. How does camping in the middle of the jungle sound? I hope you feel me on this because I absolutely loved it!

A Sri Lanka itinerary would disappoint me if camping was not included. Sitting around the campfire under the starry night with loved ones while drinking a cold can of Sri Lankan Lion beer makes for a night to remember. The smell of the BBQ, the scent of the forest, the soothing breeze, and the songs we would sing throughout the night is not only Sri Lankan, it’s universal!

Things to carry with you

  • An extra pair of clothes
  • Sunscreen
  • Swimwear
  • A towel
  • Shoes that won’t slip off
  • A pack of toiletries (if you are camping)

The best things to do in Kitulgala in a nutshell

  • White water rafting
  • Rainforest trekking
  • Mountain biking
  • Bird watching
  • Stream sliding
  • River expeditions
  • Waterfall abseiling
  • Relaxing in natural pools
  • Camping
Low section shot of man and woman crossing the stream barefooted. Couple walking by the creek in forest with their shoes in hand. Hikers hiking in forest.

Things you should know before your Kitulgala adventure begins

  • Children of age 0-17 should be accompanied by a guardian or parent to be allowed for water rafting.
  • Littering in the rainforest or the Kitulgala premises is prohibited. Let’s make this Sri Lanka trip wholesome and eco-friendly.
  • Travelers are advised to wear masks and adhere to covid-19 guidelines.

My last thoughts for you

Spending a day or two in Kitulgala would be one of the best choices you would make for your Sri Lanka itinerary. You could be an adventure seeker or a nature lover, either way, the experience would be one to cherish. If you feel me, plan your Sri Lanka trip with local experts who know the wonders of Sri Lanka!

8 Must-visit tourist attractions in Sri Lanka

Searching for insight on the best tourist attractions in Sri Lanka? It can be overwhelming to find the best travel destinations, although Sri Lanka is a small island.

Maybe you are looking for Sri Lankan attractions that appeal to your interests or are on the lookout for a comprehensive tour that encompasses the top tourist spots in the country. Either way, here are eight Tourist attractions in Sri Lanka that you need to know about before your next trip to Sri Lanka.


Popularly known as the “Eighth Wonder of the World,” the Sigiriya rock is one of the major tourist attractions in Sri Lanka. The rock plateau stands at an elevation of 349m above sea level and dates back to the fifth century when it was used as a fortress by King Kashyapa I of Anuradhapura. Back then, it was a strategically located, unbreachable fortress. The King’s palace was situated at the top of the rock, whose ruins and frescoes remain up to date. Today, this tourist attraction in Sri Lanka is well known for its scintillating 360° views of the forests, natural pools, and gardens that surround it. Other scenic hiking destinations surrounding the Lion Rock include the Pidurangala Rock.

Kandy Temple of the Sacred Tooth Relic

The revered Buddhist relic – The sacred tooth of the Lord Buddha is stored securely under the golden roof of the iconic Kandy Temple, also known as the Sri Dalada Maligawa. Built in the 17th century by the Kandyan Kings, the royal palace is located at the heart of the Kandy town and is surrounded by the Kandy Lake. It is a must-visit tourist attraction in Sri Lanka that has captivated thousands of Buddhist pilgrims and cultural enthusiasts worldwide. Stop by Kandy for historic, religious, and tranquil getaways.

Galle Fort

The Galle Fort still exudes colonial vibes. The infrastructure of the Fort, surrounding hotels, boutiques, and restaurants resonate with the history of this port city. The Fort stands tall in the southwest bay of Galle, well-preserved, surviving the test of time and the disastrous Boxing Day Tsunami. Owing to its Portuguese, Dutch, and British colonial architecture, it was declared a cultural heritage site by UNESCO. The once superior port of Sri Lanka is a mark of historic value and still attracts tourists with its old-world charm and romantic vibes.

Yala National Park 

Thanks to the numerous deer, buffaloes, elephants, wild pigs, and crocodiles roaming about, a safari in the Yala National Park comes close to a safari in Africa. This tourist attraction and wildlife conservation park is also home to the elusive Sri Lankan leopard. With over 215 species of birds that can be spotted within this precinct, it is an ideal location for birdwatching too. The dusty and bumpy roads snaking through the park lead to a deserted beach that is a sight to behold. ‘Leopard Nest,’ a luxury lodging company also offers luxury treehouse cabins, a one-of-a-kind glamping experience, and BBQ experiences in Yala.

The ancient city of Anuradhapura

Explore the ancient city in style with a cycling tour, on a helicopter or hot air balloon that sail from various urban cities of the island. The first capital of Sri Lanka, Anuradhapura consists of numerous historic Buddhist places of worship including forest monasteries, stupas, dagabos, astounding statues, and temples. The Jaya Sri Maha Bodhi tree is one of the oldest trees in the world that you can witness during your visit to Anuradhapura, along with other well-preserved historical monuments. Ruwanwelisaya, Jethawanaramaya, and Abhayagiriya are some of the spectacular stupas that can enrich your cultural experience during your Sri Lanka Holiday. This historic city is also home to the largest native wildlife conservation park (Wilpaththu), world-renowned for its wildlife population.


How about some tea plantation trekking and unlimited tea tasting, fresh from the source? If so, the tea estates of Nuwara-Eliya must make it to your Sri Lanka Trips . The year-round cold climate makes the town ideal for cozy, laidback holidays. The area is abundant in beautiful waterfalls, which include the Lovers Leap, Glenn Falls, Ramboda falls, and Bomburuella. Another breathtaking site to visit in Nuwara-Eliya is the Horton Plains which is known for its ‘Great Worlds End Drop.’ Sri Lanka’s ‘Little England’ has much more in store for you, including suburban and charming bungalows, luscious botanical gardens, horse rides in the city, and tranquil lakes.

Unawatuna Beach

The aesthetically pleasing beach of Unawatuna is one that should not be missed on your trip to Sri Lanka. Although the beach can get crowded as it is one of the most popular local and tourist attractions in Sri Lanka, the cerulean waters, beautiful hotels, and beachside cafes will make it worth your while. Other popular beach destinations include the Nilaweli and Marble Beach of Trincomalee. Whichever coastal destination you choose, luxury resorts and budget-friendly villas ideal for relaxation, await to welcome you. Snorkel in clear waters to glimpse mystical coral gardens and sea creatures. Enjoy mouth-watering seafood dishes from the local restaurants that border the beaches.

Bentota Beach

Resorts and hotels in Bentota facilitate recreational and adventure-packed activities in addition to laid-back stays, making the town yet another popular tourist attraction in Sri Lanka. Surf or dive by the Cinnamon Islands or go on a boat safari down the Bentota River (Madu Ganga). Those of you who want command of your own sail can rent a kayak and explore the waters independently! When you’ve had your fill of watersports, settle for a fine dining experience in a star-class restaurant.

Plan your Sri Lanka Tour in Style

Now you know the top tourist attractions in Sri Lanka. Contact Olanka Travels for help with your Sri Lanka Trips. Our Sri Lanka tour planners would be delighted to assist.

The 8 Must -Visit UNESCO World Heritage Sites of Sri Lanka

Sri Lanka is home to a collection of UNESCO World Heritage sites.

This list includes:

  • Sacred City of Anuradhapura
  • Ancient City of Polonnaruwa
  • Ancient City of Sigiriya
  • Dambulla Cave Temple
  • Ancient City of Sigiriya
  • Galle and its fortifications
  • Central Highlands of Sri Lanka
  • Sinharaja Forest Reserve

Here’s all you need to know about the eight UNESCO World Heritage sites in Sri Lanka before your next Sri Lanka trips.

UNESCO World Heritage Sites in Sri Lanka (Cultural) 

Sacred City of Anuradhapura

The north-central district was initially established around 300 B.C. The capital city of the time was home to numerous Buddhist kingdoms whose remains have been preserved to date. Among the ruins lie Buddhist shrines, palaces, monasteries, dagobas, and historic water tanks. This is why the city is known as one of the most sacred places in the nation. The site also includes sacred a Bo Tree which is over 2000 years old. To Sri Lankan Buddhists, the Sacred City of Anuradhapura is a site of cultural appreciation and religious exploration. For tourists, it’s an attraction to uncover the history of Sri Lanka.

Ancient City of Polonnaruwa

Around the 11th century A.D., the next popular ancient capital that came to be was the ancient city of Polonnaruwa. Its legacy as a capital city commenced following the leadership of King Vijayabahu I. Nearly a millennium later, the ruins of the city lie unharmed. The astonishing marvels that stand to date include the Royal Palace, temples, monasteries, dagobas, enormous Buddhist statues, water fountains, and mysterious caves. This is yet another city that serves as a must-visit site on your next Sri Lanka trip for all cultural enthusiasts that enjoy historic background.

Ancient City of Sigiriya

The icon of the ancient city of Sigiriya is the Rock Fortress. It is also referred to as the “Eighth Wonder of the World” by UNESCO. During the latter few decades of the 5th century A.D., King Kashyapa built his palace on the flat peak of the Sigiriya rock, which stands at an astonishing height of 660 ft. Other sites of historical and cultural value within the fortress’s bounds include the Lion Gate, Royal gardens, ancient pools, the Sigiriya frescoes, and Sigiriya Museum. If you’re on a Sri Lanka tour seeking an adventurous hike that yields scintillating views, then the Lion Rock is one site to set foot on.

Sacred City of Kandy

The unique icon of this UNESCO World Heritage Site in Sri Lanka is the Temple of the Golden Tooth Relic. Home to the sacred tooth of the Lord Buddha, the temple is the #1 attraction for vast numbers of Buddhist pilgrims across the globe. The temple is situated within a palace complex close to the Kandy Lake. The cool, laid-back atmosphere of the city is great for exploring its other icons – ones that range from historical museums to colonial architecture and modern facilities and gardens. Kandy is a wonderful place for travellers looking for a relaxing and historical experience.

Golden Temple of Dambulla

The next UNESCO World Heritage Site in Sri Lanka is the Rangiri Dambulla Cave Temple. The site in Dambulla includes five cave temples, each decorated with a vast array of Buddhist artefacts, paintings and is densely populated with statues of the Lord Buddha. While they elaborate on his teachings, a few other artefacts and statues are dedicated to ancient rulers of the Buddhist kingdoms. Despite them being centuries old, they still manage to glisten golden inside the caves that otherwise would be dark and murky.

Old Town of Galle and its Fortifications

The first location that comes to mind when thinking of a southwestern Sri Lanka tour is Galle. Centuries ago, this city was once a buzzing port during foreign rule. The Portuguese initiated the development of the city of Galle in the early 16th century. The city was later ruled by the Dutch and ultimately by the British, and this mix of colonial cultures resonates throughout the architecture of the city. Its main attraction is the breezy Galle Fort. This UNESCO World Heritage Site in Sri Lanka is one with immense minimalistic vibes and is great for a relaxing getaway beside the windy oceans and deep blue seas.

UNESCO World Heritage Sites in Sri Lanka (Natural)

Central Highlands of Sri Lanka

The first natural UNESCO World Heritage Sites in Sri Lanka covers three key areas in the Central Province of the island. They include the Peak Wilderness, Horton Plains, and the Knuckles Conservation Forest. The hill-country is home to the island’s densest tea plantations, scenic waterfalls, misty mountain tops, and dense forest cover. This one is for an adventurous Sri Lanka trip packed with many hiking trails, mystical views, and tranquil moments in nature.

Sinharaja Forest Reserve

Located in southern Sri Lanka is the low-lying Sinharaja rainforest, home to many exotic species of flora and fauna. The well-preserved biosphere which is the latest UNESCO World Heritage Site in Sri Lanka has exciting trails running through the forest, overlooking beautiful waterfalls amidst enriched biodiversity. Here’s to the nature lovers and adventure seekers who dream of a Sri Lanka trip through its most famous forest reserve.

UNESCO World Heritage Sites are sites of significant cultural or natural value in a global context. There should then be no doubt that you must visit the UNESCO World Heritage Sites in Sri Lanka, not just to add value to your Sri Lanka trips but also to appreciate the beauty of these sites from a global perspective.

Eager to check out some Sri Lanka tour packages? To visit these sites and many more on your next tour of Sri Lanka – plan your Sri Lanka trips with us today!

10 Must – Know tips to make your trip to Sri Lanka a special one

Whether you’re looking for a beach getaway, a hike in the hill country, a cultural pilgrimage, or just a luxurious vacation – a Sri Lanka trip would cater to your preferences. Here’s a list of things that you must know before your next trip to Sri Lanka to make it that much more of a unique experience.

Safety First

Sri Lankan borders have been re-opened to most travelers across the globe. Travelers do, however, require a Visa to travel into the country. Currently, there are a few COVID-19 related restrictions in the country, implemented to promote safety and well-being of all. Sri Lanka does not require vaccinated tourists to quarantine upon arrival, nor does it enforce a minimal number of days for their stay. To view a comprehensive list of our COVID-19 travels protocols, click here.

Know the Best Times

Despite being a small island, the weather and climate vary by a considerable margin. The decisive factor would be the monsoon seasons. Travelers visiting the cultural triangle, the southern or western coast would experience the best season from December through April. To those venturing towards the eastern coast, the best time to travel would be between the months of May and October. 

Plan the Tour Upfront

This could be the biggest and most decisive task of your journey, especially if it’s your first Sri Lanka trip. However, this can be a hassle-free experience if you were to hire a professional tour service. A well-planned tour could be the difference between getting to see the best Sri Lanka has to offer and just barely scratching the surface with a few tourist attractions thrown in. It’s best if you can get the help of an experienced tour service provider like us to cater to your requirements.

Buy a Local Sim

When it comes to having a great journey, minimizing your worries is key. Would you rather subject yourself to expensive phone bills and paid Wi-fi networks, or enjoy the low rates and unlimited packages on your data usage with a local sim? Gone are the days of scavenging for public and unsafe Wi-fi networks. Buy a local sim for cheap to enjoy the amazing perks of telecommunication in Sri Lanka.

Take the Unpopular Route

Difficult roads often lead to beautiful destinations, and you can’t experience something unique if you follow the masses. That’s why you shouldn’t be afraid of going off the beaten path. Professional tour operators like us could help guide you through the lesser-known attractions and local secrets worth your attention! Getting around is quite easy with taxis, tuk-tuks or three-wheelers, and buses. If you’re en-route to Ella on your Sri Lankan trip, then you can’t miss the spectacular train ride!

Dress Conservatively

Tourists are expected to dress conservatively in white and wear less revealing clothing in most cultural sites. Slip-on footwear would be a good option while visiting religious sites as footwear is removed upon entry to the premises. You’ll be fine on your trip to Sri Lanka if you dress for the occasion. You might want to get comfy in cotton clothing and hats, or carry an umbrella, as temperatures usually exceed 25 Celsius, except in the central highlands where you might need a light sweater. Always be prepared for light showers.

Avoid Scams

Sri Lanka is a safe travel destination for tourists; however, situational awareness can’t hurt. There are isolated cases of tuk-tuk scams, unofficial guides, and snatch thefts. The use of a professional tour service provider ensures less interaction with third parties and will keep you away from such scams. However, no matter where you go on your Sri Lanka trip, you’ll be safe if you’re aware and mindful.

Always Carry Cash

Having liquid cash in hand is always a good idea; whether for emergencies or because you want to pick up something from the roadside store. You could exchange your foreign currency once in town in a bank or even right at the airport.

Dollars, Euros, and Sterling are equally accepted, but not everywhere. Carry cards that are internationally accepted (Mastercard or Visa); however, credit card payments cannot be made in foreign currency, and not all goods and service providers accept card payments.

Try Local Food

You can’t have a unique experience on your Sri Lanka trip without tasting the local cuisine! Local food is quite affordable and delicious.

Enjoy a range of dishes and curries that are sweet, sour, or even spicy, and pair it with a plate of rice. In Sri Lanka, there’s a curry for almost everyone. Try out freshly grown local fruits, Faludi, local sweets, and street food for some change and make sure you always carry water for consumption.

Tag Alongside the Locals

Sri Lanka is known for its generous locals. The locals communicate in the Sinhala and Tamil languages, but most of them do speak adequate English. All of them share a common shy smile. Westerners may immediately notice that there’s a lot of head nodding involved in communication. Sri Lankans are also known for their warm hospitality. So don’t hesitate to connect with them to gain insight about life in these parts of the world.

And that’s the list of basics that you must know before your upcoming Sri Lanka Trips.

A Holiday To Sri Lanka is one that anyone would enjoy with just a little preparation. Now that you have all you need to know, why not consider us for planning your next trip to Sri Lanka?

Must visit iconic cultural hotspots during your Sri Lanka trip

Planning to travel to Sri Lanka which is also popularly known as “ The Pearl of the Indian Ocean” to spend your well-deserved vacation? Here is a guide to explore this postcard-worthy holiday destination and what it has in store for travellers. 

Sri Lanka is blessed with a range of mini climates, a wealth of flora & fauna, plenty of high mountain peaks, mountain gaps, rugged terrain, high waterfalls, snaking rivers, and many more. Apart from these, with many amazing attractions, Sri Lanka is a dynamic hub for those interested in culture and heritage-associated travel. The island’s recorded history and civilisation date back to at least 2500 years. Embarking on a Sri Lanka tour that covers the ancient wonders of architecture, well-preserved ruins as well as many other countless tourist attractions is no easy task unless you hire an experienced Sri Lanka travel operator. Although Sri Lanka is a tiny island, it is home to breathtakingly beautiful and fascinating tourist hotspots to offer for any type of tourist. 

Cultural Triangle in Sri Lanka – History of Sri Lanka brought back to life

Millions of travellers visit the cultural triangle of Sri Lanka as it has brought the island’s history back to life and has a few locations with intricate & extensive archaeological ruins that have been named UNESCO World Heritage Sites. 

These are some of the most intriguing locations in Sri Lanka that are counted as part of world history. The cultural triangle area is located on the central plains of Sri Lanka and covers the ancient royal cities of Anuradhapura, Polonnaruwa, Sigiriya, Dambulla, and Kandy. The great heroic kings of Sri Lanka such as Vijaya, Pandukabhaya & Devanampiyatissa ruled from these places during different eras, creating a great civilisation based on agriculture and centred around Buddhism. These kings treasured ancient healing wisdom & the powers of Ayurveda that are still considered the holistic approach to preventing and curing diseases in rural areas. The first capital of Sri Lanka was Anuradhapura and remained so for over one thousand years. It was reputed as the greatest monastic city of the ancient world and was ruled by more than one hundred kings belonging to royal dynasties from 4th Century BC up to the 11th century AD.

After a period of heavy war casualties, Anuradhapura was abandoned and Polonnaruwa was chosen as the capital of Sri Lanka in the medieval period. Two great heroic kings Vijayabahu I and Parakramabahu I were instrumental in establishing Polonnaruwa as the royal capital of Sri Lanka with great irrigational and agricultural developments made by them that exist and are used even today. Polonnaruwa was the capital of Sri Lanka until the late 13th century. Sri Lanka’s history was forever coloured with the embracing of Buddhism in 247 BC as the country’s religion during the reign of Devanampiyatissa in Mihintale. 

Sigiriya became the dynastic capital of Sri Lanka for a brief period during the reign of Sigiri Kassyapa who murdered his father to capture the throne and established a majestic castle on top of Sigiriya Rock which later became a wonder to the world. Scientists and archaeologists are still puzzled by how this king managed to create such ingenious structures and facilities way ahead of time.

Hand-painted by ancient artists, the Sigiriya frescos are visual stunners that colourfully depict women of the royal palace with lotus flowers in their hands ready to worship Lord Buddha.

There are countless ruins that you can discover in Anuradhapura which was the first capital of Sri Lanka. Anuradhapura stayed abandoned and lost for more than a thousand years, during which most of its precious buildings and temples shambled due to negligence. Embark on an informative Sri Lanka tour with a professional tour operator such as Olanka Travels. There are a massive number of sacred Buddhist shrines and sites that can be discovered in Anuradhapura. These include iconic dagobas, palaces, monasteries, monumental statues, and an ancient Bo tree called Jaya Sri Maha Bodiya which is a sapling brought from the Buddha Gaya Bo tree where Lord Buddha reached enlightenment. Mihintale is best visited on a Full Moon Poya Day, especially during Poson Full Moon Day, when it is believed that Mihindu and Sangamitta theros arrived from India to introduce Buddhism to Sri Lanka. The philosophy was received at the Mihintale rock by King Devanampiyatissa. 

Polonnaruwa which was the second kingdom and capital of Sri Lanka is known for its magnificent granite stone sculptures in Gal Vihara that depict the Lord Buddha. Don’t forget to visit the archaeological museum located in Polonnaruwa that provides in-depth information about this ancient and prosperous kingdom. 

Dambulla is most famous for its incredibly old cave temple which features rows upon rows of Buddhist statues with a ceiling made of natural rock covered with beautiful frescos. The ancient city is famous for its rock caves which are marvellously crafted and designed with lots of Buddhist paintings and statues meticulously placed inside the caves. 

Kandy, the last kingdom of Sri Lanka boasts a rich religious and cultural heritage. The ancient hill country is home to the most venerated iconic Temple of The Sacred Tooth Relic widely known as Sri Dalada Maligawa. The rich cultural heritage of Kandy is woven around this historic temple that houses the tooth relic of Lord Buddha. Kandy and Sri Dalada Maligawa are UNESCO World Heritage Sites. 

This iconic temple is visited by Buddhist devotees from across the island. Tourists visiting the country too make their way to Sri Dalada Maligawa as it is a must-see attraction in Sri Lanka. The Temple of the Sacred Tooth Relic is quite significant as it has played a pivotal role when it comes to local politics since the ancient times of kings. It is believed that anyone who holds the sacred relic holds governing authority of the island. The Temple of the Sacred Tooth Relic was the creation of Kandian King Vira Narendrasingha. The octagonal-shaped, architecturally brilliant Patthirippuwa and the moat were added later by King Sri Wickrama Rajasingha who was the last king of the Sri Lankan royal dynasty. 

The famous tourist attraction, the annual Kandy Perahera or festival parade takes over the streets of Kandy between July and August. During the parade, the sacred tooth relic of Lord Buddha is carried inside a casket on top of a specially chosen and anointed majestic elephant. The sacred tooth relic is only taken out from the inner chamber of Sri Dalada Maligawa during the days of the Kandy Perahera for public worship and admiration. The procession is graced by Kandyan dancers, fire breathers, drummers, and a myriad other fascinating consorts.

Discover the best tourist attractions in Sri Lanka

Travel as much as you can, as far as you can, as long as you can. Life is not meant to lived in one place.” And there is no better place to explore a series of abundant magical destinations than in the tropical island paradise of Sri Lanka. The once Ceylon, is home to a vast array of beautiful gems that await to be explored from vibrant flora and fauna to rich forest and marine life, sandy beaches, extensive cultural escapades and the most glorious historical sites. We at Olanka Travels are counting down the top six holiday destinations that we believe are the best tourist attractions in the homely and strikingly beautiful Sri Lanka.

Ancient City of Sigiriya

A truly majestic wonder that is home to one of the most astounding histories of the tiny island calls out to be explored. Once, long ago this archaeological monument was home to King Kashypa who on top of this gracious rock, erected his castle and adorned with strikingly beautiful frescoes. At present day, the historical Sigiriya stands proudly as a UNESCO world heritage site; located in the northern Matale District of Sri Lanka’s Central Province, near the town of Dambulla. 

Head towards the picturesque small town that yet beholds one of the grandest sites in the country and be amazed by all the mysteries it has to offer. The ruins of the ancient capital lie at the summit of the rock, renowned as the Lion’s rock, dominating the luscious green town. 

As you step foot on the enthralling site, the extensive collection of fortifications, vast gardens, ponds, canals, alleys and fountains are surely set to mesmerise you alongside the truly unique harmony between the nature and human imagination that it exuberates. The enthralling frescoes on site, depict paintings of nude females are considered to be either the portraits of the king’s wives and concubines or priestess performing religious rituals. Despite the unknown identity of the females depicted in the frescoes, these unique ancient paintings are celebrating female beauty and have incredible historical significance. Another substantial feature of the monument is the famous mirror wall, painted inscriptions and poems written by the visitors of Sigiriya.  Apart from visiting the renowned Lion’s rock, there are abundant other activities that you could enjoy during your stay in Sigiriya from visiting the local handicraft shops that surround the site to participating in sacred ‘Pansil’ ceremonies, enjoying delectable local meals and taking in the serene beauty of the tranquil town by either a long stroll or exciting cycle ride around the historical monument of Sigiriya.

Temple of the tooth in Kandy

Known for its spirituality and laid-back charm, Kandy has everything peaceful, serenade and balmy about it. Explore the country’s second largest city, brimming with a fascinating history, rich culture, spectacular beauty and old-world charm. A visit to the Temple of the Sacred Tooth Relic or Sri Dalada Maligawa is a must when you are in Kandy as it is one of the most picturesque and iconic Buddhist temples in the country. Step into its midst and embark yourself in the city’s vast and magnificent history. Located in the heart of the town surrounded by the glistening Kandy Lake also known as Kiri Muhuda or the Sea of Milk, the temple was once the royal palace inhabited by the king of Ceylon during the Kandyan kingdom and his consorts, but after the demise of the Kandyan Kingdom the palace was transformed into a Buddhist temple that holds the scared tooth of Lord Buddha. Take a walk to its sight and also catch a chance to witness the magical cultural show at the temple of the tooth that will give you the opportunity to spectator a remarkable display of Kandyan dancing, Sri Lanka’s iconic art form, which includes elaborate costumes, boisterous mass drumming, and flamboyant dancing. The cultural center of Kandy is also renowned for its Kandy Perahera: the Esala Perahera, a stunning sight guaranteed to leave you baffled in awe featuring dancers, jugglers, musicians, fire-breathers and more.


Ella is a paradise like highland village set on southern edge of Uva province of Sri Lanka. The beautiful and scenic village of the tropical island with its salubrious climate nestles amidst hill after hill of tea plantations bringing in panoramic views of the Central Highlands of Sri Lanka. Enjoy Sri Lanka’s most scenic train ride from Nanu Oya to Ella as you capture the most mesmerizing surroundings from passing by mountains to lakes and beautiful waterfalls and visit the renowned Nine Arch Bridge, popularly known as the “Bridge in the Sky.”  This bridge is 300 feet long, 25 feet wide, and 80-100 feet tall and is one among the country’s greatest instances of colonial-era railway building. Other fun activities and excursions to do during your stay at the beautiful Ella include a trek to the Little Adam’s Peak offering an exciting climbing and trekking option for today’s explorers. Adventurers are encouraged to begin their excursions from Ella town, where the mountain’s top is only 3 kilometers away. It comes as no surprise that there is no party scene with loud music and excitement in a charming hamlet hidden between misty mountains when it comes to nightlife. Instead, there are a few restaurants that dish up some warm western-style cuisine, as well as a few pubs and swanky cafés that give a nice relaxed ambiance, perfect for capping off a long day of trekking in your Sri Lanka trip.


Mirissa is of the main beach destinations in southern Sri Lanka, renowned for its beautiful tropical beaches, surf waves, whale watching, and thriving bars and restaurants. Enter into the coast, take in the sun, soak in the icy waves altogether with a stifling drink in hand. Catch a whale watching safari down the picturesque blue isles of the glimmering Mirissa Ocean. You can explore the depths of the deep blue waters of the Indian Ocean and catch a glimpse of the glorious whales, ever friendly dolphins and of course the famous island sea turtles as well. Mirissa is the hub for water sports, giving you the opportunity to ride the curls of the waves, swim with the largest mammals on earth, snorkel, and even enjoy a full day sailing experience in the sea filled with its truly magical activities from fishing with people of the coast to catching more than just a foretaste of the grandeur whales and dolphins.


Yala National Park, Sri Lanka’s most renowned park is located in the south eastern region of the country and extends over two provinces of Hambantota district of southern province and Monaragala district in Uva province. 

Of all the National Parks in Sri Lanka, Yala National Park gives the best opportunity to witness Sri Lanka’s broad variety of wildlife: colourful painted stork in troops are seen perched at the shores of lagoon where the crocodiles too have chosen to doze off; lovely fantailed peacocks in their resplendent blues and greens parade about amidst the woods where monkeys hang, leap and chatter; in the bush jungle are the Elephants; crossing the tracks and wandering off into the thorny scrub jungle is the star attraction of the park: the leopard.

You can also enjoy a once in a lifetime opportunity of camping on sight. Whether it’s wild swimming, stone skimming or simply messing about in boats, there’s nothing quite like camping beside a river in the midst of the bustling forest of Yala. For guests looking for a more tranquil stay, the destination also has some of the most luxurious resorts that are set to give you a one-of-a-kind experience, bringing together unparalleled wildlife experiences, comfort and luxury.


The picturesque colonial city of Galle is a UNESCO World Heritage Site that is awaits to be explored. From exotic old trading ports blessed with imposing Dutch-colonial buildings to ancient mosques and churches, grand mansions and museums, the city has it all. Wandering its rambling lanes, you’ll pass stylish cafes, quirky boutiques and impeccably restored hotels owned by local and foreign artists, writers, photographers and designers. Take a walk in the picturesque streets of the Galle fort amidst the grandeur of the colonial hub which is a prominent attraction with a modified twist of open cafes and restaurants to decorate the old city fort and explore the evidence of the history of colonized Ceylon all preserved in a colonnade left by the Dutch at the famous Dutch museum. 

Explore the rural village by wheels as you enjoy a cycle or tuk-tuk ride around the blissful Galle or take an exciting tour to the colonial past of Galle and its glory days. The artifacts and collector’s items are priceless with art history and craft for a treasure hunt. Here at Galle, you can also savour the taste of a variety of free-range prawns and shrimp squid lobster and blue crab meat from the warm blue Indian ocean and experience a glimpse of Island life in a platter.

The 08 most adventurous places in Sri Lanka

Are you a curious thrill-seeker excited about your Sri Lanka trip? Sri Lanka offers you astonishing possibilities to surf, hike, go on epic train rides, and all things action! Below are the 08 best adventurous places in Sri Lanka you can visit with Olanka Travels. 

Hike Sigiriya but don’t forget Pidurangala.

If you are a die-hard hiker, we are sure that you would definitely grab two hikes in one visit. DEAL?

Pidurangala, the climb-worthy neighbor of Sigiriya is the most incredible vantage point for the Sigiriya Rock Fortress. 

The trail up to the Pidurangala rock includes a steep incline, but that’s what makes it an adventurous hike. Those early morning hikers can witness one of the most stunning sunrises from the Pidurangala rock. Do you want to know another bonus it offers? The entrance fee is just $3. This price has given an extra reason for budget travelers to pick Pidurangala over Lion’s Rock. But remember our deal? Yes, two hikes. Sigiriya, the famous Rock Fortress is a must-visit site on your Sri Lanka trip.

It’s quite a feat to climb the 1200+ steps to the top of the Lion’s Rock, but you won’t mind the heat, fatigue, and sore legs when you reach this amazing archaeological site; The frescoes, mirror wall, monastery, and cave temples, and especially the breathtakingly beautiful sunset.

The fame Sigiriya holds as a UNESCO world heritage site and its historic significance has made it one of the most expensive cultural sites in Sri Lanka.

However, we guarantee that the Sigiriya Rock hike will quench your thirst for adventure and justify the $30 you pay to visit this 8th wonder of the world.

 See leopards in the Yala National Park

If you are a committed wildlife enthusiast, look no further than the Yala National Park. 

Yala, located in the South East of Sri Lanka, is home to a variety of wildlife. You can sight glorious elephants, mysterious leopards, and Sri Lankan sloth bears in this National Park. Yala is most famous for its leopards. It is considered one of the best places in the world to spot leopards.

Giant crocodiles and dancing wild peacocks too are sure to make an appearance during your Yala safari. If you love watching birds, you will be amazed by over 215 bird species ranging from Blue-tailed Bee-eaters to Sri Lankan jungle fowls. To ensure seeing most of these startling wild creatures it’s best to visit Yala during the dry season from February to June.

Waterfalls and tea plantations in Nuwara Eliya

Ever thought of enjoying your holiday in Sri Lanka on top of a misty cool mountain in Nuwara Eliya?

Nuwara Eliya aka Little England is the best location for you to discover the rugged beauty of lush tea plantations and cascading waterfalls. This hilly terrain boasts lush tea plantations which produce some of the finest teas in the world. The Bluefield Tea factory, Mackwoods Tea Museum, and Pedro Tea Estate are a few of the best estates to visit on your holiday in Sri Lanka. Enjoying an exquisite pot of tea, while taking a breath of fresh mountain air should be a top priority on your Nuwara Eliya checklist.

Hike Adam’s Peak

If you are after adventure, hiking up Adam’s Peak should make it to your  Sri Lanka travel itinerary. Locally known as Sri pada, it is the fourth tallest mountain in Sri Lanka and is located in Ratnapura. The sacred footprint found on top of the mountain is popularly believed to be the footprint of Gautama Buddha. Hindus think it’s Shiva’s footprint while Muslims and Christians believe it’s the first man -Adam’s.

The mountain is 2244m in height and offers an exhausting yet energizing hike above the cool clouds. To get to the peak to view the sunrise, start hiking Adam’s peak at midnight. Seasoned adventurers can make this climb any time of the year, although December to May is when devotees embark on pilgrimages.

Snorkeling, surfing, and scuba diving on the South coast

Fond of oceanic adventures in Sri Lanka? The South Coast of Sri Lanka including Hikkaduwa, Unawatuna, and Weligama are iconic surfing spots. Untouched coral reefs, world-famous dive wrecks, and friendly encounters with colorful marine life await you at the South Coast of Sri Lanka.

Sri Lanka offers some of the best dive holidays with ample opportunities to snorkel and scuba dive. Whale and dolphin watching tours can also be added to your tour package if you’re visiting the South of Sri Lanka.

Most beautiful train ride – Kandy to Ella

There’s possibly no other way to experience the beauty of the hill country’s scenic landscapes other than hopping on a train. Without a doubt, this is the most picturesque train ride you will experience when you travel to Sri Lanka. The train will cruise through remote villages, many dark tunnels, and also the picture-perfect Nine Arch’s Bridge. The train ride will also cover bright green tea plantations and glorious waterfalls.

See elephants in Udawalawe

No doubt, the Udawalawe Elephant Sanctuary is the best place in Sri Lanka to witness the magnificence and adventures of Asian wild elephants. Located on the boundary of the Sabaragamuwa and Uva provinces, it provides a natural habitat for over 500 wild elephants. Big or small, they are experts in water sports. Splashing water is one of the favorite activities of baby elephants.

Apart from these giants, Udawalawe is also home to water buffaloes, wild bears, Sri Lankan axis deer, and other rare mammal species. You won’t regret adding a Jeep Safari in Udawalawe to your list of adventures in Sri Lanka.

Kithulgala base camp 

The Kithulgala base camp facilitates white water rafting in Sri Lanka with plenty of thrills and excitement. Located at the Eastern edge of Kegalle, Kithulgala is sought after by adventurers from all over the world. Waterfall abseiling, night camping, cave exploring, stream sliding, confidence jumping, and jungle trekking are a few of the most daring activities available when you travel to Sri Lanka.  Scenic nature, birdlife, and alluring waterfalls make Kithulgala a favorite spot for sightseeing too. 

Let us welcome you!

If ‘adventure’ is your middle name, a Sri Lanka holiday is ideal for you. While these are the 08 best adventurous places in Sri Lanka, there are numerous elusive spots waiting to surprise you.

How to spice up your Sri Lanka trip with a visit to Kandy

Where is Kandy? Kandy, a popular city listed in your Sri Lanka Trips itinerary, is situated in the central hills of Sri Lanka and is preceded by stories of interesting historical accounts and unique cultural anecdotes. Ever wondered how to explore this fascinating city? Well, welcome to your guide to Kandy!

The colourful Kandy Perahera

You are lucky to be in the tropical paradise of Sri Lanka. But if you happen to travel to Kandy in July or August, it is either because you know exactly what you are doing, or you are insanely lucky!

July and August are auspicious months for Kandyans and Buddhists across the country. This is when the “Esala Perahera,” the festival where Buddhists pay homage to the tooth relic of the Lord Buddha takes place. The Perahera culminates in the carrying of the relic which is accompanied by colourfully adorned dancers, Kandyan officials, elephants draped in glamorous capes, drummers, and flag bearers. Thousands from around the country and the world watch the parade from either side of the streets. This ceremony is a reflection of Sri Lanka’s vibrant culture and attracts tourists around the world!

A visit to the temple of the Tooth

A visit to the glorious temple where the tooth relic resides (Sri Dalada Maligawa) can make your Sri Lanka trip that much blessed! The Temple of the Tooth Relic of Lord Buddha is located in the Royal Palace complex belonging to the ancient kingdom of Kandy which was the capital of Sri Lanka many centuries ago. This temple is a popular landmark in the itinerary of tourists who are interested in exploring local culture. It is not only significant as a UNESCO world heritage site and revered by Buddhists around the world but also known for its unique Kandyan architecture.

Trek through the Udawatta Kele Sanctuary

One of the best things to do in Kandy during your Sri Lanka trips is to trail through the Udawatta Kele forest reserve. Perched on a hill behind the Temple of the Tooth lies this sanctuary, also referred to as the Royal Forest Park of Kandy. Find endemic fauna and flora including fishing cats and palm-squirrels in this verdant forest. Walk through tall tree-canopies to catch a sight of colourful birds. Udawatta Kele is a nature lover’s paradise that also features scattered temples, water ponds, mountains, and mysterious caves from the time of the kings.  

What are the best hotels and resorts in Kandy?

Every Sri Lanka Trips itinerary includes a few days of stay in Kandy. Kandy deserves to be explored slowly, with ample time to uncover its mysteries. Choose from a list of resorts and hotels in Kandy that best suit your budget and requirements. Here are a few suggestions that will make finding accommodation in Kandy simpler for you.

Earls Regency Hotel –A classic, colonial-style hotel with stunning views of tea gardens. 

Queen’s Hotel Kandy – Originally a governor’s mansion, this hotel is now a British Colonial style luxury hotel that offers spectacular views of the Kandy Lake.

Cinnamon Citadel, Kandy – A truly enticing hotel with royal heritage, Cinnamon Citadel is surrounded by emerald hills and bordered by Sri Lanka’s longest river.  

Golden Crown Hotel, Kandy – Just a 10-minute drive away from the Temple of the Tooth Relic, this is a 5-star hotel situated amidst lush paddy fields.

OZO Kandy – A playful space with a rooftop swimming pool and bar, this Hotel features rooms with city, garden, and mountain views and is nestled amidst misty mountains and tea plantations.

Where to shop in Kandy?

Shopping in Kandy is one of the most satisfying things to do when on a Sri Lanka trips. There are many authentic Sri Lankan arts and handicrafts boutiques that cater to tourists here. Pick out colourful batik clothing in one of the stores in the city; batik has become a chic hallmark of Sri Lankan fashion.

Walk into the main Kandy market at the heart of the city where locals and tourists can find affordable souvenirs, or shop in boutiques like LUV SL by ODEL, Jayamali Batik Studios, and Selyn for equally authentic and well-crafted souvenirs.

Royal Botanical Gardens in Kandy

Once the pleasure garden of the Kandyan queen, the Royal Botanical Garden, also known as the Peradeniya Botanical Garden, displays over 4 000 different species of plants which are regarded amongst the most superior in Asia.  

Renowned for its collection of orchids and the long, palm framed pathways, the garden is spread over 60 hectares of sublimely designed lawns, pavilions, and plant houses, and is a fragrant and colourful treat to the senses. 

Tour around Kandy by cycling!

One of the fun things to do when you travel to Kandy is to rent a bicycle, cycle freely through the bustling streets, and stop by roadside shops to try delicious street food. Sri Lanka trips are absolutely amusing when you cycle through its cities! Stop at historically significant sites such as the ‘Bahirawakanda Vihara Buddha statues’ and ‘Embekke Dewalaya’ to learn about Sri Lankan culture and to experience the diversity of its people. A dip into the Kandy Lake, locally known as ‘Kiri Muhuda’ is also recommended.

As the sun sets, enjoy a drink of ‘Thambili’ (king coconut, a tropical fruit drink in Sri Lanka) to quench your thirst as you listen to the hymns of the ‘Dalada Maligawa’ and make conversation with the locals.

The iconic train ride from Kandy to Ella

Do you know the best way to leave Kandy? By train, course! This could be your favourite part of the Sri Lanka trips. Witness scenic beauty swishing past you as never before in visions of verdant forests, charming tea plantations, and misty mountains!