Places To Visit in Sri Lanka

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Here are the top 66 tourist places and attractions in Sri Lanka

Here are the best places to visit in Sri Lanka to explore the beaches, culture and historic tourist places and attractions. Read more to plan your travel to Sri Lanka.

1. Ella

4.0 /5

1 out of 67
Places to visit in Sri Lanka 31
Tourist attractions

Tucked into Badulla District, Ella is a charming laidback town drawing travelers to Sri Lanka's highlands with tea plantations, mountain jungles, and a cool climate. At an elevation of 1,041 meters, this wildlife-rich town has ancient caves, centuries-old secluded temples, and the famous Ella Gap - ...

2. Galle

5.0 /5

2 out of 67
Places to visit in Sri Lanka 33
Tourist attractions

Tucked into the southwest coast of Sri Lanka, Galle is a major city and UNESCO World Heritage Site. Blessed with imposing Dutch-colonial buildings, ancient churches and mosques, blond beaches, mansions and museums, quirky boutiques, and a convivial seaside promenade, Galle attracts locals, foreign t...

Best Time: February

3. Sigiriya

4.5 /5

3 out of 67
Places to visit in Sri Lanka 14
Tourist attractions

Sigiriya, often referred to as the "Lion Rock," is an ancient rock fortress and UNESCO World Heritage Site located in the central Matale District of Sri Lanka. It is located between Dambulla and Habarane and is one of the most visited tourist destinations in Sri Lanka. Rising dramatically ...

Best Time: February to April

4. Colombo

4.7 /5

4 out of 67
Places to visit in Sri Lanka 68
Tourist attractions

Discovered initially by traders two millennia ago, Colombo is Sri Lanka's largest economic corridor and tourist destination. As the island nation's capital city, Colombo is a cosmopolitan gateway to the wonders of Portuguese, Dutch and British colonial heritage, splendid tropical landscapes and dele...

Best Time: December to March

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5. Hikkaduwa

4.2 /5

5 out of 67
Places to visit in Sri Lanka 15
Tourist attractions

Hikkaduwa finds itself nuzzled in the Galle district of South Western Sri Lanka, 2 hours away from Colombo. The beaches of Hikkaduwa have been visited since the 1970s for their vibrant nightlife and cuisine. The beaches are a surfer's delight and have a large coral reef, the Hikkaduwa Cora...

6. Kandy

4.2 /5

6 out of 67
Places to visit in Sri Lanka 47
Tourist attractions

Settled on a plateau encircled by lush mountains, Kandy is a large city in central Sri Lanka with biodiverse rainforests and tea plantations. Around 4 hours by road from Colombo, the city is famed for the Temple of the Tooth Relic, a UNESCO World Heritage Site and one of the most sacred Buddhist pla...

Best Time: December to April

7. Dambulla

4.3 /5

7 out of 67
Places to visit in Sri Lanka 11
Tourist attractions

Nestled in Sri Lanka's Central Province, Dambulla is a treasure trove of historical Buddhist and megalithic monuments, mountains with thick tropical forests and lakes, naturally-formed sky high rocks, and centuries-old temples. It is the second-largest populated and urbanised centre in Matale Distri...

Best Time: January to May

8. Mirissa

5.0 /5

8 out of 67
Places to visit in Sri Lanka 15
Tourist attractions

Mirissa, nestled along the southern coast of Sri Lanka, is a picturesque and laid-back beach town that attracts travelers seeking sun, sand, and serenity. What was a faint old beach town has now risen to be one of the most popular surfing and whale-watching destinations in Sri Lanka. The beach ...

9. Yala National Park

4.6 /5

9 out of 67
Places to visit in Sri Lanka

Sprawled over 979 square kilometres, Yala National Park in southeast Sri Lanka is the nation’s largest and most-visited wildlife conservation zone. As Lanka’s oldest wildlife sanctuary, Yala shelters a vast area of unspoilt jungles, grassland and lagoons bordering the Indian Ocean, home to the highe...

Best Time: February to June

10. Bentota

4.2 /5

10 out of 67
Places to visit in Sri Lanka 25
Tourist attractions

Bentota is a rural, beach and resort town located in the southern part of Sri Lanka, 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...

Best Time: November to April

11. Trincomalee

4.2 /5

11 out of 67
Places to visit in Sri Lanka 20
Tourist attractions

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 loc...

Best Time: May to June

12. Jaffna

5.0 /5

12 out of 67
Places to visit in Sri Lanka 13
Tourist attractions

Jaffna is probably Sri Lanka's most historical city 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 B...

Best Time: January to September

13. Anuradhapura

4.2 /5

13 out of 67
Places to visit in Sri Lanka 20
Tourist attractions

Anuradhapura, an ancient city nestled in the heart of Sri Lanka's North Central Province, stands as a living testament to the island's rich cultural and historical legacy. Revered as one of the oldest continuously inhabited cities in the world, Anuradhapura served as the capital of Sri Lanka for ove...

Best Time: April and September

14. Horton Plains National Park

4.6 /5

14 out of 67
Places to visit in Sri Lanka 6
Tourist attractions

Located at an elevation of 2,300 metres, Horton Plains National Park in Sri Lanka’s central highlands encompasses montane grassland and cloudy forests. It is a government protected area which is home to many endemic flora and fauna species, with spectacular jungles and mountains on one side and...

Best Time: January to March

15. Weligama

4.3 /5

15 out of 67
Places to visit in Sri Lanka 11
Tourist attractions

The name Weligama translates to "Sandy village" which is on the south coast of Sri Lanka in Matara district. With 75,000 people as its residents, this quaint old fishing town is a beach lover's paradise.Even in its peak seasons, you will find alone time on the secret beaches. Arabs, Tamils, Malays, ...

Best Time: December to March

16. Adam's Peak

4.1 /5

16 out of 67
Places to visit in Sri Lanka

As one of the most famous pilgrimage sites in the Indian subcontinent, Adam’s Peak is a 7,359 feet tall mountain in Sri Lanka, frequently visited by people of almost all major religions. It is widely known for Sri Pada, a foot-shaped indentation at the summit of the pyramid-like mountain. Also calle...

Best Time: December to May

17. Udawalawe National Park

4.2 /5

17 out of 67
Places to visit in Sri Lanka

Udawalawe National Park gets its name from Udawalawe reservoir that was built on Walawe river. Animals that were displaced due to the development were shifted to the national park. It is one of the oldest national parks in Sri Lanka that was established in the year 1972. 

Best Time: December to March

18. Nuwara Eliya

4.4 /5

18 out of 67
Places to visit in Sri Lanka 30
Tourist attractions

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...

Best Time: February - April

19. Tangalle

3.8 /5

19 out of 67
Places to visit in Sri Lanka 15
Tourist attractions

Tangalle or also known as Tangalla, is one of the less explored places in the beautiful country of Sri Lanka. At a distance of around 250 km south of the gorgeous capital city Colombo, lies the unexplored beach havens of Tangalle. The beautiful beaches of the town are glimmering with the crysta...

Best Time: April to July

20. Unawatuna

4.4 /5

20 out of 67
Places to visit in Sri Lanka 15
Tourist attractions

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 ge...

Best Time: October to April

21. Bundala National Park

3.1 /5

21 out of 67
Places to visit in Sri Lanka

Bundala National Park is situated off the Sri Lankan coast, around 12 km away from the port town of Hambantota. Harbouring 197 colourful species of birds each year, the park is an internationally eminent, UNESCO-listed wintering ground for migratory water birds in Sri Lanka. Bundala is undoubtedly t...

Best Time: October to March

22. Arugam Bay

4.1 /5

22 out of 67
Places to visit in Sri Lanka 10
Tourist attractions

The Sri Lankan coastal town of Arugam Bay lies on the Indian Ocean, 320 kilometres from the capital city Colombo. With several surfing spots scattered across the area, for both beginners as well as skilled surfers, Arugam Bay is often called a surfer’s paradise. The famous surfing points here are Ma...

Best Time: April to September

23. Polonnaruwa

4.2 /5

23 out of 67
Places to visit in Sri Lanka 16
Tourist attractions

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 d...

Best Time: November to March

24. Batticaloa

3.9 /5

24 out of 67
Places to visit in Sri Lanka

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 t...

Best Time: April to September

25. Negombo

4.3 /5

25 out of 67
Places to visit in Sri Lanka 15
Tourist attractions

Negombo is a quiet town on the west coast of Sri Lanka located 10 km from Bandaranaike International Airport. Deriving its name from the Negombo lagoon, the modest village is known for its white sandy beaches and turquoise-blue waters. Popular for being a beach resort town, it is also one of th...

Best Time: February to April

26. Matara

3.5 /5

26 out of 67
Places to visit in Sri Lanka 3
Tourist attractions

In the Southern Province of Sri Lanka, lies the beach city of Matara. Located 160 km from Colombo, Matara has a stronghold in the teardrop island – in terms of scenic shores, Buddhist temples, a frolicking local life and authentic food.

Best Time: December to April

27. Minneriya National Park

4.1 /5

27 out of 67
Places to visit in Sri Lanka

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 dr...

28. Midigama

3.2 /5

28 out of 67
Places to visit in Sri Lanka

Midigama is known to be the perfect Sri Lankan surfing turf. It is located at a distance of 140 kms from Colombo in the south coast region. Midigama is a small beach, so small in fact that you can cover both ends in just 10 minutes! The beach is a stretch of land. While one side consists of small sh...

Best Time: October to January

29. Ahangama

3.5 /5

29 out of 67
Places to visit in Sri Lanka

Ahangama is a very calm and peaceful beach town with majestic palm trees all around. There is no sound apart from the waves hitting the shore and swaying of the trees making it ideal for a relaxing vacation.

Best Time: January to April & October to December

30. Nilaveli

3.5 /5

30 out of 67
Places to visit in Sri Lanka 2
Tourist attractions

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 ...

Best Time: November to May

31. Kaudulla National Park

3.2 /5

31 out of 67
Places to visit in Sri Lanka

It has been in existence for many years now, but it was given the recognition of a national park only in April 2002. The park spreads over 6656 hectares, and it is connected to the Somawathie Chaitiya Park and the Minneriya Wildlife Park. A reserve turned national park, Kaudulla sees herds of elepha...

Best Time: July to December

32. Haputale

3.0 /5

32 out of 67
Places to visit in Sri Lanka 5
Tourist attractions

Haputale is a small town in Sri Lanka that is quaint and nestled away from the main cities and towns. Apart from escaping the city’s hustle, Haputale is where one can surround themselves with rolling hills covered in tea plantations, and indulge themselves in the tranquil and the sere...

Best Time: May to July

33. Sinharaja Forest Reserve

3.6 /5

33 out of 67
Places to visit in Sri Lanka

Sinharaja Forest Reserve is one of the very few virgin rainforests in the world, which is why it is one of the UNESCO World Heritage! The unique relation of flora and fauna in this forest makes it one of the hotspots in the world. The forest is only 13 km in the stretch and around 7 to 8 km from nor...

Best Time: January to March; August to September

34. Kataragama

3.2 /5

34 out of 67
Places to visit in Sri Lanka 4
Tourist attractions

Kataragama is in the Monaragala District of the Uva province. It is about 228 kms away from Colombo. Kataragama is well known for its temples dedicated to various lords and often receives a right amount of tourists and pilgrims visiting to witness the grandiose of the beautiful architecture carved w...

35. Ratnapura

4.0 /5

35 out of 67
Places to visit in Sri Lanka 8
Tourist attractions

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 a...

Best Time: January to March

36. Koggala

3.3 /5

36 out of 67
Places to visit in Sri Lanka

Koggala is a coastal town in the southern region of Sri Lanka. A relatively offbeat destination which is famous for its namesake Koggala Beach and Koggala Lake. Surfing is a favourite activity amongst visitors to Koggala Beach. The lake, a freshwater lagoon, is dotted with small but scenic islands. ...

Best Time: December to March

37. Kitulgala

3.1 /5

37 out of 67
Places to visit in Sri Lanka

Nestled among forested hills, Kitulgala is a small Sri Lankan town in the western region of the country. Best known for being the most popular location in Sri Lanka for white water rafting, a visit to Kitulgala is a terrific combination of nature and thrill. It is also one of the wettest places in S...

38. Kumana National Park

3.8 /5

38 out of 67
Places to visit in Sri Lanka

Apart from that the 18,149 hectare of national park also encompasses of a 200-hectare natural lake swamp, visited by various species of migratory birds. The national park does not only secure the species of birds but also breeds and roosts them. Some of the regular birds that can easily be spotted a...

Best Time: February to July

39. Uppuveli

3.3 /5

39 out of 67
Places to visit in Sri Lanka

Located in the suburbs of Sambalativu, Uppuveli captures the earthy beachside of Sri Lanka, and in this belt lies the Uppuveli beach, 6 km northwest of the city of Trincomalee. Uppuveli in Sri Lanka is iconic due to its golden sands that shimmer in the sunlight. The warm sun enthrones the blue ...

Best Time: December to March

40. Tissamaharama

3.5 /5

40 out of 67
Places to visit in Sri Lanka 13
Tourist attractions

Tissamaharama is a town in the southern province of Sri Lanka, located 270 km from Colombo. The city is an interface for tourist expeditions as it is the starting point for visits to Yala National Park and Kataragama.The town holds artefacts from the past and has historical icons which include three...

Best Time: December to April

41. Kirinda

3.9 /5

41 out of 67
Places to visit in Sri Lanka 5
Tourist attractions

The Kirinda village is yet another developing tourist spot within Sri Lanka. A small coastal town, Kirinda is in the southern province of Sri Lanka. The southern region is first level administrative division in the country, inhabited by around 2.5 million people; it is the 3rd largest province in th...

Best Time: January to March

42. Kalpitiya

3.7 /5

42 out of 67
Places to visit in Sri Lanka 14
Tourist attractions

 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 wit...

Best Time: April to October

FAQs on Sri Lanka

What is the currency of Sri Lanka?

Sri Lanka Rupee (LKR; symbol Rp) = 100 cents. Notes are in denominations of Rp 2,000, 1,000, 500, 200, 100, 50, 20 and 10. Coins are in denominations of Rp10, 5, 2 and 1, and 50, 25, 10, 5, 2 and 1 cents.

What is the history of Sri Lanka?

Sri Lanka is an island country in the Indian Ocean off the southern tip of India. This country has more than 2,550 years of continuous written history. Ramayana is the most famous epic about Sri Lana where the countryÊwas referredÊto as Lanka, was the empire of king Ravana.ÊÊBuddhism was introducedÊin about mid-3rd century BC after SinhaleseÊarrived inÊ6th century BC. Sri Lanka became a British colony in 1802. In May 2009 government military forces defeated the Tamil Tigers' separatist movement and ended a brutal 26 year-long war that began in 1983, leading to the beginning of a new chapter for the country.

What is unique about culture of Sri Lanka?

Buddhism is the majority religion in Sri Lanka followed by 70% of the population. Other sects are Hinduism, Christianity, Roman Catholic and Islam. Major languages are Sinhala and Tamil. English is only spoken by 10% of the population.

How is Sri Lanka divided into regions?

Sri Lanka has 25 states and 9 administrative regions: Central Province, Northern Province, North Central Province, Eastern Province, North Western Province, Sabaragamuva, Southern province, Uva and Western province.

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