How do you choose from the incredible variety of top places to visit in Sri Lanka? With over 1,600 miles of coastline and thousands of miles of land bordering India, Myanmar, and the Indian Ocean, it can be hard to know where to start. But don’t worry—we’ve put together a list of the top 10 places to visit in Sri Lanka based on our years of experience traveling through this beautiful country.
Anuradhapura is an ancient city that was founded around 377 BC. The site was declared a world heritage site by UNESCO. There are two cities within Anuradhapura – Sigiriya and Dambulla, which are both located near each other. Other places of interest are Mihintale and Medirigiriya. Mihintale is located north-east of Anuradhapura and is home to Ruwanwelisaya, a large stupa dating back to 1070 AD. It’s also possible to climb up into the caves that adorn Mihintale, where there are over 80 caves filled with statues of Buddha. Read 7 Amazing Places To Visit In Maldives.
A visit to Kandy is a journey back in time, as you make your way through street markets and past colonial buildings. Located at 812 m above sea level, Kandy makes for a relaxing day trip from Colombo—you can even get there via an old-fashioned steam train that winds its way up through spectacular mountain scenery. Be sure to spend some time at Temple of the Tooth, one of Buddhism’s holiest sites and home to relics of Buddha himself. When you’re done exploring temples, head over to Peradeniya Botanical Gardens: if you’re lucky enough (and early enough) you might catch one of their stunning flower shows. Raed Protein Deficiency Symptoms, Causes, Remedies.
A popular seaside resort town on southern coast of Sri Lanka, Hikkaduwa is an ideal beach holiday destination. Home to one of world’s best surfing destinations and a number of stunning beaches, Hikkaduwa is a much sought after tourist destination in Sri Lanka. Also known as Dolphin’s Nose (Nose Point), Vilathikulam beach can be found just outside Hikkaduwa town. About 11 miles (18 kilometers) south of Hikkaduwa you can find Unawatuna which is another very popular beach destination for tourists from all over the world.
Galle is a quaint seaside town located on southern coast of Sri Lanka. The charm of Galle comes from its colonial past, but travelers will also love it for its beautiful beaches and nearby attractions such as Sigiriya Rock Fortress and Koggala Lake. If you are planning a trip, visit early or late in the year to avoid crowds of other tourists. Galle is an incredibly popular place for weddings and honeymoons, so visitors should be aware that some beach locations will only be available on weekends during peak seasons. Read Green Revolution Advantages & Disadvantages. Be sure to allow enough time for wedding guests if you are going during peak season.
The bustling capital of Sri Lanka, Colombo boasts a rich blend of history and culture. It’s home to landmarks like Independence Square, once the hub of political activism for early liberation movements, as well as museums covering everything from Buddha statues to colonial-era history. The city’s beaches aren’t too shabby either. Read What is Baldness, Reasons, Symptoms, and Treatment. That said, it doesn’t exactly feel like island life—that is until you head out into Chilaw Lagoon or Polonnaruwa Temple City. Just be sure not to miss Sigiriya Rock Fortress while you’re there!
6) Nuwara Eliya
Located at 1,800 meters above sea level and known as Little England by many travelers, Nuwara Eliya is a great place to visit in Sri Lanka. Considered an oasis amidst terraced plantations of tea, Nuwara Eliya features restaurants that serve traditional British fare and Victorian-style hotels. If you plan on visiting Nuwara Eliya, don’t miss seeing Horton Plains National Park or sampling some Ceylon tea. Keep your eyes peeled for orchids too!
Kataragama is a pilgrimage site for Sinhalese Buddhists. The shrine is especially sacred because it is believed that God Vishnu manifested himself here to end a famine that threatened mankind. Also located here are two temples, Ridi Vihara and Kataragama Devalaya. Shrines dedicated to other gods such as Natha, Kartikeya, Ganesh and Ayyanayake are also present here. Read Chicken Momo Recipe | How to Make Chicken Momo. The shrines are beautifully decorated with stained glass windows and intricate wood carvings. If you’re ever planning on visiting Kataragama, make sure you have some spare time on your hands because it’s a huge tourist attraction – about 500,000 people visit every year!
8) Yala National Park
A top place to visit on a Sri Lanka tour, Yala National Park features over 30 km of coastline, making it one of Sri Lanka’s best places for spotting whales and dolphins. The park is home to many species of animals including elephants, leopards, wild boar and deer. For tourists who are looking for an exciting nature adventure, visiting Yala National Park is a must! When you’re done exploring its rolling hills and jungle trails, be sure to stop by Senanigama Beach; it’s one of top beaches in Sri Lanka!
9) Unawatuna Beach
Sinhalese for Elephant’s Ear, Unawatuna Beach is one of Sri Lanka’s top attractions. Read What is Global Warming? How to stop Climate change. With its powdery white sand and year-round water temperature of 28 degrees Celsius, Unawatuna has been a popular spot for beachgoers since Europeans first arrived in Sri Lanka (then Ceylon) at the end of the 18th century. Today, people come from all over Asia and beyond to swim and surf on what is considered by many to be one of Sri Lanka’s best beaches. It’s also a convenient place to spend a few days if you want to visit nearby Galle, Matara or Kosgoda—or even head farther south along South Coast Highway towards Tangalle and Alankuda.
Mirissa is a popular tourist destination for its white-sand beaches and it attracts thousands of tourists throughout each year. Many hotels and resorts have sprung up along Mirissa’s coast, but that doesn’t mean you can’t get away from it all by exploring one of the nearby national parks or heading inland to marvel at Mirissa’s Buddhist heritage. Adventure seekers can climb Adam’s Peak, which overlooks Mirissa, while history buffs can visit Sita Amman Temple and Panchalankara Vihara, two ancient shrines. Whatever your interests are, there will be plenty of activities around Mirissa—but expect crowds as well. Read Visit for more info on Sri Lankan Airline.