Four Awesome things to do in Sri Lanka for FREE

Why spectacular Sri Lanka?

Four free things to do in Sri Lanka
Source: Pixabay

There are few locations in the world that can boast the exotic charms of Sri Lanka. Famed through the ages for its diverse natural beauty and unique fauna, the island nation was popular in previous centuries with both European and Middle Eastern traders who flocked to its shores in search of rare spices, precious gemstones, and to see its striking landscape for themselves.

The island’s location means that it boasts warm temperatures all year round. However, thanks to the island’s complicated weather systems the best time to visit depends on the part of the country you are visiting. Simply speaking, the best time to visit the south and west coasts, as well as the higher areas, is between December and March, whilst the best weather on the east coast is usually found between April and September.

There are few holidays that provide as much bang for your buck as Sri Lankan holidays, (sponsored by First Choice) and you can easily have a wonderful stay on a relatively modest budget, thanks to the low cost of living. Now those that know me, know I am not usually a package holiday type but as my post Five Reasons You Should Not Dismiss a Package Holiday shows, there can be very valid reasons to consider a package holiday, not least of which is cost and less hassle. Sometimes it is nice having someone else take care of things!

Once you have travel and accommodation sorted, how else can you save money on a trip to Sri Lanka?

Four FREE Spectacular Trips

Thanks to the epic beauty of the island, many of Sri Lanka’s finest sights are FREE. So to help you get the most out of your planned trip, here are a few of the wonderful activities Sri Lanka has to offer that won’t break the bank.

There are few places on the island as scenic as the beautiful mountain-top town of Ella. The town is 200 miles east of the Capital city Colombo, and is growing in popularity each year. The village can lay claim to some of the most stunning views in Sri Lanka thanks to its location 1,000 metres above sea level in the midst of tree-covered peaks.

The view through the Ella gap towards the lower plains below is one of the most famous in the country, and is a must-see for anyone crossing the island. This tranquil town is a hub for backpackers wishing to explore the surrounding countryside, and has all the amenities a traveller could need for their journey.

Beautiful Ella Gap in Sri Lanka
The Ella Gap – Source: Balathasan Sayanthan

How amazing is that view?

See Sigiriya

Sigiriya, also known as Lion’s Rock, is one of Sri Lanka’s most iconic sites and popular tourist destinations. This dramatic rock fortress is one of the ancient world’s finest examples of town planning, and was created by King Kaspaya in the fifth century. The site is dominated by the massive 200-metre high rock column that contains the famous lion’s gate that gives the area its name.

It is free to walk around the site and enjoy dramatic views of site, but if you want to ascend the rock itself, be aware that a ticket costs around £20.

Sigiriya in Sri Lanka
Sirigiya – Source: Ronald Tagra

Scale Sri Pada

Sri Pade or Adam’s Peak, as it’s also known, is a dramatic conical mountain found in the central highlands of Sri Lanka. It’s prominent peak, over two thousand metres high, is famed for its famous 1.8 metre long rock formation that in Buddhist tradition is thought to be the footprint of Buddha, the footprint of Adam in the Christian and Islamic traditions, and in Hindu tradition thought to be the footprint of Shiva.

The ascent takes around two to three and a half hours, and to make things easier it has a staircase to take you to the top. The walk is fairly taxing, but when you reach the summit you will be greeted with 360-degree views across the surrounding countryside that will take your breath away.

Sri Pada in Sri Lanka
Sri Pada. Source: Amila Tennakoon

 Another beautiful sight indeed! Are you drooling yet?!

Head to the beach

Of course, if all that is too energetic you can just head to the beach for a chill. The only problem you may have is actually selecting the one you want to visit. After all, with many scenes like this to choose from, how do you decide? Maybe Lonely Planet‘s guide to the best beaches can help you out.

Grab your towel, a book and some sunscreen and chill out to sights like this. What better way to while away the time!

Weligama beach
Source: Kosala Bandara

Now if all this inspiration still isn’t enough, Barbara from Jet-settera has some great ideas for thrill seekers.

Have your say…

So there you have it, four FREE things to do in Sri Lanka. I am sure you well-travelled readers have other suggestions so don’t be shy, let us know your top recommendations for free things to do on this beautiful island.

Top Travel Hack tips for a trip to Sri Lanka

  1. Save money on phone calls whilst overseas by using an International roaming card, such as this one from Tellink
  2. Get shopping with Top Cashbackk to earn cashback which you can use as spending money, or alternatively convert them to airmiles with British Airways or Virgin Atlantic
  3. If you don’t want to book a package holiday, DIY it by booking your flights through Skyscanner and your hotels through

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Four free things to do in Sri Lanka

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About Anne

Anne is the founder and editor of Frommilestosmiles. If she isn't travelling, she is thinking of travelling or planning her next trip. She has visited over 90 countries on six continents and sampled everything from backpacking to bank bursting travel. Her mission is to help you enjoy more luxurious travel without the luxury price tag through the use of airline and hotel rewards and other money-saving travel tips


  1. This guide for Sri Lanka is top-tier for freebies.

  2. Hey, those are wonderful things to do in Sri Lanka. There are more free things to do in Sri Lanka during a holiday. The island itself popular for the beaches, wild life, cultural sites and ancient cities. The south and west beaches were very popular and nowadays after the 30 years civil war the east and north beaches become popular and more tourists are heading towards the beaches in East & North coastal. Cheers. Anthon,

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