Awesome Things To Do in Unawatuna, Sri Lanka

Awesome Things To Do in Unawatuna, Sri Lanka

Awesome Things To Do in Unawatuna, Sri Lanka

Unawatuna in Sri Lanka is one of the most famous areas in the country. Tourists on a vacation like to spend their time in the southern part of Sri Lanka. This is mainly because the south has the most beautiful beaches in Sri Lanka. With roughly a one hour ride from the capital city Colombo, Unawatuna’s a perfect area to stay for a few days. The town itself is small, has great shopping, guesthouses, trendy restaurants, and quite some activities and sightseeing nearby. Read about our favorite things to do in Unawatuna.

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Unawatuna Beach

The main beach at Unawatuna is popular with both tourists and locals. The wide stretched beaches offer some good swimming and a part of the beach is occupied with sunbeds to rent. On the west end of the beach, there is a little walk to a pagoda statue overlooking the bay.

The beach is directly connected to the city center with loads of little restaurants and bars. There is a great beach vibe going on here even after sunset.

Find all: Hotels in Unawatuna

things to do unawatuna sri lanka beach

Wijaya Beach (Beach Swing)

The most Instagrammed place of Sri Lanka is without a doubt the beach swing at Wijaya Beach. It isn’t really on Wijaya Beach but just around the corner. Search on Google Maps for Dream Cabana, Unawatuna. This is the exact spot. And please do us a favor, say Hi from us to the great guys over there.

Also read: 9 Things To Do in Mirissa

things to do unawatuna sri lanka palm swing

Jungle Beach Unawatuna

Jungle Beach is on the opposite side of the main beach. It’s a bit hidden so a lot quieter than the main beach. It is not as easy to visit as Unawatuna beach but worth the visit if you have time. It’s about a 10-15 min drive from the center of Unawatuna town.

Visit Galle Fort

Galle Fort is something totally different in Sri Lanka. This great old fort is not filled with typical Sri Lankan architecture but has loads of influences of the Dutch, Portuguese and British. Galle Fort has loads of perfect souvenir shops and really great architecture. We love to wander around here for a full afternoon and watch the sunset on top of the fort wall.

Read more: Galle Fort Mini-Guide

Surfing or Standup Paddleboard

Ready to get in the water? In between Unawatuna and Galle is a good beach to learn to surf. Note that the best season for surfing is between November and May. At Ahikava Surfschool, you can rent a board and maybe have some lessons as well. Grab a paddleboard during sunset, relax and just enjoy the moment.

things to do unawatuna sri lanka surfing

Fitness in Unawatuna

Love to have a good workout in the gym during your travels or holiday? A week entrance costs $10. We also found it a great way to connect with young local guys and girls who are also training and love a little chat where they tell you everything about the area. The name of the fitness on Google Maps is Unawatuna Fitness Center.

Find all: Hotels in Unawatuna

Swim in the Best Infinity pool with a sea view

Luna Terrace near Galle Fort has a bar and infinity pool with the best view over the sea. Get a drink here and have a great afternoon swim.

things to do unawatuna sri lanka infinity pool

Stay at Tri Lanka

Hotel Tri is one of those hideaways near Unawatuna around Kogalla Lake. The sunrise and sunsets here are one of a kind overlooking the lake and cinnamon plantations.

Don’t visit: Turtle hatcheries

There are some small turtle hatcheries where they take care of damaged turtles. The turtles are saved from being stuck in fishing nets or plastic garbage. It’s a good cause but unfortunately, it has become a market to collect and sell the eggs to the hatcheries and let tourists pay extra to hold the baby turtles which is NO GOOD. Skip this thing to do in Unawatuna.
Read more tips on how to reduce plastic while traveling.

Find all: Hotels in Unawatuna

things to do unawatuna sri lanka turtle hatchery

Rent a motorbike in Unawatuna

Explore Unawatuna and it’s surroundings by motorbike. There’s a lot around to see. Koggala Beach, Galle Fort, Wijaya Beach or Koggala Lake. For $6 a day you own a brand new motorbike. We rented our motorbike at Kumari Tours.

Best restaurants in Unawatuna

Unawatuna is a star is great little restaurants. There are plenty of options so you can try something else every lunch and/or dinner of your holiday.

  1. Bedspace (quite expensive but so good)
  2. Lemongrass Cafe (great place)
  3. Happy Spice (cheap and local)
  4. SkinnyTom’s Deli (best breakfast)

Best time to visit Unawatuna

The best time to visit the southwest of Sri Lanka is from December until April and from July until the end of September.

Where to stay in Unawatuna

Hotels and guesthouses in Unawatuna are more expensive than the average price in Sri Lanka because of its popularity. But we got you a $15 discount at when you book through this link.

Find all: Hotels in Unawatuna

Blog comments (28)

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  • Hello dear.

    I’ve loved this blog. Read all I suppose. I am planning to go to Sri Lanka in November. I really wanted to stay in Unawatuna (mid November), do you think it is really not worth? Which beach should I choose for 5 night stay instead in mid November? (14-19)

    • I’m here now contact me those two are not good beach there are much more beautiful

    • Salt in our Hair

      Hi there! Unawatuna is really nice and definitely worth visiting. However, if you are unsure, you could always try Marissa as an alternative? Have a great trip :)

  • The discount for for Unawatuna isn’t working.

  • Shilpa Tawde

    Hi guys !
    We are travelling in the first week of May with a 7 yr.old who is excited to do all kinds of water sports. What’s the best place for that Bentota or Unawatuna?
    We plan to stay 4 days at Nuwara Eliya and 3 days at beach to do water sports.
    Please help…

    • saltinourhair

      Hi, to be honest, we have no idea about watersports. You can do surfing best in Bentota. However, May is the season shifting month so it could be possible there aren’t good waves.

  • hello!
    we are atravelling in mid april for 5 nights to the wes -south beaches
    we are coming with our 3 kids (ages 10, 7, 6) and think about surfing but also hang out at the beach
    i really love your style ….and saw what you wrote about mirrissa and unawatuna – BUT STILL CANT DECIDE
    which area should we choose?
    please help me (-:

    • saltinourhair

      So good to hear you’re going to travel Sri Lanka with your family!
      The area between Matara and Mirissa is perfect for surfing. For example, Weligama beach is very popular.
      Unawatuna isn’t the right place for surfing but it has some beautiful beaches to relax.

      If you really need to choose :p Go for Mirissa. (Maybe you could do a day trip to Galle fort. It’s a beautiful place with little shops and lots of history)

      Hope you’ll have the best time!

  • Ewa Haidacher

    Hi guys, fantastic blog!!!

    We are going to Sri Lanka very soon and one of highlight should be the train ride. Does it make a big difference to take the train from Ella to Nuwara Eliya instead of the route the most travelers do Nuwara Eliya- Ella? We are travelling with 2 small kids and booked 3 night in Ella, so it would be easier for us to take the train from there. Thanks in advance for your help!
    Cheers Ewa

  • Hello,

    I love this page very helpful thank you.

    I’m planning a solo trip in feb to Mirissa, any recommendation where I can stay? I’m looking for something right at the beach and a bit premium.

    Also, do you think the weather is good mid feb?

    And finally any spa recommendations?

    Thank you,

  • Hi – Stumbled across your fab site whilst trying to avoid a package/’we do everything for you’ type thing. We have 15 days from mid Feb. Advice please; would you go up and across to cultural triangle from Negombo first or south and around up? All the tour co. seem to do the former. So much to so :) Namaste

  • debasish mahapatra

    Hey, your blog is super cool and the pics are really great. I’m planning my short vacation to Sri Lanka (south west) in Jan end. It would be really helpful if you can guide me on the following:
    1) I am planning to visit Galle, Unawatuna, Hikkaduwa and Mirissa over a 3-4 days time period. Where should I stay among one of the above places considering my choices are somewhat close to the beach with a decent night life.
    2) What’s the best mode of transportation in these places, am open to any thing which is safe and reliable.
    3) Is it possible to travel from colombo to ella, cover everything on the same day and return back the next day. I really want to cover Ella but am not sure whether my itinerary would allow that.

    Looking forward to your reply


    • saltinourhair

      Hi, thanks! Best would be Mirissa or Unuwatuna. Local tuk-tuks are the quickest option to get around. And I wouldn’t recommend Ella and back in one day.


  • Hey, your blog posts are super handy. I’ve used a lot of your tips to help me plan my own trip to Sri Lanka in February! Hoping you can help me out a little further…can you recommend any Sri Lankan car hire companies that also offer a driver? I’ve seen some really dodgy reviews online so far but I’d love to use a local company if possible. Looking to hire the car in Colombo to drive to and from Cultural Triangle, Kandy, Ella, Adam’s peak etc.

    • saltinourhair

      Hi! Look into, they are great, using an App and offer a fair price. Use the discount code SALTYTAXI while booking your ride :)

  • Hey guys, fantastic article.

    Have just been to Unawatuna myself and this tips were great.

    One question, I’m also a blogger and was just wondering how you get your awesome accomodation blocks down the bottom of your articles? Can’t seem to work it out on WordPress.



    • saltinourhair

      Hi Emma! Thanks a lot. We’ve made this block ourselves. I (Nick) am a web developer so it’s easier for me to do this in the code.

  • Stunning shots, I really enjoyed this post.

  • Veronica Lopez

    Hello Guys!
    I’ve Sri Lanka on my mind for the past weeks already. I stumble upon your blog and I will definitely keep it in order to plan my itinerary. I have a couple of questions for you:

    1. Is it safe to travel solo? I’m a 32 year-old woman, with experience traveling alone, but it will be my very first time that I travel to this region.

    2. What time of the year did you go? I don’t mind the rain at all, but when you live in the Netherlands, rain is part of your everyday life, so I would like to have holidays in Sri Lanka with virtually no rain :)

    Thank you so much for sharing your travels!



    • saltinourhair

      Hi Veronica!
      I’m sure you’ll love Sri Lanka. We felt totally safe, even in the big cities. All the people are so nice and most of them speak English.

      We were traveling Sri Lanka in September and the weather was just perfect. Sometimes sun, sometimes cloudy but very less rain :)

      Please let us know if you have more questions!:)

      Ps. wij komen ook uit nederland?

  • I’m visiting Unna this weekend – can’t wait!

  • Awesome post! I need to get to Unawatuna one of these days … and will definitely rent a bike while I’m there ;)

  • The Common Wanderer

    Some great tips here guys. Can’t believe we missed Unawatuna when we we’re in Sri Lanka. Just means we’ll have to go back next time!

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