Packing List for Sri Lanka: 10 Most Essential Items

Packing List for Sri Lanka: 10 Most Essential Items

Sri Lanka is indeed an attractive country where many natural wonders are waiting for you to explore. Once you have got ready with your visa and tickets, there are several important things to consider. If this is your 1st trip to Sri Lanka, planning your backpack according to the Sri Lankan climate is essential. Arranging a light backpack with all the necessary packing items is very important to enjoy your trip conveniently. Therefore, a packing list for Sri Lanka is one of the most important things you need to plan well ahead of.

Some parts of Sri Lanka are quite hot & humid, while the hill country has mild weather than other areas. Therefore, you need different clothes according to the areas you are going to visit. As well as, there are several essential things you need to pack for visiting cultural landmarks and sacred areas of the country. If you miss some important items from your packing list, it may lead to feeling uncomfortable during your travel.

Plan well ahead and arrange your packing list including these essential packing items to Sri Lanka. I hope this blog will help you to enjoy the Sri Lankan tour safely and conveniently with your handy backpack.

 Clothes to keep you cool

Being located close to the equator, Sri Lanka has a hot, tropical climate which can give travelers a bit of a challenge. The temperature stays consistently throughout the year at 27-30 °C with an average humidity of 80 %. When planning what to wear in Sri Lanka, it’s important to remember that most areas of the country have hot and humid climates. Therefore, wearing a comfortable dress will be more convenient to face the hot daytime during your journey.

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Most of the cities in Sri Lanka including the capital Colombo, Galle, Kandy, Anuradhapura and Polonnaruwa have a year-round hot climate. When you are going to visit cultural triangle or wild safaris, these clothes keep you cool. Mostly cotton clothes are the best to avoid sweating in warm weather. Therefore, you should pack enough clothes that help you to keep cool, as you move around in the strong sun in Sri Lanka.

 Clothes keep you warm

Although most areas of Sri Lanka are hot and humid, the central part of the country has a cold and mild temperature. Nuwareliya, Hatton, Ella and Haputale are the major touristic cities with a cold climate in the hill country. In these areas, the daytime temperature is around 24°C, but it decreases at night, where the temperature can drop down to 10-15°C.Post Creator

During the coldest months in December and January, it may go down to low as 10°C at the night. Therefore, a sweater or pullover is essential to keep you warm at night, if you are visiting hill country areas. Some days in the hill country are cold and windy, where you will need a cardigan or pullover to protect yourself from chilling weather even in the daytime. Therefore, don’t forget to include at least one warm clothes on your packing list for Sri Lanka.

Clothes to enter sacred places

Sri Lanka is a prominent Buddhist country in Asia. Since Lord Buddha is a deeply revered religious figure in Sri Lanka, travelers are expected to honor and respect the culture. Therefore, if you are visiting sacred places in the country, you need to select an appropriate dress. A white or light-colored dress is the best choice for visiting Buddhist temples.

When you are visiting a temple, always remember to select a dress that covers your shoulders and knees. It is better to avoid short skirts or pants. If you’re wearing sleeveless top, use a shawl to cover your shoulders. Therefore, a shawl and long pants or skirt are necessary items to keep in your backpack. Otherwise, you need to buy a sarong to cover up, before you are entering to the sacred temples.

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 Beach wares

The prime target of many Sri Lankan visitors is enjoying the stunning beaches of the island. If you plan to spend some time at the beaches, it’s a good idea to select the best beach wares. Most of the Lankan beaches allow bikinis, but some have notices to cover up while walking in public areas such as beach cafes and nearby private properties.

It is better to learn about the beach culture in Sri Lanka before you are choosing your beachwear. Many travelers use beautiful batik wares or sarongs for beach vacations, which are readily available in beachside boutiques.Post Creator


Although many visitors may not carry toiletries with their backpacks, it is an essential thing not to miss in your backpack. It’s wise to carry your roll of toilet paper as you’re making your way around the country. Many roadside toilets, as well as low-budget hotels and restaurants, don’t supply tissues.

It will be important to carry a hand sanitizer or hand wipes, so you can whip them out to maintain your hygiene. Carrying these few sanitary items is one of the most essential things on your packing list for Sri Lanka.Post Creator


Sunscreen is something that many travelers to Sri Lanka may forget, but it’s an incredibly important item to keep in your backpack. The sunlight is so strong and UV rays in Sri Lanka are often vicious than in cold countries. So, it’s important to act accordingly to protect yourself and prevent from damage to your skin. If you are going to spend time on the beach having fun in the sun, the use of sunscreen is a must to protect the skin from sunburn. A water-resistant sunscreen, with a broad-spectrum SPF over 50 is an ideal item to keep in your backpack.Post Creator


When you are gearing up for your Sri Lankan beach tour, sunglasses are an indispensable item to protect your eyes. The best pairs should provide adequate UV protection. Sunglasses with an anti-reflective lens and polarized sunglasses is the best for beach vacation under the hot sunlight. They are very useful during your beach vacation, as well as during wild safaris to protect your eyes. Thus, remember to include good pair of sunglasses into your packing list for Sri Lanka.Post Creator

Refilled Water Bottle

Rather than buying plastic water bottles, the use of a reusable water bottle is very important to save the environment. Always remember to fill your bottle with filtered water or boiled water from your accommodation. Normal tap water is perfectly safe to drink, but drinking filtered or boiled water will be the ideal choice. This refillable water bottle is a good option to keep you hydrated throughout the journey. As well, it will help to reduce plastic waste and decrease the environmental pollution. Post Creator

Mosquito Repellent

Mosquito repellent is a smart idea if you are traveling in the humid areas of the country. This menace turns out to be generally common during the rainy season in Sri Lanka. You need to minimize the chances of being bitten by them. To stay away from mosquito bites, keep a repellent cream or spray with you to apply on your body to distract them.

There are many types of repellents are available. You can utilize repellent lotions containing Citronella oil. The direct application of this aromatic natural oil to your body heavily deflects mosquitoes. As for the kids, you can utilize mosquito patch stickers, one of the best insect patches with Citronella oil. These safety measures are vital to avoid mosquito-borne diseases such as dengue fever.Post Creator

 Rain Coat

Sudden downpours are certainly not something phenomenal in Sri Lanka, even in the dry months. As well as, frequent rains are something you may have to experience while touring in the central part of the island. Since frequent showers in mountainous areas isn’t something uncommon, keeping a rain jacket with you is vital. The use of a pack-able raincoat is the best idea to save space in your backpack. It will help you to continue your journey safely, without your itinerary items getting wet.

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Here I have delivered the 10 most essential items to include in your backpack while touring in Sri Lanka. Despite you forget any of these things, you can easily buy most of what you need in major touristic cities on the island.

I hope to bring you a detailed packing guide for Sri Lanka in another post. Have fun exploring the beaches, food, temples, ruins, and many other wonderful places with your handy backpack filled with all necessary items. Happy traveling in Sri Lanka for everyone!

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