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Sri Lanka is an island country located in the Indian Ocean, just off the southern coast of India. The country is renowned for its diverse culture and stunning natural beauty, making it a popular tourist destination for families. In this guide, we will share some of the best places to visit in Sri Lanka with family so you can plan the ultimate Sri Lankan adventure with kids!
Sri Lanka is home to countless spiritual places where you can meditate for hours, enthralling beaches where you can unwind, and the wildlife which is worth mentioning – Sri Lanka is a treasure trove for travellers.
Its eternal natural beauty is something that lures oodles of tourists from every nook and corner of the world. The landscape in Sri Lanka is so diverse that a single visit to this popular travel destination is not enough to explore its every aspect.
When planning a trip to Sri Lanka with kids, it is essential to consider the age of your children as well as their interests.
Sri Lanka is home to many ancient sites and temples, which may not be suitable for very young children. However, there are also plenty of activities and attractions that are perfect for families with kids of all ages.
When planning your Sri Lanka holiday, below is a list of top places to visit in the country to make your vacation a memorable one.
This post will cover the top places to visit in Sri Lanka with your family, but first let’s cover the planning basics:
How To Get To Sri Lanka
There are a few different ways to get to Sri Lanka. The most popular option is to fly into Colombo, the capital city, and then take a domestic flight or drive to your final destination.
Best Time to Visit Sri Lanka
The climate of the country remains moderate. Whereas, the temperature differs for both the highland areas and coastal regions. In highland areas, the temperature varies between 15 and 18 degrees celsius. On the other hand, in coastal regions, the temperature ranges from 25 to 30 degrees celsius.
The weather in Sri Lanka is dictated by two monsoon seasons – South-Western and North-Eastern.
South-West Monsoon: As the name itself suggests, the season affects just the south-western region of the country with the rain showers. The season commences in the month of May and ends in September. The ideal time to visit the south-west region in Sri Lanka is between the months of December and March
North-East Monsoon:Starts in the month of October, the season affects the northeastern region of the country. It ends in January. The ideal time to visit the North-East region is between December and March.
If you are planning to visit multiple places in Sri Lanka, we recommend renting a car so you have the flexibility to explore at your own pace.
You can also take advantage of the country’s efficient public transportation system, including trains, buses, and taxis.
You can also enjoy a fun tuk-tuk ride, although make sure you negotiate a good price before you get in!
Where To Stay In Sri Lanka
When looking for family accommodation in Sri Lanka, private villas can be a great option! You can often get a high-end villa with your own chef and many have their own pool and other facilities to get a taste of luxury away from home. There are many on the lower end of the budget too.
Travel Insurance: Make sure you don’t leave home without travel insurance. Trust us, it’s one of those things you don’t want to skip, especially when travelling with kids. We recommend World Nomads.
Top Places to Visit in Sri Lanka With Kids
Now we’ve covered the basics, it’s time to get into the best places to visit in Sri Lanka with family!
Each of these beautiful places within Sri Lanka has its own appeal and would be wonderful to visit as part of a Sri Lanka road trip itinerary over 5 to 7 days!
Often touted as the cultural capital of Sri Lanka, Kandy is undoubtedly one of the most beautiful places to visit in Sri Lanka.
This UNESCO World Heritage Site in Sri Lanka is blessed with tropical rainforests that are inhabited by countless wild animals.
The mountain ranges, acquiring a height of 500 metres from the sea level, make this place even more charming. Besides exotic nature and rich historical past, the city is also famous for its culture.
The intriguing markets and alluring eateries truly reflect the rich culture of the region.
Another popular UNESCO World Heritage Site, Polonnaruwa is a beautiful island of Sri Lanka. It is known for its pristine beaches and exotic sceneries.
Not just for beach and nature lovers, the town is also dotted by oodles of history and architecture lovers.
The much-famous Lankathilaka Temple and the imposing effigy of Lord Buddha lie here.
Your tour in Sri Lanka with kids is incomplete without a visit to Colombo. With glitz and glamour of city life and cosmopolitan culture, Colombo is an internationally-known tourist attraction in Sri Lanka.
The culture of the city boasts a perfect blend of Dutch, British and Portuguese influences. This port city is known for its pleasant weather, affluent nature, gorgeous coastlines, urban parks, and vibrant street markets that together make your Sri Lanka trip indelible.
The city also has a number of intriguing shopping malls and laid-back restaurants that serve delectable Sri Lankan cuisine.
Kids will love to see Columbo by tuk-tuk as a fun mode of transport to get around!
From Colombo, a mesmerizing train ride takes you to the beautiful city of Galle. You must have heard of the famous Galle Fort.
But, that’s not just the sole attraction of this popular tourist attraction in Sri Lanka. Located at a distance of 124 km south of Colombo, Galle is a historical hideout in the country.
The city tourism includes consists of churches, grand museums, and mosques.
Catching the surreal view of the sunset at the seashore is one of the must things to do while on a visit to Sri Lanka with family. Galle has a major Portuguese influence that can be seen in every nook and corner of the city.
If wildlife is your thing, then Yala National Park is an ideal haven to quench your evergreen thirst for capturing sight of spotted deer, wild boar, elephants and leopards.
The park is located on the south coast of the country, and hence, parts of it reaching to the Indian ocean.
Yala is a popular choice of safari if you want to see leopards in the wild.
The wildlife trails of the park lure a lot of wildlife buffs. The other wild creatures you can expect to see here are wild water buffalo, golden palm civet, fishing cat, toque macaque, Sri Lankan flying snake, hawksbill turtle, Indian cobra, mugger crocodile, and more.
From Yala, you can also plan a trip to Udawalawe National Park (if you have time). This is a wonderful place to see elephants in the wild.
A day trip away from Colombo, Nuwara Eliya is a small city in the tea country hills of Sri Lanka. It is often renowned as Little England.
Nuwara Eliya is home to the oldest tea estates in the country. Nuwara Eliya is a paradise for nature admirers. The cool climate and the colonial architecture are what give an old-world charm to this place.
This exotic resort town is named after a demon, Ben – who once ruled the town. Apart from the turtle hatchery, the place is also famous for its pristine beaches and Galapatha Raja Temple.
Kosgoda Turtle Hatchery serves as the dwelling land of the rare albino turtles.
Other Things To Do With Kids In Sri Lanka
In case you need even more inspiration for your family holidays in Sri Lanka, here are more family-friendly activities to do together if you have the time:
Take a cooking class to learn how to make local cuisine
Go whale watching
Enjoy the beautiful beaches (take care with water conditions)
Take a train ride through the mountains
Visit a tea plantation
Learn about traditional Sri Lankan pottery
Watch a cricket match
See the iconic Sri Lankan Stilt Fishermen
Climb Little Adam’s Peak in Ella (much easier than Adam’s Peak)
Sri Lanka is a humble abode of an abundance of natural beauty. Therefore, don’t be get surprised if you find 5 days too short for a Sri Lanka trip.
But this Sri Lanka travel guide for families will give you a chance to make the most of your vacation.
Sri Lanka is a great destination for families with kids of all ages. With its diverse culture, stunning natural beauty, and wide range of activities and attractions, there is something for everyone in Sri Lanka. We hope this guide has given you some ideas on the best places to visit in Sri Lanka with family!
Author bio: We are Jimmy & Tah, American and Thai Millennials who left our careers in the military and finance to become full-time travelers.