15 Best Places to Visit in Sri Lanka

There are many places to visit in Sri Lanka, officially known as the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka, which is an island country located in South Asia, situated in the Indian Ocean. It is known for its diverse culture, stunning beaches, lush rainforests, and ancient temples and ruins. The country has a rich history, with influences from various cultures including Indian, Chinese, Portuguese, Dutch, and British. The official languages are Sinhalese and Tamil, and Buddhism is the main religion. The country’s economy is primarily based on agriculture, tourism, and textiles. Sri Lanka is a popular tourist destination, known for its natural beauty, wildlife, and historical sites. Visitors can enjoy a wide range of activities such as hiking, wildlife safaris, and beach vacations.

  1. Sigiriya: an ancient fortress built on a massive rock formation.
  2. Kandy: a UNESCO World Heritage Site and home to the Temple of the Tooth Relic.
  3. Galle: a historic coastal city with a well-preserved Fort.
  4. Nuwara Eliya: known as “Little England”, a hill station with colonial architecture.
  5. Yala National Park: a wildlife sanctuary with a diverse array of animals, including elephants and leopards.
  6. Ella: a small mountain village with picturesque views and hiking opportunities.
  7. Polonnaruwa: an ancient city that was once the capital of Sri Lanka.
  8. Unawatuna: a popular beach destination with clear waters and coral reefs.
  9. Dambulla: home to a series of ancient cave temples.
  10. Anuradhapura: an ancient city that was once a major political and religious center.
  11. Haputale: a hill town is known for its tea plantations and scenic views.
  12. Bentota: a coastal town popular for water sports and beach activities.
  13. Trincomalee: a port city known for its natural harbor and beaches.
  14. Mirissa: a small coastal town is known for its whale and dolphin watching opportunities.
  15. Nilaveli: a coastal town popular for its beaches and diving opportunities.

Suggested: 5 Best Tourist Places in the United States Virgin Islands

 

 

Popular Places to Visit in Sri Lanka

There are many popular places to visit in Sri Lanka. Some of them are as below-

Sigiriya

Sigiriya, also known as Lion’s Rock, is a UNESCO World Heritage Site located in the Matale District of Sri Lanka. It is one of the most popular tourist destinations in the country and is known for its ancient fortress built on a massive rock formation. The fortress was built by King Kasyapa in the 5th century AD and was used as a royal palace and fortress.

The fortress is divided into two parts: the lower palace and the upper palace. The lower palace is located at the base of the rock and includes a number of ponds and gardens. The upper palace is located on top of the rock and includes the Lion’s Gate, the Mirror Wall, and the frescoes of the “Heavenly Maidens”. The highlight of Sigiriya is the climb to the top of the rock, which offers breathtaking views of the surrounding countryside.

The Sigiriya rock fortress is also known for its unique engineering and architectural features. The rock fortress is considered to be one of the greatest architectural and engineering feats of the ancient world. There are many places to visit in Sri Lanka. This is one of the most popular places to visit in Sri Lanka.

In addition to the fortress, Sigiriya also has several other attractions nearby, including the Pidurangala Rock and the Dambulla Cave Temple. Visitors can also take a safari in the nearby Minneriya National Park, which is home to a large population of elephants.

In summary, Sigiriya is one of the most popular tourist destinations in Sri Lanka, known for its ancient fortress built on a massive rock formation. The fortress is an architectural and engineering marvel and offers breathtaking views from the top of the rock. Visitors can also explore the nearby attractions and take a safari in the Minneriya National Park.

 

Kandy

Kandy is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and one of the most popular tourist destinations in Sri Lanka. It is the second-largest city in the country and is located in the central province of Sri Lanka. The city is known for its rich cultural heritage and is home to the Temple of the Tooth Relic, also known as Sri Dalada Maligawa.

The Temple of the Tooth Relic is a Buddhist temple that houses the tooth of the Buddha, which is considered to be a sacred relic by Buddhists. The temple is an important pilgrimage site and is visited by thousands of devotees from all over the world. The temple’s architecture is a blend of Indian, Thai, and Sri Lankan styles, and it is decorated with intricate carvings and frescoes.

Kandy is also known for its beautiful lake, which is surrounded by temples, shrines, and restaurants. Visitors can take a boat ride on the lake and enjoy the beautiful scenery. The city is also famous for its traditional dance performances, such as the Kandyan dance, which is performed during the Kandy Esala Perahera festival.

The city has a rich history and culture, with many temples and museums to visit, such as the National Museum of Kandy, which houses a collection of artifacts and artworks that reflect the history and culture of the city. This is one of the most popular places to visit in Sri Lanka.

In summary, Kandy is a popular tourist destination in Sri Lanka known for its rich cultural heritage, particularly the Temple of the Tooth Relic, which is an important pilgrimage site for Buddhists. The city is surrounded by beautiful scenery, and has many temples, shrines, and museums to visit. Visitors can also enjoy traditional dance performances and festivals, such as the Kandy Esala Perahera.

 

Galle

Galle is a historic coastal city located in the southern province of Sri Lanka. It is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and one of the most popular tourist destinations in the country. The city is known for its well-preserved Dutch Fort, which was built by the Dutch in the 17th century.

The Galle Fort, also known as the Dutch Fort, is a fortress built by the Dutch during the colonial period. The fort is surrounded by a wall and has several gates, bastions, and ramparts. Inside the fort, there are many well-preserved buildings, including churches, museums, and houses. Visitors can explore the fort and learn about its history and architecture. The fort also offers beautiful views of the Indian Ocean and the surrounding city.

The city of Galle is also known for its beautiful beaches and colonial architecture. Visitors can enjoy a range of activities such as swimming, sunbathing, and water sports. There are also many shops, restaurants, and cafes in the city where visitors can try local food and souvenirs.

In addition, Galle is also a center of art and culture, with many art galleries, museums, and festivals. The city is home to the Galle Literary Festival, an annual event that attracts writers and literary enthusiasts from all over the world. This is one of the most popular places to visit in Sri Lanka.

In summary, Galle is a popular tourist destination in Sri Lanka known for its well-preserved Dutch Fort, which is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The fort offers beautiful views of the ocean and the city, and visitors can explore the fort and learn about its history and architecture. The city is also known for its beautiful beaches, colonial architecture, and its cultural events like the Galle Literary Festival.

 

Nuwara Eliya

Nuwara Eliya is a hill station located in the central province of Sri Lanka. It is known as “Little England” due to its colonial architecture and cool climate. The city is one of the most popular tourist destinations in the country and is known for its tea plantations, waterfalls, and scenic views.

Nuwara Eliya is known for its tea plantations, which cover the surrounding hills. Visitors can take a tour of a tea factory and learn about the process of tea production. They can also visit a tea plantation and learn about the different types of tea and their cultivation. The city is also known for its beautiful waterfalls, such as St. Clair’s Falls and Devon Falls. Visitors can take a hike to these waterfalls and enjoy the scenic views. This is one of the most popular places to visit in Sri Lanka.

Nuwara Eliya is also home to many colonial-era buildings, such as the Hill Club and the Grand Hotel. Visitors can explore these buildings and learn about the history of the city. The city has many parks, such as Victoria Park and Galway’s Land National Park, where visitors can relax and enjoy the natural beauty.

In summary, Nuwara Eliya is a popular tourist destination in Sri Lanka known as “Little England” due to its colonial architecture and cool climate. The city is known for its tea plantations, beautiful waterfalls, and scenic views. Visitors can take a tour of a tea factory, hike to waterfalls, explore colonial-era buildings, and relax in the parks.

 

Yala National Park

Yala National Park is a national park located in the southeast of Sri Lanka. It covers an area of approximately 979 square kilometers and is known for its diverse wildlife, including elephants, leopards, and a variety of bird species. The park is a popular destination for safari tours and is considered one of the best places in Sri Lanka to see leopards in the wild.

This is one of the most popular places to visit in Sri Lanka. Visitors can also see a variety of other animals such as sloth bear, spotted deer, wild boars, crocodiles, and many more. Yala also has a variety of landscapes, including forests, grasslands, and wetlands, which provide habitats for the park’s diverse wildlife. The park is open year-round, but the best time to visit is from February to July when the water levels are low and wildlife is more visible.

 

Ella

Ella is a small town in the central hills of Sri Lanka, known for its picturesque scenery and outdoor activities. It is situated in the Badulla District of the Uva Province and is located about 200 km east of Colombo. The town is surrounded by lush green hills, tea plantations, and waterfalls, making it a popular destination for trekking and hiking. One of the famous treks is Ella rock, which offers panoramic views of the surrounding hills and valleys.

This is one of the most popular places to visit in Sri Lanka. Little Adam’s Peak is another popular hike that is shorter and less challenging than the Ella Rock. The town is also home to many guesthouses and small hotels, making it a great place to relax and enjoy the natural beauty of the area. Ella is also known for its vibrant café culture and delicious local cuisine, which can be sampled at the many restaurants and street food stalls in the town.

 

Polonnaruwa

Polonnaruwa is a city in the North Central Province of Sri Lanka, known for its ancient ruins and rich history. It was the second capital of the island nation during the 11th and 12th centuries and was a major center of culture and civilization during that time. The ancient city of Polonnaruwa is now a UNESCO World Heritage Site and is home to a number of well-preserved ruins and monuments from the ancient civilization, including temples, palaces, and statues.

One of the most famous and well-preserved structures in the city is the Gal Viharaya, a group of four statues carved out of rock depicting the Buddha in various poses. Another important site is the Parakrama Samudra, an enormous man-made reservoir that was built during the reign of King Parakramabahu I. Visitors can also explore the remains of the Royal Palace, the Lotus Bath, and the Quadrangle, an area that contains some of the most impressive ruins in the city.

Polonnaruwa is a popular destination for those interested in history and archaeology, and is considered one of the most important historical sites in Sri Lanka. The best time to visit is between December and March, when the weather is dry and mild. This is one of the most popular places to visit in Sri Lanka.

 

Unawatuna

Unawatuna is a small coastal town located in the southern province of Sri Lanka, known for its beautiful beaches and relaxed atmosphere. The town is situated about 6km southeast of Galle and is a popular destination for both tourists and locals alike. The most famous beach of Unawatuna is Unawatuna beach which is a crescent-shaped bay with fine sandy beaches and clear blue water, making it an ideal spot for swimming, sunbathing, and snorkeling. The beach is also surrounded by a variety of restaurants and cafes where visitors can enjoy delicious local cuisine and refreshing drinks.

Unawatuna is also known for its vibrant nightlife, with a variety of bars and clubs that stay open late into the night. The town is also home to a number of yoga and meditation centers, making it a popular destination for those looking to relax and rejuvenate.

This is one of the most popular places to visit in Sri Lanka. Visitors can also explore the nearby historical city of Galle, which is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and home to a Dutch fortress and a variety of colonial-era buildings. Unawatuna is a popular destination all year round, but the best time to visit is between December and April when the weather is dry and sunny.

 

Dambulla

Dambulla is a city located in the central part of Sri Lanka, known for its rich cultural heritage and ancient Buddhist temples. The city is situated in the Matale District of the Central Province and is located about 148 km east of Colombo. The most famous attraction of Dambulla is the Dambulla Cave Temple, also known as the Golden Temple of Dambulla. This is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and is one of the most important religious sites in Sri Lanka.

This is one of the most popular places to visit in Sri Lanka. The temple is a series of five caves, carved into a rock face and adorned with intricate murals and statues of the Buddha. The caves are also home to a number of other important religious artifacts, including statues and frescoes.

Another important site in Dambulla is the Rangiri Dambulla International Stadium, which is a modern cricket stadium and the home ground for the Sri Lanka national cricket team. Dambulla is also known for its excellent market, where visitors can find a wide variety of local products, including spices, fruits, and handicrafts. The best time to visit Dambulla is from December to March when the weather is dry and mild.

 

Anuradhapura

Anuradhapura is an ancient city located in the North Central Province of Sri Lanka, known for its rich history and well-preserved ruins. It was the capital of Sri Lanka for over 1,300 years and was an important center of Buddhism, culture, and civilization during that time. The ancient city of Anuradhapura is now a UNESCO World Heritage Site and is home to a number of well-preserved ruins and monuments from an ancient civilization, including temples, palaces, and statues.

One of the most famous and important sites in the city is the Sri Maha Bodhi, a sacred fig tree that is said to be a sapling from the original bodhi tree under which the Buddha attained enlightenment. Another important site is the Ruwanwelisaya, a large stupa that was built by King Dutugemunu in the 2nd century BCE. Visitors can also explore the remains of the Royal Palace, the Brazen Palace, and the Isurumuniya Temple, which is famous for its rock carvings.

Anuradhapura is a popular destination for those interested in history and archaeology and is considered one of the most important historical sites in Sri Lanka. The best time to visit is between December and March when the weather is dry and mild.

 

Haputale

Haputale is a small town located in the central hills of Sri Lanka, known for its picturesque scenery and cool climate. The town is situated in the Badulla District of the Uva Province and is located about 200 km east of Colombo. It is a popular destination for those looking to escape the heat and humidity of the lowlands and experience the cooler temperatures and fresh mountain air of the highlands.

One of the main attractions of Haputale is the stunning views of the surrounding hills and valleys. The town is surrounded by lush green tea plantations and is home to several beautiful waterfalls, including the Diyaluma Falls and the Bambarakanda Falls. The town is also home to a number of hiking trails, including the popular hike to the summit of Haputale Mountain.

Haputale is also a great place to experience the local culture and learn about the traditional way of life in the highlands of Sri Lanka. Visitors can take a tour of a tea factory and learn about the process of growing and processing tea. This is one of the most popular places to visit in Sri Lanka. The town is also home to a number of guesthouses and small hotels, making it a great place to relax and enjoy the natural beauty of the area. The best time to visit Haputale is between December and March when the weather is dry and mild.

 

Bentota

Bentota is a coastal town located in the southern province of Sri Lanka, known for its beautiful beaches and water sports. The town is situated about 66km south of Colombo and is a popular destination for tourists and locals alike. Bentota beach is the most famous beach in the town, which stretches for miles and offers a wide range of water activities such as swimming, sunbathing, jet skiing, windsurfing, and boat rides.

Bentota is also known for its Ayurveda, visitors can find several Ayurveda centers and spas in the town offering traditional Ayurvedic treatments, massages, and yoga sessions. The town is also home to several luxury resorts and hotels, making it a popular destination for honeymooners and those looking for a more upscale experience. Visitors can also explore the nearby towns of Beruwala and Aluthgama, which are known for their beautiful beaches and cultural heritage. The best time to visit Bentota is between December and April when the weather is dry and sunny.

 

Trincomalee

Trincomalee is a coastal city located in the eastern province of Sri Lanka, known for its natural beauty and rich cultural heritage. The city is situated about 251 km northeast of Colombo and is the administrative capital of Trincomalee District. The city is surrounded by lush green hills and is home to several beautiful beaches, including Nilaveli Beach and Uppuveli Beach, which are popular for swimming, sunbathing, and water sports.

One of the most famous and important sites in the city is the Koneswaram Temple, also known as the Temple of Thousand Columns. This is an ancient Hindu temple that dates back to the 3rd century BCE and is considered one of the most sacred temples in Sri Lanka.

This is one of the most popular places to visit in Sri Lanka.  Another important site is Fort Frederick, a colonial-era fort built by the Portuguese in the 17th century. Visitors can also explore the Trincomalee War Cemetery, a war cemetery from the Second World War, and the Kanniya Hot Springs, a group of seven natural hot springs believed to have healing properties.

Trincomalee is also a popular destination for diving and snorkeling, with several diving centers offering excursions to the nearby Pigeon Island National Park and the Nilaveli Coral Reef. The best time to visit is between May and September when the sea is calm and the weather is dry.

 

 Mirissa

Mirissa is a small coastal town located in the southern province of Sri Lanka, known for its beautiful beaches and laid-back atmosphere. The town is situated about 148 km south of Colombo and is a popular destination for both tourists and locals alike. The most famous attraction of Mirissa is its beach which is a long stretch of golden sand and clear blue water, making it an ideal spot for swimming, sunbathing, and surfing. This is one of the most popular places to visit in Sri Lanka.

Mirissa is also known for its vibrant nightlife and delicious local cuisine, which can be sampled at the many restaurants and street food stalls in the town. The town is also home to several guesthouses and small hotels, making it a great place to relax and enjoy the natural beauty of the area. Visitors can also take a boat trip from Mirissa to go on a whale-watching excursion.

Mirissa is also a popular destination for diving and snorkeling, with several diving centers offering excursions to the nearby coral reefs and shipwrecks. The best time to visit Mirissa is between December and April when the weather is dry and sunny.

 

Nilaveli

Nilaveli is a coastal town located in the northeastern province of Sri Lanka, known for its beautiful beaches and clear waters. The town is situated about 20km north of Trincomalee and is a popular destination for those looking to escape the crowds and enjoy a more relaxed atmosphere. Nilaveli beach is the most famous attraction of the town, which stretches for miles and offers a wide range of water activities such as swimming, sunbathing, snorkeling, and scuba diving.

The waters around Nilaveli are particularly clear and offer excellent visibility, making it a popular destination for diving and snorkeling. Visitors can explore the nearby Pigeon Island National Park, which is home to a diverse array of marine life and coral reefs. The park can be reached by boat from Nilaveli. This is one of the most popular places to visit in Sri Lanka.

Nilaveli is also home to a number of guesthouses and small hotels, making it a great place to relax and enjoy the natural beauty of the area. The town is also home to several Ayurveda centers and spas, offering traditional Ayurvedic treatments, massages, and yoga sessions. The best time to visit Nilaveli is between May and September when the sea is calm and the weather is dry.

 

Contribution of Tourism to Sri Lankan Economy

Tourism is an important sector of the Sri Lankan economy and it contributes significantly to the country’s GDP. According to the Sri Lanka Tourism Development Authority, in 2020, the tourism industry contributed approximately 5.5% of the country’s GDP. The country has seen steady growth in tourist arrivals in recent years, with a peak of 2.3 million visitors in 2019. However, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, tourist arrivals drastically dropped in 2020 and 2021.

The country’s natural beauty, diverse culture, and historical sites are major attractions for tourists. Some of the most popular tourist destinations in Sri Lanka include Sigiriya, Kandy, Galle, and Yala National Park. The country is also known for its beaches, wildlife, and adventure activities such as white-water rafting, rock climbing, and surfing.

The government of Sri Lanka has been working to promote the country as a tourist destination and to improve the infrastructure and facilities for tourists. The government has also been focusing on developing sustainable tourism, which is environmentally friendly and helps to preserve the country’s natural and cultural heritage. This is one of the most popular places to visit in Sri Lanka.

 

In summary, tourism is an important sector of the Sri Lankan economy, and it has a significant contribution to the country’s GDP. The country has a rich culture and diverse natural beauty that attracts tourists from all over the world. However, the COVID-19 pandemic has affected the tourist industry in recent years. There are also many hidden beautiful places in Sri Lanka. There are many popular places to visit in Sri Lanka with family also.

 

 

Read More:

Best Google AdSense Alternatives in 2023 to Increase Website Revenue

20 Best Cheap Hotels Near Me in New York, USA

Leave a Comment