Sri Lanka sure is on my bucket list – after a month of featuring articles and photos from the island on our blog and social channels, I know for sure that one day I will visit. But where to begin?
I can’t be the only now being overwhelmed by planning a trip to a country I know little about. Blogs are my obvious choice to turn to when I research new destinations, so with the help of Annika I asked around our blogger friends – what is the one thing in Sri Lanka I mustn’t miss?
The result is a list of travel tips for Sri Lanka that include all the must-see places of the island according to travel bloggers!
Tip #1: Visit Galle
by Kiersten from The Blonde Abroad
I took my first trip to Sri Lanka last year and I can honestly say the experience was more incredible than I had ever imagined. I traveled both the Northern and Southern regions of the island nation, but one city that stuck out was Galle. It has such unique character – a bold tropical backdrop framing the lines of old Dutch colonial buildings. It is home to the gorgeous Fort area (also a UNESCO World Heritage Site!) where you’ll find boutiques, cafes, and chic hotels, and is filled with artists, writers, and other creative types from around the globe.
Tip #2: Go surfing in Midigama
by Trisha from PS I’m On My Way
Ssshhhh! This is our secret! A few people only know about this but there is a very quiet and not so touristy haven called Midigama. Popular to surfers, Midigama is the best option for an ultimate surf trip in Sri Lanka where everything is relatively cheaper compared to Mirissa and Arugam Bay. Its close proximity to Galle, Hikkaduwa, and the whole district of Matara makes it easier for you to do day trips without having to move hostels all the time. Midigama is in the center of all the tourist spots in the south which makes it the best option for 1 to 2-week stays during your travels in Sri Lanka.
photo credit: @surf.the.sky
Tip #3: Eat salty Swarma in Hikkaduwa
by Tabea Mathern from Travelettes
If you are new to Sri Lanka and looking for a smooth start into your journey, Hikkaduwa is a good place to go to. The small town at the west coast attracts quite a few tourists, but still has a laid-back vibe. The surfing community is quite big and it is easy to get in touch with fellow travelers and get some inspiration what to do and where to go next. A good place to do so is the beautifully designed coffee and surf shop Salty Swarmi, offering delicious coffee, breakfast, inspired by trending food as well as local stuff and some warm chats with the owners. Worth checking out!
Tip #4: Take the train from Kandy to Ella
by Marta from In a Faraway Land
There is no right or wrong way to travel around Sri Lanka, but there is the cool way and that’s traveling by train! I don’t know if it was the breeze and cool air hitting my face when leaning out of the door of the running train, bringing a welcomed change from the humid air in Colombo, or the complete freedom to actually be able to do it, that made me realized how much I liked Sri Lanka. Whilst leaning out of the train and taking photos of the every day life in the villages and endless tea plantations we were passing through on our way journey from Kandy to Nuwara Elya I noticed two locals trying to get my attention. I quickly turned my camera towards them and snapped this photo singlehandedly while holding to the door and trying not to fall out of running train. I called it flirting Sri Lanka style.
Tip #5: Have hoppers for breakfast
by Annika from Midnight Blue Elephant (& Travelettes)
Sri Lanka, in general, was love at first sight for me, but the one thing that really stood out was the food, especially the breakfast choices. Friends had told me before that the one thing I would have to eat in Sri Lanka were hoppers for breakfast. Had to! Could not miss it! I was doubtful as I don’t really like breakfast. But after a 12-hour flight and a 6 am arrival I was hungry and when the Amangalla Hotel offered me their take on string hoppers I was keen.
String hoppers are basically little steamed pancakes made out of rice vermicelli that are served with curry or dahl and sambals. Another version are egg hoppers: little basket shaped rice flour pancakes that are filled with eggs and again all the curry-goodness you would usually only dream of for lunch.
After one breakfast I was hooked and ended up eating hoppers every day but once – a morning I was very grumpy for its lack of hoppers! Now I not only miss Sri Lanka dearly – but especially the hoppers.
Tip #6: Explore Sigiriya and the Cultural Triangle
by Jayne from Girl Tweets World
I love the diversity of Sri Lanka – that fact that you can be lazing on empty beaches one day and spotting leopards in a national park the next. Sri Lanka also has a rich and spell-binding ancient heritage and in the North Central Province of the country there is a ‘Cultural Triangle’ stuffed full of sacred stupas and ancient temples. The most impressive of these World Heritage sites is Sigiriya, a magnificent chunk of orange rock that juts out of the green landscape. Around 477 – 495 AD (yes, aaaages ago) this rock had a palace perched on top of it. For those that aren’t afraid of heights you can climb and explore the ruins, the highlight of which is ascending the Lion’s Staircase that marks the palace entrance.
What are your top tips for Sri Lanka? Let us know in the comments!