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Updated by Joanna James on Jun 23, 2019
Headline for Top 5 Places You Must Experience in Sri Lanka - The Pearl of Indian Ocean
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Joanna James Joanna James
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Top 5 Places You Must Experience in Sri Lanka - The Pearl of Indian Ocean

Sri Lanka is a little island well known for its rich culture and beaches. It has much more to offer, like jungles, tea plantations and more. Here are some places to add to your itinerary

1

Sigiriya

Known as the Lion's Rock, this is a fortress that was built on top of a rock during the 5th Century. It was added to the list of UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1982. Sigiriya is also considered an engineering marvel due to the sheer advanced skills that were required to construct the fortress out of a massive rock that is about 200 metres high. This is located in the Matale District, about 4 hours away from Colombo. The main attractions of this site are the frescoes belonging to the Anuradhapura era on the walls; only about eighteen of these paintings have survived to date.

2

Galle

A town situated in the southern coast of the island is a colonial city. To date, the Dutch-era buildings remain the same adding charm to this city. The Dutch Fort, also known as the Galle Fort is another World Heritage Site. It is located about 120 km away from Colombo and thanks to the Southern Express Highway, it only takes about 1.5 hours to reach the destination. Due to this, Galle is a famous spot, especially for locals, for a weekend getaway from the bustling city.

There are many tourists always present in the city and to keep up with demand, Galle has become a constantly developing city with many restaurant chains opening up. Not only that, it is home to some of the best hotels in Sri Lanka.

3

Mirissa

A town that is filled with a diverse range of people; from surfers to travelling tourists to laid-back locals. This town is situated in the Matara district, only a few kilometres away from Galle. It is popular among amateur surfers and is also a great spot for whale and dolphin watching.

4

Colombo

This is the largest metropolitan city of the island and is known to be the commercial hub. The central Colombo is known as Colombo Fort and is home to many high-end hotel chains. Despite Colombo being such a commercial city, there are many places for one to explore. Some hotels like Colombo Court Hotel & Spa, offer their guests a tour of the main attractions of the city covering the Colombo National Museum, the Independence Memorial Hall, Colombo Lighthouse and the famous red mosque in Pettah, to name a few.

5

Yala National Park

A trip to Sri Lanka is incomplete without a safari through the Yala National Park; the sanctuary for the endemic elephants and birds like Sri Lanka junglefowl, Crimson-fronted Barbet, brown-capped babbler and blue-tailed bee-eater. However, the most impressive and interesting fact is that this is where the highest population of leopards in the world is found. Due to the many endemic species being present, the main threat to the park are the poachers.