25 Awesome Sri Lanka Tourist Spots

Planning to visit Sri Lanka soon? Today, we are going to tell you about the top Sri Lanka tourist spots in this blog post. We already wrote about all the 50 best things to do in Sri Lanka, also about budget travel in Sri Lanka that includes how much you need per day to explore the amazing country in Sri Lanka. And if you’re a social media advocate looking for the best places to take pictures from, here are our top 10 Instagrammable places in Sri Lanka.

Tourism is growing a lot in Sri Lanka.Tourists have been increasing and the price of necessities are very affordable especially transportation, food and accommodation. There are lots of cool things in Sri Lanka. For example, did you know that tea is a big business in Sri Lanka? Also, they offer a wide variety of shopping items like leather products, antiques, jewelry, batik, and handicrafts.

Best Time to Visit Sri Lanka

Sri Lanka has a pretty stable climate without any major weather disturbances, though the weather does vary from the east to the west coast. For those who are traveling to the east coast cities of Trincomalee and Kalmunai, your best time to visit Sri Lanka is from April or May until September. On the other hand, visitors headed to Colombo or anywhere on the west coast are advised to book their trips from December to March.

Watch out for monsoon season, which is experienced from May to July in the Southwest and from October to January in the Northeast. You can always check here for the latest updates on Sri Lanka’s weather condition and the best time to visit Sri Lanka.

Sri Lanka Tourist Spots

1. Sirigiya

Sri Lanka tourist spots, Sirigiya,
Image from Flickr

The Sigiriya Rock Fortress is located in the Central Province of Sri Lanka. It’s a long climb that spans almost 2 hours, requires climbing 1200 steps, and costs $30 USD. The views and the hike are an amazing experience that you can’t miss.

2. Adam’s Peak

Adam's Peak, Sri Lanka tourist spots
Image from Flickr

One of the most exciting and challenging thing to do in Sri Lanka’s tourist spots, was climbing Adam’s Peak, which has an awe-inspiring sunset that is surely the cherry on top of this activity. Make sure you wear the proper hiking clothes and shoes if you’re up for this adventure. Oh, hopefully the weather is on your side. Good luck!

3. Galle Fort

Sri Lanka tourist spots, Galle
Image from Flickr

Galle is the main city around the beaches in Sri Lanka. It’s worth a visit if you are within the areas of Mirissa, Unawatuna, and Hikkaduwa. As with most beaches here, the view of the sunset is top-notch. It can get a bit crowded though, but that takes nothing away from this majestic place. You can’t miss Galle Fort!

4. Yala National Park

Nature Park in Sri Lanka, Sri Lanka Tourist spots, Yala National Park
This national park is a wildlife sanctuary, and is a huge area of forest and grasslands that houses different wild animals such as elephants, leopards, crocodiles, birds and many more. It is where you can also find an ancient Buddhist monastery and caves that contain centuries-old paintings. It’s open from 6AM to 6PM.

5. Polonnaruwa

Sri Lanka tourist spots, Polonnaruwa
Image from Flickr

The town of Polonnaruwa is located in the North Central Province in Sri Lanka and remains as one of the best archaeological relic cities in the country. You can visit the temples and learn about the history of Sri Lanka.

6. Anuradhapura

Sri Lanka tourist spots
Image from Flickr

Anuradhapura is the major city of the North Central Province and is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. This place is most famous for the well-preserved ruins dating back to the ancient Sri Lankan civilization. It’s a real treat if you’re interested in temples and other historical sites, not to mention it’s a great place for strolling around on a bicycle or motorbike.

7. Dambulla

Sri Lanka tourist spots, Dambulla
Image from Flickr

Another world heritage site from Sri Lanka is Dambulla. You’ll be amazed by how spiritual this place is. The paintings and sculpture really add up to that spiritual vibe. There are also other caves that you must visit in this temple like, Deva Raja Viharaya, Maha Raja Viharaya, Maha Alut Viharaya, and Paschima Viharaya.

8. Nuwara Eliya

Sri Lanka tourist spots, Nuwara Eliya
Image from Flickr

The production hometown of the best teas in Sri Lanka is Nuwara Eliya. It may be because of its right climate, coolest in Sri Lanka. It’s a guarantee that you’ll love the healthy ecosystem here, that you can visit in Galways Land National Park

9. Ella

Ella, Sri Lanka tourist spots
Image from Flickr

If you’re the type of person who’s really into trekking, then the marvelous mountain town of Ella has got you covered. You can go for a hike, climb Little Adam’s Peak for the sunrise, and visit tea plantations. Or, why not try and search for those famous Instagrammable places around Ella and take a few snapshots as well? Look for them!

10. Haputale

Sri Lanka tourist spots, Haputale
Image from Flickr

Another stunning place which prides itself with its beautiful biodiversity. Don’t miss this place if views from above hills stun you. The views have stunned a lot of tourists already and you’ll miss it if you don’t visit here. Seriously, just by walking downhill and uphill, you’ll feel like you’re in a very different place.

11. Kataragama

Sri Lanka tourist spots, Kataragama
Image from Flickr

Kataragama is very important for Buddhists because this place houses the temple complex for deity, Kataragama deviyo and Hindu War God Murugan. It’s so cool to see elephants roaming around like it’s nothing. Believe it or not, they are really adorable.

12. Jaffna

Jaffna, Sri Lanka tourist spots
Image from Pixabay

Jaffna is a city on the northern tip of Sri Lanka, where there are many temples and historical sites you can visit. It is mainly popular for tourist spots such as the Jaffna Fort, Nallur Kandaswamy, and Jaffna Archaeological Museum. Aside from these, there are also other places you can visit in Jaffna to learn more about their history.

More Sri Lanka Tourist Spots

13. Kandy

Kandy, Sri Lanka tourist spots
Image from Flickr

Another place that you can visit in Sri Lanka is Kandy, a large city in central Sri Lanka. Kandy is known for rainforests that are bio diverse, tea plantations, Kandy Lake where you can take lots of pictures, Temple of the Tooth shrine, and more Buddhist sites. It’s a really great place to tour around and you’ll learn a lot more about Sri Lanka.

14. Colombo Beaches

Beaches in Colombo, Sri Lanka tourist spots
Colombo beaches tend to get super crowded during the weekends, with mostly locals taking this time to relax and go for a swim. We spent one day in the city and were so astounded to find out that the beach was just nearby. That being said, the atmosphere was great, mostly due to the local street food vendors, and we had fun shooting with our drone as well. There are more places to visit around Colombo apart from the beaches.

15. Unawatuna Beach

Fishermen in Unawatuna, Sri Lanka tourist spots
One of the other popular attractions in Sri Lankan beaches is checking out this unique method of fishing called “stilt fishing”, which is basically fishermen standing on sticks to catch fish. We witnessed this in different places and despite of it being so “touristic” of us, we decided to go ahead and take their photos.

16. Dalawella Beach

palm swing dalawella beach, Sri Lanka tourist spots

Dalawella Beach is super popular because of the exhilarating palm swing. Many tourists are coming here to take pictures and actually is a great beach to walk around. It’s located in Unawatuna.

17. Hikkaduwa

Hikkaduwa, Sri Lanka tourist spots
Image from Pixabay

The beach is popular for surfers and great nightlife. Just a couple of hours far from Colombo and close to places to Sri Lanka tourist spots like Galle Fort, Unawatuna and Mirissa Beach.

18. Visit Trincomalee Beach

Sri Lanka tourist spots, Trincomalee
Image from Wikimedia

The harbor which is 257 kilometers from Colombo, has beautiful fine sand and clear waters is a must visit for tourists who want a short and peaceful stay. There are also temples around the area that are good for Instagram pictures.

19. Bentota

Bentota, Sri Lanka tourist spots
Image from Flickr

The watersports in this place is really active as they hold events here. The hotels will not fail your expectations because the hotels are hailed as world class. You could even make friends with other tourists here because there are a lot.

20. Mirissa Beach

Luxury hotels in Sri Lanka, Mirissa, Parrot Rock, Sri Lanka tourist spots

If you’re visiting or staying at Mirissa Beach, then you might come across Parrot Rock. All you have to do is walk to the sandbar and then climb up the rocky steps to get to the top of the small island. For a tip, sunset is the ideal time to go to Mirissa Beach. It’s little bit crowded but it’s so beautiful!

21. Arugam Bay

things to do in sri lanka surfing in arugam bay, Sri Lanka tourist spots

We aren’t really surfers, but a lot of other people in Sri Lanka were, as seen in the beaches that we came to. There was this one place where we stayed for a few days and we really liked where you can go surfing, Arugam Bay. It is located in a fisherman town in the eastern part of the country which was very quiet during the low season. To get there, you have to take a bus from either Colombo or Matara and it would take you about 7 hours to reach the destination. Prices start at $5 USD. Man, transportation is very cheap in Sri Lanka!

22. Rooftop Views

Sri Lanka tourist spots, rooftop views in Colombo

Watching Colombo from a rooftop – what a treat that was! The perfect time is during sunset since you can see the city with natural light and enjoy the sunset. And a few minutes later, you will enjoy the views at night with the lights on the city, it’s like sunset and then lights on!

23. Visit Tea Plantations in Sri Lanka

Things to do in Sri Lanka: Visiting tea plantations in Sri Lanka, Sri Lanka tourist spots

Visiting a tea plantation is definitely a must for those traveling in Sri Lanka, even if you’re not really big on tea. Just the experience alone of hiking around the area and having the opportunity to witness how hard the locals work to collect tea leaves is worth the visit. Make sure to bring a comfy jacket or sweater because the mountains are close to 2000 meters above sea level, so it’s really cold.

24. Glamping in Sri Lanka

Gampling in Sri Lanka, Sri Lanka tourist spots

Short for “glamorous camping” for those of you who are scratching their heads right now, glamping is the new cool traveling fad. It was in the country of Sri Lanka that we had our first glamping experience, and it left a very good first impression on us. Our favorite was the one that we had in Maldukelle Tea and Eco Lodge, just an hour north of Kandy.

25. Train Kandy to Ella

instagrammable places in Sri Lanka, train Kandy to Ella, Sri Lanka tourist spots

Known as one of the world’s most ravishing and scenic train rides, the train from Kandy to Ella is top of the most travelers’ list to visit when in Sri Lanka. It will be a seven-hour ride full of stunning green landscapes and tea plantations, with spectacular mountain views. And it is an exceptionally affordable way to see and witness the beautiful countryside of Sri Lanka, it will only cost you $2-$3 for the 7-hour train ride!

Looking for accommodation in Sri Lanka? Check here and book the best places to stay in Sri Lanka.

Do you know someone who’s traveling to Sri Lanka soon? Share our favorite Sri Lanka tourist spots with them, it might help them!

Happy travels!

Ruben Arribas is a Spanish traveler who has traveled more than 70+ countries around the world. He believes in travel without money. Recently, he finished a bicycle trip, 9500 km, from Madrid to North Cape.

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