Plan Your Next Trip To Sri Lanka: Lovin’s Travel Guide To The Most Scenic Country

Sri Lanka

Welcome to Lovin Travels… A mini travel series highlighting countries near and far, a handy guide to help you plan your next vacation. Whether planning summer holidays with friends, family, or travelling solo, this series should serve as a helpful starting point to plan your visit. So, grab your passport (and apply for that visa) and let’s go!

Lovin Travels… Sri Lanka!

Sri Lanka, positioned just south of India, is an iconic holiday destination not to be missed and let this guide serve as your PSA to visit immediately! With its rich history to discover, majestic peaks to scale, wildlife to witness, friendly locals to meet, and pristine beaches and charming towns to explore, this budget-friendly destination is just a short flight away, making it the ideal option for your next break.

Picture this: Hopping on a flight in the AM and finding yourself relaxing with a drink on the beach by sunset… it’s the DREAM people!

Fly direct from Dubai

The average flight time for a direct flight is 4h 30 mins. Flydubai, Sri Lankan Airlines and Air Arabia all offer direct flights to Sri Lanka from Dubai, while Emirates offers the most regular direct flights to Colombo, the country’s capital and primary airport.
You can find direct deals average at about AED1500 (outside of peak travel times).

Things to do in Sri Lanka

Hiking, history and Mother Nature are her very very best…

  1. Temple Visits in Colombo: Colombo, the capital city, boasts several temples rich in history and architecture. The Gangaramaya Temple and the Kelaniya Raja Maha Vihara are among the must-visit ones, offering insights into Sri Lanka’s religious and cultural heritage.
  2. Climbing Sigiriya: Sigiriya, often hailed as the Eighth Wonder of the World, is an ancient rock fortress with a fascinating history and stunning views from the top. Climbing to the summit rewards you with breathtaking vistas and a glimpse into Sri Lanka’s royal past.
  3. Ascending Adam’s Peak: A sacred site for multiple religions, Adam’s Peak is a challenging yet spiritually rewarding climb. The journey to its summit is adorned with religious significance and offers panoramic views at sunrise, making it a memorable experience for visitors.
  4. Encountering Elephants in Udawalawe National Park: Udawalawe National Park is renowned for its elephant population. Embarking on a safari here allows you to observe these majestic creatures in their natural habitat, alongside other wildlife such as leopards, crocodiles, and exotic birds.
  5. Exploring Galle Fort & Town: Galle Fort is a UNESCO World Heritage Site that encapsulates centuries of history within its walls. Strolling through its cobblestone streets, you’ll encounter colonial architecture, vibrant boutiques, and charming cafes, offering a glimpse into Sri Lanka’s colonial past.
  6. Venturing to Kandy: Kandy, nestled amidst misty hills, is a cultural gem known for the Temple of the Tooth Relic, which houses a sacred tooth of the Buddha. Exploring its lush botanical gardens, traditional dance performances, and serene lakeside settings is a must-do while in Sri Lanka.
  7. Surfing in Bentota & Mirissa: Sri Lanka’s southern coast offers some of the best surfing spots in the world. Bentota and Mirissa beckon surf enthusiasts with their pristine beaches, consistent waves, and laid-back vibe, perfect for both beginners and seasoned surfers alike.
  8. Riding the Train to Ella: The train journey from Kandy to Ella is renowned as one of the most scenic in the world. Passing through verdant tea plantations, misty mountains, and cascading waterfalls, it offers a glimpse into Sri Lanka’s breathtaking natural beauty.
  9. Indulging in Sri Lankan Cuisine: No trip to Sri Lanka is complete without savoring its delectable cuisine. From fragrant rice and curry dishes to crispy hoppers and exotic fruits, the island’s culinary delights are sure to tantalize your taste buds at every turn.

Make it spicy! (Add a workout package)

Because working out on vacation is always a good idea, for fitness lovers this retreat is a true hidden gem. Makahiya Fitness is nestled within the Unawatuna jungle and is the ideal setting to rejuvenate body and mind. Book a package from Dubai and you can take part in unlimited workout classes, enjoy sports massage, and try an ice bath with a jungle view. There are also daily class rates for drop-ins if you choose to stay nearby.

The hilltop retreat features boutique hotel rooms, an infinity pool, a health-focused restaurant and a superb workout facility meaning it’s the perfect spot to train, eat healthily and simply unwind.


View this post on Instagram


A post shared by Makahiya Fitness (@makahiyafitness)

Where can I stay? (From budget to blowout)

Budget: Sri Lanka offers plenty of budget-friendly options. Filter your search by location on platforms like and Airbnb to find affordable stays. There’s a wide range of reasonably priced accommodation, from guesthouses near beaches to cosy homestays tucked away in the jungle. Top Tip: Explore the beautiful West Coast, where many beach-friendly towns are just over an hour south of Colombo. Start your trip here and you’ll be at the beach in no time!

Blowout: Log Malabar Hill under ‘bucketlist’ hotel stays. Accessible by a steep climb via tuk-tuk only, the ‘Rooms’ are standalone villas, featuring private pools and glorious views of the surrounding countryside. A true escape, the resort is carved into the edge of the Sri Lankan forest offering a unique outdoor living experience.

Malabar Hill

Do I need visa to visit Sri Lanka?

The majority of countries can apply for a visa which allows you to stay up to 30 days at a time, (it can be extended to 6 months) for leisure visits.
Prior approval is required for:
  • Cameroon
  • Côte d’Ivoire
  • Ghana
  • Hong Kong
  • Nigeria
  • North Korea
  • Syria

Visa-exempt countries:

  • Maldives (30 days, extendable up to 180 days)
  • Seychelles (60 days, up to 90 days per calendar year)
  • Singapore (30 days, extendable up to 180 days)
  • Czech republic

Frequently asked questions about Sri Lanka:

How many languages are used in Sri Lanka?

  • Sri Lanka has three official languages: Sinhala, Tamil, and English. Sinhala and Tamil are the most commonly spoken languages in Sri Lanka.

What is Sri Lanka famous for?

  • Sri Lanka is famous for its diverse landscapes, including pristine beaches, lush tea plantations, ancient ruins, and rich cultural heritage.

When is the best time to visit Sri Lanka?

  • The best time to visit Sri Lanka is generally from December to March when the weather is dry and sunny on the west and south coasts and in the hill country.

How many airports are there in Sri Lanka?

  • Sri Lanka has several airports, including Bandaranaike International Airport (Colombo), Mattala Rajapaksa International Airport (Hambantota), and Ratmalana Airport (Colombo).

Alert the crew…


Read next: 15 Great Breakfast Spots To Try In Dubai In 2023


See more

More like this