Full of striking sceneries, exciting mountains, inspiring spots, soulful Buddhist monasteries and extraordinary historical places; The island of Sri Lanka is nothing short of magnificent. Sri Lanka offers everything that makes your vacation a memorable and remarkable one! Take a trip to these most beautiful places in Sri Lanka and make your vacation worthy. Sri Lanka won’t disappoint you!
10. Adam’s peak – The sacred footprint
Adam’s peak, which is also known as Sri Pada is one of the Sri Lanka’s most striking natural landmarks. And also one of its most celebrated places of pilgrimage. It is located in a beautiful area of the southern hill country around 2244 m altitude. It is believed that the rock formation at the summit is either the foot print of Lord Buddha’s according to Buddhists believing. Or it is Adam’s according to Muslims and Christians. Although it takes around 4 hours to reach the summit by foot, devotees of many religions climb the mountain daily to invoke blessings.
Apart from its spiritual and religious reputation, if you go to the top you will amazed by its beauty and the amazing view of the surrounding. Although climbing the Adam’s peak seems little difficult, the kind of experience the place gives you is irreplaceable. For those who longing for climb the peak, the best time to climb are during the day, camp overnight thus witness the beautiful breathtaking sunrise in the following morning and then descend. This comes in the world heritage site and is marked so by UNESCO.
9. Temple of the Tooth – A unique Buddhist Temple
This temple is another main religious site in Sri Lanka that has the Lord Buddha’s Tooth relic. It is because of its uniqueness that inspires most locals and foreigners. The temple is basically spiritual and historical both, and is located in Kandy. Actually the temple of the tooth is an art and history lover’s paradise. The inside of the temple is covered with stunningly detailed and elaborate paintings. The brick wall which runs along the channel and Bogambara lake is considered as water waves wall. The main entrance gate lies over the moat and at the foot of these steps; There is a moonstone which is carved in Kandyan architectural style. There are two huge stone elephants on either side of the entrance.
8. Anuradhapura – Greatest Architecture
The archeological relics of Anuradhapura are one of Sri Lanka’s most evocative sites. The extensive complex contains a rich collection of architectural wonders; Gigantic Dagabas (Brick Stupas), ancient pools and collapsed temples. Built during Anuradhapura’s thousand years of rule over Sri Lanka. It is one of the most ancient capitals of Sri Lanka, which makes it no wonder that it is gained a UNESCO world heritage site title.
Anuradhapura is overflowing with great things to do and see. Starting with Mihinthale, a sacred mountain is one of the religious sites in Anuradhapura. The Bodhi tree which is the unique thing here. It is actually the tree Lord Buddha achieved his enlightenment hence the tree of enlightenment. If you are in Sri Lanka in search of spirituality, then you should visit this place definitely. Apart from Bodhi tree, Anuradhapura has a number of most evocative and religious temples and sites.
7. Polonnaruwa – The ancient ruins
If you are a spiritual and at the same time interested in culture, history in Sri Lanka, then there is no other place better. It is situated in North central province, Sri Lanka. Polonnaruwa has many monuments and heritages that depict its history and culture and these are well preserved and also full of archaeological features with hundreds of ancient structures like temples and tombs.
The Ancient city of Polonnaruwa has been declared a world heritage site by UNESCO and it is the second most ancient of Sri Lanka’s kingdoms. Today, the ancient city of polonnaruwa remains one of the best planned historical relic cities in the country, standing evidence to the discipline and greatness of the kingdom’s first rulers. The green environment, stunning prehistoric constructions and nice-looking tourist hotels attract tourists.
6. Sigiriya – A historical beauty
Sigiriya is located in northern Matale district in Sri Lanka is known as Lion’s Rock. This is an UNESCO world heritage site and one of the best historic places in the country. The monument here is basically a magnificent fortress that is built with remarkable paintings and water gardens making everybody falls in love with the place with no doubt. The paintings have covered most of the western face of the frock and about 500 ladies in the paintings. The ladies depicted in the paintings have been identified as Apsaras.
However, most paintings have been lost by now. The water gardens are considered as the oldest landscaped gardens in the world. The moats, walls and gardens of the palace extended for a few hundred meters from the base of the rock fortress. If you managed to reach to the top, you will amazed by its mesmerizing and spectacular view of the surrounding.
5. Horton plains National Park – Explore Greenery
Horton plains is one of the most beautiful and serene places in Sri Lanka. Here you will encounter many misty waterfall, beautiful lakes and variety of flora-fauna in the park. The park is a protected area in the central highlands of Sri Lanka near to Nuwara Eliya with an altitude of 2100 m. This place is all about those who like being in nature and love hiking. This highland is rich in wildlife and many species found here are endemic to the region.
Horton plains is not merely a place for nature lovers but also for those who engaged on educational and research activities as the rich biodiversity is still grossly explored. The key attraction of the Horton plains is the World’s end which is situated at the southern boundary of the park. Basically you will require at least a day in the park and to reach the terminal point of hike which is the World’s end to enjoy its ethereal views.
4. Ella – Beautiful Countryside
Ella, undoubtly is one of the most beautiful hill-country villages to visit in Sri Lanka. There are a lot of places to visit in this small town area surrounds by beautiful greens of tea. Climb up Little Adam’s peak is a one thing to do. It is the nephew of Adam’s peak and from Ella to the mountain it takes only 45 minutes on foot while enjoying local village and tea plantations.
One of the things you must do in Sri Lanka is walk along the rails on the Nine Arch Bridge in Ella! It is a world-famous bridge with beautiful architecture hidden between luxurious green tea fields. Endless tea field views at Lipton’s seat in Haputale are also a mesmerizing experience. Even the route to the top is breathtaking when you see the endless stretched fields of tea. If you are up to a bigger adventure, hike the top of the Ella rock. It takes around 2 hours to hike from bottom to top and enjoy the impressive view from above.
3. Yala National Park – Spotting wildlife
Yala, situated in the southeast part of Sri Lanka is considered as one of the most popular wildlife park due to the presence of large variety of animals in contrast with other national parks in Sri Lanka. The wildlife is very rich in Yala. It including herds of elephants, crocodiles, deer, monkeys, buffaloes, birds, sloth bears and specially leopards.
Yala is the best national park. It is one of the best places in the world for spotting leopards which has around 40-50 leopards. Apart from that, with areas of thorny scrub land, brackish lagoons and rock monoliths, Yala provides the perfect environment for the wealth of varied wildlife there.
It’s better to plan your visit from February to June during dry season as it is easier to spot animals coming out to drink. Actually Yala is one of the must-sees in of Sri Lanka because of its exceptional flora and fauna; It gives you a unique experience.
2. Galle Fort – Architectural buildings
Galle fort, also known as The Dutch fort is a UNESCO world heritage site and it is the largest remaining fortress in Asia manufactured by European occupiers. The fort of Galle located at the extreme southwest corner of the island, in the southwest coast of Sri Lanka. It is a historical, architectural heritage monument and despite changes made throughout the centuries, managed to hold its glory and history.
With its remnants and monuments; Boutique hotels, restaurants and incredible handicraft shops. Also the Fort has much to offer whether you are a lover of history and antiques or whether you are looking for a quiet, peaceful and fun holiday. Some of the important heritage monuments in the fort are the; Dutch Reformed Church, the Old Dutch Government house, the residence of the Commander, the Old Dutch hospital, the Clock tower and the Galle lighthouse. From shopping to exploring the history, you could spend an entire day exploring the fort of Galle.
1. Peradeniya royal botanical garden – Orchids
The garden is situated in Peradeniya, near Kandy, Sri Lanka and considered as the most impressive and largest botanical gardens in Sri Lanka. Also it is the oldest formal garden in the country with more than 4000 species of plants including orchids, spices, medicinal plants and palm trees. Furthermore the garden also consists of a few historically prominent trees such as massive Ceylon Ironwood tree (1894), a tea plant from china (1824) and also a camphor tree (1972) planted by well reputed ancient rulers from different countries.