17 Breathtaking Locations to Go to in Sri Lanka

When you’re searching for the perfect locations to go to in Sri Lanka, you’re going to be spoiled for alternative on this article.

Lush inexperienced landscapes, white sand seashores, and essentially the most welcoming locals – Sri Lanka is certainly, a must-see vacation spot for each kind of traveler.

Not solely residence to elephants and historical ruins, this island can be probably the greatest browsing playgrounds on this planet.

Mixed with vigorous cities and a vibrant wellness scene, you’ll be spoilt for alternative deciding the place to go in Sri Lanka.

It’s possible you’ll wish to see every little thing, however … the place must you begin?

After spending over 6 months exploring Asia, Sri Lanka nonetheless stays high of my checklist (I’m even planning to return this 12 months!).

With a lot alternative accessible on the ‘jewel of the Indian ocean’, it may be laborious to decide on which experiences are price your time.

To make planning your Sri Lanka itinerary straightforward, we have now compiled this information to the 17 finest locations to go to in Sri Lanka.

So get your bucket checklist prepared and let’s dive in:

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1. Colombo

Colombo, a Top Place to Visit in Sri Lanka

Begin your journey in Sri Lanka’s buzzing capital.

Previously a historic east-west commerce route, this metropolis is wealthy with historical past. Spend a few days exploring the sights and introducing your self to the native delicacies.

Galle Highway is the place to pattern conventional Indian sweets, whereas Nana’s provides the perfect native avenue meals and beer. Or attempt the buffet at Kingsbury resort, you don’t want to remain there to take pleasure in this feast.

When you’re searching for some Sri Lankan tradition head to the capital’s Nationwide Museum to see weapons from Sri Lanka’s colonial interval, in addition to artwork from the traditional previous.

Lounge on the benches in Viharamahadevi Park and benefit from the heat climate. Oh, and look out for snake charmers!

Trains from the capital run to hottest Sri Lanka vacationer points of interest.

The place to Keep in Colombo

2. Galle Fort

Galle Fort Sri Lanka Attraction

The town of Galle was Sri Lanka’s principal spice buying and selling port and is now a Unesco World Heritage Website, and one of many extra well-liked matters to do in Sri Lanka.

It’s nicely price exploring for the Dutch structure and boutique cafes and inns. Galle is surrounded by partitions that may stroll round.

Go to the lighthouse and see an attractive view of the waves beneath.

Professional tip 1: Arrive for sundown and also you received’t be disenchanted.

Professional tip 2: Be sure that to go to Galle’s fruit, spice and flower markets for an thrilling sensory expertise.

The place to remain in Galle

3. Unawatuna

A beautiful sandy tropical beach with stone cliffs at Unawatuna Sri Lanka

The sleepy seaside city of Unawatuna is ideal for lazy days, and may positively make your checklist of locations to go to in Sri Lanka.

Unawatuna is certainly one of my favourite locations in Sri Lanka on account of it’s chilled out vibe and host of beachside eating places.

Swim, snorkel, surf and take in the solar on sandy seashores surrounded by palm bushes. Unawatuna can be a fantastic location to scuba dive as between October and April, there are clear waters permitting you to see every kind of fish.

Different close by vacationer points of interest embrace the Japanese Peace Pagoda and the Dalawella Seaside Swing, in addition to the quieter Mihiripenna Seaside.

When you love animals, take a look at Sri Lanka’s solely self-funding canine rescue middle, for cute pet overload!

There’s a nice backpacker scene in Unawatuna, with plenty of hostels and partying if that’s your matter, that means some individuals get caught right here on the seashores right here for for much longer than supposed.

The place to remain in Unawatuna

4. Weligama Bay

Weligama Bay Sri Lanka

Weligama means fairly actually “sandy village”. Half seaside resort, half fishing village, there’s one matter that pulls many of the guests to this well-liked place to go to in Sri Lanka:

The browsing!

It’s the good place for freshmen to attempt their hand at using the waves. Surf classes and camps are broadly accessible because of the common whitewash all year long.

You possibly can even rent a surfboard and go it alone!

When you want your adventures on land then lease a bicycle and cycle across the quaint city or take a go to to a Coconut plantation.

The place to remain in Weligama

5. Mirissa Seaside

Lounge chairs on Mirissa Beach Sri Lanka

Mirissa is one other of Sri Lanka’s attractive seaside locations. Nevertheless, there’s rather more to this slice of paradise than pure relaxation and leisure.

Going whale watching is among the hottest matters to do in Mirissa. If this exercise is high of your bucket checklist, make certain to plan your journey between November and March, for the perfect likelihood of seeing the whales.

You possibly can e book whale watching on-line, to make you don’t miss out on this as soon as in a lifetime expertise.

When you love photographing superb views, you will discover them by exploring the personal lighthouse seaside or mountain climbing Parrot Rock.

Mirissa is residence to a vigorous social scene, with plenty of good high quality eating places lining the beachfront. You possibly can pattern a recent seafood platter and watch the solar go down over the bay.

As quickly because the solar units, Mirissa’s nightlife scene takes over. Eating places remodel into nightclubs and for those who love to bop, you should have discovered your haven.

New years eve events on the seaside are legendary amongst vacationers.

The place to remain in Mirissa

6. Talalla Seaside

Talalla Beach Sri Lanka

Wish to discover certainly one of Sri Lanka’s hidden gems?

Talalla seaside is much less frequented by vacationers and is a peaceable place to benefit from the Indian ocean.

It has a thriving wellness scene and is the right place to observe yoga and take a look at a standard Sri Lankan Ayurvedic therapeutic massage.

The place to remain in Talalla

7. Yala Nationwide Park

Elephant and tourists in cars and  on the dusty road in Yala National Park, a top place to visit in Sri Lanka

Welcome to the jungle, the place you possibly can see wildlife up shut.

Yala Nationwide Park is an expertise you need to not miss throughout your time in Sri Lanka.

Residence to 44 forms of mammals, together with elephants, deers, bears and leopards, Yala Nationwide Park is the second hottest nationwide park within the nation.

Yala Nationwide Park can be one of many few locations on this planet that gives the possibility to see the majestic leopard in its pure habitat.

E book a guided safari to make sure you don’t miss any sightings.

Yala Nationwide Park closes for Eight weeks, beginning originally of September, so please bear this in thoughts whereas planning your Sri Lanka itinerary.

The place to remain in Yala

8. Udawalawe Nationwide Park

view of water buffalos in Udawalawe national park Sri Lanka

Udawalawe Nationwide Park is the place to go to for assured elephant sightings.

In contrast to Yala Nationwide Park, Udawalawe stays open all 12 months spherical so it’s ultimate for these looking for the safari expertise.

Seeing animals within the wild is so significantly better than going to one of many many elephant orphanages that exist in Sri Lanka. Watching child elephants play, inches from our jeep is one thing I’ll always remember.

Though elephants will be the star of the present, you can too see monkeys, water buffalo, crocodiles, lizards and numerous species of birds.

The place to remain in Udawalawe

9. Ella

train running through tea fields in Ella Sri Lanka

Ella is among the hottest locations to go to in Sri Lanka.

It’s so well-liked that many vacationers head straight to Ella from Colombo and we will’t blame them.

Ella is a small mountain village east of Colombo, in Sri Lanka’s Uva Province. Located in Sri Lanka’s inexperienced highlands, for those who love nature, there are such a lot of matters to do right here.

Guests flock to see mountains, waterfalls and the area’s tea plantations.

Ella is a breath of recent air, with a cooler local weather than Sri Lanka’s south coast. Spend just a few days mountain climbing, exploring or simply basking in Ella’s peaceable allure.

Ella has views aplenty! Marvel on the 9 Arch Bridge and scale Ella Rock for surroundings that may take your breath away.

Sri Lanka is, in fact, a tea nation and nowhere is that this extra evident than in Ella. As a stereotypical Brit, I used to be very enthusiastic about this. You possibly can go to one of many tea plantations, a journey in a Tuk Tuk that may take you even larger up into the misty mountains.

Or for yet one more improbable view, you possibly can sit in Lipton’s seat, the place Sir Thomas Lipton (tea entrepreneur) would sit to style all the perfect teas on this planet.

The prepare to Ella from Kandy (or vice versa) is a high Sri Lanka vacationer attraction in itself (you’ve got in all probability seen photos of individuals hanging out the door of the prepare with tropical landscapes within the background).

Though the surroundings is gorgeous, The Ella-Kandy prepare takes 7 hours and whereas to many, the views make this price it, it’s one thing to think about.

Evenings in Ella usually are not similar to the wild nights on the south coast however there are a lot of bars and eating places on the principle avenue. Cafe chill stays open after hours and is the place you can see many vacationers bonding over beers.

The place to remain in Ella

10. Nuwara Eliya

big pink house with green plants outside in Nuwara Eliya

The highland group of Nuwara Eliya is nicknamed “Little England” as it’s the place the British settlers used to spend their leisure time.

Because of the elevation, the Nuwara Eliya is far colder than different elements in Sri Lanka and is definitely the main producer of European greens for the remainder of the island.

Make a journey to Adma Agro Farm to eat recent Strawberries with cream!

Sri Lanka’s colonial previous could be very current right here, as tea estates encompass the town for miles.

Nuwa Eliya’s lush inexperienced park was in-built honor of Queen Victoria’s 60th Jubliee and is unquestionably price a go to. Go to the Grand Resort to pattern a really English excessive tea.

Nuwara Eliya can be the closest metropolis to Horton Plains which is the one nationwide park in Sri Lanka you possibly can uncover on foot, not from inside a jeep.

You possibly can take a tuk-tuk from the town to hike to World’s Finish. Ensure you get to the park earlier than 10 am so the clouds received’t block the long-lasting views of one of many high locations to go to in Sri Lanka.

The place to remain in Nuwara Eliya

11. Kandy

houses on slopes in a lake in Kandy Sri Lanka

Kandy is UNESCO-listed, the second-largest metropolis the nation, and positively one of many high locations to go to in Sri Lanka.

Kandy is legendary for its lake, built-in 1807 by the final historical ruler of the town. In the midst of the lake, there’s a small island that was as soon as utilized by the emperor’s harem!

Spiritual websites are what brings individuals to Kandy. The Huge Buddha on the hill may be seen from each level in Kandy and the Huge Buddha lights up at night time.

Head to the highest of the Huge Buddha hill for panoramic views of the town beneath.

When you’re in Kandy you possibly can’t miss the Temple of the Tooth. Legend has it, the Temple of the Tooth is residence to the left higher canine of Buddha himself!

The place to remain in Kandy

12. Adam’s Peak

sitting toque macaque in Adam's Peak Sri Lanka

One of the adventurous matters to do in Sri Lanka is climbing Adam’s Peak.

Round 20,000 pilgrims stroll the steep path at night time with a purpose to see the dawn from the height.

Adam’s Peak has non secular significance for Muslims, Hindus, and Christians all through Sri Lanka. Some consider it was Adam’s first step after being exiled from the Backyard of Eden.

You’ll even see kids and locals as outdated as 80 make the climb. Standing at 2,243 meters, the hike can take between 2-Four hours, nonetheless, no technical climbing or tools is required.

In addition to a beautiful dawn, climbers can be greeted by 1000’s of butterflies that inhabit the world. The most effective time to climb Adam’s Peak is between the dryer months of January- Might.

Keep away from the weekend and full moon for fewer crowds. In any other case, you could have to attend in line to achieve the height. Regardless of the crowds, it’s a fantastic hike for nature lovers.

The closest city to remain in is Dalhousie, however you can too journey from Ella or Nuwara Eliya.

The place to remain in Dalhousie

13. Sigiriya

guy standing in front of an ancient landmark Sigiriya Sri Lanka, near Polonnaruwa

Sigiriya Rock or Lion Rock is the eighth marvel of the world.

No journey to Sri Lanka is full with out discovering the Sigiriya rock fortress, palace ruins, and gardens.

At 200 meters excessive, the Sigiriya rock fortress takes round an hour to climb Lion Rock, head there within the morning to keep away from the noon warmth.

Pidurangala rock can be a fantastic hike and the highest is the right place to take images of Sigiriya Rock.

When you’ve paid your $30 entrance price, you additionally acquire entry to the Sigiriya Museum which has a formidable assortment of prehistoric artifacts.

When you nonetheless haven’t seen sufficient Sri Lankan temples, then there are many day journeys you possibly can take from Sigiriya.

Go to The Dambulla cave temples or the quieter city of Polonnaruwa and spend a day biking across the ruins of an historical metropolis.

You’ll perceive why a go to to the Sigiriya rock fortress is certainly one of the well-liked matters to do in Sri Lanka.

The place to remain in Sigiriya

Funds Alternative: Manju Homestay

14. Jaffna

Wiew of Statue of Shiva in Jaffa, Sri Lanka

Northern Sri Lanka doesn’t at all times make it into most traveler’s itineraries, as Sri Lanka tourism typically is targeting different elements of the island.

However the area is strikingly completely different from the well-trodden path of the south.

Nevertheless, Jaffna has an genuine allure of its personal and right here is why you shouldn’t skip it.

Jaffna has a powerful Hindu tradition and is harking back to southern India, which implies colourful temples, vigorous markets and nice delicacies. Study to make the well-known Jaffna Mutton curry and Pittu with an area cooking expertise.

The town was as soon as a battleground throughout Sri Lanka’s decades-long civil battle. You possibly can nonetheless see crumbling buildings that have been as soon as extravagant constructions.

Regardless of Jaffna’s sophisticated previous, now is an effective time to go to for a uncooked expertise. As anticipated in Sri Lanka, the locals are pleasant and eager to let you know tales of their lives.

As funding within the area will increase, extra vacationers will flock to this hidden gem.

In case you are searching for a vacation spot in Sri Lanka that’s off the crushed path, Jaffna is it.

Go quickly earlier than all this modifications!

The place to remain in Jaffna

15. Arugam Bay

Surfboard on a tropical beach overlooking the ocean, blue sky background. Arugam Bay Sri Lanka, a top thing to do in Sri Lanka

Arugam Bay is a surfers paradise, which implies it has superb waves, laid again seashores, and epic events.

In case you are an skilled surfer, you’ll love spending days using the waves of Arugam Bay and close by surf spot Peanut Farm.

Are you utterly new to browsing?

Effectively Whisky Level is barely a 15-minute drive from the bay and it’s higher for freshmen, you received’t battle to discover a instructor there.

Bonus tip: keep at Whisky Level after darkish on a Friday night time for a fantastic social gathering.

Hire a scooter to discover the close by areas. Take a drive right down to Panama Tank, also referred to as Crocodile Level, for stunning views of the panorama in addition to it’s inhabitants.

Surf season runs from June – September and every little thing shuts down round October, so if you’re touring at a special time of 12 months, it is perhaps higher to move over to Mirissa or Weligama.

The place to remain in Arugam Bay

16. Trincomalee

view of clear white sand beach with palm trees in Trincomalee

On the northeast coast of Sri Lanka lies Trincomalee.

Identical to Jaffna, the town noticed plenty of unrest in the course of the civil battle. Nevertheless, now it capabilities as a laid again, much less touristy different to Sri Lanka’s extra well-liked vacationer seashores.

Residence to Tamil’s inhabitants, you can see plenty of south Indian affect, in distinction with the Buddhist south.

It’s possible you’ll go to for the white sands on the stunning abandoned seashores of Nilaveli and Uppuveli however you’ll keep as you fall in love with the character of the town.

Don’t miss out on Pigeon Island Snorkeling and a visit to Kanniya Sizzling Springs.

The place to remain in Trincomalee

17. Anuradhapura

view of surroundings with white statue tourist attraction and trees in Anuradhapura, Sri Lanka

The sacred metropolis of Anuradhapura, was the primary civilization to be in-built Sri Lanka. The outdated a part of the town now stays preserved as an archaeological park.

This UNESCO world heritage web site is big so you can fairly simply spend all day exploring.

You possibly can uncover the park by bike or getting an area Tuk Tuk driver as a information. In addition to ruins, swimming pools, stupas, and temples, you can see peacocks and monkeys roaming the park.

Don’t go away with out seeing The Bodhi Tree Temple, the second most sacred place in Sri Lanka after Kandy’s Temple of the Tooth.

The place to remain in Anuradhapura

FAQs About Sri Lanka Journey

When is the perfect time to go to Sri Lanka?

As a tropical island with a diversified local weather, the perfect time to go to Sri Lanka actually will depend on what’s in your Sri Lanka itinerary.

Sri Lanka’s west and south coast, together with Galle and Colombo are ultimate from October by means of to March. Though heat all 12 months spherical, April- September is Monsoon season.

January-March is the perfect and most stunning time to go to the central hills (Ella, Kandy, Ella), as these are the warmest months with much less likelihood of rain.

Nevertheless, for those who’re heading to the north (Jaffna, Anuradhapura) or the east coast (Trincomalee), (Arugam Bay) the alternative is true. The climate between February-April can be dry and nice.

Is Sri Lanka secure for vacationers?

Sure, Sri Lanka is usually a secure nation to journey.

Nevertheless, as at all times when visiting someplace unfamiliar make sure you take all the correct precautions. Clearly we will’t assure that anyplace is totally secure. However, this concern shouldn’t be sufficient to forestall your dream vacation.

Make you’ve got had all of the required vaccinations and have an insurance coverage plan that covers your possessions and any actions you might be planning to participate in in your journey. For instance, not all plans cowl actions equivalent to browsing and scuba diving.

Professional tip: This web site is a nifty search engine that allows you to examine protection and costs from tons of of journey insurance coverage corporations.

As beforehand talked about the locals are welcoming. Violence towards foreigners is extraordinarily uncommon in Sri Lanka, regardless of the 2019 assaults.

Many Srilankans livelihoods depend on tourism. Nevertheless, the battle didn’t finish too way back so pay attention to political tensions.

You possibly can verify the updated US journey recommendation for Sri Lanka right here.

Theft does happen in main cities however the charges are a lot decrease than in lots of different international locations in Asia. Whereas muggings are principally unprecedented.

Girls are suggested to keep away from strolling alone on darkish seashores late at night time. With all that mentioned, I’ve traveled to Sri Lanka extensively and by no means felt unsafe.

How a lot does it value to journey in Sri Lanka?

You possibly can adapt your journey to Sri Lanka to fit your funds. There may be positively a backpacker scene, with low cost meals, straightforward public transport and hostels providing beds in dorms for round $9.

You might fairly simply see most of Sri Lanka’s vacationer points of interest, whereas solely spending $20-30 a day.

Nevertheless, for an additional $20 you can improve to non-public rooms, swap native beer for cocktails and revel in just a few western meals for those who actually needed to.

Your greatest bills would be the entrance to UNESCO heritage websites or nationwide parks however contemplating they’re in all probability the explanation you hopped on the airplane, simply put away some extra cash.

For these exploring the close by international locations, Sri Lanka is costlier to journey than India however cheaper than Bali or Thailand.

READ NEXT: The 17 Finest Locations to Go to in Thailand

How lengthy do you could journey to Sri Lanka?

2 weeks is an effective quantity to get a style of Sri Lanka, however you can spend months and nonetheless solely scratch the floor since there are such a lot of matters to do in Sri Lanka.

My recommendation can be to select not more than two areas, primarily based in your pursuits and when you’ll be able to go to.

From browsing, mountain climbing, and yoga to historical ruins and wild nature, this stunning tropical island shouldn’t be skipped.

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That’s it for this checklist of the 17 finest locations to go to in Sri Lanka!

What do you assume are the perfect locations to go to in Sri Lanka? Have we missed any? Scroll down and go away a remark!

And earlier than you go, take a look at these different useful articles that will help you plan your travels:

Protected travels!


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