The Best Travel Guide For Sri Lanka For First-Time Tourists

By Jenna Jolie

Sri Lanka is a small island nation located in the Indian Ocean. This is unquestionably a wonderland unlike any other on the planet. Sri Lanka hides poetic and romantic beauty with majestic and impressive natural landscapes. It is also full of wild and mysterious vestiges of ancient Buddhist culture.

If you’re traveling to Sri Lanka for the first time, you should grasp the basics of having a memorable vacation. Here is the best travel guide for Sri Lanka for first-time tourists that should not be missed.

The beach in Sri Lanka

The beach in Sri Lanka

1. Some Sri Lanka travel experiences visitors can refer to before traveling

If you are traveling to Sri Lanka for the first time, you may be confused about where to go or what to eat. Find out the following Sri Lanka travel experiences including tips for moving, sightseeing, eating, etc.

Check out the best time to visit Sri Lanka

The best time to visit Sri Lanka is between December and mid-April. At this time of year, people can visit and enjoy the gorgeous beaches because the weather is dry, sunny, and fresh. Additionally, the Sri Lankan New Year festival, which takes place in April, is an opportunity for you to visit and enjoy the ambiance of ringing in the new year here.

If you love the tranquility and peace, you can visit Sri Lanka between May and September. You won't see as many travelers passing through the area at this time. Hotels and resorts will try to lure guests in with fantastic offers and discounts.

Although Sri Lanka is a year-round tourist destination, it experiences distinctly dry and wet seasons. Therefore, to have a smooth and uninterrupted trip, you should carefully check the weather before setting foot on this island.

Something to know about transportation for getting around Sri Lanka

The most convenient and efficient way to get around Sri Lanka is by hiring a private car and driver, or for shorter trips, using a taxi or tuk-tuk.

However, because you are a tourist, the tuk-tuk drivers in Sri Lanka could overcharge you. Before getting into a tuk-tuk, a small tip is to confirm the fare from your location to the destination with at least three locals. You can haggle with the tuk-tuk drivers, but make sure to remain calm and respectful throughout the negotiation.

Ideal destinations to fully explore Sri Lanka

When planning a Sri Lankan adventure, you should plan your travel itinerary with a list of the most-visited attractions in Sri Lanka.

Sigiriya, the Lion Rock of Sri Lanka

Sigiriya, the "Lion Rock" of Sri Lanka

Here are the most beautiful experiences in Sri Lanka, which include astounding places and popular attractions of Sri Lanka.

Colombo Capital: The capital city of Sri Lanka, is definitely worth visiting at least once in your lifetime. The capital city is so modern and clean that you will be astonished and have a wonderful time here. For the convenience of travelers, there are rickshaws around the city and numerous locations you may walk to. The Lotus Tower, Galle Face Green Park, Viharamahadevi Park, Arcade Square, and Colombo National Museum are a few of the popular tourist attractions in Colombo. And when in Colombo, do not miss out on relishing the local street food of Sri Lanka. Apply for a Sri Lanka e-Visa for international travelers right now to enjoy your vacation here.

The “Lion Rock” of Sri Lanka - Sigiriya: The Lion Fortress, a perfect place in Sri Lanka that attracts many travelers every year. It is proudly called the “Eighth Wonder of the World” and is definitely one of the best places to explore while traveling to Sri Lanka that you cannot miss. Visitors to Sigiriya are awestruck not only thanks to its one-of-a-kind design but also the cultural values that it brings to the community. Don't miss the moment when standing on the top of Sigiriya lion rock mountain, admiring the monumental fortress, and watching the vast landscape of the surrounding mountains and forests. It is worth the experience.

Hikkaduwa Beach: This beach is only about 90 minutes from Colombo. Hikkaduwa Beach has all the water sports activities like surfing, snorkeling, wakeboarding, and scuba diving. You can easily hire the necessary types of equipment from one of the beachfront stands. The food in Hikkaduwa is superb, and there are many stands that serve different kinds of delicious local street food. You can also find a lot of roadside juice stands where you can enjoy fresh fruit juice.

Udawalawe National Park: This is one of the best places in the world where visitors can see wild elephants. There are also water buffalo, monkeys, crocodiles, lizards, a variety of birds, and small mammals. The Udawalawe National Park is also an excellent place for bird-watching. When coming there, you will be completely mesmerized by the beautiful scenery and luscious vegetation here.

Nuwara Eliya: Nuwara Eliya is often called the little London of Sri Lanka. The climate, surroundings, and architecture here are different from the whole of Sri Lanka. It is highly recommended to visit this interesting attraction because of its numerous well-known sights, such as the Nuwara Eliya Post Office, Horton Plains National Park, and Mackwoods Labookellie Tea Centre. Nuwara Eliya is also the most significant region for tea production in Sri Lanka due to its cool climate. Once you get here, don’t forget to have a cup of tea!

Kandy: If you are looking for a world-famous place of worship, here you can visit the famous Temple of the Tooth along with several other Buddhist sites. When walking around the temple grounds, you will forget all your troubles and immerse yourself in this place. Kandy is on a plateau surrounded by majestic mountains. Here you can discover tea plantations and the rain forest. Also, don't forget to stroll along Kandy Lake (Bogambara Lake) to be able to enjoy the beauty here.

Top must-try foods and dishes in Sri Lanka

Sri Lankan cuisine is quite diverse and rich in flavors, spices, and textures. So you can't miss enjoying the typical dishes and traditions of the people here. You can refer to some typical dishes in Sri Lanka:

  • Rice & Curry
  • Kottu
  • Hoppers

Kottu Roti traditional food in Sri Lanka

Kottu Roti traditional food in Sri Lanka

2. Some Sri Lanka travel tips travelers should carefully note

Before traveling to Sri Lanka, you should also pocket some Sri Lanka travel tips to have the most complete and safe trip.

  • Carry mosquito repellent: You should carry mosquito repellent in your pack. There are a lot of mosquitoes and frequent dengue epidemics on the island. It is best to be secure and protected.
  • Have small cash: Typically, tuk-tuks, buses, and stores will not have change for big bills. You should carry change for easy use. Some international cards are not always accepted, so bring more than one.
  • Remember to bring electronic devices, cameras, and power banks to be able to take beautiful pictures in the island nation of Sri Lanka.
  • Modest dress for women is advisable, especially when visiting religious sites. To show dignity and respect for the gods, avoid turning your back or bringing your buttocks up to the Buddha statue.
  • After 9 o'clock at night, try to avoid going out by yourself; groups are safer.
  • If you plan to go at peak tourist time, you should prepare your Sri Lankan visa as soon as possible to make time for your trip.

Useful information for foreigners traveling to Sri Lanka

Although Sri Lanka requires a visa for most countries in the world when visiting this country. The good news is that international travelers can apply for Sri Lanka visas online! Sri Lanka Immigration Services can make it easier for you to get an e-Visa for your trip to Sri Lanka. The process is hassle-free and not at all time-consuming.

Let us accompany your journey!

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