Top 15 places to visit in Sri Lanka

Top 24 things to do, things to see in Sri Lanka

This article will be helpful to anyone who is going to visit Sri Lanka.


My hit parade of what to do in Sri Lanka .

1 – Take the train from Kandy to Nuwara Elu or better yet, to Ella. Why exactly by train!!! Because the views of the mountains , tea plantations and waterfalls are amazing during the trip. I’ve traveled a lot and seen a lot. But I have never seen such beautiful scenery from the train. The beauty takes your breath away. Get second class tickets on the train. Then you can sit by the open door during the trip and with your feet hanging down, enjoy the views and the breeze (but still be careful).

2 – climb Ella Rock or another peak in Sri Lanka (not Adam’s Peak). I liked Ella Rock and Little Adam’s Peak the best. Beautiful views, tea plantations, romance….

3 – try todi and bulat. Todi is the fermented juice of the palm flower. It tastes like kvass . Where to get it: if you’re lucky, you might see a local walking between palm trees on a strung rope and doing something in the thick of the palm crown. He’s picking toddy. Urgently pull him from the palm and ask him to sell it. Todi is not expensive. We bought a liter bottle for a hundred rupees. I like this drink. For a Russian person it’s exotic. Bulat is a set of different inedible things. Bulat is a chewable mixture. It is considered a substitute for smoking . The locals get some kind of pleasure from it. But I never felt it. Bulat stains your teeth red. You can’t swallow this mixture, you have to spit it out. Since it is still exotic, you can try it once just to be on the safe side. What if you like it!

4 – eat rice with curry (and other national dishes). Locals eat curry rice every day. It really is a very tasty dish and you can eat it every day. Also, there is a big variety of types of curry. Be sure to mix the rice well with all kinds of curries. It tastes so much better that way. Also try kotta, hoppers, springhoppers, coconut roti with coconut sambola and dal, kiribat

5 – seal holidays on the beach ☀. That’s usually what most tourists go for. So my advice is to set aside at least 5 days in one place for that. Relax and rest in a sleep-eat-beach-eat-sleep mode.

6 – go visit locals . If you talk to the locals even a little bit, I’m sure you’ll be invited to visit. It’s an interesting experience because you get to see the life of the Lankans from the inside and try real homemade curry rice. No glutamate. Be prepared: yes, it’s heartfelt and free, but if you are later offered to take a tour with their son, who works as a guide, for example, or some other service or buy something – do not refuse as a sign of gratitude. If the price is reasonable and adequate, then why not! You wanted to go to that park anyway (let’s say). If you are not ready to give a penny and do not want to buy anything from this family – it is better not to go to a dinner party .

7 – eat exotic fruits . We have plenty of fruit. And the main thing is that they are much tastier than the ones that come to Russia. Mangoes, pineapples, bananas, papayas, avocados – there are almost all year round. I especially recommend trying Sawsab or Noynu, or “sour apple” in Russian. This fruit is also found in other Asian countries. But in Sri it is the most delicious.

8 – meet the sunrise and sunset in a beautiful place on a mountain top or on a rock by the sea . Sri Lanka is famous for its beautiful and romantic sunsets. So you have to put sunset photos online)))

9 – get your ass kicked at the beach party . In season, we have a party every day in Mirissa . The parties certainly don’t claim to be high level, but it’s still fun (especially after a few cocktails and puffs). Often female tourists lose all control and run around in a drunken frenzy in whatever the hell they’re wearing.) Just be careful. If you come to a party and you see that 90% are local guys – better not to stay at such a party.

10 – see whales . There are a lot of blue whales swimming around Sri Lanka in season. They come from the north. Locals do “wailwatching”-whale watching. You can go on a boat with other tourists and see a blue whale for yourself. I often get asked if they can see the whale in full… No, folks, a whale is not a dolphin. He doesn’t jump out of the water. You can see it take in air and dive into the abyss again. So you can see either the back or the tail of the whale at the same time.

The colorful world of Madeira Island, Portugal

11 – do some diving or at least snorkeling . Sri Lanka, of course, does not have the Red Sea, but still the underwater world is quite interesting and in any case you will enjoy diving in the ocean of exotic fish and corals .

12 – swim/feed turtle . There are a lot of turtles in the ocean on Sri. This island is as famous for turtles as it is for elephants. Here turtles are respected and protected in every way. So contact with a turtle should be in the mandatory program of visiting Sri Lanka. By chance turtles can be found on many beaches. In Hikkaduwa, the turtles are fed and they are constantly hanging out on the coast, waiting for the next batch of seaweed from the tourists. There are also turtle farms.

13 – see a turtle laying eggs or see turtles hatch . During the season on a full moon night, you can be a lucky observer of this action. Usually turtles come ashore in places where the coast is not fenced with reefs (i.e. the turtle can swim through unobstructed). And the turtle will not necessarily choose a deserted place. Last year, the turtle was not hindered by a shore party, noise and lots of people. It crawled out and calmly laid eggs in front of astonished tourists, who cleared a space for it from the tables and chairs. Unfortunately, I still haven’t seen how a turtle lays eggs, or how baby turtles are born. No luck. I’m only happy with the pics on Insta.

14 to see a wild elephant . There really are wild elephants walking around in Sri Lanka. To see them for sure it is better to go to some nature reserve (national park). There are many such places in Sri Lanka.

15 – to see a peacock. But to see the peacock in the national park is not necessary to go. It’s enough to drive a little further inland from the ocean. These birds are everywhere here. Pigeons are more exotic to the locals here. Especially these birds like to walk in the rice fields. And they even walk along the highway. You can see the warning signs “watch out for peacocks on the road.” If you don’t even see a peacock, you’re likely to hear one. Their screech here in the mornings instead of a rooster’s screech. For a fan… Remember the “Baron Munchausen” cartoon.

16 – go surfing . There are many places in Sri Lanka that are good for beginners to surf. The best places are considered to be east and Arugam Bay in summer, and south and Veligama in winter.

17 – ride lokalbas . This can be classified as an extreme activity. The fact is that local buses are the kings of the road here. They always rush first without stopping and sweeping away everything in their way. They’re monsters . Rides on the bass are cheap. But the emotions will be a lot! The buses are a lot of fun to ride. Because every driver decorates everything inside with statues of Buddha, lanterns and flowers. And it is mandatory that every decent bus should have a TV and play Lankan music ( specific, for the lover, that is for the Lankan). Take a breeze ride and get to know the local creativity at the same time. Put it all together in your imagination and you can imagine what’s going on in that bus. But it’s better to experience it once for yourself.

18 – see the festival procession (at least watch the kandi dances). If you’re lucky enough to get your dates on a local full moon festival ( or other) be sure to ask the locals where the festival procession will be held. It’s a huge spectacle. Usually starts at a large temple. On the way there is a procession with many people in different costumes. Different dances. Shows all the variety and beauty of culture in Sri Lanka. And even the elephants are brought out on this occasion in festive dress. If you do not get to see the procession be sure to visit the cantina dances. You can see them, as you can guess, in Kandy. Many places have them every day.

19 – go for vipassana . Vipassana is a Buddhist meditation lasting several days. You can’t talk the whole time. Very useful practice. It clears the mind. But I didn’t do it before I gave birth. And now I don’t know when I’ll be able to.

Tenerife - vacation at the mouth of the volcano

20 – massage . Sri Lanka is famous for its Ayurveda and Ayurvedic massage . What it is, I haven’t tried it yet. So I can’t say how it is. But I think it’s worth a try for a tick. If you’re ever in Mirissa, feel free to contact me. I know some great places, everyone really praises it.

21 – drive a bike and go deep into the villages, further away from the tourist spots. A moped is a very useful thing when traveling independently. Because you are free to choose your own route. If you rent a scooter be sure to scout a little deeper into the village. It is beautiful there, lots of animals and the locals are kind. It will be as impressive as an expensive excursion to a national park.

22 – feed and pet the town deer in Trincomalle. I liked Trincomalle first and foremost for its deer. It’s very unexpected, but deer walk all over town there like cows in India. I saw six of them at the bus stop. They eat off the dumpster. They’ll let you pet them for a cookie. It’s worth a trip to the East Coast just for that.

23 – admire the Paradeniya Park (Royal Botanical Garden). This is a Sri landmark that you will simply have to visit. 700₽ is not at all a pity to give for such beauty. I advise you to take a whole day for this park, so that you don’t get hit with too much emotion in a short period of time. It’s nice to take a quiet walk there. The park is very well maintained and beautiful. Everything is in bloom there. There is a huge number and variety of flowers and trees. Trees and palm trees of impressive size. In general, without rapturous exclamations you will not leave there.

24 – walk around the tea plantations and taste a fresh leaf of tea. Sri Lanka (or the island of Ceylon) is famous for tea. In the center of the island we have many mountains and string tea growers. It is a beautiful and colorful sight.

September 04, 2017.

I’m on telegram: srilanka_planetter (there’s also a chat room for questions)

Watsap / Viber: +94763081200

Living in Sri Lanka in Mirissa for 9 years Renting houses Director of a company in Sri Lanka. ❤ Russian-Lankan family

What to see in Sri Lanka by yourself

Sri Lanka is truly an amazing country that attracts more and more tourists every year. The choice of what to see in Sri Lanka is incredibly vast! Ceylon is not only delicious tea and the Indian Ocean, as it may seem to the uninformed tourist.

Parks with tropical vegetation, botanical gardens, nature reserves (where you can watch the life of leopards, elephants, crocodiles, wild roe deer in their natural environment). Beautiful ocean and swanky beaches, surfing. Kilometer-long forests and high mountains. As well as the ancient Buddhist and Vishnu temples, which can easily surprise even the most avid travelers with their unique history. The ruins of ancient cities, remnants of sanctuaries, ancient frescoes and petroglyphs high in the mountains, centuries-old statues of Buddha and other deities.

A unique history and many cultural monuments that are included in the UNESCO World Heritage List. Perhaps with a list like this, it would not be difficult to make a plan for what to see in Sri Lanka when traveling around the island.

Top 10 Sightseeing Sites in Sri Lanka

Here is a look at the most interesting and beautiful places in the wonderful island of Sri Lanka. Top 10 attractions – this is only a short list of interesting places in the country, in fact, there are much more. But after all, it is not so easy in a short period of vacation to have time to get acquainted with all of them. Choose popular attractions and resorts, and complete this list in the comments to your liking.


This place is considered one of the most visited on the island (besides the beach area). Sigiriya, aka Lion’s Rock, is a historical cultural monument. The height of the rock plateau is 370 meters. At its summit in the 5th century was the residence of the Kandyan king Kassapa.

The entrance to the fortress on Mount Sigiriya was made in the form of the paws of a lion and its head, but unfortunately only the limbs have survived. Historians say that the shape of the wild animal was chosen for a reason. This is how King Kashyapa feared his rival, Ravana, who had made an attempt on the throne. Soon the king was overthrown, and until the 14th century in this fortress was a Buddhist monastery, which has since been abandoned. So was the fortress itself.

Top 10 most beautiful cities in Finland

After so many centuries, the frescoes inside are remarkably well preserved. But of the 500 pieces, only 19 have survived. The frescoes depict naked women. There are two versions: the women are concubines of King Cassapa, the second version is deities in a female form.

To see this art, you have to go a long way. To the ruins leads a long staircase – 1200 steps. But despite this, overcome the road will be able to, both children and people of advanced age. Hundreds of tourists and locals of all ages climb Sigiriya Peak every day. Many of them do not make the ascent for the first time.

How to get to Sigiriya

For a detailed itinerary of how to get to Sigiriya from different parts of the country, read more.

You can take a cab directly from Kandy to Lion Mountain, which takes about 2 hours. But from Colombo – 3-3,5 hours. From Negombo it’s 3 hours. You can also take an intercity bus, for this you need to come to Dambulla or Khabarana (the nearest towns to the mountain) and then from the local bus station drive to the right place.

Price and schedule

You can climb Sigiriya as part of a tour. You can book a tour in any major city in Sri Lanka, perhaps in the hotel where you live. Its cost will be approximately from $ 50-60 for one person from Kandy. From Colombo, Negombo – up to $ 100. From Unawatuna, Galle, Hikkaduwa and resorts on the south and west side, around $100.

The entrance and ascent to the mountain is from 7:00 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. local time, and the cost per ticket is $30.

Whales in Mirissa.

Whale Safari.

Whale Safari.

In recent years, whale safaris have been considered one of the most requested excursions not only by tourists but also by the local population.

Whale watching is available in several cities, but the most popular destination is Mirissa.

Mirissa has a small port from where you can take a boat into the middle of the ocean to watch the whales migrate. There are dozens of agencies in town to help you find tours and services.

If you have not booked a place on the tour in advance or want to make the tour cheaper, you can come early in the morning to the pier, and arrange to go to sea on the spot. But what will be the quality of service – it is difficult to understand.

During the trip, if you are lucky, you can enjoy the diverse aquatic world of Sri Lanka and see not only blue whales, but turtles, killer whales and dolphins. Keep in mind that you should not go into the ocean during bad weather. It is difficult to see whales during a storm – a waste of money and time.

Motorboats leave the pier at about 7am, so you definitely need to be here 30-40 minutes before sailing. You don’t want to be late, as no one will wait here.

How to get to Mirissa

You can visit Mirissa from the airport or Colombo by train, bus, or cab. If from the airport, you should first go to the railroad (station 1-2 km from the airport), buy a train ticket to Colombo. In the capital change to the train to Matara.

Or from the airport to Colombo. Then at the Pettah bus station take a bus to Mirissa.

The price of the tour

It costs 5000-6000 rupees. Children under the age of 6 can ride for free, and under 12 is half the cost of the tour. This price also includes a light breakfast.

Some travel agencies have a rule: if you can’t see the whales, you will be offered a second trip the next day for free. Clarify in advance.

Adam’s Peak

The height of Adam’s Peak is 2243 meters. The mountain has become famous for the beautiful scenery, sunsets and sunrises from its summit. Millions of tourists climb here each year to enjoy the incredible beauty along the way and on the peak itself.

You’ll have to hike late at night to catch a spectacular sunrise.

The ascent by stone stairs, which is illuminated only in season. Out of season it can be dangerous to climb the mountain.

In total, you have to walk 5,000 steps. At the beginning of the road there are sites where you can take a break, have a snack and quench your thirst.

At the top of the mountain, in addition to the observation deck, there is also a small plateau. It is a place of pilgrimage for people of different faiths. On the plateau you can distinguish the imprint of the foot that left Shiva, Jesus or spiritual teacher of the Lankans Buddha – each religion attributes the mark of the deity itself.

Top 5 places to visit in China

The Adam’s Peak tour season begins in December and ends in April. The best times to visit are January, February, and March.

How to get to Adam’s Peak
Ticket price

Entrance to the mountain is 24 hours a day. No need to buy tickets, admission is free or for donations.

Hikkaduwa beach and turtles

Hikkaduwa is a must-visit if you love the ocean, waves and are into surfing, and want to see huge sea turtles in their natural environment.

In Hikkaduwa you can often meet Russian tourists. There are several cafes with the usual food, there are Russian-speaking guides. This is the most popular beach resort on the island, not only with our compatriots, but also travelers from all over the world.

Feeding turtles (free entertainment)

Centennial turtles swim close to the shore several times a day. You can feed the reptiles with seaweed right from your hands! It’s safe to do so.

Another attraction in Hikkaduwa is the National Coral Reserve.

A beautiful underwater world, the view can be enjoyed by snorkeling, diving, and even just looking into the water!

How to get to Hikkaduwa

You can get here from the airport by cab, bus on the highway or by train. First: Airport-Colombo (train, cab, bus or tuk-tuk). Then change by bus or train to Hikkaduwa.

The distance is 140 kilometers.

You can also take a cab, which will be many times more expensive, but more comfortable.

The trip may take up to 3 hours along the high-speed road. The price is about $60.

You can pre-book a transfer online, as well as take a cab straight from the airport.

Yala Park.

Some time ago, the site of Yala Park was a hunting ground of British settlers (colonists). Today it is a huge protected area of 130 thousand hectares. The main attraction of Yala Park – leopards, of which there are only 30 specimens. An endangered species of wild cats that not everyone is lucky enough to see. In July and August, leopards are “more sociable”, in these months it is more likely to see animals.

Elephants drinking water

During the safari you can see elephants, deer, buffalo, many birds and even crocodiles. The only way to see all these animals is to book a tour of the reserve. In jeeps, with a local driver. Travelers can choose any option offered, depending on the budget. You can take a half-day tour, a day tour, or even stay overnight in a tent. The latter option is not official.

How to get to Yala Park

You can get to Yala Park by cab from anywhere on the island. From some resorts there is an option to take a train or intercity bus.

Take a bus or train to the town of Matara, where the railroad ends. Then change by bus to the locality of Tisamaharama, which is near Yala Park.

Price and schedule

The park is open from 6:00 am to 4:00 pm each day. Jeep tour is $40 half day and $75 all day (this is the price for a jeep with a driver that accommodates 6 people).


Polonnaruwa is the remains of an ancient city, the former capital of Sri Lanka, which was founded in the 11th century AD. Relics that were found during the excavations are now in the National Museum of Colombo, the de facto capital of the island.

In Polonnaruwa you can visit the royal palace (6th century AD). It is a building of 7 floors and 50 rooms. The most amazing thing is that such a scale was built without a single piece of construction equipment.

There are also many temples in the city, such as Shiva Dawale, Hatadage, Lankatilaka and Gal Viharaya. They are definitely worth a visit, and especially the Gal Viharaja temple, which is built on top of a mountain. The sacred place is adorned with Buddha statues of various shapes and sizes.

Another artifact of antiquity is the Tivanka Mural House (7th century AD). Despite the respectable age of the wall paintings, they still retain their pristine colors. Vivid pictures of people, deities, animals.

How to get to Polonnaruwa

Initially, study the route on how to get to Kandy.

From Kandy it takes 3.5 hours by cab, from Colombo or Negombo it takes no more than 4 hours. There are also direct buses from Colombo from Pettah Bus Station. The Colombo-Kandy train runs daily.

Ticket prices and opening times

Explore the ruins of Polonnaruwa from 7:00 am to 6:00 pm.

14 things to do and see in Leeds, UK

Temple of Buddha’s Tooth in Kandy


The city of Kandy is the second most populated city in Sri Lanka.

Tourists as well as pilgrims from all over the world flock here to visit the Temple of the Buddha’s tooth. The temple is located on the shore of an artificial lake. The building has preserved the original architecture to this day.

The artifact is hidden “behind seven locks”. The tooth is kept in a casket, which stands closed. In other words, you can look at the precious box in which the tooth of the spiritual teacher is stored.

How to get to the Temple of the Buddha’s Tooth

For a detailed route to Kandy from any resort in Sri Lanka, see above.

It can be reached from Colombo by direct intercity bus from Pettah Bus Station. The distance between the two points is 120 kilometers, it will take you about 4 hours. You can also get here by train. The Colombo-Kandy train runs daily.

The price of the tour

Price to enter the temple: 1500 rupees.

Peradeniya Botanical Garden

Peradeniya Botanical Garden is one of the best botanical gardens in Asia.

On the territory of the park runs the largest river in Sri Lanka Mahaweli.

On the site of the park in the 13th century were located royal gardens, which eventually “grew” into a national botanical garden.

There is a unique collection of conifers, palms, bamboos, ferns and ficuses, but the main attraction of the park is the collection of rare ornamental orchids.

One of the main attractions for “our” man will be the trees planted by Nicholas II and Yuri Gagarin.

In the park you can walk along the suspension bridge, visit the Japanese or flower garden, look at the alley planted with bamboo, the alley of palms, roses. Separately, there is a spice garden.

How to get to Peradeniya

The botanical garden is located in Peradeniya, which is 5 km from Kandy. Therefore, the initial route is to Kandy and then take bus number 644 and 652 from Peradeniya. The final stop is called “Botanicgarden”.

Ticket price

Entrance to the Botanic Garden: 1500 rupees.

Dambulla Cave Temple

Dambulla is a small village located 16 kilometers from Mount Sigiriya. Dambulla Cave Temple consists of 80 caves with ancient Buddha statues (over 150!), statues of ruling kings, stupas, monk cells, wall frescoes.

This complex was built in the 1st century A.D. The temple has been preserved to this day in its original form. In the 12th century there were installed about 70 statues of Buddha, which are covered with gold. The rock frescoes cover an area of 2,100 square meters!

In the temples you can see many images of Buddha, telling about his earthly life.

How to get to Dambulla

To get to Dambulla you can take the route “to Sigiriya”, read above.

You can buy tickets to enter the temple complex near the Buddhism Museum. The ticket price for tourists is Rs 1500.

Admission to the museum is Rs 250.

Nuwara Eliya

Nuwara Eliya or “Little England” is a beautiful town located in the mountains in the central part of Sri Lanka. Nuwara Eliya – it’s tea plantations on the green slopes, waterfalls, golf courses, restaurants with European food, leisurely walks along the man-made Lake Gregory, rest in the park of Queen Victoria.

Several centuries ago, British colonists lived here. The British set the atmosphere calm and measured. In other words, Nuwara Eliya is an elite part of the island, which is strikingly different from other cities in Sri Lanka.

The famous Nuwara Eliya – Ella train is a stunning view of the mountains and tea plantations. According to National geographic – the route the train takes is one of the most scenic landscapes in the world!

How to get to Nuwara Eliya

Read the detailed itinerary on how to visit Nuwara Eliya from anywhere in Sri Lanka. Options: train, bus, cab, tuk-tuk.

This is just a short list – the top 10 sights to see in Sri Lanka. In fact, there are many more unique, beautiful, amazing places to see!

What to see in Sri Lanka with children

Hiking Mt. Sigiriya or climbing Adam’s Peak will be difficult with young children. Such excursions are for adults.

Going into the open ocean – whale safari, also an excursion is not for everyone. Sea sickness can catch everyone, regardless of age.

With children will be interesting to visit the beach resorts, turtle farm, go on a safari in Yala Park. And also take a walk through the nature reserves and parks of the country.

( No ratings yet )
Like this post? Please share to your friends:
Leave a Reply

;-) :| :x :twisted: :smile: :shock: :sad: :roll: :razz: :oops: :o :mrgreen: :lol: :idea: :grin: :evil: :cry: :cool: :arrow: :???: :?: :!: