Often termed as the ‘Pearl of the Indian Ocean’, Sri Lanka is a traveller’s paradise renowned for time-honoured palaces, beautiful wall paintings, and Buddhist ruins. Some of the best places to visit in Sri Lanka are exclusively listed below for fun-seekers.
Before we get into that, let us read a little about its rich history. Sri Lanka was a favoured destination of Arab, Indian and European traders and adventure-seekers. Its lip-smacking spices, royal elephants and precious stones have grabbed the attention of outsiders since centuries. Even today, quite unsurprisingly, it is a much-demanded destination for foreigners.
Getting back to where we left, let us focus on some of the best tourist places in Sri Lanka.
Negombo is a delightful city in Sri Lanka, located on the West Coast. It is a very short (and mind-blowing) drive from Colombo (the capital). Pack your picnic-essentials for a lazy day by the Negombo Beach, explore the ruins of the old Dutch fort and go for a quick boat ride across the canal (built by the Europeans with aim of colonizing Sri Lanka).
Kandy is a charming, peaceful Sri Lankan city encircled by mountains featuring tea plantations and biodiverse rainforests. Nature lovers find Kandy exceptional for the natural beauty it offers. The gentle, cool evening breeze magically refreshes your mind and soul. Spend time in these hotspots: Royal Botanical Gardens (Peradeniya), Kandy Lake and Udawatta Kele Sanctuary.
3. Nuwara Eliya
Nuwara Eliya, situated in the country’s Central Province, experiences subtropical highland climate with an average annual temperature of 16°C. The city is frequently termed as ‘mini-England’ due to its climatic conditions and colonial buildings. You can explore the heart of the city through a convenient walk. For reaching afar sites, hire a three-wheeler or get on a bus. Create wonderful moments in these spots: Haggala Botanical Gardens and Horton Plains National Park. This is one of the best places to visit in Sri Lanka!
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This stunning city should be a priority in your travel bucket list! Colombo, the capital of Sri Lanka, welcomes everyone with colonial monuments, fabulous shopping malls, rich history and lots more. Some of the top, unmissable attractions of Colombo are the Independence Memorial Hall, National Museum of Colombo, Beira Lake, and Viharamahadevi Park.
Anuradhapura is a UNESCO World Heritage Site! This city was the hub of Theravada Buddhism at one point of time. Today, it is believed to be one of the oldest continuously inhabited cities in the world. Do check out these locations: Abhayagiri Dagoba, Anuradhapura Museum, Ratnaprasada, Royal Pleasure Gardens, and Jetavanarama Museum.
Another UNESCO World Heritage Site and one of the most excellent places to visit in Sri Lanka, Galle is a city that presents Dutch-colonial buildings, magnificent mosques, spectacular churches and royal mansions to tourists. The modish cafes and good-looking boutiques win the heart of everybody. Artists have a special liking for Galle. So, if you have a creative bent of mind, holiday here!
A trip to Sri Lanka is incomplete if you haven’t explored Dambulla, a large town and UNESCO World Heritage Site. Do not ignore the nation’s biggest, well-preserved cave temple complex Rangiri Dambulla and the Rangiri Dambulla International Stadium, anyhow! Some of the earliest paintings and statues of Dambulla date back to 1st century BC. This is one of the most remarkable places to visit in Sri Lanka.
Tangalle, a lovely town and one of the most desirable places to visit in Sri Lanka, is the perfect destination for beach-lovers. Its idyllic beaches inspire you to relax on the warm sands and appreciate the gorgeous surrounding vistas. There are accommodations for all types of travellers, from budget to luxury ones. Adventure-buffs should try snorkelling in the protective bays of the town!