Things to Do: The Most Popular Places in Sri Lanka You Shouldn't Miss!

Sri Lanka - Photo by dkphotographs from flickr.com

Sri Lanka is an island country in East Asia that’s known for its beauty and diversity.

With many of its great destinations, the country has been internationally recognized as one of the best destinations in the world.

It has Sigiriya Fortress and Royal Botanic Gardens as some of its most popular destinations.

The country is culturally active and Buddhism is dominating it. Temples can be seen everywhere, but one of the most popular ones is Temple of the Sacred Tooth Relic.

To take your adventurous self to another level, make a trip to Rawana Falls and Horton Plains National Park. Great experiences are absolutely guaranteed.

Don’t leave the country before shopping for its unique and exciting souvenirs. Laksala and Lakpahana Handcraft have got you covered.

Make this trip a memorable one this time. Take a closer look and find out what more can you do in the country by reading this page along.

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SIGHTSEEING

To pay a visit in Sri Lanka means you are blessed with so many great things. From the unique culture, good people, amazing food, to unforgettable destinations.

The best thing about Sri Lanka is you have the opportunity to visit many exciting destinations. One of the country’s most popular destinations is Royal Botanic Gardens. It is an expansive botanical garden featuring many plant species including up to 4000 species of trees. Located on Peradeniya road in Kandy, this garden is popularly known for its orchid collection. As a nature lover, this place would make a great destination for you. Weekends and holidays can be crowded, though.

Another spectacular destination you should go to is the popular Sigiriya Fortress. This heritage museum is the ruins of a 5th-century city that was anchored by a towering rock fortress accessible by steep stairs. As a world class destination, this ancient stone fortress has been recognized as the eighth wonder of the world. There is nothing better than to explore this kind of world historical monument. As a traveler, this is beyond exciting. To enjoy all of its magnificent offering, you have to pay around USD 30. Totally worth spending.

Royal Botanic Gardens

One of the oldest but most beautiful botanical garden that you could visit.

It’s large and the variety of trees, flowers, fruits and other plants are extraordinary.

There are bats and monkeys as well.

Those who love to nature must visit this ancient garden.

Address : Peradeniya Rd, Kandy, Sri Lanka

Sigiriya Fortress

Sigiriya is one of the greatest creations of old Sri Lankan ancestors.

It must be an unbelievable place with a spectacular view from the top platform.

The irrigation system they used is working properly even today.

You can see lot of monkeys and please be careful with your belongings

Address : Rock Front, Sigiriya 21120, Sri Lanka

CULTURE

Sri Lanka is primarily dominated by Buddhism and Hinduism. Known for its regional diversity, Sri Lanka’s culture is a mix of modern element with traditional aspects. The Sri Lankan culture itself has always been influenced by the heritage of Theravada Buddhism from India, and the religion's legacy is particularly strong in Sri Lanka's southern and central regions.

For the language, the country mostly speaks Sinhala and Tamil. English is also well recognized here.

BEST TIME TO VISIT

Some of the best times to pay a visit to Sri Lanka is between December and April, while other best times are from July to September. The weather just feels so right at these times, great to discover many of the country’s offerings.

DO'S AND DON'TS

Knowing what’s your destination like is one of the most important things you can do as a traveler. This way, you can have a great and an unbothered experience. In Sri Lanka there are things you should do and you shouldn’t.

Dos: (1) You must try the unique local foods that can be found on the streets. (2) Try its popular Ceylon tea. (3) Fruits are very popular in Sri Lanka. Have a try some of the best fruits like pineapple, mango, passion fruit, banana, wood apple, and raw jackfruit. (4) Do factor in travel times and do pack appropriately. (5) If you’re planning a trip, guide tour can be helpful.

Don’ts: (1) Don’t compare Sri Lanka and India. (2) Don’t drink the tap water. (3) Don’t stay too long at its capital, Colombo. The city can be overwhelmingly crowded, noisy, hot, and constant construction. (4) Avoid taking picture of people without permission. (5) Behave is one of the best things you can do. (6) If you have tattoos of Buddha on your body, better take care and hide it with conceal or something. It is considered disrespectful. (7) Visiting religious sites or temples means you have to dress appropriately. (8) Don’t turn your back on any statue of the Buddha and don’t take selfie with it. (9) Don’t physically touch a monk, it is viewed as disrespectful.

LANDMARKS

One of the country’s most popular landmarks is Temple of the Sacred Tooth Relic. Located in Kandy, this great landmark is a large temple featuring rituals, service around the sacred Tooth Relic that is known as the canine tooth of Buddha, classic architecture building, greenery ground, a lake, and much more. It is known as one of the sacred places of Buddhists in Sri Lanka. The place itself is a well-maintained spot with great environment and an example of ancient Kandyan architecture.

Temples are a big part in Sri Lanka. There are many destinations that has temple as their attraction. Another great landmark you can visit is the amazing Dambulla Royal Cave Temple and Golden Temple. These Buddhist temples is built into 5 caves under overhanging rock that contains paintings, statues, and wall murals. To enjoy all of its greatness, you can pay 1500 LRK and make sure to buy your ticket at the bottom of the Rock Temple Entrance.

Temple of the Sacred Tooth Relic

One of the most sacred places of Buddhists in Sri Lanka.

Tooth Relic is believed to be sacred for Buddhism and the royal family was responsible for the safekeeping of the tooth relic.

There will be ceremony everyday for the blessings by the devotees.

Buddhists from all over the island and world come down to worship this place.

Easy to reach this place as it is situated in the middle of the town.

Address : Sri Dalada Veediya, Kandy 20000, Sri Lanka

Dambulla Royal Cave Temple and Golden Temple

These Buddhist temples are built into 5 caves under overhanging rock that contains paintings, statues, and wall murals.

To enjoy all of its greatness, you can pay 1500 LRK and make sure to buy your ticket at the bottom of the Rock Temple Entrance.

Address : Kandy - Jaffna Hwy, Dambulla, Sri Lanka

POPULAR TOURIST DESTINATIONS

When it comes to popular tourist destinations, Rawana Falls has to be one of the most popular places in Sri Lanka. Known for its natural beauty, this waterfall is one of the widest waterfalls in the country. It has a famous cave that is mentioned in an Indian epic poem. This is the kind of destination that make you admire the beauty of nature even more.

You might as well want to take your adventurous self to the next level by visiting the great Horton Plains National Park. This national park is an amazing spot for nature lover out there. It is a large preserve on a plateau featuring cloud forests, montane grasslands, rivers, and waterfalls.

Don’t miss the beach life in Sri Lanka. The country provides many stunning beaches and one of the best ones is Mount Lavinia Beach. This scenic beach offers a stretch of sand, waves, lifeguards, hotels, and nearby restaurants. It is definitely one of the most high-rated beaches in Sri Lanka. Other popular beaches like Unawatuna Beach, Mirissa Beach, and Arugam Bay Beach are popularly known in the country. This is absolutely going to be a great adventure for you and your travel buddy.

Rawana Falls.

So beautiful ancient waterfall situated in galle-hambantota-wellawaya ella rd.

There is a platform to enjoy the waterfall with monkeys also as spectators.

Can bath & also have meal from nearby food courts.

There are couple of souvenirs shops and small restaurants that serve fresh fruits and juices and sweet corn.

Address : Colombo - Galle - Hambantota - Wellawaya Rd, Ella 90900, Sri Lanka

Horton Plains National Park

One of the best place to go on a trail.

You can experience various weather conditions with in 3 - 4 hours.

You can see well grown mooses, monkeys and more.

Address : Sri Lanka

Mount Lavinia Beach

Wonderful beach with several restaurants which provide seafood fresh from the sea.

You can go fishing, including catching a lot of amateurs.

Mount Lavinia has been a hot spot for tourism and laid back nightlife.

Address : Mount Lavinia Beach, Dehiwala-Mount Lavinia 10370, Sri Lanka

BEST HOTELS AND RESORTS

Numerous hotels are available in the country. One of the best recommendations for you is Heritance Kandalama. This 5-star hotel is set amidst jungle on a mountainside that overlooks the Sigiriya rock fortress. It comes elegant rooms with full equipment, an airy restaurant with a terrace, a refined fusion dining, a relaxed bar, a spa, and a library. The hotel also has an outdoor pool, business center, free breakfast and parking. All the amazing amenities and services can be enjoyed with a great deal of price.

You also consider Amaya Lake as your next option. This 4-star hotel is a great way to escape the hectic daily life and to rest your body after tired explorations. It comes with exciting amenities like indoor and outdoor pools, a restaurant, a spa, a bar, a hot tub, free breakfast and parking, and much more. These two hotels would definitely be a great host for your travel to Sri Lanka.

Heritance Kandalama

A hotel with a unique design and very suitable for your stay.

Rooms are very clean, comfortable, spacious and the view from the rooms of lake.

Providing delicious and varied snacks and breakfast.

Every corner is gorgeous with chairs looking out over the lake.

Address : Heritance Kandalama 11, Dambulla 21106, Sri Lanka

Amaya Lake Dambulla

A Lovely place with eye catching pools.

Provide rooms with amenities, everything is clean and tidy.

Location is great with border with a lake and plenty of space in the garden to enjoy.

Address : Sigiriya, Dambulla 21100, Sri Lanka

BEST RESTAURANTS

When it’s time for food, you can absolutely find unique foods and drinks on the street. The locals usually provide food on the street. But if you need recommendations for restaurants, World Spice – KCC is definitely worth visiting. This popular restaurant is located in Kandy City Centre and it offers a wide variety of local and international dishes. From Sri Lankan food, Indian specials, Chinese tastiness, to Italian tastes. The restaurant itself is very well appointed and it is handled by professional hands.

Lords Restaurant Complex would also be a great option for your culinary trip. This upscale restaurant comes with the most good-looking room setting. The room is set comfortably with stunning lighting. This Asian restaurant pampers you with special menu like curry and prawns, cocktails, spa, and live music. With its lively atmosphere, there is not one second you get bored. You’ll definitely have an amazing time here.

World Spice - KCC

Really great place for having great time with families and friends to enjoy a great meal.

World spice offers a great variety while maintaining health standards.

Select wide range of authentic meals.

There are variety of foods available including pizza, sandwiches, Indian foods, chinese food, and many more.

Address : No 5 Sri Dalada Veediya, Kandy 20000, Sri Lanka

Lords Restaurant Complex

A very cool style restaurant or bar with perfect lighting.

They serve both local and international meals, there's plenty of options.

The food and beer are prepared very well, recommend the Baby Lobster.

Service is top notch, food was excellent, both in taste and look.

The restaurant provides an amazing holistic experience.

Address : Porutota Rd, Negombo, Sri Lanka

BEST SOUVENIR SHOPS

The best way to end your trip in Sri Lanka is by shopping its unique souvenirs at the nearby souvenir shops. One of the most popular places for it is Laksala. Located in Colombo city, this souvenir shop comes with exciting items like handicrafts, traditional items, ornaments, gems, antique, artifacts, and so much more. And one of the best things about it is the reasonable price.

You can also take a tour to Lakpahana Handcraft (Private) Limited for another good recommendation. This spacious boutique carries a wide selection of jewelry, ceramics, and clothing handmade by local artists. These items are very important in the country. Going home with them would be a memorable thing to go. Definitely worth a visit.

Laksala

A shop that provides unique and interesting gifts.

There are lot of Sri Lanka made things are there to buy.

All items are displayed very nicely and arranged, so it's easy to choose.

Address : Canada Friendship Rd, Katunayake 11450, Sri Lanka

Lakpahana Handcraft (Private) Limited

It is an ideal place for especially the foreigners to buy silverware, batiks, masks, straw products, and many more.

Lakpahana has a collection of various products made by local artists.

Beautifully woven baskets and mats of all shapes and sizes.

And some stunning batik fabrics- super soft cotton clothing and also linen.

Address : 14 Philip Gunewardena Mawatha, Colombo 00700, Sri Lanka