Known For : Big Buddha - Bahiravokanda Vihara Buddha Statue Temple of the Tooth Kandy View Point
Kandy is a prominent Sri Lankan city 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.
Distance from Colombo: 122 km
Best Time: December to April
Known For : Sigiriya Rock Sigiriya Museum Pidurangala Rock
Declared a world heritage site by UNESCO, Sigiriya serves as a fine example of ancient urban planning. Sigiriya is a significant site of the Cultural Triangle and perhaps Sri Lanka’s most iconic historical destination. The site, also known as Lion Rock, is recognized all over the world for the remains of the ancient Sigiriya Rock Fortress and its numerous enchanting and well-preserved attractions. The complex hydraulics system at the fortress enhances the site’s reputation as a beautiful example of classical city planning.
Distance from Colombo: 176 km
Best Time: February to April
Known For : Pigeon Island National Park Nilaveli Beach
Nilaveli seaside town is 16 km from Trincomalee District in Eastern Sri Lanka. The town boasts of beautiful waters that are ideal for water sports, snorkelling and scuba diving. The Nilaveli beach road doubles as a boulevard lined up with palm trees called the Nilaveli Beach Road. The seas here are lukewarm as the sun shines to its fullest over Nilaveli. The shallow waters by the shore give a dose of adrenaline as you swim in them. There are hotels and resorts scattered across that are stunningly designed to provide you with the comforts of a luxury stay right across the bay!
Distance from Colombo: 278 km
Known For : Talpe, Unawatuna Jungle Beach Unawatuna Beach
When in Sri Lanka be sure to pay a visit to Unawatuna which is in the southern part of Sri Lanka, 6 km from Galle. Known for its beautiful beaches, hip cafes, trendy restaurants and plenty of sightseeing make Unawatuna an attraction for tourists as well as the locals who are looking for a weekend getaway. There are many different places which you may choose to stay at while at Unawatuna and there is something available for every budget.
Distance from Colombo: 144 km
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Known For : Pedro Tea Estate Gregory Lake Galway's Land National Park
Nuwara Eliya is Sri Lanka's hill station famed for its tea production. With a multitude of gorgeous attractions ranging from waterfalls and tea plantations to gardens and lakes, Nuwara Eliya is the epitome of scenic beauty. Add to that the colonial-style buildings dotting the area, a golf course and the cold climate— and you'll feel like you have entered a world unlike Sri Lanka's iconic landscape; no wonder it is also called Little England!
Distance from Colombo: 173 km
Best Time: February to April
Famous for its gemstone industry, Ratnapura is a populous city in southwestern 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.
Distance from Colombo: 113 km
Known For : The Bar Reef Kalpitiya Lagoon, Kalpitiya Kalpitiya Beach
Kalpitiya is a town surrounded by natural spaces and beaches. Kalpitiya covers a total area of 16.73 km²; the city has 14 islands with the main ones being Battalangunduwa, Palliyawatta, Uchchamunai, Periya Arichchalai, and Kakativu etc. Kalpitiya is one of the upcoming tourist destinations within Sri Lanka, providing activities such as kite surfing, surfing, and whale watching etc.
Distance from Colombo: 171 km
Known For : Popham's Arboretum Jathika Namal Uyana Kandalama Lake/Reservoir
Dambulla is the city of the ancient. 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.
Distance from Colombo: 159 km
Vavuniya is a transport hub in the Northern province of Sri Lanka. Located almost 250 km from Colombo, Vavuniya has everything that it takes to be a humble town comprising of Earthy and homely elements of Sri Lanka. The clock tower, Kali Kovil, Kandhasamy Kovil, Madukantha Vihara, Grand Jummah Mosque, Archaeological museum and Iru Pothana ruins are the absolute must-visits. Vavuniya showcases the different aspects of day-to-day life.
Distance from Colombo: 255 km
The Minneriya National Park is in the Northern province of Sri Lanka, four hours away from Colombo, and 30 minutes away from Sigiriya. The national park is famous for its herds of elephants migrating for food, water and shelter, and forming a 'gathering' that can be witnessed by the visitors. The dry season is the best time to visit this place, as the majestic elephants migrate to the Minneriya Tank for water. Apart from elephants, the national park is also home to several mammals, birds, reptiles, and different kinds of plant species.
Distance from Colombo: 190 km
Known For : The Royal Palace of King Parakramabahu Minneriya National Park Rankoth Vehera
Polonnaruwa, a marvel of a place, is in Northern Sri Lanka. The city once served as the capital of the Kingdom of Polonnaruwa under the Chola Empire in the 10th century. This makes it the second most historic kingdom in Sri Lanka after Anuradhapura. The entire town has two sections - the development and infrastructure part called the Polonnaruwa new town and the Old Site with ancient remains and monarchical structures.
The old part of the city is a UNESCO World Heritage site.
Distance from Colombo: 229 km
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 famous for its white sand beaches and most beautiful harbours. The locals here predominantly speak Tamil. Owing to its long history of civilian settlements, the town is quite prominent for its culture, tradition, and its well known historical sites.
Distance from Colombo: 265 km
Known For : Negombo Lagoon St. Mary’s Church Negombo Beach
Negombo is a quiet town on the west coast of Sri Lanka located 10 km Bandaranaike International Airport. Deriving its name from the Negombo lagoon, the modest village is known for its white sandy beaches and refreshing blue waters. The town is also one of the commercial hubs of the country of Sri Lanka. Having a rich history of the trade of spices and seafood, the town today has become one of the most visited places in the country. Even today, one can see the reflection of the 'city's Dutch and Portuguese history, in its food, architecture and people.
Distance from Colombo: 37 km
Batticaloa also is known as 'Batti' for short, is a small town located on the East coast of Sri Lanka 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. The town is rich in culture and traditions and will enable you to experience the authentic Tamil culture and lifestyle.
Distance from Colombo: 319 km
Wilpattu National Park is situated on the western coast of Sri Lanka, approximately an hour away from the ancient city of Anuradhapura. This national park has the enviable distinction of being the oldest and the largest national park in the country. The park has earned its name from the numerous 'villus' (natural lakes in Sinhalese) that spread across the area. Wilpattu is known for its large population of leopards, among the highest in Sri Lanka.
Distance from Colombo: 214 km
So, what do think about these amazing day trips from Colombo? Let us know your opinion below!
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