Although it is a small island, there are so many places to visit in Sri Lanka. Whatever you are looking for is in Sri Lanka. A deep blue ocean, long palm-lined beaches, mountains where you can climb, interesting temples and, as a bonus, wildlife.
You can also check out my Sri Lanka Travel Guide before Places to Visit in Sri Lanka.
Here is the list of places to visit in Sri Lanka by following my route. If you want, you can follow this route.
Places to Visit in Sri Lanka Start Point: Capital, Colombo
You will take the first step to Sri Lanka from the capital Colombo. I guess it would not be wrong to describe Colombo as “one of the boring capitals “. That’s why, I recommend you not to waste too much time in Colombo. I only stayed one night on my arrival to Sri Lanka. On that day, I visited the area known as old town. I took beautiful pictures between the streets and colorful houses. As I already mentioned in my Sri Lanka Travel Guide, Sri Lankan people are very friendly.
After the capital Colombo, my route was Galle. Before Sri Lanka gained its independence in 1948, it was Portugal, Holland and British colony. As a result of this, still you can see their vibes in Sri Lankal like Galle.
Galle is a small port city surrounded by a castle. As soon as you step inside the castle; you feel yourself in the Netherlands of the 17th century with its narrow streets, white houses and lighthouse. This Dutch colonial city is also on the Unecso World protection list. Galle has many luxurious hotels, shops and magnificently decorated cafes. You can visit the entire Galle by walking in a few hours.
Mirissa is located in the south of Sri Lanka. People fall in love with Mirissa as soon as they see it. That’s what happened to me as well. My plan was to stay only 2 days but it extended to 4 days😊
In fact, since Sri Lanka is an island country, everywhere is sea and beach. You do not see crowds on the beaches because there are many options. Sometimes even you are the only one on the huge beach. Apart from going into the sea or lazing on the beach, you can dive or try surfing in Mirissa. Sri Lanka is one of the best countries to surf.
There is also something else in Mirissa that you cannot do anywhere which is a whale tour. It is almost impossible not to see a whale between November and April. Of course I did too. The price of the tour is 7000-8000 Sri Lankan rupees (35 dollars) per person. Even if you bargain, the price does not go down too much. Because the wildlife conservation tax in Sri Lanka is very high (3500 rupees-18 dollars).
Udawalawa Wild Life Park
Sri Lanka is one of the best places to observe wildlife in Asia. I read this before visiting Sri Lanka and definitely agree. I’ve been to most countries in Asia, but I’ve never seen this good before
Uda Walawe is a 31,000-hectare wildlife park located in southern Sri Lanka. The park was established in 1972. Animals can live in their natural environment in a healthy and safe manner. It contains more than 5,000 elephants, crocodiles, monkeys, a wide variety of bird species and about 10 leopards. It’s not that easy to see a leopard, but it’s almost guaranteed to see an elephant every step of the way.
You need to take a jeep tour for safari. You cannot walk around the park. Hotels in the region organize the tours. You can get it from your hotel. There are 3 different tour options as full day, morning or afternoon tours. Since the weather is very hot, I prefer the early morning. But according to the information I learned, elephants were mostly seen in the afternoon. Because they came to the lake to cool off from the heat of the air. The cost of the tour is 6 thousand Sri Lankan rupees per person. ($ 30) The price may seem high, but as I mentioned earlier, wildlife tax in Sri Lanka is too high. (3500 rupees-18 dollars)
Here is the most famous place in Sri Lanka. Pictures that hanging from the blue train, which we see a lot on social media, are taken here. Unfortunately I took the red train not the blue one☹
The Ella-Kandy train journey, which is famous all over the world, takes about 7 hours. You pass through dreamy tea plantations. Sri Lanka is already one of the leading countries in tea production. Ceylon tea takes its name from Sri Lanka’s former name. If you want, you can also visit the tea plantations. Lipton also has a tea plantation here.
There are 3 different classes in the train. You can only buy tickets for the 1st class in advance. However,in the fisrt class the windows cannot be opened because of air conditioning. This means that you cannot take photos hanging from the train. You can buy a second or third class ticket from the station before getting on the train. I bought the cheapest third class ticket, 350 rupees or about $ 1.80. I was afraid that it would be crowded, but there were too many empty seats.
Another famous photo spot is Nine Arch Bridge. The trains passing over this bridge 6 times a day and create a complete visual feast. Huge crowd is watching the train pass over the bridge. In addition, there are many mountains for hiking and waterfalls in Ella. It is a perfect place for nature lovers.
Adam’s Peak (2243 mt) is Sri Lanka’s highest peak. But what makes this place so important is the footprint on the top stone. There are many stories about this footprint. Muslims and Christians believe that this is the place where Adam first set foot on Earth after he was expelled from heaven. Buddhists believe that the footprint belongs to Buddha, while Hindus believe that it belongs to Shiva. In other words, Adam’s peak is a place of sacred and pilgrimage for people of all religions in Sri Lanka.
Between December-May, when the weather conditions are favorable, people hike here for pilgrimage. Hike starts at 2 am and takes about 4-5 hours. You can reach the top to watch the beautiful sun rise. As the full moon times are very crowded, this period is up to 8-9 hours. The reason is full moon is sacred for Buddhists. Temples are visited, prayers are recited and alcohol is never consumed. There are 5200 steps in total. Also there are many shops, restaurants, cafes and sleeping areas. It means that you can always have a break:)
The main significance of the Kandy comes from the temple which has Buddha’s tooth relic. There are ceremonies 3 times a day. The day that I went to the temple it was full moon. Full moon days which called Poyaday are sacred for Buddhists. People do not work, visit the temple in white clothes and they don’t drink or sell alcohol.
This temple is so importat for Buddhists and very busy especially during Poya day. Buddha’s tooth relic is displayed in a gold box, so you don’t actually see much. It was only taken out of the box once a year and displayed on the elephant.
Last one in the list of places to visit in Sri Lanka is Sigiriya. I really wanted to go but unfortunately couldn’t have enough time because I spent a lot on the beaches. Here’s a reasonfor me to go to Sri Lanka again😊
There is a palace built by the king of Singhales in the 5th century on this giant rock. The name of the rock is called Lion Rock because a huge lion was made in a part of the palace. However, only the feet of the lion have survived from this ruined palace.
Goodbye Sri Lanka for now but definetely we gonna meet again. You are always in my heart.
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