Sri Lanka holiday Sigiriya Rock

10 things to know before your Sri Lanka holiday

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10 things to know before your Sri Lanka holiday

Sri Lanka is a country packed full of surprises. With so much to see, from emerald tea hills to stunning beaches and everything in between (including some seriously impressive wildlife!), it’s almost impossible not to fall in love with the tear-shaped island floating in the Indian Ocean.

Here are 10 top things to know and expect before you head off on your Sri Lanka holiday.


  1. The local food is ridiculously good 

The food in Sri Lanka is delicious, and we mean seriously delicious. It’s worth making the most of it at every opportunity while you’re there – you’ll thank yourself! From egg hoppers, to Kottu and fragrant curries, we almost guarantee you’ll be seeking out your local Sri Lankan restaurant as soon as you get home. Many of the best curries are vegetable-based too, making it very vegetarian and vegan friendly! Make time for a cooking class on your Sri Lanka holiday if you can, then you’ll be able to bring the incredible flavours of the country back home to your own kitchen.

Sri Lanka holiday Sri Lankan Food

  1. It’s best not to drink the water

We wouldn’t advise drinking the water in Sri Lanka, so taking a reusable water bottle with an inbuilt purifier is a great idea. Bottled water is available in most places for around 60 rupees (around 22p), but a reusable bottle would always be our first choice: helping to make sure you’re doing your bit to protect our beautiful world as you’re discovering it.


  1. Don’t miss the best train ride on earth

The iconic blue train that flies through Sri Lanka’s tea hills is world renowned – and for good reason. This really is the only way to travel from Kandy to Ella (hopping off at other stunning stops in the hill country on your way!) If you’ve got an adventurous streak, take a turn sitting in the open doorway and feel the wind in your hair as you take in the endless passing scenery, peppered with the multicoloured saris of the tea-pickers. This isn’t just a journey from A-B, this is a bucket-list worthy experience of its own.  

Sri Lanka holiday train ride

  1. There’s no rushing here

Sri Lanka is a country of winding roads, steep hills and a slow infrastructure. The overall vibe here is a calm, laid-back one. So getting where you need to go can often take a little longer than planned. But travel is just as much about the journey as it is about the destination, so that’s okay! Kick back, relax, take in the scenery and accept that things just move a little bit slower here! 


  1. Sri Lanka is all about the R&R, not the rave!

A Sri Lanka holiday isn’t top of the list if lively nightlife is a holiday priority for you. This beautiful country is very much about the quieter pace of life – think peaceful dinners and chilled sunset drinks on the beach.


  1. Make use of the tuk-tuks

If you have any days without a driver guide (or choose to go it alone!), do make use of the tuk-tuks! They’re a brilliantly cheap way to get around and meet the locals. Plus, with the exception of Columbo where you need to be a little more careful, the prices offered are fair and honest so there’s no need to haggle! 


Tuk tuk Sri Lanka holiday

  1. There are plenty of opportunities to get active

If you’re keen to get active on your holidays there are so many fantastic options. Why not try your hands at surfing in Arugam Bay, test your stamina with a hike up to Lipton’s Seat in the hill country, or even test your nerve with white water rafting in Kitugala. 

Find out more about the adventures that await on this ‘Active Sri Lanka holiday’ itinerary.

Active Sri Lanka holiday

  1. The people are wonderful 

One of the most common things we hear from clients returning home from their Sri Lanka holiday is just how friendly and kind the people are. They are always open to a conversation or simply sharing a mutual smile, so do make the most of this while you’re there. It’s these types of authentic interactions that can really engrain a destination in your memory for years to come. 

You can experience the wonderful Sri Lankan hospitality for yourself on this local village experience with lunch.

Sri Lankan Woman Things to know about Sri Lanka HOLIDAY

  1. Set your alarm early for your Sigiriya climb 

Sigiriya Rock Fortress is one of our must-visit spots in Sri Lanka. If you’re visiting it on your trip, set your alarm early to make sure you get there for its 8am opening time to avoid as many of the crowds as possible. It’s a single-file climb all the way up, so it’s worth nabbing a spot at the front! 


Sri Lanka holiday Sigiriya Rock

  1. Don’t turn your back on Buddha!

In Sri Lanka, it’s considered really offensive to have your photo taken with your back to Buddha. So make sure you save the selfies for another time and follow all photography rules in cultural and religious sites. 


Sri Lanka holiday lying buddha



So, there we have it: 10 experiences not to miss on your Sri Lanka holiday – and if we’re honest, this is just the start! There are so many incredible sites and opportunities for one-off experiences packed into this small island, you’ll never be short of things to do. Rebecca and Sophie, our Sri Lanka specialists, are at the end of the phone on 01242 253 073 ready to answer any questions and design your perfect holiday. Or, simply follow the link below to request a free quote. We’d love to show you what a Sri Lanka holiday has to offer!


Sri Lanka holiday get a quote