10 great things to do this October

With October approaching, scroll down to see the amazing things to do this month!
By Time Out editors |

October is the time for partying here in the tropical isle with Oktoberfest and Halloween just around the corner. Sri Lanka will be lit up with Deepawali lights and the glow of Navarathri. Learn to make the perfect cup of tea and munch on fresh baked paan, while you read. Explore the wonders of Uva or go white water rafting, there are stage plays and exhibitions you cannot miss. That’s just a list of experiences you need to indulge in this month! 



Live it up the German way at Oktoberfest where there is plenty of dancing, music, beer and delicious food! 


Dress up and look out for all the parties

Be whoever you want to be this Halloween! Dress up and look out for all the parties happening around! 

National month of reading
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National Month of Reading

Grab a book during the National Month of Reading, there's much to discover as you flip through the pages.

Sailing in Bolgoda lake

Sailing in Bolgoda

Enjoy nature and its secrets while sailing in Bolgoda. You can even pet a baby crocodile and spot exotic birds.

Watch grand prix in a pub

Watch the Grand Prix

Get your adrenaline pumping while watching the Grand Prix this October in the many bars and pubs around town!

Hikkaduwa beach

Get ready for the Hikkaduwa season

Hikkaduwa has a lot to offer the sun and sand-lover. As the weather starts to clear in October, its beaches come alive in November till April. It is lively and energetic, yet offers a relaxing time too. Many beach parties take place and surfers take to the waters. Tourists as well as Sri Lankans flock in to to experience the seasonal flare. Hotels and resorts get booked fast, so be on top of your game by making reservations in advance (See Galle and South) and by purchasing your beach gear (See Shopping). 

Horse racing in Nuwara Eliya

Cheers on at the horse races in Nuwara Eliya

The town on the plains has lush tea plantations, gorgeous flower parks, rich vegetation and many sites to see. However, it is also a destination for horse racing in Sri Lanka. The Royal Turf Club’s Horse Racing Festival is taking place at the Nuwara Eliya Racecourse (See sports). Don your ascot attire and mingle amidst the spectators parading in the latest trends. The atmosphere is glamorous and vibrant. Cheer on as the starting gunshot echoes through the air and the horses gallop through the tracks. 

Pooneryn Fort, Jaffna

Stop by the ancient Pooneryn Fort on the way to Jaffna

The ruins of the Fort are located on the south shore of Jaffna Lagoon in the town of Pooneryn. Now called the Pooneryn Fort it was first built by the Portuguese to protect their interests in Jaffna. Later the Dutch occupied it and subsequently so did the British. Walk through this site and marvel at what might have been a great architectural feat in the years of yore. It is both similar to and different from Forts elsewhere in the Island. Of the towering ramparts only a few stand today, waiting to be admired. When you look between trees, you will spot a tunnel; no doubt it was used for strategic operations and to move about during invasions. A must visit place when in Jaffna to explore the historical ruins. 

Go on a picnic
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Go on a picnic

A picnic makes for an ideal getaway during the weekend. To make your picnic basket colourful and exciting there are shops offering cutlery, baked goods and sweet delicacies to make your very own basket of goodies (See Shopping). The many parks and waterfalls in and around Sri Lanka are ideal places to relax and picnic with your family. Bopath Ella, Hakgala Gardens, Peradeniya Gardens and Viharamaha Devi Park are a few hotspots to enjoy and relax with family. Soak up the sun or breathe in the moist air, in the month of October a picnic is perfect. 

Ridiyagama Safari Park
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Visit the Ridiyagama Safari Park

Ridiyagama Safari Park in Hambantota is a 500 acre open zoo that is home to many wild beasts. Travel in the safari vehicles through the Asian Elephant Zone, World Herbivore Zone and African Lion Zone and witness the mighty animals of the wild in their element. You can watch the lion roar, ostrich run and hippo soak mud as Ridiyagama has animals from across the world. The best times to visit is early morning or late afternoon. 

More to explore