Tips for Solo Female Travellers Visiting Sri Lanka

Travelling solo in Sri Lanka is very doable, but there are a few things you should know first
Travelling solo in Sri Lanka is very doable, but there are a few things you should know first | © Matthew Williams-Ellis Travel Photography / Alamy
Photo of Orana Velarde
Sri Lanka Hub Writer2 September 2021

Are you a solo female traveller considering a visit to Sri Lanka? Going it alone here is not complicated, the people are lovely and getting around is pretty simple. That said, there are still plenty of things you can do to make your trip safer and more comfortable.

What to pack

When going solo in Sri Lanka you should always have: baby wipes and toilet paper, for when there’s nothing more than a hand shower or bucket; a sarong or long skirt for visiting temples; a reusable water bottle, which you can refill at your hotel; and cash in small bills for tuk tuks and buses.

A carefully packed bag will help you avoid being caught short, especially outside the major cities | © ADDICTIVE STOCK CREATIVES / Alamy

Make friends with the locals

The best way to really get to know a country is to make friends with the locals. As a female, you are better off making friends with women first and foremost. Sri Lankan women are some of the friendliest in the world and will happily offer you a seat at their dinner table. A lot of people will be surprised that you are travelling on your own but will also offer you advice on the best places to visit and where to stay.

Get to the know friendly locals, who will often make recommendations on where to go and what to do | © Duy Phuong Nguyen / Alamy

Visit the Barefoot Garden Cafe in Colombo

The Barefoot Garden Cafe is great for many reasons. The shopping is wonderful, with many beautiful things to buy for yourself or friends back home, and the cafe area on the garden patio is perfect for sending emails from your laptop. It’s also a great place for meeting other travellers.

The Barefoot Garden Cafe in Colombo is a great place to meet fellow travellers | © geogphotos / Alamy

Dress modestly

You will need to dress modestly when visiting temples; legs and shoulders must always be covered. You will not be able to go inside otherwise.

Sigiriya Rock Fortress is one of the top attractions in Sri Lanka | © Matthew Williams-Ellis / robertharding / Alamy

Know when not to be alone

When the sun goes down, the city, and the towns especially, become very quiet. Avoid going out alone after dark. If you plan to go out on the town for a drink and a good time, best to find someone to go with.

If you plan on going out at night, make sure to go in a group | © Cavan Images / Alamy

Mind the staring

If you’re a female travelling solo through Sri Lanka, there’s a good chance that someone will stare at you. It’s not something you can necessarily avoid, but if you feel particularly uncomfortable being in a group may help. And, as always, follow your gut – if a situation feels risky, get to somewhere you feel safe as soon as possible.

Koggala Beach, in the south of Sri Lanka, is known for surfing and sun | © tagstiles.com / Alamy

Keep your eyes open and your head up

As a solo female traveller you probably already have your wits about you. Either way, it’s not overkill to mention that you need to keep your eyes open and follow your gut. Keep your head up, be confident and have the time of your life in Sri Lanka.

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