Key Destination For 2024: Best Places To Visit in Sri Lanka

It’s December 2023 and as always at the end of the year we start to think about the cool places we can visit in the new year. 2024 is coming and it’s a good time to plan ahead. With the pandemic hopefully long in the past, less restrictions and of course, an easy e-visa system for Sri Lanka, why not start thinking about heading to this magical island off the coast of India?

galle sri lanka backpacker

Backpacking in Galle, Sri Lanka.

There are plenty of options for you when it comes to Sri Lanka. There is the option of solo backpacking or booking Sri Lanka tours. Many people would simply Google Sri Lanka holidays, check the flights and options for accommodation and off they go. For those into decent planning, it’s a good idea to research what Sri Lanka tour packages are available and then get them book. As it’s an oval shaped island, travelling around and to multiple places is the key to enjoying the best that Sri Lanka has to offer. I did that, and in this post I will show a few of those magnificent places I visited. This is proof that Sri Lanka round tours are the easiest and most flexible way of enjoying the magic on display here. Get them booked and off you go. Here are a few places I visited for starters.

northern irish flag sri lanka

Backpacking in Galle – Northern Ireland flag next to a Sri Lanka one.

Adams Peak (Sri Pada)

On a miserable wet day, in the early hours of the morning, we headed on the Adam’s Peak hike. This is a spiritual and sacred hike that takes us up winding stairs in the high valleys to the place where Adam left earth from heaven, allegedly. My Dad and I made it and he was 64 at the time, some achivement though the views when we backpacked Adam’s Peak were not great in the cloudy drizzle.
Jonny Blair at the top of Adam's Peak in Sri Lanka

Staring down at the world from the top of Adam’s Peak in Sri Lanka.

hiking to adams peak sri pada sri lanka

All smiles for me and my Dad almost at the top of Adam’s Peak/Sri Pada in Sri Lanka.


Sri Lanka’s capital is highly under-rated. Whether it’s touring the temples, browsing the markets or watching the sun sink by the beach over a cold beer, the city is a manic gem.
Dad in Colombo Sri Lanka sunset

Admiring the Colombo sunset with my Dad. Extra special to have a beer with him here in Colombo, Sri Lanka.

Dambatenne Tea Factory

Tea is synonympus with Sri Lanka so get a tea plantation tour booked as there are so many options for this. We headed into the valleys and checked out the brilliant Dambatenne Tea Factory, and of course had a cup of the Earl.
Jonny Blair in Haputale tea plantations in Sri Lanka

Relaxing in the tea plantations in Haputale near the Dambatenne Tea Factory in Sri Lanka

Jonny Blair at a tea factory in Haputale

Visiting Dambatenne Tea Factory in the mountains at Haputale, Sri Lanka


The seaside city of Galle came as a surprise with its old fort, poky little markets and the views out to the Indian Ocean. It’s a magnificent spot to chill out in and I enjoyed writing about the inspiring Galle Fort.

Backpacking in Sri Lanka with Mum and Dad – Galle Fort


Calm Kandy is on most people’s Sri Lanka hitlist and I loved the vibe of this central city. There’s a trainline you can get out of it too and some truly excellent temples.
kandy sri lanka temple

Sightseeing in Kandy, Sri Lanka

Negombo to Colombo train Sri Lanka

Backpacking a train in Sri Lanka


If it’s an off the wall, off the beaten track, off the wheaten craic gem you seek, look no further than less ventured Kurunegala. We backpacked the lake here as well as hiking the Big Meditation Buddha that overlooks the city in epic fashion. You have to say this is a special place, but watch out for the monkeys!
Jonny Blair overlooking Kurunegala

Enjoying the view and the freedom from the Samade Buddha meditation statue in Kurunegala, Sri Lanka

Things to see and do in Kurunegala Sri Lanka

The Meditation Buddha looks down on Kurunegala in Sri Lanka


Elephants are a big thing in Sri Lanka and you can visit the special elephant home in the town of Pinnawala, where the staff look after the elephants and you can too. We were able to feed them, wash them and get a short walk whilst on their backs.
bathing with elephants in Pinnawala

After watching the elephants have their own thirsty Thursday, I wanted a beer in Pinnawala, Sri Lanka


Last but not least is the huge rock in the middle of nowhere! This place is known as Sigiriya and is a hike up to the top of a lost city on the top of a rock. The views are truly stunning and this is a place you won’t forget.

Checking out the ancient lost city at the top of Sigiriya Lion Rock in Sri Lanka.

Monkeys on the walls on the walk up to the ancient city on the rock of Sigiriya in Sri Lanka.

So what are you waiting for? 2024, head to Sri Lanka, you will love it!

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