Planning a solo trip to Sri Lanka and wondering if it safe to visit Sri Lanka alone as a female? In this post, you can find a quick guide to Solo Female Travel in Sri Lanka answering your questions.
Sri Lanka has become a popular tourist destination in recent years, as travelers are drawn to the island nation’s authentic and overall stunning nature.
Sri Lanka is located just above the equator, south of India. It suffered a civil war between 1983 and 2009, and its tourism has just recently picked up. The food is wonderful, the people are friendly, there are gorgeous beaches, and it is rather affordable to visit compared to other locations with similar draws.
Table of Contents (skip directly to the info you're looking for)
- 1 Is it safe for solo female travelers to travel to Sri Lanka?
- 2 Useful info and things to know before leaving
- 3 When to go, where to stay, and how to get around
- 4 5 spots not to miss in Sri Lanka
Is it safe for solo female travelers to travel to Sri Lanka?
Yes, it is safe for solo female travelers to travel to Sri Lanka! Tourism has picked up and due to affordability, ease of getting around, and the uniqueness of this island country, it has drawn a number of solo female travelers.
If you choose to do a solo trip to Sri Lanka, you will surely run into other solo female travelers or ‘couple’ backpackers that you can even travel with for some time or swap stories and advice while there.
Many people say that while they go to Sri Lanka for a solo experience, they don’t really feel ‘alone’ as there are others doing the same thing.
That being said, it is always wise to pay attention to your surroundings and to never be alone or out and about at night. If you are staying at a hostel or another place of accommodation where there is something to greet you at the entrance, let them know what time you expect to arrive back.
Useful info and things to know before leaving
When traveling, it is always recommended to plan for a ‘just in case’. Travel insurance is highly recommended as you will probably want to explore nature and hop on a tuk-tuk, so being insured is a must. You can select travel insurance depending on your own travel needs.
You will need an Electronic Travel Authorization (ETA) or a visa to visit Sri Lanka from the U.S. It is necessary to request and receive a visitor’s visa prior to departure, and have a passport that is valid for six months from the expected date of departure from Sri Lanka.
You can easily request a visa to Sri Lanka from the U.S. through online services such as srilankavisa.org.
Other things to know:
- You cannot drink the water.
- Tipping is appreciated.
- Dress appropriately.
- Sri Lanka is a great place to visit for vegetarians.
When to go, where to stay, and how to get around
When to go
When it comes to deciding when to visit Sri Lanka, weather is generally stable throughout the year with temperatures averaging 82 degrees Fahrenheit. If you visit the southwest region, the best time is between December to April, and for the northeast region, it is from May to September. So while you plan your trip, check on weather patterns and averages for the areas that you’d like to visit.
It is important to know that monsoon season is October to January in the northern and eastern areas and between May and September in the southern and western regions.
The peak tourist season is December through March here.
Where to stay
Once you decide which region you primarily want to be in during your visit in Sri Lanka, it’s time to choose accommodation. You can select from beach huts, beach resorts, tree houses, historical properties, hostels, guest houses in family homes, and more.
Many people find that when visiting different regions and different size cities, it is worth mixing up your accommodation styles so that you can experience different sides of Sri Lanka.
How to get around
First things first, arriving to Sri Lanka. Sri Lanka has two international airports, including Bandaranaike International Airport near Colombo and Mattala Rajapaksa (HRI) near Hambantota.
The best way to get around Sri Lanka is via train. It gives you the opportunity to take in all the stunning views, meet locals and other travelers, and see dramatically different landscapes as you pass through region to region. For getting around post-train ride, you can hire a tuk-tuk or simply walk and explore as you go.
Many visitors end up hiring a guided tour for their time in Sri Lanka so that they have assistance getting around and getting to focus on the experiences. You can also plan ahead and go by the many recommendations of friends and sources so that you can simply enjoy your time in Sri Lanka while there.
Now that we know the logistics around how to get to Sri Lanka and when to go, let’s go over 5 spots to not miss while you are there!
5 spots not to miss in Sri Lanka
Adam’s Peak is a gorgeous mountain known for its Sri Pada (sacred footprint) rock formation. It is a pilgrimage site, as this is said to belong to Buddha in Buddhist tradition and Adam in Christianity. You can hike 2.5-5 hours up to the summit and be rewarded with stunning views, especially if you make it up for sunrise.
Udawalawe National Park
While the Elephant Orphanage is a major draw in Sri Lanka, there are questionable ethics surrounding animal welfare, so it is best for the elephants to visit at Udawalawe National Park. Here you’ll see wildlife such as leopards and monkeys as well as roaming elephants.
The beaches are an absolute must in Sri Lanka. Bentota Beachhas golden-sand beaches and clear water that you can spend the day relaxing at.
Kelaniya Raja Maha Vihara
Kelaniya Raja Maha Vihara is a Buddhist temple located outside of Colombo. It is an incredible place to visit and experience, while it is both beautiful and also honors the majority of Sri Lankans and their culture, as Theravada Buddhists.
The Polonnaruwa Ruins are located an hour outside of Dambulla, and it is a site that is well worth a visit. It was once the country’s capital and is home to a number of ruins, including former palaces, Buddha statues and more. You can even rent bicycles to explore the site.
Have you been to Sri Lanka? If so, what did you think of it?