Sri Lanka is an island country in South Asia. It is located in the Indian Ocean. Sri Lanka is an incredible country to visit. Here are the MUST visit places in Sri Lanka. 

Colombo

Colombo is the capital of Sri Lanka and the largest city of Sri Lanka by population. It is a busy and vibrant place with a mixture of modern life and colonial buildings and ruins. There is so much to see in Colombo. Such as Galle Face Green, Gangaramaya Temple, Viharamahadevi Park, Independence Memorial Hall, Colombo Lotus Tower….

My favourite place to visit near Colombo is Dehiwala-Mount Lavinia. It is the suburb of Colombo. You can take a local train for 20 minutes to get there. The ride was beautiful with the ocean view. The reason why I like Mount Lavinia is that they have a beach. The beach is beautiful and there are tons of beach bars and restaurants. I recommend grabbing a drink at a beach bar and watching the sunset there. 

Galle

Galle is a major city in Sri Lanka. It is situated on the southwestern tip, 119 km from Colombo. 

Galle is the best example of a fortified city built by the Portuguese in South and Southeast Asia. It is showing the interaction between Portuguese architectural styles and native traditions. The city was extensively fortified by the Dutch during the 17th century from 1649 onwards. The Galle Fort is a world heritage site and is the largest remaining fortress in Asia built by European occupiers.

To get there from Colombo, it takes 3-4 hours by train. 

We stayed at Fort Sapphire

Mirissa

Mirissa is a small beach town. It is approximately 150 kilometres (93 mi) south of Colombo. 

I put Mirissa on my list because it is one of the best beaches I have been to. It was quiet, not too many tourists and it was clean. The beach was very relaxing and there are great restaurants and bars. 

We stayed at Mirissa Village. An incredible place to stay, close to the beach. The breakfast was amazing! 

Ella

When you see a very famous bridge shot on Instagram (Nine Arch Bridge) located in Sri Lanka, it is from Ella. 

The area has a rich biodiversity, dense with numerous varieties of flora and fauna. Ella is surrounded by hills covered with cloud forests and tea plantations. The town has a cooler climate than surrounding lowlands, due to its elevation. There are a couple of mini hikes – Little Adam’s Peak and Ella Rock. Definitely worth visiting Ella and exploring the beautiful nature of Sri Lanka. 

Polonnaruwa

It is the second most ancient of Sri Lanka’s kingdoms, Polonnaruwa was first established by the Chola dynasty after their successful invasion of the country’s then-capital, Anuradhapura, in the 10th century. The ancient city of Polonnaruwa has been declared a World Heritage site by UNESCO.

Be sure to check out the Sacred City of Polonnaruwa. Here are some tips if you visit there. 

  • Make sure your knees and shoulders are covered
  • Hire a tuk-tuk or a bike to get around (The area is huge)
  • Take socks with you, because some places require shoes off and the ground gets really hot

We stayed at Manel Guest House

Kandy

Kandy is a major city in Sri Lanka located in the Central Province. It was the last capital of the ancient kings’ era of Sri Lanka. Kandy is the home of the Temple of the Tooth Relic, one of the most sacred places of worship in the Buddhist world. It was declared a world heritage site by UNESCO in 1988.

Definitely check out Kandy Bartinco Garden too. It is one of the best Bartinco I have seen. It has some very unique plants and the garden is huge and beautiful. 

We stayed at Sevana City Hotel 

Sigiriya

Sigiriya is an ancient rock fortress located in the northern Matale District near the town of Dambulla. The most famous thing to see there is the Sigiriya Rock aka the ‘Lion’s Rock’. The rock is nearly 200 meters. 

The capital and the royal palace were abandoned after the king’s death. It used as a Buddhist monastery until the 14th century. Sigiriya today is a UNESCO listed World Heritage Site. It is one of the best-preserved examples of ancient urban planning. The view from the rock is gorgeous. 

We stayed at Thal Sewana Home Stay. We had an incredible stay with the family. Very quiet and the meals are all homemade and delicious.

Thank you for reading.

*Many of this historical details, precise information, and facts/figures I got from the Sri Lanka Wikipedia page.

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