How to spend 5 days as a first-time tourist to Sri Lanka

places to visit in sri lanka in 5 days

Planning a trip as a first-time tourist to a country you never had been to before sounds like fun and excitement. Some times the most common way to find out about Sri Lanka is of course by browsing and conducting a little research over the internet and going through reviews and relevant travel facts from other travellers. A holiday in Sri Lanka is definitely worth experiencing especially during a time when the country is witnessing an economical boost and infrastructure transformation. Today, Sri Lanka is among the fastest growing economies in the South Asian region and is continuing on that path.From the treasured entities that Sri Lanka can boast of, the tourism industry has gained momentum and is continuously doing so with each boost in tourist influx. Travel agents in Sri Lanka assemble together pretty interesting tour packages and products and a good number of them take the time to customize itineraries depending on the tourist’s requirements. To give you a heads up on how to start planning your trip, a travel agent will help you by adding in their personal touch and getting you off the ground with your trip. The tips will depend on your travel patterns and attitude as well. If you are someone who looks to travel back and forth within a week, then this travel strategy should seem pretty sound for you and the best places to visit in Sri Lanka in 5 days.

Arrival at Bandaranaike International Airport (BIA) in Colombo

sri lanka itinerary 5 days

A meet and great awaits you and there are a few travel agencies who would send one of their representatives to be there when you arrive and even take a selfie with you! Anyway, the level of interaction is very pleasant and engaging and will make you feel at ease. Unless you’re knackered from the flight and prefer to go straight to your hotel room, you can get your driver to take you around and check out some of Colombo’s shopping hotspots if time permits. Spend your first night in either Colombo or Kandy. If not, you can always deal with Colombo before your departure date and opt to spend the first night in Kandy.

After a scrumptious breakfast, begin your tour of Sri Lanka!

5 days in sri lanka

sri lanka 5 day itinerary

If your first night was spent in Colombo, then start your trip bound for the city of Kandy. En route you can make a stop at the Pinnawala Elephant Orphanage. This place is truly worth visiting if you are an animal lover. The orphanage also attracts volunteers from around the world who come down and engage with the elephants by feeding them, bathing them and keeping the area clean. If you arrive at specific times, you might even be able to get a glimpse into how they are fed, how the calves are handled and how the elephants get bathed on a river bank opposite the main orphanage grounds.

Kandy, a historic extravaganza of a city

sri lanka in 5 days

Kandy is Sri Lanka’s last royal domain and is a thriving cultural hill city. Kandy is worth visiting, especially the Sacred Temple of the Tooth Relic which holds the tooth relic belonging to Lord Buddha. One can check out the temple and then tour the city afterwards. Kandy City Centre or KCC as it is popularly known is a popular shopping complex that accommodates a number of Sri Lankan ‘high street’ clothing boutiques, designer shops showcasing international brands, restaurants, banks and accessory stores and is located very close to the Sacred Temple. On your walk around the city, you can try out authentic Sri Lankan food from local restaurants on the main streets and also scan a number of creative handicraft and gem shops that you will find scattered in some places. Sri Lanka is popular for her abundance in producing blue sapphires among other types of gems.

NuwaraEliya is chilly enough for those who crave cooler climates

sri lanka 5 days itinerary

what to see in sri lanka in 5 days

After spending your second night in Kandy as a first-time tourist, the Royal Botanical Gardens in Peradeniya is worth a visit too, before heading to NuwaraEliya. Dubbed lovingly as ‘Little England’, NuwaraEliya is the coldest part of the country with temperatures that get as low as 4 degrees Celsius in rare occasions. En route to NuwaraEliya, your itinerary might include a trip to a tea plantation and factory where you can find out the process it takes starting from the tea leaf until it makes its way into your teacup. You can also go for a tea-tasting session and enjoy breath-taking sceneries of the hill country.

Travel to Yala via Ella

places to see in sri lanka in 5 days


If you feel you are up for a safari ride, Yala is the place to go for. Yala National Park is amongst the best parks attracting animals such as elephants, leopards, sloth bears and water buffalos. You can either opt for an evening safari depending on the best times to catch a glimpse of these magnificent creatures.

Head to the beach for a nice tan, Bentota for example

5 days trip to sri lanka

Depending on your favored modes of enjoyment while you’re on holiday, you can always decide to check out Sri Lanka’s warm beaches and bask in the sun or just leave the chillaxing part to the end subsequent to your departure date. Sri Lanka is abundant with beautiful coastlines and beaches such as Bentota. This area is very popular amongst the youth during music festival seasons. After Bentota, if your itinerary mentions it, you can also drop by the town of Galle. If Old Dutch influenced architecture is your thing, then this is the place.

A last minute shopping and safe travels back

Try Laksala and Odel for souvenirs and maybe in your next trip, you can prepare an itinerary and check out other significant spots you can visit in Sri Lanka. Sri Lanka is the land of smiles and nice people. When you leave, you will no doubt go back with pleasant memories and a place in your heart for Sri Lanka!

Checkout this video from Sebastian about Sri Lanka:

Loving Lanka from Sebastian Linda on Vimeo.

For more inquires contact Olanka Travels.

Snorkeling in Sri Lanka

This guide will show you the best places to do snorkeling in Sri Lanka location by location.

Sri Lanka is popular for its vast coastal region, serene beaches, vibrant wildlife, beautiful sunsets and succulent food and expressive local faces. The country’s sandy and sabulous beaches make for ideal locations for all who enjoy spending time around an evening of bonfires and seafood or just to experience a private stroll whilst witnessing the twilight.




snorkeling in Sri Lanka

Snorkeling in Sri Lanka is becoming one of those activities that gets you engaged with the natural entities of the underwater world and you can get to witness the beauty of something so surreal underneath all that mass. So, underwater experiences such as snorkeling enveloped by crispy blue waters and an abundance of marine life awaits at a number of interesting and worthy locations in coastal parts of the country.



Some of the most popular destinations for water related activities give you the privilege to be professionally taken care of by well-experienced and knowledgeable water sport instructors who will assist you from the moment you decide to hit the water. So, it’s all about just deciding where to visit for a snorkeling session and just go back home feeling enthralled and content!


Located as a south coastal region, Koggala is one of those places that attract less crowds when it comes to their beaches. The coastal town of Koggalashould be an area that would get hordes of tourists with the right strategy but for a while this destination has seen comparatively lesser tourist activity. For that reason, you might be lucky enough to find a nice secluded spot for a bout of ‘beach holiday’. As for the divine waters, Koggala offers an ideal location for snorkeling.


Definitely a swiftly booming tourist attraction and one of the main travel destinations in Sri Lanka that is worth a visit, snorkeling in Sri Lanka would be incomplete if the coastal resort town of Nilaveli would not make its name into the equation. Located in the district of Trincomalee, Nilaveli’s beaches encompass a stretch of unspoilt white sands, perfect for adventurous tourists with a penchant for photographic moments.The best periods to enjoy snorkeling in Sri Lanka if you visit Nilaveli is to do so between the months of April and September, when the waters tend to be more calmer than usual.

Pigeon Island – The Most Famous Place to do Snorkeling in Sri Lanka

If you opt for some serious snorkeling in Sri Lanka, then you should go for Pigeon Island. Pigeon Island also happens to accommodate one of the main marine national parks in the country currently. To travel to Pigeon Island, it takes a boat ride of approximately 15 minutes. A section of the island is also ornated by clusters of coral reef and bordered by crystal clear waters. The closest coastal town to Pigeon Island is Nilaveli.


Located in the district of Batticaloa, the coastal resort town of Pasikudah is being hailed to accommodate one of the longest stretches of flawless waters along with areas of deserted beaches. Pasikudah can be enjoyed by anyone who looks to enjoy longs walks into the sea rather than walks on the beach but also get to witness and feel the warm waters. There can be instances where tourists who aim to include other activities such as sailing into their travel itinerary, tend to snorkel straight off a yacht! There are services available in Pasikudah that do this kind of stuff. This little jolly swim would get you to swim away from the vessel and attest to some awe-inspiring coral beds. Sadly, coral reefs in Sri Lanka have encountered unfortunate situations such as destructive modes of fishing that has affected the vulnerable coral beds. But, social responsibility projects are being undertaken by hotel and resort entities to help preserve this underwater ecosystem.


Hikkaduwa is basically the country’s cultural beach hub! And undoubtedly, Hikkaduwa is also one of the best places to experience snorkeling in Sri Lanka.Situated 98kms south of the capital Colombo, prospective snorkelers can travel via the expressway and embark on an aquatic trip by diving, experience the southern coastal town’s daily occurring’s, taste the seafood and sip cocktails or just bask in the warmth of a bonfire. Travelling to snorkel in Hikkaduwa is certainly an activity that should be embraced and relished.

For inquires contact Olanka Travels.

Places to Visit in Sri Lanka: Tips from Top Travel Experts


A paradise island like Sri Lanka with many destinations, only certain destinations can be considers special to you!

We asked various travel experts and prolific bloggers a simple question:

If you could only choose 3 favorite places to visit in Sri Lanka, what places it would be? and why?

Many reviews can describe a destination, and show images, but the real truth is that images don’t actually tell you the true experience you can receive from that location, but a review from a person who has visited can give you his experience which can help you decide many factors.

Lets check out the destinations of choice by the travel experts and prolific bloggers.

Top Places to Visit in Sri Lanka (as voted by travel experts)

#1 Ella (5 votes)

#2 Kandy (5 votes)

#3 Sigiriya (5 votes)

#4 Galle (5 votes)

#5 Adam’s Peak (3 votes)

#6 Nuwara Eliya (3 votes)

Responses listed in the order they were received in:

Lauren – The Lifestyle Diaries

My top 3 places would be:

Ella – The vistas from the top of Little Adam’s Peak and Ella Rock are truly spectacular and really shouldn’t be missed. Walking along the rail tracks to get to Ella Rock is also an incredible experience – though make sure you’re wearing comfortable shoes! Stay in one of the guest houses up high to make sure you get the best views.

Tangalle – Though I loved Unawatuna, I think the beaches in Tangalle are even better – and they’re certainly quieter. Stay at the Mangrove Beach Cabanas and you’re right on the most perfect beach, though be careful of swimming – ask the staff where is safe to swim. You can also take kayaks out around the lagoon which is great fun. Tangalle really is a perfect beach paradise!

Galle – The old Dutch fort is unlike anything else I saw in Sri Lanka: it’s perhaps the most Westernized part of the country, but that doesn’t detract from its charm at all. I love the winding cobbled streets, the incredible shopping and being able to wander around the fort, taking in the breathtaking views. Make sure to stop for afternoon tea at Amangalla – it’s a wonderful experience and well worth the expense.

Dan – Dan Flying Solo


Kandy to Ella Train – The train ride through tea plantations, rolling hills, clouds and mist was one of the most beautiful journeys of my life. Try to get on the slow train so you can really take it in and get plenty of fantastic photos.

Mirissa – By far my favorite beach, sleepy and slower paced than some of the other beach towns, Mirissa is the perfect place to kick back and unwind coconut in hand. During the right season it is an ideal place to head out and see Whales!

Minneriya National Park – The chance to see Elephants in the wild is one thing you should not miss in Sri Lanka! Take a safari through one of the countless national parks, I recommend Minneriya as there was Elephants everywhere and the landscape around the water was stunning!

Lauren Rellis – Lauren Rellis


Ella – because of the beautiful scenery and chance to go trekking as well as options to visit tea plantations and spice gardens. Ella is also a small town that feels very authentic and the perfect rural getaway. It’s also a breathtaking train ride up to Ella from Colombo with Expo-Rail and the food options in the town are all delicious and rather healthy.

Unawatuna – Beautiful beaches and lots of options in the way of food and drink along the coastline. It’s also near enough to visit Galle for the day and go on a trip to the fort. For shopping and taking cooking classes, Unawatuna is the best location as there is so much available. There also amazing hotels on the beaches with loads of activities to do such as watersports and yoga.

Peraliya – This is a perfect little village to visit on the south coast to learn all about the tsunami and the effects it had on Sri Lanka. There is also an amazing, small turtle sanctuary, very simply run by a lovely family, where you can feed and see baby turtles. The village is set against the stunning coast and easily reachable by car from Hikkaduwa, Galle and Unawatuna.

Johnny – One Step 4Ward


Colombo first – I always love to visit the capital of a country, it’s gives you a real sense of the place, and the walk along the beach is to the Hilton is beautiful. Then you have to take the train to Kandy, while Kandy itself is amazing, the train journey will make you really feel like you’re immersed in a foreign culture. The train is like something from back in time, awesome experience. Finally, the Lion Paw temple – Sigiriya. Everyone wants epic photos to remind them of their travel adventures – and a pic with the beautiful lion’s paw screams ‘Sri Lanka’.

Stephen – MonkBoughtLunch


Adam’s Peak (Sri Pada) – I’m big on hiking, so this is an easy first choice for me. Waking up unreasonably early in the morning to walk up a giant hill kind of sucks, of course, but being at the top for sunrise makes it all worthwhile. Backed by the faint sounds of monks chanting from an upstairs balcony, the light gently breaks over the horizon and peels away a low-lying fog to reveal layers upon layers of hills that stretch as far as the eye can see. It really is an incredible thing, especially if you take the time to hang out with the pilgrims on the trail with you.

Kandy – To be honest, I sort of just landed at the airport in Colombo and this was one of the easiest places to get to so I went. The first two days I was in town were a rainy flooded mess and I hated it! I stuck around a little longer, though, and the sun came out long enough to me to rent a motorbike and cruise through the rural regions around town (especially near Matale). That, combined with the epic temple action and my first taste of Sri Lankan food, have left a soft spot in my heart for Kaindy. Now I just need to get back during that big festival with all the elephants.

Galle – Ok this one’s a bit of a stretch – I never actually went! I’ve seen SO much about it on other travel blogs over the past few years, though, that it has me really wanting to get back to the country in part so that I can spend some time here. Fort + Ocean + History = what’s not to love?!

Jones – Jones Around The World


“Sri Lanka was the first country I started my first long-term solo backpacking trip in. I absolutely loved my experience there, and definitely plan on going back there someday. From lots of travel research and planning, I found out that Sri Lanka had two different monsoon seasons, and then time I was there was recommended to avoid the south and west costs. So I mainly traveled to the north and east, and these were my favorite three spots!

Arugam Bay – This was by far my favorite place in Sri Lanka. I had heard great things about it from fellow backpackers, and when I got there, I finally understood why. Arugam Bay is a popular surfing destination, but there’s definitely a lot to do even if you don’t surf. I found myself staying at a really relaxed beach bungalow place called The Beach Hut. I planned on staying 4 nights, and ended up staying 10. This is what is called the “sticky factor”. I met some amazing and inspiring people who had been living a travel lifestyle for awhile. I was just at the beginning of my trip, so it was great to be able to talk with long-term travelers. The food was delicious, the nightlife was really fun, and the beaches were stunning. If you find yourself in Sri Lanka, make sure you find your way to Arugam Bay!

Sigiriya – The only reason you come here is to visit the magnificent landmark Sigiriya Rock. When I was planning my travels through Sri Lanka, I found out about this stunning place, and knew I had to go. I was pretty shocked to find out it was around $35 to climb up it, but I must say it was completely worth it. The views from the top were absolutely gorgeous, and the sunset was incredible.

Nilaveli Beach – This quiet and relaxing beach area was great to spend a few days in and relax. There was a decent snorkeling trip to Pigeon Island that was really great, and the food all along the beach was really tasty. There were a few bars along the beach as well that were fun to meet fellow backpackers at. This beach might not be as highly acclaimed as the beaches in the south, but I really enjoyed my stay here”

Dave – Dave’s Travel Corner


Nuwara Elyiya is one of my favorite spots in Sri Lanka. This small town is situated at about 2000 meters or 6200 feet in the hill country. As a result the temperatures are extremely mild, getting chilly at night and is host to some of Colombo’s wealthy who want to get away from the sizzling tropical heat of the lowlands, especially during the hot months. Worth visiting are the Lovers Leap Ella Waterfall and Mackwoods Tea Plantation.

Sigiriya is a World Heritage Site and dates from the 5th Century BC. The ruins you will see however, date from around 500 AD. The Gardens of the Sigiriya are among the world’s oldest landscaped public gardens. One of the main highlights of a visit to Sigiriya is the at times steep hike to the summit of this imposing rock. On the way you pass a number of ancient frescoes on the stone walls and by the time you reach the top you are probably soaking wet from the humidity but your reward is excellent views of the surrounding landscape.

Kandy – There are a number of minor attractions in the area with the most well known and most visited being the Temple of the Tooth (Sri Dalada Maligawa) – this is extremely popular with Buddhists as this site contains the only physical remnant from Buddha, his sacred left tooth. Worth seeing are the Kandyan Dancing – a cultural show put on nightly by the Kandyan Art Association in their performing arts hall located behind the main Temple of the Tooth. This is very popular with tourists and is an hour long drumming, music and dancing session culminating with the fire breathers and then some exciting walks on fiery hot coals.

Carmen Jenner – Fluffy Towel


Galle Fort – I love wandering around with my camera capturing life in the fort, browsing the shops and galleries, lingering in the cafes and watching life play out. I especially love it during the Galle Literary Festival where the fort comes alive with creativity.

Wijaya Beach – like many of the beaches in the south, it’s postcard perfect. But what sets it apart is the cool café where you can settle in for the day and you’re bound to bump into someone you’ve met on your travels. Marissa Beach is almost too beautiful to be real, but I also have a soft spot for Unawatuna too as I used to come here before it was overrun with cheesy beachside joints, although the little town is still as charming as ever.

Elephants – when I’m back in my reality, it’s the elephants I miss. You can get your fix in many of the national parks but Yala is my favourite as you can camp overnight and be serenaded to beats of the jungle. Also, Gangaramaya Temple in Colombo has resident elephants and the temple also features a museum, Bodhi tree, and hundreds of Buddhas sitting in various positions.

Sarah & Nigel – A Social Nomad


Ella – this is glorious tea countryside and amazing hiking with such friendly folks.

Adams Peak – because getting up at 2am to walk up thousands of steps in the dark to have a cup of Ceylon tea and to see the sunrise is an incredible way to get your exercise in – before breakfast!!

Galle – a most beautiful walled city with a fabulous and desperately sad history. Go for cosmopolitan cafes, great coffee, a game of cricket and be sure to visit the moving Tsunami museum at nearby Telwatta.

Hannah – Heels to Hiking Boots


Kataragama – This town is located a little bit off the beaten path near Yala National Park. Here, locals (Buddhist, Hindus and Muslims) gather every night and give religious offerings at the shrine to Kataragamadevio. It’s unlike anything I’ve seen in my life. They bring massive amounts of fruit offerings and the celebrations commence with fire flames, elephants and loud music. It’s a cultural experience everyone going to Sri Lanka would be lucky to see.

Pidurangala Rock – Most people traveling to Sri Lanka don’t here about Pidurangala, instead they hear of famous Sigiriya. Sigiriya is neighbors to Pidurangala. Both are two large rocks you can climb to the top of to see breathtaking views of the jungle brush of central/northern Sri Lanka. The only difference is that Pidurangala is fifth of the price to climb as Sigirya. Pidurangala is less crowded and a more private experience, with everything that Sigiriya has to offer and more.

Hikkaduwa – If you’re into beaches as far as the eye can see and swimming with massive sea turtles, Hikkaduwa is the place to be. Lined with towering palm trees and guesthouses running $20-30/night, Hikkaduwa left an ever-lasting impression on my trip to Sri Lanka. We found a bargain and paid $12/night for an oceanfront view only steps away from the pristine ocean.

Deborah – Ardent Traveler


Nuwara Eliya – Dubbed the “Little England” of Sri Lanka, this mountainous spot is carpeted with tea plantations. A pleasurable retreat with many old colonial style guest houses refurbished to treat the tasteful traveler. This is also the base for those who want to climb Horton Plains to catch a glimpse of the breathtaking panoramic view of World’s End – an abrupt end to a cliff that overlooks several mountain ranges.

Yala National Park – This is where leopards roam and it’s almost a guarantee you’d be able to see this otherwise elusive animal. The safari ride is a thrill in itself, spotting other wildlife aside from leopards – elephants, crocs, deers and a good variety of bird species.

Kandy – Kandy is a cultural hub with cultural shows of song, dance and fire rituals being staged daily for the curious traveler. Formally known as the capital city of country, this buzzing cultural centre is a recognized UNESCO World Heritage City. In the middle of the city is the Mahaweli Lake that connects to the Mahaweli River, Sri Lanka’s largest.

Matt – Travel Geek UK


For such a small island Sri Lanka truly punches above its weight for things to do/see. My three favourite destinations in Sri Lanka were Nurwara EliyaPolonnaruwa and Sigiriya.

I hate early mornings, but if it’s worth getting up for then I’m happy to do it. The day I visited Sigiriya was one of those mornings that blew me away; I was not expecting to see what I did. Making your way to the top is worth every footstep; the view is incredible, although if you don’t like heights you won’t like steps leading up/down to the fortress.

Nurwara Eliya – the heart of Ceylon tea country. There was something magical about this place, not only does it have the best views from being one of the highest places in the country but it was like visiting the past due to many of the old colonial buildings that still survive here.

Polonnaruwa – Step-back in time and visit the ancient capital city of Sri Lanka, although mostly now in ruins, it’s a fascinating look into the past. My advice is to arrive early, this way you avoid the heat of the day and the bulk of the tourists arriving mid-morning.

Pauline – Pauline Travels


Sri Lanka, the country is in my heart. I had no expectations when entering the country. I ended up falling in love with the people and the places and this is some of my favorites in Sri Lanka.

Mirissa – Mirissa beach, is just wonderful if you need to relax, catch up with sun and have some true vacation feeling. The ocean is nice and the waves are gentle but still there is an option for surfing. We loved spending some time there. When we were tired of the beach, we went whale watching out in the big ocean – blue whales and spinner dolphins. Amazing moment when the Whale went up with their big tales before going down in the ocean again. We had an wonderful yoga experience there as well. Mirissa is the place for just reading a book, or eating a lot oof great seafood or local curry and watch the sunset. > Pictures Mirissa Beach

Ella – The mountains of Sri Lanka. It is a beautiful place to walk around and see the stunning nature of Sri Lanka. We walked the Little Adam’s peak since we were going to the big Adam´s peak two days later. It was a beautiful trip with a great view over Ella and the Tea plantation. We enjoyed it. We also went to a tea factory and got an introduction to the whole process. Of course a lot of tea tasting, so much good tea. I´m a big coffee person but in Sri Lanka there was always room for tea. In Ella there were some really good massages for after long days hiking. We didn’t hike so much but there is always a need for a massage. We had dinner at some street restaurants with rice and curry ( 3 vegetarian dishes and 2 fish dishes). Pumpkin Curry is a must try! And also we got an introduction on how to drive a tuk tuk.

Adam´s Peak – The best experience in Sri Lanka. I recommend that everybody do this trip. You have to be able to climb 5831 steps one way and back. Then you will reach 2,243 metres and realize that you are above the sky. This is an important pilgrimage place, especially for Buddhists. We had company with two Sri Lankan friends that followed us because they wanted to do it for their Buddhist believes. It took us 3 hours to get up. When we arrived at the top, we had to take our shoes of because we were walking on holy ground. Then we walked through the temple and rang the bell – one time for each of us. One of our friends rang the bell three times, since this was his third time for him to climb the Adam´s peak. We made the goal, which is to be at the top of the mountain at sunrise. We had a beautiful experience listing to the prayers when the sun was rising, giving us a new day in life. pictures > Adams Peak

Erin – Travel with Bender


Kaudulla Elephant Safari – I mean who doesn’t love elephants. These beautiful creatures are simply divine to watch in their own environment and Kaudulla allows you to do that.

Sigiriya Rock – This rock is a phenomenon worth the climb. Not only gorgeous from the ground, but if you make it to the top you are set to see the best views in Sri Lanka.

Galle – this fortified Dutch colonial city is so sweet to walk around and just take in the sights. But if you can get on a Cinnamon Air scenic flight and take a look at Sri Lanka from the air – it’s so breathtakingly beautiful.

Colombo Travel Guide: The Complete Guide

Colombo is the capital city of Sri Lanka and it is the most popular city as well. The name of the city (Colombo) was first given by the Portuguese in 1505. The name was derived from the standard Sinhalese name ‘Kolon thota’ or ‘Kola-amba-thota,’ which means port on the river Kelani or harbor with leafy mango trees respectively. The city is located on the west coast of the island and it is close to Sri Jayawardenepura Kotte, which happens to be the legislative capital of Sri Lanka.

Colombo is a busy city with a cosmopolitan culture. It is the rendezvous point for beaches in the southern region of Sri Lanka. The city boasts a long line of history as a port city that serve the east-west trade routes and at that time the Portuguese, the Dutch, and the British Empire ruled the entire area. In addition to this, the city of Colombo is regarded as the financial center of the island and every year, millions of tourists come to this city for spending a vacation. All in all, Colombo is a vibrant city that offers a blend of cultural heritage (colonial buildings with ancient bits and pieces) with modern life surroundings.





Things to see in Colombo

National Museum of Colombo: A few decades back, Sri Lanka has been modernized, but the entire civilization of this country has lasted here for millennia. Among these ancient civilizations, the most prominent is the National Museum of Colombo. This museum illustrates a diversified collection ancient civilization as you will observe the ancient ruins of Sri Lankan history, artworks, and the remnants from the Anuradhapura Kingdom (dating back to the fourth century B.C.).

Independence Memorial Hall: In 1948, Sri Lanka got its independence from Britain and this is the place where this historic moment took place. Moreover, the huge stone-made building is enclosed by a serene garden. In front of the hall, there is a statue of Sri Lanka’s first ever president (The Father of the Nation). Additionally, this iconic hall is used for various religious events alongside yearly national day celebration. The hall is peaceful and crowd-less bring a sense of calmness to the visitors.

Gangaramaya Buddhist Temple: Sri Lanka has a long and illustrious history, which includes several transitions. But the only constant thing during these transitions is the practice of Buddhism. Now, the city of Colombo represents the Buddhism in the best possible manner with the iconic Gangaramaya Buddhist Temple. This temple is home to the holy Bodhi tree with loads of Buddha images of different sizes. This is why this temple is a must see attractions for the tourists.

Beira Lake: The Beira Lake is one of the classic tourist attractions in the city of Colombo. It is colossal and when you exited from the Gangaramaya Temple, you will be tempted to take a rest alongside the shores of this wonder lake. Around the lake, various modernizations and storefronts have taken place, but it still manages to remain peaceful. This is why tourists love to take a respite from the busy and hectic schedule in the Beira Lake.

Things to do in Colombo

Spot the magnificent whales: Sri Lanka is renowned for many beautiful spectacles and whales are one such spectacle that compels the tourists to say – Wow! When you are on a boat in the Sri Lankan waters, you can easily spot the magnificent sperm and blue whales. These whales will glide past your boat gracefully and watching these whales is a thing of beauty and unravel to any attraction. You can spot them in Dondra Point, which is close to Galle, Hikkaduwa and Mirissa.

Go for a fascinating train voyage: A charming train ride with the Sri Lanka’s timeless colonial trains would take you to the Golden Age of Travel. This railway line was created to transfer spices and tea from the hazy mountains to Colombo’s port. Besides, this is a historic railway line that goes through rugs of progressing tea plantations, hidden waterfalls, spice gardens, and ever smiling rail-side merchants. The locals would embrace you gracefully making your trip more pleasant.

Get lost while soaking in the beaches: Colombo is home to various beaches, which can rival the exotic beaches of Europe and the Caribbean’s. All of these beaches are encircled by coconut palm fringed shorelines with turquoise waters and white dusty sands. Getting lost in these beaches would offer a fitting end to your trip in Colombo.

If your looking forward to try some awesome delicious foods in the town, check this out top 6 restaurant in Colombo



DCF 1.0


How is the weather of Colombo?

The climate of Colombo is a tropical monsoon one and ironically, it has fallen short of a tropical rainforest climate. Throughout the year, the climate of this city is fairly temperate. Additionally, the city experiences a reasonable change during the monsoon season (from May to August and October to January). In this time, there are significant rainfalls and the average rainfall in the city is around 2,400 millimeters a year. Furthermore, the warmest month in Colombo is January and the coolest month is September. Moreover, the wettest month is May and the driest month is January.

How to reach Colombo?

You can reach Colombo by the following options –

By Bus: Generally, buses are a good option to travel around Colombo. Buses are also the cheapest option to get around the city of Colombo. However, you will sometimes find a lot of crowds while traveling by bus. Usually, there are two types of buses by which you can reach Colombo. Additionally, there is government owned public buses as well as there are privately owned buses. Following is a list of the routes by which you can reach Colombo from different cities.

  • A1 highway connects Colombo with Kandy
  • A2 highway connects Colombo with Galle
  • A3 highway connects Colombo with Negombo
  • A4 highway connects Colombo with Ratnapura

By Train: Train is an important transportation option in Sri Lanka and traveling by train is comfortable for many reasons. Usually, a train has different classes in with which you can travel. These classes include –

  • 1st class sleeper
  • 1st class observation car
  • 1st class air-conditioned seats car
  • 2nd class seats
  • 3rd class seats

You must book your seat in advance (probably within 10 days of departure) to avoid any kind of hassles. You can easily buy tickets from the station or you can contact to the railway authority for booking your reservation.





Distance from Major Travel Places

  • Arugam Bay to Colombo – 316 km
  • Adam’s Peak to Colombo – 147 km
  • Anuradhapura to Colombo – 204 km
  • Batticaloa to Colombo – 331 km
  • Bentota to Colombo – 81 km
  • Bundala National Park to Colombo – 245 km
  • Beruwala to Colombo – 72 km
  • Dambulla to Colombo – 209 km
  • Ella to Colombo – 204 km
  • Galle to Colombo – 124 km
  • Hambantota to Colombo – 240 km
  • Hikkaduwa to Colombo – 111 km
  • Horton Plains to Colombo – 198 km
  • Jaffna to Colombo – 405 km
  • Kalkudah to Colombo – 307 km
  • Kalpitiya to Colombo – 170 km
  • Kandy to Colombo – 137 km
  • Katunayake to Colombo – 33 km
  • Kitulgala to Colombo – 90 km
  • Knuckles Range to Colombo – 184 km
  • Mannar to Colombo – 306 km
  • Matara to Colombo – 154 km
  • Minneriya to Colombo – 232 km
  • Negombo to Colombo – 39 km
  • Nilaveli to Colombo – 313 km
  • Nuwara Eliya to Colombo – 175 km
  • Pasikudah to Colombo – 308 km
  • Pinnawela to Colombo – 111 km
  • Polonnaruwa to Colombo – 239 km
  • Puttalam to Colombo – 137 km
  • Ratnapura to Colombo – 83 km
  • Sigiriya to Colombo – 219 km
  • Sinharaja to Colombo – 202 km
  • Trincomalee to Colombo – 296 km
  • Unawatuna to Colombo – 124 km
  • Weligama to Colombo – 144 km
  • Wilpattu National Park to Colombo – 204 km
  • Yala National Park to Colombo – 275 km

Finally, it can be said that Colombo is a special city that is diversified enough to afford elegant eateries, museums, temples, galleries, serene atmosphere and, wildlife in one basket. When you will be exploring this city, every time, you will be surprised by the uniqueness and authenticity of Colombo. All in all, Colombo is the perfect city to start or finish point of Sri Lankan adventures and explore it with our Colombo travel guide.

For inquires contact Olanka Travels.