Situated right next to the Indian Peninsula, Sri Lanka has always been on the wish list of many travellers. It’s simply irresistible to visit Sri Lanka owing to its endless beaches, flavourful food, timeless ruins, and more. Whether you set off on a spectacular train ride or indulge in outdoor activities, everything is a joy to behold. Across the island, you will surely discover 2000+ years of culture as well as many Unesco World Heritage Sites. You can also enjoy the experience at some national parks or when you head for a jungle safari. So, let’s check out the list of places you must visit while you’re in Sri Lanka.
Unarguably, Colombo has always been the famous destination among travel enthusiasts. Once you settle at the beautiful place, you could indulge in leisure activities and savor local food. The Viharamahadevi Park, the Beira Lake and the Galle Face Green are some of the tourist attractions where you can hang out with your loved ones. Besides, you would find many Buddhist temples, along with the Kelaniya Raj Maha Vihara and the Gangaramaya which have always been famous.
Sprawled across Anuradhapura, Sigiriya, and Polonaruwa, the Cultural Triangle is an area with ruins, wildlife and rocks. While the caves temples at Dambulla lie towards one of the tips of the triangle, the Kaudulla and Minneriya parks along with the Sigiriya rock are found in the surrounding area. These places are worth exploring through an elephant safari as you roam around by a vehicle.
Among the famous off-beat destinations, Ohiya has always captivated the hearts of many tourists and solo travelers. With hills spread across the small village, this place is an ultimate destination for those who are always enthusiastic about trekking and hiking. So, if you’re looking forward to unwind yourself, then Ohiya is the place you must visit. Before we forget, you should also think about visiting the Hortain Plains National Park soon after sunrise.
Known to be the island’s cultural capital, Kandy has been famous for the temple of Sacred Tooth Relic. For tourists, this place not only offers nostalgic wanders but also breathtaking views from the central lake. You could simply stop by some interesting museums or spend some more time at the botanical gardens in the vicinity. For the inhabitants of Sri Lanka, Kandy has always been the most holy place on the island. The national museum of Kandy, Arthur’s Seat, the Royal Palace, and the Udawattekele Sanctuary are some of the places worth visiting.
Galle has always been the most beautiful place in Sri Lanka. While the Dutch built the buildings and streets, the Sri Lankans made the place more interesting through its culture. Eventually, it has earned a recognition as an enchanting city with museums and art galleries across the region. Well, without any doubt, Galle has been a tourist attraction through the years. As you visit the old town of Galle, you would marvel at the art works of Europeans.
Mirissa was once upon a time an old beach town towards the south of Sri Lanka. But, as years passed by, it’s now a destination where people spend time surfing and watching whales. Way ahead, if you’re lucky then you may observe stilt fishing near to the sea shore. The Elephant Transit home, the Parrot Rock, and the Galle Fort are some of the locations you can visit during the tour.
When you’re in Sri Lanka, you shouldn’t forget visiting Unnawatuna. The hip cafes, beautiful beaches, and restaurants are some of the places that attract tourists. However, the best experience is when you unwind yourself on the most popular banana-shaped beach or simply swim deep into the sea. If you are fond of nightlife, then the experience is like never before.
Located far away from Colombo, Bentota is a town known for its serene landscapes, regions with tall palm trees, and a tranquil beach. Apart from everything else, you could also take a stroll along areas which the inhabitants use for cultivating toddy. Moreover, you would surely find some more excuses to enjoy the ambiance across the local temples, the Brief Garden and a few turtle hatcheries. Surprisingly, you could even check out an airport near the Bentota river.
With many gardens, waterfalls, lakes and tea plantations, Nuwara Eliya surely epitomizes scenic beauty. Not just that, the place is nicknamed as ‘Little England’ because it has a golf course, and buildings which boast colonial style of architecture. If you make up your mind to spend some more time, then you could embark on a boat ride or a pony ride near the Gregory Lake. In addition, your experience would be unique when you enjoy birdwatching at the Victoria Park.
Hikkaduwa has always been a traveler’s delight simply because of its beaches bustling with many outdoor activities. As you try adventure activities like scuba diving and surfing, reef dives and wreck dives, these are sure to enhance your experience. Once you start exploring the area, you shouldn’t miss visiting the Hikkaduwa national park, the Tsunami education centre & museum and the Gangarama Maha Vihara.
If you have planned to explore ancient cities in Sri Lanka, then you should think about visiting Dambulla. Once you step out, you are sure to find peace in nature as there are many religious monuments in the city. Apart from visiting the Golden Temple and the Dambulla Cave Temples, you can have fun while you’re on a safari across the Popham’s Arboretum. You could even think about going to the Rangiri international and a beautiful garden, the Jathika Namal Uyana.
Known to be the best location for water rafting, Kitugala would encourage you to live life to the greatest extent. Additionally, the location offers you many options for adventure sports. These include mountain biking, jungle trekking, and waterfall abseiling. With some of the natural attractions being the Belilena Caves and the Aberdeen Falls, you’re sure to seek peace as you stroll around the city.
When you’ve put your busy life on hold for a few days, you shouldn’t forget visiting Yala. The Buduruwagala boasts rock-cut Buddha figures which are certainly photogenic. Further ahead, it’s awe-inspiring when you watch animals basking under daylight at the Yala National Park. The Asokaramaya Buddhist Temple is yet another place you must visit because of its exquisite architecture and the peaceful atmosphere. But before going to Yala National Park, you could stop by Okanda Devalaya, a destination for pilgrims since many years.
With a history of civilian settlements, Trincomalee is famous for its beautiful harbors and its sandy beaches. The Gokarna Bay and the ‘Then Kailayam’ temple are some of the places you should include as plan your trip to the place. Undoubtedly, due to its historical relevance and the whale watching point, the city has always been on the bucket-list of numerous tourists. On the whole, the city seems beautiful as it’s situated towards the east of Sri Lanka. If you happen to visit Arugam Bay, Passikuda, and Batticaloa, the former capital of Sri Lanka, then you can take snaps of the city from the Kallady Bridge.
Renowned for its scenic beauty, Kalpitiya is a coastal town towards the westernmost part of Sri Lanka. This town is famous for the beaches, green landscapes and adventure-packed activities. If you want to try a different water sport altogether, then you can think about kite surfing at Kalpitiya. In comparison with other water sports, there’s nothing to fear when you try this sport as it’s quite easier to learn. On your way, when you reach the Mannar island you would definitely think about extending your trip to spend a marvelous time.
Finally, you can always think about a tour to Sri Lanka anytime between December and March. You would surely be able to admire the flora and fauna just in case you’re on a tour sometime during the month of July. A visit to the Sinharaja Rain Forest, Minneriya National Park and the Wilpattu National Park would surely make your trip memorable. A Madu Ganga river safari that leads you through swampy marshlands is also something you should experience.
As you think about leaving the stressful life behind, you can plan the tour beforehand soon after figuring out the overall cost.