25 Pictures that will inspire you to visit Sri Lanka

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Sri Lanka, Asia, Photography

Sri Lanka is a beautiful country full of natural wonders, elephants and much more. These 25 pictures will convince you to visit Sri Lanka. Explore Sri Lanka now!

Sri Lanka was on my list for years before I finally got to explore Sri Lanka. And while the weather was not the best, I could not help but fall more in love with the country. I was inspired to visit Sri Lanka by a poem I read years ago. It told of the countries beauty and as soon as I finished the poem, I felt this strong urge to go there and see Sri Lanka with my own eyes. Hopefully, these pictures will inspire you to visit Sri Lanka. They might not be poetic, but then again a picture is supposed to say a thousand words.

I admittedly had a hard time arriving in Sri Lanka as I was still enchanted by Vietnam, but by the time I had to leave I wanted nothing more than to stay there longer. Therefore it is safe to say that I will be back in Sri Lanka as soon as possible. There are so many things that I still want to see and do, and I am sure that you will feel the same way once you have been to Sri Lanka.

My Sri Lanka Trip

I explored Sri Lanka in a tuk tuk which I rented with a friend. We wanted a somewhat unique experience so it was the perfect choice for us. A tuk tuk road trip is different than a conventional one, but it is a lot of fun. And at times scary.

We started out in Negombo and drove to Unawatuna. From there we explored Galle before heading to Tangalle via Mirissa. From there we headed upwards to Ella and Kandy, took the train to Nuwara Eliya. Then we headed to Sigiriya, did an elephant safari in Kaudulla National Park, and headed to Trincomalee. We stayed there for a few days before heading back to Negombo via Anuradhapura.

If I was to do the same trip in a tuk tuk again, I would take more time to see everything. A tuk tuk is not the fastest mode of transportation, so we spend a lot of time driving.

In the end, this trip was one of the least expensive ones in my life. If you want to read all about how much it costs to travel in Sri Lanka on a budget costs, you can do so by clicking the previous link. The list includes the costs of a budget trip with and without a tuk tuk rental.

Unawatuna

Unawatuna is one of the places you have to visit when you travel in Sri Lanka. And chances are that you have seen at least some pictures of it on social media. It is the location of the palm rope swing, ship rock and has some of the best sunsets in Sri Lanka. And in addition to that, there is a very high likelihood that you will be able to see a ginormous turtle.

Palm Rope Swing at Dream Cabana

Galle

Galle is the location of an old Dutch fort. Spend at least a few hours there to explore the parts of the city inside the fort. The buildings are really cute and interesting, so you will not regret your visit.

Mirissa

Mirissa, the location of the insta-famous coconut tree hill and the peacock mural. Additionally, this city offers amazing food.

Tangalle

Tangalle is located in the south of Sri Lanka and is an amazing place if you want beaches. If you head there during the off-season you might even end up having this beach for yourself.

Ella

Ella is a town in central Sri Lanka and a must if you visit Sri Lanka. From here you can visit the Nine Arch Bridge and hike Little Adams Peak or Ella Rock. If you only do one of these hikes, you should choose Little Adams Peak, as the view is much better.

Plan most of the activities really early in the morning, as the afternoons there can be quite rainy once the monsoon season has arrived.

And do not forget to catch the train to Kandy or Nuwara Eliya. The scenery on both sides of the track is stunning. It is no wonder, that this train ride in Sri Lanka can be found on lists of the best train rides in the world.

View from Little Adams Peak

Sigiriya

Sigiriya is a village and the Sri Lankan name of Lions Rock. Stay the night in one of the many homestays in the village and climb one of the two nearby monoliths just before sunrise. The view will be worth it!

You can either climb Sigiriya which is a UNESCO World Heritage Site due to the ruins on top of the monolith. However, doing so will set you back 30 USD.

Alternatively, you can climb Pidurangala. Doing so gives you a stunning view of Sigiriya, it is a lot cheaper and less crowded.

If you want to do both, I recommend climbing Pidurangala for sunrise and Sigiriya after that or for sunset.

Sigiriya in Sri Lanka as seen from Pidurangala
Explore Sri Lanka - Sunrise Views Sigiriya

Kaudulla National Park

Kaudulla National Park and Minneriya National Park are the best places in Sri Lanka to see elephants. These two national parks are where the yearly gathering occurs. Hundreds of elephants come to this location due to the receding water in the man-made water reserves, which allows nutritious grass to grow. Seeing all these elephants should be more than enough to inspire you to visit Sri Lanka. At least, if you love elephants as much as I do.

I have to admit that this is only a small selection of pictures I took during the elephant safari in Kaudulla National Park. I love these stunning animals, so this experience was one of my Sri Lanka highlights. Seeing around two hundred elephants in their natural habitat was incredible. Therefore, I would say that the two national parks are some of the best places to take photos in Sri Lanka.

Trincomalee

Trincomalee is amazing if you want good food and beaches. It is the perfect spot if you want to relax for a few days or go diving between April and September.

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Planning a trip soon? Check out these useful websites and resources that I use to plan my own adventures

Did these Sri Lanka photos convince you to visit Sri Lanka?

I hope that these pictures inspired you to visit Sri Lanka. Ultimately I love this country and want to share its beauty with you, so please do not hesitate to ask me if you have any questions about traveling in Sri Lanka. I am more than happy to share what I know.

More about Sri Lanka

If you are making plans for your next trip after seeing these Sri Lanka images, these Sri Lanka Travel Guides might be useful:
Travel Budget Sri Lanka
Minneriya Safari Review

Which Location is your favorite one?

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Steph Kloeckener

I am the founder of A Nomad's Passport and a solo traveling digital nomad, photographer, and writer. Originally from Germany, I have lived in several countries around the world. My goal is to explore every country in the world while promoting ethical and sustainable traveling. And of course to write as many destination guides, itineraries, road trip guides, and content about scuba diving.

21 thoughts on “25 Pictures that will inspire you to visit Sri Lanka”

  1. Lived there for 3mo’s in 1978 (18 yrs old.) Went back 2010 after civil war.
    To many experiences to outline. Bottom line loved it and stay in contact with friends there.

    Reply
  2. Without a doubt, I am inspired! Since it is a neighbouring country, I keep on postponing my travel to Sri Lanka but hopefully, that will change in 2020! Sigiriya looks magnificent.

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  3. Wow, all the beaches look so pristine in Sri Lanka. When I lived in Vietnam, flights were pretty cheap (I think through Kuala Lumpur on some Malaysian budget airlines) but I never made it over here. I’ll need to go back the next time I’m in Asia though! I’ve never heard of Lions Rock, but that looks absolutely stunning. Sri Lanka looks like a place I could easily spend a month or more.

    Reply
    • The airline might have been Malindo. It is what we used to fly to Sri Lanka from HCM.
      Absolutely agree with the part of spending a month there. I thought 2 weeks would be enough, but I would have love to stay at least another two weeks.

      Reply
  4. Sri Lanka has been really lovely the last time I went there. Galle is my absolute favorite. I love the description of these beaches and islands. What a Gorgeous destination.

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  5. Yep, so you managed to convince me too! I would never have thought of renting a tuk tuk for a road trip, but it looks like it worked out sooo well! The mountain and tea-filled views are stunning!

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  6. Yes, you convinced me! Your pictures are stunning – it’s hard to pick a favourite. If I had to pick though, Mirissa looks spectacular – the water and the trees just make a beautiful composition.

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  7. Wow you really sold Sri Lanka! My sister went a few years ago and beach bummed, but some of the hiking and historic sites look really amazing to visit!

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  8. Your photos are fantastic! I did not need any convincing as Sri Lanka is on my list, but it will be a few years as I have other countries -like Vietnam – that are higher on my list.

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  9. I love your highlights! I am a fun of elephants too and for sure I’ll be doing the same thing when it’s our time to visit the country! The pictures are stunning and the tips are helpful!

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  10. Ah wow it must have been so cool exploring Sri Lanka in a tuk tuk! These photos are so beautiful and definitely make me want to visit! It seems to offer quite a variety with beaches, hikes and amazing train ride!

    Reply
    • Nothing dramatic. I just wish I had know how dangerous it can be to drive once the sun has set. Every dangerous situation happened while driving in the dark. And maybe that you should always ensure that the counter is set to zero when you get fuel. We got ripped of once (in Galle). It wasn’t a lot bit it left a bit of a bitter taste…

      But these minor things aside Sri Lanka is an incredible country. I can only recommend going asap!

      I’ll write a post about driving (a tuk tuk) in Sri Lanka in the future. If you are interested in knowing more about it and the things one should know before deciding to drive on your own, you should keep an eye open for new posts. Or I could notify you via email. Just let me know. 🙂

      Reply

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