The Lankan skies decide to turn grey and the heavens open up? Fret not! You won’t have a dull vacation as the island nation offers tons of activities to make your holiday entertaining even when it’s raining cats and dogs. To ensure that you have a pleasant holiday experience, regardless of the weather, we have master crafted a list of activities that can help you get the most out of your visit to Sri Lanka.
1. Check out the museums
What else could be better than spending a day following the diverse culture and legendary history that Sri Lanka takes immense pride in? A tour in the museums showcasing a splendid panoply of artefacts, colonial tales, and exquisite adornments would definitely turn a rainy day into an informative yet, amusing one. Here are a few of the best museums to visit:
- National Museum – Colombo, open daily except on Fridays: 9am-5pm
- National Museum of Natural History – Colombo, open daily: 9am-5pm
- The Economic History Museum of Sri Lanka – Colombo, open daily except on Fridays and weekends: 9am-2pm
- The National Maritime Museum – Galle, open daily: 9am-5pm
- Kandy National Museum – Kandy, open daily except Sunday and Monday: 9am-5pm
- Ceylon Tea Museum – Hantane, open daily except Monday: 8:30am-3:45pm (Sunday- 8:30am-3pm)
2. Relax at a spa
Pamper and nourish yourself at the finest spas in this exotic tropical island with a gamut of rejuvenating Ayurvedic therapies and specially curated menu of deep tissue massages. Luxuriate in some relaxing spa bliss instead of racking your brain on what to do when the weather turns unfavourably grim and wet. Some pretty popular spas include:
- Santani, Kandy: From the first-ever comprehensive hydrotherapy facilities in the nation to a range of efficacious Ayurvedic treatments, Santani is a full-fledged spa tailored to meet your personal requirements.
- Anantara Spa, Tangalle: Immerse yourself in the euphoric experience of indigenous Thai healings, authentic Arabian body treatment and exotic indulgences from all across Asia.
- Kemara Spa, Colombo: Elude vibrancy after you enjoy the aromatherapy, hot stone massages, reflexology and body exfoliations in a tranquil setting of Cinnamon Gardens.
- Spa Naturel at the Fortress, Galle: Rejoice in the specially curated menu that is enriched with the generosity of sublime water therapies and indigenous Sri Lankan Spa that makes your body sing Oh la la.
- Spa at Ulagalla, Anuradhapura: Enjoy the blissful spa moment in a paradise enveloped by wattle walls and lush foliage. From basic massages to a full course therapeutic care to signature rituals, the expert therapists at Ulagalla will treat you to delightfully indulgent pampering.
Related: Sri Lanka’s Hidden Gems: 5 Gorgeous Spa Retreats
3. Indulge in a seafood feast
Treat yourself to a range of tantalizing and exquisite seafood delicacies as you sway to the rhythm of the falling rain. Also, feast on the most exclusive gastronomic Sri Lankan delights either at the island’s finest diners or local street vendors who promise an exquisite treat to your taste buds. Do not forget to enjoy the perfect blend of fiery spices and flavours. Here are some of the most-visited eateries to pay a visit when it rains:
- Stick Fisherman View Restaurant – Koggala, Open daily: 8am-11pm & time varies on Poya Day
- Governor’s Restaurant – Colombo, Open daily except Saturday and Sunday: 6.30-10.30am, 12.30-3pm & 7-10.30pm
- Royal Dutch Cafe – Galle, Open daily: 8am-7pm & time varies on Poya Day
- Barefoot Garden Cafe – Colombo, Open daily: Monday to Saturday 10am-9pm and Sunday & Poya Day 10 am- 7 pm
- T-Lounge by Dilmah – Colombo, Open daily: 8 am to 11 pm & time varies on Poya Day
- Queen Arts Cafe – Unawatuna, Open daily: 8 am-9 pm & time varies on Poya Day
Related: Best Restaurants in Sri Lanka
4. Learn more about sea turtles
Add charm to your holiday by visiting the island’s famous Turtle hatcheries- home to a gamut of fascinating, but endangered species of turtles. It’s a real magical moment to see these wondrous creatures comfortable in a haven away from the dangers of poachers. You get a remarkable experience being a part of something bigger that makes a difference to the world. Make sure you have a visit to one of these:
- Koggala Sea Turtle Farm & Hatchery – Koggala, Open daily: 8am- 6pm
- Sea Turtle Hatchery Mahamodara – Galle, Open daily: 8am-6pm
- Marine Turtles Protecting Centre – Kosgoda, Open daily: 7am-6pm
5. Shop till you drop
The most promising way to cheer up your spirits during a rain-awashed day, ‘Shopping’ at the island’s vibrant malls will undoubtedly double your delight. So, why allow the rain to ruin your parade when you can purchase the most enticing souvenirs, beautifully crafted jewellery, and high-end products. And stay happy!
- Mlesna Tea Centre, Colombo: Teaholics can get whiff of various flavoured aromatic tea even from a distance. Open from 9:00 AM to 6:30 PM every day.
- Orchid House, Galle: A must visit place if you have a soft spot for the local handicrafts; Orchid house showcases brilliantly crafted jewellery, local fabrics, and natural aromatic spices. Open from 8:30 AM to 7:30 PM every day.
- Lacarcade, Colombo: Looking for authentic Sri Lankan souvenirs and novelty gift items? This colonial building repurposed as a gift shop is one of the biggest Gift and Souvenir shopping malls in Asia. Here, you can find shops offering a wide range of souvenirs from fancy trinkets to dining utensils, jewelry, traditional fabrics, to the array of local spices and teas you can buy as a gift for your loved ones back home.
- Lakpahana, Colombo: A store that is a reservoir of handcrafted elephants, demon masks and treasure boxes; Lakpahana sells these eclectic adornments at dirt cheap cost which is a cherry on the cake. Open from 10:00 AM to 6:00 PM every day.
- Arcade Independence Square, Colombo: A colonially inspired landmark renowned for its high-end fashion accessories, Arcade Square is the harbinger of advanced transformation in Sri Lanka. From shopping to watching a movie to dining, this beacon of hope is the best place to while away your time on rainy days in Sri Lanka. Open from 7:00 AM to 11:00 PM every day.
- Ratnapura. The island is internationally famous for the shining stones, so why not buy them and take home. Out of all the hubs for the gems, Ratnapura tops the list of places where you can make a purchase of the finest gems in the shade of beautiful shops to escape the rain!
6. It’s movie time!
Popcorn time can cheer up any individual who feels at the dump for being unable to explore the colonial landmarks in Sri Lanka because of the unfavourable rain. Get dolled up, book a ticket and watch the latest releases to while away your lazy afternoons at one of the many cinemas. Here are a few of the cinemas you can go to:
7. Check out Sri Lanka’s indoor playgrounds
Rainy days or sunny days, a visit to the fun park is always incredibly amusing. And Sri Lanka boasts of some well set-up fun parks to have a wonderful day in order to create unforgettable moments that last for a lifetime. What’s even better? Enjoying the rides and attractions whilst it drizzles is a whole new experience in itself. Have a fine day at:
- Fun Factory Mount Lavinia – Galle Road, Open daily: 10 am to 8 pm, Indoor playground.
- Saradiel Village Resort -Weganthale Rd, Open daily: 8 am to 5:30 pm. The resort offers both indoor and outdoor activities.
- LeisureWorld Water Park – Hanwalla, Open daily except on Monday: 9 am to 5 pm, Outdoor area
- Negombo Water Park – Negombo, Open daily for 24 hours, Outdoor area.
8. Get soaked at the beach
Last but not least, hop in a tuk-tuk and stop at one of the island’s most incredible palm-fringed beaches nearby for a romantic stroll when there is slight rain. And once it stops raining and the sun shines through, you can have fun trying jet skis or just lying on the sun-loungers. Win-win situation! Here we have a curated list of the beaches that you will definitely love, rain or no rain.
- Unawatuna Beach is an ideal place to be when it drizzles. Relish the rain as you walk along the magnificent coastline or sit on the sandy shore and fall for the enchanting glimpse of the horizon as it blends in with the overcast sky.
- Mirisa Beach is not only one of the most beautiful beaches in Sri Lanka but also an unspoilt part of nature luring visitors with its white powder-soft sand. Moreover, the water current is safe so even children can enjoy their small adventure splashing around when the rain-drops are small.
- Weligama Beach is the place to be at if you want to enjoy absolute solitude as the raindrops trickle down your cheeks. A tad bit of rain does no harm to the sand-castles children delightfully build using the thick, golden sand.
- Nilaveli Beach offers you with an extraordinarily panoramic view of the expansive unspoilt landscape. This beach is perfect to enjoy rainfall roaming the shores in search of beautiful shells. The rain just adds to the excitement of getting the most beautiful shells or the highest number of the same.
- Tangalle beach neighbours the glistening turquoise waters of the widespread Indian Ocean offering the breathtaking view of the setting sun. This heavenly view, when complemented with light rainfall, is an inexplicable experience that is to die for.
Related: Family Retreat in Sri Lanka: 5 Family-friendly Beaches
It is rightly said that ‘Where there is a will, there is a way.’ Despite raining cats and dogs in Sri Lanka, you can still create moments to be cherished in the pearl of the ocean. And transform the dreary rainy days into fun days jam-packed with several indulgences!
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Featured image credit: Jamie Hamilton on Flickr.