The grandeur of the Sri Lankan landscape will never cease to marvel any traveller visiting this small island nation, surrounded by the waters of the Indian Ocean. Home to 8 UNESCO World Heritage Sites, 15 national parks, 350 waterfalls and a staggering 25,000 water bodies, Sri Lanka has plenty to offer in its beautiful compact self. From north to south and west to east, the diverse land of this beautiful island has many treasure troves to discover. There are amazing places to visit in Sri Lanka, you never knew existed.
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A heritage that dates back over 2500 years has left Sri Lanka with historically and culturally important landmarks and buildings. Anuradhapura, a UNESCO World Heritage Site is the first kingdom of the country and the most celebrated historical city that features a large repository of ancient ruins. A centre for Buddhism and ancient culture, it contains one of the largest structures of the ancient world, the Ruwanweliseya Stupa and the city is famed for having the oldest authenticated tree, the Sri Maha Bodhi. The fig tree originates from a cutting of the sacred original tree in India where Lord Buddha is said to have attained enlightenment. It was planted ceremoniously on the island as early as the 3rd century B.C. The venerated structures, carvings, statues and rock temples are a testimony to the excellent craftsmanship and architecture of the ancient Sri Lanka. The city of Anuradhapura also boasts evidence of an early irrigation system that has awe-inspired the whole world. The tanks are an engineering masterpiece, which still operate and irrigate paddy cultivation. Polonnaruwa, the second kingdom of Sri Lanka is an equally significant heritage site that showcases ancient ruins, structures and legacy. Anuradhapura, Polonnaruwa and Kandy are together named the Cultural Triangle of Sri Lanka. They are the most important historic places to visit in Sri Lanka.
One of the must-see world famous Sri Lanka tourist attractions, the rock fortress is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and a specimen of stunning engineering and construction. Standing 200 metres above the forested plain, the flattened summit is an ideal place for amazing picturesque views. Skilfully constructed moats, ramparts and water gardens are spread out at the bottom, creating elegance and testimony of a once flourished royal palace. Remnants of giant stone lion paws remind the visitors why it is called the Lion Rock. Sigiriya frescoes are some of the most treasured and valuable art work seen in the country. The Rock displays some of the earliest known graffiti, done by the ancient tourists. Sigiriya is a result of a power battle between two brothers, one seeking vengeance and the other protection against retribution. It is one of the best places to visit in Sri Lanka.
The mountainous landscape of the central hills provides a mild climate for the globally renowned Sri Lankan tea, exclusive golfing and a diverse culture. Kandy is Sri Lanka’s second largest city and is known for its fresh air, cool climate and the most scared temple grounds of Buddhism. The Kandy city and the countryside provide glorious views, making it perfect for a laidback holiday. Ayurveda treatments and spas in Kandy are known to heal you physically while giving you the best natural healing atmosphere. The valleys, hills, rivers, lakes and cascading waterfalls make this historical kingdom a place of absolute charm. The annual Kandyan perahera is a one of the major Sri Lanka tourist attractions. The Victoria Golf and Country Club offers first class golfing experience as part of three prominent golf courses in the country. Sri Lanka’s longest river Mahaweli loops around the hills of Kandy, forming an abundance of scenic beauty. The Royal Botanical Gardens of Peradeniya has a collection of fascinating plant and tree varieties. Hill Country can be identified as one of the best places to visit in Sri Lanka.
Pinnawala Elephant Orphanage is another must visit places in Sri Lanka which can be explored on the way to Kandy.
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Nuwara Eliya of the hill country is another favourite destination on the island and a top of the list places to visit in Sri Lanka. Considered by many as the tea capital of the country the lush green tea estates endlessly scatter around the region. The highest plateau on the island, Horton Plains in Nuwara Eliya is a National Park of mystic beauty. Where the southern Horton Plains abruptly ends is known as the World’s End and is a sight worth thousand words. Horton Plains is perfect for trekkers who are looking for soft and hard trails. The exquisite waterfalls of Nuwara Eliya from Laksapana Falls to Backers Falls create a wonderful atmosphere for any nature lover. The Nuwara Eliya golf course spreading over 90 acres is an 18 hole golf course giving golfers a delightful golfing experience. The Hakkgala Gardens presenting plants and flowers from all over the world is another horticultural masterpiece.
Perhaps the region that truly defines Sri Lanka as an island in the great expanse of the Indian Ocean is down south. Galle, Bentota, Hikkaduwa, Beruwela, Unawatuna and Tangalle make coveted Sri Lanka tourist attractions. Hikkaduwa, Unawatuna, Weligama and Mirissa are fantastic surfing locations while Hikkaduwa reefs provide a snorkelling adventure like never before. The Dondra Point of down south is a main port for whale watching in Sri Lanka with great chances of spotting sperm whales and blue whales. Mirissa Beach too is a popular beach for Surfing and Whale watching. The seaside town of Galle is a fine example of a fortified city. The Dutch Galle Fort is a World Heritage Site and is known to be the best preserved sea fort in South Asia. The National Maritime Museum is also located within the Fort. Hidden in the south-west and southern Sri Lanka are some of the best beaches, holiday resorts and maritime places to visit in Sri Lanka.
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The Yala National Park, the second largest national park in the country is also the most visited national park on the island, providing some of the best wildlife safaris. The elephants of Yala are a main attraction while its leopard density is one of the highest in the world. Six national parks and three wildlife sanctuaries lie in the vicinity of Yala. Its diverse ecosystems range from wet monsoon to freshwater and marine wetlands. Yala too is a birdwatchers paradise. National Parks are some of the most exciting Sri Lanka tourist attractions.
We are more than happy to answer if you have any questions around Holidays in Sri Lanka. Use the comments section below to ask a question.
Equipped with miles & miles of lush greenery, tea plantations, beautiful waterfalls hill country in Sri Lanka can be recommended as one of the best places to visit in Sri Lanka.
Holidays in Sri Lanka will never complete without a visit to the Hill Country.
Best way to explore the hill country is by traveling by train which will offer unbelievable views of tea plantations and landscape.
Other places to visit in Sri Lanka Hill Country includes Horton Plains, visiting the Pinnawala Elephant Orphanage on your way to Kandy and many more.
Read more about Hill Country Sri Lanka.
Sun kissed beaches is known to be one of the most popular tourist attractions in Sri Lanka.
Western and Southern beaches are more popular places to visit in Sri Lanka during October to April while the best time to visit the east coast beach in Sri Lanka is from May to September.
Most popular beaches in Sri Lanka are Hikkaduwa, Bentota, Beruwela, Arugambay and Negombo where these beaches also offers excellent beach sporting activities in Sri Lanka.
A beach holiday in Sri Lanka is always recommended and think of combining a beach holiday with a visit to the Hill Country, a bit of history & culture.
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Sri Lanka is a country which accounts for a rich history and there are several historic tourist attractions in Sri Lanka which always worth a visit.
Anuradhapura, Polonnaruwa & the Cultural Triangle can be identified as some of the best places to see in Sri Lanka.
Remember there are amazing Places to Visit in Sri Lanka and make sure to prepare the Sri Lanka Itinerary to include a bit of history/culture, beach experience and a hill country experience.
See below some best Sri Lanka Itineraries which we believe will help on exploring Sri Lanka.
We would recommend to design an Itinerary for a minimum of 7 days which will enable you to explore the most important Places to Visit in Sri Lanka.
Read our dedicated page for Sri Lanka Itineraries.
Couples from around the world including UK, Europe, USA, Australia, Singapore, China, Japan and many other nationals selects Sri Lanka as their preferred destination for Honeymoon.
Adding a bit of Beach, Hill Country , History and Culture is a great way to spend your Honeymoon in Sri Lanka.
Check out our dedicated page designed for Sri Lanka Honeymoon Itineraries.
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The cultural triangle, hill country & hikkaduwa beach can be identified as some of the most beautiful places to see in Sri Lanka.
The south coast is the most visited beaches in Sri Lanka which includes Hikkaduwa, Bentota, Galle, Unawatuna, Negombo etc. Negombo is the nearest Beach close to Colombo with an approximate distance of 37 KM. The best time to visit the southern coast is from November to April. Mirissa Beach Sri Lanka is too a popular beach to visit especially for Surfing.
East Coast beach in Sri Lanka is also a popular tourist attraction where the best time to visit east coast is from May to September. Beaches to visit in east coast includes Trincomalee and Arugambay.
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Visiting the Cultural Triangle will cover some of the most important Sri Lanka tourist attractions. Galle a 17th century Dutch port is also worth a visit and is situated within the south coastal beach in Sri Lanka.
The best way to travel around Sri Lanka is to hire a car with your own driver. Other ways to travel around Sri Lanka includes using public transport or travel via train. Best way to explore hill country will be to travel by train. For shorter journeys took tooks are available.
Sri Lanka has so many beautiful places to visit. We would recommend at least a week in Sri Lanka to enjoy the best tourist attractions. However, Itineraries can be designed for short stays based on interest.
Sri Lanka is a destination opened for holiday all throughout the year mainly due to its tropical weather. September to April covers the best time to visit Sri Lanka.
Sri Lanka celebrates many festivals all around the year. Christmas, New Year, Sinhalese & Tamil New Year in April, Vesak festival in May and Kandy Perahera in July/August are some of the most popular festivals in Sri Lanka.
Applying for a holiday visa for Sri Lanka is a simple process. Visit www.eta.gov.lk to submit your visa application.
Colombo is a popular destination for shopping in Sri Lanka. Some of the best shopping places in Colombo includes Crescat, Majestic city, Liberty Plaza & ODEL. Kandy is also a popular shopping city in Sri Lanka.
Yes, Itineraries for Sri Lanka can be tailor made based on interest. Having a proper holiday Itinerary will also help you to explore some of most beautiful places to visit in Sri Lanka. Find out more about Sri Lanka Itineraries.
Yes, a majority of famous hotels and hostels are located within easy reach to tourist attractions.
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