TOP-85 attractions of Sri Lanka

What to see in Sri Lanka

Sri Lanka is a great place for recreation and entertainment. Here everyone will find their own: nature lovers will be delighted with the local national parks; extreme lovers will find many options for outdoor activities; pilgrims will touch the rich spiritual life of the island; connoisseurs of history and culture will be interested in archaeological complexes and museums. Below we will look at the best attractions of the island by category.


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TOP 10 main attractions of Sri Lanka

1. Sigiriya
2. Anuradhapura
3. Ambuluvava
4. Kandy
5. Nuwara Eliya, tea plantations and factories
6. Ella, nine-arch bridge
7. Fort Galle
8. Dambulla
9. Polonnaruwa
10. Adam's Peak

TOP 10 main attractions of Sri Lanka

National parks and reserves of Sri Lanka

TOP 10 waterfalls in Sri Lanka

TOP 10 Temples in Sri Lanka

TOP 5 caves in Sri Lanka

TOP 10 things to do in Sri Lanka

1. Sigiriya

Sigiriya (sometimes also Sigeriya) is an ancient palace located near the city of Dambulla in the central part of the island. At the top of the cliff are the ruins of the upper palace. There are water reservoirs carved into the rock, which still accumulate water.

2. Anuradhapura


  • Abayagiriya Stupa, Ranweli Stupa, Jetawana Stupa
  • 2300 year-old Bodhi Tree, Samadhi Buddha Statue
  • Private tour by comfortable car
  • English speaking driver
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TOP 10 attractions in Anuradhapura:

1. Archaeological Museum
2. Jetavanarama Dagoba
3. Tuparama Dagoba
4. Moonstone at Maha Bodhi Temple
5. Abhayagiri Dagoba
6. Buddha Samadhi Statue
7. Ruvanveliseya
8. Sri Maha Bodhi (Bodhi Tree)
9. Kuttam Pokuna Pool
10. Vijayabahu Palace

3. Ambuluvava

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Ambuluwawa is the first multi-religious complex in Sri Lanka, located in the protected areas of the highlands. Ambuluvava in Gampol consists of a large winding tower resembling a stylized Buddhist stupa, a Hindu kovil, a Muslim mosque and a Christian church.

4. Kandy

Kandy - Nuwara Eliya

  • Buddha Tooth Temple, Royal Botanical Garden
  • Train Ride, Nuwara Eliya
  • Private tour by comfortable car
  • English speaking driver
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Kandy is the main cultural capital of Sri Lanka. It is the second largest city in the country after Colombo. The city is associated with the history of the spread of Buddhism. Kandy is famous for being home to one of the most sacred and revered places of worship in the Buddhist world, the Temple of the Tooth Relic.

TOP 10 attractions in Kandy

1. Royal Botanical Garden in Peradeniya
2. Temple of the Tooth Relic
3. Bahirawakande Monastery and observation deck
4. Old Royal Palace of Kandy
5. Magul Maduwa Assembly Hall
6. Fountain of coffee planters
7. Lake Bogambara
8. Sri Dalada Museum
9. International Museum of Buddhism
10. Hindu temples - four Devalayas

5. Nuwara Eliya, tea plantations and factories

Nuwara Eliya

  • Train Ride, Nuwara Eliya
  • Botanical Garden, Lake Gregory
  • Private tour by comfortable car
  • English speaking driver
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from 40 usd/pax
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Nuwara Eliya is a city in the Central Province of Sri Lanka. The name of the city in translation means "city on the plain" or "city of light". Nuwara Eliya is famous for its scenic landscape and is also the premier tea production site in Sri Lanka. The city is located near the highest mountain in Sri Lanka - Pidurutalagala.

TOP 10 attractions in Nuwara Eliya and surroundings:

1 Lake Gregory
2. Hakgala Botanical Garden
3. English Post Building
4. Lunar Plateau
5. Mount Pidurutalagala (Mount Pedro)
6. Temple of Sita Amman
7. Victoria Park
8. Ramboda Falls
9. Alpine Train
10. Horton Plateau and Earth's End

6. Ella, nine-arch bridge


  • Ella is a beautiful alpine resort shrouded in clouds
  • Nine Arch Bridge, Ravana Waterfall, Small Adam's Peak
  • Elephants at Udawalawe Park
  • Private tour in a comfortable car
Mountains, Bridge, Tea, Elephants
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Ella is a small village located in the central highlands of Sri Lanka. The popularity of the town among tourists is due to its location. The city is located in the sparsely populated province of Uva, surrounded by mountains covered with tea plantations, tropical forests and jungles.

TOP 10 attractions in Ella

1. Nine Arch Bridge
2. Little Adam's Peak
3. Train in Ella
4. Ravana Falls
5. Ravana cave
6 Ella Rock
7. Dova Raja Maha Viharaya Cave Temple
8. Nile Dia Pokuna - Underground blue lake in Ella
9. Tea factories and plantations (Tea factory)
10 Secret Waterfall

7. Fort Galle

South Tour: Galle Fort, River Safari, turtles

  • Fort Galle, River Safari
  • Whale Watching, Turtle Farm
  • Private tour by comfortable car
  • English speaking driver
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from 45 usd/pax
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Galle Fort, located in Galle Bay on the southwest coast of Sri Lanka, was built in 1588 by the Portuguese colonizers and fortified by the Dutch during the 17th century. This fort is a historical, archaeological and architectural monument, which, even after 423 years, retains its original appearance, thanks to the work of the reenactors of the Sri Lanka Archaeological Department.

8. Dambulla

Sigiriya and Dambulla

  • Sigiriya Lion Rock, Elephant Riding, Safari
  • Golden and Cave Temples in Dambulla
  • Private tour by comfortable car
  • English speaking driver
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Dambulla is a large city located in the central part of Sri Lanka, northeast of Colombo. Due to its favorable location at the junction of the main roads, Dambulla is the center of distribution of goods in the country. The main attractions of the area are the largest and best preserved cave temple complex in Sri Lanka.

9. Polonnaruwa

Anuradhapura - Polonnaruwa - Sigiriya - Pidurangala - Dambulla (2 days)

  • Anuradhapura - the first capital of Sri Lanka
  • Polonnaruwa - majestic ruins
  • Sigiriya Rock Fortress and Mount Pidurangala
  • Dambulla cave and golden temple
Mountain tour
from 390 usd/pax
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Polonnaruwa is a city located in the northern part of Sri Lanka. Polonnaruwa was founded in the 3rd century AD, on the banks of the Minneriya reservoir created at the same time. After the capture of Anuradhapura - the first capital of Sri Lanka - in 1017 by the Tamil conquerors, Polonnaruwa became the capital of the island.

TOP 10 attractions in Polonnaruwa:

1. Statue of Parakramabahu
2. Potgul Vihara Monastery Library (Vehera)
3. Parakramabahu Palace
4. Tuparame Temple
5. Vatadage Relic House
6. Gal Potha Stone Book
7. Shiva Devale - a complex of two temples
8. Satmahal Prasada Pyramid Tower
9. Rankot Vehera - the largest dagoba in Polonnaruwa
10. Gal Viharaya - temple in the rock

10. Adam's Peak

Adam's Peak is a 2,243 m high mountain located in the central, mountainous part of Sri Lanka. The mountain is sacred to Buddhists - there is a Buddhist monastery on the top. Also, this mountain is considered sacred for followers of 4 religions.

TOP 10 things to do in Sri Lanka

1. Elephant riding. There are several places on the island where you can ride an elephant: for example, at Sigiriya or at a private elephant nursery in Pinnawala.

2. Tea ceremony. Sri Lanka grows the best tea in the world, so it's a must try. You can do it in a tea factory.

3. Surfing. The island has several beaches with suitable waves.

4. Diving. There are many dive centers along the coast. We offer diving to the sunken ship.

5. Jeep safari. You can try a jeep safari in the Yala, Udawalawe or Minneriya National Parks - an opportunity to see animals in their natural habitat.

6. Rafting. There are many rivers in Sri Lanka where you can go rafting.

7. Whale watching. You can observe these majestic animals during excursions from Mirissa or Trincomalee.

8. Ascent to Adam's Peak. You can meet the dawn on this sacred mountain and get an unforgettable experience.

9. Zip-line. There are several zip lines on the island, such as Little Adam's Peak in Ella.

10. Sea fishing. The vast length of coastline, warm tropical climate and great biodiversity make Sri Lanka an ideal place for sea fishing.

National parks and reserves of Sri Lanka

Yala National Park

Yala is the most famous and most popular park in Sri Lanka. It has one of the highest leopard density levels in the world.

Udawalawe National Park

It is believed that Udawalawe is better than many African national parks for elephant watching. There are over 250 resident elephants in the park, dozens of which are easy to spot due to the park's open savannah area, especially when the animals go to water.

Minneriya, Kaudulla and Hurulu Eco Park National Parks

Habarana Township is close to several large national parks such as Minneriya, Kaudulla and Hurulu Eco Park. Several hundred elephants live in these national parks, which go out to the lakes in the morning and in the evening to drink. The largest concentration of elephants is observed between May and September and is the largest collection of elephants in the world.

Wilpattu National Park (Wilpattu)

Wilpattu is the largest national park in Sri Lanka and the second largest among leopards. Despite this, he is the least popular and well-known. Visitor numbers remain low, making it attractive for the most authentic safari experience possible.


The Sinharaja rainforest is the largest rainforest in South Asia and the only tropical tree massif in Sri Lanka. This is an ancient ecosystem preserved almost in its original form. The forest is famous for its rich flora and fauna, with a high concentration of endemics.


Caudulla became a national park in 2002. Kaudulla is the national park of Sri Lanka, which is very popular with ornithologists from all over the world (over 160 species of birds live here).

Adam's Bridge - marine reserve

Adam's Bridge (also Rama's Bridge, Ramasetu) is a 48 km long string of shoals and islets in the Indian Ocean, between India and Sri Lanka. Only the strait between Cape Ramnad and Rameswaram Island, the so-called Pamban Pass, is accessible to small craft.

Pigeon Island

Pigeon Island consists of two islands - large and small. The large island is bordered by a coral reef, which is about 200 meters long and 100 meters wide. The small island is surrounded by rocky islands. The reef here is quite shallow, which makes it accessible not only for divers, but also for snorkelling.

Horton Plateau

One of the most beautiful world heritage sites is definitely the Horton Plains National Park in Sri Lanka. The most visited attraction of this national park is the End of the World, where the plateau of the park suddenly ends with a deep cliff of more than 800 meters.


Bundalla is densely leafed forests and wetlands, sand dunes and clear springs. Thanks to this, Bundala boasts an incredible diversity of fauna. There are about two hundred species of birds, among which flamingos, herons and peacocks stand out.

Kumana National Park

Kumana Park is located on the southeast coast of Sri Lanka and is a haven for migratory birds. More than 250 bird species have been recorded in the park. There are also jackals, wild cats, wild boars and elephants. Beautiful landscapes are complemented by rare species of butterflies.

Gal Oya National Park

The unique ecosystems of Gal Oya Park are supported by the Senanayake Samudraya reservoir. Essentially, it is a watershed with many wetlands, lakes, and lush forests. This park is a habitat for buffaloes, leopards, elephants.

TOP 10 waterfalls in Sri Lanka

1. Bambarakanda waterfall

Bambarakanda Falls is the highest waterfall in Sri Lanka. Its height is 263 meters. It ranks 299 among the highest waterfalls in the world. Bambarakanda is located in the Kalupahana pine forest in Badulla district. It can be seen driving along the A4 highway. The waterfall originates from the Kuda Oya River, which flows out of the Walave River. The largest waterfall in Sri Lanka is a must-see for tourists who want to experience the real Sri Lanka.

2. Waterfall Diyaluma

With a height of 220 meters, Diyaluma Falls is the second highest waterfall in Sri Lanka (and the 361st highest waterfall in the world). It is located 6 km from Koslanda in the Badulla area on the Colombo - Badulla highway. The waterfall is formed by the Punagala Oya River, a tributary of the Kuda Oya, which in turn is a tributary of the Kirindi Oya. During the rainy season, the flow of water becomes turbulent and swiftly flies through the cascades in a single stream.

3. Waterfall "Bridal Veil" (Koslanda Bridal Veil)

Bridal Veil Waterfall is one of the most beautiful and highest waterfalls in the world. The waterfall has such a name because it looks like a thick veil. It falls from the rocks in a huge powerful jet from a height of 212 meters. "Bridal Veil" is a unique waterfall with a single jet, it regularly ranks at the top of the list of the most beautiful waterfalls in the world.

4. Ramboda Falls

Ramboda Falls is a beautiful waterfall located in the mountains of Nuwara Eliya, near Pussellava, on the Ramboda Pass. The height of the waterfall is 109 meters. Ramboda waterfall is located at an altitude of 945 meters above sea level. It is the 11th highest waterfall in Sri Lanka and 729th in the world. This waterfall is sometimes also called Puna Ella (Puna Ella) and Pundalu Ella (Pundalu Ella) after the names of the rivers that form it.

5. St. Clair's Falls

St. Clair's Falls is 80 meters high and 50 meters wide. Located in the Nuwara Eliya area, 1.5 km from Talawakele on the Hatton-Talawakele highway. The falls are made up of two segments, known as "Great St. Clair" and "Little St. Clair". The waterfall originates from the Kotmale River which flows down the slope through the tea plantations. Kotmale is a tributary of the Mahaweli River. According to some tourists, this waterfall is the most beautiful waterfall in Sri Lanka.

6. Ravana Waterfall

This waterfall is about 25 m high and cascades down from a concave oval-shaped rock ledge. During the rainy season, the waterfall falls in a powerful stream, in the dry season the flow of water decreases sharply. The waterfall is part of the Ravana Ella Wildlife Sanctuary and is located 6 km from the local railway station in Ella.

7. Kurundu Oya

The Kurundu Oya waterfall has a height of 206 m, located 32 km northeast of Nuwara Eliya (3 km before reaching the town of Valapane). This is the third highest waterfall in Sri Lanka. The waterfall is fed by the waters of the Kurundu Oya River, then falls in cascades into a deep ravine and, further, flows into the Mahaweli River.

8. Bomburu Ella Falls

This waterfall has a height of only 30 m. The second name of the waterfall (common among locals) is Peravella waterfall. The waterfall is located on the Uma Oya River. Bomburu Ella is located on the border of the districts of Nuwara Eliya and Badulla, Uva Paranagama province, in the town of Pevella.

9. Olu Ella Falls

Waterfall Olu Ella (Olu Ella Falls) has a total height of all 4 segments of 127 meters. It is located in the province of Sabaragamuwa, 45 km south of Kegalle and 35 km northeast of Avissawela. Olu Ella is the 6th highest waterfall in Sri Lanka. The waterfall is formed by the fall of the Wee Oya river.

10. Laxapana Falls

Laksapana (or Lakshapana) waterfall is the eighth highest in Sri Lanka. Its height is 129 meters. The waterfall is located 16 km from the town of Maskeliya in Hatton on the way to Sri Pada (Adam's Peak). The Lakshapana waterfall is formed by the Maskeliya Oya River, which flows further into the Kelani River.

Read more about waterfalls in Sri Lanka

TOP 10 Temples in Sri Lanka

1. Temple of the Tooth Relic. Sri Dalada Maligawa or Temple of the Sacred Tooth Relic is a Buddhist temple in Kandy, Sri Lanka. It is located on the territory of the royal palace, where the relic of the tooth of Buddha is kept.

2. Bahirawakande. Buddhist in Kandy is located in Bahirawakand, about 2 km from the city center. The temple is famous for its gigantic 26.83 m tall Buddha statue. The Buddha statue is depicted in Dhyana mudra, the meditation posture associated with his first Enlightenment, and can be seen from almost everywhere in Kandy.

3. Shinigama. The Hindu Temple of the Gods of Retribution, Shinigama, was built over 300 years ago. It is located on a small island in the sea not far from the coast, 6 km from the settlement of Hikkaduwa.

4. Gangaramaya. Main Buddhist Temple in Colombo. Here you can see many interesting things, such as the smallest golden Buddha statue, which can only be seen under a magnifying glass, pure gold stupas encrusted with diamonds and rubies, the largest elephant tusks.

5. Ambuluwawa is the first multi-religious complex in Sri Lanka, located in the protected areas of the highlands. Ambuluvava in Gampol consists of a large winding tower resembling a stylized Buddhist stupa, a Hindu kovil, a Muslim mosque and a Christian church.

6. Ganeshan. Ganeshan Temple is one of the Hindu temples in central Colombo. The temple is decorated with bright, incredibly inventive towers assembled from images of deities.

7. Temple of Kelaniya Raja Maha Vihara. Buddhist temple in Kelaniya, located 11 km northeast of Colombo. The temple has often been associated with the rise and fall of Sri Lanka, which is why it occupies an important place in the self-consciousness of the Sri Lankans.

8. Golden temple in Dambulla. The Golden Temple of Dambulla, with numerous Buddha statues, has been a sacred place of pilgrimage for 22 centuries. The temple is located on a picturesque mountaintop covered with forest.

9. Sita Amman. One of the brightest temples in Sri Lanka. It consists of several tiers and is decorated with colorful sculptures of Hindu deities.

10. Church of St. Peter. St. Peter's Church is one of the oldest continuously operating Christian churches in Colombo. It is located on Church Street in Fort Colombo.

TOP 5 caves in Sri Lanka

1. Dambulla. Dambulla is the largest and best preserved cave temple complex in Sri Lanka. The rock rises 160 m above the surrounding plain. There are more than 80 caves in the vicinity. The main attractions are located in five caves, which contain statues and frescoes.

2. Aluvihara. Aluvihara rock temple (also called Matale Alu Viharaya) is a sacred Buddhist temple located in Aluvihara, Matale district, 30 km north of Kandy. The history of the Aluvihare rock temple dates back to the 3rd century BC.

3. Ravana. Not far from the Ravana waterfall in Ella, there is also the Ravana Ella cave. It is located at an altitude of 1370 meters. It is believed that one of the episodes of the Indian epic Ramayana took place here.

4. Mulkirigala. The cave temple complex of Mulkirigala is located on the ledges of a high rocky hill 21 km northwest of Tangalle. The rock of Mulkirigala is made of gneiss. It rises above the level of the plain by 108 m and has a diameter of about 200 m at the level of the first terrace. Currently, the rock and the area at its foot belong to the monastery complex Mulkirigala Maha Raja Viharaya (Mulkirigala Raja Maha Viharaya),

5. Pahyangala. Pahiyangala Cave and Temple, also called Fa Xian's Cave. Pahiyangala Cave is 60 m long and 45 m wide, and during archaeological research, traces of the habitation of an ancient man were found in it, here 35,000 years ago.