8 Must-visit tourist attractions in Sri Lanka


Searching for insight on the best tourist attractions in Sri Lanka? It can be overwhelming to find the best travel destinations, although Sri Lanka is a small island.

Maybe you are looking for Sri Lankan attractions that appeal to your interests or are on the lookout for a comprehensive tour that encompasses the top tourist spots in the country. Either way, here are eight Tourist attractions in Sri Lanka that you need to know about before your next trip to Sri Lanka.


Popularly known as the “Eighth Wonder of the World,” the Sigiriya rock is one of the major tourist attractions in Sri Lanka. The rock plateau stands at an elevation of 349m above sea level and dates back to the fifth century when it was used as a fortress by King Kashyapa I of Anuradhapura. Back then, it was a strategically located, unbreachable fortress. The King’s palace was situated at the top of the rock, whose ruins and frescoes remain up to date. Today, this tourist attraction in Sri Lanka is well known for its scintillating 360° views of the forests, natural pools, and gardens that surround it. Other scenic hiking destinations surrounding the Lion Rock include the Pidurangala Rock.

Kandy Temple of the Sacred Tooth Relic

The revered Buddhist relic – The sacred tooth of the Lord Buddha is stored securely under the golden roof of the iconic Kandy Temple, also known as the Sri Dalada Maligawa. Built in the 17th century by the Kandyan Kings, the royal palace is located at the heart of the Kandy town and is surrounded by the Kandy Lake. It is a must-visit tourist attraction in Sri Lanka that has captivated thousands of Buddhist pilgrims and cultural enthusiasts worldwide. Stop by Kandy for historic, religious, and tranquil getaways.

Galle Fort

The Galle Fort still exudes colonial vibes. The infrastructure of the Fort, surrounding hotels, boutiques, and restaurants resonate with the history of this port city. The Fort stands tall in the southwest bay of Galle, well-preserved, surviving the test of time and the disastrous Boxing Day Tsunami. Owing to its Portuguese, Dutch, and British colonial architecture, it was declared a cultural heritage site by UNESCO. The once superior port of Sri Lanka is a mark of historic value and still attracts tourists with its old-world charm and romantic vibes.

Yala National Park 

Thanks to the numerous deer, buffaloes, elephants, wild pigs, and crocodiles roaming about, a safari in the Yala National Park comes close to a safari in Africa. This tourist attraction and wildlife conservation park is also home to the elusive Sri Lankan leopard. With over 215 species of birds that can be spotted within this precinct, it is an ideal location for birdwatching too. The dusty and bumpy roads snaking through the park lead to a deserted beach that is a sight to behold. ‘Leopard Nest,’ a luxury lodging company also offers luxury treehouse cabins, a one-of-a-kind glamping experience, and BBQ experiences in Yala.

The ancient city of Anuradhapura

Explore the ancient city in style with a cycling tour, on a helicopter or hot air balloon that sail from various urban cities of the island. The first capital of Sri Lanka, Anuradhapura consists of numerous historic Buddhist places of worship including forest monasteries, stupas, dagabos, astounding statues, and temples. The Jaya Sri Maha Bodhi tree is one of the oldest trees in the world that you can witness during your visit to Anuradhapura, along with other well-preserved historical monuments. Ruwanwelisaya, Jethawanaramaya, and Abhayagiriya are some of the spectacular stupas that can enrich your cultural experience during your Sri Lanka Holiday. This historic city is also home to the largest native wildlife conservation park (Wilpaththu), world-renowned for its wildlife population.


How about some tea plantation trekking and unlimited tea tasting, fresh from the source? If so, the tea estates of Nuwara-Eliya must make it to your Sri Lanka Trips . The year-round cold climate makes the town ideal for cozy, laidback holidays. The area is abundant in beautiful waterfalls, which include the Lovers Leap, Glenn Falls, Ramboda falls, and Bomburuella. Another breathtaking site to visit in Nuwara-Eliya is the Horton Plains which is known for its ‘Great Worlds End Drop.’ Sri Lanka’s ‘Little England’ has much more in store for you, including suburban and charming bungalows, luscious botanical gardens, horse rides in the city, and tranquil lakes.

Unawatuna Beach

The aesthetically pleasing beach of Unawatuna is one that should not be missed on your trip to Sri Lanka. Although the beach can get crowded as it is one of the most popular local and tourist attractions in Sri Lanka, the cerulean waters, beautiful hotels, and beachside cafes will make it worth your while. Other popular beach destinations include the Nilaweli and Marble Beach of Trincomalee. Whichever coastal destination you choose, luxury resorts and budget-friendly villas ideal for relaxation, await to welcome you. Snorkel in clear waters to glimpse mystical coral gardens and sea creatures. Enjoy mouth-watering seafood dishes from the local restaurants that border the beaches.

Bentota Beach

Resorts and hotels in Bentota facilitate recreational and adventure-packed activities in addition to laid-back stays, making the town yet another popular tourist attraction in Sri Lanka. Surf or dive by the Cinnamon Islands or go on a boat safari down the Bentota River (Madu Ganga). Those of you who want command of your own sail can rent a kayak and explore the waters independently! When you’ve had your fill of watersports, settle for a fine dining experience in a star-class restaurant.

Plan your Sri Lanka Tour in Style

Now you know the top tourist attractions in Sri Lanka. Contact Olanka Travels for help with your Sri Lanka Trips. Our Sri Lanka tour planners would be delighted to assist.

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