Things to Do in Sri Lanka with Family


Are you planning a family vacation to Sri Lanka? Known as the “Pearl of the Indian Ocean,” this tropical paradise offers a diverse range of activities that cater to all ages. From exploring ancient cities to enjoying pristine beaches and indulging in mouthwatering cuisine, Sri Lanka has something for everyone. In this article, we will guide you through the top things to do in Sri Lanka with your family, ensuring a memorable and enriching experience for all.

1. Explore the Cultural Heritage

Sri Lanka is steeped in a rich cultural heritage that spans thousands of years. Immerse yourself in the country’s history and traditions by visiting its ancient cities, temples, and experiencing vibrant festivals.

– Visit Ancient Cities

Start your cultural journey by exploring the ancient cities of Anuradhapura, Polonnaruwa, and Sigiriya. These UNESCO World Heritage Sites boast magnificent ruins, intricately carved stupas, and ancient palaces. Let your children marvel at the grandeur of these historical sites and learn about Sri Lanka’s glorious past.

– Discover Temples and Monasteries

Take your family on a spiritual adventure by visiting the temples and monasteries scattered across the country. The Temple of the Sacred Tooth Relic in Kandy, the Dambulla Cave Temple, and the Gangaramaya Temple in Colombo are must-visit destinations. Witness religious rituals, admire impressive statues, and gain insights into Buddhism, the predominant religion in Sri Lanka.

– Experience Traditional Festivals

Plan your trip around traditional festivals like the Esala Perahera in Kandy or the Sinhala and Tamil New Year celebrations. These vibrant events showcase captivating processions, traditional dances, and elaborate costumes. Let your family soak in the festive atmosphere and create lasting memories.

2. Enjoy Nature and Wildlife

Sri Lanka’s natural beauty is unparalleled, offering a wide range of outdoor activities for families who love nature and wildlife.

– Visit National Parks

Embark on thrilling safaris in Sri Lanka’s national parks, such as Yala National Park and Minneriya National Park. Spot majestic elephants, leopards, and a myriad of bird species in their natural habitats. The excitement and wonder on your children’s faces will be priceless.

– Go Whale Watching

Head to the coastal town of Mirissa and embark on an unforgettable whale-watching adventure. Witness the graceful movements of blue whales, sperm whales, and dolphins as they swim alongside your boat. It’s an awe-inspiring experience that will leave your family in awe of these magnificent marine creatures.

– Explore Tea Plantations

Take a trip to the scenic hill country of Sri Lanka and explore the lush tea plantations of Nuwara Eliya and Ella. Engage in a tea-tasting session, stroll through emerald-green fields, and learn about the process of tea production. It’s an educational and picturesque experience that the whole family can enjoy.

3. Relax on Beautiful Beaches

Sri Lanka is renowned for its stunning beaches, where you can unwind and create cherished family moments.

– Unwind in Bentota

Bentota is a popular beach destination known for its golden sands and calm waters. Indulge in water sports like snorkeling, jet skiing, and banana boat rides. Build sandcastles with your children or simply relax under the shade of swaying palm trees.

– Discover Mirissa

For a more laid-back beach experience, head to Mirissa. This tranquil coastal town offers picturesque beaches and a peaceful atmosphere. Let your family soak up the sun, take refreshing dips in the crystal-clear waters, and savor delicious seafood at beachfront restaurants.

– Explore Arugam Bay

Arugam Bay is a surfer’s paradise and a great spot for families who love adventure. Learn to ride the waves together, enjoy beachside picnics, and create lasting memories in this vibrant coastal town.

4. Adventure Activities

If your family enjoys adrenaline-pumping activities, Sri Lanka has plenty to offer in terms of adventure.

– Hiking in Ella

Embark on a family-friendly hike in Ella and discover breathtaking viewpoints like Ella Rock and Little Adam’s Peak. Enjoy the lush greenery, cascading waterfalls, and the fresh mountain air. It’s an opportunity to connect with nature and create unforgettable memories.

– White Water Rafting in Kitulgala

For an exhilarating water adventure, head to Kitulgala and try white water rafting on the Kelani River. Navigate through thrilling rapids and enjoy the adrenaline rush as a family. Safety measures and expert guides ensure a fun and safe experience for everyone.

– Surfing in Hikkaduwa

Hikkaduwa is a vibrant beach town renowned for its surf breaks. Enroll in surfing lessons as a family and ride the waves together. It’s a fantastic way to bond, learn a new skill, and experience the thrill of catching a wave.

5. Discover Historical Sites

Sri Lanka’s historical sites are a testament to the country’s rich past and architectural brilliance.

– Visit Sigiriya Rock Fortress

Climb the ancient Sigiriya Rock Fortress and be amazed by its engineering marvels and breathtaking views. Explore the beautifully landscaped gardens, ancient frescoes, and the iconic Lion’s Paw entrance. It’s a historical site that will captivate the imagination of both children and adults.

– Explore Anuradhapura

Anuradhapura, one of Sri Lanka’s ancient capitals, is home to numerous historical and religious sites. Visit the sacred Bodhi tree, the Ruwanwelisaya stupa, and the Jetavanaramaya dagoba. Encourage your children to learn about the country’s rich heritage while exploring these majestic ruins.

– Discover Polonnaruwa

Polonnaruwa is another UNESCO World Heritage Site, known for its well-preserved ancient ruins. Marvel at the Gal Vihara, a group of impressive Buddha statues, and explore the Royal Palace complex. It’s a journey back in time that will leave your family awe-inspired.

6. Indulge in Local Cuisine

No trip to Sri Lanka is complete without savoring its mouthwatering cuisine.

– Try Traditional Sri Lankan Food

Sample an array of flavors and spices by trying traditional Sri Lankan dishes like rice and curry, hoppers, and string hoppers. Visit local restaurants and street food stalls to experience the authentic taste of Sri Lanka. Encourage your children to be adventurous and try new flavors.

– Visit Local Markets

Explore bustling local markets like Pettah Market in Colombo or Galle Fort Market. Engage in a sensory experience as you browse through vibrant fruits, aromatic spices, and handicrafts. It’s an opportunity to interact with locals, learn about traditional ingredients, and shop for unique souvenirs.

– Experience Cooking Classes

Participate in a cooking class where your family can learn to prepare Sri Lankan dishes together. Enjoy hands-on experiences, learn about local ingredients, and create delicious meals. It’s a fantastic way to bond as a family and bring a taste of Sri Lanka back home.


Sri Lanka offers a perfect blend of cultural heritage, natural beauty, adventure, and culinary delights, making it an ideal destination for a family vacation. From exploring ancient cities to relaxing on beautiful beaches, there are numerous activities that cater to all interests and age groups. Create lasting memories as you immerse yourselves in Sri Lanka’s rich culture, connect with nature, and indulge in mouthwatering cuisine. Plan your trip today and embark on a journey of discovery with your loved ones.


  1. Is Sri Lanka a family-friendly destination?
  • Absolutely! Sri Lanka offers a wide range of family-friendly activities, from exploring historical sites to enjoying wildlife safaris and relaxing on beautiful beaches. There’s something for everyone in the family to enjoy.
  1. Are there any safety precautions to keep in mind when traveling with family in Sri Lanka?
  • While Sri Lanka is generally a safe destination, it’s always important to take standard safety precautions. Be aware of your surroundings, follow any local guidelines or advisories, and ensure you have appropriate travel insurance coverage.
  1. What is the best time to visit Sri Lanka with family?
  • The best time to visit Sri Lanka depends on the region you plan to explore. The months of December to March are generally considered the peak tourist season when the weather is dry and pleasant. However, different regions have slightly different weather patterns, so it’s advisable to research and plan accordingly.
  1. Can I find family-friendly accommodations in Sri Lanka?
  • Yes, Sri Lanka offers a range of family-friendly accommodations, including resorts, hotels, and holiday villas. Many of these establishments provide amenities and services catering specifically to families, such as swimming pools, kids’ clubs, and babysitting services.
  1. Are there any cultural etiquette and dress codes to be aware of in Sri Lanka?
  • Sri Lanka is a culturally diverse country with various religious beliefs. It’s advisable to dress modestly, particularly when visiting religious sites. It’s also respectful to remove shoes and cover shoulders when entering temples and monasteries. Familiarize yourself with local customs and traditions to ensure a smooth and respectful experience.

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