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21 Fun Things to do in Nuwara Eliya, Sri Lanka

21 Fun Things to do in Nuwara Eliya, Sri Lanka

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If you’re heading to Nuwara Eliya, Sri Lanka then you’re in for a treat! In this blog, I share the best things to do in Nuwara Eliya as well as some other key info for visiting!

Nuwara Eliya is Sri Lanka’s highest city sitting at nearly 2,000m (6,500ft) above sea level. This city offers amazing views and to be honest, you’ll be impressed simply by the drive to get to Nuwara Eliya.

But besides beautiful views, there is a HUGE list of things to do in Nuwara Eliya, Sri Lanka, and awesome places to visit!

We almost skipped Nuwara Eliya completely. Some other travelers we met said they didn’t really like the city and therefore we almost didn’t go.

On some strange stroke of luck, we changed our minds last minute and decided to check it out. What we found was a gorgeous lake, rolling hills, large mountains, and a beautiful colonial-style city with a ton of fun activities for visitors.

In fact, there are so many things to do in Nuwara Eliya that it might be hard to choose where to spend your time.

So here you have it, 21 things to do in Nuwara Eliya, Sri Lanka!

21 Things to do in Nuwara Eliya, Sri Lanka

1. Explore Lake Gregory

Lake Gregory, Nuwara Eliya
The beautiful Lake Gregory!

Lake Gregory is the large lake in the center of Nuwara Eliya, Sri Lanka. It is surrounded by beautifully manicured gardens and mountains – simply picture perfect!

There are a few different ways you can explore Lake Gregory:

1) On Foot. There are some beautiful walking trails next to the lake. Going for a walk here is a peaceful way to spend an hour or so.

2) Hire a speed boat. There are dozens of different boats for hire along the lake’s edge. They range in price but average about 4,000 LKR for an entire boat for 30 minutes. This is a good activity in Nuwara Eliya for a family or group of travelers!

3) Swan Paddle-boat. You can rent a paddleboat shaped like a swan for 2,000 LKR per 30 minutes.

4) Go horseback riding. You can ride a horse along the lake (guided by a person of course) for 2,000 LKR.

There is a 200 LKR entrance fee for foreigners to explore the main park of Lake Gregory. When you pay this fee they will give you a ticket. This ticket is valid for the entire day so hold onto it in case you want to return later on.

There are food stalls at Lake Gregory Park offering everything from traditional Sri Lankan curries and roti to hamburgers and ice cream! It is all very cheap and makes for a good place to come and eat. Keep in mind that most of the stalls start to close around 7 pm so get there early!

2. Have Afternoon High Tea at the Grand Hotel

The food at the grand hotel high tea in Nuwara Eliya
The food at the grand hotel high tea in Nuwara Eliya

This is easily one of the best things to do in Nuwara Eliya, Sri Lanka! Every day from 3:30-6 pm the Grand Hotel in Nuwara Eliya offers a “high tea” or afternoon tea that anyone can join.

For 1500 LKR per person you get to sit in their gorgeous restaurant or outdoor patio, try three different kinds of teas (the selection is HUGE), and have some delicious snacks.

For me, it wasn’t just about the tasty tea and food, but rather about the entire experience. The wait staff is incredible and the setting is 5-stars. Wandering around the gardens afterward is also spectacular.

If you plan on going I advise arriving right at 3:30 to grab one of the tables with a view, or even better, reserve a table in advance.

The High Tea at the Grand Hotel is truly a unique experience in Nuwara Eliya.

But you don’t just need to go to the Grand Hotel for the High Tea, you can actually stay overnight there (rooms are very reasonably priced considering how elegant and upper-class the hotel is). Alternatively, you can just visit the hotel to check it out. They have gorgeous gardens open for the public to explore and a restaurant you can book in for dinner.

3. Visit Bomburu Ella Waterfall

Bomburu Ella Waterfall
Bomburu Ella Waterfall is beautiful!

Located around 25 minutes from Nuwara Eliya is the beautiful Bomburu Ella Waterfall.

This huge waterfall is without a doubt the most beautiful in Nuwara Eliya and if you only have time to visit one waterfall on this list make it, Bomburu Ella Waterfall.

You can easily get a taxi out to the falls from Nuwara Eliya they all know the spot. My advice is to go early in the morning or afternoon when there are fewer people around. that way you can enjoy the waterfall in peace!

4. Visit a Strawberry Farm

Enjoying a strawberry milkshake at the strawberry farms
Enjoying a strawberry milkshake at the strawberry farms

Nuwara Eliya is known as the strawberry capital of Sri Lanka!

On the outskirts of Nuwara Eliya, there are many strawberry farms you can visit. At these farms, you can pick fresh strawberries, explore the farms, or even have a strawberry milkshake or dessert.

There are two main farms for visitors: Ramya or Jagro Simply Strawberries. I went to both. Ramya offers a farm visit (you just get to walk into the strawberry greenhouse) for 100 LKR per person. Jagro didn’t offer a farm tour when we visited but they told us they would start one soon.

Both places had a café and offered a variety of drinks including strawberry juices and milkshakes. Jagro had a full dessert menu though and the brownie with ice cream and strawberries was to die for! For that reason, if you only go to one, got to Jargo.

These farms are located about a 20-minute drive from town on the way to Horton Plains National Park. You can drive there yourself (rent a scooter or tuk-tuk), hire a driver, or go on an organized tour! Otherwise, there are a couple of strawberry shops in town that will make you drinks or desserts with fresh strawberries too.

You can find both Ramya and Jagro on Google Maps.

5. Wander Hakgala Botanic Gardens

Hakgala Botanic Gardens
Hakgala Botanic Gardens!

As the second-largest of only 5 botanic gardens in Sri Lanka, Hakgala Botanical Gardens are a very popular thing to do in Nuwara Eliya. The gardens feature over 10,000 different species of flora all displayed in a variety of manicured gardens and forests to walk through.

The downside of visiting Hakgala Botanical Gardens is the price. Foreigners must pay the hefty price of 1,500 LKR just to enter (a bit steep for a garden don’t you think?)

That being said, if you’re visiting in the spring and you want some pretty flower pictures then this could very well be worth it! Take your time, you could spend a few hours here!

The Hakgala Botanic Garden is located about 10-minutes outside of Nuwara Eliya. You can find the location on Google Maps.

6. While at the gardens check out Sankhagiri Maha Viharaya (Golden Hindu Temple)

Sankhagiri Maha Viharaya Golden Hindu Temple jut outside of Nuwara Eliya, Sri Lanka
Sankhagiri Maha Viharaya Golden Hindu Temple jut outside of Nuwara Eliya, Sri Lanka

If you’re going to the botanical gardens make sure to stop at this gorgeous Hindu temple called Sankhagiri Maha Viharaya. I particularly liked this temple simply because it was different than any other Hindu temple I’ve seen before.

It was peach and gold in color and set against the mountains as its backdrop. It is just a quick roadside stop worthy of a photo or two.

Also, there were a ton of monkeys hanging around the temple when we were there. I just love monkeys so I enjoyed watching them for a little bit.

7. Take a Walk in Victoria Park

Bailey stands by some sunflowers at Victoria Park in Nuwara Eliya, Sri Lanka

Victoria Park is a park in the middle of Nuwara Eliya and reminded me of a miniature botanical garden. The entire area is fenced off so you must enter at one of the entrance gates and pay the 300 LKR entrance fee.

The park isn’t huge and can be explored in about 30-minutes. There are some really pretty gardens including a ton of sunflowers. To me, visiting Victoria Park is easily one of the best things to do in Nuwara Eliya and something every visitor should make time for.

Keep in mind that the park closes at 6 pm so it is a daytime-only activity.

The Hill Cottage is a gorgeous family-owned hotel located right next to Victoria Park. If you are looking for a comfortable and affordable stay in central Nuwara Eliya consider staying here!

8. Hike to Lover’s Leap waterfall

Lover’s Leap waterfall
Lover’s Leap waterfall!

Lover’s Leap Waterfall is a very famous waterfall in Nuwara Eliya. The waterfall got its name from a love story about a prince who fell in love with a beautiful girl. Their love was forbidden by the king so the couple jumped off Lovers Leap Waterfall hand in hand.

The truth is, the drive to the waterfall is much more beautiful than the falls themselves. However, I did visit during the dry season so there’s wasn’t much water flowing at the waterfall. There are definitely better waterfalls in Sri Lanka, but if you have some spare time on your hands, check it out anyways.

You can hike to the waterfall in around 40 minutes from Nuwara Eliya. Or, get a tuk-tuk to drive up the majority of the way so you only have to walk 5 minutes. Lover’s Leap Waterfall is a little tricky to find so be sure to use Google Maps.

Related read: Check out the 10 best beaches in Sri Lanka!

8. Visit Mlesna Tea Castle St Clair

8. Visit Mlesna Tea Castle St Clair
8. Visit Mlesna Tea Castle St Clair!

Ever wanted to drink tea in a castle?! Well at Mlesna Tea Castle St Clair you can do just that!

Mlesna Tea Castle St Clair is around a 40-minute drive from Nuwara Eliya but this place is worth the drive. Head upstairs to enjoy some tea, coffee, and delicious treats.

Nearby you can also visit Devon falls which is only a 15 minutes walk or 2-minute drive away. The waterfall isn’t that impressive, however, when in Rome!

9. Explore Galway’s Land National Park

A pathway leads through the forest in Galway’s Land National Park, Sri Lanka
Galway’s Land National Park, Sri Lanka

Galway’s Land National Park is a small national park within Nuwara Eliya city limits that was created to preserve the unique ecosystem here. It is a popular place for bird watchers to go as there are more than 20 rare bird species that can be found in the park.

The only way to explore Galway’s is on foot. Get a ride to the front entrance and then spend a couple of hours walking the trails. If you’re really keen, hire a guide to help you spot some of the wildlife.

The park is open daily from 6 am to 5 pm and costs $10 USD per person.

Keep in mind, those who are not huge bird fans (and those without binoculars) might find this park a bit underwhelming.

Related read: Want more honest opinions? Check out the truth about visiting Udawalawe National Park.

10. Drive the Moon Plains

The views from the Moon Plains in nuwara Eliya, Sri Lanka
The views from the Moon Plains in Nuwara Eliya, Sri Lanka

The Moon Plains is one of the more popular things to do in Nuwara Eliya, Sri Lanka.

At the Moon Plains, you just jump in a jeep and get driven around a beautiful area. The top viewpoint is said to resemble that of the World’s End hike and is the perfect option for those that don’t have time to visit the Horton Plain National Park.

The downside to the Moon Plains is that you MUST visit in a jeep. The entrance fee is only 400 LKR, but expect to pay around 2000 LKR for a jeep. The price isn’t too bad if you are in a larger group (the jeeps hold up to 8 people) but is a bit expensive for a solo traveler considering the ride only lasts about half an hour.

The best time to visit the Moon Plains is first thing in the morning. As the day goes on it generally gets very cloudy and you won’t get much of a view.

The Moonplains Hemaya Bungalow is a cute little hotel located close to both the Moon Plains and Nuwara Eliya. For only $70 you get a Deluxe Double Room with breakfast included and mountain views!

11. Eat at Themparadu Restaurant

A few dishes at Themparadu Restaurant in Nuwara Eliya

Right on the edge of Victoria Park is a restaurant called Themparadu. We visited because it was rated #1 on TripAdvisor for “Cheap Eats” in Nuwara Eliya at the time. The food was really tasty, but what was special to me about this place was their milkshakes!

For only about 600 LKR you can get a huge milkshake topped with scoops of ice cream and chocolate. They resemble those really fancy milkshakes you get in western countries and would expect to pay $10 or more for.

The setting of this restaurant is lovely too as they have a patio that looks out onto Victoria Park. This is the perfect place to come before or after exploring the park.

We also tried their cheese kothu and it was also really tasty!

12. Climb Adam’s Peak

Sunrise view from Adam's Peak
Adam’s Peak at sunrise!

Many people do not realize that Adam’s Peak can actually be hiked from Nuwara Eliya. It is a bit of a drive (3 hours), but on a comfy bus, you can just sleep the entire way.

The best tours depart around midnight in order to get you there for sunrise. Hiking early in the morning is crucial in order to guarantee the best views. Expect to pay between 2,000-7,000 LKR for transport to Adam’s Peak and back to Nuwara Eliya depending on how many people you can get to go together.

Adam’s Peak has an entrance fee of $35 USD per person.

One word of advice, Adam’s Peak is not only a popular place for tourists but also locals. So if you want to avoid very hectic crowds, I recommend visiting during the week only (not on the weekends or holidays.)

There is this one really cool tour that actually involves hiking through the Peak Wildnerness sanctuary at night to get to the start of Adam’s Peak! This allows you to get up to the top first thing in the morning and enjoy views many other people don’t see! The tour departs not far from Nuwara Eliya and could be a good option if Adam’s Peak is on your to-do list! Book it in advance online!

13. Walk to the top of Single Tree Hill 

The views from Single Tree Hill, Nuwara Eliyaa
The views from Single Tree Hill, Nuwara Eliya

Single Tree Hill is a small hill that you can hike (or drive) to a lookout right in Nuwara Eliya. The hike takes around 90 minutes to get to the top where you are rewarded with views of the town, lake, mountains, and surrounding tea fields.

Once again, this activity is best done in the morning in order to ensure you actually get the views. The mist in Nuwara Eliya starts to set in around 10 am and can really prevent you from seeing anything!

You can find Single Tree Hill’s location on Google Maps. It is right in the city and easy to find!

This day tour around Nuwara Eliya includes a stop at a Single Tree viewpoint as well as many other places on this list! Check it out and book online in advance for only $40 USD!

If you want to actually hike Single Tree Hill with a guide, this morning tour takes you up the hill and back down before enjoying an included picnic lunch at the lake!

14. Eat AMAZING Pizza at Salmiya Restaurant

Salmiya Pizza Restaurant
Salmiya Pizza Restaurant is the best!

Good western food in Sri Lanka can be hard to come by, and when you do find it, the price is usually very high. Not at Salmiya Italian Restaurant though. This small locally owned (one-woman operation) makes some of the best pizza I’ve ever had! The handmade dough makes a thin and crispy crust and she has more than 50 different pizzas to choose from.

The price is also very good ranging from 700 LKR to 1500 for one pizza. The pizzas are decently big and could feed two people (although I recommend getting one all for yourself as they are THAT good!)

If you are craving pizza then you need to visit Salmiya Italian Restaurant.

Related read: Check out the best things to do in Trincomalee Sri Lanka

15. Tour a Tea Factory and Tea Field

Tea fields near Nuwara Eliya
Tea fields near Nuwara Eliya

Visiting a tea factory is a must-do activity in the area of Nuwara Eliya! If you haven’t already visited a tea factory in Ella or Haputale (as they are all pretty much the same) then you should do so in Nuwara Eliya!

The main tea factory in Nuwara Eliya is called Pedro Tea Plantation. Here you pay 250 LKR and can go on a tour of the factory and learn all about how tea is made. To be honest, I found it very interesting.

For a more in-depth experience, jump on a private tour of the factory as well as tea plucking. These tours will set you back about $25 USD but they include transport as well as the entrance fee to the factory. This tour takes a half-day.

Related read: Planning to visit Lipton Seat? Read about everything you need to know before you go.

16. World’s End Hike in Horton Plains National Park

View from Worlds End within the Horton Plains National Park in Sri Lanka.
View from Worlds End within the Horton Plains National Park in Sri Lanka. photo credit: “Oskanov”

The World’s End hike is one of the most famous in Sri Lanka. This 9km long hike is a loop in Horton Plains National Park which offers an incredible viewpoint about halfway through. The steep cliff at the viewpoint is where this infamous hike gets its name for looking like “the end of the world”.

Due to the weather in Nuwara Eliya, it is important to get up early and head to the hike. On a clear day, it is possible to see all the way to the ocean, but on a foggy or cloudy day, you might not be able to see a thing! This is why most people depart Nuwara Eliya around 5 am.

Leaving at 5 am gives you enough time to drive to the entrance gates (about an hour), then drive to the beginning of the hike (another 30 minutes or so), and then hike to the viewpoint before the daily cloud sets in.

The downside to the World’s End hike is the price. Expect to pay about 2,500 LKR for shared transport (at a minimum) and about 4,000 LKR entrance fee. To me, this is a hefty price for a short couple-hour-long hike. That being said, you also pass a beautiful waterfall along the way called Baker’s Falls and could opt to do another hike in the area too while you’re there.

I suggest organizing your transport/tour to and from the hike in advance. This tour is only $40 and includes pick-up and drop-off at your hotel as well as a guide! It leaves at 4:30 am so you’re sure to be the first group at the start of the trail!

17. Drive to the top of Pidurutalagala (Sri Lanka’s highest peak!)

The view from Pidurutalagala
The view from Pidurutalagala in Nuwara Eliya, Sri Lanka

From Nuwara Eliya, it is possible to go up to Sri Lanka’s tallest peak! Sitting at 2,524 m (8,281 ft) above sea level, this viewpoint (Pidurutalagala) offers panoramic views of the island! And the best part? You can drive all the way to the top!

The entrance gates are about a 10-minute drive from town with the highest viewpoint another 30-minute drive. It costs 200 LKR per vehicle and foreigners need to present their passports.

This is another one of those activities in Nuwara Eliya that is best done in clear weather.

18. Day Trip to Ella

Little Adams Peak Ella
Little Adams Peak Ella

Many people choose to stay in Ella for a couple of days, but if that isn’t part of your itinerary or you’re just short on time, then no need to worry – just visit Ella on a day trip from Nuwara Eliya!

From Nuwara Eliya, you can join a tour that will directly transfer you to Ella and show you some of the best places. The drive to Ella is gorgeous in itself, and then you’ll be able to check out the Nine Arches Bridge, Ella Rock, Little Adam’s Peak, and the endless amounts of scenery (including waterfalls!) to and back from Ella!

In all honesty, there are a ton of fun things to do in Ella, so if you can, I recommend actually staying a couple of nights in Ella.

You can book this particular tour in advance online. It is a full-day experience and includes a guide, breakfast, and a driver to take you to and around Ella for just $60 USD!

Just make sure to bring a comfortable pair of shoes as you’ll need them when you climb up to the top of Ella Rock.

19. Stay at a Guesthouse with an Epic View

The views from our guest house in Nuwara Eliya

Around Lake Gregory in Nuwara Eliya, there are many great guesthouses located up in the hills. These guesthouses are very cheap and offer incredible views!

We stayed at one called Serenus Boutique Villa and it was very nice and had the best view! We had breakfast each morning overlooking the lake – a peaceful and memorable way to start each day.

Check out these awesome guesthouses with amazing views in Nuwara Eliya:

Gregory Lake Holiday Home

This budget-friendly guesthouse offers double rooms for only $18 a night! It is located only 600m from Lake Gregory and the family who owns the place is super friendly!

gregory hills hotel
Photo Credit: Gregory Hills

Gregory Hills

Large, modern rooms offering lake and mountain views – amazing! Rooms cost about $30 and have a balcony, TV, kettle, and en-suite!

the bungalow nuwara eliya
Photo Credit: The Bungalow

The Bungalow

This small guesthouse doesn’t compromise comfort. It is modern, large, and offers floor to ceiling windows with lake views! It is only 300m from the lake and for $65 you can have a queen room complete with everything you could possibly need (including breakfast!)

20. Visit the Fruit Market

The fruit markets in Nuwara Eliya
The fruit markets in Nuwara Eliya

I know what you’re thinking, going to the fruit market doesn’t sound that great. Well, I’m here to tell you that it really is! The fruit market in Nuwara Eliya is the perfect place to try a ton of local fruit for next to nothing.

We wandered to the fruit market thinking we would just a buy some bananas but when we got there we saw a selection of fruit that we had never seen before! We started asking the men at the stalls what each fruit was, they would tell us and then we’d buy one and try it! The workers were super friendly and helpful and they seemed to enjoy showing us all of this new fruit.

Expect to pay between 25-50 LKR per piece of fruit.

This market is also commonly referred to as the “Central Market” as it also sells souvenirs and other crafts. You can find this market’s exact location on Google Maps.

21. Visit Ambewela Farm or New Zealand Farm

Cows at New Zealand Farm in Nuwara Eliya
Cows at New Zealand Farm in Nuwara Eliya

There are two very popular farms near Nuwara Eliya, Ambewela Farm, and New Zealand Farm. Both farms are actually working dairy farms and both invite tourists to come and have a look around.

Visiting either farm will have you trying fresh milk or yogurt, checking out the cows, and just relaxing n a beautiful environment. New Zealand Farm actually offers a guided “farm tour” (which is more of just a guided walk around to see some cows) but it only costs 100 LKR per person so it is worth doing if you’re there.

I highly recommend trying Ambewela’s drinking yogurt – it is sooooo good!

Both farms are very similar so you really only need to visit one.

Where to Stay in Nuwara Eliya, Sri Lanka

The Grand Hotel in Nuwara Eliya, Sri Lanka
The Grand Hotel in Nuwara Eliya, Sri Lanka

If you want to spend a couple of nights in Nuwara Eliya there are plenty of options for hotels to stay in. From budget guesthouses to the luxurious Grand Hotel, there is a hotel for every budget in Nuwara Eliya.

Here are some of the best options for where to stay in Nuwara Eliya:

Low Budget – Hi Lanka Hostel

This hostel is perfect for budget backpackers visiting Nuwara Eliya, Sri Lanka. It’s more like a home-stay offering a huge garden and a peaceful, yet social, stay. You can get a budget dorm bed or private room here. Breakfast is included in the room rate.

You can book the Hi Lanka Hostel on either Hostelworld or

Mid-range Budget – Serenus Boutique Villas

This is where we stayed, and although it seems a little pricey at first, meals are often included in the rate! This boutique hotel has incredible views of Lake Gregory and the place is pristine. It’s a really great value option for those looking for a comfortable stay in Nuwara Eliya. The food is also delicious!

You can check rates and book Serenus Boutique Villas on

High Budget – Grand Hotel Nuwara Eliya

The Grand Hotel is gorgeous and centrally located. Surprisingly, a stay here is pretty reasonable considering how beautiful the building and grounds are. In the hotel there is a restaurant and bar. They also host the famous Grand Hotel Afternoon High Tea.

You can check prices, availability, and book on

Of course, there are plenty of options for places to stay in Nuwara Eliya. You can easily compare them all here online!

Getting Around Nuwara Eliya, Sri Lanka

Driving our tuk tuk around the tea plantations near Haputale!
Driving our tuk-tuk around the tea plantations!

So, I know what you’re thinking – all of these places are great…but how do I get to all of them without my own transport?! We rented our own tuk-tuk while in Sri Lanka so we didn’t have this problem, but if you do then there is a couple of options:


There are lots of nice bike paths around Nuwara Eliya. You can either rent a bicycle and explore on your own, or you can sign up for a guided city bicycle tour!

Take a guided city tour

If you want to see all of the highlights in Nuwara Eliya in just one day, go on a guided city tour! No research needed, all you have to do is book and then be ready at your hotel for pick-up!

This particular tour is only $23 and shows you all around the city and outskirts in a tuk-tuk!

Rent a scooter/motorbike

If an organized day trip around Nuwara Eliya doesn’t sound like your thing, then maybe get a little adventurous and rent a scooter or motorbike for a day or two instead! Just be sure to rent from a reputable company to avoid any hazards or problems.

Hire your own taxi driver for the day

If you want to go to many places in one then consider hiring a taxi driver for an entire day! Negotiate a base price and then he will be your own private transport all-day. This will be cheaper than hiring a taxi for each individual trip as you need it!

Visiting Nuwara Eliya on a Day Trip

the train in ella
You can visit Nuwara Eliya on a day trip from Ella and ride a train one way!

We spent 3 nights in Nuwara Eliya, however many people don’t have the time on their holiday to do that. That’s why many travelers chose to visit Nuwara Eliya on a day trip from Colombo or Kandy.

Nuwara Eliya is not very far from Kandy or Colombo, and since it’s a small city, it can be explored easily in just one day!

From Kandy, you can jump on a train and enjoy a very scenic ride directly to Nuwara Eliya. This particular day tour includes the train ride as well as a stop at Victoria Park and Gregory Lake in Nuwara Eliya before hitting up a tea plantation on the way back.

Similar day tours also exist from Colombo (which also has some great city tours to take before you leave) just without the train ride.

The truth is, Nuwara Eliya is a really nice city, so if you get a chance to visit (even just on a day trip) you should definitely go!

Browse a ton of different tours and things to do in Nuwara Eliya on Viator (a trusted website for booking that we personally love!)

Getting Around Sri Lanka

tuk tuk parked at the beach in mirissa sri lanka
We rented a tuk-tuk for our entire trip around Sri Lanka.
Watching sunsets in Sri Lanka from our tuk tuk
Tuk-tuk is a great way to get around Sri Lanka.

To visit all of the best places in Sri Lanka, you’re going to need a mode of transport. You have a few choices when it comes to getting around Sri Lanka:

Rent a Tuk-tuk

Easily the most popular (and most fun) way to travel around Sri Lanka. We actually rented a tuk-tuk on our trip and absolutely loved it! Tuk-tuks are easy to drive, cheap to rent, and the freedom that comes with your own wheels is unmatched.

If you do decide to rent a tuk-tuk in Sri Lanka, be sure to go with a reputable company that provides quality tuk-tuks, such as Tuktuk Rental (who we rented from.) These guys not only offer an amazing service, but their tuk-tuks are actually rented from local families, providing income for the local community.

If you decide to rent from Tuktuk Rental, be sure to use the coupon code ‘DEST‘ for 5% off!

For more info, read our blog: The Truth about Renting a Tuk-tuk in Sri Lanka.

Hire a Driver

If you’re only planning on going to a couple of destinations, then a private driver is not a bad idea. In the comfort of an air-conditioned vehicle, your driver can take you to your next destination. All you have to do is sit back and relax!

You can hire highly-rated drivers in advance to pick you up right from the airport when you arrive in Sri Lanka. This driver will take you to your hotel in Mirissa, Galle, Bentota, or Unawatuna. Whereas this driver will take you to Kandy.

Of course, every time you want to change destinations you will have to arrange for another driver (unless you book this driver who will drive you around for an entire week). Car transfer can easily be organized through your hotel.

Take Public Transport

This is a choice I only recommend for those on a very tight budget and with plenty of time. Public transport is everywhere in Sri Lanka in the form of public buses and trains. It is also very cheap, costing less than a couple of dollars per journey.

However, it isn’t the most comfortable way to travel. The buses don’t have air conditioning and neither do many train services. They can also be slow-moving, stopping every couple of minutes to pick up more passengers.

With that said, public transport is popular with budget backpackers, and it is mostly safe. This is one way to travel for those who want to get around as the locals do!

Before you go…

eating a strawberry dessert in Nuwara Eliya, Sri Lanka
eating a strawberry dessert in Nuwara Eliya, Sri Lanka

I hope you enjoy exploring Nuwara Eliya, Sri Lanka as much as I did. Let me know what you thought of the city in the comments below – I’d love to know if what your personal favorite things to do in Nuwara Eliya are!

Be sure to check out our other Sri Lanka travel blogs for other similar articles about travel in this amazing island nation. Some, in particular, that you might like include:

Best places to visit in Sri Lanka

7 Awesome Things to do in Nilaveli, Beach

21 Things to do in Sigiriya, Sri Lanka

The Truth about Visiting Udawalawe National Park

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