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There are literally incredible experiences around every corner in Sri Lanka. It’s hard to believe how much there is to discover on such a small island and you wouldn’t want to miss out on any of it right? That’s why we’ve put together the Ultimate Vagabond’s Bucket List for Sri Lanka. This is not just any bucket list, this is the ULTIMATE VAGABOND’S BUCKET LIST FOR SRI LANKA so we’ve brought you 25 things to tick off on your adventures!

These aren’t just the places in the guidebook that every traveller will visit. This is an honest collection of all the experiences that will make your trip truly unforgettable. We’ve missed out all the places that weren’t worth the visit and included all the places that were missed out by the guidebooks. Follow the Ultimate Vagabond’s Bucket List and fall in love with Sri Lanka just like we did.

#1 Eat as much curry as possible

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#2 Take a train journey through the tea country

The Ultimate Vagabond's Bucket List for Sri Lanka

#3 Climb Pidurangala rock and see Sigiriya from a different perspective


#4 Get off the beaten track


#5 Eat as much fruit as possible


#6 Catch a wave


#7 Travel nice and slowly


#8 Follow your ears and try a kotthu roti

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#9 Climb 5,500 steps to ring the bell at the top of Adam’s Peak and watch the sun rise with thousands of pilgrims

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#10 Spot elephants in the wild

Udawalawe National Park is a great place for this!

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#11 Find the best curry in the world in Uppeveli

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#12 Jump on a train


#13 And make some friends!

The Ultimate Vagabond's Bucket List for Sri Lanka

#14 Spend all day walking from temple to temple


#15 Get lost in the clouds

The Ultimate Vagabond's Bucket List for Sri Lanka

#16 Eat curry with your hands

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#17 Explore the jungle ruins of Arankele and visit the monks


#18 Get your scuba diving masks on and swim with sharks at Pigeon island


#19 Take a sleeper train


#20 Wander through the tea factories


#21 Take a ride in a tuk tuk and maybe even a drive


#22 Practice your photography

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#23 Cycle from temple to temple in Anuradhapura


#24 Make friends with everyone 


#25 Go kayaking in Tangalla


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  1. Sounds like you guys had a great time! Love the traditional clothing for women, the details are so pretty! Also, the food looks yummy!

  2. This is a great post. There are so many lists online. By making a photo list you have put so much life and meaning into it.

    All the curries and Dosa look delish, how spicy was the spicy one?

    My favourite point is #100 “Leave no trace”. It breaks my heart every time I see tourist based trash. This is undoubtedly the most important thing a respectful traveller can do.

    Thanks for sharing. Keep travel blogging. Adventure is better shared with friends!

  3. Hey Anthony, It’s nice to know the effort is appreciated! All of the food was absolutely incredible. We literally spent everyday eating! You’re right, it’s horrible when you see places destroyed by tourism, we need to take a more sustainable approach.

  4. We’ve never been to Sri Lanka, but would love to go there one day, especially to see the beautiful landscapes and archaeological sites. The only problem is that we both don’t like curry! 🙁 Guess we’ll have to eat the exotic fresh fruits all the time then! haha…

  5. This makes me want to go here so bad! All your curry photos look to die for. We love curry! If we were to visit this location we would probably be doing a lot of the same things you are. Love the mediation photo too. We try to incorporate that into our travels especially in quiet places! Beautiful post and lovely photo list!

  6. Hey Shelby, glad you like it. If you have like curry then this is definitely the place to go, after three months we never ate anything that tasted the same. All beautifully fresh and unique. We’re the same, I think this is why we like to travel more rural areas so we can find quiet spots to read and meditate!

  7. this sounds like a wonderfully perfect destination – I can’t argue with eating lots of curry, hiking and exploring wonderful areas of nature. Sri Lanka looks like a lovely colourful and vibrant country.

  8. Was #3 difficult at all? That view is just stellar! #9 looks like something I’d totally love to witness in person as well. In fact all of these look like super amazing, bucket list worthy things to do. I definitely need to start planning a trip to Sri Lanka now!

  9. You had me at “eat as much curry as possible”! You get me! Ha. But seriously, my mouth is watering now and I’m DYING to visit Sri Lanka!

  10. Wowzers! I wanted to hop over to Sri Lanka when I was in India, and man, I missed out! You weren’t kidding when you said there’s something to do in every corner! I’d love to see elephants in the wild, hike to the top of Adams Peak, and of course enjoy all of the delicious vegan food- all that fruit looks so yummy. Thank you for being responsible in your travels and steering people away from areas where elephants are exploited. Happy Travels!

  11. Have never seen Srilanka like this. It reminds me so much of Kerala, India -the rain, the dosa, the lush green, the temple, bus etc.. I would suggest you visit if you have not been there already. The difference would be the boat houses, Ayurvedic centres and amazing vegetarian coconut infused dishes.
    I definitely want to see the Boabab tree, Arugam Bay and the lying Buddha. Adding Sri Lanka to my list.
    Thank you for the wonderful photo log. Cheers!

  12. Hey Jas, #3 Pidurangala Rock was an easy climb, definitely less than an hour if I remember rightly. #9 Adam’s Peak is actually a pretty intense climb. It’s not that long but it’s just continuous steps up and down so your calves will feel like they’re imploding!

  13. Ahh, we had the same feelings, we were planning on going to India afterwards but it would’ve been monsoon, so we decided to wait for a better time. Where abouts in India did you go?

  14. Kerala is incredibly high up on our travel list. Our next trip will actually take us to India so any tips places you suggest would be really appreciated! Glad you liked the post 🙂

  15. wow what a post! I so want to go to sri lanka! I love that so many of your highlights are around food! It is the same for me. And I would like to ring that bell and see that view.

  16. Wow! Great list and lovely photos! As you are planning India next, would suggest you to start from the Eastern Zone, as the Southern Zone would be a bit similar. Also the east is the least explored area, so lots of new things to experience 😀

  17. I would love to try curry in Sri Lanka. I’m not a huge fan, probably because I’ve never had really good authentic curry. I like your point, “Take it slow!” I get my best travel experiences when I only plan a couple of things/day. They seem to be more enriching.

  18. Hi Sumit, yes we are planning on India but it’s our final destination after a long overland trip, so it may take some time to get there! I really appreciate the advice, can I contact you for more information?

  19. Very true, a few things a day and really make the most of it. I challenge you to try an authentic Sri Lankan curry and not like it! Make sure you tell us if you try 🙂

  20. Sri Lanka is so high on my bucketlist and I hope to get there in the next couple of years especially as I love curry. You have so many good ideas here and I am definitely going to pin this for my trip one day. I really want to do take a train journey through the tea country it looks like such an adventure and beautiful.

  21. Wow! what a Great list and lovely photos! I must say Sri Lanka is so high on my bucket list and I would love to try curry in Sri Lanka. Thanks for sharing this post with us.

  22. I just want to say I am just newbie to blogging and site-building and definitely enjoyed this web blog. Probably I’m planning to bookmark your blog post . You really come with good stories. Thanks a lot for sharing your website.

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