Things to do in Sri Lanka in the new year 2024

Get ready for an amazing New Year celebration in Sri Lanka! This guide is all about the cool stuff you can do there, perfect for Indians looking for a special way to welcome the New Year.

Currently Indians can travel Visa free to Sri Lanka. This initiative will remain effective until March 2024.

As we usher in the New Year 2024, Sri Lanka emerges as a vibrant destination for Indian travelers, brimming with cultural kinship and shared heritage. This guide offers a curated exploration of Sri Lanka through an Indian lens, highlighting the rich tapestry of experiences that resonate with Indian visitors.

From checking out ancient temples to chilling on beautiful beaches, we've got the lowdown on all the fun activities waiting for you. Join us as we explore the awesome things that make Sri Lanka the perfect place to kick off the New Year in style!

1. Visit Ancient Cities and Cultural Sites

These sites offer a glimpse into Sri Lanka's rich historical and cultural heritage, showcasing ancient civilisations and their architectural ingenuity. They are essential for understanding the country's past and its influence on the present.

Anuradhapura and Polonnaruwa 

Explore these ancient cities known for their well-preserved ruins of an ancient Sri Lankan civilisation.

Sigiriya Rock Fortress 

A must-visit UNESCO World Heritage site, featuring an ancient rock fortress and palace ruins.

Dambulla Cave Temple 

Admire the impressive murals and statues in this historic Buddhist temple.

2. Wildlife Watching and National Parks

Sri Lanka's national parks and wildlife sanctuaries provide unique opportunities to observe diverse wildlife in their natural habitats. These experiences emphasise the country’s commitment to conservation and the importance of biodiversity.

Yala National Park 

Go on a safari to spot leopards, elephants, and a variety of birds.

Udawalawe National Park 

Famous for elephant watching, this park offers a guaranteed sighting of these majestic creatures.

Whale Watching in Mirissa 

Experience whale watching, especially for blue and sperm whales.

3. Beach and Coastal Activities

The beaches and coastal activities highlight Sri Lanka's natural beauty and offer relaxation and adventure. They play a crucial role in the country's tourism, attracting beach lovers and water sports enthusiasts from around the world.

Relax on the Beaches 

Unwind at beautiful beaches like Unawatuna, Bentota, and Arugam Bay.

Water Sports 

Engage in water sports like surfing, snorkeling, and diving, particularly popular in Hikkaduwa and Trincomalee.

Galle Fort 

Visit this historic fort for a mix of history and panoramic ocean views.

4. Explore the Hill Country

The hill country, with its tea plantations and scenic landscapes, is vital for understanding Sri Lanka's colonial history and its tea industry, a significant contributor to the economy and culture.

Train Ride to Ella 

Enjoy one of the most scenic train rides, offering stunning views of tea plantations and countryside.

Nuwara Eliya 

Visit this colonial-era town known as “Little England” for its old-world charm and tea estates.

Hiking and Trekking 

Engage in hikes such as Adam’s Peak and Horton Plains National Park for breathtaking views.

5. Cultural Experiences and Festivals

Engaging in cultural experiences and festivals allows visitors to immerse themselves in Sri Lanka’s traditions and customs, fostering a deeper connection and appreciation for the local way of life.

Sri Lankan Cuisine 

Try traditional dishes like hoppers, kottu, and Sri Lankan curry.

Visit a Tea Plantation 

Learn about tea production and sample fresh Ceylon tea.

Attend Traditional New Year Celebrations 

Experience Sri Lankan New Year festivities, which include unique games, rituals, and food.

6. Urban Exploration

Exploring urban areas like Colombo and Kandy provides insights into the contemporary lifestyle in Sri Lanka, blending modernity with tradition, and highlighting the cultural diversity of the nation.


Explore the capital city’s colonial architecture, bustling markets, and vibrant nightlife.


Visit the Temple of the Tooth and enjoy cultural shows featuring traditional Kandyan dancing.

7. Wellness and Ayurveda

Sri Lanka's focus on wellness and Ayurveda showcases its ancient practices of health and wellbeing, offering visitors a chance to experience holistic healing and rejuvenation.

Ayurvedic Treatments 

Indulge in traditional Ayurvedic spa treatments and wellness retreats, widely available across the country.

8. Adventure Sports

Adventure sports in Sri Lanka cater to thrill-seekers and highlight the country's diverse landscape, from rivers to mountains, offering unique perspectives and experiences.

White Water Rafting 

Experience white water rafting in Kitulgala.

Hot Air Ballooning 

Enjoy hot air ballooning in Dambulla for a unique view of the landscape.

9. Shopping and Handicrafts

Shopping for local handicrafts and textiles supports local artisans and communities, allowing visitors to take home a piece of Sri Lanka’s artistic heritage.

Local Markets and Craft Villages 

Shop for local handicrafts, textiles, and gems, especially in cities like Kandy and Colombo.

10. Community and Volunteer Tourism

Community Projects 

Participate in community tourism initiatives and volunteer programs, offering a chance to contribute to local communities.

Also Read: Make the most of Visa-free travel to Sri Lanka, Thailand and Malaysia

For all Indians, visiting Sri Lanka during the New Year period provides an opportunity to witness the country’s festive spirit, along with its natural beauty and cultural richness. Whether you are looking for adventure, relaxation, or cultural immersion, Sri Lanka has something to offer every type of traveler.

By Yashas

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