There are countless reasons to visit Sri Lanka – exotic beaches, friendly people, tasty food, diverse wildlife, colonial heritage, vibrant culture, picturesque landscapes, the list is endless. Marco Polo once called Sri Lanka as one of the ‘finest Islands in the world,’ and after you visit it, you will second his thoughts! Even though Sri Lanka is a beautiful country, it doesn’t count as one of the most visited travel destinations in the world. It means that this South Asian country is still not exposed to the constant influx of international visitors. It also means that travellers are often confused about where to go in Sri Lanka. Let us clear this confusion and acquaint you with some of the best places to visit in Sri Lanka.
1. Sigiriya Rock Fortress or Lion’s Rock
Sigiriya Rock Fortress or Lion’s Rock in Matale district is a rock fortress that stands tall and mighty amidst lush greenery. At a height of 200 meters, you need to ascend 2000 steps to get to the top of the rock; it’s not a very difficult climb, only moderate fitness is needed. This effort is worth it because the view from the summit is absolutely breathtaking. To beat the heat and the crowds, an early morning start is recommended. This ancient ruin is also a UNESCO World Heritage Site. No wonder it is our number one place on the list of where to go in Sri Lanka. It can be visited between 7 am and 7 pm on all days.
2. Yala National Park
Yala National Park is one of the most famous parks in the country which has an abundance of wildlife. If you want to see cackling monkeys, swampy crocodiles, mighty elephants and other creatures in action then this national park is where you need to be. Apart from these animals, the star of the park is the leopard. The park even offers a special five-day leopard safari. The natural ecosystem of Yala also makes it one of the top Sri Lanka tourist places. The question, where to go in Sri Lanka, can be easily answered for wildlife enthusiasts – Yala National Park.
Leopard at Yala National Park
3. Where to go in Sri Lanka? Galle!
If your only purpose is to escape the hustle and bustle of everyday life and breathe in fresh air, then Galle is just your answer to the question where to go in Sri Lanka. Located in the Southern Province of Sri Lanka, this quaint city is full of colonial-style architecture and seaside views. Unawatuna Bay, near Galle is a must-visit place, especially for ocean lovers. Galle Dutch Fort is popular among travellers. St. Mary’s Cathedral, a natural harbour and Galle International Stadium are other places to see in this beautiful town. Also, a World Heritage Site, Galle should definitely be one of the places to visit during your Sri Lanka travel.
Imagine sitting in a toy train in India. Does it remind you of those picturesque views of gorgeous Himalayan foothills? This is exactly what we’re talking about. Get into a local train from Colombo to Kandy, and you’ll understand exactly what we mean. One of the most scenic train rides of Sri Lanka will take you to one of the best Sri Lanka sightseeing places, Kandy. Kandy is located close to Lion’s Rock but has its own charm. The Pinnawala Elephant Orphanage is a popular day trip from Kandy or is visited enroute from Colombo to Kandy. Do not miss the chance to visit the Temple of the Tooth, a sacred place where Lord Buddha’s tooth is preserved. If you can time your visit to Kandy, then do not miss the Esala Perahera, the grandest Buddhism festival, during July-August. So, you know where to go in Sri Lanka during summer.
Temple of the Tooth
5. Nuwara Eliya
When in Sri Lanka, start from the ‘Little England of Sri Lanka’ or Nuwara Eliya. Nuwara Eliya is quite popular for its tea plantations and gorgeously pleasant weather. Nature thrives in abundance in Nuwara Eliya – rambling waterfalls, placid lakes, emerald green valleys and beautiful hillsides make it a true Sri Lankan treasure! Because of its beauty and charm, it is considered as a top Sri Lanka honeymoon destination.
St Clair’s & Devon Waterfall
Apart from the above 5, there are hundreds of other places to visit in Sri Lanka such as Adam’s Peak, Mirissa, Dambulla, Bentota, Jaffna and Pigeon Island. With a little more research and information, you will always know where to go in Sri Lanka. Sri Lanka, in a nutshell, is an absolute beauty!