Are you planning a trip to Sri Lanka in 2023? If so, you're in for a treat! This beautiful country offers a wide variety of things to see and do, and the best part is that many of them are completely free! From exploring the vibrant city of Colombo to witnessing the stunning sunrise at the tea plantations, there are plenty of free activities that will make your trip to Sri Lanka unforgettable. In this article, we will explore the top 10 free things to do in Sri Lanka in 2023.

What are the best free things to do in Sri Lanka?


Sri Lanka, also known as the “Pearl of the Indian Ocean,” is a country filled with natural beauty and cultural treasures. When planning your trip, make sure to include these top free attractions in your itinerary:

Explore the vibrant city of Colombo


Colombo, the capital city of Sri Lanka, is a bustling metropolis with a rich history and vibrant culture. Take a stroll through the streets and explore the lively markets, where you can find everything from fresh produce to traditional crafts. Don’t miss the iconic Jami Ul-Alfar Mosque and the colorful Kovil temples, which showcase the religious diversity of the country. And when you need a break from sightseeing, indulge in the local cuisine at the best restaurants in town.

Visit the stunning beaches in Negombo


If you’re looking for a relaxing afternoon by the sea, head to Morawala beach in Negombo. This beautiful promenade stretches along the coast and offers breathtaking views of the Indian Ocean. Take a leisurely stroll, fly a kite, or simply sit back and watch the sunset. Morawala beach is the perfect place to unwind and enjoy the natural beauty of Sri Lanka.

Experience the beauty of nature at Arugam Bay


For nature lovers, a visit to Arugam Bay is a must. This picturesque beach town is famous for its world-class surfing spots and stunning coastline. Spend a day exploring the sandy beaches, swimming in the crystal-clear waters, or simply relaxing under the shade of a palm tree. Arugam Bay is a true paradise for those seeking a tranquil and natural escape.

Where can I find the best free attractions in Sri Lanka?


When it comes to free attractions in Sri Lanka, there are plenty of options to choose from. Here are some of the top places to visit:

Discover the historic Galle Fort


Galle Fort, located in the southern part of the country, is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and a must-visit for history enthusiasts. This ancient fort was built by the Dutch in the 17th century and is famous for its colonial architecture and charming streets. Take a leisurely walk along the fort walls and explore the narrow alleys filled with boutique shops, cafes, and art galleries. Galle Fort is a perfect blend of history and culture.

Marvel at the intricate Hindu temple in Kandy


Kandy, the cultural capital of Sri Lanka, is home to the sacred Temple of the Tooth Relic. This highly recommended attraction is a place of pilgrimage for Buddhists from all over the world. The temple houses a relic believed to be a tooth of Buddha and is an important symbol of Buddhist heritage in Sri Lanka. Take a walk around the temple complex and admire the beautiful architecture and religious artifacts. Entrance to the temple is free, but donations are appreciated.

Enjoy a stroll along the beautiful beaches of Negombo


Negombo, located on the west coast of Sri Lanka, is known for its stunning beaches and vibrant fishing community. Take a leisurely stroll along the golden sands and watch the local fishermen in action. If you’re lucky, you might even spot a few dolphins playing in the waves. Negombo is the perfect place to relax, soak up the sun, and enjoy the laid-back coastal atmosphere.

What are the top free things to do in Colombo?


Colombo offers a wealth of free activities for visitors. Here are some of the top recommendations:

Visit the iconic Jami Ul-Alfar Mosque


Jami Ul-Alfar Mosque, also known as the Red Mosque, is a stunning architectural masterpiece located in the heart of Colombo. This iconic landmark features vibrant red and white striped minarets and is a must-visit for its unique design. Take a moment to admire the intricate details of the mosque and learn about its historical and cultural significance.

Explore the colorful Kovil temples


Kovil temples are an integral part of the Hindu culture in Sri Lanka. These colorful and ornate temples are dedicated to various Hindu deities and offer a glimpse into the rich religious traditions of the country. Take a walk around the neighborhood of Pettah in Colombo and explore the vibrant Kovil temples. Marvel at the intricate carvings and vibrant decorations that adorn these sacred places of worship.

Indulge in the local cuisine at the best restaurants


No trip to Sri Lanka is complete without trying the delicious local cuisine. Colombo is home to some of the best restaurants in the country, serving a wide variety of Sri Lankan dishes. From spicy curries to mouthwatering seafood, there is something for everyone. Explore the local markets and sample street food, or treat yourself to a meal at one of the highly recommended restaurants in the city.

When is the best time to visit Sri Lanka for free activities?


Sri Lanka has a tropical climate, with warm temperatures and high humidity throughout the year. However, there are certain seasons that are more favorable for outdoor activities. Here are some of the best times to visit Sri Lanka for free activities:

Witness the breathtaking sunrise at the tea plantations


The hill country of Sri Lanka is famous for its scenic tea plantations, where you can see beautiful rolling hills covered in vibrant green tea leaves. Wake up early and head to the tea estates to witness the magical sunrise over the mountains. The cool morning air and the peaceful surroundings make this experience truly unforgettable.

Experience the tranquility of a sunset at the beach


With its stunning coastline, Sri Lanka offers plenty of opportunities to enjoy a breathtaking sunset. Whether you’re in Colombo, Negombo, or any other coastal town, make sure to find a spot on the beach and watch as the sun paints the sky in vibrant hues of orange and pink. The tranquil atmosphere and the sound of the waves crashing against the shore create the perfect setting for a romantic evening.

Discover the rich wildlife at a national park


Sri Lanka is home to several national parks, where you can encounter diverse wildlife in their natural habitat. Take a safari tour in one of the parks and get up close to elephants, leopards, monkeys, and a variety of bird species. The best time to spot wildlife is early morning or late afternoon, so plan your visit accordingly.

Are there any free cultural experiences in Sri Lanka?


Absolutely! Sri Lanka is a country steeped in rich cultural heritage, and there are plenty of free cultural experiences to enjoy:

Participate in a traditional Hindu pilgrimage


If you visit Sri Lanka during a religious festival, you have the opportunity to witness and participate in traditional Hindu pilgrimages. Join the locals as they embark on a journey to sacred temples, perform rituals, and celebrate their faith. These colorful and vibrant festivals offer a unique glimpse into the religious traditions and cultural practices of Sri Lankans.

Explore the local markets and souvenir shops


A visit to Sri Lanka is incomplete without exploring the local markets and souvenir shops. From bustling bazaars to quaint street markets, you can find a wide variety of handicrafts, textiles, spices, and souvenirs. Take your time to browse through the stalls, interact with the friendly shopkeepers, and haggle for the best prices.

Learn about the history of Buddhism at a Buddhist temple


Buddhism is deeply rooted in the culture of Sri Lanka, and there are numerous Buddhist temples across the country. Take a moment to visit one of these temples, explore the intricate architecture, and learn about the teachings of Buddha. Many temples offer free guided tours, allowing you to gain a deeper understanding of Buddhism and its significance in Sri Lanka.

Q: What are the top 10 free things to do in Sri Lanka in 2023?

A: In 2023, some of the top free things to do in Sri Lanka include visiting Galle, exploring temples, enjoying the Galle Face Green, dining at the best restaurants, visiting Kovil and Jami Ul-Alfar Mosque, and more.

Q: Is there an entry fee for these attractions?

A: No, these attractions mentioned are free to enter, offering you the opportunity to explore and enjoy without any entry fees.

Q: What are the must-visit places in Sri Lanka?

A: Sri Lanka has numerous must-visit places, such as Galle, Kandy, Sigiriya, Ella, Nuwara Eliya, Colombo, and more, each offering unique experiences and attractions.

Q: What are the top things to do in Sri Lanka?

A: Some of the top things to do in Sri Lanka include hiking Ella Rock, exploring Galle Fort, visiting the Temple of the Sacred Tooth Relic in Kandy, and witnessing the stunning views from Sigiriya Lion Rock.

Q: Is there any free activity in Sri Lanka?

A: Yes, there are plenty of free activities to enjoy in Sri Lanka, such as visiting beautiful beaches, exploring historical sites, hiking to waterfalls, and experiencing the vibrant culture.

Q: Can you tell me more about the Galle Face Green?

A: Galle Face Green is a popular urban park in Colombo, known for its stunning ocean views, delicious street food, and vibrant atmosphere. It’s a great place to relax, fly kites, and enjoy the sunset.

Q: Which are the best restaurants to visit in Sri Lanka?

A: Some of the best restaurants in Sri Lanka include Ministry of Crab, The Gallery Cafe, The Mango Tree, Curry Leaf, and Upali’s by Nawaloka.

Q: What can I explore in Galle?

A: In Galle, you can explore the Galle Fort, which is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. It offers charming streets, colonial architecture, quaint shops, and stunning ocean views.

Q: Are there any famous temples in Sri Lanka?

A: Yes, Sri Lanka is known for its beautiful temples. The Temple of the Sacred Tooth Relic in Kandy and the Dambulla Cave Temple are among the most famous holy sites.

Q: Can you recommend any other places to visit in Sri Lanka?

A: Apart from Galle, Kandy, and Sigiriya, you can also visit attractions like Yala National Park, Horton Plains National Park, Mirissa Beach, and the stunning Nuwara Eliya tea plantations.