Sri Lanka

Find your bliss in the celebrations at the heart of the island and along the pristine coastal surroundings.

Celebrate your bliss

The very essence of Sri Lanka is the desire to commune and celebrate. This culture of this island reflects its vast diversity, which melds so beautifully for religious or cultural holidays. In between celebrations, pristine coastlines and vast wilds offer their colours, tastes, and mindful peace to all visitors.

Maldives & Sri Lanka Sri Lanka

Galle

The walled city of Galle is a living UNESCO World Heritage Site. Periods of Portuguese, Dutch, and British colonialism have shaped eye-catching architecture, art, and religious structures that dot the scenery. The best way to explore is by foot along the laneways, ducking in and out of boutiques, cafes, and galleries. Outside of the city lies the peaceful shores of Unawatuna Bay. The Bay is protected by a reef, inviting swimmers and snorkelers to come explore. In between Colombo and Galle, and then beyond, the entire South and West Coasts of Sri Lanka are dotted with stunning beaches, coastal roads, and colonial villages.

Colombo

Colombo isn't the geographical centre of Sri Lanka, but it is the heart of the island. It is the most populated city, and the largest, with architecture that showcases the island's Arab, Portuguese, Dutch, and British influences, along with its native aesthetics. The city's multiethnic fabric is woven with street markets and bazaars, grandiose parks, eye-catching buildings of worship - of many denominations - skyscrapers, the Galle Face Green, and museums and galleries. All of this bustling energy is encapsulated by pristine beaches of the island's western coast.

Yala National Park

A combined nature reserve divided into five blocks makes up the massive, astounding Yala National Park located in the southeast side of the island. This incredible expanse is home to 44 varieties of mammals, including elephants, sloths, peacocks, and leopards, and 215 species of bird. Visitors are welcome to visit on their own or join a safari day tour, or even stay overnight at one of the park's campsites. Explore the lagoons, forests, and plains that make up this swathe of living, breathing wonder.

Kandy & the Hill Country

A city famous for its annual festival - the Kandy Esala Perahera - can be sure to delight all year round. As vibrant and entertaining as Kandy is, it is made all the more interesting by its air of mystery, as mist coats the hills of the surrounds. Daytimes spent walking around the Kandy Lake and Royal Botanical Gardens or visiting the renowned temples are balanced by the exciting nightlife. Beyond Kandy, Sri Lanka's Hill Country ebbs and flows, dotted with tea plantations, mountain hikes, and landscapes that look like they were painted in a storybook.

About Sri Lanka

  • Fast Facts

    Fast Facts

    Language

    Tamil

    Sinhalese

    Currency

    Sri Lankan rupee

    Visa Requirements

    CIBTvisas

    Kandy Perehara
    Kandy Perehara
  • Must Do's

    Must Do's

    • Galle Fort (Galle) - The Dutch Fort, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, has been restored to look at polished and perfect as it did when it was initially constructed more than 400 years ago. It shows the intersection of Europe and South Asian style, influence, and tradition.
    • Gem shopping at Lanka Gems and Jewellery (Galle) - Sri Lanka is famous for its teas and gems, including blue sapphire, rubies, moonstone, and star sapphires. Shop at government-approved stores to see the best that the country has to offer.
    • Flag down ceremony at Galle Face Hotel (Colombo) - each night at sunset, the nation's flag is lowered ceremoniously with a bagpipe accompaniment along the Galle Face Green. Watch with a cocktail at the Galle Face Hotel, which is as storied as it is historic, as it has played host to a number of famous guests.
    • Galle Face Green (Colombo) - an urban park that resides next to the beach, this attraction features night markets and opportunities all day long for Sri Lankan dining and relaxing among locals.
    • Sigiriya (Central Province) - often referred to as the 8th Wonder of the World, Sigiriya is a palatial complex that showcases the relationship of ancient civilisations had and nature. Frescoes, carvings, and inscriptions dating as far back as the 8th century still remain intact today.
  • Family Friendly Activities

    Family Friendly Activities

    • Stilt fishing (Galle) - learn the local tradition of stilt fishing, as local fishermen do all along the southern coast. It's a fun test of balance, as there is only a small bench affixed to poles in the water a few metres offshore.
    • Whale watching at Dondra Point (Galle) - set sail from Galle to spot humpback and blue whales swim and play off the coast of Sri Lanka. On a lucky day, visitors will spot dolphins joining in for the fun!
    • Dambulla Cave Temple (Dambulla) - this incredible structure dates back to the first century BC. Five caves have been carved into the temple, each filled with different statues and ornate religious decorations.
    stilt fishing
  • Key Festivals and Events

    Key Festivals and Events

    • Thai Pongol (January)
    • Independence day (February)
    • Galle/Jaffna Music Festival (March)
    • Sinhala and Tamil New Year (April)
    • Vesak Poya, or (the Festival of Lights (May)
    • Poson Poya Festival (June)
    • Kandy Esala Perahera (July/August)
    • Vel Festival (July/August)
    • Dussehra (September)
    • Deepavali or Diwali (October/November)
    • World Spice Food Festival (October/November)
    • Unduvap Poya (December)
    festivals
  • Off the Tourist Trail

    Off the Tourist Trail

    • Train ride from Kandy to Ella - this seven-hour journey is believed to be one of the most beautiful in the world. Along the way, visitors get the opportunity to view swathes of tea plantations and purchase tasty treats and fruits from sellers who visit the trains at stations along the way.
    • Snorkelling at Jungle Beach (Galle) - located near Unawatuna Bay, this hidden gem of a beach is perfect for experienced snorkelers. Bring your own equipment and walk northwest from Unawatuna to get closer to the local flora and fauna before hitting the reef.
    • Pettah Floating Market (Colombo) - with nearly 100 stalls purveying fruits, vegetables, jewellery, electronics, clothes, and more, this vast market is a one stop shop. Many of the vendors are in pavilions, while some sit in the open air.

#Sri Lanka Moments