From endless beaches to tropical rainforests, from diverse wildlife to rare aquatic animals, from ancient architecture to luxury hotels, you say it and Sri Lanka has got it all. There are some really amazing places to visit in Sri Lanka with many awesome things to do.
Sri Lanka is a pearl shaped island country in South Asia located in the Indian Ocean. It is around 356 kilometers from Kanyakumari, Southernmost point of India in straight line distance. Sri Lanka’s unique culture, history and weather conditions make it an incredible travel location.
So sit back, relax and fasten your seatbelts as we are going to glide you through the best places to visit in Sri Lanka.
1. Colombo, Commercial city of Sri Lanka
Colombo is the capital city of Sri Lanka and is the largest city by population. It is the commercial city of Sri Lanka with a rich colonial heritage and a jarring mix of races, religions, and cultures on the western coast. Sinhala and Tamil are the two official languages spoken by the locals. The ancient buildings of Portuguese, British and Dutch era keep the history alive. The huge mansions, luscious gardens, fine dining spots, shopping malls, and old clubs give a glimpse of the British lifestyle and make streets busy and crowded. Colombo is undoubtedly one of the best places to visit in Sri Lanka.
Colombo offers a varying range of experiences like playing a Round of Golf at The Royal Colombo Golf Club, city tour, delicious seafood at Mt. Lavinia Beach, taking a tuk-tuk ride.
The city has a large variety of shopping options filled with boutiques and shopping malls containing local arts and expensive designer apparels.
2. Bentota, Best Resort town to visit in Sri Lanka
Bentota is the resort town of Sri Lanka and the best summer location you can ever go to. There are attractive beachside hotels with big swimming pools, as well as guest houses to fit in all budget travels. Bentota is the perfect destination for die-hard scuba divers as water is usually warm and clear. One of the best things you can watch out for in Bentota is the hatching of endangered turtles. This is the most enchanting place of Bentota. Check-list Bentota as it is one of the best places to visit in Sri lanka.
The other activities which you can do at Bentota are jet ski riding, windsurfing, boogie boarding, water skiing, and kite surfing. You can also have a leisurely ride on a banana boat with the family and kids.
3. Dambulla, The Cave city
Dambulla is an incredible place for peace lovers. It is full of ancient historical monuments which are a treasure to watch out for. The Dambulla Cave Temple is an ancient Buddhist pilgrimage which is the largest preserved cave temple in whole of Sri Lanka. The cave paintings, sacred vibes, and the statue of Buddha make it very spiritual and engaging for the visitors. The next place to be added to your itinerary is Minneriya National Park which is the best place to see wild elephants and enjoy jeep safaris. A visit to the Buddhist Museum and Museum of Wall Paintings is also astonishing. It has Asia’s largest Buddha statue in Dhyan Chakra Mudra.
Some of the best hiking places in Dambulla are Pindurangala Rock and KaluDiya Pokuna. The Pindurangala Rock hike is through dense forest and the breathtaking views from the top make the hike worth all the effort. KaluDiyaPokuna means ‘pond with black water’. This hike is rewarding for nature lovers as you can spot butterflies and birds all around the hill. You can also find caves where monks meditated years ago. This serene place would soak you in nature’s beauty. With no Doubts, Dambulla has made its name in the top places to visit in Sri Lanka.
4. Mirissa, Best Whale Watching Place to visit in Sri Lanka
Never seen a Whale? Don’t worry. This place would make sure you see huge blue whales. It is one of the only recorded resident blue whale colonies in their natural habitat. You can also see dolphins which are encountered in the whale watching trips which are organized by Mirissa and Dondra head of the southern coast. The BBC documentary filmed across Mirissa says that 30 blue whales are spotted every single day. This documentary was titled “Ocean Giants” which was based on scientific efforts to shed light on blue whale’s habits and why they grow so huge. This makes Mirissa, one of the most incredible places to visit in Sri Lanka.
Mirissa is also a very luscious place for people who love nightlife. It has a lively atmosphere once the sun is down. Most of the bars have happy hours at sunset and very cheap cocktails. The fireworks lighten up the sky and there are quite a few parties going on at the beachside for all the party lovers out there.
5. Galle, Fort City
Galle is situated at the south-western tip of Sri Lanka about 119 km from Colombo. It is mainly known for the Galle Fort, the fortified city founded by Portuguese colonists in the 16th century. Galle is surrounded by ramparts which start from one end and finish at another end. These ramparts are thick and were built by Dutch in the 17th century. The ramparts have a pretty good architecture which makes them worth seeing. Inside the Galle Fort, you can walk and do shopping as there are boutiques and shops which sell local souvenirs and goods. If you have love for ancient things, then Galle is surely one of the unmissable places to visit in Sri Lanka.
Another important place in Galle is Unawatuna. It is the beach town in Galle. The beach has pretty good waves which makes it a very good location for surfing. As the waves are not big it is a perfect place to have fun in the ocean. You can also do scuba diving at the beach.
Kandy is a large city in the center of Sri Lanka. It is the last city of King’s era in Sri Lanka. It is surrounded by mountains. You can find lots of tea plantation and tropical rainforests around the city. The city’s best attraction is the pleasing Kandy Lake which is popular for taking a leisure walk. If you like spending time wandering in nature, then it is surely one of the best places to visit in Sri Lanka. The city is said to be considered as holy and religious because of the Buddhist sites found in the city including the Temple of the Tooth Relic.
Another place to stop by in Kandy is Peradeniya Botanical Garden which is pure beauty. Here you’ll find a variety of plant collections like coconut palm trees, orchids, giant bamboo and also royal palms which were planted in 1950. You can also visit the tea factory in Giragama, Market Square, Gem lapidary and Wood Carving Centre in Kandy.
7. Nuwara Eliya, Little England
Nuwara Eliya, often charmingly known as the ‘Little England’ of Sri Lanka is situated in the hill country of the central province, Sri Lanka. It has a backdrop of mountains, beautiful valleys, and tea plantations. It is the place where the British built Holiday Bungalows and spent their vacations. You can stay at Grand Hotels to make your visit worth. All around the city you’ll see British influence as there are houses like cottages and Queen Ann style mansion. The Gregory Lake present in the center of the Nuwara Eliya is a calm park to have a walk.
NuwaraEliya is the coldest city and is famous for the Winter Market. This market has inexpensive winter wear. So forgot your sweater or feeling really cold? Head to the Winter Market and grab your winter wear at very low cost. You should go through at least one of the many tea plantations in Nuwara Eliya.
8. Udawalawe National Park, one of the best places to visit in Sri Lanka
If you are not convinced by the beautiful beaches, rich culture, ancient architecture, and blues whales to make a plan to Sri Lanka, then this mesmerizing National Park will make sure you are convinced to drop at Sri Lanka for a holiday. Udawalawe National Park was created to provide sanctuary to the wildlife dislocated by the construction of Udawalawe Reservoir which provides water for agriculture and hydro-power generation spreading over a large area resembling an African game park. If animals fascinate you, then Udawalawe National Park is one of the best places you can visit in Sri Lanka and enjoy the safari.
The best thing to do at Udawalawe National Park is to hop on to the 12-hour safari adventure. You can find Asian Elephants throughout the year in the National Park. You can usually spot them in herds if you choose to depart in the morning. There are up to 100 elephants that roam in herds and nearly 500 elephants are present in the National Park. If you start your safari in the afternoon, you might end up capturing one of the most iconic sunsets of your life. You will also come across water buffaloes, jackals, black-naped hares, foxes, spotted deer, and mongoose. And if it’s your lucky day you may spot a leopard other smaller cats.
There is also an Elephant Transit Home at Udawalawe National Park which is the home for orphaned elephants. It was established by the department of wildlife conservation in 1995 and it is home to over 40 orphaned elephants. The elephants in this home are raised by necessary care until they could be released into their habitat. Once they are released, the park authorities keep a constant track of the elephants to make sure they get used to the habitat.
9. Yala National Park
Yala National Park is the most famous and 2nd largest National Park in Sri Lanka. It is the most visited National Park of Sri Lanka. Some of the parts of the park reach the water, touching the Indian Ocean. The park is divided into 5 zones in which only 2 zones are opened for tourists, this allows a large amount of the park to remain in its natural habitat without any disturbance.
Yala National Park is widely famous for the big cats, leopards found in the habitat. You can also find two tusked elephant in the safari. The park has many different species of birds, including peacocks and eagles. The spotted deer, buffaloes, and crocodiles also grab the tourist’s attention.
So we have finally come to the end. The above are the top 9 best places to visit in Sri Lanka while you are there. Sri Lanka is a pretty amazing country and there are lot of things to do in Sri Lanka. So Sri Lanka is a prime destination to spend your holidays with your loved ones.
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