Here are the top 11 tourist attractions to see in Sigiriya:

1. Sigiriya Rock

4.5 /5

0 km
from city center
1 out of 11
places to visit in Sigiriya

Sigiriya Rock or the Lion Rock is an ancient fort located in the Matale District in central Sri Lanka. It is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. It is in the Matale District of Central Sri Lanka and lies between the towns of Dambulla and Habarane at the height of 370 metres. It consists of a citadel and has ruins of palaces, the Lion Gate, gardens, moats, the Mirror Wall, and many beautiful frescoes (paintings made in wet plaster on walls). The place got its name from the Lion claws, carved at the entrance of the Lion Gate. You can reach the Sigiriya Fortress either by bus or by train, from the main towns of Dambulla or Habarane.

2. Pidurangala Rock

4.3 /5

1 km
from city center
2 out of 11
places to visit in Sigiriya

The Pidurangala Rock is a few kilometres away from the famous UNESCO site, the Sigiriya Rock. It is known for the view of Sigiriya Rock from the top of the rock, the white temple situated at the base of the cliff, and the enormous reclining Buddha statue located under an ancient boulder.

3. Elephant rides

4.2 /5

0 km
from city center
3 out of 11
places to visit in Sigiriya

Apart from hiking to the summit of Sigiriya Rock or merely marvelling at this imposing structure from below, an unconventional way to sightsee at Sigiriya is by the elephant rides.

4. Sigiriya Museum

3.8 /5

1 km
from city center
4 out of 11
places to visit in Sigiriya

Sigiriya Museum is at the base of the Sigiriya Rock Fortress and was established in 2009. The museum boasts an impressive collection of exhibits that belong to various periods in history - ranging from the prehistoric period to the reign of King Kashyapa when the Sigiriya Rock Fortress was constructed.

5. Dambulla Cave Temple

3.7 /5

16 km
from city center
5 out of 11
places to visit in Sigiriya

The Dambulla Cave Temple also called the Golden Temple of Dambulla is a UNESCO World Heritage Site located in the Matale District, in the central province of Sri Lanka. It is the best-preserved and most extensive cave temple complex of the country comprising of five main caves, each possessing numerous statues of Lord Buddha, and some figures of kings and statues of Lord Vishnu.

6. Royal Gardens

3.7 /5

0 km
from city center
6 out of 11
places to visit in Sigiriya

The stunning royal gardens surround the imposing rock fortress of Sigiriya. The gardens comprise of lush greenery scattered with beautiful pools, fountains, giant boulders and picturesque terraces. The royal gardens of Sigiriya are one of the oldest landscaped gardens in the world. A sophisticated hydraulics system only adds to the ingenuity of the engineers of that era.

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7. Lion's Paws

3.6 /5

0 km
from city center
7 out of 11
places to visit in Sigiriya

Perhaps the most iconic structure of the Sigiriya fortress, Lion’s Paws is situated just before the summit of Sigiriya Rock. As the name suggests, the structure is composed of two gigantic paws, flanking a staircase that leads to the royal palace.

8. Minneriya National Park

0 km
from city center
8 out of 11
places to visit in Sigiriya

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. Minneriya National Park comes under the dry zone, meaning, it receives less rainfall compared to the other areas in the country.

9. Anuradhapura

0 km
from city center
9 out of 11
places to visit in Sigiriya

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. The city 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.

10. Polonnaruwa

0 km
from city center
10 out of 11
places to visit in Sigiriya

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.

11. Kaudulla National Park

0 km
from city center
11 out of 11
places to visit in Sigiriya

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 elephants families usually around 350 of them.

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