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  3. Escape to the Great Outdoors: Sri Lanka’s Picnic Park Guide

Escape to the Great Outdoors: Sri Lanka's Picnic Park Guide

Sri Lanka is home to a variety of lush green picnic parks and gardens, each with its own unique history, beautiful scenery, and mesmerizing flora and fauna. These parks offer recreation, relaxation, and exploration, as well as a respite from urban life. From resetting your mental health to retreating into the depths of nature, Sri Lanka’s most iconic and well-visited picnic parks welcome you to reconnect with loved ones, and give rise to the child within.

 

For those looking for an escape from the hustle and bustle of city life, Sri Lanka’s picnic parks offer a great opportunity to get away from the stress of modern living and reconnect with the beauty of nature.

 

Tips

 

We do recommend that you take with you a thick picnic blanket, mosquito repellent (which can be bought at any supermarket), plenty of water, easy to eat nibbles – but be aware of the little picnic park dwellers that tend to scavenge for leftovers (particularly fruit!), and a garbage bag (because no one likes a litter bug).

 

Opt for flip-flops, linen or flowy attire and sunscreen! Whilst our picnic parks are a great way to get some sun and fresh air, it can get quite hot and humid during the day.

 

Warning!

 

Each picnic park in Sri Lanka has its own rules and regulations that are clearly displayed in English – we recommend keeping an eye out for them, particularly with operating hours, special notices, fees and wildlife warnings/ restrictions.

 

Now, without further ado, here is our list of the most experiential picnic parks in Sri Lanka:

 

Galle Face Green

 

Considered is a historic seaside promenade located in the heart of Colombo, Sri Lanka. Initially laid out in 1859 by Sir Henry Ward, Governor of British Ceylon – the stretch of land was previously used for horse racing and golf (known as the Colpetty Race Course). In recent years, Galle Face Green has become the go-to destination for people of all ages and backgrounds to relax, take in the scenery, or just enjoy the vibrancy of Colombo. Overlooking the magnificent Indian Ocean, the Port City Colombo reclamation project, and much of Colombo’s shopping and business district, Galle Face Green is the perfect spot to watch the sunset, catch up with friends, or simply take in the beauty of one of South Asia’s most diverse and exciting cities. During the day, one should visit the place between 9 am and 6 pm. If you want to relax, unwind and enjoy the sunset, the best time you can visit the Galle face green is between 4 pm and 6 pm.

 

Viharamahadevi Park

 

Named after the first queen of Sri Lanka, Viharamahadevi, who was the mother of King Dutugemunu, Viharamahadevi Park is located in the heart of Colombo, Sri Lanka, and is one of the country’s most breath-taking picnic park destinations. It is spread over a vast area of 76.5 acres of land and is adorned with lush greenery, flowering trees, colloquially designed walkways, fountains, and fish ponds. This idyllic setting has made Viharamahadevi Park a popular destination for family picnics, nature walks, jogging, and other recreational activities.

 

Independence Square

 

Located in the heart of Colombo’s bustling shopping and entertainment district, Independence Square is an idyllic picnic park in Sri Lanka for fitness enthusiasts, families and tourists alike. Featuring the Independence Memorial Hall – a national monument in Sri Lanka built to commemorate Sri Lanka’s independence from British rule on 4 February 1948 – the park is a popular urban green space, with manicured lawns, beautifully-crafted gardens and children’s play areas. It is also home to many monuments and sculptures dedicated to notable figures in Sri Lankan history, and a vast array of trees, flowers and plants providing welcome shade for picnic-goers and fitness fanatics alike. It gets pretty busy just after 5 pm with many after-work crowds taking to independence square for their daily fitness regimen.

 

Beddagana Wetland Park

 

Situated in a suburban area outside of Colombo’s bustling metropolitan, the Baddegana Wetland Park in Sri Jayawardenapura Kotte – Sri Lanka’s capital city, is a peaceful haven for bird-watchers and nature enthusiasts. Home to a variety of avian species, both endemic and migratory, the Baddegana Wetland Park holds within it a diverse ecosystem that welcomes explorers, fitness enthusiasts, and of course, families, who enjoy a round of football, tag, and even hide and seek. Don’t be surprised if you end up spending an entire day at this picnic park haven, as it offers a wonderful respite to connect with nature, make memories with your loved ones and get in those steps! The best time to visit to spot bird species and wildlife, is either early morning (around 6 am when the park opens) or in the evening just before sunset.

 

Royal Botanical Gardens Kandy

 

The Royal Botanical Gardens, also known as the Peradeniya Botanical Gardens, is, situated in Kandy and is one of Sri Lanka’s 5 botanical gardens, along with the Henarathgoda Botanical Garden, Mirijjawila Botanical Gardens, Hakgala Botanical Gardens (listed below) and the Seethawaka Wet Zone Botanic Gardens (listed below). A sought-after picnic park in Sri Lanka that attracts thousands of tourists and more than a million locals annually to its vibrant, lush gardens, the Royal Botanical Gardens is renowned for its collection of over 4,000 species of plants, including orchids, spices, medicinal plants, and palm trees. The gardens also act as a platform for knowledge sharing, offering tours and a wealth of information about Sri Lankan wildlife, giving visitors a glimpse into the country’s diverse array of flora and fauna. Considered a paradise for plant lovers and botanists, the Royal Botanical Gardens are a must-visit for anyone looking to experience Sri Lanka’s natural beauty and expansive bird and animal life. The best time to visit is from December to April, when there is the least number of rainy days and is the season of bloom for most of the flower varieties.

 

Hakgala Botanical Gardens

 

Popularly known as the second largest botanical garden in Sri Lanka, the Hakgala Botanical Gardens is situated in the central highlands of Sri Lanka and is home to many subtropical and temperate plants. Visited by over 500,000 nature enthusiasts annually, this vibrant picnic park in Sri Lanka is home to over 10,000 species of flora and features a variety of species of Orchids and Roses. The best time to visit is between March and April – when all the flowers are in bloom.

 

Seethawaka Wet Zone Botanical Gardens

 

Serving mainly as a research area and a conservation area for threatened and vulnerable endemic plant species in the Sinharaja Rain Forest region, the Seethawaka Wet Zone Botanical Gardens was established in 1999 by the Sri Lankan government to provide an opportunity for scientific research and to promote public education on the importance of conservation of native species. Home to a wide variety of flowers, ferns, fruits and a large number of herbs, it is recommended to visit during the evening hours to avoid the hot and humid climate, characteristic of the area. It is a great spot for nature lovers and birdwatchers alike, with over 150 bird species known to be found here, making it a haven for avid birders.

 

Euphoria Spice and Herbal Garden

 

Euphoria Spice and Herbal Garden, situated in Matale, Sri Lanka has long been renowned for its vast collection of spices and herbs, since its launch in 2014. It has become an iconic destination – spread out across 2 hectares of land – for the exploration of Sri Lankan spices and herbs, offering an array of high-quality products to customers from around the world. From spices such as cinnamon, turmeric, and nutmeg to herbs such as lemongrass and gotukola, Euphoria Spice and Herbal Garden has something for everyone.

Looking for an outdoor experience that rejuvenate the mind, relaxes the body and rekindles the fire within your soul? Or just a nice day out, immersed in the beauty of nature – with a healthy helping of a deep-rooted culture and history? Visit one of Sri Lanka’s many picnic park destinations for all that and more.

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