Full of romantic scenery, exhilarating mountains, lush green tea gardens and golden beaches, the island nation of Sri Lanka is a savory tourist destination for travelers from all over the world. The country has no shortage of beautiful, awe inspiring places, natural, historical and cultural attractions of Sri Lanka, each more perfect than the last. Take a trip to these beautiful places in Sri Lanka to diversify your travel experience.
When planning your next vacation in this serene country, check out the list of Sri Lanka attractions to see where you can travel with your friends and family. Make sure you cover all the most interesting places from our ranking
Devamara Demodara Bridge in Ella is one of the most beautiful sights in Sri Lanka. Take in stunning views of Ella Bay against the backdrop of the southern mountain range, in the midst of beautiful countryside with small vegetable gardens, tea plantations on the hillsides and forests on the peaks. Ella is considered one of the most beautiful places to visit in the country for a reason.
Nestled in the hills, a 19th-century village called Nuwara Eliya retains a colonial feel with a golf course, gentlemen’s clubs and Tudor-style buildings. This is one of the most suitable destinations for a scenic train tour. Enjoy stunning views of tea plantations, waterfalls and impressive mountains. The train will take you from Kandy to Nuwara Eliya and you won’t want this trip to end.
Pinnawala Elephant Orphanage
Can you imagine anything as cute as watching baby elephants bathe in a river? You can realize your dream in this beautiful place in Sri Lanka — the elephant orphanage in Pinnawala! You will not want to leave this paradise. The Elephant Orphanage is located 13 km from the city of Kegalle and is accessible by any public transport. This is a very popular tourist destination that gives visitors a completely different experience. Watching little elephants frolic can be a lot of fun, because this can not be seen anywhere else.
The next place on the list of attractions in Sri Lanka is the popular city of temples. You can easily spend your day exploring the ancient city life at the ruins of Polonnaruwa. Well-preserved and full of archaeological treasures, the ruins with hundreds of ancient structures such as tombs and temples, statues and stupas are all in abundance here. Everyone knows that Sri Lanka is a land of temples and also has many monuments and heritage sites that reflect its history and culture. Polonnaruwa is one such place that is very popular with tourists. Here you can get acquainted with the real life of the country. If you are a spiritual person and interested in knowing the history, culture and traditions of different countries, then you should definitely visit this place.
Dambulla cave temple
It’s hard not to marvel at the beautiful frescoes and statues in this beautifully preserved cave with over 150 Buddha statues. Immerse yourself in peace and quiet at an ancient cave temple that bears witness to the extraordinary cultural artifacts of ancient Sri Lanka.
The next destination on this list is Adam’s Peak, one of the most beautiful places in Sri Lanka. Climb the slopes at night to watch the spectacular sunrise at dawn. The biodiversity hotspot and UNESCO World Heritage site offers some of the best views in all of Sri Lanka. The very name of this place is unique, as is its nature. Adams Peak is located in the middle part of Sri Lanka, and is famous for the so-called Sri Pada, or footprints of the Buddha. In addition to spiritual and religious significance, this landmark of Sri Lanka is known for its vegetation, with many rare representatives of flora and fauna.
Old Dutch fort in Galle
Spend a relaxing day looking out over the endless sea from the charming Old Dutch Fort Galle, the finest preserved sea fort in South Asia. This is a place of interest for those who are deeply interested in history. It is said that the creation of this fort dates back to the 16th century. The maintenance of the fort is far from perfect, but the condition is quite suitable for guided tours. Due to its location next to the sea, you will have a beautiful view from the top of the fort. After the tour, you can also take a walk along the shore.
Stone fortress of Sigiriya
Sigiriya is one of the most beautiful places in Sri Lanka. This is one of the most dramatic sights in Sri Lanka, lost among ancient ruins, wonderful murals and water gardens. Don’t miss the magnificent view from above, with jungle and hills in every direction. Sigiriya is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. You can endlessly enumerate the reasons that will make you fall in love with this place. Firstly, it is beauty, which is especially good due to the bewitching vegetation around. Those who have been here say that if you do not visit Sigiriya, the trip to Sri Lanka will remain incomplete. If you climb to the top, you will get a 360-degree view of the surrounding area with a breathtakingly beautiful view. Climbing to the top is not so difficult — basic physical training is enough for this.
Spend the day enjoying the sun in a hammock and whale watching in the small village of Mirissa, one of the most attractive beach hideaways in Sri Lanka. The real world will be forgotten once you get to this beach paradise. Mirissa should definitely be on your list of Sri Lanka attractions. Not everyone likes the hype and the crowd of the city. Many of us want to spend our holidays in peaceful, quiet places. If you are one of those people and you are in Sri Lanka, then be sure to visit the beautiful village called Mirissa.
Most of the inhabitants here are fishermen and you can even go fishing with them to see whales and other big fish. While traveling, don’t forget to try the local cuisine and then relax on the beach. So, there are enough reasons why one can easily fall in love with this small but beautiful village.
Yala National Park
Be sure to visit Yala National Park, home to one of the world’s tallest leopards. This national park is full of grassy plains, forests, lagoons and coastline. Yala is nothing short of a paradise for big cats. Full of natural beauty and heritage, Sri Lanka’s attractions will capture your heart. Visiting all these magnificent places will make the trip unforgettable. The park is included in the list of the most visited places in the country, located about 200 km from the city of Bentota.
Yala is one of the most popular wildlife sanctuaries not only in this area, but among all the national parks of Sri Lanka. It is best to rent a jeep to ride through the jungle — such a trip will be full of fun and adventure. During the tour you will see many elephants and leopards in their natural habitat. This is one of those places worth seeing at any cost.
The next place on the list of attractions is the city of Colombo. It will be completely unfair if you do not visit the capital of Sri Lanka. There are several interesting places in this city that may interest you. The city is beautiful in every way and its beauty cannot be described in words. To explore all the interesting monuments, you can order a taxi, or tuk-tuk. Colombo is included in the list of the most beautiful places in Sri Lanka according to LifeGlobe.
Sri Lanka is undoubtedly a beautiful country, but commercialization has taken its toll. It caused the emergence of many crowded neighborhoods and markets. But if you want to have a really relaxing time in Sri Lanka, then Beira Lake is the place for you. After long and tiring shopping and traveling, you will want to sit back and relax. Come to Lake Beira, take a boat ride and immediately feel as if all your fatigue and stress have gone. The lake is very beautiful as it has green water and many ducks.
Apart from all other beautiful natural sites, Sri Lanka is known for its beaches. This country has many popular beaches that are considered among the most beautiful in Asia. The most amazing experience can be obtained after visiting Arugam Bay. It is said that its beach is the most pleasant of all.
Arugam offers many water activities for its visitors. These activities include diving, speedboating and more. But what makes this beach the most beautiful of all the beaches in Sri Lanka is its blue water and coconut trees. Thanks to all these features, Arugam has become one of the most popular tourist destinations in Sri Lanka.
Temple of the Tooth Relic
The next place is unique and beautiful in every way. We’re talking about the Temple of the Tooth Relic. This attraction of Sri Lanka is very popular and most tourists come here first. Like many other popular places in Sri Lanka, the Temple of the Tooth Relic is included in the UNESCO World Heritage List, being a spiritual and historical monument. It is said that the tooth relic in the temple belongs to the Buddha himself. There is a saying that whoever can touch the tooth will become the ruler of the kingdom. The temple is located in the city of Kandy.
This place is also called the city of temples in Sri Lanka, as some of the most beautiful temples in Sri Lanka are concentrated here. The most visited temple in this place is Nallur Kovil temple. This temple is always visited by the majority of visitors, because it is quite crowded. Apart from these temples, another center of attraction is the Jaffna Fort as a symbol of Sri Lankan history.
The city of Jaffna is not only for spiritual people, but also for those who are a little interested in history and culture. Another attraction of Jaffna is the Nagidepa Vihara Purana Temple. It is also known for its beauty and is a must visit. One can easily reach this temple by waterways by hiring a boat. The surrounding nature provides a peaceful environment where you can indulge in meditation.
As mentioned earlier, Sri Lanka is known for its beautiful beaches not only among neighboring countries, but throughout Asia. One such amazing beach is Unawatuna Beach. It is very popular, but slightly different from other beaches in Sri Lanka. Most of them are famous for their bustling life, while Unawatuna is known for its calmness.
If you want to have a good day, you can just come to this place and relax. This beach has the least number of people, but do not think that you cannot have fun here. You can go snorkeling, or go to nearby restaurants and cafes.
Above we mentioned the Rock Fortress of Sigiriya. The Sigiriya Museum is also discussed here. This museum will become a favorite for that traveler who is interested in history. The museum has preserved such things that clearly reflect the traditions and history of Sri Lanka and Sigiriya. In addition, the museum is also beautiful, which gives you another reason to visit.
Famous yoga resort in Sri Lanka. Another thing that is popular in Sri Lanka is the study of Ayurveda and Yoga. Ulpota village has some really good centers where you can practice yoga in the middle of nature. This place is like a piece of paradise, and spending time here is very pleasant. There are entire yoga hotels, as well as Ayurvedic centers. Thus, even if you are the least interested in these things, you should come here to broaden your horizons.
For people who love water sports and want to enjoy underwater life, one of the ideal attractions in Sri Lanka would be Trincomalee. It has everything that the beach should ideally provide to its visitors. The best part about Trincomalee is the professional diving instructors. Also, there are several interesting temples here.
If you are not much interested in spirituality and all that, then why go to the temple? The reason why it is worth visiting the temples in Sri Lanka is that they are not only the home of God, but also a beautiful creation of man. The architecture of the temples is simply amazing.
Kandalama is a beautiful but calm and devout place in Sri Lanka. The experience you will get here cannot be achieved anywhere else in the world. Kandalama will help you take a walk in the sky — there is a balloon service here that will take you to the skies. If you want to spend the night in the village, you can book a room in any of the hotels nearby. There are many 5‑star hotels here, so you don’t have to worry about luxury and comfort. Along with luxury, you will enjoy a peaceful atmosphere.
Dondra Lighthouse was built during an era when Sri Lanka was a colony. This can be understood by the way it is constructed. The building is very tall and offers a good view of the surrounding area. This attraction of Sri Lanka is suitable for a family visit. People come here to walk with children and friends. Here you can take beautiful photos and enjoy the picturesque sunset, which is easy to see from the top of the lighthouse. The Dondra lighthouse is located almost 165 km from Colombo, so it can be easily reached by any transport from the capital.
This place is considered the best for those who are fond of photography. The picturesque surroundings of Tissamaharama have become a refuge for the rarest species of birds and animals. If we talk about the beauty of this place, then there is an artificial, but very beautiful lake. The name of this lake is Tissa Veva. Also in Tissamaharama there are several historical beautiful stupas such as the Yatala Vehera stupa and many others. It is important to know that people in Sri Lanka are followers of Buddhism, so stupas are very common everywhere.
So, these were the most popular attractions in Sri Lanka that you must visit when you come to this country. All the places mentioned in the article are of great importance and should not be missed.