Top 50 Things to Do and to See in Sri Lanka

Sri Lanka
Sri Lanka is an island country located in the northern Indian Ocean off the southern coast of the Indian subcontinent in South Asia. The country of Sri Lanka is a popular tourist destination of the world. The country is renowned for sandy beaches, sunshine, tropical weather, ancient ruins, elephants, tea, cricket, wildlife and many more. Shri Lanka is not only rich in natural beauty but also has abundance of historical monuments. Fifty things that you can enjoy in Sri Lanka along with your family are as follows:

1. Anuradhapura

Anuradhapura is one of the ancient capitals of Sri Lanka, and an absolute visit destination of Sri Lanka. The city is renowned for its extraordinary ruins of ancient Lankan people. The ruins belongs to the 4th century BC, and during this era this spot remained one of the most steady and durable centers of political power and city life in South Asia. You will find numerous of magnificent attractions here. Today surrounded by monasteries covering an area of over sixteen square miles (40 km²). Anuradhapura is also important in Hindu legend as the fabled capital of the Asura King Ravana in the Ramayana.

2. Arugambay

The land of Sri Lanka is loaded not only with natural beauty but also rich in history. Arugam Bay is situated on the Indian Ocean in the waterless zone of Sri Lanka’s southeast beach. It is one of the extremely famous tourist destinations of the country and mostly renowned for surfing. Plenty of attractions are waiting to be explored here, visit Arugam bay for a memorable experience.

3. Bentota

Another most magnificent places to visit in Sri Lanka is Bentota, it is the country’s coastal city renowned for its incredible golden beaches. This beautiful city hosts a handful of world proclaim hotels, which is occupied with tourist from all over the globe. Bentota also delivers an olden art of curing called Ayurveda. Bentota is also famous for its making in Toddy.

4. Beruwela

Beruwela is one of the most beautiful resort towns of Sri Lanka and one of the extremely popular tourist destinations. You will find it located towards the southwestern part of the country. It marks the spot for the first Muslim completion on the island, recognized by Arab traders in the region of the 8th century AD. The major landmark of this location is Msjid-ul-Abrar, it is indeed the country’s oldest mosque, was constructed by Arab traders on a gravel peninsula overlooking the town.

5. Bundala National Park

Bundala national Park is one of the most famous tourist attractions of Sri Lanka. This magnificent park is located towards the eastern park east part of the Hambantota. It is famous among birdwatchers, caring an important area of coastal marshland well-known for its plentiful sea birdlife. Inside the park you will find large populations of elephants, marshland & estuarine crocodiles, turtles & other fauna, as well as the leopard.

6. Dambulla

Dambulla is one of the most popular tourist destinations of Sri Lanka. Dambulla offers plenty of things to do and see, considered to be a place worth a visit. among numerous attractions the most important are the biggest and greatest potted cave temple complex of Sri Lanka, and the Rangiri Dambulla global Stadium, renowned for being constructed in only 167 days. In Dambulla you will also find the biggest rose quartz peak range in South Asia, and the Iron wood forest, or Namal Uyana. Ibbankatuwa primitive burial site near Dambulla cave temple complex is considered to be the newest archaeological site of significant historical importance found in Dambulla.

7. Hikkaduwa

Hikkaduwa is a charming small region of Sri Lanka that is also supposed to be one of its biggest attractions. You will find it located towards the Southern region, about 20 km north-west of Galle. This beautiful little town of Sri Lanka is renowned its spectacular beach and corals. It is principally a tourist destination, and serves as a great beach with options to surf, snorkel and enjoy the sun.

8. Kalpitiya

Kalpitiya is one of the most naturally attractive tourist destinations of Sri Lanka. It is that region of the country where you can find overabundance of things to see and do, visitors can get a real approaching into working life away from the city. Here you can find that fish markets offer the opportunity to choose the evening meal straight from the fresh catch! The Dutch Fort and St Peter’s Kerk church in the town itself are motivating examples of Sri Lanka’s rich history and colonial past. The sunset of this region is undoubtedly worth watching.

9. Kandy

Another famous tourist spots to visit in Sri Lanka is Kandy. It is among the most beautiful and scenic regions of the country, offering plenty of opportunity for photographers. Kandy is of both an administrative and sacred city. It is the capital of the Central area and also of the administrative district of Kandy.

10. Polonnaruwa

Polonnaruwa is considered to be the second most olden kingdoms of Sri Lanka and one of the most popular tourist attractions of the country. In fact it was the first stated the capital city by King Vijayabahu I, who beaten the Chola invaders in 1070 CE to come together the country once more under a local leader.

11. Sigiriya

Sigiriya is considered to be the eighth wonder of the world. Sigiriya meaning Lion’s roc) is an olden rock stronghold and castle ruin situated right in the center Matale District, enclosed by the remains of a widespread network of gardens, reservoirs, and other structures. It was constructed during the King Kassapa I and included in World Heritage Sites. It is a popular tourist places, also known for its earliest paintings (frescos), very similar to those in the Ajanta Caves of India.

12. Wilpattu National Park

Wilpattu National Park is perhaps the most beautiful tourist attractions of Sri Lanka to be found towards the northwest coast plain dry zone of the country. It is an exceptionally beautiful attraction to visit and its unique feature is the continuation of “Willus” (Natural lakes) – Natural, sand-rimmed water basins or depressions that fill with rainwater. Wilpattu is one of the biggest and oldest National Parks in Sri Lanka. Wilpattu is among the top national parks of the world, an absolute must.

13. Nuwara Eliya

Nuwara Eliya is popularly known as “Little England” of Sri Lanka and is certainly one of the most beautiful tourist destinations of the world. Situated on the plateau surrounded by mountains, hills, waterfalls and tea plantations, making it extremely fascinating place to visit in the country. This is the place that has the coldest air in the islands of Sri Lanka. Around it, you can see the various buildings of the British heritage.

14. Kitulgala

Kitulgala is one of the beautiful little towns of Sri Lanka, offering numerous of beautiful attractions to its visitors. You will find it towards the outskirts of Kelani river and rain forest in the lower part. It is also the location of the 1957 film “Bridge of the River Kwai”.

15. Colombo

One of the largest cities of Sri Lanka is also its capital city is Colombo. It is one of the most vibrant and lively cities of Sri Lanka, located situated on the seafront that makes this bustling city was visited by foreign tourists and has become the center of government, business, entertainment and more. The city is also evident of the British heritage, with the discovery of the English-style buildings.

16. Adam’s Peak

Adam’s Peak is one of the most unique tourist destinations of Sri Lanka, undoubtedly worth a visit. the Adam’s Peak is as high as 2,243 m., it is the famous conical mountain of the country. Adams Peak is mostly renowned for its “sacred footprint”, a 1.8 m rock formation near the summit, in Buddhist tradition held to be the footprint of Buddha, in Hindu tradition that of Shiva and in Muslim tradition that of Adam. It is a very famous spot among locals as well as tourist.

17. Batticaloa

Batticaloa is one of the famous tourist spots of the country. It is a beautiful city located towards the Eastern province of Sri Lanka. The city of Batticaloa is the seat of the Eastern University of Sri Lanka. It is on the east coast, 69 miles south by south east of Trincomalee, and is situated on an island.

18. Ella

One of the most fascinating tourist spot of Sri Lanka, worth visiting is Ella. This region of Sri Lanka is blessed with abundance of natural beauty. It is a charming little town used as a base for plenty of trekking expeditions to the surrounding countryside. Major attraction of this region is definitely the Garden of the Grand Ella Motel, where you seem to be standing at the edge of the world, and everything around you seems to disappear at your feet.

19. Galle

Galle is among the famous towns of the country located towards the southwestern tip of Sri Lanka, considered to be a pace worth a stop. You will find it exactly at the distance l119 km from the country’s capital. The major river is Gin River Gin Ganga which starts from Gongala Kanda and passing villages such as Neluwa, Nagoda, Baddegama, Thelikada, Wakwella and kisses the sea at Ginthota. In Wakwella over the river there is Wakwella Bridge which is the longest bridge in Sri Lanka.

20. Hambantota

Hambantota is a rural town situated towards the southeastern coastal area of Sri Lanka. This region of the country is loaded with plenty of things to do and see. It is also the capital of the Hambantota District in the Southern Province of Sri Lanka. Include Hambantota in your list of stops in Sri Lanka for a fun filled tour.

21. Horton Plains

Horton Plains National Park is one of the most exciting tourist spots of the country, ideal for sightseeing and also learning. It is located in the magnificent city of Sinhala and is its famous national park. It lies at a height of more than 2,000 m in the central highlands, is definitely a most admired park of the locals. The area was named in 1834 after Lady Anne Horton, wife of Sir Robert Wilmot-Horton, then-governor of Ceylon.

22. Jaffna

Jaffna is also popular by the name Yazhpanam and is among the famous destinations of Sri Lanka. In the region of Jaffna majority are Sri Lankan Tamils with a presence of Sri Lankan Moors and Portuguese Burghers. Almost all Sri Lankan Muslims were driven off from Jaffna by the LTTE in the 1990s, as a result of the ethnic conflict which started in the 1970s. the region of Jaffna offers some of the finest tourist attractions.

23. Kalkudah

Kalkudah is among the famous tourist destinations of Sri Lanka. It is a popular coastal resort town situated approximately around 35 kilometers northwest of Batticaloa, Batticaloa District. At one point of time it was an immensely popular tourist spots of Sri Lanka, however due to 2004 Indian Ocean Tsunami and Sri Lankan Civil War, it faced a tremendous amount of declination of tourist.

24. Katunayake

One of the beautiful little towns of Sri Lanka, undoubtedly worth a visit is Katunayake. With the change of government in 1977 and the introduction of the open economy policy a large area was allocated to create a free trade zone. This created a large amount of job opportunities for the local youth and has contributed substantially towards the country’s economy. This town offers some of the fairly interesting tourist spots.

25. Knuckles Range

The Knuckles Mountain Range is one of the most beautiful tourist spots of Sri Lanka. It is located right towards the north-eastern side of Kandy. The range takes its name from a series of recumbent folds and peaks in the west of the massif which resembles the knuckles of clenched fist when viewed from certain locations in the Kandy District. It is also renowned for its magnificent landscape that is often robed in thick layers of cloud but in addition to its aesthetic value the range is of great scientific interest.

26. Mannar

Mannar Island is perhaps one of the most beautiful tourist destinations of Sri Lanka. You will find this charming region located in Mannar District, Sri Lanka. It is linked to the rest of Sri Lanka by a causeway.

27. Matara

One of the most significant cities of Sri Lanka in terms of history and culture is Matara. This city is a part of an area called Ruhana, one of the three kingdoms in Sri Lanka (Thun Sinhalaya). There are some of the finest examples of ancient work in the form of temples. The temple in the middle of the town is also built by ancient kings and now it is a very popular sacred place among the Buddhists in the area.

28. Minneriya

Minneriya is a beautiful little town of Sri Lanka, which is renowned for two reasons, first one the great Minneriya ake build by King Mahasen and the second one for the Minneriya wildlife sanctuary which is a hot spot for safari lovers because of the abandons of Elephants. You will also find some famous world heritage sites like Anuradhapura, Polonnaruwa and Sigiriya which are relatively close to Minneriya.

29. Negombo

Negombo is a charming town and one of the most famous tourist attractions of Sri Lanka. You will find it situated at the mouth of the Negombo lagoon, offers plenty of things to do and see. This region’s economy is mainly based on tourism and its centuries-old fishing industry, though it also produces cinnamon, ceramics, and brass ware.

30. Pasikudah

Pasikudah is a beautiful little coastal town situated approximately around thirty five kilometers towards the northwestern part of Batticaloa. It used to be a popular tourist destination, Pasikudah and Kalkudah are located few km apart.

31. Pinnawela

The Pinnewela Elephant Orphanage is located towards the northwest part of Kegalle, is one of the famous tourist attractions of Sri Lank that was constructed during the year 1975 by the Sri Lanka wildlife department in a 25-acre coconut property near the Maha Oya river.

32. Puttalam

Puttalam is one of the historical prominent regions of Sri Lanka and also among the most popular tourist attractions. Its history goes back to the arrival of North Indian Prince Vijaya, 2500 years ago in Tammanna in the coastal belt above Puttalam. This happened when his vessel was washed ashore. Thonigala the homeland of Kuweni is deep in the district.

33. Ratnapura

Ratnapura is one of the famous and beautiful towns located in Sabaragamuwa Province. “ratna” meaning gems and “pura” meaning city. Ratnapura is also spelled as Rathnapura. Situated some 101 km south east of Colombo, it is the centre of a long-established industry of precious stone mining including rubies, sapphires, and other gems. It is also renowned for rice and fruit cultivations.

34. Sinharaja

Sinharaja Forest Reserve is one of spectacular tourist attractions of Sri Lanka. Sinharaja is indeed of international significance and has been designated a Biosphere Reserve and World Heritage Site by UNESCO. The meaning of Singraja is Kingdom of Lion. The hilly virgin rainforest, part of the Sri Lanka lowland rain forests ecoregion, was saved from the worst of commercial logging by its inaccessibility, and was designated a World Biosphere Reserve in 1978 and a World Heritage Site in 1988.

35. Trincomalee

The famous city of Trincomalee is constructed on a peninsula, which divides the inner and outer harbours and certainly a major source of tourist attraction. Historically referred to as Gokanna, or Gokarna it has been a sea port that has played a major role in maritime and international trading history of Sri Lanka. It is that region of the country where you can find majority of Tamil speaking people.

36. Unawatuna

Unawatuna is one of the extremely popular beach resorts of Sri Lanka and a beautiful spot to spend your holiday. It is well described as most wonderful beach location by the nature and also considered to be an excellent location for Scuba Diving Locations in Sri Lanka. You can enjoy the beach, Scuba Diving, Surfing and Sea Food in Sri Lankan Style.

37. Weligam

Weligama is a famous fishing town of Sri Lanka perhaps the most attractions regions of the Matara district which is located towards the southern coast of Sri Lanka. Located at a distance of 143 km from Colombo, is a famous spots that also offers plenty of boutique hotels. It is most famous for its distinct stilt fishermen and an off shore islet known as Taprobane, where a dream house of French Count de Maunay was constructed.

38. Yala National Park

Yala National Park occupies a total area of around 979 km², is one of the most popular tourist attractions of the country. This spectacular park Sri Lanka was constructed during the year 1894 as a Game Sanctuary. Much of the reserve is parkland, but it also contains jungle, beaches, freshwater lakes and rivers and scrubland. It is an ideal destination for family picnicking.

39. Kelaniya Raja Maha Vihara

Kelaniya Raja Maha Vihara is certainly one of the most visited tourist attractions of Sri Lanka. It was constructed and destroyed many times, later during the nineteenth century it was finally reconstructed. It is one of the most magnificent temples of the country. The dagoba, which is hollow, is the focus of the Duruthu Perahera in January each year.

40. Sri Maha Bodhi

The Sri Maha Bodhi is considered to be one of the most sacred sites of the country. It is also a famous landmark of Anuradhapura in terms of both spiritual and physical sense. The Bodhi treed is a huge tree that has grown from a cutting brought from Bodhgaya in India by the Princess Sangamitta. This sacred tree serves as a reminder of the force that inspired the creation of all the great buildings at Anuradhapura.

41. Temple of the Sacred Tooth Relic

The Temple of the Sacred Tooth Relic is one of the most prominent temples of Sri Lanka. It is that temple of Sri Lanka where you can witness some of the finest remains of Buddhist – a tooth of the Buddha. The temple sustained damage when a bomb was detonated – by the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam.

42. Kosgoda Beach

The Kosgoda beach is one of the most famous tourist attractions of Sri Lanka especially attracts those visitors who marine life lovers. Kosgoda Beach offers you numerous of marine turtles and turtle hatcheries. The marine turtles come ashore at night and lay their eggs in tiny holes. Then they cover up their eggs and return to the sea before dawn. Many turtle hatcheries have been set up along the coast to protect the eggs and turtles from predators.

43. Nallur Kandaswamy Kovil

The Nallur Kandaswamy Kovil is the one of the stunning religious structure of the country to be found in the lovely town of Jaffna. Its sacred deity, Murugan, is central to temple activity, especially during the punctual, cacophonic pujas. This temple is one of the most prominent temples of Sri Lanka.

44. Wadduwa

Wadduwa is among the most impressive beaches of Sri Lanka, to found around one hour of distance from the country’s capital. Its beaches have golden sands and are ideal for those who are looking for a spot in the sun, amidst the shade of bending and obliging coconut trees

45. Diyaluma Falls

One of the extremely popular tourist attractions of Sri Lanka which is the country’s third-highest waterfall also is the Diyaluma Falls. Cascading down an escarpment of the Koslanda Plateau, the stream is fairly small, but it quickly escalates after a downpour. Climb up to some beautiful pools, considered prefect for swimming – and a series of mini falls at the top of the main fall.

46. Dondra Head

The country of Sri Lanka is blessed with plenty of beautiful beaches and the Dondra Head Beach is not an exception. It is located towards the southernmost point of Sri Lanka. Once here you can also witness classic white-painted lighthouse was constructed during the year 1889 by the British. It takes 250 steps to the top, but the view makes every step worthwhile.

47. Tangalle

The beaches of Tangalle are considered to have the softest sand and the safest sea along the entire south coast. Tangalle is one of the most famous tourist destinations of the country and a lovely spot to visit. it is famous for scuba dive around the coral reef protecting its four kilometres of sandy beach, and to explore a couple of wrecks.

48. Dutch Fort

Dutch Fort is one of the most impressive historical monuments of Sri Lanka, located in Galle, it is renowned for being the best-preserved sea fort in South Asia. A living heritage site, this 90 hectare (222 acre) attraction is a superb blend of architecture, with fortifications that resemble those in the coastal areas of Portugal.

49. Hakgala Gardens

The Hakgala Gardens is one of the most impressive gardens to visit in Sri Lanka, was originally a plantation of cinchona, the plant from which the antimalarial drug quinine is extracted. The Hakgala Gardens offers some of the most beautiful activities to its visitors. Today it is among the most visited gardens of the country. Hakgala sprawls across 27 hectares and is famed for its roses, ferns and medicinal plants.

50. Seetha Amman Temple

The country of Sri Lanka offers abundance of magnificent temples that are located across the country. Among the various temples Setha Amaman Temple is worth a visit. it is believed that this was the location where Seetha was held captive by the demon king Rawana, and where she prayed daily for Rama to come and rescue her. It is one of the most prominent temples of Sri Lanka.

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