Do you want to leave behind all your work deadlines and travel to a distant land far away from all maddening rush? Are you looking to relax lazily on a hammock? Do you want to let go of all anxieties? Well, then a trip to Sri Lanka is all that your ultimate healer. With its pristine beaches, mosaic landscape and picturesque topography, Sri Lanka has so much to offer. So back your virtual bag and let’s run through the best tourist places in Sri Lanka.
Before we move forward with this blog post, let us first get an idea of the essentials:
Best time to visit Sri Lanka: Sri Lanka doesn’t experience the extremes when it comes to weather conditions. The best time to visit Sri Lanka depends upon the region you’re keen to visit. December to March is the perfect time for visiting most of the country (Highlands, West Coast, and South coast). May to September is ideal for visiting the Eastern Coasts.
Places to stay in Sri Lanka: Being travelers’ favorite, there is no dearth of hotels in Sri Lanka, whether you’re in a budget or enjoy luxury. Some of the best hotels in Srilanka are Uga Bay Hotel, Amanwella, Queen’s Hotel, The Secret Kandy, Grand Udawalawe Safari Resort, and Helga’s Folly, among many.
Since the beaches of Sri Lanka has taken the world by storm, you can get a fair idea of best beach resorts post reading this blog.
Sri Lanka boasts of some of the world’s best beaches, and the interiors of the island nation also have a lot to offer. Here are some of the must-see tourist attractions in Sri Lanka.
12 Best Sri Lanka Tourist Places
Here are the best places to visit in Sri Lanka which one can visit and enjoy a great time away from the hustle-bustle.
1. The Dambulla Cave Temple–The largest temple complex in-Sri Lanka
The most popular among the best places to visit in Sri Lanka is the Dambulla cave temple. It tops the Sri Lanka tourist destinations. The largest temple complex in Sri Lanka, its statues and paintings date back to 12th Century AD. The temple complex has five rooms of different sizes; all rooms have Buddha in a different position looking calm and peaceful. The temple is built on a black rocky mountain which serves as a nice contrast with the white walls of the temple. Dont miss the view from the top. The temple can be easily accessed from both Colombo and Kandy.
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2. Yala National Park- Among the top tourist attractions in-Srilanka
Missing Yala National Park while Sri Lanka sightseeing might bring regret to wildlife lovers. It is home to a host of wildlife and birds you are bound to run into a group of elephants bathing in streams, tossing their trunks wildly or leopards nestling lazily on tree branches. You could opt for the safari drives or a nature trail among the thick green foliage of the forest. Some tourists also camp at Yala and enjoy barbeque under the stars. Yala is the perfect place to try your hand at wildlife photography.
Getting to Yala National Park is quite simple. All you will have to do is drive down to the Park from Colombo. Another way is by taking a bus to Tissamaharama.
3. Arugam Bay- Turquoise heaven for adrenaline-junkies
Sri Lanka has a coastline of over 1600 km and is ideally suited for windsurfing, speed boating, and other water sports. Arugam Bay has azure skies and slanting coconut trees. If you are looking to surf in turquoise waters, Arugam Bay must be in your list of must-see tourist places in Sri Lanka. It is on the southeast coast around 320 km from Colombo.
It is the ideal place to sip coconut water, take in the scent of jasmine and allow the southern sun to tan your skin.
Besides Arugam bay, other beaches among best places to visit in Sri Lanka are Unawatuna in the South; and Tangalla again in the south around 195 km south of Colombo.
How to get there- Colombo has an international airport and is strategically located. So if you fly to Colombo, you are pretty much in close proximity to the best beaches.
Flight Charges from India: INR 15,000 for an adult if booked two months in advance
Best beaches around Colombo: Benota, Mirissa, Koggala, Trincomalee, Pasikudah, Unawatuna, Tangalla and Arugam Bay
Best time to visit: Between November and March
Best Hotels to stay: Weligama Bay resort, The Fortress Resort Galle, Palace Mirissa, and Number One Mirissa
4. Sigiriya and Polonnaruwa- Ruggedness amidst the greenery
Sigiriya or the mount of remembrance is a World Heritage Site and one of the most stunning places to see in Sri Lanka. This giant formation of rock rises out of nowhere towering over everything in its vicinity. It is quite a climb to the top but once up there you will get to see a panoramic view of the nearby sights and the Sigiriya fort. The rock fortress is a slice of history perched on a rock and is really worth a visit.
Not much is heard and said about Polonnaruwa, but this ancient city is no less than the Petra of the south. A gem among Sri Lanka tourist attractions, this ancient ruined city stands amidst its erstwhile sturdy columns and architecture. The best way to explore this ancient city is to hire a bike and zoom around the ruins. The site is well maintained and is a telling example of Sri Lankas history and culture. Polonnaruwa can be easily accessed via Sigiriya. You can take a tuk-tuk or a bus from Sigiriya. Or you can take a bus from Dambulla to Polonnaruwa.
Best Hotels to Stay: Jetwing Vil Uyana, Camelia Resort and Spa, Hotel Sigiriya, Camellia Resort and Spa, and Lal Homestay
5. Galle- A 16th century marvel
Galle is an important city in Sri Lanka and is a one-stop destination wherein you can take in all sights and sounds. One of the best places to visit in Sri Lanka is the Galle Fort. The Galle Fort area has wide cobblestoned roads and a number of eateries and cafes. Try and catch the sunset while you are there. There are a number of trinket shops and galleries that you can visit.
Another picturesque destination for sightseeing in Sri Lanka is the Japanese Peace Pagoda. Quite close to the Unawatuna beach, it is a white dome of serenity.
Best Hotels to Sty: Jetwing Lighthouse, Amangalla, Tamarind Hill, Apa Villa Thalpe, and The Fortress
6. Jaffna- Peep into the past
Although a bit crowded, the temple Nallur Kovil is a nice pick among the best places to see in Sri Lanka. Another place of interest is the Jaffna Fort. This fort is in the center of the city and is a tourist hub. If youre in Jaffna, you cannot miss the Nagadipa Purana Vihara, the temple can be accessed by boat. One of calmest among Sri Lanka tourist attractions, the temple is surreal and a wonderful place to meditate.
Best Hotels to Stay: PJ Hotels, and Morgans
7. The Commonwealth War Cemetery at Kandy- Remembering the martyrs
Yes, a weird one in the list of best places to visit in Sri Lanka, the war cemetery is well maintained and the grounds are well kept. Overall it is a very humbling experience. This cemetery is hard to find without a guide, but once you get there, it is worth the effort.
8. Temple of Tooth at Kandy- Treat to the eyes and soul
The temple of the tooth is again a popular one among tourist places in Sri Lanka. This temple in Kandy is iconic because of the history attached to it. With a quaint setup and interesting artifacts, this temple is worth a visit.
9. Nuwara Eliya- Getting closer to pristine nature
Nuwara Eliya is most famous for its tea gardens and scenery. With misty clouds, lush green sloping hills and a train that looks that it has come out of the Harry Potter films, Nuwara Eliya is a hilly paradise and another great addition to Sri Lankas tourist attractions.
10. Trincomalee- An unmissable beach getaway
Trincomalee, among many similar Sri Lanka tourist spots, is blessed with a beautiful beach. If you are up for an underwater diving tour, then SLDT (Sri Lanka Diving Tours) will give you the best experience. Besides water sports, there are also many temples and beaches in Trincomalee. Theres also a war cemetery which is surrounded by lush gardens, which makes it one of the best places to see in Sri Lanka.
11. Polonnaruwa Sacred City
This city was once the ancient kingdom of Sri Lanka and walking into this still gives a feeling of the Golden Age. Inside this city there are still ruins of palaces, shrines and stupas which makes it one of the top tourist attractions in Sri Lanka. All these landmarks give a closure to the historical remains which hold a glorious past. This place has a lot to explore and gives a peek to the golden past of this side of Sri Lanka.
Main Highlights: One shouldn’t miss witnessing the statue of Parakramabahu I who ruled during the golden age. Alongside that one can also see the magnificent view of the Lotus Pond which is made in a lotus-shaped petals and built on 4-tiers.
This is one of the top tourist places in Sri Lanka which is also claimed to be one of the world heritage sites. The place gained its importance after the arrival of the Bodhi Tree which is also called the “tree of enlightenment”. The place protects the tree and keeps it away from the wild elephants during the reign of King Kirthi Sri Rangasingha.
Best Time To Visit: April and September
Location: It is approximately hours from Anuradhapura-Padeniya highway
Price: $25 (INR – 1781)
If you want to make a trip abroad and benefit from the exchange rate, then book your trip to Sri Lanka. So pamper yourself and indulge your senses in the rich heritage and diverse beauty of Sri Lanka.
Frequently Asked Questions About Sri Lanka Tourist Places
A. There are various places in the country of Sri Lanka that are considered to be quite beautiful. Some of them are:
2. Yala National Park
3. Temple of the Tooth Relic
4. Pinnawala Elephant Orphanage
5. Adams Peak
6. Nuwara Eliya
7. Beira Lake
A. Sri Lanka is known for its culture. There’s a lot to explore and experience in this country. You can even go shopping at this place for a great experience. You can buy gems, tea, fabrics, handicrafts, antiques, ceramics, leather products, and more.
A. In order to cover maximum places in the country of Sri Lanka during your vacay and make the most of it, you need to plan a trip for at least 5 days and 4 nights.
A. The best Buddhist places in Sri Lanka are Mirisawetiya Stupa, Gangaramaya Buddhist Temple, and Kelaniya Raja Maha Vihara.
A. The tourist places in Sri Lanka near the airport are Pettah Bazaar, Gangaramaya Temple, and Mount Lavinia.
A. The tourist places in Sri Lanka near Colombo are the National Museum and Cinnamon Gardens.
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