Top 10 Things to Do in Sri Lanka

Sri Lanka Must-See Attractions

Called the Jewel of the Indian Ocean, Sri Lanka is blessed with stellar scenery and well-kept cultural and historical sites. The island has done almost as well as its contemporary juggernaut neighbour, India, despite a recent war and the international economic crisis. The coast is fringed by golden sand beaches and the teardrop-shaped realm is home to a compact and diverse populace of welcoming Sinhalese, Tamil and Muslim locals.

From the Temple of the Tooth Relic and the artificial reservoirs built by the first Sinhalese rulers in the sacred city of Anuradhapura to the Dambulla Cave Temple and Central Highlands of Sri Lanka, it’s obvious that the island has more than its fair share of top-notch sightseeing spots.

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  1. Cinnamon Grand Colombo 4.3/ 5
  2. The Kingsbury Colombo 4.2/ 5
  3. Heritance Kandalama 4.3/ 5
  4. Wallawwa 4.7/ 5
  5. Reef Villa & Spa 4.6/ 5
  6. Mount Lavinia Hotel 4.1/ 5
  7. Cinnamon Lodge 4.5/ 5
  8. Sun Siyam Pasikudah 4.4/ 5
  9. Hilton Colombo 4.2/ 5
Sigiriya Fortress

Sigiriya is located in North Central Sri Lanka and is a popular stop for tourists interested in its archeological ruins. The town's main attraction is the fortress, inclusive of various gardens and palaces built in the 5th century AD by King Kasyap. It was declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1982. Read More...

The 16th century Sri Dalada Maligawa has a tooth relic of the Lord Buddha displayed every six years. The 1998 attack on the temple did see considerable damage done to the octagon, but repairs have been made. The tooth is housed in a casket called a Chedi which is made out of solid gold. It is a World Heritage site. Read More...


Anuradhapura Sacred City

205 km north of Colombo
Ruwanwelisaya in Anuradhapura

World Heritage Site Sri Lanka’s, the sacred city of Anuradhapura is popular for its preservation of ruins and remains from ancient Lanka. The city lies in the North Central Province, approximately 205 kilometres to the north of Colombo. It is bordered by the Malvathu Oya River. Read More...



20 km north-west of Galle

Situated on the south coast of Sri Lanka is the fun coastal town of Hikkaduwa. Almost 20km northwest of Galle and approximately 100km away from Colombo, Hikkaduwa Beach was one of the first beaches to have been discovered in the island, by tourists in 1960. The town is actually located around the main road, which connects Colombo to Galle. Read More...


Sinharaja Forest Reserve

Sabaragamuwa and Southern Provinces
Shrub Frog in Sinharaja Forest Reserve

Sri Lanka’s last primary tropical rainforest, the Sinharaja Forest Reserve, is located in the wet zone near the southwest lowlands of the island and was added to the list of World Heritage Sites by UNESCO in 1988. It houses more than 60% of Sri Lankan tree species and 50% of Sri Lanka’s wildlife. Read More...


Dambulla Cave Temple

148 km east of Colombo and 72 km north of Kandy
Dambulla Cave Temple

By far, of all the cave temples that are found in Sri Lanka, the most impressive is the Dambulla Cave Temple. Situated in the town of Dambulla, 150km east of Colombo and located in the arid Northern Plains, these caves form the best preserved and biggest cave temple complex in Asia. Read More...

Founded in the 16th century, this town was overtaken by Portuguese seamen washed ashore by a storm. Then the Dutch took over in 1640 with the Dutch East India Company. The British arrived in the 18th century and took over the fortified city that the Dutch had built. Today, the Galle Fort is still a vibrant place to visit. Read More...


Uda Walawe Elephant Transit Home

Udawalawe National Park - Sabaragamuwa Province
Uda Walawe Elephant Transit Home

Owned by the Department of Wild Life Conservation, the Elephant Transit Home was established in 1995 as a part of the Uda Walawe National Park with the primary motive of rehabilitating orphaned calves, and ultimately releasing them back to the wild. The Transit Home is situated at about 170km southeast of Colombo. Read More...


Ancient City of Polonnaruwa

North Central Province
Polonnaruwa Vatadage

Located in northern Sri Lanka is the second-oldest city on the island, Polonnaruwa. Anuradhapura was succeeded by Polonnaruwa as the Ceylonese capital towards the end of the 10th century, when the former was abandoned following a fierce invasion. Its proximity to the east coast is also one of the major factors in its development. Read More...


Central Highlands of Sri Lanka

South-central part of Sri Lanka
Central Highlands of Sri Lanka

One of the latest inclusions on the list of World Heritage Sites, under UNESCO, is the Central Highlands region of Sri Lanka. They consist of some of the most important conservational regions of the country, including the Horton Plains National Park, the Peak Wilderness Protected Area, and the Knuckles Conservation Forest. Read More...

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