Cities in Sri Lanka

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Cities in Sri Lanka

Sri Lanka, a small island in South Asia, has some of the most unique cities in its landscape. The various cities in Sri Lanka offer tourists a comprehensive experience - be it Colombo's nightlife, Po (Read More)lonnaruwa's ancient heritage, Kandy's relics, Trincomalee's upbeat beaches or Dambulla's UNESCO treasures, cities in Sri Lanka ensure that each and every tourist finds something to cherish.

Here is the list of 17 Cities in Sri Lanka

1. Colombo

Colombo
4.7 /5 View 65+ photos

Known For : National Museum of Colombo Gangaramaya Temple Pettah Market

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

49 Colombo Attractions

2. Kandy

Kandy
4.2 /5 View 37+ photos

Known For : Big Buddha - Bahiravokanda Vihara Buddha Statue Temple of the Tooth Kandy View Point

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

34 Kandy Attractions

3. Jaffna

Jaffna
5.0 /5

Known For : Nallur Kandaswamy Kovil Jaffna Fort 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.

13 Jaffna Attractions

4. Galle

Galle
4.7 /5 View 77+ photos

Known For : Galle Fort Galle Fort Lighthouse Old Dutch Market

The port city of Galle is situated along the southwestern coast of Sri Lanka. A UNESCO World Heritage Site primarily known for Galle Fort was first built in 1588 by the Portuguese and later fortified by Dutch in 1649.

The attractions in the precincts of the Galle Fort include Dutch Reformed Church, Old Dutch Hospital, Galle Clock Tower and Galle Lighthouse. The National Maritime Museum, also located at the fort, offers fascinating insights into the country’s maritime history; some of the objects on display are believed to be more than 800 years old! Walking around the city and watching the sunset are some of the top things to experience in Galle.

Best Time: February

21 Galle Attractions

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5. Bentota

Bentota
4.2 /5

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.

20 Bentota Attractions

6. Trincomalee

Trincomalee
4.2 /5

Known For : Fort Frederick, Trincomalee Uppuveli Beach Marble Beach

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.

13 Trincomalee Attractions

7. Anuradhapura

Anuradhapura
4.2 /5 View 8+ photos

Known For : Sri Maha Bodhi Lovamahapaya Ruwanweliseya

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

21 Anuradhapura Attractions

8. Dambulla

Dambulla
4.3 /5

Known For : Popham's Arboretum Jathika Namal Uyana Kandalama Lake/Reservoir

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 vegetable distribution in the country. 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 country's rich and elegant history and culture.

4 Dambulla Attractions

9. Ratnapura

Ratnapura
4.0 /5

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.

10. Katunayake

Katunayake

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.

11. Batticaloa

Batticaloa
3.9 /5

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.

12. Vavuniya

Vavuniya

Vavuniya is a transport hub in the Northern province of Sri Lanka. Located almost 250 km from Colombo and one of the 25 districts in Sri Lanka, this city is known for its historical significance and cultural attractions ranging from Mosques, Temples, and 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.

13. Kolonnawa

Kolonnawa

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.

14. Kalmunai

Kalmunai
3.8 /5

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.

15. Sri Jayawardenapura Kotte

Sri Jayawardenapura Kotte

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.

16. Moratuwa

Moratuwa

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.

17. Dehiwala - Mount Lavinia

Dehiwala - Mount Lavinia

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!

This post was published by Muhammed Salih

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