Known For : Gangaramaya Temple National Museum of Colombo Kelaniya Raj Maha Vihara
Colombo is Sri Lanka's prime city. The official capital, Sri Jayawardenepura Kotte, is also within the urban area of Colombo, so Colombo is often called the capital of Sri Lanka as well. The city has a rich colonial heritage, and also some very scenic and popular attractions.
Best Time: December to March
Known For : Pinnawala Elephant Orphanage Giragama Tea Plantations Temple of the Tooth
Kandy is a prominent city in Sri Lankan found precisely in the middle of the country. A city of both historical as well as religious importance, Kandy is renowned for being the site of the Temple Of The Sacred Tooth Relic, unarguably the most famous among all the temples of Sri Lanka. Kandy is also home to numerous remarkable museums and scenic attractions. Kandy is also a UNESCO World Heritage Site declared in 1988.
Best Time: December to April
Known For : Casuarina Beach Jaffna Library
Jaffna is arguably the most historical city in Sri Lanka located at the northern tip on the country and the city from time to time had been passed under the rule of various kingdoms, governments and the armies.
Unlike the country’s southern parts which are more influenced and in a way controlled by the Buddhist and the Sinhalese, the northern realms including Jaffna have a strong influence of the Tamil and the Hindu cultures. Historically, it was the centre of the LTTE power struggle to capture the city in 1995 which resulted in the devastating Battle of Jaffna.
Known For : Old Dutch Market Flag Rock
The port city of Sri Lanka, Galle is situated along the southwestern coast of the country. Primarily known for the famous Galle Fort, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, the city has played a significant role in the country’s lengthy colonial history.
Best Time: February
Known For : Cinnamon Island Moragalla Beach Ventura Beach
Bentota is a rural, beach and resort city in Sri Lanka located in the southern part, around 62 kms from the capital city, Colombo. Bentota is famously known for the Bentota Beach, which is loved by tourists and locals alike. The town known for its pristine waters and lush green landscapes, with the dominance of tall palm trees. Interestingly, the name ‘Bentota’ is derived from Ben, a demon who once ruled the Tota or river bank.
Known For : Fort Frederick, Trincomalee
The quaint city of Trincomalee also famously known as ‘Gokarna’ is an essential fragment of the country, contributing towards the betterment and development of the district and in a nutshell, Sri Lanka. Trincomalee is a port city in Sri Lanka famous for its white sand beaches and most beautiful harbours. The locals here predominantly speak Tamil.
Known For : Sri Maha Bodhi Sigiriya Rock Fortress Ruwanweliseya Jetavanaramaya Monastery
Anuradhapura is a historical paradise as it houses several heritage monasteries, palaces and monuments. It is known for its vast dagobas or brick stupas, ancient ponds and pools and magnificent temples. This city in Sri Lanka was established as the first capital of Sri Lanka in 377 BC. It was also at this time that Anuradhapura rose to prominence as a seat of political and economic importance.
Best Time: April and September
Known For : Rangiri Dambulla International Stadium
Dambulla is an ancient city in Sri Lanka. Along with being a major tourist destination, it is also a major commercial joint in the country of Sri Lanka due to its location. It is the centre of the vegetable distribution in the city. Other than that, the town is widely known for its UNESCO World Heritage Sites such as the Golden Temple and the Buddhist Cave temple. Due to its religious and spiritual monuments, the town has a very peaceful environment. The city has become a representation of the countries rich and elegant history and culture.
Famous for its gemstone industry, Ratnapura is a populous southwestern city in Sri Lanka. It is also known for serving as the start point of a trail that leads to the sacred Adam's Peak. A flourishing centre for gem trade for local and foreign traders alike, Ratnapura is home to numerous gem mines and a fascinating Gem Museum. Some of the world's most recognized gemstones, such as the Star of India, Blue Belle of Asia and The Star of Adam, were discovered at Ratnapura.
Home to the main International Airport of Sri Lanka, Colombo International Airport, Katunayake is towards the west coast of Sri Lanka right next Negombo city. Due to a massive transformation in the economy, the city now has one of the largest free trade zones with investments from all over the world.
Batticaloa also is known as 'Batti' for short, is a small city in Sri Lanka located on the east coast, which has a very mellow and calm vibe to it. The calming city is surrounded by beautiful lagoons and palm trees. This town is in the east of Sri Lanka is also easy to reach due to its connectivity to roads, railway, and the bridge connected to the causeway, which makes the city easily accessible.
One of the 25 districts in Sri Lanka, Vavuniya is known for its historical significance and cultural attractions ranging from Mosques, Temples, Churches to Clock Towers and Museums. This bustling city in Sri Lanka has just a few sights, but as it’s on the way to Jaffna, a pause here for a while won’t be too time-consuming and unpleasant.
Kolonnawa, a small suburb in Colombo, is a multi-ethnic, multi-religious city which offers temples and buddhist statues to admire. As it is located at the coast of the Western Province in Sri Lanka, one can definitely enjoy the sunset at the beach for a rejuvenating time.
Kalmunai is a beach city in the Ampara district of Sri Lanka. Situated in the Eastern province, it has seen a profound history like no other place has. Kalmunai is bestowed with beautiful beaches and aesthetic landscapes that historically it was considered the King’s Royal farm and resort town. There are lush green trees and paddy fields across the side of the roads, and the narrow streams have small river birds that nestle there.
The name of this city in Sri Lanka translates into ‘the blessed fortress city of growing victory’. Sri Jayawardenapura Kotte is considered to be the administrative capital of Sri Lanka. Although there is not much to see in the city, people are known to take a stroll around to get the feel of the town out of sheer curiosity.
Moratuwa is surrounded by water on three sides: the Indian Ocean, a river and Bolgoda lake, suffice to say these water bodies make way for some fantastic water activities, water sports, and sunsets. Tourists flock to the city for its rich historical and cultural history which can be seen embodied in old churches, museums and more.
Home to one of Asia’s largest Zoological Gardens, the National Zoological Gardens Dehiwala-Mount Lavinia has a lot going for it being the second-largest municipality in Sri Lanka lying immediately south of Colombo. This city in Sri Lanka has a rich colonial past and history, which is evident because of all the beautiful Churches, Buddhist Temples, and Mosques scattered across the area.
All these cities in Sri Lanka surely have something great to offer. So pick your favourite cities that you would want to visit, book your tickets and get ready to have a grand and entertaining time!
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